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9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious

Meals, Ready to Eat make field life significantly more comfortable for today’s troops than grandpa had it, but they’re still not exactly good. And, since there are only 24 recipes per year, even the good ones can get old fast. Luckily, Pvt. Snuffy has enough ingenuity to take MRE components and turn them into good food. Here are 9 of the best recipes we’ve found. (We’ve limited the recipes to those which can be made with only current MRE components.)


9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: U.S. Army

Entrees

1. Tex-Mex stew

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: David L. Nye

 

Ingredients:

  • Jalapeño pepper jack beef patty (can substitute beef stew)
  • Cheese spread
  • Hot sauce
  • Toasted corn kernels or crackers (optional)

Instructions:

Cut patty into small squares and add cheese. Add 3-4 oz. of water (reduce water if using beef stew) and mix. Works best if heated in metal container (canteen cup) over an open flame. Adding ingredients to hot beverage bag and heating with chemical pad will work in a pinch. Serve with toasted corn kernels or crackers. 

2. Pot luck pie

 

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: David L. Nye

Ingredients:

  • Beef stew
  • Cheese spread
  • Crackers
  • Hot Sauce

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients but crackers. Crumble crackers over top. Mixes and tastes best if warmed before mixing.

3. Asian Beef Bowl

Ingredients:

  • Asian beef strips
  • Garlic mashed potatoes
  • Cheese spread
  • Hot sauce

Instructions:

Mix well. Mixes and tastes best if warmed before mixing.

4. Loaded Baked Potato

Ingredients:

  • Garlic mashed potatoes
  • Bacon cheese spread
  • Hot sauce
  • Crackers (or vegetable crackers)
  • Salt (optional)

Instructions:

Mix everything but the crackers. Crumble crackers and sprinkle over the top. Mixes more easily and tastes better if heated.

Deserts

5. Apple/Pear crumble

Ingredients:

  • Spiced apples (or pears)
  • Crushed oatmeal cookie (or patriotic sugar cookies)
  • Creamer

Instructions:

Add creamer to the spiced fruit. Crush the cookie to a powder and sprinkle over the mixture. Best when served hot.

6. Ranger pudding

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: David L. Nye

Ingredients:

  • Cocoa Beverage Powder
  • Creamer
  • Water
  • Additional flavoring (PB, electrolyte powder, coffee)

Instructions:

Combine creamer, cocoa powder, and your additional flavoring in a pouch. Add a small amount of water and mix. Continue adding small amounts of water until the mix takes on desired consistency. For more sustenance, add throughly crumbled crackers.

7. Momma’s pudding

Ingredients:

  • Vanilla dairyshake powder
  • Beverage powder of desired flavor (coffee, orange, etc.)
  • Creamer
  • Sugar (optional)

Instructions:

Mix dairyshake, sugar, and beverage powder. Add water until mix achieves desired consistency.

8. General Patton’s Parfait

Ingredients:

  • Momma’s pudding/Ranger pudding
  • Crackers/Patriotic sugar cookies
  • Spiced apples (or pears)
  • Nuts

Instructions:

Make either pudding as described above. Layer pudding with crumbled crackers/cookies, nuts, and spiced fruit. To make other diners jealous, do so in a hot beverage bag so they can see how awesome your dinner is.

9. Frosting/Ranger cake

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: David L. Nye

 

Ingredients:

  • Vanilla dairyshake
  • Additional flavoring (PB, electrolyte powder, coffee)
  • Sugar

Instructions:

Mix powder and flavoring with sparse amounts of water. Add water slowly until the mixture achieves the desired consistency. Spread on pound cake to create Ranger cake.

See? MREs can be amazing!

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The 13 funniest military memes of the week

Memes time! It’s like MRE time, except you laugh instead of getting constipated. Great Navy memes seem to be the hardest to find, so thanks go to Sh-t My LPO Says for numbers 7, 8, and 12.


1. Everyone is feeling the sting of budget cuts.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Maybe you could divert some cafe and cable TV money to the training budget.

2. They’re both used to being top dog …

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
… and neither knows that the civilians don’t care.

SEE ALSO: The inside joke names that soldiers have for different unit patches 

3. Has the Navy been spending the war years doing donuts in the oceans?

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Sort of makes the Navy seem more appealing.

 4. This also could factor into deciding which service branch to join.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Seriously? Come on, Navy and Air Force. This mud isn’t going to sleep in itself.

5. First sergeant will either join in or lose his mind in 3, 2, 1 …

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious

6. Maybe he’ll shoot the emergency azimuth properly and everything will be fine.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
You should probably make sure you have lots of water and your sleeping system, just in case.

7. Follow the letter of the rules, not the spirit.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Still, kind of ingenious.

8. Careful what you wish for.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Nah. The first thing you see is that fancy bulkhead or the underside of a nice sleeping rack.

