4 simple rules every infantryman 'in the suck' should obey - We Are The Mighty
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4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

While troops in the infantry endure weeks and weeks of intense training to prepare them for patrolling through the enemy’s backyard, it’s tough to learn all the “do’s and don’t’s” of combat.


There’s so much training concentrated on combat effectiveness, that many troops forget the simplest, live-saving rules while deployed.

 

Related: 6 reasons why it’s not a good idea to attack a Marine FOB

So, check these four simple rules that every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey.

4. Never lose your weapon — ever

Sounds obvious, right?

Troops periodically lose their weapon when entering into some downtime just by simply setting down their rifle down for a few moments. It makes sense; when you’re stuck holding your weapon for hours on end, you’ll want to take a break eventually. It’s all too easy. A troop gets some downtime, puts their weapon down, starts to decompress, begins an activity, and, in the process, walks away from their rifle.

If you forget it at your “rack,” it’s not the end of the world, but absent-mindedly put it anywhere else and you’re asking for something bad to happen.

 

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
You better go look for it.

3. Know the weight of your rifle from muscle memory

Grunts commonly punish one another for various screw-ups. One of those punishments is removing the bolt assembly from the troop’s rifle.

Some POGs at a FOB may not know their rifle’s weight because they don’t hold it enough. Although the weight only changes by a few ounces when you remove the bolt, your weapon won’t fire without it. You should know, at first touch, when something’s not right.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
Will they notice? Doubt it.

2. Mount your gear to your flak as needed

Every mission we go on is different. Each mission is unique in some way and requires various pieces of specialized gear.

If you think you’re going to end up in the prone position for extended periods of time, it’s probably not a good idea to stage all of your rounds on the front of your flak jacket. Pack strategically; your lower back will thank you later.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

Also Read: 7 of the best sounds you’ll hear in combat

1. Don’t go anywhere without your security rounds

Some military FOBs don’t allow troops to keep their rifles in condition three (magazine inserted) while inside the wire. That’s not a big deal as long as you carry a loaded magazine inside your cargo pocket.

Being inside a FOB is relatively safe, but you never know when the bad guys might start feelin’ froggy and attack.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

A condition three rifle. (Photo source: ModernFirearms.net)

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How the military decontaminates itself after WMD attacks

While nuclear weapons usually get the big, scary headlines when it comes to weapons of mass destruction, the whole triad is a serious threat. Chemical and biological weapons are easier for rogue states to produce and deploy and any WMD can cause severe damage to American warfighters.


Beyond the immediate threat as the weapons rain down, weapons of mass destruction leave agents that can persist for anywhere from minutes to years, leaving vehicles, buildings, and even the ground lethal for soldiers.

Of course, the U.S. can’t just avoid their equipment or the battlefield for years. Instead, they send specialized troops in to spearhead decontamination efforts.

1. After a chemical attack, the U.S. is left with few good options. Decontaminating takes time and resources, but leaving the chemicals in place could result in dead troops.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Army Spc. Malik Gibson)

2. Typically, specially trained crews will rush with their gear into a staging area and prep for decontamination.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Christian J. Robertson)

3. Once all gear and personnel are certified ready-to-go, the troops get to work.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

4. Teams have to wade into the target area, assessing what areas have been affected by the weapon, whether chemical, biological, or nuclear.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Christian J. Robertson)

5. Of course, these teams face the chances of follow-on attacks and have to be ready to defend themselves.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Army Spc. Malik Gibson)

6. These teams will report to their headquarters what areas have been affected and specialists will assess how long it will take for the threat to dissipate on its own (if ever).

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Christian J. Robertson)

7. Any equipment in the affected area, whether present at the time of the attack or that entered during combat operations or decontamination efforts, has to be thoroughly decontaminated.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Army Sgt. Josephine Carlson)

8. Chemical, biological, and nuclear threats are all broken down and removed using different techniques, but soap and water help in nearly all cases.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Army Sgt. Josephine Carlson)

9. Depending on the type and extent of contamination, the cleaning process may be completed by special teams or by the vehicle’s normal crews.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Army Capt. John Strickland)

10. Many biological and chemical agents spread throughout all the nooks and crannies of the vehicles, making them a nightmare to clean.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Julio McGraw)

11. And any mistakes could be lethal. If the wrong biological agent is left behind, it could get into someone’s system and doom them, possibly triggering an epidemic.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Julio McGraw)

12. Some positions, like aircrews, require especially challenging decontamination efforts. Their personal gear includes everything from g-suits to breathing gear.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Melanie Holochwost)

13. And each crewmember and pilot has to be kept separate until they can be decontaminated, leading to hilarious photos like this one.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Melanie Holochwost)

14. One of the more common powders used is the specialized resin in M291 Chemical Decontamination Kits. It absorbs many agents and facilitates their destruction.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Melanie Holochwost)

15. One of the most important things about personnel decontamination is preventing recontamination, so troops are washed in a set process, typically top to bottom.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Abby L. Finkel)

16. And protective gear has to be switched out at set intervals, so this process has to be repeated multiple times per day.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Abby L. Finkel)

All in all, WMDs are terrifying at worst and a hassle at best. Let’s hear your MOPP gear stories.

