The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century - We Are The Mighty
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The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

We’ve come a long way since the stealth bomber.


Just as smart gadgets have invaded our homes and revolutionized our lives over the last 15 years, next-level weaponry has transformed the military.

The imperatives of the military have always been one of the main drivers of technological development.

ARPANET, one of the internet’s most important precursors was a Pentagon project, while most of the technology in an iPhone originated with the US Department of Defense.

Today, militaries all over the world are still pushing technological boundaries. Since the turn of the millennium, weapons featuring a vast range of technical sophistication have proven to be game changers.

Everything from concealed roadside bombs — cheap, primitive, and deadly  — to multibillion-dollar aerial lasers have transformed conventional methods of combat and altered the world’s technological and political landscape.

Here are 19 of the most important weapons of the last 15 years.

Massive Ordnance Penetrator bombs

 

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

America’s largest conventional bomb is precision-guided, 20 feet long, weighs 30,000 pounds, and can blast through underground bunkers.

Boeing’s Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bomb is designed to pierce 60 feet of reinforced concrete and then detonate 200 feet underground — making no bunker safe.

After the MOP’s first successful test in 2007, the US Air Force ordered an arsenal of these mega-bombs.

The Chinese anti-satellite program

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In January of 2007, China initiated a new and terrifying era in warfare. Using a C-19 ballistic missile, the People’s Liberation Army destroyed an out-of-commission weather satellite flying over 500 miles above the surface of Earth.

In a single widely condemned move, China had militarized outer space. It was a move that might have been inevitable, but whose long-term consequences are startling. If satellites were considered legitimate military targets, attacks could create debris fields that would knock out entire orbits or create chain reactions that might destroy vital communications and global-positioning satellites. Similarly, countries could deploy weapons to outer space capable of destroying terrestrial targets once the global taboo against space warfare is obliterated.

If that alarming worst-case scenario ever comes to pass, future generations could identify the successful 2007 test as the moment that space became a military frontier. The test also displayed China’s eagerness to develop weapons that its rivals would never use — showing how a state can use asymmetrical means to close the gap with it more powerful rivals.

The X-47B

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: Northrop Grumman

 

The Navy’s X-47B is a strike-fighter-sized unmanned aircraft with the potential to completely change aerial warfare.

Northrop Grumman’s drone is capable of aerial refueling, 360-degree rolls, and offensive weapon deployment. It’s carried out the first autonomous aerial refueling in aviation history, and has taken off and landed from an aircraft carrier.

It cruises at half the speed of sound, and has a wingspan of 62 feet — as well as a range of at least 2,400 miles, which is more than twice that of the Reaper drone.

Reaper drones

 

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The M19 Reaper drone has radically changed the way that the US carries out military operations. First released in 2001, the Reaper drone has been used in surveillance operations and strikes against militants in places ranging from Iraq to Somalia to Pakistan.

Reaper drones are built to be effective at both surveillance and air support. The drones are capable of reading a license plate from over two miles away while at an altitude of 52,000 feet.

The drones can also carry 500-pound bombs and both air-to-ground missiles and air-to-air missiles. Capable of staying airborne for 36 hours, the drone has given the US a remarkable ability to strike targets quickly and quietly around the world — and without risking personnel in the process.

The V-22 Osprey

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: Senior Airman Julianne Showalter/USAF

The V-22 Osprey is a multitask tilt rotor aircraft that has become a staple of the Marine Corps since its introduction into service. The Osprey can take off and land vertically like a helicopter, but it can also travel at speeds approaching that of a fixed-wing plane.

The Osprey originally suffered from several worrisome accidents, including a series of fatal crashes, before it was officially introduced into service in 2007. The plane’s later models have now become absolutely indispensable for the Marines. It has seen use in combat and rescue operations as far afield as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.

The Air Force, Navy, and Marines have used the Osprey for almost every conceivable mission. It has been used for troop transport, MEDEVAC missions, supply transport, and aerial delivery; it is also being tested for use as an aerial refueling platform. As it can land vertically, the Osprey is also able to take part in operations normally out of bounds for traditional aircraft, which typically need hundreds of feet of runway space.

Boost-glide hypersonic weapons

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Boost-glide hypersonic weapons are the latest arena in which the US and China are competing militarily. Neither country has quite developed a working advanced hypersonic weapon (AHW) prototype, but the two countries both tested their own versions in August 2014.

Boost-glide weapons can hit their targets with unprecedented speed and effectiveness. If they ever become operable, these weapons would be able to deliver weapons payloads while traveling at a velocity five times faster than the speed of sound over a range of several thousand miles.

Boost-glide weapons are capable of traveling on a trajectory that makes them difficult for missile-defense systems to intercept, since those systems are designed to work against the high arc of traditional ballistic missiles. Boost-glide projectiles travel quickly and at a flat angle, working at speeds and trajectories that flummox existing missile defense technologies.

These weapons could deliver nuclear warheads faster and better than anything ever built, and experts fear that they could spark a new arms race.

Seaborne Tomahawk Missiles

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
A Tomahawk missile, guided by an F/A-18 Super Hornet hits a moving maritime target. (Photo: YouTube)

On January 27, the Navy carried out a successful test of a steerable marine-launched Tomahawk missile. Guided by an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the modified missile was able to change directions in flight and hit a moving maritime target.

“This is potentially a game-changing capability for not a lot of cost,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work said at the WEST 2015 conference. “It’s a 1,000-mile anti-ship cruise missile.”

The new converted Tomahawks would have a range of almost 1,000 nautical miles, allowing the US to maintain a considerable edge over rival naval powers. On the other side of the Pacific, one of China’s most threatening new military advancements is its development of its own advanced anti-ship cruise missiles. While potentially threatening to US ships, these missiles would have just half the range of the converted Tomahawk.

THAAD missiles

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: Raytheon

The most advanced missile system on the planet can hunt and blast incoming missiles right out of the sky with a 100% success rate — from a truck, no less.

With its unmatched precision, the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system can equalize conflicts around the world. With its mobility and strategic battery-unit placement, the THAAD can close the gap between mismatched military forces and take away an enemy’s aerial advantage.

Impressively, the THAAD missile does not carry a warhead, instead using pure kinetic energy to deliver “hit-to-kill” lethality to ballistic missiles inside or outside of Earth’s atmosphere. Each launcher carries up to eight missiles and can send multiple kill vehicles, depending on the severity of the threat.

The YAL Airborne Laser Testbed

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
The YAL Airborne Laser Testbed’s turret assembly. (Photo: YouTube)

Weaponized lasers will likely be a feature on the battlefield of the future. Even though only one of the weapons was ever built and the program has been discontinued, the YAL Airborne Laser Testbed was an important proof of concept.

The American weapon, which was first tested successfully in 2007, was housed inside a converted 747 aircraft. The plane had the largest laser turret ever built installed on its nose. The laser was built to intercept tactical ballistic missiles midway through their flight path; in a 2010 test, the YAL succeeded in shooting down a test target.

