One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life - We Are The Mighty
Intel

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life

Barracks life is far from luxurious. A typical room resembles a college dorm, minus functioning amenities, such as hot water. However, this self-reliable Marine proves that he can bring luxury to himself.


One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
Photo: Terminal Lance/ Facebook

Winning.

ALSO: 23 Photos Of Drill Instructors Terrifying The Hell Out Of Marine Recruits

AND: Life In The US Marine Corps Infantry

Articles

This is what the potential US Space Corps could look like

A sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces may be a reality soon. But it will likely still be decades before “Star Trek’s” Starfleet becomes a thing.


On June 21, The House Armed Services Committee proposed forming the U.S. Space Corps. Both Republican and Democrat representatives suggested cleaving the current Air Force Space Command away from Big Blue and forming its own branch of service.

Alabama Republican Rep. Mike Rogers is spearheading the Space Corps into the 2018 Defense Authorization Bill. Rogers spoke with NPR and said “Russia and China have become near peers. They’re close to surpassing us. What we’re proposing would change that.”

Opposition to the Space Corps comes from the confusion that it would create at the Pentagon. Both Air Force Sec. Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein argued against the proposal. Gen. Goldfein said in May “I would say that we keep that dialog open, but right now I think it would actually move us backwards.”

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
Photo via Wikimedia

The formation of new branches of the military isn’t new. The Air Force was of course part of the Army when it was the U.S. Army Air Corps. Even still, the Marine Corps is still a subdivision of the Navy.

Funding for the Space Corps would be coming from the Air Force. The budget for the existing Air Force Space Command would increase before it would become its own branch.

With the ever growing sophistication of war, the “red-headed step children” of the Air Force would be in the spotlight. The Space Corps would most likely be absorb The Navy’s space arm of the Naval Network Warfare Command into its broader mission.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
As an integral part of the 21st Space Wing, Cheyenne Mountain AFS provides and employs global capabilities to ensure space superiority to defend our nation and allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dennis Hoffman)

There has not been a proposed official designation for Space Corps personnel yet.  Air Force personnel are Airmen so it would be logical for Space Corps troops to be called spacemen.

The life of spacemen wouldn’t likely be too different from the airmen in Space Command and sailors of the Naval Network Warfare Command already. There are only a few bases that would garrison spacemen. Their mission would likely remain the same as it is today — “to provide resilient and affordable space and cyberspace capabilities for the Joint Force and the Nation.”

To crush the dreams of every child, the fighting would mostly be take place at a desk instead of space. It costs way too much to send things and people into space. Until there’s a great need to send troops into space, Spacemen won’t be living out any “Halo,” “Starship Troopers,” or “Star Wars” fantasies.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
But we can still dream, right?

In all likelihood, spacemen would focus their efforts on the threats against cyber-security, detection of intercontinental ballistic missiles, and maintenance of satellites in the early days. No major changes from what currently exists today, but the Space Corps would have more prestige and precedent in future conflicts.

Yet, President Donald Trump has recently reestablished the National Space Council. Trump made clear his goals of a “Deep Space Gateway” to help astronauts reach more distant locations along with his goal of reaching Mars “by the end of his second term.

The concept of the Space Corps is still up for debate. It would still need to pass the Senate Armed Services Committee and then to President Trump.

Intel

The Navy’s plan to replace the super hornet by the 2030s

The Navy needs a new fighter to replace the Super Hornet by the 2030s, and that means moving a whole lot faster than the F-35’s development.

The U.S. Navy joined the Air Force in garnering attention for their Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program recently, but just because they’re using the same acronym as the Air Force doesn’t mean they intend to field the same aircraft. In fact, it seems the Navy is open to looking broadly at potential replacements for its workhorse 4th generation fighter, as well as its electronic warfare counterpart, the EA-18G Growler.

This new fighter, which some have assumed will qualify for a “6th generation” moniker, will have its work cut out for it as the United States military pivots back toward deterring nation-level foes with increasing technological parity like China. In fact, it’s likely that whatever the Navy’s new fighter is, it’ll require support from at least one un-crewed aircraft in order to maximize its capabilities.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
Artist’s rendering of a 6th generation Navy fighter (Boeing)

“As we look at it right now, the Next-Gen Air Dominance is a family of systems, which has as its centerpiece the F/A-XX – which may or may not be manned – platform. It’s the fixed-wing portion of the Next-Gen Air Dominance family of systems,” Rear Adm. Gregory Harris explained.

