Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag? - We Are The Mighty
Intel

Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?

Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?
Photo: Flickr


The Confederate flag’s dark and nuanced history has long made the rebel banner an uncomfortable topic of conversation. In the minds of many Americans, it is a symbol of slavery and institutionalized racism – an emblem on par with the Nazi swastika. For others, it’s simply an expression of regional pride.

However, after the racially-motivated church slayings in South Carolina last week – committed by a man who was a proud flyer of the stars and bars – state governments have begun to remove the Confederate flag from their federal buildings. The United States military, on the other hand, has yet to address the issue officially.

South Carolina’s Army Guard still flies 16 streamers that were created under the Confederacy, and servicemen and women are allowed to sport the Confederate flag on clothing and tattoos — something the Defense Department does not consider offensive material. Still, some military officials have decided to retire the flag after the shootings, including The Citadel, South Carolina’s famous military academy, which removed the Confederate Naval Jack from its chapel.

Gen. Daniel Allyn, vice chief of the U.S. Army, spoke to the The Military Times about the rebel flag’s importance within the American military:

“I think that, when you are a student of military history, let’s face it: One of our greatest military generals in the history of our nation was Robert E. Lee,” Allyn said, referring to the legendary Confederate commander.

At Army posts throughout the country, there are “thousands of battle pictorials of Grant and Lee going up against each other with their requisite flags,” he added, noting Lee’s Union counterpart, Gen. Ulysses Grant, who later became America’s 18th president. “So yes, you will find those resident. And if those are offensive to people, I’m sure that our commanders will deal with that.”

“We swear our allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,” Allyn said, “… and we will protect and defend that flag.”

For more on the topic, check out The Military Times

NOW: Air Force policy change may give transgender airmen the chance to serve openly

OR: Enlisted women are going to serve on Navy submarines for the first time ever

Intel

Borne the Battle #235: VA Secretary Denis McDonough

On Feb. 8, 2021, Denis McDonough was confirmed by the Senate to be the United States’ 11th Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He heads into the job with a rich background filled with experience navigating the government’s complex bureaucracy. Being a veteran of Capitol Hill, he aims to leverage his knowledge to better serve our nation’s military Veterans.

In this episode of Borne the Battle, McDonough touches on topics important to many Veterans:

While being VA Secretary is a new position for McDonough, he has taken steps to bridge the gaps in his knowledge by renewing a tradition that he followed as White House chief of staff. He reached out to as many former VA Secretaries he could to ask them for advice. In the interview, McDonough said the conversations have served him well so far and he intends to maintain these relationships moving forward.

And while McDonough is not a Veteran, he contacted multiple Veterans during his first weeks as secretary to solicit their advice and general thoughts on the state of VA. In doing so, McDonough said he has learned valuable information on what issues are important to Veterans and has used those discussions to shape his priorities.

Many of the comments McDonough made in this episode reflect the statements he made during his Senate confirmation hearing:

Being a lifelong civil servant, McDonough enters his new position with a vast wealth of knowledge about navigating the federal government to achieve goals. Whether he successfully leverages his extensive experience from Capitol Hill to effectively serve America’s Veterans – he says that will ultimately be decided by you.

In addition to listening to full episodes on your favorite podcatcher, you can also catch Borne the Battle interviews on YouTube:


Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:


Mentioned in this Episode:



Calvin Wong is an intern with VA’s Digital Media Engagement team. He studies History as an undergraduate at the University of California, Davis.

This article originally appeared on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Follow @DeptVetAffairs on Twitter.

Intel

Watch Conan O’Brien train to be a military working dog

Late night host Conan O’Brien visited with Air Force working dog handlers and got into all sorts of shenanigans. He joked with the handlers, watched the dog chase down a suspect, and even tried to out-dog the Air Force’s canines.


You read that right. He tried to compete with the dog in an obstacle course.

Some of the obstacles went well:

Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?
GIF: Youtube/Team Coco

Others, not so much:

Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?
GIF: Youtube/Team Coco

Check out the full video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2gYZza5coofeature=youtu.be

Intel

Never-before-seen photos show Bush administration officials right after 9/11

Never-before-seen photos reveal the Bush administration’s shocked reactions to the September 11th attacks, moments after the towers were struck.


Each image depicts the crushing gravity of that fateful day, as reflected in the eyes of President George W. Bush, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, CIA Director George Tenet and many other White House staffers.

The photos were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from journalist Neirouz Hanna of PBS Frontline. The photos were taken by the vice president’s staff photographer.

You can see more of the recently-released photos on Flickr, and our selection of photographs below:

Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?
Vice President Cheney watches television Photo: The U.S. National Archives

Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?
CIA Director George Tenet listens to President Bush’s address in the President’s Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) Photo: The U.S. National Archives

Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?
President Bush with Vice President Cheney and Senior Staff in the President’s Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) Photo: The U.S. National Archives

Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?
Vice President Cheney in the President’s Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) Photo: The U.S. National Archives

Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?
President Bush with Vice President Cheney and Senior Staff in the President’s Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) Photo: The U.S. National Archives

Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?
Secretary of State Colin Powell in the President’s Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) Photo: The U.S. National Archives

NOW: World War II vet recounts pulling a bullet out of his wrist with his teeth

Articles

This is why landing on an aircraft carrier never gets easy

There’s a reason Navy carrier pilots are so cocky.