The military decided the YAL was impractical — in order to intercept a missile, the aircraft would have to already be in the air, while the weapon itself was expensive to fabricate, operate, and maintain. Still, it demonstrated that enormous, high-powered lasers could destroy large and fast-moving objects, and do so in midair. 

If lasers ever become a feature of aerial combat, it will be because of the precedent of the YAL.

The Laser Weapon System

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: YouTube

The Navy’s Laser Weapon System, or LaWS, is a ship-mounted weaponized laser that can burn through enemy targets in less than 30 seconds.

The energy used to deploy a single LaWS laser shot costs approximately $1 compared to the traditional SM-2, a similar surface-to-air system that runs $400,000 per missile.

Earlier this year, Boeing signed a contract with the US Navy to upgrade the current software used on the laser system.

Stuxnet

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In 2010, a malicious computer program swept through Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Stuxnet caused uranium enrichment centrifuges to inexplicably fail and knocked out as much as 20% of Iran’s enrichment capacity. The computer worm essentially slowed Iran’s nuclear efforts, raising the pressure on Tehran and buying the US and its allies some valuable time to build up international opposition to the country’s program.

Stuxnet was a turning point in the modern history of warfare. It was a state-sponsored hack, a computer program likely built by the US and Israel in order to influence the behavior of a rival government. It arguably worked, to a degree — Iran’s program was slowed; the international community tightened its sanctions regime; the Iranian economy teetered on the brink of collapse, and the conditions for the current negotiations slid into place.

But it also set a precedent for governments hacking one another and hashing out their disagreements in the cyber realm. The North Korean hack of Sony is arguably the next step in the process and shows how cyber weapons may be so hard to control now that they’ve been introduced into international affairs.

Iron Dome

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Ever since Hezbollah rained hundreds of rockets over northern Israel during a July 2006 escalation in hostilities, projectile attacks have been the country’s most pressing security challenge. There have been some 15,000 rocket attacks on the country since 2001, including attacks from Iranian and Russian-made missiles capable of hitting Israel’s major population centers.

The Iron Dome antimissile battery is capable of tracking the trajectory of an incoming projectile and then launching an interceptor that detonates the missile at a safe altitude. Iron Dome saves lives on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Hamas rocket attacks during flare-ups in 2012 and 2014 killed few people inside of Israel even including days in which more than 100 rockets were fired. Without Iron Dome, the death toll would have been far higher in both conflicts and Israel’s response might have been even more protracted.

Iron Dome was developed by a state-owned Israeli defense company to face a specific threat and therefore has little battlefield applicability beyond the country’s borders. But it’s one of the primary modern examples of a country mustering all of its technological resources to solve a highly specialized and difficult security problem. In an era where large, set-piece battles between armies and traditional battlefield tactics may be a thing of the past, this may be the kind of the military edge that ends up counting the most.

Heat rays

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Both China and the US have developed nonlethal “heat rays” that cause extreme pain and can aid in crowd control. The general idea behind the weapons is to heat the water just below the surface of a person’s skin so as to induce pain, causing the target to flee without inflicting death or incapacitation.

The Chinese heat ray can target individuals at up to 262 feet away. When hooked up to an extra power source, the beam can hit targets at distances of 0.6 miles.

The US version of the heat ray, known as the Active Denial System (ADS), had a range of 1,000 meters and could raise the temperature of a target’s skin by 130 degrees. However, the ADS was recalled by the US military without ever having been used over questions of its ethical application.

Bullets that can change direction in flight

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: DARPA

Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) are bullets that can change their path during flight to correct for the movement of a target or any other factors that might have driven the projectile off-course.

The bullets feature optical tips that can detect guidance lasers focused on a target. Tiny fins on the bullets then guide the bullet towards that laser. The Pentagon just successfully conducted a live-fire test utilizing these rounds.

If fully implemented, these rounds could drastically improve the accuracy of US soldiers. The weapons would also help reduce the risks of friendly-fire incidents or of stray bullets harming civilians.

The Golden Hour blood container

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: Jason Johnston/US Army

This isn’t a weapon — but it’s still a game changer.

The Golden Hour, developed by US Army scientists in 2003, helped keep US soldiers alive after suffering a major battlefield injury. The box-like thermal container preserved red blood cells at a temperature that would prevent donor blood from dying under harsh environmental conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan — all without having to use electricity, batteries, or ice to moderate the blood’s temperature.

If soldiers were injured on the battlefield, there would be life-saving donor blood immediately on hand in small and easily portable containers that require no actual energy input. This allows medics to perform transfusions quickly and efficiently when soldiers’ lives are most at risk.

The container shows that not every major battlefield development is weapons related, and it demonstrates just how far technology has come in saving soldiers’ lives.

Improvised explosive devices

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: Cpl. Alfred Lopez/USMC

Every era of modern warfare has had weapons that closed the gap between powerful state militaries and nonstate militant groups. During the Cold War, rebel groups around the world used the cheap and plentiful AK-47 to defeat far larger armies around the world.

The roadside bomb is how insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan bogged down a far larger and more powerful US military. Camouflaged “improvised explosive devices,” often hidden in cars or potholes, could be detonated using cell phones. They could also be built quickly and covertly, and without a huge amount of engineering expertise.

IEDs killed as many as 3,100 US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, representing around two-thirds of total US combat deaths. The bombs prevented the US from winning in both countries through conventional means, leading to technological developments like the MRAP and a shift to counterinsurgency strategy in both wars. IEDs have arguably transformed the US military and its mission like no other modern weapon.

Roadside bombs showed how in the 21st century, it’s still possible for a small and technologically primitive military force to wreak havoc on a larger and infinitely better-equipped one.

Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The US was in huge trouble in Iraq in 2005. The American-led mission was losing ground to a growing insurgency led by Al Qaeda elements. And the US was suffering huge losses from improvised explosive devices that would rip through even heavily armored vehicles. Insurgents were setting bombs that would detonate under American personnel carriers, which weren’t built to withstand the insurgents’ weaponry.

The heavily armored MRAP was designed, developed, and built in a matter of months to counter the US’ biggest operational challenge in Iraq; by 2009 over 21,000 of them were in service.

Developed on an accelerated schedule, the MRAP reduced US casualties from mine and IED attacks by 80%. And it provided the US and its allies with a vehicle that could operate in a new, challenging combat environment.

Four-tube night-vision goggles

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: USAF

 

Each member of Navy SEAL Team Six is issued $65,000 four-tube night-vision goggles, according to Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette in his book, “No Easy Day.”

Compared to the standard two-tube goggles, which Bissonnette says are similar to binoculars, the four-tube model gives soldiers a greatly expanded field of view.

The Ground Panoramic Night Vision Goggles are made in Londonderry, New Hampshire, by L-3 Warrior Systems’ Insight division, Defense One reports.