Admiral Harris’ suggestion that the Navy’s next fighter might not have a pilot may not be indicative of where the program currently sits developmentally, but rather, it likely suggests that the U.S. Navy is willing to consider a variety of potential solutions to the problems facing the nation’s fleet of flat-top fighters.

China, widely seen as America’s most militarily potent adversary, has already begun fielding hypersonic anti-ship missiles with operational ranges in excess of a thousand miles. Because of the incredible speed in which these weapons fly (greater than Mach 5), the U.S. currently does not have any reliable means of intercepting or defending against such an attack. As a result, America’s supercarriers would have to remain outside the thousand-plus mile reach of these weapons, creating what’s known as an “area denial bubble” extending from Chinese shores with these weapons in place.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
Hypersonic weapons travel in excess of Mach 5. China and Russia both claim to have hypersonic weapons in service. The U.S. has multiple hypersonic weapons in development. (DARPA)

Currently, America’s Navy fighters have a combat radius reaching up to 750 or so miles, making them unable to cover the distance required to fly combat sorties over China without putting their carriers at risk of hypersonic missile strikes. You can read a more complete explanation of this area denial bubble and the Navy’s fighter fuel range woes in our in-depth discussion on it here.

But these new jets will need more than just range in order to dominate a 21st-century battlespace. The Navy’s Super Hornet replacements will need to leverage at least some degree of stealth in order to be survivable, and in fact, will likely need improved stealth capabilities over jets like the F-35 and F-22 in order to be seen as a truly 6th generation fighter. Improved avionics and data fusion capabilities are also all but certain–but the element that may make these new fighters really stand out from Lockheed Martin’s existing stealth jets is their use of drones for a variety of support roles.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
Image of a recent test linking an F-35, F-22 and Kratos Valkyrie drone. (Air Force photo)

“But we truly see NGAD as more than just a single aircraft. We believe that as manned-unmanned teaming comes online, we will integrate those aspects of manned and unmanned teaming into that,” Harris said.

“Whether that – we euphemistically refer to it as our little buddy – is an adjunct air-to-air platform, an adjunct [electronic warfare] platform, discussion of could it be an adjunct advanced early warning platform. We’ll have to replace the E-2D [Advanced Hawkeye] at some point in the future, so as we look to what replaces that.”

The U.S. Air Force drew headlines the world over last year when they announced that they had already built and tested a prototype for their NGAD fighter program, prompting many to wonder if a new jet is right around the corner. Of course, the truth is, that prototype was likely a demonstrator for some elements of new fighter technology, like operating while interlinked with a constellation of support drones. In other words, the Air Force’s tests might have been about proving something was possible, moreso than moving into production.

But the progress the Air Force has made in the NGAD realm will almost certainly benefit the Navy’s NGAD efforts, despite both branches being clear that they have no intention of repeating mistakes made during the F-35’s acquisition process. The Joint Strike Fighter program that berthed the F-35 required a single fighter platform that could fill the disparate needs of multiple military branches and allied forces. The result was an incredibly complex, expensive, and slow development process that hasn’t been fully completed to this day, even in its 14th year of flying.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
The F-35 is widely touted as the most capable fighter on the planet, but it’s also expensive. The Navy will operate F-35Cs alongside their NGAD fighter. (DoD Photo)

With the Navy’s stable of Super Hornets and Growlers expected to age out of service within the next two decades, the F-35’s timetable just won’t cut it. The Navy needs a new, more capable, longer-range fighter–and it needs it sooner rather than later. That’s where some degree of cooperation between the branches can still be viable, even as the Navy and Air Force pursue different airframes with different specialties.

By using an open system architecture in designing these aircraft, the Navy and Air Force will be able to leverage new sensors and other digital technologies in both aircraft. Fielding the same modular systems would reduce costs, increase interoperability, and importantly, make it similarly inexpensive to replace those systems with newer ones as technology allows.

