8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority - We Are The Mighty
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8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

Sorority houses and military barracks couldn’t be more different… at least that’s what most people think. In less than six weeks, you can go from living in a beautiful Victorian home, adorned with Greek letters, on a corner of a college campus to settling into James Hall at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May.


8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

The two seem vastly dissimilar, but you will find there are quite a few similarities, no matter how much anyone wants to deny it. Here are just a few things you’ll find familiar when joining the military right after college.

1. You share everything

Barracks or sorority house, someone is always trying to borrow something from you — your printer, your tools, your computer, your DVDs… Just no one in the military has asked me to borrow my Lilly Pulitzer scarf.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Yet.

2. They both have their own unique culture

Each Greek organization and each military branch has official colors, symbols, and values, like the EGA of the Marine Corps, the grey and gold of the Navy, and the “Integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do” core values of the Air Force.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Or the Army Flat Top haircut.

You can go from green to blue, from a teddy bear and dagger to a shield and anchors, and from “Honorable, Beautiful, Highest” to “Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty,” and still find the simple things that tie organizations together to be remarkably similar.

3. Getting masted is a lot like a military standards board meeting

You sit awkwardly in a group of people who are upset by what you did and you have to try to talk your way out of getting kicked out of the organization.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Sounds familiar.

Alcohol and bad decisions were usually involved. You’ll take a punishment, fine, but you just don’t want to be banned forever.

4. Recruitment is a grueling process 

Once you’re accepted into a sorority, there is usually a long process of staying up late and deciding on who does and doesn’t join your chapter. In the military, everyone dreads recruiting. Recruiters are seen as people that you have to deal with, not that you want to deal with.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Prepare yourself for the worst bid day ever.

If they want you, they’re there to get you into the branch any way they can. If they don’t want you, good luck trying because you aren’t getting in.

5. You join a large family

It is truly a sisterhood or brotherhood. The ties that bind sorority sisters are the same as those that bind a Coastie to her brothers-in-arms. You know you will never stand alone, on a battlefield or during hard times in life.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Except in the military, everyone is armed.

6. Sibling rivalry is everywhere

Just like blood relatives, you fight like cats and dogs, make fun of each other, and give one another a hard time, but no outsider can hurt your siblings. Whether it’s a bar fight, simple teasing, or anything in between, no one gets to be mean to your sisters or brothers except you.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
During the Army-Navy Game, all bets are off.

7. There are people you like — and people you don’t

You’re going to have to live with people you didn’t pick, and it can be amazing or awful. Life with 26 other women is not the most fun you can have, but you’ll do it all over again by joining the military after college. Though military roommates may not understand your past sorority life, they are exactly the same: They will tell you how your hair and makeup looks and if your uniform looks good.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Some sororities even have someone to yell the regulations in their members’ faces. (U.S. Navy photo by Brian Walsh)

8. It gives you a unique identity

The motto of sorority women everywhere is, “it’s not four years, it’s for life.” The Marines have, “once a Marine, always a Marine.” The other branches never give up their identity as veterans. Even though it wasn’t an easy transition, I left college and my sisters and gained a whole new family.

My sisters were still at my boot camp graduation and my Coast Guard family has been there the whole ride. To quote a letter I once received from another Coastie,

Your Coast Guard family is always here for you.
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13 funniest military memes for the week of May 19

Another week down, another flurry of military memes from the comedy blizzard that is the internet.


Here are 13 of the funniest we found:

1. Huh. Didn’t know “Queen of the Bees” was a new MOS (via Pop smoke).

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
A couple of stings will remind you that you’re alive pretty quickly.

2. Guess someone is rucking home (via Team Non-Rec).

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
And that’s not how you carry a helmet.

ALSO SEE: 7 things you should know before joining the infantry

3. Sure, you’ll look fabulous until that first splash of hot coolant or grease (via Sh-t my LPO says).

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Oh, and you don’t look fabulous. You look like an idiot.

4. Pretty unfortunate fortune cookie (via Sh-t my LPO says).

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Especially if the cruise gets extended.

5. It’s a rough gig. Ages you fast (via Sh-t My Recruiter Said).

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Not sure how he lost that eye, though.

6. Seriously, every briefing can be done without Powerpoint (via Why I’m Not Re-enlisting).

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
And if you choose to use Powerpoint, at least punch up the briefing with some anecdotes and keep the slide number low.

7. Think the platoon sergeant will notice? (via Team Non-Rec)

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Just keep your eyes forward and only the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th ranks will see it.

8. God, Romphims took over the military pretty fast (via Weapons of Meme Destruction)

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photoshoppers must have been working overtime.