Since 2010, the Pentagon has spent at least $12.5 million on this elite military eyewear, according to Defense One.

The Ghost hovercraft

Developed by Juliet Marine Systems, the Ghost could become one of the military’s ships of the future.

Propped on two blade-like pontoons, the Ghost cuts through the water while maintaining enhanced balance. The design allows the ship to reduce friction and increase its stability.

The ship has also been designed for maximum stealth. It is nonmagnetic and hard to detect via sonar, making it ideal for infiltration and surveillance of enemy waters.

The Ghost can also deploy a range of offensive weapons that are similar to what an attack helicopter would carry. The vessel can be equipped with Gatling guns, Griffin missiles, and rockets launched either from its hull or from the craft’s skin.

More from Business Insider:

This article originally appeared at Business Insider Defense Copyright 2015. Follow BI Defense on Twitter.

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The US military took these incredible photos this week

The military has very talented photographers in its ranks, and they constantly attempt to capture what life as a service member is like during training and at war. This is the best of what they shot this week:


ARMY

Soldiers and United States Air Force Airmen unload an AH-64 Apache helicopter, for the soon to be activated 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, from a C-5 Galaxy at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, Aug. 20, 2015. TheU.S. Army Alaska battalion will receive a total of 24 Apaches by April 2016.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo by: Staff Sgt. Ricardo Zamora/US Army

Soldiers, assigned to 2nd “Black Jack” Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, secure a landing zone after exiting UH-60 Black Hawks, from 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Official Page), during a training exercise at Rodriguez Live Fire Range, Republic of Korea, Aug. 20, 2015.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo by: Staff Sgt. John Healy/US Army

A Soldier, assigned to the The 75th Ranger Regiment, conducts a simulated assault during Exercise Swift Response 15 at JMRC, in Hohenfels, Germany, Aug. 23, 2015. Swift Response 15 is aUnited States Army Europe – USAREUR-led, combined airborne training event with participation from more than 4,800 service members from 11 NATO nations.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo by: Spc. William Lockwood/US Army

NAVY

PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 20, 2015) Sailors receive cargo in hangar bay of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) during an underway replenishment with the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187). The John C. Stennis Strike Group is undergoing a composite training unit exercise and joint task force exercise, the final step in certifying to deploy.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo by: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Jiang/USN

ARABIAN GULF (Aug. 26, 2015) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Sea Knights of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22 delivers cargo from the Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8) to the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) during a vertical replenishment.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo by: Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Christopher Harris/USN

PORT HUENEME, Calif. (Aug. 24, 2015) Chief Utilitiesman Philip Anderton, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3, musters his platoon as his daughter hugs him before departing on a scheduled deployment to the Pacific region. NMCB-3 will support construction operations throughout the U.S. Pacific Fleet, sustain interoperability with regional governments, and provide fleet construction support.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo by: Utilitiesman 3rd Class Stephen Sisler/USN

INDIAN OCEAN (Aug. 25, 2015) Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class Alyssa Wynn fires the forward .50-caliber machine gun during a surface warfare live-fire exercise aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo by: Ensign M. N. Witten/USN

MARINE CORPS

Lance Cpl. Noah Soliz fires his M240-B medium machine gun during a live-fire squad attack course August 22, 2015, during Exercise Crocodile Strike at Mount Bundey Training Area, Northern Territory, Australia.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo by: Lance Cpl. Kathryn Howard/USMC

Marines assigned 1st Marine Division, run along hills during the Dark Horse Ajax Challenge aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Aug. 20, 2015. The eight-mile course tested the Marines’ and Sailors’ endurance and leadership skills with trials spread across the San Mateo area.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Will Perkins/Released)

Lance Cpl. Riley Remoket, with 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, fills a water bull at a water distribution site during typhoon relief efforts in Saipan, Aug. 19, 2015. The Marines and sailors of the 31st MEU were redirected to Saipan after the island was struck by Typhoon Soudelor Aug. 2-3.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo by: Gunnery Sgt. Ismael Pena/USMC

AIR FORCE

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone meets Lt. Gen. Timothy M. Ray, 3rd Air Force commander and 17th Expeditionary Air Force commander, upon his arrival to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Aug. 24. 2015. Stone, along with childhood friends, Aleksander Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler, were recently honored by French President François Hollande for subduing an armed gunman when he entered their train carrying an assault rifle, a handgun and a box cutter.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo by: Staff Sgt. Sara Keller/USAF

An F-22A Raptor from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., flies over the Nevada Test and Training Range during Red Flag 15-3 at Nellis AFB, Nev., July 31, 2015.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo by: Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase/USAF

Maj. Jason Curtis, Thunderbird 5, and Capt. Nicholas Eberling, Thunderbird 6, fly back from Minden, Nev., Aug. 25, 2015.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo by: Senior Airman Jason Couillard/USAF

Paratroopers assigned to 1st Battalion (Airborne), 501st Infantry Regiment descend after jumping out of a C-130 Hercules, assigned to the 374th Wing from Yokota Air Base, Japan, over the Malemute drop zone at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Aug. 24, 2015.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo by: Alejandro Pena/USAF

COAST GUARD

Coast Guard Station Yaquina Bay is preparing for heavy weather this weekend. The coastal forecast is calling for 10-15 ft swells and winds up to 45 knots on Saturday. The Coast Guard defines heavy weather as seas greater than 8ft and winds greater than 30 knots.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo by: USCG

Coast Guard Station Yaquina Bay has two 47 foot motor life boats. These boats have the ability to roll over and return to the upright position in 8-12 seconds.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo by: USCG

NOW: More awesome military photos

OR: The 13 funniest military memes of the week

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7 things you should know before joining the infantry

There’s no shortage of heroic war stories — truth or fiction — with heavy amounts of glory and honor in them, which can cause young adults to crave certain adventures. Although serving in the infantry does bring a level of individual satisfaction, many facts tend to get left out regarding what it’s really  like to be a ground pounder.


So before you run to your local recruiting office to sign on the dotted line and become a hero or whatever, here are a few things you might need to know:

1. It’s a dangerous job

Movies do a great job depicting how dangerous war can be as directors add in cinematic kills and awesome camera work.

In real life, there’s no pulse-pounding theme music or slow motion effects — the sh*t is real.

Yes, we’re serious. (Image via Giphy)

2. You will make unbreakable relationships

Once you make a friend in the infantry, you always have that special bond no matter what.

Hopefully, you’re the “Maverick” in the relationship. (Image via Giphy)

3.  It can be really, really boring

You’ve probably heard the phrase “hurry up and wait.” In a grunt unit, everything takes more time than it should and you’re going to have plenty of down time. So make sure you have games downloaded on your smartphone to play and help you stay awake while you wait for the higher-ups to “pass the word.”

Stay awake brain. (Image via Giphy)

4. You will get to blow sh*t up

This is the best part. That is all.

