7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment - We Are The Mighty
Humor

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment

Spending the better part of a year on a deployment 3,000 miles away from home is hard for anyone and can feel like an eternity.


On the ride home, many vets think about the first thing they’re going to do when they return, like biting into a perfectly-grilled cheeseburger, getting a good night’s sleep in their own bed or taking a long hot shower.

Aside from those iconic ones, here are a few things you could do to welcome back your spouse and make his or her homecoming a glorious affair.

1. Bring unexpected family members

Consider bringing man’s best friend along — the one who walks on four legs and thinks his returning buddy is king. There’s nothing better than the welcoming face of a faithful pup after a long time apart. Returning home is an emotional time for everybody, so why not bring everyone?

2. Bring tobacco

Puffing a fresh cigarette or packing your lip with a fresh pinch of dip can make a world of difference for someone who spent that last 13 hours on a plane and is itching for a hit of nicotine.

Sure, this isn’t the healthiest gift. But it could make your loved one do a celebration dance when they’re packing a freshie.

3. Bring a cold beer (or beers)

General Order #1A prohibits service members from drinking alcohol while deployed — and it’s rarely lifted.

It’s a known fact when you want something bad and can’t have it, you want it even more. Heineken, Corona, or PBR are just some of the popular choices sold at the local base PX.

Letting your spouse toast a few with his or her buddies for a job well done is a great and inexpensive way to close out a stressful deployment.

4. Have an escape plan checklist

Unfortunately, it’s not always a situation where your loved one can just walk off the plane and go straight home — there’s always a list of “to-dos” before he can pull chocks. So make sure your spouse has a get-home-quick plan so those logistics hurdles don’t get in the way of a quick trip to the casa.

  • Find the family, hug it out and take a quick photo.
  • Mark your seabag and other baggage so the kids can spot and retrieve it while you drop off your weapon at the armory.
  • Meet at the car and load up.
  • Find the nearest exit gate with the least outgoing traffic.
  • AND GO!!!

5. Have a clean house

Being cramped into a small bunk on a ship or sleeping on a narrow cot in a dusty tent takes its toll. Entering a cleaned up and tidy house — even a modest one — can feel like you just walked into a newly designed multi-million dollar mansion.

6. Make a home-cooked meal

Some military installations have better chow halls than others. And a lot of deployed personnel had to make due with eating MREs or C-rations three times a day, which are tough to stomach over a long deployment.

So there’s nothing like sitting down at the table with your family over a perfectly cooked steak with all the fixings.

7. Bring a change of clothes

After months of doing laundry in a bucket, having some fresh clean clothes that don’t have a last name stitched above the pocket is a step in the right direction when trying to return to normal.

Can you think of any others? Comment below

Lists

4 ways to have fun with a Russian spy ship

Let’s face it, nobody likes a tattletale. This is especially true in the military. No, we’re not talking of the folks around your office that snitch on you for not dotting every I or crossing every T. We’re talking maritime tattletales, ships that cruise just off the coast, collecting intelligence. Russia has one loitering near our eastern coast last year, according to Fox News. This ship has been around before and it’s back to its same old tricks.


Sick of it? We are, too. These are our suggestions for how the United States can have a little fun with this tattletale.

4. Buzz ’em.

The Russians have been buzzing American planes and ships for a while. I’m sure there are some Navy aviators dying to dish out some payback. It just so happens that cruising just off the East Coast makes for a very convenient opportunity. Furthermore, why does it just have to be just one buzzing? A P-3 Orion here, a couple of F/A-18E/Fs there — maybe get the F-35C Lightning or P-8 Poseidon in on the action as well. The Russians have run up quite a tab, and it’s time they started paying.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
A F/A-18C Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 25 flies supersonic over the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson during an air power demonstration. Maybe it’s time to do this in close proximity to a Russian tattletale. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Benjamin Stevens)

3. Follow it around.

Have an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, littoral combat ship, or a Coast Guard cutter just follow the tattletale around. This sort of stuff will undoubtedly make it harder for the tattletale to get what it came for.

2. Give it a little nudge.

The Russians did this to a pair of American ships, the USS Yorktown and the USS Caron, in 1988. It might not be a bad idea to get a little payback for this… with thirty years’ interest, of course.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
The destroyer USS Caron is struck by the bows of a Soviet Mirka II class light frigate as the American vessel exercises the right of free passage through the Soviet-claimed 12-mile territorial waters. There’s been about 30 years of interest piling up for this. (U.S. Navy photo)

1. Board them.

Since this Russian ship is hanging around some American ports, the U.S. Coast Guard can get in on the fun. It wouldn’t be too hard for some enterprising CO to come up with an excuse — we mean probable cause, of course — to board and search the tattletale. Maybe they’re responding to an anonymous tip that there are drugs on board. Or perhaps it’s overdue for a safety inspection. If the CO of the Russian ship mouths off to the Coasties, we’re in for some good times. After all, they can’t be given a pass for contempt of Coast Guard, can they?