9. We’re all the same. Except for these as-holes (via Weapons of Meme Destruction).

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

10. It’s all fun and games until someone has to clean up (via Valhalla Wear).

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Did anyone else notice the uniform change in this meme? You’re Marines while you’re shooting, but you’re Army when you’re cleaning up.

11. Oh yeah? You completed selection and training but decided against the green beret? (via Decelerate Your Life)

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
You can’t refuse Special Forces until they offer you the tab, and no one turns it down right after earning it.

12. “Headhunter 6? Never heard of her.” (via The Salty Soldier)

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

13. You poor, stupid bastard (via Why I’m Not Re-enlisting).

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
They’re all equally bad.

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4 Army regulations every soldier pushes to the limits

Let’s be real: If Army regulations specifically required just one thing, there’d be someone out there trying to push it to the limit, just to see how far they can go. Then, the commander would make a company-wide memorandum because that Joe took it too far.


Thankfully, there are a number of Army regulations out there for all you rebellious types to break. Let’s take a look at those most tested:

4. Wear and Appearance (AR 670-1)

The most cited Army Regulation is also the most abused. Just everything about AR 670-1 is tested, and not just by the lower enlisted.

If the regulations say an officer can wear a cape, you know there’s at least one officer who’s tried to get away with wearing it. Haircuts are strictly limited, but nearly every E-4 walks around with the exact text memorized, so they can say, “Ah! But the regulation just says, ‘unkempt!'”

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
If your hair is out of regs, find the barracks barber. There’s one in every unit. (Photo by Sgt. Ferdinand Thomas II, PAO)

3. Alcohol Limit (AR 600-85)

By pure letter of the word, you cannot wear your uniform in a bar. You cannot wear a uniform in an establishment where your activities are centered around drinking. Being intoxicated in uniform is definitely against Army regs. This mostly gets interpreted as a “two-drink limit” by commanders to close that loophole.

And that’s exactly what happens. If, at an event where alcohol happens to be served — like spending a lunch break at the Buffalo Wild Wings just off-post, soldiers will likely grab just two. Doesn’t matter the size of the glass, the alcohol content of the drink, the tolerance of the person drinking, or how soon that person should be back on duty. The drink limit is just “two” drinks, right?

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

2. Counseling Timelines (AR 623-3)

According to regulations, soldiers, NCOs, and officers should be “routinely” counseled, which really means every 30 days. So, by that logic, everyone waits until the last minute to get counseling forms, NCOERs, and OERs done.

Leaders (should) know the soldier underneath them and have a good idea of what they’ve done throughout the rating period — it’s too bad that none of that knowledge gets used as everyone scrambles to get reviews done so people can go home.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Counseling time is probably the worst time to learn you have soldiers. Not speaking from personal experience or anything… (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Thompson)

1. Swearing (AR 600-20)

Profanity that is derogatory in nature against someone’s race, ethnicity, religion, sex, or orientation is clearly in the wrong. And f*ck you if you’re using it specifically against another soldier.

Shy of that, what constitutes “professionalism” and “becoming of a soldier” is a grey area. Commanders don’t really have a set guideline of specific expletives you can and cannot say, nor do they dictate how often you can cuss.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

*Bonus* Fraternization (still AR 600-20)

AR 600-20 is the Army Command Policy; it mostly serves as a catch-all for the smaller regulations. In the ambiguity of the fraternization policy, the rules behind dating, marriage, and hook-ups are kind of spelled out.

Even friendships between a soldiers and their leaders fall into that same gray area. As long as it doesn’t affect morale of all troops, it seems to be fine.

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5 differences between Army and Marine Corps infantry

The U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps infantrymen pride themselves on being some of the biggest badasses on every block they roll into. They have more similarities than differences, but they’re unique forces. Here are 5 ways you can tell Marine and Army infantry apart:


Note: For this comparison we are predominantly pulling from the Army’s Infantry and Rifle Platoon and Squad field manual and the Marine Corps’ Introduction to Rifle Platoon Operations and Marine Rifle Squad. Not every unit in each branch works as described in doctrine. Every infantry unit will have its own idiosyncrasies and units commonly change small details to deal with battlefield realities.

1. Platoon Organization

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Artur Shvartsberg

Army and Marine Corps rifle platoons share many elements. They are both organized into larger companies, both contain subordinate squads organized into fire teams, and both employ the rifleman as their primary asset. The Army platoon has a radiotelephone operator and a medic. The Marine platoon has a radio transmitter operator and a corpsman who fulfill the same functions.