“So if you think about it, a contractor may have a particular sensor – let’s just use the radar as an example – and over time, perhaps the performance of that radar isn’t what you want, either from a sustainability standpoint or purely from a capability standpoint,” he said.

“With that open mission system architecture, you have an ability to more rapidly replace that without getting into vendor lock. And we’ve seen vendor lock create problems for us before. We firmly believe that competition will give us a better reliability, lower sustainment costs and lower the overall costs.”

The Navy is taking a two-step approach to replacing its 4th generation jets, first focusing on a replacement for the F/A-18 Super Hornet, and then for the EA-18 Growler, which is fundamentally the same or very similar, but is equipped with a suite of electronic warfare systems instead of kinetic munitions. The next-generation platforms in these roles may not be two similar jets. Instead, some roles will likely be filled by drones, as the Navy works toward fielding a larger uncrewed fleet.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
An EA-18G Growler, from the “Cougars” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139, touches down on the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Elliot Schaudt/Released)

The Navy is currently developing the MQ-25 Stingray as part of this very endeavor. Boeing’s prototype was originally intended to serve as a carrier-based UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle), but the Navy pivoted toward a fuel carrier in order to begin picking away at China’s area denial bubble. The MQ-25 will be able to refuel manned aircraft in contested airspace, allowing for greater range. It stands to reason, however, that the MQ-25 could find other uses aboard the Navy’s flat tops, including the kinetic one it was originally designed for.

“Right now – notionally – looking at driving towards an air wing that has a 40-60 unmanned-manned split and overtime shift that to a 60-40 unmanned-manned split. So to try to drive an air wing that is at least 50 percent or more unmanned over time,” Harris explained.

“Again, a lot of that’s going to be dependent on the success we see with the MQ-25 Stingray, on our ability to truly learn how to operate around the aircraft carrier and safely execute that both on the flight deck and then airborne.”

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
MQ-25A Stingray (Photo courtesy of Boeing)

Related: MQ-25 STINGRAY: A NEW DRONE THAT COULD BE A GAME CHANGER

Despite an increased focus on using artificial intelligence to aid in decision making aboard drones, it seems unlikely that the Navy’s next fighter will come without a cockpit. Dogfights between aircraft are considered to be among the most complex situations pilots could contend with, and the technology isn’t quite mature enough to hand those life or death decisions off to an AI system yet. Further, before we can field such platforms, America will have to contend with the idea of giving a machine the decision to choose a target and execute. Currently, human operators manage those decisions. However, using drone platforms as “arsenal ships” or “missile magazines” that support stealth aircraft may indeed be feasible.

“Having an unmanned platform out there as an adjunct missile carrier I see as not a step too far, too soon. I could have an unmanned friend. I typically say a flying Dorito chip when I’m thinking about it – doesn’t have to be that, right,” Harris continued.

“An unmanned system with missiles I can clearly in my mind envision a way to say, ‘fine defensive combat spread. Shoot on this target.’ And I will squeeze the trigger or I will just execute – enable that unmanned platform to shoot the designated target. That doesn’t stretch beyond my realm of imagination.”

It seems clear that the next fighters America fields will be just one piece of a larger “family of systems,” blending crewed and uncrewed aircraft, fusing data from air, ground, and sea-based sensors, and engaging targets with its own munitions as well as weapons carried by other assets. This networked interoperability will allow decision makers a broader set of options and pilots a great degree of awareness and capability.

The only question is, can they do it in time to beat the Super Hornet’s final flight off into the sunset?

This article originally appeared on Sandboxx. Follow Sandboxx on Facebook.

Intel

Inside the Marine Corps’ new recon sniper course- a visual journey

Yesterday, Coffee or Die Magazine broke the story that the Marines have developed a new course to train snipers for the Corps’ elite Reconnaissance units.

That means we can now reveal that Coffee or Die staffers have been embedded with the Marines of Reconnaissance Training Company on Camp Pendleton off and on for the past month as they train 10 students in the first-ever Reconnaissance Sniper Course. We are following this first class of Recon Snipers all the way through the pilot course, which concludes March 19.

As always, we’re committed to what we do best, which is put boots on the ground to produce detailed multimedia coverage of these types of historical developments and, in this case, provide our readers an intimate view of how some of our most elite warriors are trained.