3/5 Get Some! (Image via Giphy)

5. You will be made to do stupid tasks

It’s called a “working party.” This sounds way more fun than it actually is. Instead of plenty of beer and drunken coeds, you’ll be outside in the heat “police calling” cigarette butts or mopping your boss’s office.

If this looks fun, being a boot in the infantry may be your calling(Image via Giphy)

Also Read: 5 differences between Army and Marine Corps infantry

6. You will go on a lot of mandatory hikes

Whether it’s 5 miles or 25 miles, an infantryman will put on all his gear and equipment and walk the base to help get him in shape for deployment — it’s called a conditioning hike and it’s the worst.

Here’s a fun little trick, wear pantyhose under your socks to keep from ripping up your heels up. You’re welcome.

It might look weird, but it can save your feet and maybe even your life. (Image via Giphy)

7. You’ll earn yourself lifelong pride, you smug bastard.

If you manage to get through all the training, deploy to combat, and make it home safe — you will have unspoken bragging rights forever.

Smile! You’re not serving behind a desk for the next four years. (Image via Giphy)

Articles

18 military athletes competing in the XXXI Olympic Games in Rio

The U.S. military is proudly sending 18 athletes to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Some games have already started, including soccer, but the opening ceremony is set for Aug. 5 with the games running for about two weeks.


For decades, the U.S. military has sent a select number of its troops to compete against the world’s best athletes, and this year’s XXXI Olympiad is no exception. Here they are along with a couple fast facts about each one:

1. Army Spc. Hillary Bor

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
(Photo: Army.mil)

Specialist Hillary Bor is a financial management technician and a two-time Big 12 conference champion in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. He placed second in the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

2. Army Spc. Paul Chelimo

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
(Photo: Army.mil)

Specialist Paul Chelimo is a water treatment specialist who will compete in the 5,000-meter race.

3. Army Sgt. 1st Class Glenn Eller

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
(Photo: Army.mil)

Sergeant 1st Class Glenn Eller is an instructor on the Army Marksmanship Unit’s International Shotgun Team. He will compete in the double trap event in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

4. Marine Corps 2nd Lt. David Higgins

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
(Photo: Marine Corps Recruiting Command)

Second Lt. David Higgins is a recent graduate of the Air Force Academy who cross-commissioned into the Marine Corps. He will compete in the 50-meter prone rifle event in the Rio Olympics.

5. Army 2nd Lt. Sam Kendricks

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

Second Lt. Sam Kendricks broke the Olympic pole vault trial record on July 4 because ‘Murica! He will compete in the pole vault in the 2016 games and is currently ranked number 2 in the world.

6. Edward King

Edward King is a 2011 Naval Academy graduate and completed SEAL training before being assigned to the Navy’s  information warfare community at Fort Meade, Maryland. He has taken an extended leave of absence from the service to compete on the U.S. Olympic Rowing team for the Rio Games. Originally from South Africa, King was first introduced to rowing at the Naval Academy.

7. Army Spc. Shadrack Kipchirchir

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
(Photo: Army.mil)

Specialist Shadrack Kipchirchir is a financial management technician who will compete in the 10,000-meter race in the 2016 Olympic Games.

8. Army Spc. Leonard Korir

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
(Photo: Army.mil)

Specialist Leonard Korir is a competitor in the 10,000-meter race who also serves as a motor transport operator in the Army.

9. Army Spc. Daniel Lowe

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
(Photo: Army.mil)

Specialist Daniel Lowe is a watercraft engineer and first-time Olympian. He will compete in the air rifle event and the three-position prone rifle event.

10. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Lukow

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
(Photo: Army.mil)

Staff Sgt. Michael Lukow is an infantryman and adaptive athlete who will represent the U.S. in the recurve bow event at the 2016 Paralympic Games. He learned archery while recovering from injuries sustained in Iraq that cost him his right foot.

11. Army Sgt. Elizabeth Marks

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
(Photo: Army.mil)

Sergeant Elizabeth Marks is a medic and Paralympic Athlete who won four gold medals at the 2016 Invictus Games. She will compete in the 100-meter breaststroke at the Rio Games. She is best known for giving one of her Invictus Gold Medals to Prince Harry of England to donate to the Papworth Hospital staff in England who helped save her life.

12. Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael McPhail

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
(Photo: Army.mil)

Sergeant 1st Class Michael McPhail is an infantryman heading into his second Olympics. In 2012, he competed in the 50-meter prone rifle. He will compete in the same event in 2016.

13. Army Staff Sgt. John Nunn

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
(Photo: Army.mil)

Staff Sgt. John Nunn is a dental specialist and competitive race walker. He competed in the 2004 and 2012 Olympics and will do so again in Rio. He won the 2016 U.S. Olympic Race Walk 50k Team Trials with a personal record of 4:13:21.

14. Army Sgt. 1st Class Josh Richmond

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
(Photo: Army.mil)

Sergeant 1st Class Josh Richmond is an infantryman headed to his second Olympic games. He competes in the double trap shotgun event and serves as an instructor on the Army Marksmanship Unit’s International Shotgun Team.

15. Army Sgt. 1st Class Keith Sanderson

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
(Photo: Army.mil)

Sergeant 1st Class Keith Sanderson is an infantryman and competitive pistol shooter. Rio will be his third Olympic appearance. In 2008, he set an Olympic qualification record in the Beijing games for the 25-meter rapid fire pistol event.

16. Army Sgt. Nathan Schrimsher

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
(Photo: Army.mil)

Sergeant Nathan Schrimsher is a motor transport operator and competitor in the modern pentathlon, a five-sport event that includes fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, cross-country running and pistol shooting. He was the first athlete to qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team.

17. Air Force 1st Lt. Cale Simmons

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
(Photo: US Air Force Staff Sgt. Cory D. Payne)

First Lt. Cale Simmons is a pole vaulter and member of the World Class Athlete Program. He graduated from the Air Force Academy where he competed in the pole vault and other track events in 2013.

18. Naval Academy Cadet Regine Tugade (for Team Guam)

Regine Tugade is a Midshipman at the Naval Academy who has been excused for a portion of her plebe summer to compete in the 100-meter dash in the 2016 Olympic Games for Team Guam. She first arrived on the continental U.S. on June 29, the day before plebe summer began. She will return to academy training after the Olympics.

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7 unit mottos that came straight out of combat

Most units in the military have a motto they use to stand out. Some of them are even pretty cool. But the most badass unit mottos are forged in the crucible of combat.


Here are seven units that live by the immortal words uttered in battle:

1. “Keep up the fire!” – 9th Infantry Regiment

The 9th Infantry Regiment has a long history, but its service in China is particularly noteworthy. Not only did the 9th pick up its regimental nickname, Manchu, from its time there — but also the unit’s motto.

During the regiment’s assault on the walled city of Tientsin, the flag bearer was killed and the regimental commander took up the colors.