Their jobs would be challenging if they were just steering small hunks of metal through the air at high speed in combat, but they also take off and land on huge floating hunks of metal moving at low speed through the waves.

Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?
Most people only see successful carrier landings, but they can go horribly wrong. (GIF: YouTube/Superfly7XAF)

In this video from PBS, the already challenging task of landing on a floating deck gets worse in rough seas. With large waves striking the USS Nimitz, the flight deck pitches dozens of feet up and down, making the pilots’ jobs even harder.

Intel

The Army wants to see inside volunteers’ guts after weeks of an all-MRE diet

The Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine’s military nutrition division is asking volunteers to take part in a six-week study during which they’ll spend 21 days eating only MREs.


Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?
Photo: Cpl. Scott Schmidt

They say the goal is to learn what happens to the human gut on an all MRE diet, even though the veteran and active duty communities have already voiced their opinion through hilarious memes.

Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?
via Navymemes.com

Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?

They even predicted what would happen on an MRE diet:

Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?
via memecaptain.com

But the Army’s study is actually serious business. The engine of the human digestive process is large colonies of bacteria in the gut, and these bacteria populations are affected by what people eat.

Army scientists want to learn how to game that system, crafting new MRE items that will make soldiers more healthy and resilient in the field. An area of particular interest is how to help the naturally occurring bacteria fight off food poisoning.

“We think we can manipulate the bacteria in a way that helps the bacteria fight foreign pathogens — things that could cause food-borne illness, for example,” the head of the study, Dr. J. Philip Karl, told Army Times. “Oftentimes, war fighters are overseas and they eat something off the local economy that can cause [gastrointestinal] distress. Potentially, what we could do by increasing the amount of beneficial gut bacteria is to help prevent some of that.”

Volunteers will have their gut bacteria populations measured on a regular basis as they proceed through the study, allowing researchers to see how the bacteria is affected. Hopefully, the researchers can then tweak the recipes and menus to make them better for troops.

As some vets still idolize the MRE lifestyle, the Army will likely have plenty of volunteers:

Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?

But they only want 60 volunteers and only ones who can travel to their facility in Natick, Massachusetts.

To learn more about the study and see how to sign up, see the original Army Times article.

Intel

This video shows how the nuke warfare classic ‘Dr. Strangelove’ was made

Long before 1987’s Full Metal Jacket, Stanley Kubrick had another military hit, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. The 1964 political satire pokes fun at the possibility of a nuclear conflict between the Soviet Union and U.S. during the Cold War.


In the late 1950s, Kubrick became so concerned about the possibility of nuclear war that he read over 50 books on the subject. One of those books was Peter George’s Red Alert, which a friend had recommended. Mesmerized by the novel, he purchased the rights and began developing a reality-based thriller called Edge of Doom based on Red Alert.

But as he wrote the lighter side of armageddon emerged.  “He kept coming across various aspects of the story that weren’t tragic but were comic,” said film critic Alexander Walker. “For example, if a man learns of nuclear annihilation in his office, the result is a documentary. When he’s in his living room, it’s a social drama. When he’s in the bathroom, it’s a comedy.”

Kubrick chose the latter, and the result is Dr. Strangelove. The film holds the record for being the 24th greatest comedic film of all time on Total Film magazine and has a 99 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

This video is an interesting look into how the movie was made. Watch:

Intel

Hilarious Video Shows What Marines Stationed In 29 Palms Don’t Say

The massive Marine Corps base at Twentynine Palms, Calif. is known for its remote desert location, proximity to Las Vegas and Palm Springs, and insane level of training opportunities.


Also Read: Here’s The Intense Training For Marines Who Guard American Embassies

But it’s also known to offer less-than-stellar fun outside the base, especially when compared to Camp Pendleton, the Marine base on the southern California coast less than three hours away.

A group of Marines put together a video to highlight some of the more interesting things about Twentynine Palms: Black flag conditions putting a stop to training? Nope. Cut back on drinking? Not here.

Check out the video, called “Sh– Marines in Twentynine Palms don’t say.”:

NOW: Incredible Photos Of US Marines Learning How To Survive In The Jungle During One Of Asia’s Biggest Military Exercises

OR: 7 Criminals Who Messed With The Wrong Veterans

Intel

This guy on roller blades firing an AK-47 is the best combat footage you’ll see all day

If you need to cross a danger area, why run when you can just skate?


That seemed to be the reasoning shown in this video, which purportedly shows a Libyan rebel wearing roller blades in the middle of a firefight. The fighter points his AK and fires off a few rounds as he crosses the street, which the opposing side can probably claim as a drive-by shooting.

Watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52x9zn79ovE

(h/t Funker 530)

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:

Intel

How it feels to get attacked by a military working dog

Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?
Fritz the Belgian Malinois Military Working Dog Photo: Gizmodo


It is one thing to admire a 125 pound Belgian Malinois Military Working Dog from a distance. It is quite another to let it attack you for an Air Force training exercise.