9. In their defense, if it wasn’t mandatory, they wouldn’t wear that costume.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Side note, maybe do some mandatory training on the spelling of mandatory.

10. Artillery: not the King of the Battle because of their oratorial skills.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Really, wanting to kill everyone should be the threshold for bringing Marine infantry as well.

11. A pilot demonstrates his ability to shake.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
First dog in space: 1957. First Air Force pilot in space: 1961.

 12. At least he didn’t lose his shower shoes.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
This is why he showers fully clothed.

13. Ancient, timeless wisdom.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
The composite risk management process was the first appendix in the Art of War.

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8 Presidents who actually saw combat in a big way

American Presidents are civilians by design, some with little or no military experience at all – and are unlikely to ever serve in a combat role while in office (unless they’re in office while aliens attack Earth). In the voters’ minds, military experience always seems to be a plus when considering who would be the next Commander-In-Chief. It probably helps  when they actually take the office.


9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Like Ike.

But not every veteran POTUS saw action. Eisenhower was a great logistical planner but never served in a direct combat role. George Washington’s combat record as a junior officer is spotty, but his decision-making capacity, strategic vision, and ability to inspire those around him were infinitely more essential to his legacy and to the history of the United States.

And then there were those whose service would affect the outcomes of battles, of entire wars, and of the nation itself.  Here are 8 presidents who actually saw combat in a big way:

1. Andrew Jackson (War of 1812, Indian Wars)

No president ever held a grudge like Andrew Jackson. This was a guy who fought 103 duels before he was ever elected President. Yet he only killed one man (in a duel, I mean).

When he was 13, he served as a messenger for a militia unit in the Revolutionary War. When captured, he refused to shine the boots of a British officer, who then used his saber to give the Young Jackson the scars that would be on his face for the rest of his life. That sort of thing stays with a young man.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Historians still argue about his relationship with Native tribes. No, really. Look it up.

 

As a general, his most famous military success was at New Orleans during the War of 1812. The British threatened the city under Jackson’s command. Jackson pulled together Army regulars, militia, sailors, Marines, citizens, Choctaw warriors, and a band of pirates under Jean LaFitte, to a force of 4,700 men. They held off 11,000 British troops and the Royal Navy fleet in a battle that couldn’t be won.

His victory would (eventually) put Jackson in the White House, where Old Hickory would be the first US President anyone tried to assassinate. An unemployed house painter pulled two pistols on Jackson but they both misfired, allowing Jackson to beat the would-be killer with his cane.

2. William Henry Harrison (War of 1812, Indian Wars)

Harrison was the commander of American forces at Tippecanoe, architect of Shawnee leader Tecumseh’s defeat, and gave the United States its first victory against violent religious extremists. Not bad.

Tecumseh and his brother, a “prophet” called Tenskawata, began using visions and magic to incite Natives in the Indiana territory against American settlers. In 1810, Tecumseh met then-Governor Harrison with 400 warriors to demand the rescission of a treaty. When Harrison refused, Tecumseh ordered his warriors to kill Harrison, who responded by drawing his sword. A Potawatomi chief intervened and Tecumseh’s warriors left for the time being.

When the war came, Harrison assaulted the tribes repeatedly – most notably at Tippecanoe, where the magical forces were defeated by actual forces.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Guns over Magic. Every time. 

 

Tecumseh made a comeback in the War of 1812, backed up by the British. Harrison quickly captured Detroit (for better or worse) and then invaded Canada. He defeated the British and got some vengeance against Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames. Tecumseh was killed, the Americans burned a local settlement (built by pacifists probably to avoid getting their settlement burned down), and then went back to Detroit.

Harrison delivered the longest inaugural speech in American history without a coat on a cold, wet day, which resulted in the shortest presidency in American history.

3. Zachary Taylor (War of 1812, Indian Wars, Mexican-American War)

Taylor also cut his teeth fighting Tecumseh during the War of 1812, famously holding Fort Harrison with 20 men against 600 under the “inspiring” battle cry “Taylor Never Surrenders!” Turns out, he was pretty good at checking native tribes. He also fought them in the Black Hawk War and Seminole War.

By the time war with Mexico broke out, Taylor was a general and was widely known as “Old Rough and Ready.” He lost only 37 men against an army that vastly outnumbered his own, marched on the “impregnable” city of Monterrey, and captured it in four days. This wasn’t even his biggest victory.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
He also reportedly had a killer smile.

 

President Polk deliberately gave all but 4,650 of Taylor’s troops to General Winfield Scott to capture Veracruz in an effort to check Taylor’s growing popularity back home. Having learned of Taylor’s weakened army, Mexican General and dictator General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna sent his entire army of 15,000 to annihilate him.

As Taylor’s army turned the Battle of Buena Vista into a complete rout of the numerically superior Mexicans, his order “Double-shot your guns and give ’em hell” was used as a campaign slogan to catapult Taylor to the presidency.