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
The Coast Guard could help the United States have some fun by having with a boarding party, like the one pictured here during a drill on USS Tarawa. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers)

So, how would you like to have some nice, non-lethal fun with this Russian tattletale?

Humor

4 types of recruiters you’ll meet at the mall

Recruiters are well-practiced in convincing young adults that military service is the best option to propel them into a happy, successful future. We’ve all seen the recruiting posters that show off a mighty lookin’ Marine or a tough soldier and we’ve all seen the highly polished ads on TV, but nothing beats the personal touch of a skilled recruiter.

Some recruiters will travel miles to find young prospects and get them interested in military service. However, there’s one place where you’ll find almost always youngsters in nearly any town — the freakin’ mall.

Shopping malls are the ultimate grounds for recruiters to swoop in and scoop up their next contract. Every recruiter is different, but we’re willing to bet that if you enlisted at a mall, you ran into one of these four archetypes:


7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment

That’s right, you better stand at modified parade rest.

(Photo by Andrea Stone)

The one who expects you to have some military bearing

Some recruiters are laid back, but others take a more aggressive approach and instruct potential recruits on the proper way to speak as an active service member.

You might think that being stern and strict would turn the younger crowd away, but, to our surprise, that rigid military bearing is exactly what some want.

He’s good at his

The one who is good with parents

Joining the military is a big decision. The fact is that many youngsters aren’t accustomed to making such important choices.

A smart recruiter knows that nothing is more reassuring than a parent’s good word. So, you’ll likely find a recruiter whose best work is done schmoozing with mom and dad.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment

If you join today, you might get to drive a government car, just like me.

The parking lot patroller

Mall recruiters aren’t just on the hunt for window shoppers. Nope! They’re out searching for you before you even step foot inside the shopping center. They pretend like they’ve met you before to strike up a conversation. It’s all a tactic to get you into their office.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment

Sure you could join the Air Force, but you won’t look as cool in their uniform.

The reverse psychologist

Recruiters are up against monthly quotas. In order to make their numbers, they need to use every tool in their kit. This means finding a way to beat out the other branches in the event that two are scoping the same potential recruit. Some recruiters will use reverse psychology on you, making sly like, “you probably couldn’t handle the Marines anyway.”

Some will see right through it, but others feel compelled to prove people wrong.

Military Life

The ultra-rare Marine Corps uniform accessory you may never see

From the point of view of an airman who (in the right town) could be mistaken for a Coastie while wearing my dress blues, I have to say: Marine Dress uniforms have no equal. I totally get why people join the Marines just for the dress blues.


After a few years in the military and a few years in military-oriented media, I thought I had seen every uniform there was. That’s when I saw this guy:

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
Why is this Marine dressed like a magician?

This was surprising to me because I continually make fun of the movie Basic for depicting Samuel L. Jackson’s Army character wearing a cape. But I wasn’t the only one who was perplexed by this. In 2016, a Quora user asked Marines what that cape was.

For those not in the know, the Marines in the top photo are “pretty much wearing the same mess dress uniform” and the cape is a somewhat antiquated, but still on the books, accessory: the Boat Cloak.

Boat Cloaks are a made-to-order item that can cost upward of $1,000 at the NEX/MCX. One former Master Gunnery Sergeant recalled seeing one worn by a Chief Warrant Officer 5 at a Marine Corps ball. The Master Guns described the look as “magnificent.”

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
Army capes: not magnificent. Also, not a thing.

It’s difficult to find exact regulations for the Boat Cloak, but it looks like there are different versions for the Senior NCOs and Officers. As of 1937, it was still a required item for officers.

Get your Boat Cloak at the Marine Shop for $650.00. If you wear one to any mess dress-level function, please send photos to We Are The Mighty.

Articles

9 Military Uniform Items That Jennifer Aniston Made Into Fashion Staples

From combat to the closet of America’s girl-next-door, check out the military-inspired gear that Jennifer Aniston rocks when she’s out and about:


1. Aviator Sunglasses

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
One of the most recognizable pieces of military-turned-civilian wear, these shades were created for U.S. Air Force pilots in 1936 to help flyboys battle the glaring sun while engaged in air combat. Jen uses them to deflect the flash from paparazzi’s cameras.

2. Khaki Pants

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
These lightweight, sand colored pants helped British soldiers stay cool while touring in India and now keep Jen looking sharp in the studio and on the street.