Freelance writer Justin W. Coffey was brave enough to take the road less traveled. After visiting the K-9 kennel on the U.S. Air Force base in Japan where he lives, a Security Forces Commander asked if he was interested in letting one of the animals try and rip him to shreds. Intrigued, he conceded, and wrote about his adventure so readers like us could experience the incident without actually getting throttled by a killer dog.

Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?
Coffey and Fritz get acquainted Photo: Gizmodo

Coffey shared his experience of getting attacked by Fritz the dog with Gizmodo:

It was 95 degrees out, so donning the heavily padded safety suit felt like putting on a sauna. After my first encounter with Fritz, I was happy to be wearing it. Sh–, I’d have worn two if it was possible.

The first thing they had me do was hold my arm out while the dog sat there, patiently awaiting its orders. It’s an odd feeling to have an animal as powerful as this one look at you in anger. And suddenly, before you can even blink, he’s on you, with his teeth sunk into the suit’s arm. They told me to fight, to throw my arm back and forth, to pull up if I could. The idea is to try and prevent the dog from “typewritering,” moving his bite up and down your arm. Being that Fritz is just 25lbs shy of my weight, his bite and subsequent thrashing threw me around like a rag doll.

“Fight back!” The handlers screamed. “Keep him from biting your hand!” It was all in vain; I was typewritered.

They shouted some abrupt orders that I couldn’t understand and Fritz let go, tongue wagging, eagerly awaiting his next command.

“Say something mean to the dog and then run away!” The handlers instructed. “You need to provoke him, it’ll make the pursuit more realistic.”

Alright. “F–k you Fritz!” And I ran, as fast as I could.

To read more about Coffey’s intense encounter, check out photos and the full article at Gizmodo

h/t Justin W. Coffey

Intel

This is why every country in the world can’t just build a nuclear bomb

A country who doesn’t have nuclear weapons isn’t necessarily just adhering to its treaty obligations with the United Nations. Just ask Iran and North Korea, who both signed the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by 1968.

But it was what North Korea figured out how to do better than Iran that keeps most countries from attempting to get nuclear weapons: creating Uranium-235. 

Why would a country want nuclear weapons? They’re expensive to create and maintain, and they cause a huge headache for you once the world discovers you’re trying to build them. After that, your country is a social pariah state and crippling sanctions bring down every other aspect of your economy. 

Will the US military continue to fly the Confederate flag?
Mark VI nuclear bomb at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (Wikipedia)

For the answers, we can look to President George W. Bush’s Axis of Evil. North Korea has nuclear weapons and isn’t worried about being invaded. Saddam Hussein is dead, killed almost four years after the United States invaded Iraq. With those two facts in mind, you can make a pretty good guess why the Iranian regime would want to pursue them.

With nuclear weapons so widespread and the earliest nukes being built during World War II, you might think that building a deployable nuclear weapon would be easy to figure out, if your spies got you all the classified information. Well, if we’re talking about how to assemble the individual parts, building a nuke could almost like reading an Ikea assembly booklet, considering how much classified info is for sale out there.

The problem comes when creating those individual parts. Sure, you can assemble the parts of your new Bjorksnas bedframe in your apartment. But could you grow, cut and refine the birchwood required to create the parts? Fashion the leather from an animal hide? Create the metal fasteners from ore? No. And you would have to build all the facilities required to fashion those parts first. 

That’s what Iran is facing in its nuclear program. While much of it would be pretty easy to do for any country with all the information required (which Iran probably has), the U-235 is the hard part. They have to separate two nearly-identical parts of Uranium. 

Most Uranium is Uranium-238, the isotope more commonly found in nature. But Uranium-235 is the isotope that allows for the chain reaction that will set off a nuclear blast. Separating the two out of Uranium ore is called “enrichment” and it’s a lengthy process even when the Israelis aren’t bombing your research facilities or assassinating your scientists. 

The only physical difference between U-238 and the explosive U-235 is in their weight. During the Manhattan Project, researchers used gaseous diffusion plants and centrifuges that spun the two isotopes. Since U-238 weighs more than U-235, the two isotopes separated, either through the use of different pressure zones or through a series of thousands of centrifuges. 

Each method comes with its own set of problems. The gaseous diffusion method requires hundreds of miles of tubing and enormous amounts of energy to keep the diffusion going. The centrifugal method requires very specific rotor configurations, difficult to manufacture under the best of circumstances. 

Even more difficult is to maintain them when the CIA sends a computer virus to your facility to destroy all the rotors. No wonder the ayatollahs were so pissed. 

Intel

Mids Give A Ship In The Latest Army-Navy Game Spirit Video

The ever-creative Midshipman Third Class Rylan Tuohy is at it again with his latest Army-Navy game spirit video. Navy gives a ship. Get it?


The Army-Navy game will be played at MT Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland on Saturday, December 13 at 3:00 PM eastern time.  CBS is covering the game.

NOW: The Navy Carrier Called The ‘Top Gun Of The Pacific’ Is Headed To The Scrapyard

OR WATCH: ‘Navy SEALs’ In Under 3 Minutes

Do Not Sell My Personal Information