He was so popular, he was elected as the Whig Party candidate despite disagreeing with almost every issue for which the party stood.

4. Franklin Pierce (Mexican-American War)

Franklin Pierce was so itchy to fight for his country, he turned down President Polk’s nomination as Attorney General. For this he gets a lot of respect. The first part of his military career, however, was less like Zachary Taylor’s and more like Ernest goes to Mexico.

He volunteered to join the Army as soon as war with Mexico broke out in 1846, despite the lack of New England regiments actually existing. When Congress authorized those regiments, he was appointed the Colonel in command and sent to Veracruz.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Seems easy to lead units that don’t exist.

 

When he arrived in Mexico, he was promoted to Brigadier General and linked up with General Winfield Scott at the Battle of Contreras. Everything was okay until his horse was startled, causing his saddle to jam his groin as hard as possible. The horse then fell into a crevice, pinning Pierce under it and forcing someone else to take command. He injured his knee the next day and fell so far behind his men, the battle was over by the time he caught up.

General Scott wasn’t going to let Pierce command his brigade at the Battle of Churubusco the next day, but he eventually did. But Pierce’s wounded leg hurt so much, he passed out on his horse in the middle of the battle.

5. Ulysses S. Grant (Mexican War, Civil War)

Grant famously became the general the Union needed to win the Civil War. He was forced to resign from the Army for drunkenness before the war. But when the South seceded, he raised a regiment of volunteers that he used to take the fight to the Confederates in the West.

Eventually, he commanded friend and General William T. Sherman to burn the South to the ground.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Not all alcoholics are lost causes.

 

He always showed this level of doggedness in his military career. During the Mexican War, he led cavalry charges despite only being a quartermaster. As a messenger, he braved the sniper-lined streets of Monterrey while hanging off the side of his horse, using it as a shield.

At the Battle of Chapultepec, he carried a howitzer to the top of a church steeple, a move essential to the final assault on Chapultepec Castle and to winning the war itself.

6. Rutherford B. Hayes (Civil War)

Not much is really said about Rutherford B. Hayes these days, but the former President has probably one of the most active war records of any Chief Executive. He was a Union officer during the Civil War, volunteering after Fort Sumter fell and serving in an active combat role until the Confederate surrender at Appomattox.

In September 1862, Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was advancing northward into Maryland. The Union Army under General George B. McClellan met the divided Confederates in a series of three pitched battles. At the head of the lead regiment was Lieutenant Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes.

As Hayes’ 23d Ohio charged an entrenched Confederate position, a bullet tore through his arm, shattering the bone. After tying a handkerchief tourniquet around it (and presumably rubbing some dirt on it), he continued the attack.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Also the originator of the american icy stare.

 

While most Civil War veterans would lose an arm to such an injury, Hayes probably didn’t get an infection because gangrene was afraid of him. Instead, he spent the next two years skirmishing with Confederate forces in Tennessee and Virginia.

He had his horse shot from under him Battle of Kernstown, where he was then shot in the shoulder. He was also struck in the head by a spent round at Cedar Creek in 1864, the year he was promoted to Brigadier General and Brevet Major General.

He was elected to the Presidency by sheer force of will in 1876, despite not winning a majority of electoral or popular votes.

7. Theodore Roosevelt (Spanish-American War)

Colonel Roosevelt was an adventurer, explorer, scholar, author, historian, boxer, cowboy, big game hunter, and elected official. Teddy, as he hated being called, was also fearless and nearly indestructible even before he went to war.

Unfortunately for Spain, when the USS Maine was sunk in Havana harbor, Roosevelt resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to go and liberate Cuba. He and Colonel Leonard Wood raised the 1st Volunteer Cavalry Regiment – known to this day as the “Rough Riders.”

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Speak softly and carry a big stick. Use it once in Cuba and let everyone else cower.

 

They distinguished themselves at the Battle of San Juan Hill. During the fight for nearby Kettle Hill, he lead the charge as the only man on horseback. Roosevelt moved from position to position as his men advanced up the hill, over open ground, against an entrenched enemy. When his horse was stopped by barbed wire, he walked the rest of the way.

The Americans reached the top of the hill fighting hand-to-hand to dislodge the Spaniards. In Spain’s defense, there’s no shame in getting dropped by a punch the face from Teddy Roosevelt.

Roosevelt would be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for that action (he is still the only President with one), blocked at the time for political reasons – the most likely being that he was Theodore Roosevelt and everyone else was not.

8. Harry S. Truman (World War I)

Truman was initially denied enlisting into the Missouri National Guard because of poor eyesight – well past the standard for legal blindness.  Not one to let not being able to see keep him from killing Germans, he secretly memorized an eye chart and passed the vision test. He was even elected to be the lieutenant of his unit.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
I wonder if the other potential Lt. was named Dewey.