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The 16 greatest quotes from ‘Full Metal Jacket’

Some movies are more quotable than others, and Stanley Kubrick’s classic “Full Metal Jacket” certainly fits that bill.

A few years ago, we compiled its list of the 32 best military movie quotes of all time, but once we got to “Full Metal Jacket,” we realized it was hard to pick just one, since Gunnery Sgt. Hartman is basically a quote goldmine.


Here are our picks for the 16 best quotes (or series of quotes) from “Full Metal Jacket.”

1. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman: “I am Gunnery Sgt. Hartman, your senior drill instructor. From now on you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be ‘Sir.’ Do you maggots understand that?”

2. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman: “Bullsh-t. It looks to me like the best part of you ran down the crack of your mama’s ass and ended up as a brown stain on the mattress. I think you’ve been cheated!”

3. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman: “I bet you’re the kind of guy that would f-ck a person in the ass and not even have the goddamn common courtesy to give him a reach-around. I’ll be watching you.”

4. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman: “You goddamn communist heathen, you had best sound off that you love the Virgin Mary, or I’m gonna stomp your guts out! Now you DO love the Virgin Mary, don’t you?”

5. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman: “That’s enough! Get on your feet. Pvt. Pyle you had best square your ass away and start sh-tting me Tiffany cufflinks or I will definitely f-ck you up!”

6. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman: “Are you quitting on me? Well, are you? Then quit, you slimy f-cking walrus-looking piece of sh-t! Get the f-ck off of my obstacle! Get the f-ck down off of my obstacle! NOW! MOVE IT! Or I’m going to rip your balls off, so you cannot contaminate the rest of the world! I will motivate you, Pvt. Pyle, EVEN IF IT SHORT-D-CKS EVERY CANNIBAL ON THE CONGO!”

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

7. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman: “I’m asking the f-cking questions here, Pvt.! Do you understand?”

Pvt. Cowboy: “Sir, yes, sir.”

Gunnery Sgt. Hartman: “Well, thank you very much! Can I be in charge for a while?”

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

8. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman: “Were you born a fat, slimy, scumbag puke piece o’ sh-t, Pvt. Pyle, or did you have to work on it?”

9. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman: “If it wasn’t for d-ckheads like you, there wouldn’t be any thievery in this world, would there?”

10. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman: “Holy Jesus! What is that? What the f-ck is that?! What is that, Pvt. Pyle?!”

Pvt. Pyle: “Sir, a jelly doughnut, sir!”

Gunnery Sgt. Hartman: “A jelly doughnut?”

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

11. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman: “You forget your f-ckin’ name? 0300. Infantry. You made it.”

12. Unnamed Colonel in Vietnam: “Son, all I’ve ever asked of my Marines is that they obey my orders as they would the word of God. We are here to help the Viet-namese, because inside every gook there is an American trying to get out. It’s a hardball world, son. We’ve just got to keep our heads until this peace craze blows over.”

13. Animal Mother: “You talk the talk. Do you walk the walk?”

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

14. Crazy Earl: “These are great days we’re living, bros. We are jolly green giants, walking the Earth — with guns. These people we wasted here today are the finest human beings we will ever know. After we rotate back to the world, we’re gonna miss not having anyone around that’s worth shooting.”

15. Da Nang Hooker: “Well, baby, me so horny. Me so HORNY. Me love you long time. You party?”

16. Pvt. Joker: “Sir, does this mean that Ann-Margret’s not coming?”

NOW CHECK OUT: The 32 greatest military movie quotes of all time

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5 problems infantry Marines will understand

Marine infantrymen thrive on hardship. Whether it’s training and deploying to austere environments, learning to do more with less, or figuring out how to catch Z’s anywhere, grunt life in the infantry is very different from the rest of the Marine Corps.


There are also some problems specific to the infantry community. We came up with five, but if you can think of some more, leave a comment.

 

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

1. Physical training often consists of “death runs” and they feel just like it sounds.

Physical training is a part of being a Marine, but it’s much more demanding as an infantryman. Life in the grunts usually means waking up early to go on a “death run,” which isn’t that far off the mark. While the Marine physical fitness test (PFT) has a timed three-mile run, grunts can expect to go way beyond that.