He was immediately targeted by Chinese snipers and mortally wounded himself. His dying words to his men were “Keep up the fire!”

The unit successfully stormed the city and captured it from the Boxers.

2. “I’ll try, sir” – 5th Infantry Regiment

 

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Battle of Lundy’s Lane, July 25, 1814. (New York State Military Museum)

During the War of 1812, the 21st Infantry Regiment engaged the British at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane.

After the Americans were decimated by British artillery on the high ground, Lt. Col. James Miller, the regimental commander, was given the near suicidal task of launching an assault to capture the guns. He simply responded, “I’ll try, sir.”

The 21st advanced on the British position and fired a volley that swept the artillerymen from their guns. They then charged with bayonets, driving off the remaining British troops and capturing the guns.

When the 21st was absorbed by the 5th Infantry, with Col. Miller in command, his famous word “I’ll try, sir” became the regiments official motto.

3. “These are my credentials” – 8th Infantry Division

 

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Major General Charles D.W. Cahnam (U.S. Army photo)

After landing in Normandy in July 1944, the 8th Infantry Division was part of the arduous task of liberating the port city of Brest. After weeks of hard fighting, the Germans finally capitulated on Sept. 19.

When Brig. Gen. Charles Canham, deputy commander of the division, arrived to accept the surrender of the German commander, Gen. Ramcke, the senior German officer demanded to see the American’s credentials. Canham, simply pointed to his battle-hardened soldiers and replied, “These are my credentials.”

4. “Rangers lead the way!” – 75th Ranger Regiment

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
U.S. Army Rangers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, fire off a Carl Gustav 84mm recoilless rifle at a range on Camp Roberts, Calif., Jan. 26, 2014. Rangers use a multitude of weaponry during their annual tactical training. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Rashene Mincy/ Released)

The Rangers of WWII spearheaded many Allied invasions, particularly on D-Day at Normandy. The Rangers of the 2nd and 5th Ranger Battalions found themselves pinned down on Omaha beach along with the rest of the assault force.

Trying to inspire the shell-shocked men of the 29th Infantry Division, Brig. Gen. Norman Cota, the assistant division commander, came across the men of the 5th Ranger Battalion. When they identified themselves as Rangers Cota then gave one of the most famous orders in the history of the U.S. Army: “Well, goddammit then, Rangers, lead the way!”

Their efforts effected the first break through on Omaha and what would later become their motto — Rangers lead the way.

5. “I’ll face you!” – 142nd Infantry Regiment

The 142nd first saw action as part of the 36th Infantry Division in World War I. After facing heavy fighting near the village of St. Etienne, the regiment faced off against the Germans at the Aisne River. The regiment sent a patrol across the river to reconnoiter behind enemy lines.

As they attempted to return to friendly lines, they came under heavy fire from the Germans. A young lieutenant, inspiring his men, turned towards the Germans and shouted, “I’ll face you!” and refused to turn his back.

His quote eventually became the regimental motto.

6. “Nothing in Hell must stop the Timberwolves” – 104th Infantry Division

The 104th Infantry Division was a unique formation.

Having trained specifically as a nightfighting unit, the division then received a unique commander — Mej. Gen. Terry de la Mesa Allen. A combat commander who had previously commanded the 1st Infantry Division in Africa and Sicily, he had an unorthodox command style combined with a hard-charging attitude.

When Allen took command, he gave the division its new motto, “Nothing in hell must stop the Timberwolves,” and he meant it.

The 104th fought under numerous Allied commands and was always held in the highest regard, often being cited as the finest assault division. Through courage, grit, and determination the Timberwolves defeated the Germans and lived up to their motto.

7. “Let ’em have it!” – 59th Infantry Regiment

The 59th Infantry Regiment shipped to France during World War I as part of the 7th Brigade. During the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the 59th took part in the fighting around Chateau-de-Diable.

During the engagement, a squad approached from the Chateau. Initially the men held their fire, afraid of gunning down friendly forces, until a sergeant with the regiment realized the mistake and yelled out, “They come from the wrong direction, let ’em have it!”

It was later discovered that the squad was German soldiers in American uniforms and the sergeant’s words became the unit motto.

Articles

13 funniest military memes for the week of Jan. 13

Look, nobody get ninja punched this weekend and maybe we’ll stop getting these safety briefs every Friday. But who are we kidding? Someone is going to be on the carpet first thing Monday.


Oh well. Here are some funny military memes before the festivities start:

1. It’s gonna be out of this world (via U.S Army W.T.F! moments)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
The tape plays at three times the speed of sound.

2. No such thing as a “touch” of food poisoning (via The Salty Soldier).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
But the chili mac was good.

3. Stalin, you’re holding your fist wrong (via Military Memes).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

ALSO READ: 6 new changes to expect at the Pentagon with Mattis as SECDEF

4. Come on. Push ups and flutter kicks are just good physical training (via Lost in the Sauce).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Guess I’ll just have him practice individual movement techniques for the next few hours. Mostly just the low crawl.

5. What the —!? Don’t do it! Think of the bad juju!

(via Coast Guard Memes)

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Y’all acting like you want the terrorists to win.

6. You’re about to get eviscerated, buddy (via Air Force Memes Humor).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Maybe try to play dead or something.

7. “My friends and I are here for the violence.”

(via Military Memes)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
I wonder if he laughs more or less when it’s not a rehearsal.

8. The USS New York is ready to visit freedom on everyone who seeks to destroy it (via Navy Crow).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Maybe don’t aim at skyscrapers anymore.

9. Just pray that it’s a late sunrise and all the NCOs are hungover (via The Salty Soldier).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
But maybe save some of your strength for the smoke session, just in case.

10. Yeah, seems about right.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
If you stay in long enough, you get to be the bear.

11. New Air Force tattoo policy be like:

(via Air Force amn/nco/snco)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Hope some of you had money invested in tattoo parlors near Air Force bases.

12. Remember: profiles are just suggestions until the commander signs off on them (via U.S Army W.T.F! moments).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Looks like someone is going to spend the next few months driving the command and staff vehicles.

13. Recruiters are like D.A.R.E. officers. “Just say no.”

(via Devil Dog Nation)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

Special bonus meme 1:

(via The Salty Soldier)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

Special bonus meme 2:

(via Devil Dog Nation)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

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The 13 funniest military memes of the week

Sure, everyone wants to get off for the weekend so they can celebrate the big win by Delta and raise a toast to the operator we lost this week. Here are 13 memes to keep you chuckling until release formation:


1. When airmen aim a little too high:

(via Air Force Memes and Humor)

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I don’t know what he was thinking. That was clearly a naval aviation mission.

2. Looks more like a barracks haircut to me (via NavyMemes.com).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Either way, gunny will not be impressed.

SEE ALSO: 12 signs you may be ‘motarded’

3. Great drill and ceremony, but can you fight with it (via Coast Guard Memes)?

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Everyone knows the iguana qualification tables are a pain in the a-s.