We have a lot more coverage on the Recon Sniper Course coming, but for now, here’s a taste of some of our best photos so far.

Read Next: How PIGs Become HOGs — A Visual Journey in Marine Corps Scout Sniper Training

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
A student in the Reconnaissance Sniper Course trains with the .50-caliber M107 Special Application Scoped Rifle (SASR) during known-distance marksmanship training on Camp Pendleton Feb. 11. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
Students in the Reconnaissance Sniper Course get a briefing during known-distance marksmanship training on Camp Pendleton Feb. 11. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
A Reconnaissance Sniper Course student engages targets with the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS) during marksmanship training on Camp Pendleton Feb. 25. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
Through their extensive training, Recon Marines earn the Combatant Diver insignia and the Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
A student in the Reconnaissance Sniper Course fires the .50-caliber M107 Special Application Scoped Rifle (SASR) during known-distance marksmanship training on Camp Pendleton Feb. 10. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
Reconnaissance Sniper Course students collected spent .50-caliber shell casings after firing the M107 Special Application Scoped Rifle (SASR) during known-distance marksmanship training on Camp Pendleton Feb. 11. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
A student in the Reconnaissance Sniper Course fires the .50-caliber M107 Special Application Scoped Rifle (SASR) during known-distance marksmanship training on Camp Pendleton Feb. 11. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
Reconnaissance Sniper Course students on the range with .50-caliber M107 Special Application Scoped Rifles during known-distance marksmanship training on Camp Pendleton Feb. 11. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
A Reconnaissance Sniper Course student during stalking training Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
Reconnaissance Sniper Course students during stalking training Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
A Reconnaissance Sniper Course student carries his rifle during stalking training Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
RSC students carry equipment while running to the starting point for a stalk during stalking training Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
A student takes instructions from an RSC instructor while gathering vegetation from the surrounding environment to improve his camouflage, or “veg up,” during the early phase of stalking training Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
A Reconnaissance Sniper Course student during stalking training Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
A student prepares for stalking training at the RSC, Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
RSC students carry equipment while running to the starting point for a stalk during stalking training Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
A student during stalking training at the RSC, Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
An RSC student watches an instructor while gathering vegetation from the surrounding environment to improve his camouflage, or “veg up,” during the early phase of stalking training Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life

This article originally appeared on Coffee or Die. Follow @CoffeeOrDieMag on Twitter.

Intel

For years ‘The Daily Show’ host Jon Stewart has given veterans their big showbiz breaks

Although “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart pulls no punches when talking foreign policy, specifically that which pertains to the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, he’s a strong supporter of the people serving in the military. When American Corporate Partners approached him about mentoring a veteran, he responded by creating the Veteran Immersion Program and taking on 24 veterans instead of one, according to ACP.


The program is a five-week boot camp for veterans looking to break into the entertainment industry. Participants learn first hand about the technical and creative opportunities that exist by working at The Daily Show. The program ends with a career fair with over twenty influential production organizations.

Even though Jon Stewart is ending his run with “The Daily Show,” rumor has it that he’s just getting started with helping veterans.

In the meantime, this video hosted by our very own August Dannehl and Veteran Immersion Program alumni shows the impact the program has had on those who’ve attended.

Watch:

NOW: This Navy veteran went behind the scenes of ‘The Daily Show’ with Jon Stewart

OR: 5 times when Jon Stewart made a difference for America’s veterans

Articles

7 military-related websites you need to bookmark immediately

Current servicemembers and veterans are some of the most remarkable individuals representing the best of our country.


The beauty of the people who serve in the military is that they hail from all across the nation, have diverse backgrounds and interesting stories about their time in service. Many of these individuals are not just warriors, but they are also storytellers.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
Want to find leadership inspiration, stretch your mind around military strategy or just get a laugh? Then bookmark these vet-run websites and grow (blow) your mind! (Photo from U.S. Army)

For many military members, writing is a powerful tool. This generation’s men and women in uniform have a lot to share and writing about their service gives them the ability to discuss many subjects, display their knowledge and express ideas on current military affairs and strategies that can spark a dialogue.