On “death runs” that I’ve personally been on — also known jokingly as “fun runs” — our platoon commander or platoon sergeant would take us on runs over the seven-mile mark at an insane pace. And for extra fun, sometimes we wore gas masks. Gotta love it.

2. Your platoon commander is guaranteed to get you completely lost at some point.

When he’s not running you into the dirt, your platoon commander is supposed to be planning missions and leading. But sometimes that means leading you into who-knows-where. It’s a running joke that second lieutenants are terrible at land navigation, but it’s not that far off. He’s guaranteed to get you lost at least once. Let’s just hope it only happens in training.

3. I hope you’re ready for the non-grunt company First Sergeant who wants to “get back to the basics.”

Infantry Marines hold the 0300 military occupational specialty, as do their officers with 0302. But since company first sergeants perform mostly administrative duty (compared to Master Sergeants who remain in their field), they aren’t required to hold the infantry MOS. Although plenty of them do come up from the infantry ranks, some come from completely unrelated fields.

Grunt first sergeants are usually focused on the mission of the infantry (locating, closing with, and destroying the enemy), but first sergeants outside of the MOS sometimes focus on “getting back to the basics” — aka cleaning the barracks, holding uniform inspections, and marching properly. These are all good things for junior Marines to be exposed to in their careers. Just don’t expect them to like it.

4. Excuse me sir, do you have a moment to talk about prickly heat?

Training in the field can lead to some weird physical problems for grunts. In humid places, Marines can expect something called “prickly heat” — a very annoying rash that develops after sweating profusely. When you’re out in the field for days or weeks and not able to take a shower, that tends to happen quite a bit.

Then of course, there’s that terrible smell you develop. But luckily, you’re around a bunch of other people who smell terrible so you don’t even notice. Great success!

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
Photo Credit: DoD

5. Range 400.

This legendary training range is a rite of passage for infantry Marines. With machine guns firing over their heads and mortars dropping down in support, grunts rush forward to attack a fortified “enemy” position in 29 Palms, California. It sounds awesome, and it is. It’s also an ass kicker.

“It’s the only range in the Marine Corps where overhead fire is authorized,” Capt. Andy S. Watson explained in a Marine Corps news release. “We are also granted a waiver to close within 250 meters of 81mm mortar fire. Normally, it is only 400 meters. Therefore, Range 400 gives Marines a realistic training experience of closing close into fires. They can’t get that anywhere else in the Marine Corps.”

DON’T MISS: 13 Signs You’re An Infantryman

OR WATCH: Life in the Marine Corps Infantry

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21 Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photos That Capture The Essence Of War

These 21 images (shared with WATM courtesy of Lou Reda Productions) vividly capture the nature of war from a variety of angles. Each of them was awarded the Pulitzer prize for photography in the year indicated in the caption:


1944 – Aftermath of a flamethrower attack on Tarawa

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: Frank Filan, Associated Press)

 

1944 – Lt. Col. Robert Moore, USA, returns to his family after fighting the Germans in North Africa

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: Earle Bunker, The Omaha World-Herald)

 

1945 – The flag raising at Iwo Jima

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: Joe Rosenthal, Associated Press)

 

1951 – Refugees fleeing across the Taedong River during the Chinese invasion of North Korea

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: Max Desfor, Associated Press)

 

1965 – South Vietnamese casualties after a firefight with the Vietcong

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: Horst Faas, Associated Press)

 

1966 – Vietnamese refugees fleeing an attack

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: Kyoichi Sawada, United Press International)

 

1969 – Lt. Col. Nguyen Loan summarily executes a VC prisoner on the streets of Saigon

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: Eddie Adams, Associated Press)

 

1972 – Marine on top of a war-torn hill after battle with NVA

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: David Hume, United Press International)

 

1973 – Vietnamese children fleeing after napalm attack on Vietcong-held village

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: Nick Ut, Associated Press)

 

1974 – Lt. Col Robert Stirm, USAF, returns to his family after 5 years as a POW in North Vietnam

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: Sal Veder, Associated Press)

 

1977 – Vietnam veteran and wounded warrior Eddie Robinson at Chattanooga Veterans Day parade

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: Robin Hood, The Chattanooga News Free Press)

 

1978 – American mercenary, member of “Grey’s Scouts,” holds gun to the head of a Rhodesian prisoner

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: J. Ross Baughman, Associated Press)

 

1980 – Iranian Republican Guardsmen executing Kurdish rebels

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo, UPI)

 

1995 – American Marine trying to keep Haitian rioters at bay during unrest

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: Carol Guzy, The Washington Post)

 

2002 – B-52 contrails during bombing mission over Afghanistan

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: The New York Times)

 