3. Bomber Jacket

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
These badass leather jackets have been lookin’ fly since the early days of aviation, protecting pilots from the elements as they engaged in air combat. Jen uses hers to stay warm around Manhattan.

4. Desert Boots

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
These suede shoes were made popular in 1950 by off-duty British soldiers serving in North Africa. Modeled after comfortable kicks found in Cairo bazaars, today they help Jen rock the casual look.

5. Cargo Pants

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
First worn by paratroopers in WWII, these well-pocketed pants allowed soldiers to carry radios and extra ammo on their person. Jen uses these clunky classics to carry extra amounts of awesome.

6. Pea Coats

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
This heavy wool coat has helped sailors battle harsh seas and bitter cold for decades, and now keeps Jen looking hot when temperatures drop.

7. Combat Boots

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
This military essential was created to give soldiers grip and ankle stability during combat on rough terrain. Recently though, Jen has incorporated them as a trendy statement piece.

8. Trench Coats

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
An iconic essential for Jen, the trench coat was originally a must-have for soldiers battling the rain, mud and cold during trench warfare in WWI. Hand salute!

9. Camouflage

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
The most obvious of homages to military gear, camouflage began showing up in civilian wear during the Vietnam era. As Jen demonstates, this pattern will make you stand out, not blend in!

Humor

How to make great 10-cent ramen while living in the barracks

In most parts of America, Top Ramen is considered a last-resort food consumed by college kids, recently divorced dads, and drunk people. It doesn’t have to be this way. Top Ramen has potential — it’s a diamond in the rough — and it’s up to you to showcase just how delicious this peasant food can be.


Related: How certain MRE items become cash money to a service member

So, check out how to make the best Ramen coming from an eight-year Marine veteran-turned-chef.

Here are the tools you’ll need to make the perfect Top Ramen dish on a budget

  • 2-quart saucepan
  • Wooden cooking spoon
  • Stove

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
All the ingredients you’ll ever need. (Image from Sean Dodds)

Ingredients

  • 1 package of cheap Top Ramen with flavor pack
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Ponzu
  • 1 tbsp black bean chili paste
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground lemongrass
  • 1 lime
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice of American or pepper-jack cheese

Step 1. Make broth.

Add all liquid ingredients along with the ground ginger, lemongrass, and provided flavor pack into the saucepan. Place on a stove at high heat and stir with a wooden spoon until everything is dissolved.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
The best Ramen broth ever! (Image from Sean Dodds)

Step 2. Bring to a boil.

Bring the liquid to a boil, stirring often with your wooden spoon.

Step 3. Prep the garnish.

As the broth slowly approaches a boil, chop up the cilantro. Cut the lime into a few wedges.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
Choppin’ up the herbs. (Image from Sean Dodds)

Step 4. Add the noodles.

Once the broth is boiling, add the noodles and stir until it boils again. Then, reduce to a simmer and let cook for 5 minutes.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
Drop it like it’s hot. (Image from Sean Dodds)

Also Read: 6 ways to make money while living in the barracks

Step 5. Add some cheese and the egg.

As the ramen simmers, add the cheese and egg while stirring to scramble the egg in the pot. The cheese will melt and the egg will cook, just be sure to keep stirring until both are distributed evenly.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
Don’t get any shell in there. (Image from Sean Dodds)

Step 6. Serve and garnish.

Bowl up your ramen, add 2 tbsp of chopped cilantro, squeeze the lime wedge over your bowl of greatness, and enjoy.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
Enjoy! (Image from Sean Dodds)

What are your favorite ramen recipes?

Articles

Marines are testing boots that will prevent injuries

Marine Corps Systems Command’s Marine Expeditionary Rifle Squad team has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory to create a boot insert prototype to help improve Marines’ health and performance.


The Mobility and Biomechanics Insert for Load Evaluation, or MoBILE, technology is handmade by the bioengineering staff members at Lincoln Labs with the Marine in mind. MoBILE helps to detect changes in mobility and agility, which will help MCSC make informed decisions on material composition and format of athletic and protective gear.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment

Marine Corps-MIT Partnership

“Partnering with MIT has allowed us to create a groundbreaking research tool that will help inform future acquisition decisions and performance of Marines in the field,” said Navy Cmdr. James Balcius, Naval aerospace operational physiologist with the Marine Expeditionary Rifle Squad team.

The team has partnered with MIT since 2012 and coordinates the integration and modernization of everything that is worn, carried, used, or consumed by the Marine Corps rifle squad. It conducts systems engineering, and human factors and integration assessments on equipment from the perspective of the individual Marine.

Also read: The Army will soon have fire proof uniforms made out of this retro fabric

MIT Lincoln Labs is one of 10 federally funded research and development centers sponsored by the Defense Department. These centers assist the U.S. government with scientific research and analysis, systems development, and systems acquisition to provide novel, cost-effective solutions to complex government problems.