Writing allows a space for people to illustrate unique perspectives and opinions on topics such as leadership, military books and history, movies and of course personal “war stories.”

Whether you are a young service member who just enlisted or a retired veteran, here are seven websites or blogs that you should definitely bookmark and follow on social media.

1. Angry Staff Officer

Writing under the persona “Angry Staff Officer,” the site’s author focuses on several topics in his blog.  From historical events and foreign policy to personal experiences and an examination of current Army doctrine, Angry Staff Officer’s writing is both fun and snarky — but ultimately insightful. Along with running his own site, Angry Staff Officer serves as a contributor to several other outlets, sharing his unique view on several themes. Visit his site and you’ll get a good look at what he’s all about, but his sense of humor really shines on Twitter, so make sure to follow him @pptsapper.

2. Bourbon and Battles

If you are looking for a site that offers lessons on life, current military affairs, history and of course reviews on great bourbon, then Bourbon and Battles is for you. Hosted by U.S. Army officer Johnathon Parker, Bourbon and Battles offers readers firsthand advice on writing, his life as a graduate student, military leadership, and offers new writers a platform to have their work featured. This site is perfect for new military writers to build their prosaic chops. You can also follow Bourbon Battles on Twitter @BourbonBattles and on Facebook.

3. From the Green Notebook

The ubiquitous military green notebook has become the stuff of legend. For Army Maj. Joe Byerly, it is also a source of inspiration for his personal blog called From the Green Notebook. The site serves as a means for the combat arms officer to share his perspective about his time in service and as a way to help develop young military leaders in the digital age.  The author dives into a variety of topics such as history, military leadership, and professional development that gives military personnel sound advice on how to to make it in the service. You can also follow him on Twitter @jbyerly81.

4. The Military Leader

Hosted by an Army Infantry officer, The Military Leader is a website that offers resources for both military and civilians to guide their development as leaders and help grow their organizations. From simple articles about helpful tips to help start conversations with subordinates to complex topics such as toxic leadership, the page offers great insight for people of all levels. Be sure to also follow the Military Leader on Twitter @mil_LEADER and on Facebook.

5. Military Writers Guild

A collective of writers lend their years of experience and expertise as a means to share ideas and start a dialogue. The purpose of the Military Writers Guild is to “advocate, collaborate and promote” the current crop of military thinkers. The site features writing and podcasts from brilliant military minds. The individuals who are a part of the Military Writers Guild are so smart, in high school they probably sat at the nerd table in the cafeteria. All kidding aside, this is a fantastic group of people writing about the national security space. You can also follow them on Twitter @MilWritersGuild.

6. War on the Rocks

War on the Rocks is medium for in-depth analysis, commentary, and content on geo-politics and national security. The page features articles and podcasts from a number of collaborators with years of expertise in warfare. If you want to put your thinking cap on and see where U.S. military strategy and organization should go in the next 10 or 20 years, sit back and get smarter.

7. Your Stories, Your Wall

Serving as the official blog if the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, this site features personal stories of those who served in the Vietnam conflict. The blog has great aspects of storytelling and compelling imagery that really conveys the hardships of the men and women who served as well as the family members who were affected by the death of a loved one in that war. Many of these stories on the blog are also centered on the Vietnam memorial itself. This site reminds all of us about the sacrifices of our Vietnam era servicememebrs. Check it out here: https://vvmf.wordpress.com/

Follow Alex Licea on Twitter @alexlicea82

Intel

DARPA’s new jetpack is a flightless sci-fi bummer

When you hear the word “jetpack,” you picture someone zooming through the sky like the Rocketeer. But DARPA and Arizona State University’s version of the jetpack is a complete let down.


“We’re not able to fly with our jetpack,” said graduate engineer Jason Kerestes, in a video from Arizona State University. “We have instantaneous thrust and we can pretty much trigger it to allow for faster movement and agile motions.”

The pack is designed to enable troops to run a mile in four minutes, but it doesn’t look like they’re quite there yet. At 3:07 of the video, the engineers say to a runner that his time improvement with the jetpack was only three seconds.