The Marine Corps rifle platoon contains three rifle squads. Each squad is led by a sergeant who has three fire teams working for him, each led by a corporal. The fire team leader typically carries the M203 grenade launcher slung under his M16. Operating under him are the automatic rifleman, assistant automatic rifleman, and rifleman.

The Army platoons contain smaller squads. An Army rifle squad leader is typically a sergeant or staff sergeant who leads two four-man fire teams. Each Army fire team consists of a team leader, an automatic rifleman, a grenadier, and a rifleman. Note that the Army squad is using a dedicated grenadier in place of an assistant automatic rifleman. Typically, one rifleman in each squad will be a squad designated marksman, a specially trained shooter who engages targets at long range. Also, the Army has an additional squad in each platoon, the infantry weapons squad. This squad has teams dedicated to the M240B machine gun and the Javelin missile system.

Both Marine Corps and Army infantry platoons operate under company and battalion commanders who may add capabilities such as rockets or mortars when needed.

2. Weapons

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: US Navy Mass Communications Petty Officer 2nd Class Kim Smith

The Army typically gets new weapons before the Marine Corps. It moved to the M4 before the Marine Corps did, and soldiers are more likely than Marines to have the newest weapons add-ons like optical sights, lasers, and hand grips. Marines will get all the fancy add-ons. They just typically get them a few years later.

When the Army needs a rocket or missile launched, they can use SMAWs, AT-4s, or Javelins. For the Marine Corps, SMAW is the more common weapons system (they can call heavier weapons like the Javelin and TOW from the Weapons Company in the battalion).

The Army is quickly adopting the M320 as its primary grenade launcher while the Marine Corps is using the M203. The M320 can be fired as a stand-alone weapon. Either the M320 or M203 can be mounted under an M16 or M4.

3. Fires support

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: US Marine Corps

Obviously, infantry units aren’t on their own on the battlefield. Marine and Army rifle units call for assistance from other assets when they get bogged down in a fight. Both the Marine Corps and the Army companies can get mortar, heavy machine gun, and missile/rocket support from their battalion when it isn’t available in the company. For stronger assets such as artillery and close air support, the services differ.

Marines in an Marine Expeditionary Unit, an air-ground task force of about 2,200 Marines, will typically have artillery, air, and naval assets within the MEU. Soldiers in a brigade combat team would typically have artillery support ready to go but would need to call outside the BCT for air or naval support. Air support would come from an Army combat aviation brigade or the Navy or Air Force. Receiving naval fire support is rare for the Army.

4. Different specialties

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: US Navy Phan Shannon Garcia

While all Marines train for amphibious warfare, few soldiers do. Instead, most soldiers pick or are assigned a terrain or warfare specialty such as airborne, Ranger, mountain, or mechanized infantry. Ranger is by far the hardest of these specialties to earn, and many rangers will go on to serve in Ranger Regiment.

The Marine Corps categorizes its infantry by weapons systems and tactics rather than the specialties above. Marine infantry can enter the service as a rifleman (0311), machine gunner (0331), mortarman (0341), assaultman (0351), or antitank missileman (0352). Soldiers can only enter the Army as a standard infantryman (11-B) or an indirect fire infantryman (mortarman, 11-C).

5. Elite

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Army Rangers conduct a mission in Afghanistan. (Photo: US Army)

Marines who want to push themselves beyond the standard infantry units can compete to become scout snipers, reconnaissance, or Force Recon Marines. Scout snipers provide accurate long-range fire to back up other infantrymen on the ground. Reconnaissance Marines and Force Recon Marines seek out enemy forces and report their locations, numbers, and activities to commanders. Force Recon operates deeper in enemy territory than standard reconnaissance and also specializes in certain direct combat missions like seizing oil platforms or anti-piracy.

Soldiers who want to go on to a harder challenge have their own options. The easiest of the elite ranks to join is the airborne which requires you to complete a three-week course in parachuting. Much harder is Ranger regiment which requires its members either graduate Ranger School or get selected from Ranger Assessment and Selection Program. Finally, infantry soldiers can compete for Special Forces selection. If selected, they will leave infantry behind and choose a special forces job such as weapons sergeant or medical sergeant. Infantrymen can also become a sniper by being selected for and graduating sniper school.

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5 reasons why Jodie is the soldier’s worst nightmare

Jodie is a piece of military folklore that everyone loves to hate. He’s the guy or girl who takes advantage of military deployments by going after the spouses at home. Here are five of the reasons that troops absolutely hate Jodie.


1. Jodie is a player.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

Jodie is most famous for stealing away the spouses, girlfriends, and boyfriends of service members. While troops are fighting the good fight against America’s enemies, this smooth criminal is keeping their beds very, very warm.