Load Sensors

MoBILE has flat, scale-like load sensors that are placed within the boot insole to measure the user’s weight during activities such as standing, walking, and running. The insert sensors are positioned in the heel, toe and arch, and they are capable of capturing data at up to 600 samples per second. When the sensors bend with the foot, the electronics register the bend as a change and send the information back to a master microcontroller for processing.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
Marine Expeditionary Rifle Squad members test the Mobility and Biomechanics Insert for Load Evaluation, or MoBILE, technology at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Oct. 27, 2016. Army photo by Spc. Nathanael Mercado

MoBILE will help users gauge how they are carrying the weight of their equipment and if their normal gait changes during activity, Balcius said. The sensor data provides information on stride, ground reaction forces, foot-to-ground contact time, terrain features, foot contact angle, ankle flexion, and the amount of energy used during an activity.

Ultimately, the sensors will provide operational data that will help Marines gather information on training and rehabilitation effectiveness, combat readiness impact, and route and mission planning optimization.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
The Marine Corps is also testing its own version of a jungle combat boot. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps)

Technology Leads to Healthier Marines

“MoBILE has been compared to a force-sensitive treadmill which is a gold-standard laboratory measurement,” said Joe Lacirignola, technical staff member in the Bioengineering Systems and Technologies Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. “Because MoBILE has a high sampling rate, the accuracy does not degrade with faster walking or running speeds. In the future, this accurate data could help provide early detection of injuries, ultimately leading to healthier Marines.”

Balcius said MoBILE will be tested this summer in a controlled environment on multiple terrains during road marches and other prolonged training events over a variety of distances.

“This tool is basically a biomechanics lab in a boot, which allows us to gather data at a scale we have not had until now,” said Mark Richter, director of MERS. “The resulting data will be useful to inform decisions that will impact the readiness and performance of our Marines.”
Humor

8 reasons Marines hate on the Navy

The Navy and Marines spend a lot of time together for obvious reasons. Like anyone you spend too much time with, they start to get on each others’ nerves.


How, you might ask?

Related: 6 reasons why Marines hate on the Air Force

1. Discipline.

When it comes to discipline, Marines are top tier. The Navy can learn a lot from Marines and have plenty of opportunities to do so while on a ship. Unfortunately for sailors, the kind of discipline Marines have is learned during their boot camp, which is actually hard.

2. Navy “camouflage” uniforms.

We get it, you’re sailors. Your camouflage blends in with water – but that’s the problem. I’ve seen those coveralls you wear on a ship, so I understand you don’t wear the blue digitals when you’re underway, but those coveralls are blue, too. What are you going to do when someone falls off the ship at night?

Navy seamen in uniform
All Navy uniforms are arguably the best, much to the annoyance of Marines. 

3. Funding.

It’s no secret the Marines get the scraps from the Department of Navy’s funds (don’t get me started on that). The Navy likely needs it for those big-ass boats. But how many of those mugs in the wardroom were purchased with government money?

Come on, now.

4. Marines are a department of the Navy.

Yeah, I’m getting started on that. Everyone already knows we’re the men’s department. We use your boats to get around on deployments, but beyond that, our relationship isn’t all that special.

You’re like that weird relative that always brings up unnecessary politics at Thanksgiving dinner.

5. “Ship tax.”

We understand that everyone living on a ship is subject to the “ship tax.” For anyone who doesn’t know, it’s basically where everyone pays a toll to the captain. A sailor or Marine must perform a special duty on the ship.

This usually devolves into Marines working in the trash room with the Navy’s “special” sailors.

6. Ranks and rates.

When I first joined the Marine Corps, I thought I had a grasp of the Navy’s ranks. I knew it would hold some importance during my time, but I was sadly mistaken.

When I got to the Fleet Marine Force, I learned that the Navy also had rates which are specific to their job. Long story short, it’s just too confusing for Marines.

7. Navy deployments vs Marine deployments

Navy deployments are frequent — just like that annoying ex — and more frequent than Marine deployments. Sure, Marines have to do all that pre-deployment combat training, but this Infantry Marine would have enjoyed more deployments.

Spread the love, guys.

8. The Navy is our closest sibling

The relationship between the branches of the armed forces is unique, but the relationship between the Navy and Marine Corps is one of a kind.

As long as both have existed, they’ve been working symbiotically with each other. Marines are amphibious, so they need the Navy’s ships to get around. But at the end of the day, it’s a sibling rivalry.

Just like brothers, we give each other crap for everything.

Articles

This is what happens when a Navy SEAL becomes an actor

Bravery is a thing you see every day in the military. In all branches, in moments great and small, it’s an expression of the fundamental courage it takes to put your life on the line for love of country and to serve those you swore to protect.