Watch the jetpack in action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=290REmBFuIE

NOW: This teenage genius created the best prosthetic ever

OR: The military department you didn’t know Samsung had

Intel

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation

We live in a world more connected than ever before. Within many of our pockets is a device that can instantly share words, voice, photos, and videos with anyone else connected to the internet. That unprecedented ease of access to information has led many to accidentally share restricted, sensitive information. This is a breach of what’s known within in the military as “operations security” (OPSEC). We all know that loose lips sink ships, but despite that, it seems like lectures have been given on a near-weekly basis in the military to keep information from leaking.


As long as thought is put into what’s posted, no sensitive information is released, and what is posted won’t be used as key puzzle piece for the enemy, no one gives a sh*t.

Here’s what you can share without violating OPSEC. Of course, take all of this with a grain of salt. Take all commands from your superiors and unit’s intelligence analysts. They will always have the final say.

1. Group photos (as long as nothing sensitive is shown)

If you’re deployed to Afghanistan and you want to get a picture to remember the good times, go for it! Post it on Facebook and tag all of your bros so you can reminisce down the road.

Make sure it isn’t taken in a classified location, inside the Ops center, or anywhere else with sensitive information around. Make sure that nothing is shown that hasn’t yet been made public knowledge.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
I mean, unless you don’t want the enemy to know where your most convenient smoke pit is… (Photo by OF-2 Kay Nissen)

2. General information about yourself

Chances are high that you’re not doing Maverick-level work, so there’s no need to use the “If I told you, I’d have to kill you” line at the bar. If you’re a regular Joe in the formation, it’s not a secret that you’re just rearranging connexes in between the occasional patrol mission.

For the large majority of Uncle Sam’s warfighters, the only real bit of sensitive information about an individual is a social security number — but letting that slip is more of a personal security risk than a national one.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
Being in the military is already badass enough. You don’t need to inflate your ego to impress someone who’s already interested. (Photo by Spc. Ryan DeBooy)

3. General locations (if it’s public knowledge troops are there)

Obviously, you should never post GPS coordinates along with times of your movements. But if someone asks where you are, you can totally reply with, “I don’t know, some sh*thole in the middle of nowhere.” People don’t really need to know, care, or sometimes understand where you’re at.

Plus, we’ve had troops in Afghanistan for almost seventeen years, so they can probably find the country on a globe, and that’s about it.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
This is basically how they all see the Middle East anyway. (Photo by Chief Master-at-Arms Tony Guyette)

4. Mailing address (after a certain time)

If you’re out on deployment and someone back home is worried sick about you, it’s completely fine to say where you’re at after the unit allows you to post it.

Deployed mailing addresses are very distinct. The street code is usually the unit, the city and state is “APO, AE,” and the ZIP code starts with a zero. This format is the same for troops in-country, stationed overseas, and at sea. There isn’t much personal information that can be deciphered from a mailing address that can’t be found in hundreds of other ways. “Private Smith is with this unit and isn’t in America” isn’t a shocking discovery.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
How else are you going to get cookies from your worried mother?

5. Anything already published

“I don’t know how to break this to you guys — and it’s super serious — troops have supplies somewhere in the Middle East!” See how dumb that sounds? Everyone already knows that.

Posting stuff on social media that’s already published doesn’t breach OPSEC. Why would a terrorist go through the effort to find something on your profile they can get from a quick Google search?

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
If the official U.S. Army Facebook page posts something about how it has stuff all around the world in locations that troops are commonly stationed, they probably know what they’re doing. (Image via U.S. Army Facebook)

Intel

This video shows the adrenaline rush soldiers feel after being shot at

There is nothing better than being shot at and missed.


Soldiers in combat develop especially strong bonds of brotherhood, and even when everything is going to hell, they usually can remain positive. This 2012 video captured by soldiers right after they got into a firefight with the Taliban is a perfect case in point.

The unidentified cameraman is running around keeping his unit’s spirits up from what appears to be a close call with the enemy, judging by the sight of a soldier being treated for a wound to the arm. While the soldiers face outward for any possible threats, they still manage to joke around for a video, and even the guy who gets wounded joins in.

Also read: This Army private is to blame for military cadence calls

Here’s the video, which also shows the follow-up with the soldier who was injured (some NSFW language):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNKzy1w_sZQ

Intel

VSOs share hopes for the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs

A change in leadership often brings a fresh perspective and set of priorities, and several veterans service organizations are optimistic that a new VA secretary will mean an opportunity to push agendas that best serve veterans.