2. He could be anyone.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

It would be great to believe there is only one, but the truth is that Jodie is everyone with low enough morals to swoop in while the troops are deployed or in training. Guys in every bar, girls on the street, even friends and family of service members can hear the Jodie call and start acting terribly.

3. He’s doing way more than just hooking up with lonely spouses.

While Jodie may be most famous for slipping into vacant beds, that’s not all he’s doing. He takes Cadillacs, girlfriends, sisters, food, and pretty much anything else not nailed down at home.

He’d probably take the homes as well if he could figure out how to do it.

4. Jodie has been pulling this sh-t for generations.

Jodie was called out in World War II cadences, so he’s been slipping through military base windows for at least that long. He’s still going strong today and will likely be a problem for every recruit who ever joins.

5. He comes back, deployment after deployment.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

Unlike those who fought in World War II, modern service members rotate in and out of deployment zones. But, they don’t get home enough to keep Jodie at bay. He may run away when troops get home, but he slips back in every time they leave for another rotation.

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What soldiers really want in their care packages

How do you know what a soldier really wants in a care package? If you’re not in the position to ask the recipient what they need, use this list of care package ideas for soldiers to help you figure it out. You should ask yourself a few questions before putting the box together: Where is the soldier stationed? How long will she/he be there? What would you want to receive if you were trapped in a remote space without access to all your favorite things? And most importantly, what can you send a soldier that will boost their morale?


Being in the military is a tough job, so the best care packages for soldiers include items that are absolutely necessary, like toiletries, personal hygiene items, and medical products (mostly foot repair items), as well as entertaining and/or personal items like comic books, a deck of cards, or memorabilia from home (letters, drawings, mixtapes, etc.). You want the recipient to be able to take care of their physical needs and discomforts by sending products they can’t buy when they’re away from commissary, and you want to promote some light-hearted interaction by sending games or puzzles.

You don’t need to have a friend or a family member in the military to send some care packages for troops – there are plenty of groups and websites that will guide you through the process of how to properly pack and ship care packages to soldiers. Vote up the items you consider the most important, and add any items you don’t already see listed here. If you’ve been on the receiving end of one of these packages, please add items, and leave any relative comments in the comments section below!

What Soldiers Really Want in Their Care Packages

More from Ranker

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The most important battles in US history

The American military has been kicking ass and taking names for over 240 years. In all that time, it’s amassed a massive list of important victories and defeats. Below is a list of some that reshaped American history for better or worse.


The list is voteable, so click to advance your picks for most important battles and strike down ones you find less important.

The Most Important Battles in US History

NOW: The story of Waterloo, one of the most epic battles in history

OR: The most important guy in military aviation history you’ve ever heard of

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23 Photos of Drill Instructors terrifying the hell out of Marine recruits

Considered the toughest and most disciplined basic training of all military branches, Marine Corps boot camp is a 12-week transformation of civilian recruit to a United States Marine. Tasked with the daunting challenge of transforming recruits to Marines are drill instructors, each of which are the embodiment of the most highly-trained and disciplined Marines the Corps has.


With the recruits every moment from when they step on the yellow footprints to graduation, drill instructors challenge each recruit until they are all instilled with the long standing traditional Marine Corps values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. While earning the title Marine is the most proud moment a recruit will have, every Marine will never forget the terrifying moments they had courtesy of their Drill Instructors.

Here are 23 photos that capture those terrifying moments every recruit will have while earning the title United States Marine.

1. Civilians who have enlisted but have not yet been sent to boot camp are called ‘Poolees’ and will have functions with Drill Instructors where they get a taste of what boot camp will be like.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Sgt Reece Lodder/USMC

2. A receiving Drill Instructor gives instructions and orders to new recruits as they stand on the infamous yellow footprints at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Sgt. Whitney N. Frasier/USMC

3. The look a Drill Instructor gives to recruits just before they walk through the doors of MCRD can send a chill down their spine. In this moment, recruits realize their challenge to earn the title United States Marine is about to begin.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Cpl. Caitlin Brink/USMC

4. When recruits call home to say they have arrived safely, their family has no idea that their future Marine could be surrounded by Drill Instructors.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Cpl. Caitlin Brink/USMC

5. Some recruits have been known to lose all bowel control when receiving their first knife hand from a Drill Instructor.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Cpl. Octavia Davis/USMC

6. “Black Friday” is when recruits meet the Drill Instructors tasked with turning them into Marines. Their Senior Drill Instructor makes the recruits feel terrified of not living up to the high expectations and challenges he sets for them.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Cpl. Caitlin Brink/USMC