Former Navy SEAL David Meadows proved exemplary in this capacity, serving 11 years in some of the harshest theaters of war throughout the Middle East.


But unlike many of his fellow Oscar Mike alumni, Meadows chose, upon reentry, to translate his habituated bravery into a civilian arena that would, honestly, make most servicemen and women want to crawl out of their natural born skins…

Yeah, he became an actor.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
On the set of Banshee (2016) (Photo from IMDB)

And we can tell you from experience that there are few professions that require a more constant personal brokerage with public shame, mortal embarrassment, insecurity, and rejection — in short, all of the types of feelings that normal people avoid like their lives depend on it.

Being the Special Ops-trained bad ass that he is, though, Meadows surveyed this new theater of war and then dove in head first. Acting for a living takes guts.

“I think that if there is a magic left in the world…it’s really for a person to be affected, to be changed — by one human being actually affecting somebody else on a really human, natural, soulful level. Does that make sense? And performing artists have that power. And I thought…that’s absolutely amazing. And I want to be a part of that.”

To get a taste of the kind of courage an actor has to muster every day, Oscar Mike host Ryan Curtis visited Meadows at his acting studio in Los Angeles and submitted himself to a battery of drills that actors employ to help them behave truthfully under imaginary circumstances.

Each exercise is designed to increase physical sensitivity, dial up emotional availability, and to inure actors to the fear of ridicule that can shut them down at crucial moments. Like all high-stakes training, it’s effective — but it ain’t pretty.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment

Today’s lesson is clear: in a successful civilian life, emotional bravery matters. But you don’t have to take our word for it, you can just watch as Curtis cracks under the pressure and and begs to postpone the big payoff in the video embedded at the top.

Watch more Oscar Mike:

This Green Beret will make you a mental commando

The Marine Rapper will make you shake your Citizen Rump

This is why the future of motocross is female

This Iraq vet kayaker will make you rethink PTSD

This is what happens when a SEAL helps you with your lady problems

Lists

The human cost of the most daring special operations raids in history

A joint U.S.-Peshmerga raid on an ISIS compound in Iraq freed some 70 prisoners, killed many ISIS fighters, and captured five of them. The cost was four injured Kurdish fighters and one U.S. Delta Force operator killed in action. Some would say the price of one KIA for rescuing 70 people is a fair cost, others might say a Delta Operator is an invaluable loss. No matter which side of the debate you stand, risky raids are rarely without casualties. Here are a few of the most famous raids, with what was gained and at what cost, to help determine which were worth the risk. Some are more obvious than others.


Operation Ivory Coast (1970)

The commando raid on the Son Tay prison camp in North Vietnam was one of the riskiest missions in spec ops history. Planning for the mission began in early May 1970 after Air Force aerial photos confirmed the camp’s existence, which for years had been suspected of housing more than 60 POWs. 130 Special Forces began training at a secret base in Florida over several months. Commandos and Air Force Special Operations air crews rehearsed the raid on a scale model of the camp.

 

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment

In the late hours of November 20, support aircraft including A-1 Skyraiders, F-4 Phantoms and F-105G Wild Weasels and the assault force of six Jolly Green Giant helicopters lifted off for the rescue from bases in Thailand and South Vietnam. At about 2:00am, 50 Green Berets deliberately crash landed their helicopter into the main courtyard of the prison camp guns blazing. After a methodical search of the prison barracks and multiple engagements with guards, the assault force boarded a second helicopter for its exfiltration, empty handed.

Though the mission didn’t recover any of the POWs (intelligence later found they had been moved in July), the raid was a major success, involving a host of joint service assets — including a Navy decoy mission using A-7 Corsairs and A-6 Intruders that tied up North Vietnamese air defense assets as cover for the raid.

POWs Rescued: 0

Guards Killed: 42

Cost: 2 wounded, 2 aircraft down

Israeli Raid on Lebanon (1973)

In response to the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics by the Palestinian terror organization Black September, Israeli intelligence (Mossad) launched the intelligence operation with the coolest name ever: Operation Wrath of God. Wrath of God was directed by Mossad to assassinate members of Black September and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) responsible.

On April 10, 1973, as part of Wrath of God, Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Sayeret Matkal (the Israeli equivalent to Delta Force) special operatives came ashore near Beirut and Sidon, Lebanon. They met Mossad agents on the beaches who drove them to their targets in rented cars. At the same time, paratroopers raided a building guarded by 100 militants and engaged in close-quarters battle as they cleared the structure. Two IDF troops were killed. Another paratroop unit destroyed a PLO garage in Sidon and Shayetet 13 commandos (IDF equivalent to Navy SEALs) destroyed an explosives workshop. Steven Spielberg recreated the raid in his 2005 film Munich.