By the time he arrived in France, he was the captain of an artillery company. He was unpopular at first… until his unit was overrun by the Germans in the Vosges Mountains. His men started to break and run but Truman let rip a string of profanity so awful and venomous his men were actually more afraid of him than the Germans – and they stayed to fight.

His time in the mud didn’t stop there. At the start of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in 1918, Captain Truman observed German artillery setting up to attack a unit out of his area of responsibility. An animal lover, Truman waited until the Germans moved their horses before lighting them up.

Articles

13 funniest military memes for the week of Aug. 11

Don’t worry, destroying North Korea will wait long enough for you to take a bathroom and memes break. Here are 13 of the funniest military memes floating around, here just in time to help you relieve yourself before the Super Bowl of war:


13. This leader started as a slave racing pods across the desert. Now he’s here (via Air Force amn/nco/snco).

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
We can all learn something from him.

12. It opens the cans; it pours the cans. Don’t make this complicated, sailors (via Shit my LPO says).

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
It’s not your job to decide what it and is not a green bean.

ALSO SEE: Russia just deployed the ‘Terminator’ to Syria, and you’ll be shocked to see what it can do

11. Gonna need more beers before PT (via Decelerate Your Life).

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
When it takes about half a case to make it to formation, it’s time to get out.

10. Larger casualty radius but you’ve got to throw a lot more of them for 360 degrees of effects (via Air Force amn/nco/snco).

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
The Army might be waiting another couple of years for that Beretta replacement.

9. Most uncomfortable way to realize what your brother has been doing in the garage all night (via Weapons of Meme Destruction).

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
But hey, at least you now know.

8. Correction: You got them ON one truck (via Air Force Nation).

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Good luck at your next duty station. Maybe leave some stuff at the lending closet when you have to PCS again.

7. When the young guys realize why the veterans still buy hard copies of their magazines:

(via The Salty Soldier)

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Hope you kept the driftwood, Morty.

6. Don’t care how long the contract is or how long the school is, create a dragon pilot MOS and I’m there (via U.S Army W.T.F! moments).

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
And if Trump makes it happen, #TrumpDaenarys2024.

5. Well, at least the weak links have been identified, now (via Coast Guard Memes).

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Sort of impressed if he can jump rope in those boots for very long, though.

4. The humvee is uncomfortable, but it’s boats that really hate this game (via Air Force Nation).

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
“Don’t worry, we’ll get you there saf—” “CUT SLING LOAD!”

3. So, if I just stay in this toxic environment for 15 more years, I can be one voice asking it to be less evil, please?

(via Why I’m Not Re-enlisting)

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Or I can work at a website? Making memes jokes on Fridays and then playing video games all weekend?

2. #ThatDD214Life (via Decelerate Your Life)

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
#SquadGoals

1. “Oh, really, first sergeant? In the commander’s humvee, you say?”

(via Weapons of Meme Destruction)

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious

Articles

13 funniest military memes for the week of June 16

Military memes are like digital morale, and we have collected the most potent 13 from this week for your pleasure.


1. Definitely going to get made fun of on the ship for that one (via Sh-t my LPO says).

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Gonna be especially tough when you get sent to different ships.

2. The Army does not know how to party (via ASMDSS).

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Soldiers do, but not the Army.

ALSO SEE: The US Navy might pull these old combat ships out of mothballs

3. In the end, only the DD-214 remains.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
At least you get to cover your truck in Eagles, Globes, and Anchors.

4. This is why socialized pay in the military is so weird:

(via Coast Guard Memes)

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Remember, future enlistees, E3 pay is E3 pay is E3 pay.

5. All this for a Camaro (via Team Non-Rec).

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
A Camaro you can’t even drive when you’re stuck out at sea.

6. Double points when they want to talk about morale (via Why I’m Not Re-enlisting).

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious

7. “Keep on firing, buddy. I’m behind cover and my guardian angel is 3… 2… 1…” (via Weapons of Meme Destruction)

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
BOOM!

8. Peace. Out. (Via Lost in the Sauce)

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Find someone else to fight your war. I’m headed to college and stuff.

9. Turns out, the camouflage works better than anyone predicted (via Sh-t my LPO says).

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
This guy won the dirtbag, shammer, and hide and seek championships for this year. Triple crown!

10. All about the Benjamins, baby (via The Salty Soldier).

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
The answer is no. Thanks for the money.

11. Chiefs will avoid it at all costs (via Decelerate Your Life).

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
They’ll go so far as swim PT just to avoid it.

12. Just remember to bring something to use in exchange (via Decelerate Your Life).

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
The supply bubbas know how to get what’s theirs.

13. He can’t help you now, staff sergeant (via Why I’m Not Re-enlisting).

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
College and the civilian job market don’t look so scary right before another NTC rotation.

Articles

The 7 weirdest nuclear weapons ever developed

Nuclear weapons are in their own class, completely separate from every other kind of weapon in the arsenal. But, not all nuclear weapons are created equal. Here are the weirdest ones that saw service in the U.S. military.