2004 – Soldiers jumping into ditch in Iraq

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo – Cheryl Diaz Meyer and David Leeson, Dallas Morning News)

 

2004 – Soldiers taking Iraqi prisoner

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: Cheryl Diaz Meyer and David Leeson, Dallas Morning News)

 

2004 – Iraqi schoolboy proclaims his freedom

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: Cheryl Diaz Meyer and David Leeson, Dallas Morning News)

 

2005 – Marine taking an Iraqi insurgent prisoner in Fallujah

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: Associated Press)

 

2005 – Marines huddle over wounded comrade during fighting in Anbar Province

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: Associated Press)

 

2006 – Katherine Cathey spends the night next to the casket of her fallen husband, 2nd Lt. James Cathey, USMC

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: Todd Heisler, Rocky Mountain News)

 

These images and many other iconic shots can be found in Moments, The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photographs, A Visual Chronicle of Our Time (Hal Buell, Tess Press).

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6 tips for building the perfect fighting hole

Fighting holes have been around for decades, used as effective defensive positions by armed troops to stymie the enemy’s deadly offensive. Some branches refer to these dug-in positions as “foxholes,” but both references mean the same.


Now, how a fighting hole is constructed depends solely on the amount of time a troop intends to spend occupying it. If they plan on staying in the fight from that position for a prolonged period of time, the dig will be more complicated.

So, for those who plan on making a fighting hole their new home for the next few days, keep reading.

Related: 9 photos that show how to execute perfect knife-hands

1. Locate the perfect position

Finding a spot on the high ground is ideal for any fighting hole. It will give you the best view of the territory, so you can see the bad guys before they see you.

2. Dig the hole to armpit depth

Typically, fighting holes are four to five feet deep. At this depth, when the troop gets inside, they can comfortably stand and keep their facing rifles outward without getting fatigued.

If the fighting hole isn’t deep enough, the soldier will have to squat to maintain proper cover. This can get very uncomfortable.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
Pvt. Codi Hoffman waits in a fighting position that he and a few fellow Soldiers built during a battalion-wide field training exercise. (Photo by Sgt. Christopher M. Gaylord)

3. Make it just wide enough

Most two-men fighting holes are built at least a few feet wide. The construction is meant to protect the service member if a tank rolls over them, but it can’t be so wide that the tank gets stuck on top — trapping them inside.

That would suck… but it’s better than being crushed.

4. Pack the parapet just right

A “parapet” is a low, protective wall that runs along the edge of the fighting hole. This mound of soil acts as “micro-terrain” and doubles as the position’s camouflage. Packing the soil in tight only helps protect the troop from incoming enemy rounds.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

5. Dig an additional grenade/water sump just in case

In the image above, the soldier has his feet placed in a lowered area of the fighting hole. This is called a grenade or water sump.

This well helps collect unwanted water, and, if a grenade is tossed in the hole, it can be detonated in a pit, dishing out little-to-no harm to the occupying troop. Brillant, right? Build two — just in case.

Also Read: How to make the best steak ever, according to a Marine chef

6. Create overhead coverage

This coverage helps protect the soldier inside from various incoming piece of shrapnel and it helps keep the hole warm. So, make sure you add overhead coverage if you plan on staying in that defensive long.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

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5 things you didn’t know about Air Force One

For decades, the president has flown in style on a variety of different planes and under various call signs. Air Force One is one of the most famous aircrafts to ever take to the skies as it’s the to-go plane for U.S. presidents.


The plane is so popular, it was featured in the 1997 action film, Air Force One, starring Harrison Ford as he battles terrorists trying to take over his flying fortress.

You better listen! (Image via GIPHY) 

Here’s what you might not know about this famous flyer.

Related: 5 countries that tried to shoot down the SR-71 Blackbird (and failed)

5. Air Force One isn’t an actual plane

The term was coined as a call sign for the President’s two nearly-identical planes. The planes are perfect twins except for their tail fin numbers. The two modern AF1 edition aircraft are labeled with different numbers: 28000 and 29000.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Screenshot from World War Wings YouTube)

4. The original Air Force One 

In the mid-1940s, planes were deemed reliable for transportation, seeing as they were successfully flying some intricate missions in World War II. The Army repurposed a C-54 Skymaster for the president’s use and dubbed the aircraft, The Sacred Cow.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
The Sacred Cow (Photo from U.S. Air Force)

3. Air Force One almost collided with a commercial flight

In 1953, President Eisenhower flew under the call sign Air Force 8610. A control tower got it confused with Eastern Airlines flight 8610 as they entered each other’s airspace. After that near accident, the call sign Air Force One was permanently used.