All Israeli forces either returned to the beach to leave the way they came or were airlifted out by the Israeli Air Force.

Enemy Killed: 100

Cost: 2 IDF paratroopers

Raid on Entebbe (1976)

In June 1976, Palestinians from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hijacked AirFrance Flight 139 on its way from Tel Aviv, Israel to Paris, France. Two PFLP hijackers and two Germans from the German Revolutionary Cells captured 12 crewmembers, 246 mainly Jewish Israelis, and 58 other passengers. They ended up Entebbe, Uganda, which was under the control of the notorious dictator Idi Amin Dada at the time.

Supported by Amin’s troops, the hijackers moved the hostages to Entebbe’s passenger terminal, where Amin visited them everyday and promised he was working for their release. The PFLP demanded $5 million and the release of 53 Palestinians prisoners, 40 of whom were in Israel. They promised to start killing the hostages if their demands were not met in three days.

The hijackers separated the Jewish and Israelis from the rest of the passengers. 48 sick and elderly non-Jewish hostages were released. When the Israelis agreed to negotiations, the hijackers extended their deadline by an extra three days and release 100 more non-Israeli passengers. This left 106 hostages in Entebbe. When diplomacy failed to secure their release, the Israelis launched a rescue attempt.

Israeli C-130s and a Boeing 747s flew from the Sinai Peninsula over Saudi, Egyptian, Sudanese, and Ugandan territory at 100 ft to avoid detection. The landed and offloaded a Merecedes-Benz and motorcade of Land Rovers similar to Amin’s own motorcade. they drove right up to the terminal, took out two sentries and entered the terminal shouting in Hebrew and English that they were Israeli soldiers there to rescue the hostages. Three hostages and all the hijackers were killed. the remaining C-130s launched Armored Personnel Carriers (APC) to pick up the hostages and take them back to the waiting 747s. The Israelis had to shoot their way back to their planes as Ugandan soldiers descended on them, injuring five and killing one Yonatan Netanyahu, older brother to current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A hostage who was taken to the hospital in Kampala, Uganda due to illness was killed by Ugandan Army officers after the raid.

Hostages Rescued: 102 

Hijackers Killed: 4

Cost: 4 hostages, 1 IDF commando killed

4 IDF commandos wounded

Desert One (1979)

This is the disastrous attempt to rescue American hostages being held by Iranians at the former embassy in Tehran. To this day, President Carter maintains the biggest mistake of his Presidency was not sending one more helicopter.

Desert One was a secret staging area in Iran set up by special operators where eight Navy helicopters and Delta Force aboard three C-130 transport planes. Three more C-130s with 18,000 gallons of fuel for the helicopters were also supposed to deploy at Desert One. The Navy helicopters would refuel and fly the Delta Forces to Desert Two, another desert area South of Tehran, conceal the helicopters and hide out during the day.

The next night Delta Force would board trucks driven by Iranian operatives, drive to Tehran, storm the U.S. embassy, free the hostages, and transport everyone to a nearby soccer field, where they would be picked up by the helicopters, who would then fly everyone to an airfield secured by Army Rangers and everyone would fly to Egypt on C-141 Starlifters after the helicopters were destroyed.

During the operation, three helicopters were unable to continue, forcing the team to abort the rescue. During the evacuation, one of the helicopters crashed into a C-130 carrying fuel and personnel, destroying both aircraft and killing eight troops, five airmen and three Marines, without ever getting close to the hostages.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment

 

Hostages Rescued: 0

Cost: 5 U.S. troops

Nord-Ost Siege (2002)

In 2002, 40 Chechen separatists besieged a Moscow theater holding more than 800 people captive for nearly a week, demanding the Russian withdrawal from the Republic of Chechnya. The terrorists killed two hostages after negotations failed. The Russians called up their elite Spetznaz Alpha Group to handle the situation.

 

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment

The Russians used a specialized gas to knock out both the terrorist captors and their hostages through the theater’s air ducts. The Spetznaz then stormed the theater, killing all 40 Chechen seprtatists, their suicide vests still strapped to their torsos, but barely conscious.

Most of the hostages were rescued, but more than 130 died from suffocating from the gas. It was the first time gas was used in such a way, but likely the last, as it also injured much of the Spetznaz response team. Welcome to Putin’s Russia.