1. Jeep-mounted recoilless rifle: the Davy-Crockett (1956)

The Davy Crockett had a 10 or 20-ton yield, depending on the type. There were two launchers for the Crockett, one of which would be mounted on Jeeps. Crocketts would be deployed with mortar platoons who would aim the weapons into Soviet troop and tank concentrations, poisoning the Russians with extreme levels of radiation within a quarter-mile radius of the point of impact.

2. Air-to-Air Missiles: AIR-2 Genie (1957) and AIM-26 Falcon (1961)

Before effective surface-to-air missiles or guided air-to-air missiles, America was looking for a way to shoot down large formations of enemy planes.

One idea was to fire an unguided air-to-air nuclear missile. Enter the AIR-2 Genie. Fielded in 1957, it was capable of being fired from an American fighter and the 1.5-kiloton blast was lethal to 300 meters. To prove to the American public that the missile could be safely detonated over American cities, a single Genie missile was detonated as five Air Force officers stood below it.

Four years later, a guided missile entered service. The AIM-26 was capable of a 250-ton nuclear explosion and chased its target using semi-active radar.

3. Nuclear torpedo: Mark 45 anti-submarine torpedo (1963)

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Cliff, Wikimedia Commons

Designed to kill enemy subs, the Mark 45 was guided by wire. Triggering the 11-kiloton detonation required a command from the firing sub. The nearly 19-foot torpedo had a range of 5 to 8 miles.

4. Rockets: UUM-44 SUBROC (1963)

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The UUM-44 was a submarine-launched rocket that would exit a sub, ignite its rocket engine, leave the water and fly to a predetermined point. There, the rocket would separate and the warhead would fall into the water as a depth charge, detonating at a programmed depth and killing enemy subs. With its 5-kiloton nuclear warhead, the SUBROC wasn’t really worried with direct hits.

5. Land mine: atomic demolition munitions (1964)

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: DoD

Though commonly referred to as nuclear land mines, ADMs were really designed as area denial weapons where the bombs would be detonated ahead of advancing troops, triggering rockslides and poisoning the environment. Special versions could also be dropped behind enemy lines with two-man teams who would use the bombs to destroy ports, power plants, or communications hubs. Since they could be remotely detonated, the ADMs could be used as mines as long as a human stayed within the remote’s range and waited for the advancing enemy. They had a nuclear yield between .5 and 15 kilotons.

6. Artillery: M65 Atomic Cannon (1953) and M198 (1963)

There were a variety of nuclear artillery shells in the U.S. arsenal (China, India, and Pakistan still have them), most of them arrived in the field between 1953 and 1963. Initial models were like the M65 in the video, large-caliber rounds with large warheads delivering 15-20 kilotons of boom. The nuclear punch got smaller as smaller rounds were developed, ending with a 155mm round that delivered 72-ton yield.

7. Cryogenically-cooled bombs: Mark 16 (1954)

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Mark 16 only served in an emergency capacity from January 1954 to April 1954. Based on the designs of the first thermonuclear bomb ever fired, the Ivy Mike, the bombs contained deuterium that had to be constantly cooled to below -238 Fahrenheit. They delivered 6-8 megatons (a megaton is 1,000 kilotons) of destruction, but were rendered obsolete by the successful testing of solid fuel thermonuclear bombs that didn’t require cooling.

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7 movies every sailor needs to watch

There are movies that fizzle, and then there are movies that last for generations.


At any given moment on any given ship, one of these movies is guaranteed to be on rotation. They’re not only relatable, but timeless too. For example, “Cinderella Liberty” was made in the 1970s and yet a variation of the plot still happens to sailors in today’s Navy. And, when sailors watch “Master and Commander” they realize that the Navy hasn’t changed much since the 1800s.

Then, there are movies like “Top Gun” and “Officer and a Gentleman” that motivated a generation of sailors to join the service. “Top Gun” debuted in 1986 and until this day you can hear the echoes of aviators throughout the ship referring to each other as Maverick and Goose (our resident ex-naval aviator Ward Carroll disagrees. We’re guessing he’s a huge “Behind Enemy Lines” fan instead).

Another reason for the longevity of these films is because sailors relate to different characters at different stages of their careers. Early on they see themselves as Mayo in “Officer and a Gentleman” and years later they find themselves relating to Lt. Cmdr. Ron Hunter in “Crimson Tide.”

Here’s our list of movies movies every sailor needs to watch. Got any more? Add them to the comments.

1. The Sand Pebbles — 1966

This Navy engineer is transferred to a new ship in a foreign land where tensions are high with the United States. He doesn’t get along with the shipmates or the skipper and to make matters worse, he gets implicated in an incident that could cause full out war. Every sailor will relate to Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Holman played by Steve McQueen at some point in their career.