7. Once the Senior Drill Instructor is finished setting his expectations, he has his DI’s carry out the plan for the rest of the day with speed and intensity.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Cpl. Caitlin Brink/USMC

8. Drill Instructors are skilled at being able to break every recruit down mentally…

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Lance Cpl. John Kennicutt/USMC

9. …and physically.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Cpl. Caitlin Brink/USMC

10. To recruits, it may feel like Drill Instructors hate them. They do.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Cpl. Caitlin Brink/USMC

11. Drill Instructors make it clear that they will never allow you to quit on yourself … even if you do.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Cpl. Caitlin Brink/USMC

12. There is no avoiding the wrath of a DI once their attention is focused on you.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Lance Cpl. Caitlin Brink/USMC

13. Chances are your loud will not be loud enough!

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Cpl. Caitlin Brink/USMC

14. No matter if across the squad bay or right in front of them, recruits can feel the glare of a Drill Instructor pierce through them.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Cpl. Caitlin Brink/USMC

15. “Brimming” is an intimidation technique where Drill Instructors get so close to the recruit when they correct them that they can bounce the brim of their “smokey bear” campaign cover off of them.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

16. Although physically and emotionally exhausted, the last thing a recruit wants to do is fall asleep during a class and wake up to a DI in their face.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Lance Cpl. Vaniah Temple/USMC

17. Drill Instructors turn disciplining recruits in to an art form.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Lance Cpl. Vaniah Temple/USMC

18. Drill Instructors swarming. Basically, this is a recruits worst nightmare.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Lance Cpl. Aneshea Yee/USMC

19. Whether one foot away or 100 feet from a recruit, Drill Instructors will use the same high level of volume to get their point across.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Cpl. Octavia Davis

20. A Drill Instructor doesn’t seem impressed at the skill level of a recruit trying to hold an ammo can over her head during a Combat Fitness Test.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Cpl. Caitlin Brink/USMC

21. There is no place a Drill Instructor won’t go to motivate their recruits.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Cpl. Octavia Davis/USMC

22. A guaranteed way to be scolded by a Drill Instructor is to have them discover you have an unclean weapon.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Cpl. Octavia Davis/USMC

23. As recruits progress through boot camp, they are subjected to inspections. The terror they feel is from the discovery of a flaw, no matter how subtle, in their uniform.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Lance Cpl. Aneshea Yee/USMC

But no matter how many terrifying moments recruits may endure, it is all worth it once their Drill Instructors hand them an Eagle, Globe, and Anchor and award them the title United States Marine.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Cpl. Caitlin Brink/USMC

(h/t Geoff Ingersoll at Business Insider)

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8 of the best things about a combat deployment

Being deployed in combat has its fair share of ups and downs. Things can be very dull one minute, then quickly turn south the next.


Although deployed service members work seven days a week, there are few things we get a kick out of that most people will never see or understand.

Related: 7 best ways to pass time on a combat deployment

So, check out eight of the best things about a combat deployment.

1. The crazy excitement after getting into your first victorious firefight.

We trained for several months in some pretty hectic places, but it all seems worth it when your squad works together and takes down the bad guys the first time. That feeling is freakin’ motivating.

2. Blowing up the bad guys with mortars.

Sometimes, the enemy thinks they’re slick since you’re on their home turf. F*ck that!

No matter where you’re at in the world, once a grunt unit learns of an enemy position and calls in for mortars, it’s game over for the bad guys.

3. Calling home for the first time after combat.

Hearing the supportive voices of friends and family back home can restore lost morale in a matter of moments.

4. Hearing the legendary BRRT of an A-10 during a “gun run.”

There’s nothing like hearing the sounds of an A-10’s powerful cannons raining down hot lead onto the enemy’s position when you finally get “air-on-station.”

5. Every mail call.

Frequently, we run out of beef jerky, baby wipes, and fresh socks. So, once your name is called out and you’re given a large care package of goodies? That feeling is epic.

6. Making it back to the FOB with nobody hurt.

Every time we leave the wire, it’s impossible to predict who isn’t coming back.

So, after you return to the safer confines of your FOB, it’s okay to finally exhale the anxiety out of your chest — your military family is okay.

7. Building an unbreakable brotherhood with your boys during combat.

That is all.

Also Read: 14 images that humorously recall your first firefight

8. Coming home.

Hugging your family — who supported you throughout the long deployment — is an incredible feeling.

Can you think of any others? Comment below.

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11 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About ‘Saving Private Ryan’

In 1998 the epic film “Saving Private Ryan” captured the courage, sacrifice, and horror of World War II in a way that Hollywood had either missed or avoided with previous efforts.