Hostages Rescued: 700

Cost: 133 Hostages Killed, 40 Terrorists Killed, 700 injured

Neptune Spear (2011)

This is the SEAL Team Six raid which ended in the death of Osama bin Laden. In the early hours of May 2, 2011, 79 SEAL Team Six operators and a working dog flew from Jalalabad in specially designed stealth Blackhawk helicopters in nap-of-the-Earth style. They arrived at bin Laden’s compound in 90 minutes. The first Blackhawk experienced  hazardous airflow condition caused by the concrete walls surrounding the compound (practice runs used mesh fencing), causing the helicopter to softly crash land. No one was injured.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment

SEALs entered the house, killing defenders (including bin Laden), securing noncombatants and gathering all the intelligence they could, all within 40 minutes. The SEALs destroyed the damaged helicopter to protect classified technology. A reserve Chinook was sent to extract the team from the crashed helicopter and (with bin Laden’s body) leave Pakistan for Bagram Air Base. Bin Laden would later be buried at sea.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
A woman in Times Square celebrates the death of Osama bin Laden (wikimedia commons)

 

Enemy Killed: 5 (including Osama bin Laden)

Enemy Captured: 17

Cost: 1 Stealth Blackhawk

NOW: Here’s what it’s like when special forces raid a compound

OR: An American soldier killed in Iraq while rescuing 70 ISIS hostages

Articles

These 14 photos vividly show how the military rescues downed aircrew

The U.S. military is an expeditionary force capable of deploying anywhere in the world, and as a consequence of that, aircrews flying into harm’s way might get shot down or crash in hostile lands.  That’s when the work starts for combat search and rescue teams.


1. When the military needs to recover downed aircrews, it conducts a “personnel recovery” mission.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Brandon Maldonado)

2. Different branches have different names and preferred methods for these missions, but all of them include a lot of planning and attention to detail.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Mya M. Crosby)

3. Once a plan is created, a group of specialized warriors prepares to jump, fly, or drive into combat. In this photo, an Air Force pararescue team gets ready to parachute into a simulated mission.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Justyn M. Freeman)

4. If the service doesn’t know the exact location of a downed aircrew, they dispatch people to go search for them. The preferred method is to fly over the area and use sensors to search the ground.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jonathan Steffen)

5. Sometimes, aircraft are limited by weather, enemy activity, or other factors. This can lead to troops having to search through a dangerous area on foot.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Brandon Maldonado)

6. Personnel can get to the search area in a variety of ways, including parachuting in.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Justyn M. Freeman)

7. Helicopters are the most popular method of insertion of recovery personnel.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Muncy)

8. In recent years the V-22 Osprey has been increasingly employed.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
The V-22 is a tilt-rotor aircraft that can fly quickly and for long ranges with its engines pointed forward but can rotate its blades up to allow it to hover and land vertically like a helicopter. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Shellie Hall)

9. Once the rescue crews are nearby, isolated personnel are encouraged to signal them using pre-assigned methods. Here, a simulated casualty swings a chemlight to signal to other Marines landing in a cloud of dust.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Trever Statz)

10. On the ground, the recovery team is responsible for securing the area and watching out for enemy activity.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Trever Statz)

11. Medical assets assigned to the team will evaluate any casualties and conduct emergency care for members of the downed aircrew.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Trever Statz)

12. Then, everyone gets back on the birds to get out of dodge before any enemies show up.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr.)

13. For service members isolated in areas where helicopters can’t land, the rescue crews can bring in winches or other equipment to get everyone out anyway.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr.)

14. Once everyone is on board, the birds head back to base. The formerly isolated personnel will then be offered medical care and either return to their unit or be sent back to the U.S. for additional treatment.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Muncy)

Lists

6 ‘Toys for Tots’ commercials we swear didn’t make us cry

Founded in 1947 by U.S. Marine Corps Reservist Maj. Bill Hendricks, the charitable legacy of Toys for Tots has endured throughout the decades. The gift-giving program was such as huge success initially that the Corps adopted the practice and has spread the program nationwide.


The program was so well-liked that famous animator Walt Disney got involved, personally inking the Toys for Tots logo we all know today.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Image from Toys for Tots)

For the past several years, the foundation has produced many emotionally driven ads, run during the holidays to help spread awareness for kids in need.

Some of the Toys for Tots commercials are real tear-jerkers. Good luck getting through all these with a dry eye.

Related: 5 awesome ways the military collects toys for kids

6. Every year, a Marine will stand and collect for our nation’s children-in-need.

(MarineToysForTots | YouTube)

5. An early morning Christmas surprise.

(MarineToysForTots | YouTube)

4. “Are you Santa Claus? He is Santa Claus!”

(MarineToysForTots | YouTube)

3. A child’s Christmas wish.

(MarineToysForTots | YouTube)

2. The Marines have always been known for saving the day. Now, they’re spreading Christmas cheer — one gift at a time.

(MarineToysForTots | YouTube)

Also Read: This is how POWs got playing cards with secret escape maps for Christmas

1. The many faces that the Marine Corps Reserves’ Toys for Tots has helped.

(MarineToysForTots | YouTube)To request toys or donate to Toys for Tots, visit their website.