4. Payday activities are no fun.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

5. Someone is going to have a bad night …

(via Coast Guard Memes)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
… or maybe a bad morning. Depends on when the booze wears off.

6. Marines are ready to step in and assist.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
And, they’ll do it with helmet bands and rifles from the Vietnam era.

7. Air power!

(via Air Force Memes and Humor)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

8. This is a true master-at-arms (via Sh-t My LPO Says).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
The point man needs his knifehand to protect himself in case of ambush.

9. Shoulder-fired, panting-cooled, autonomous weapons system.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Bowl-fed and bad-ss!

10. For a stealthy bomber, the B-1 is pretty loud.

(via Air Force Memes and Humor)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Not as loud as its bombs, but loud. 

11. Finding the flag can be challenging on a new post (via Team Non-Rec).

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Meh, probably back there somewhere.

 12. When soldiers are finally told they can do something fun …

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
… but have to do it in full battle rattle.

13. That sudden drop in your stomach when you hear it.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

NOW: The 8 most painful nonlethal weapons

OR: Ex-President Jimmy Carter perfectly trolls Russians fighting in Syria

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13 funniest military memes for the week of July 28

North Korea launched a new ballistic missile this morning, so get these memes downloaded before we’re all living the real-world version of Fallout 4.


(By “all,” I clearly mean about four cities on the West Coast. It’s still just North Korea.)

13. “That stripper at the last bar was totally into me!” (via Why I’m Not Re-enlisting)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

12. Come on, what’s 10 miles with 700 feet of altitude gain among friends? (via Team Non-Rec)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
And besides, once you get to the fleet you’ll never have — actually, you will definitely have to ruck even more.

ALSO SEE: Newly released video shows just how operator AF Keanu Reeves can be

11. Look, the height of a cot makes a minimal difference in how likely you are to catch shrapnel (via The Salty Soldier).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
But it makes a maximum difference in terms of comfort. Gotta get those Zs if you’re gonna kill terrorists.

10. Just keep marching, everyone. You’ll reach the end of the rain (via Sh-t my LPO says).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Course, that’s about when you get shot in the butt, but still.

9. Sure, it was autocorrect, not a Freudian slip (via Decelerate Your Life).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Not sure which Putin would make Putin more excited.

8. No idea what a 1.5-mile run tests for in a Navy that’s longest ship is 1,106 feet long anyway (via Decelerate Your Life).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Also not sure how cycling would be useful with all those bulkheads, either.

7. The preparatory drills have never looked so fabulous (via The Salty Soldier).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
He really shines in the climbing portions, though.

6. You should know better than to speak normally to a guy wearing a Darth Vadar mask and respirator (via Sh-t my LPO says).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
At least project your voice or decide on some hand signals or something.

5. Chris Morris comes in off the ropes with some epic trolling (via Coast Guard Memes).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Forgot to share what lesson he learned, though. Read the instructions, Chris.

4. Only 1,442 days left to that DD-214 life (via Decelerate Your Life).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Maybe they’ll give you double credit for the days you wear a pink tutu.

3. Be polite during handover; it’s only a Gatsby party for the one leaving duty (via Air Force amn/nco/snco).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
But enjoy your martini regardless.

2. This goes for all junior NCO ranks across the branches (via Air Force amn/nco/snco).

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
More work, more accountability, but very little extra respect. Go ahead and keep shamming in the junior enlisted bracket.

1. Maybe some tweaks to the supply chain and training are in order? (via Coast Guard Memes)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Nah, let’s try another title change and maybe some new uniform candy.

Lists

Here’s why the Warthog is the greatest close air support aircraft ever

Since Desert Storm if the mission involved close air support — especially killing tanks — the A-10 ‘Warthog’ was the jet the infantry loved to see overhead. It’s lethal, it’s agile, and it’s perfect at providing support for troops on the ground. So it’s easy to see why they absolutely love it.


The A-10 “Thunderbolt II” was built by Fairchild Republic in the early 1970s to take on close air support missions — the only military aircraft in history designed specifically for that purpose.  (Photo: U. S. Air Force)

 

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

The A-10, more commonly referred to as the “Warthog” because of it’s unique look, is not fast for a tactical jet but is very maneuverable due to its large wings. In this photo a Warthog dispenses flares used to decoy heat-seeking missiles. (Photo:  U. S. Air Force)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

The Warthog features a GAU-8 Avenger nose cannon — the heaviest gun mounted on an airplane — that fires 30 millimeter bullets.  (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

Warthogs became the infantry’s close air support platforms of choice due to a wide range of armament, loiter time, and the courage of the pilots who flew them. Here nose art annotates enemy equipment destroyed and number of bombs delivered. (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

The cockpit and parts of the flight-control system are protected by 1,200 pounds of titanium armor, referred to as a “bathtub.” (Source: Wikipedia; Photo: U.S. Air Force)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

One of the most powerful aircraft cannons ever flown, the GAU-8 fires large depleted uranium armor-piercing shells at a rate of 3,900 rounds per minute.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

Along with the GAU-8 nose cannon the Warthog has multiple hard points on each wing for carrying a variety of weapons including Maverick AGMs and Sidewinder heat-seeking air-to-air missiles.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

To reduce the likelihood of damage to the A-10’s fuel system, all four fuel tanks are located near the aircraft’s center and are separated from the fuselage; projectiles would need to penetrate the aircraft’s skin before reaching a tank’s outer skin. (Source: Wikipedia; Photo: U.S. Air Force)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

The A-10’s durability was shown on April 7, 2003 when Capt. Kim Campbell, while flying over Baghdad during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, suffered extensive flak damage. Despite a malfunctioning engine and a crippled hydraulic system, Campbell flew the aircraft for nearly an hour and landed safely. (Source: Wikipedia; Photo: U.S. Air Force)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

The A-10 was designed to fly from forward air bases and semi-prepared runways with high risk of foreign object damage to the engines.

The unusual location of the General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofan engines decreases the heat signature for IR missiles, reduces the chances of FOD ingestion, and allows the engines to run while the aircraft is serviced and rearmed by ground crews, reducing turn-around time.  (Source: Wikipedia; Photo: U. S. Air Force)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

Although it’s inflight refueling capability theoretically could have kept the Warthog airborne forever, the Air Force’s budget priorities have attempted to ground the airplane once and for all in favor of the F-35.

However various Air National Guard factions and congressional groups have pressured the Pentagon to keep the A-10 in service, claiming that the F-35 is less capable than the venerable Warthog. (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

 

 

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5 jobs future recruits will enlist to get

As DARPA and other military research organizations create crazy new technologies for the battlefield, the military will have to start training service members to start using and maintaining these capabilities. Here are five jobs that the military doesn’t need today but will tomorrow.