The story of a Ranger squad’s mission to find a soldier who is the only surviving service member of four brothers — based on Father Francis Simpson’s book Look Out Below! — grossed over $100 million (the first Dreamworks movie to surpass that mark) and earned five Oscars.

Director Steven Spielberg’s battle scenes were so grisly and realistic that many World War II veterans had to walk out of showings and the VA had to create a special 800 number to deal with a surge in veterans dealing with post traumatic stress triggered by the movie. Here are 11 other things you (probably) didn’t know about one of the greatest war movies ever made:

1. The movie was shot in chronological order, which is unusual for a film. Spielberg chose that method so that the actors would feel like they were going through the experience, including losing fellow soldiers along the way. This also helped them portray their resentment towards Private Ryan, who doesn’t share the journey with them.

 

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

2. The opening sequences of the Normandy invasion on D-Day were actually shot in Ireland not France. The French government would not give permission to the producers to shoot on Normandy’s beaches.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

 

3. The unarmed men who are shot during the opening scene are not speaking German. They are speaking Czech. Parts of the Normandy coast were defended by Ost (East) battalions — pressed into service in the Wermacht — made up of men from places like Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan, and Armenia.

4. Billy Bob Thornton was offered the role of Technical Sergeant Mike Horvath (ultimately played by Tom Sizemore) but turned it down because he has a fear of water and didn’t want to shoot the landing scenes. Spielberg was hesitant to use Sizemore because he was battling a drug addiction at the time of filming. The director had Sizemore undergo daily drug tests and threatened to boot him from the set and re-shoot every scene if he tested positive.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

5. Spielberg originally thought Matt Damon was too skinny to play Private James Ryan but changed his mind after a meeting between them facilitated by the legendary comic Robin Williams.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

6. The story that Private Ryan tells about his brothers in the barn with Alice Jardin was not in the script. Matt Damon ad-libbed it and Spielberg decided to use it.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

7. During the scene in which Pvt. Stanley Mellish is being stabbed slowly by an enemy soldier, his assailant whispers in German: “Give up. You have got no chance. This way is much more easy for you. Much easier.”

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

8. Bryan Cranston (now famous for his role in the AMC series “Breaking Bad”), who plays Colonel I.W. Bryce, is the only person in the movie who has an amputation on screen that isn’t really an amputee.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

9. Spielberg had to cut around 5 minutes of war violence from the film or it would have received an NC-17 rating from the MPAA.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

10. Hanks’ played a 41-year-old Army captain. In actuality, an infantry captain in World War II would have been around the age of 26.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

11. The town of Ramelle, France where the final battle takes place is the only fictional town in the movie. The other locations depicted are real and were actual objectives during the invasion. Ramelle, including the river, was created from scratch in a studio in England. That same set was used during the filming of the “Band of Brothers” series.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

(H/T Movie Mistakes and Movie Fanfare)

Lists

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon

The Silent Drill Platoon symbolizes the consummate professionalism and extreme discipline the United States Marine Corps is known for.

 

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. AaronJames Vinculado


Stationed at the legendary Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., it is a 24-man rifle platoon that tours the country showcasing their precision drill and rifle movements in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators a year.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Cpl. Dengrier Baez

A highly selective unit, Marines are individually interviewed and picked from the Schools of Infantry at Camp Pendleton and Camp Lejeune.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Pfc. Richardo Davila

Once selected, each Marine will be assigned to the platoon for two years while more experienced members can audition to become one of two rifle inspectors.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Ezekiel Kitandwe

The drill master, along with the rifle inspectors, are responsible for passing on the traditions, training, and mastery.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Pfc. Crystal Druery

If you are ever fortunate to witness a live performance, their synchronized movements and individual expert rifle handling skills will leave you in awe.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Cpl. Tia Dufour

These photos capture moments during their precision performances that show off how awesome they really are.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Cpl. Octavia Davis

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Reina Barnett

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rodion Zabolotniy

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Cpl. Dengrier Baez

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Samantha Draughon

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Oscar L Olive IV

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Sgt. Chris Stone

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Ezekiel Kitandwe

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Oscar L Olive IV

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Samantha Draughon

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Cpl. Carolyn Pichardo

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Ezekiel Kitandwe

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Cpl. Sarah Fiocco

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jacqueline Smith

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Alejandro Sierras

BONUS: Now watch one of their performances…

 

NOW: 7 things ‘Hollywood’ Marines will always remember

OR: 5 problems infantry Marines will understand

Articles

4 military disguises that were just crazy enough to actually work

1. That time French soldiers hid inside papier-mâché horse carcasses

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority


Looking back, trench warfare has to be one of the most insane methods of warfare ever carried out. Between the torrential mud, staggering levels of trench foot, and other diseases that ran rampant, it’s a wonder that everyone didn’t just give up and get the hell out of the ground.