 

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: 20th Century Fox

 

2. The Hunt For Red October — 1990

Set during the Cold War, the USSR’s best submarine captain and crew plan to defect to the United States without triggering full out war. After watching this movie, you’ll realize that the USSR Navy isn’t very different from the U.S. Navy.

 

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Paramount Pictures

 

3. Top Gun — 1986

Dogfights, explosions, rivalries, and love, this movie was the beginning for a lot of aviators. A look at Maverick and you’ll understand what a lot of Navy pilots think of themselves.

 

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Paramount Pictures

 

 

4. Crimson Tide — 1995

On one hand you have a trigger-happy skipper ready to unleash his nukes onto Russia and on the other you have a subordinate staging a mutiny. It’s a sailor’s fantasy played out.

 

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Hollywood Pictures

 

5. Officer and a Gentleman — 1982

This story plays out every day in the military. It’s about a guy wanting to turn his life around by joining the Navy. Sound familiar?

 

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Paramount Pictures

 

6. Master and Commander — 2003

Although this film is recent compared to the others, it made our list for its timelessness. With phrases such as port side, starboard, head, and others, sailors quickly realize that if they were to be transported to the 1800s that they would still make good sailors.

 

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

7. Cinderella Liberty — 1973

A quick read of the captions and you could probably think of a sailor or two that fit the profile.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Articles

11 Photos that show why the SR-71 ‘Blackbird’ was all kinds of amazing

When it comes to curb appeal, few airplanes in history can match the look of the SR-71 “Blackbird.” And nothing in the Air Force’s inventory — past or present — can beat its signature performance characteristics. Here are 11 photos that show why the Blackbird remains the standard of aviation cool:


The SR-71 “Blackbird” was a high-speed, high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft developed by Lockheed’s legendary “Skunk Works” team in the 1960s.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

The Blackbird was capable of speeds exceeding Mach 3.0. The fuselage was designed to expand at high speeds, which caused the airplane to leak fuel on the ground because the panels fit very loosely when jet was parked.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

The Blackbird’s service ceiling (max altitude) was 85,000 feet, which forced crews to wear pressure suits and astronaut-type helmets.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
SR-71 pilot Col. ‘Buz’ Carpenter. (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

SR-71s were manned by two aviators: a pilot and a Reconnaissance Systems Officer who monitored surveillance systems from the rear cockpit.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

Only 32 Blackbirds were manufactured, and they were in service from 1964-1998. Despite over 4,000 combat sorties, none of the planes were lost due to enemy fire. However, 12 of them were destroyed in mishaps.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
(Photo: Lockheed Martin)

Claustrophobic types need not apply. The narrow space between canopy rails didn’t give crews much room to move around. The outer windscreen of the cockpit was made of quartz and was fused ultrasonically to the titanium frame. The temperature of the exterior of the windscreen reached 600 °F during a mission.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Pilot mans the brakes as the SR-71 is towed out of the hangar. (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

Nothing ‘glass’ about this cockpit. The SR-71 presented the pilot with a dizzying array of steam gauges and switches. And visibility out the front wasn’t the greatest.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

Although not technically a stealth aircraft, the SR-71 was hard for enemy SAM systems to spot because it was designed with a low radar cross section in mind.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

Because of its high approach speed the Blackbird used a drag chute to slow down on the runway after touchdown.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

Aerial refueling capability allowed the SR-71 to perform long-range, high endurance missions.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
SR-71 refueling from a KC-135. (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

The Blackbird still holds the record for fastest air-breathing manned aircraft (a record it broke in 1976). Although the SR-71 is no longer in service, the legend lives on.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

Articles

5 things we’d love to do with the Army’s surplus battleship ammo

Popular Mechanics dug this gem out of the list of contract requests from a government website this week: The U.S. Army is soliciting a contract for someone to destroy 15,595 naval artillery rounds originally designed for the 16-inch guns of massive ships like the USS Iowa.


The Army has maintained the shells since the Navy retired the massive battleships that fired them, but these things can’t be safely stored forever and the military needs them gone.

Hiring a responsible contractor with a proven track record is the best way to do this, but WATM came up with these 5 more entertaining ideas:

1. Host history’s best Independence Day party

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
It would look like this, but near a beach while you and your mildly intoxicated buddies got to watch from the shore. (Photo: U.S. Navy PH1 Terry Cosgrove)

So, the Army is looking for solutions in October, which is exactly the right month to start planning the perfect party for July 4th. Especially if the plans involve a few thousand 16-inch artillery shells. Pretty sure those require permits or something. Be sure to tell the permit office that the fireworks will explode over the water or an open, uninhabited area. And that they’re pretty lethal loud.

2. Blowing up a mountain, like in Iron Man

Remember that scene where Tony Stark is showing off the Jericho missile and he blows up an entire mountain range? Pretty sure everyone reading this would pay at least $15 to see a mountain disappear. Call me Army. We could turn a profit on this.