Shortly after the Senate voted to confirm Denis McDonough as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, we reached out to several VSOs to gather opinions on what should top his list of goals. 

“We are looking forward to working with him,” said Mario Marquez, national legislative director for the American Legion. “Our number one priority is taking care of veterans and their families.” 

Marquez said that in the short term, that looks like addressing issues brought on by COVID-19, including reducing the significant CMP (comprehensive medical panel) backlog that is preventing veterans from being able to adjudicate health claims as well as eliminating financial boundaries that stop the elderly, particularly World War II vets, from receiving care. 

He noted that mental health is a “perennial issue,” but particularly crucial in this time of increased isolation. 

“We have these veterans who go from being in a highly-connected social environment, and they go back into a society where people are much more individualistic, where the idea of being part of a community is more than about just being co-located geographically.” 

Marquez said the Legion works on connecting secluded vets through its Buddy Checks program, and he would like the VA, under McDonough’s tutelage, to join the organization in implementing a Buddy Check week that encourages peer support and engagement through vets reaching out and checking in with one another.

AMVETS’ National Communications Manager Miles Migliara agrees mental health should be at the forefront of McDonough’s plans for reform — the number one priority, in fact. 

“It’s no longer sufficient for the Department of Veterans Affairs to congratulate themselves on 1-2% gains when 6,000-plus veterans lose their lives every year,” he said. “We need a paradigm shift with regards to mental health and suicide. We can continue with the status quo, or we can create meaningful change.”

He suggested that the VA becomes more receptive to alternative mental healthcare treatments and programs, such as acupuncture, equestrian therapy, and more.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
Replace cutline: Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis R. McDonough at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall. Photo by Lisa Ferdinando.

“The President’s Roadmap to Empo​wer Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) executive order, signed into law in 2019, allows for funding and resources to be provided to certain non-traditional methods programs in an effort to curb veteran suicide,” Migliara said. “It is crucial that the VA provides whatever support possible to see that these programs succeed.”

Another pertinent piece of legislation, he said, is the MISSION Act, also signed into law in 2019, that allows rural vets to more easily receive healthcare close to home. Also on the AMVETS wish list? Formulating and executing a better plan of action and culture of tackling and preventing sexual assault on VA campuses and creating a more welcoming environment for women and minority veterans. 

Marquez echoed the same sentiments, especially since women are the fastest-growing veteran demographic, he said. 

“They are more engaged at the VA as a result of their service,” he said. “And they are not traditionally set up to address the needs of women veterans. The VA needs to make adjustments to make sure they receive the gender-specific care they need.”

Hannah Sinoway, executive vice present, organization, strategy, and engagement, of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), said they are focused on oversight of the implementation of both the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act and the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act. Both of these bills would decrease gaps in care for women veterans, as well as make much-needed updates to mental health care and outreach to veterans that are not connected to VA services, she noted. 

She said IAVA believes that McDonough brings senior leadership, policy, and Congressional expertise to the VA, as well as a beneficial and strong personal connection to the President. 

“Running VA is a massive job that few are fully prepared for on day one,” she said. “He has an incredibly steep learning curve in front of him. But he also has the ear and respect of President Biden as well as the ability to bring about policy reforms and attention by the White House and senior leaders that are needed for the improvement of VA. In his first few weeks, IAVA has been encouraged by his outreach and communication to the VSO community and we look forward to continuing our work with him.”

This article originally appeared on Military Families Magazine. Follow @MilFamiliesMag on Twitter.

Intel

How a shy, nerdy kid became the world’s most-feared terrorist

America’s biggest hater was born into one of Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest families.


In 2009, the Bin Laden family was listed as the 5th wealthiest Saudis by the Wall Street Journal, with a reported net worth of $7 billion. Yet, despite being born into extreme privilege he used his wealth to fund extreme ideology and terror. The way he lived his life was the key to his charisma, according to the American Heroes Channel video below.

Here’s Osama Bin Laden’s evolution into evil.