But World War I was still, in some respects, a gentleman’s war. And gentlemen don’t let mud get them down. Gentlemen also don’t complain about their lack of protective cover — at least not if you’re France. While other platoons were bemoaning the crumbling, barren landscape that made up infamous “No Man’s Land” — a stretch of charred earth, tangled barbed wire and broken bodies between opposing trenches — a few French soldiers set up camp right in the middle of it.

They weren’t alone, though. They were using a very special kind of shelter … the hooved kind. Don’t worry, no one was actually crawling inside of dead horse bodies to hide from enemy artillery fire. Though a dead horse is what started this whole thing.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Maybe it was this one

Horses were a huge part of combat in WWI. They pulled ambulances, carried soldiers into cavalry charges, and were the primary means of transporting weapons, ammunition and food supplies for each nation involved. They were also large, bulky and loud, making them primary targets for enemy scopes.

This, as you can imagine, left a lot of dead horses everywhere. Eventually, someone searching for shelter in No Man’s Land probably cuddled up next to one in what he thought were his final moments, only to realize that this decaying Seabiscuit actually made for a pretty awesome barrier.

Enter France’s big idea: hollow, papier-mâché horses large enough for a man to crawl inside and aim his gun through.

Once night fell, the French drug away the dead horses that lay right in front of the German trenches and replaced them with the dummies. Then they ran a telephone wire from inside the horse back to the French trenches, so the sniper who would hide inside the horse would be able to report back on German movements.

This worked for a few days. Then a German soldier spotted a French sniper climbing out of one of the dead horses, and the jig was up. The method quickly became popular though, and “dummy horses” would appear on battlefields throughout Europe for the duration of the war.

2. The sailors who cross-dressed and pretended their warship was a cruise liner

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

World War II had its share of out-of-the-box camouflage as well. While a Dutch warship was busy disguising itself as an island to hide from Japanese bombers, the British fleet was brainstorming its own method of deception.

German U-boats were becoming more and more of a problem for the Allied merchant fleet. With little means of fighting back, the small ships were sitting ducks for the German watercraft, who could pluck them off easily with their superior weapons and speed. This gave England an idea: if the King’s warships disguised themselves as merchant boats, they could lure them into an ambush, destroying the German U-boats and the submarines that surfaced alongside them during their attacks.

But England wasn’t about to do this deception halfway. If they were going to pull this off, their disguise would have to be elaborate, reflective of the other (hijinks) they had pulled off earlier in the war. So the sailors got creative, and boy did they deliver.

Not only did the British officers don civilian costumes, some dressed in drag, pretending to be ladies sunning themselves on the deck of a cruise liner. When the Germans looked through their periscopes to take in the ship, they would see men and “women” flirting aboard a civilian ocean liner, walking around the deck and taking in the views over the rail.

They would also have to act the part. When a German U-boat was spotted, some ships went as far as pretending to panic, running around the deck and tripping over themselves for the benefit of the German’s view. There are even accounts of sailors haphazardly deploying their lifeboats and “accidentally” leaving one of their own behind, then scrambling to retrieve them as the unlucky “civilian” screamed for help.

The ship, of course, was actually outfitted with plenty of hidden weapons. When the U-boats would close in, the ruse would be over, and they would destroy the enemy ships and submarines as they began to close in.

3. The German soldier who hid inside of a fake tree

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

Man-sized horse piñatas weren’t the only thing soldiers were hiding inside of during WWI. In 1917, a platoon of German soldiers in Belgium needed to find a way to gain visibility through a small patch of dead trees that blocked their view of the Allies on the other side.

The cluster of dry wood was optimistically named the Oosttaverne Wood, one of the last clumps of nature left in the battlegrounds near Messines. It actually looked like a bunch post-apacolyptic metal posts, which gave the Germans an idea. They couldn’t send a sniper in to hide amongst the trees because there weren’t enough branches to cover him, but they could send them inside their own tree.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority

A plan was set into motion. The Germans would build a 25-foot-tall tree out of steel pipe, painting it so it looked like it had bark. Then a solider would hide inside, using a small hidden window to spy on the British forces in what was probably one of the most cramped snipers’ nests ever.

Just like the French horse-creators did, the Germans waited until nightfall to get things moving. With artillery fire ringing out to disguise the sounds of sawing and chopping wood, they cut down the real tree and set up their new steel lookout, hoping it wouldn’t draw any unwanted attention.