2. The government hired a real designer

Since Air Force One wasn’t considered a “looker,” designer Raymond Loewy came into the picture and took the plane’s aesthetic to a new level. Loewy designed the logos for IBM, Exxon, Shell, Lucky Strike, the Coast Guard, and the U.S. Postal Service.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
The very-talented Raymond Loewy.

Also Read: Why Bangor, Maine is the most patriotic town in America

1. The cost to operate the plane per hour

According to the Freedom of Information Act, the cost of operating Air Force One for an hour is around $206,337 smackaroos, compared to the average airline flyer’s $25,000.

Check out World War Wings‘ video below to get the full scoop on this historic plane.

 

(World War Wings | YouTube)
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7 signs a food may not be as healthy as you think it is

Do you ever feel like no matter how healthy you try to eat, there’s something bad sneaking into all your meals? It can be frustrating figuring out what makes a food healthy or not and how a food will impact your body.

A great way to decide if a food is secretly unhealthy is by looking at all the ingredients. If you think a food is healthy, it may surprise you to see the additives or other annoyances that have been slipped into it. If you’re looking to figure out the truth, here are signs a food is unhealthy, even if it appears not to be.


1. It claims to be “reduced-fat”

You may be more inclined to pick up products that tout that they’re “reduced-fat” or “low-fat” on their packages, but that doesn’t exactly mean it’s healthy.

When producers make low-fat or reduced-fat foods, even if they’re lowering the fat content, they’re likely increasing other aspects to make it taste better, including added sugar.

Take a good hard look at the nutrition label to determine if it’s actually the best option for you.

2. It’s gluten-free.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

Of course, if you have a gluten intolerance or celiac disease, you should absolutely be picking up gluten-free options. But, if you’re just trying to cut out gluten because you think gluten-free options are “healthier” you’re sorely mistaken.

Gluten-free food often contains sugary starches and additives often meant to replicate gluten. Plus, studies suggest that gluten-free foods are not healthier overall, containing more salt and fat than other, similar foods, according to The Washington Post.

3. It claims to be made of whole-grains.

You’ve probably seen a lot of cereals and bread tout that they’re now made with “whole grains” in a claim that they’re now healthier for you. But that isn’t always exactly true.

Because of some loopholes in the definition of “whole grain,” these foods may actually contain all parts of the grain in a fine flour form, something that your body often processes as sugar.

4. It claims that there’s “no sugar added.”

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo by Charles Haynes)

Although some foods will brag about being “no added sugar,” sometimes that just means there is no sugar in its traditional form. Oftentimes, manufacturers skimp around it by claiming that label but including high-fructose corn syrup or other names for sugar.

While you may only think of syrup as something you’d put on your pancakes, high-fructose corn syrup can be found in most processed foods, according to Healthline. Sure candy may have it, but even foods like deli meat can find it added in. High-fructose corn syrup has been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, but more research is needed.

It’s important to know all of the ways that sugar can be labeled and not to just go off the front of the label.

5. It’s labeled “organic sugar.”

Although there are foods that experts say are best to buy organic, if you’re debating on buying something with “organic” sugar versus “regular” sugar, it doesn’t really make a difference.

The chemical compound of “organic” sugar is exactly the same, according to HealthLine, so if you’re looking for a healthier choice, this probably isn’t it.

6. It claims to be baked, not fried.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo by Valters Krontals)

To be clear, baking a food yourself will pretty much always be healthier than getting it fried. But when it comes to processed “junk food,” such as potato chips, just because it’s “baked” doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

In fact, US News blogger Yoni Freedhoff, MD, found that a brand of baked chips had only 38 fewer calories than a classic competitor and contained more salt.

7. It touts that it’s “free-range.”

You may think the chickens that laid your “free-range eggs” are running around, uninhibited and therefore healthier. But the US Department of Agriculture’s guidelines about what “free-range” actually means is basically non-existent. It basically just means that the chickens have access to the outside, according to Salon.

Additionally, a study led by food technologist Deana Jones and cited by Time magazine, claims that “free-range” eggs were not found to be any healthier than “normal” eggs, so sounds like this may be better off ignored altogether.

This article originally appeared on Insider. Follow @thisisInsider on Twitter.

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13 funniest military memes for the week of June 2

It’s June, in case you’re wondering. But military memes don’t take summer vacations, and these memes will be here with you all through the fighting season.


1. The is why the military has ridiculous names for things, to prevent miscommunication (via Weapons of Meme Destruction).

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

2. Never trust junior enlisted with anything but a rifle and a woobie (via Shit my LPO says).

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
And only trust them with the rifle if they’re in the Army or Marine Corps.

3. Again, don’t trust junior enlisted with anything but a rifle and a woobie (via Pop smoke).

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
Though, to be fair, this game looks awesome.