1. Beekeepers and trainers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvLjX5YgWHw

The military began training bees to detect explosives and defeat IEDs, but they will also be useful for finding mines when the U.S. is fighting other nation states. Bee keepers will work in anti-mine and counter-IED teams to identify probable buried explosives. Since the bees’ training wears off after after a certain period, trainers will stay on forward operating bases to re-certify colonies. The bees move around the battlefield on their own, so these troops will rarely leave their bases.

2. Hackers

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: US Air Force

The military already has cyber defenders and has discussed the possibility of some of those troops conducting limited counter-attacks to network incursions. This won’t be enough for long. Future enemies will have robust networks and drones. Maneuver commanders will need intelligence that can be stolen from enemy networks and will need enemy drones taken out as part of a planned assault.

They won’t need network defenders for this, they’ll need network attackers. These troops will likely stay on a well-defended base, possibly in theater for faster connection to the enemy’s network.

3. Forward drone controller

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGJlne3bm1c

Every U.S. military branch has dedicated drone pilots with the Air Force’s being the most famous. But as drones become more intelligent, a second branch of drone operators will be needed. Rather than piloting the machines, they will input simple commands for the drone to move to a point or patrol a designated area.

These service members will go forward with patrols and control semi-autonomous drones in support of a platoon leader’s commands. There will be both walking and flying drones capable of ferrying supplies, surveilling key terrain on a battlefield, or carrying indirect fire radar or sensors to detect enemy muzzle flashes.

4. Robotic systems maintainer

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: US Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Bobby J. Segovia

With the military getting robotic pack mules, robotic hummingbirds, and robotic people, they’re going to need dedicated mechanics to service the equipment in the field. Robotics systems maintainers will mostly replace whole parts and send damaged pieces to vendors for repair. They’ll likely operate like vehicle and generator mechanics do now: small teams will deploy to outposts when required while most maintainers will stay on forward operating bases or larger installations.

5. Powered armor maintainer

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: Youtube.com

Currently, damaged body armor is simply replaced from stocks in supply. For expensive and complicated suits like the TALOS, this won’t be a viable option. Powered armor maintainers will operate like computer/detection systems repairers, working in a secure location to replace and repair damaged components. Powered armor maintainers may even be able to focus on the mechanical parts of the system while allowing computer/detection systems repairers, who already maintain a wide variety of electronic systems, handle any software or electronic issues.

Bonus: Jetpack qualifier

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Photo: Youtube.com

While it won’t be a separate job, certain units will field new DARPA jetpacks to allow soldiers to quickly move on the battlefield or for scouts to break contact if discovered on a mission. Going to jetpack school will be a privilege new recruits could enlist for or re-enlisting soldiers could choose. Like airborne or air assault schools, some graduates would go on to serve in units where they actually need to know jetpack warfare while others would just attend training for the cool skill badge and promotion points.

NOW: 6 jobs in the military that require insane brainpower

WATCH: The 7 Coolest Current High Tech Military Projects | Military Insider

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21 of the US military’s most-overused clichés

There are certain phrases military service members hear on the regular, and by regular, we mean they are over-used like crazy.


While every workplace has its own cliche buzzwords — we’re talking about you there, “corporate synergy” — the military has plenty to choose from. The WATM team put its collective heads together and came up with this list of the cliche phrases we’ve heard way too many times in the military.

1. “All this and a paycheck too!”

Usually uttered by a staff NCO at the moment of a 20-mile hike where you wish you could just pass out on the side of the road.

2. “If you’re on time, you’re late.”

Military members are well aware of the unwritten rule of arriving 15 minutes prior to the time they are supposed to be somewhere. Of course, if there’s a senior officer involved, that might even mean 15 minutes prior to 15 minutes prior.

3. “We get more done before 6 a.m. than most people do all day.”

The time can always be changed, but the phrase remains the same. Military members across the world are usually waking up way earlier than most, and as the saying goes, it probably means they have done personal hygiene, conducted an insane workout, ate breakfast, and started training before average Joe hit the snooze button on the alarm clock.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

4. “Don’t call me sir. I work for a living.”

Among the enlisted ranks, it’s a common cliche that officers don’t do any real work. “There’s a reason why they have office in their name” is a popular saying. So when an enlisted service-member is incorrectly addressed as “sir,” this is one of the most popular responses.

5. “If it ain’t raining, we ain’t training.”

No matter what the weather, the U.S. military is guaranteed to be training or conducting some sort of exercise. But this cliche phrase is guaranteed to come out when a torrential downpour hits your unit.

6. “This ain’t my first rodeo there, cowboy.”

Let’s not ask the sergeant any stupid questions. He knows what he’s doing, because he’s done this a million times before. Cowboy.

7. “Best job in the world!”

Calling your particular field in the military “the best job in the world” usually happens during the times when you would never think it’s the best time in the world. These times include freezing cold on patrol in Afghanistan, running out of water while training in Thailand, and/or not showering for a month-and-a-half.

8. “Complacency kills.”

You’ll find this phrase spray-painted to every other Hesco barrier on the forward operating base, on a sign outside the chow hall, and on the lips of every sergeant major in a half-mile radius. Troops need to stay alert while they are out in combat, and this one gets drilled into the dirt.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

9. “Keep your head on a swivel.”

This one is similar to “complacency kills” but is often said to troops about to go into dangerous situations. Before heading out on patrol, a squad leader might tell his troops to “keep their head on swivel,” meaning: keep alert and look everywhere for potential threats.

10. “Got any saved rounds?” or “Any alibis?”

At the end of a briefing, you’ll usually hear either of these phrases. “Any questions?” just doesn’t pack the same punch as using terminology straight off the rifle range.

11. “Another glorious day in the Corps!”

It could be the Corps, the Army, the Navy, or the Air Force, but it’s always a glorious day there, according to whoever utters this phrase. This is meant to motivate but it’s usually met with eye-rolls.

12. “This is just for your SA.”

This is another way of saying FYI, but with a military spin. SA, or situational awareness, is all about being aware of what’s happening around you, so this is often said by a subordinate to a leader so they know what’s going on.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

13. “We’re putting on another dog and pony show.”

We’ve never actually been to a real dog and pony show, but we have put on plenty of them in the military. A military “dog and pony show” is usually some sort of ceremony or traditional event for troops to show off their weaponry and other stuff. For example, Marines may put one on by standing around and answering questions about their machine-guns, rocket launchers, and other gear for civilians who are visiting the base for an event.

14. “Roger that.”

This is a phrase that should be uttered only over the radio (it’s actually just “roger, over” and “roger, out,” respectively), but troops often say this instead of saying “I understand.”

15. “Bravo Zulu.”

Bravo Zulu is a naval signal that can be conveyed via flag or over the radio, and it means “well done.” But plenty of troops will use this as a way of saying good job or congratulations.

16. “Like a monkey f–king a football.”

A favorite of NCOs and staff NCOs, this comes out when junior troops have screwed something up pretty bad. As you can probably guess, a football is not a good object for a monkey’s sexual relations.