Bonus: Remember when Sopranos star Joe Pantoliano played a Marine DI for Toys for Tots?

(MarineToysForTots | YouTube)
Articles

Here’s what it’s like to fly a close air support mission against Islamic State militants

While the Pentagon has been very adamant with claims that none of the 4,000+ American troops in Iraq are involved in “combat,” American jets have been flying attack sorties against Islamic State (IS) militants. But what exactly goes into getting bombs on the bad guys? Here’s what a day in the life of an aircraft carrier-based crew is like:


The mission cycle begins with CENTCOM’s Joint Task Force sending the tasking order to the intelligence center on the aircraft carrier. From there, the air wing operations cell assigns sorties to the appropriate squadrons, and those squadrons in turn assign aircrews to fly the sorties. At that point aircrews get to work with intel officers and start planning every detail of the sortie.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
Mission planning in CVIC aboard the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Once the long hours of mission planning are done, crews attempt a few hours of sleep. (The regs call for 8 hours of sleep before a hop, but that seldom happens.)

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: Flikr)

After quick showers and putting on “zoom bags” (flight suits), aviators hit the chow line before the mission brief.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: Walter Koening)

All the crews involved with the mission gather for the “mass gaggle” brief, usually two and a half hours before launch time. After that elements break off for more detailed mission discussions.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

Meanwhile, on the flight deck maintainers fix gripes and make sure jets are FMC — “fully mission capable.”

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

At the same time ordnance crews strap bombs onto jets according to the load plan published by Strike Operations.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
Ordies (in red jerseys) load 500-pounders onto Super Hornets aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Forty-five minutes before launch, crews head to the paraloft and put on their flight gear — G-suits, survival vests, and helmets. They also strap on a 9mm pistol in case they go down in enemy territory.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

Aviators walk to the flight deck and conduct a thorough preflight of their jets, including verifying that their loadouts are correct.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
Super Hornet pilot checks a GBU-12 – a laser-guided 500-pounder. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Once satisfied that the jet is ready, crews climb in and wait for the Air Boss in the tower to give them the signal to start ’em up.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
Super Hornet weapons system operator climbs into the rear cockpit of an F/A-18F Super Hornet. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

While lining up with the catapult for launch, pilots verify that the weight board is accurate.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
Green shirt holds up weight board showing a Super Hornet pilot that the catapult will be set for a 43,000 pound launch. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

With the throttles pushed to full power and the controls cycled to make sure they’re moving properly, the pilot salutes the cat officer. The cat officer touches the deck, signaling the operator in the catwalk to fire the catapult.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment

Zero to 160 MPH in 2.2 seconds. Airborne! (Airplanes launching on Cats 1 and 2 turn right; those on Cats 3 and 4 turn left.)

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

Overhead the carrier, Super Hornets top off their gas from another Super Hornet configured as a tanker.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
F/A-18F passes gas to an F/A-18E. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Wingmen join flight leads and the strike elements ingress “feet dry” over hostile territory.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

The flight hits the tanker again, this time an Air Force KC-135.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
Super Hornet tanking from KC-135 (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

At that point the mission lead checks in with “Big Eye” — the AWACS — to get an updated threat status and any other late-breaking info that might be relevant.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

E/F-18 Growlers — electronic warfare versions of the Super Hornet — are part of the strike package in the event of any pop-up surface-to-air missile threats.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
Growler firing flares. (Photo: Boeing)

The AWACS hands the flight off to the forward air controller in company with Iraqi forces. The FAC gives the aviators a “nine-line brief” that lays out the details of the target and any threats surrounding it and the proximity of friendlies.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
USMC Forward Air Control team in Iraq. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps)

The enemy has no idea what’s about to happen . . .

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
ISIS trucks driving around Mosul, Iraq. (Photo: ISIS sources on the web)

Op away!

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
F/A-18C releasing a laser-guided bomb. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Target in the cross-hairs of the Super Hornet’s forward looking infrared pod.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(FLIR screen capture: U.S. Navy)

*Boom!*

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(FLIR screen capture: U.S. Navy)

 

Ground view . . .

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Army)

Mission complete, the jets head back “feet wet,” stopping at the tanker once again along the way.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
Two Super Hornets tanking from a KC-10. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Jets hold over the carrier until it’s time to come into the break and enter the landing pattern. The aircraft from the event attempt to hit the arresting wires every 45 seconds or so.

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
F/A-18F about to touch down. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Once the planes are shut down on the flight deck, aircrews head straight to CVIC with their FLIR tapes for battle damage assessment or “BDA.”

7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

At that point everybody waits for the word to start the process all over again . . .

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