ALSO SEE: Once upon a time, this ‘little kid’ was a lethal Vietnam War fighter

4. That’s a true friend right there (via Military World).

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
Try to line up with this guy on the physical fitness test.

5. While falling in a parachute is the second worst time to learn to fall in a parachute (via Do You Even Jump?).

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
The only time that is worse is learning to do a parachute landing fall right after you break both of your legs and some vertebrae.

6. Just dangling under the helicopter waiting to get hit by a stick (via Coast Guard Memes).

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
Or, you know, eaten by a shark. Pretty sure this is how Coast Guard admirals fish.

7. There’s always a 70 percent chance it’s a penis (via Decelerate Your Life).

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
Even when there is a serious message, there’s at least an eggplant on the end of it.

8. Brad Pitt really moved up in the world (via The Salty Soldier).

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
But if you’ve seen the movies, he seems to be happiest as a lieutenant.

9. It’s really romantic until one of you has to spend another two hours melting polish (via Shit my LPO says).

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
But, you know, cool profile photo or whatever.

10. Come on, the lieutenant is as likely to eat the dirt as anyone (via Coast Guard Memes).

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
At least the enlisted guys will only do it on a dare.

11. Dude didn’t even get a good reenlistment bonus (via Decelerate Your Life).

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
Everyone knows you wait for the new fiscal year.

12. Everyone wants to get super fit until they remember how sore your muscles get (via Decelerate Your Life).

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

13. Turns out we owe apologies to all those medics and corpsmen.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
Does it fix broken bones, yet?

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Here’s how Navy SEALs take down a hostile ship

Command of the seas sometimes means taking control of a non-complaint ship by forceful means, and, as they’ve demonstrated a number of times in recent years while dealing with pirates off the coast of Somalia, U.S. Navy SEALs possess a specific set of skills required to get the job done. This mission is known as “vessel boarding search and seizure” or “VBSS.”


Here’s how VBSS missions generally go down:

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

Mission planning begins between all the players in the intelligence center aboard the strike group’s aircraft carrier. Elements beyond the SEALs are members of the ship’s crew who need to know where to position their vessels and aviators from the air wing. HH-60 pilots will carry the SEALs to the target ship, and Super Hornet pilots will fly high cover in case things get sporty and more firepower is required.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
Super Hornet launches off of Cat 4. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

The Super Hornets launch first, armed with precision guided bombs and a nose cannon. They’ll establish a combat air patrol station high overhead in order not to tip off the bad guys.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel M. Young)

HH-60s — the special ops configured variant of the Seahawk — launch with the SEAL team aboard.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel M. Young/Released)

Generally a pair of HH-60s is enough for the average VBSS. The helos transit a very low altitude and approach the target ship from off of the stern.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

At the last second, the HH-60s pop over the target ship’s fantail . . .

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

. . . and deliver the SEALs by fast rope.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Corwin Colbert)

On deck, the SEALs make best speed for the superstructure.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

Out of the open area, the team consolidates for the assault on the control points, usually the bridge of the ship.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl Kelsey J. Green)

The trick is maintain the element of surprise and to get to the bridge undetected. If that happens, neutralizing the bad guys is an easier proposition. If it doesn’t happen then the SEALs are ready to deal, armed with M-4s, 9mm pistols, concussion grenades, and knives.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

Once maintaining the element of surprise is no longer a factor, the H-60s can close in . . .

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel M. Young/Released)

. . . and provide cover in the event the SEALs missed something that was hiding on the way to the bridge.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(U.S. Navy photo by Photographers Mate 1st Class Tim Turner)

After any threat is neutralized, the SEALs can inspect the ship to see if there’s any contraband aboard.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Corwin Colbert)

With tasking complete, the SEAL team gathers on the bridge for a quick “hot wash up” of the mission and to call for pickup back to the carrier.

Now: The most famous Navy SEALs

OR: This crazy first-person footage shows Korean Navy SEALs taking down Somali pirates

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5 crimes involving a lot of troops that were forgiven by the United States

We all make mistakes. Sometimes we all make mistakes together. And when we all make mistakes sometimes punishing us isn’t worth the time, effort and money. Depending on the severity of the crime, it might be more efficient to just give us all a mulligan and call the whole thing off.