17. “Let’s pop smoke.”

Smoke grenades are used for signaling and/or screening movements. When under fire, troops may want to pop smoke so the enemy can’t really see where they are headed. On the flip side, troops at a lame bar may want to “pop smoke” and go somewhere else.

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

18. “Let’s break it down, Barney style.”

Barney the dinosaur loves you, and some military members like to invoke his name to explain things. When a task is complicated, a leader may explain it “Barney style,” or so simply that a child could understand it.

19. “Look at this soup sandwich.”

This refers to someone who has usually screwed up the wear of their uniform in some way.

20. “Ok, gents, we need to be heads down on this.”

A favorite of WATM’s own ex-naval aviator Ward, this is actually a twofer. First, the use of “gents” (oh Lord please make it stop), and then referring to working hard as heads down. Apparently we’ll be more productive as long as our heads are not up or to the side.

21. “You are lost in the sauce.”

This will often be said of someone who has no idea what the hell is going on. In order to rectify, a leader will probably break things down “Barney Style.”

Got any to add to the list? Leave a comment.

NOW: 11 Vets with some of the coolest jobs in Hollywood

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5 nuggets of wisdom in ‘Black Hawk Down’ you may have missed

In 1993, US forces consisting of Army Rangers and Delta Force commandos stormed into Mogadishu, Somalia, to capture warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid and key members of his militia.


During the raid, two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were shot down, 18 Americans were killed, and 73 were wounded.

Director Ridley Scott brought the heroic story to the big screen in 2001’s “Black Hawk Down” which portrays aspects of the power of human will and brotherly bonds between the soldiers in the fight.

Peel back the layers of the film and check out a few nuggets of wisdom you may have missed in the story.

Related: Here’s how Hollywood turns actors into military operators

1. Never underestimate the enemy

US forces tend to believe because a nation is poor, they don’t have any fight in them. Remember that the enemies we typically fight have home field advantage.

2. Don’t f*ck with Delta Force

Enough said — and probably the coolest line in the movie.

3. Understanding what you can’t control

It’s a common misconception that the ground troops know why they’re sent to a fight.

The truth is — there’s always a mission behind the mission. But that doesn’t matter, because it boils down in the end to surviving and taking care of your men. That’s real leadership.

4. Life doesn’t always make sense

After watching one of the hardest scenes in the film, a Ranger’s death, Sgt. Eversmann (played by Josh Hartnett) questions himself and over-analyzes his own leadership. Honestly, no matter how much you train, you can’t predict sh*t.

Also Read: 5 military myths that Hollywood has taught us to believe are true

5. Why we do it

It’s nice to be told “thank you for your service” by civilians every now and again, but truthfully we don’t like it. Hoot (played by Eric Bana) clears it up in one line — why grunts do what they do.

Can you think of any others? Comment below.

Lists

18 of the greatest photos of Marines fighting America’s wars

The Marine Corps celebrates its 246st birthday on Nov. 10, 2021. Since it was formed in 1775, the Marines have fought in every major American conflict — and most of its minor ones.


Since World War I, photographers have worked to capture the bravery, grit, and tenacity that Marines bring to the battlefield. Here are 18 of the best that military journalists have captured of Devil Dogs in action:

1. Iraq

 

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
U.S. Marines with Task Force Spartan, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, on Fire Base Bell, Iraq, fire an M777A2 Howitzer at an ISIS infiltration route March 18, 2016. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Andre Dakis)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
U.S. Marine Cpl. Spencer Knudson, vehicle commander with the Combined Anti-Armor Team, Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, scouts for various avenues of approach and egress points on Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 23, 2015. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Akeel Austin)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
An Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) drives through a wall and locked gate on Nov. 17, 2004, to open a path for Marines assigned to 2nd Platoon, India Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, as they gain entrance to a building that needed to be cleared in Fallujah, Iraq, during Operation Al Fajr (New Dawn). (Photo: U.S. Marines Lance Cpl. Ryan L. Jones)

2. Afghanistan

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
A Marine with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, prepares to load onto a KC-130 aircraft on the Camp Bastion flightline, Oct. 27, 2014. The battalion was the final Marine Corps infantry battalion to serve in Helmand province, Afghanistan, as the United States Marine Corps ended their operations. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Lance Cpl. Mike Carro holds security for the Marines assigned to Battalion Landing Team 1/6, after disembarking a Marine CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter during the initial surge of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) into South Central Afghanistan on May 6, 2004. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jemssy Alvarez Jr.)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Bob J. Sise talks with Afghan children during Operation Northern Lion II in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on July 3, 2013. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Alejandro Pena)

3. Desert Storm

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Marines from Company D, 2nd Tank Battalion, drive their M-60A1 main battle tank over a sand berm on Hill 231 while rehearsing their role as part of Task Force Breach Alpha during Operation Desert Storm. The tank is fitted with reactive armor and an M-9 bulldozer kit. (Photo: U.S. Department of Defense)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
A member of Co. A., Marine Barracks, Eighth and Eye Streets, mans an M-249 squad automatic weapon at the 2nd Marine Division Combat Operations Center (COC) during Operation Desert Storm on Feb. 8, 1991. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. J. R. Ruark)

4. Vietnam

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
A U.S. Marine Corps sniper scans his sector through his optics in the Vietnam War. (Photo: US Marine Corps archives)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Marines with Company G, 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, direct a concentration of fire at the enemy during Operation Allen Brook May 8, 1968. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
A Marine is helped to an evacuation point by two buddies after he was wounded during an enemy probe of his unit’s position during Operation Dewey Canyon. Marines killed 12 North Vietnamese in the fighting northwest of the A Shau Valley. (Photo: U.S. National Archives)

 

5. Korea

 

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
First Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez leads the 3rd Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines over the seawall on the northern side of Red Beach, as the second assault wave lands, Sept. 15, 1950, during the Inchon invasion. Wooden scaling ladders are in use to facilitate disembarkation from the LCVP that brought these men to the shore. Lt. Lopez was killed in action within a few minutes while assaulting a North Korean bunker. (Photo: U.S. National Archives)

 

6. World War II

 

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Marines raise the first flag on Mt. Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima. (Photo: U.S. Department of Defense)

 

 

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

Marine Pfc. Douglas Lightheart (right) cradles his 30-cal. machine gun in his lap while he and his buddy, Pfc. Gerald Churchby, take time out for a cigarette while mopping up the enemy on Peleliu Is. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. H. H. Clements)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
Marines take cover behind one of their medium tanks while cleaning out the northern north end of the island of Saipan on July 8, 1944. The Japanese were well dug in and making their last stand. (Photo: National Park Service)

7. World War I

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
World War I Marines in France. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Archives Special Collections)

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century
U.S. Marines during the Meuse-Argonne Campaign in World War I. (Photo: U.S. National Archives)

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