3. Play a real life game of battleship

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
I would tune into this show for literally every episode. (Meme: courtesy Decelerate Your Life)

The Navy is already getting rid of some old ships, and the Army has found itself with way too many naval artillery shells, meaning this is the perfect time to hold a full-sized game of battleship. Pretty sure the TV ratings could pay for the cost of towing the ships into position.

4. Give drill sergeants really accurate artillery simulators

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
That smoke in the back is coming from an artillery simulator. That’s not realistic enough training for our fighting men and women. (Photo: U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. David J. Overson)

Right now, drill sergeants and other military trainers use little artillery simulators that make a loud whining noise and then a sharp pop to teach recruits to quickly react to incoming indirect fire. They’re great, but it really ignores that sphincter-tightening boom that comes with real incoming fire.

Now imagine that drill sergeants threw the artillery simulator and then were able to remotely detonate an actual, buried battleship shell 100 yards away. Right? No one gets hurt, but it would teach those kids to get their heads down pretty quick.

5. Create claymore mines that shoot grenades

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
This is what it looks like with 1.5 pounds of C4. Someone has to try this with battleship shells and their little grenade submunitions. (Photo: U.S. Army Capt. Adan Cazarez)

Stick with me here. Claymore mines are brutally effective. A C-4 charge sends 700 steel balls flying in an arc at enemies. But the Army currently needs to get rid of 835 warheads that contain grenade submunitions and a whole bunch of other warheads filled with Explosive D.

So, how about we cut the grenades out of the submunition warheads, and duct tape them in rows around the Explosive D warheads? Sure, it would probably break a few treaties to use them in war, but it’s perfectly legal for a government to create an awesome piece of performance art on a military range. Probably.

(h/t Doctrine Man and Popular Mechanics)

Articles

4 rare things you learn about yourself serving as a Corpsman

Everyone has a different reason why they decided to join the military. Some are looking to prove themselves, while others were looking for a way out of an unsatisfying home life — or both.


After speaking with a local recruiter who probably made every job in the book sound awesome, you chose the rate of a Hospital Corpsman because it was the right move for you.

Related: 5 things you learned about America while being deployed overseas

After five long contracted years of service, you learned a thing or two about yourself. Here are a few things that may have made your list.

1. Mental strength

Most people rarely tap into their full potential and allow their minds to convince their bodies that they can’t succeed. The truth is when sh*t hits the fan and bullets are flying, you’ll quickly learn if you have what it takes to break free from your mental limitations.

Mind over matter. (Images via Giphy)

2. Gut check

Many sailors who graduate Corps school are highly motivated to put their newly learned knowledge to use and pursue a medical career after the military. Fast forward to the middle of a combat deployment, and many wonder if practicing medicine was the right choice for them. Many young minds grow fatigued and change career paths after taking care of several of their dying brothers.

It’s not for everyone.

You get the point. (Image via Giphy)

3. You matured quickly

The vast majority of the lower enlisted are barely old enough to drink when they shipped out to the front lines. Witnessing the dramatic action that takes place on deployment can make the most immature 20-year-old feel weathered, and it changes the way they see the world.

Heading off to war will make you grow up real fast. (Images via Giphy)

Also Read: 7 life lessons we learned from watching ‘Full Metal Jacket’

 4. Am I tough enough?

We’d all like to think we’re the bravest and strongest of the bunch, but being tough isn’t about how much you can bench. Instead, being tough is simply about not ever giving up or tossing in the towel.

If Mary-Kate and Ashley can be tough, then so can you. (Images via Giphy)Can you think of any others? Comment below.

Articles

11 of the 21 laws for assassins

When author Robert B. Baer asked his boss at the CIA for the definition of assassination his boss replied, “It’s a bullet with a man’s name on it.” Baer wasn’t sure what that meant so he started to research the topic beyond what he already had experienced around it in his role at the CIA. The end of that process became his insightful and provocative new book, The Perfect Kill, in which he outlines 21 laws for assassins. Here are 11 of them:


Law #1: THE BASTARD HAS TO DESERVE IT

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Painting of Caesar’s assassination by Vincenzo Camuccini, 1798.

“The victim must be a dire threat to your existence, in effect giving you license to murder him. The act can never be about revenge, personal grievance, ownership, or status.”

Law #2: MAKE IT COUNT

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
(Photo: Lens Young Dimashqi)

“Power is the usurpation of power, and assassination its ultimate usurpation. The act is designed to alter the calculus of power in your favor. If it won’t, don’t do it.”

Law #5: ALWAYS HAVE A BACKUP FOR EVERYTHING

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious

“Count on the most important pieces of a plan failing at exactly the wrong moment. Double up on everything — two set of eyes, two squeezes of the trigger, double-prime charges, two traitors in the enemy’s camp.”

Law # 7: RENT THE GUN, BUY THE BULLET

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious

“Just as there are animals that let other animals do their killing for them — vultures and hyenas — employ a trusted proxy when one’s available.”