The U.S.Department of Defense is familiar with this sort of calculus. Between Selective Service (aka “The Draft”) with civilians and the crimes unique to military personnel, problems with the application of laws involving the military are bound to happen. Sometimes they happened en masse. In those instances, the government has decided it would be better not to prosecute or the law became unenforceable because so many people committed the crime. It’s rare, but it happened. Here are five times where we were forgiven our trespasses:

1. Adultery (by the masses)

The list of email addresses released by hacktivists The Impact Group included thousands of .mil addresses. This means military members actually used their military email accounts to sign up for Ashley Madison, a site designed to facilitate adultery, which is a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), punishable by a year in confinement and a dishonorable discharge.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
Among these were 250 addresses from various aircraft carriers, addresses from every destroyer and amphibious assault ship in the Navy, 1,665 navy.mil and 809 usmc.mil addresses, 54 af.mil addresses, and 46 uscg.mil addresses. The Army was the most impressive, with 6,788 army.mil addresses signed up. At first, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said DoD would investigate but the Pentagon has since decided not to, since there would be no proof of actual adultery and simply signing up for a website isn’t a crime.

2. Homosexuality

After 18 years, the policy governing homosexuality in the U.S. military known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) was repealed. In response to the repeal, the Army issued a statement saying simply “the law is repealed” and reminded soldiers to treat each other fairly.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

The thing is being gay is not in itself a crime under the UCMJ, but the way homosexuals have sex is, under Article 125. Homosexuals were simply given an “Other than Honorable” discharge. With more than 66,000 gay and lesbian men and women in uniform, trying to control the way they have sex becomes problematic after a while. Now with the DADT repeal, former service members are allowed to reenlist, but their cases will not be given priority. Officials have so far failed to address how all of this affects Article 125 of the UCMJ.

3. Dodging the draft

On January 21, 1977, newly-elected President Jimmy Carter granted a full pardon to hundreds of thousands of American men who evaded the Vietnam War draft by fleeing the country or not registering. Carter campaigned on this promise in an effort to help heal the country from the cultural rift the war created.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

Most fled to Canada, where they were eventually welcomed as immigrants. Exempt from the pardon were deserters from the U.S. Army who met their obligation and then fled. 50,000 Americans became Canadian during the draft, facing prosecution if they returned home.

4. Seceding from the Union

In the most egregious example of getting away with flaunting the rules (to put it mildly), in 1872 Congress passed a bill signed by then-President Ulysses S. Grant which restored voting rights and the right to hold public office to all but 500 members of the Southern Confederacy during the Civil War.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

The original act restricting the rights of former Confederates was passed in 1866. The act covered more than 150,000 former Confederate troops. The 500 who were still restricted were among the top leadership of the Confederacy.

5. Illegal Immigration

This one hasn’t happened yet but the discussion is very serious. The current version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) contains a controversial plan to allow illegal immigrants with deportation deferments to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. U.S. military veterans currently serving in the House of Representatives offer bipartisan public support for the provision.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: TA4.org)

The NDAA as is faces significant challenges in the entire Congress. Last year, Representatives Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), a Desert Storm veteran and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), an Iraq War veteran entered a similar bill, called the ENLIST Act, which would have had the same provisions but it was quickly sidelined.

 

NOW: 6 Weird laws unique to the U.S. military

OR: The 5 military laws that nearly everyone breaks

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4 reasons why the quiet drill sergeant is the scariest one

Many civilians have a twisted understanding of how the military operates. Honestly, it might be best not to correct them. Their minds would be collectively blown if they knew the magnitude of downtime and dumb things that happen to our nation’s fighting men and women. But one commonly portrayed character: the drill sergeant. 


Another misconception is that NCOs are constantly barking orders in our faces. In reality, this is pretty uncommon outside of training, but not impossible to find. The truth is, the threat of a knifehand gets old if it’s constantly shoved in your face. When the quiet drill sergeant unsheathes theirs, however, things get actually terrifying. This applies in Basic Training and continues through the rest of your military career.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

“Everywhere I go. There’s a Drill Sergeant there. Everywhere I goooo. There’s a Drill Sergeant there.”

(Photo by Spc. Madelyn Hancock)

You’ll never see it coming…

Loud NCOs can be heard from a mile away. You’ll hear them chew out a private for having their hands in their pockets immediately before you face the same wrath.

The quiet ones? Oh no. They’ll hide in the shadows and catch you in the middle of doing something stupid before they make their presence known.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

That, or flutter-kicks. From personal experience, flutter-kicks will drain your emotions after roughly twenty minutes.

(Photo by Sgt. Debralee P. Crankshaw)

They will crush your body and spirit

You can only do so many push ups before it’s just a bit of light exercise. Iron Mikes to the woodline and back won’t hurt after you build up your thigh strength. Even ass-chewings get dull once you learn to daydream through it. These are all go-to responses for the loud drill sergeants. The quiet ones, on the other hand, get a bit more creative.

Want to know how to break someone’s spirit while also helping them on their upcoming PT test? Have them do planks while reading off the regulation, verbatim, that they just broke — complete with page turns. If they stumble, make them start from the top.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

You only get to threaten to “suck out someone’s soul” before you have to put up or shut up. Use it wisely.