It didn’t. For several months the Germans were able to spy from their wartime treehouse, with the tree-spy crawling out of his post under cover of darkness each evening to report on his findings. It wasn’t until the British tunneled under the German lines and destroyed their trenches from the ground up in the Battle of Messines  that the tree was abandoned. Once they had captured the trenches, the British lived and worked alongside the fake tree for several months before discovering it was a fake. The steel tree can now be found in The Australian War Memorial.

4. Israeli special forces used fake boobs to trick the PLO

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Wonder where they got the idea from… (Photo: Variety)

Thus far, all of our disguise contenders have been relatively believable. When you have shells exploding next to your trench and artillery fire screaming in your ears, you’re probably not going to spend much time debating the validity of a slightly iron-looking tree, or a particularly limp dead horse. No one has time for that kind of daydream. And even though the cross-dressing sailors were doubly ridiculous, they had the advantage of distance from enemy scopes.

This story, however, is just plain insane. In 1973, a group of Israeli special forces commandos entered Beirut on a mission to take out three key leaders of the [Palestine Liberation Organization] who were responsible for the Munich massacre of the 1972 Olympics. The mission, dubbed “The Spring of Youth,” was incredibly risky, and the operatives knew that some deception would be in order if they were to get in and out of the area safely.

So, the Israeli commandos did the logical thing — they dressed up as women. Besides being confident in their ability to infiltrate the PLO, they were also apparently confident that their enemies had never seen a woman before. Or that they could really rock a pair of heels, who knows.

With wigs, fake boobs and matching shoes all in place, the muscled members of the Israeli special forces strolled down the street on the arms of other members of their secret group, who were normally-dressed men.

The fake couples were able to pass right by bodyguards and police without inciting any suspicions, and the hidden team was able to walk up to the apartment building of the PLO leaders and wait right outside their doors. Once safely inside, the men and “women” burst through the doors and pulled out their hidden guns and explosives, shooting and killing the stunned PLO members and avenging the deaths of their murdered countrymen.

The story gets even crazier from here. One of the femme fatales who carried out the high stakes mission was Ehud Barak, who would eventually serve as Prime Minister of Israel and currently serves as Defense Minister. Just goes to show you that dressing in drag could help you make it to the top.

Lists

The US military took these incredible photos in just one week-long period

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


AIR FORCE

Two F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base, Italy, fly over Europe on March 20, 2015. The aircraft participate in a training sortie with the Estonian air force.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Senior Airman Christine Griffiths/US Air Force

Leaving a trail of dust in its wake, an MC-130J Commando II takes off April 2, 2015, at Melrose Air Force Range, N.M. The aircraft’s crew demonstrated its capability to take off, land and perform airdrops in remote areas during a joint exercise.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Airman 1st Class Shelby Kay-Fantozzi/US Air Force

NAVY

More than 630 Sailors, Marines and civilians aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) from a teal ribbon and spell out “ESX ARG” to show support for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: US Navy

Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Keron King signals the pilots of an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter attached to the Vipers of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 48 during preflight preparations aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68).

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Abe McNatt/US Navy

ARMY

A Trooper assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, fires a mortar from a mortar tube mounted onto a Stryker Combat Vehicle during the unit’s platoon live-fire exercise at Smardan Training Area, Romania, Apr. 8, 2015. The purpose of the exercise is to demonstrate unit capabilities to Romanian military counterparts during live-fire training in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve-South.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Sgt. William A. Tanner/US Army

Infantrymen, assigned to 2nd Cavalry Regiment, provide security during an #OperationAtlanticResolve-South live-fire exercise at Smardan Training Area, Romania, April 6, 2015.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Sgt. William A. Tanner

MARINE CORPS

U.S. Marines attending the infantry officer course prepare to conduct a fast rope exercise during Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course (WTI) on Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., March 27, 2015. WTI is a seven-week event hosted by Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) cadre.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Lance Cpl. Jodson B. Graves/US Marine Corps

A U.S. Marine with Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, completes a pre-inspection before operating the M1A1 Abrams tank during Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) aboard Camp Pendleton, California, March 28, 2015. Marines with BLT 3/1 trained for combined arms operations in restricted terrain in preparation for their deployment this spring.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos/US Marine Corps

COAST GUARD

Marine Safety Security Team Honolulu conduct flight ops with crews from Air Station Barber’s Point to ensure U.S. Coast Guard Hawaii Pacific remain Semper Paratus.

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class Errik Gordon/US Coast Guard

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C. S. Lewis

8 reasons being in the military is like being in a sorority
Photo: US Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City

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