Watch:

Articles

The AC-130 ‘Ultimate Battle Plane’ Is Getting Even More Firepower

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Air Force Special Operations Command is taking the mantra of “you can never have too much firepower” to heart.

The AC-130 — a modified cargo plane-turned-close air support platform outfitted with a deadly array of weaponry — is about to get a big weapons upgrade, to include another 105mm cannon added to the rear of the plane.

Also Read: V-22 Osprey Rockin’ Rockets Now 

“I want to have two guns,” AFSOC Commander Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold said at a recent Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla, while also calling it “the ultimate battle plane,” according to the Air Force Times.

The Air Force Times has more:

AFSOC plans to add a 105mm cannon to the rear of the plane. That is in addition to the weapons the aircraft is already slated to carry — dual electro-optical infrared sensors, a 30mm cannon, AGM-176A Griffin missiles, all-weather synthetic aperture radar and GBU-30 small diameter bombs. The package was developed to let the gunship identify friendlies and targets at night and in adverse weather.

The upgraded AC-130J “Ghostrider” is currently in the test phase and is slated to replace the AC-130H “Spectre,” AC-130U “Spooky,” and the AC-130W “Stinger II.”

With sophisticated sensors and electronics, the plane is a favorite among ground troops in need of close air support. The AC-130 was used extensively over the skies of Fallujah in 2004, where a reporter embedded with the Marines there remarked: “It’s the air power that really [tipped] the balance towards the Marines.”

NOW: This Powerful Film Tells How Marines Fought ‘One Day Of Hell’ In Fallujah 

OR: This Remarkable Video Shows What It’s Like For Medevac Crews To Rescue Troops Under Fire

Intel

This is the FBI’s dream team of elite counterterrorism operators

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, has its own “dream team” of special operators trained to save the lives of hostages and respond to terror attacks.


It’s called the Hostage Rescue Team. With the memory of a terrorist attack at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, and Los Angeles selected to host the games in 1984, U.S. officials realized they had no dedicated counterterrorism force that could respond to such an event.

Out of this planning, HRT was born. While initially trained to respond to hostage situations, the team has evolved to support high-risk arrests, protect dignitaries, and assist the military in foreign war zones.

But before agents can join the team which — not surprisingly — often attracts ex-Navy SEALs and Army Special Forces, they need two years of experience as a field agent. After this, they can volunteer for HRT, but it’s not easy.

First, agents need to go through a two-week selection process at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. They are evaluated by senior HRT personnel on whether they would be able to mesh with the team — not on how good they are as operators.

 

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life
Photo: FBI

At selection, they are tested in physical fitness, shooting, making arrests, teamwork, and how they react during stressful situations.

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On average, less than 33 percent of candidates make it through selection, according to the book “To Be An FBI Special Agent” by Henry Holden.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life

Those who make the cut are then assigned to New Operator Training School, which is also at Quantico.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life

HRT training is similar to military special operations units, with the caveat that agents also train to arrest suspects whenever possible.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life

Over the six month training course at NOTS, agents learn skills such as fast-roping out of helicopters and SCUBA diving.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life

But according to the FBI, the skill they focus on that is most critical is close-quarters battle, or CQB. “How quickly we can secure a house with a credible threat inside might mean the difference between a hostage living or dying,” said Special Agent John Piser, in a story on the FBI’s website.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life

The HRT has special “shoot houses” where operators can train in the art of clearing rooms, as instructors watch and critique them on catwalks above.

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If they graduate NOTS, operators join their individual teams at HRT. But they still have another year of training in basic assault skills, along with specialty training in communications, emergency medicine, or breaching.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life

Some go on to get even more specialized training, like HRT snipers.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life

 

Members earn their HRT patch, which bears the Latin motto “Servare Vitas,” which means “to save lives.”

HRT’s numbers are low: Less than 300, according to Business Insider. But that doesn’t make them any less capable. The team can respond to any number of threats within the U.S. in just four hours.

One Photo Shows How A US Marine Totally Wins At Barracks Life

“As an elite counterterrorism tactical team for law enforcement, the HRT is one of the best — if not the best — in the United States,” said Sean Joyce, deputy director of the FBI and former HRT operator. “They are elite because of their training.”

NOW CHECK OUT: The elite history of the U.S. Navy SEALs

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