(Photo by Sgt. Bryan Nygaard)

Their threats are more sincere

The loud drill sergeant also tends to stick to the same basic threats. Sure, they may say they’re going to smoke you so hard that you’re going to bleed out your ass, but they can only say that exact threat maybe twice before it becomes silly.

The quiet NCO? Oh, hell no. That guy might be serious when he says he’s going to suck out your soul…

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey

 

(U.S. Marine Corps Photo)

They choose their words very carefully

Speaking of things becoming silly, have you ever sat back and contemplated the exact nature of most of the threats loud drill sergeants employ? It’s impossible to not burst out laughing sometimes while on the receiving end of an ass-chewing in which every other word is a lazily-placed expletive.

The NCO that understands that expletives are punctuation marks will be much more successful in instilling fear among the ranks.

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7 key military life hacks that matter in civilian life

We’ve all been lectured about what parts of military life are most relevant in the civilian world — things like showing up on time and being respectful. Those things are mostly nonsense and ingredients in a recipe for disaster when you make the transition. Here’s WATM’s list of 7 skills you learned that got you by during your time in uniform — military “life hacks” — that’ll make life on the outside easier and more productive:


1. DOING MORE WITH LESS

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (in)famously said, “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want.” But that reality isn’t an excuse for failure. The American people still expect their military to win the war. (They don’t always act like it, but they do.) Same deal in civilian life. You won’t have all the resources you need to make the sale or close the campaign, but the company still expects you to get it done.

 

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: DVIDS)

2. EMBRACING THE SUCK

Remember how you started each deployment with optimism and enthusiasm? Remember how those things were crushed by the end of the first month in theater? But about that same time you realized that sitting around and complaining about it wasn’t going to make the rest of the time any easier. The same thing is true in civilian life. Every job has its suck. You want to play golf for a living? Get ready to spend ninety percent of your time away from home. But don’t sit around the clubhouse bitching about it.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
(Photo: U.S. Army)

3. BEING RESOURCEFUL ON THE ROAD

Even at the combat outpost in Paktika Province – without running water or air conditioning – you managed to whip up your favorite tuna slider recipe, figure out that Jason Aldean song, and keep your Facebook status updated. Those mad skills will come in handy when the company sends you on that client roadshow or to that training seminar. The complimentary wifi won’t work. The treadmill in the hotel gym will be broken. The conference room will run out of electrical outlets. Tough luck. Get it done, soldier. And keep your toes tapping.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
Soldier jams on an acoustic guitar among the Hesco barriers at a combat outpost in Afghanistan. (Photo: U.S. Army)

4. STEPPING UP TO SOLVE PROBLEMS BEYOND YOUR BILLET DESCRIPTION

It was a party foul to say “that’s not my job” during your time in uniform. Many times you had to come out of your lane to make sure things got done in the face of others inadvertently overlooking their responsibilities. Same thing happens on the outside. Somebody’s about to forget the glossy brochures for that key client presentation. Somebody forgot to do Item No. Three on the “Night Shift Shipping Procedures” checklist. If you see it, solve it.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
Combat Outpost Keating in the snow of Afghanistan. (Photo: U.S. Army)

5. REALIZING THAT EVERYONE ABOVE YOUR PAYGRADE IS DANGEROUSLY CLUELESS

At times it seemed like the sole purpose of the chain of command was to try and kill you. Your watch section tried to wash you overboard. Your flight lead tried to fly you into the ground. Your skipper assigned you for a mission with no real idea of what it was going to take to get you safely back. Welcome to the business world. While the consequences of ineptitude might be less life threatening, that same healthy paranoia regarding those in charge is a good idea.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
SecDef Donald Rumsfeld testifying that everything is just fine. (Photo: DoD)

6. KNOWING THE VALUE OF A GOOD WINGMAN

The buds got you back to the ship after a big night of liberty. They kept you out of jail in Turkey. They gave you that timely heads up when the Gunny was about to come down on you with both feet. Those same kinds of folks will come in handy in civilian life. (And your regional manager might have gunny-like tendencies from time-to-time).

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
Sailors from the USS South Dakota on liberty in Japan during the ’50s. (Photo: U.S. Navy archives)

7. KEEPING YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR WHEN THINGS GET BAD

You know how you stayed sane in the military by laughing stuff off? Don’t lose your sense of humor when you trade multicam for mufti. You’re going to need it for the same reasons you needed it when things got rough in uniform.

4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
French Resistance member Georges Blind smiling in front of a German execution squad, October 1944. (It was a mock execution intended to make him talk.) (Photo: Nat’l Archives)