Law #8: VET YOUR PROXIES IN BLOOD

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
The assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat on October 6, 1981.

“Assassination is the most sophisticated and delicate form of warfare, only to be entrusted to the battle-hardened and those who’ve already made your enemy bleed.”

Law #9: DON’T SHOOT EVERYONE IN THE ROOM

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
President Lincoln shot by actor John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater.

“Exercise violence with vigilant precision and care. Grievances are incarnated in a man rather than in a tribe, nation, or civilization. Blindly and stupidly lashing out is the quickest way to forfeit power.”

Law #15: DON’T MISS

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
British sniper team in action in Afghanistan.

“It’s better not to try rather than to try and miss. A failed attempt gives the victim an aura of invincibility, augmenting his power while diminishing yours. Like any business, reputation is everything.”

Law #16: IF YOU CAN’T CONTROL THE KILL, CONTROL THE AFTERMATH

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Jack Ruby shoots Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas on November 24, 1963.

“A good, thorough cleanup is what really scares the shit out of people.”

Law #17: HE WHO LAUGHS LAST SHOOTS FIRST

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Gavrilo Princip shoots Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914, the act that torched off World War I.

“You’re the enemy within, which mean there’s never a moment they’re not trying to hunt you down to exterminate you. Hit before it’s too late.”

Law # 19: ALWAYS HAVE AN ENCORE IN YOUR POCKET

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious

“Power is the ability to hurt something over and over again. One-offs get you nothing or less than nothing.”

Law #21: GET TO IT QUICKLY

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Predator firing Hellfire missile. (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

“Don’t wait until the enemy is too deeply ensconced in power or too inured to violence before acting. He’ll easily shrug off the act and then come after you with a meat cleaver.”

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious

For the rest of Robert B. Baer’s 21 laws for assassins, buy his amazing book here.

Lists

15 awesome photos of what mountain warfare looks like

Fighting at sea level is tough, but it doesn’t get any easier thousands of feet up a mountain. The military prepares for fights at altitude by training extensively in challenging weather and terrain. Here are 16 photos that show what it’s like.


1. Narrow passes of ice-covered rocks

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: US Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Sarah Mattison

2. Getting down the mountain is faster – but more dangerous – than climbing up.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: US Marine Corp Cpl. Drew Tech

3. Helicopters can make a big difference when they’re available.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: US Army National Guard Master Sgt. Paul Wade

4. For getting across the soft snow, skis and snowshoes are handy.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: US Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Suzanna Lapi

5. Sleds can carry extra gear that won’t fit in a pack.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: US Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Sergio Jimenez

6. The Marines train on both riding horses and mules, and use them as pack animals.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: US Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler

READ MORE: Military working bees and other animals you didn’t know serve in the US Military

7. When the snow is melted, standard boots can get the job done.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: US Marine Corps Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos

8. But again, a controlled fall is the easiest way to travel.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious

9. Traveling across the rock face takes skill and trust in the equipment.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: US Marine Corps Sgt. Ben J. Flores

10. Getting around the mountain isn’t enough. Troops have to fight up there.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: US Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Nicholas Lienemann

11. The terrain makes it hard for troops to maneuver on well-placed snipers, so they can be especially effective.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Sarah Anderson

12. Working as a team is key in the mountains.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: US Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Sarah Mattison

13. The “Red Hats,” trainers who specialize in mountain operations, know to move as a group.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Wikipedia

14. Even on the ropes, it’s best if the team can stay together.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Alex P. Creasia

15. You get cool points for taking photos on top of a mountain, but you would get more if you removed the blank adapters first.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: US Air Force Master Sgt. David J. Loeffler

NOW: 21 photos showing the life of an elite US Army Ranger

OR: Project goes into the woods with ‘off the grid’ veterans

Lists

16 famous brands that started off as products for the military

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Wikimedia Commons


Many of the world’s most famous brands have a military heritage.

Some brands proudly display their backgrounds in their logos, websites and marketing, while others would rather consign their early beginnings to the history books.

Either way, a surprising amount of brands started off by supplying products to the armed forces or discovered the products that made them famous during times of conflict.

1. The original Jeeps went into production in 1941, purpose-built for the military. Willys MB Jeeps became the most commonly-used 4-wheel drive vehicles of the US army during World War II.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

2. Mars invented the recipe for MMs during the Spanish Civil War, when Forrest Mars Sr. saw soldiers eating pieces of chocolate covered in a candy coating, which prevented them from melting in the sun. He was on his visit behind the lines with a member of the Rowntree family, which went on to make Smarties — a candy very similar to MMs — sold outside of the US.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

3. Vodafone began its life in the 1980s as a subsidiary of Racal Electronics, the UK’s largest military radio technology producer at the time. Racal was also once the third-largest British electronics company. Here’s Vodafone’s first mobile phone, the Mobira Transportable, which weighed 11 pounds.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Vodaphone

4. Aquascutum was founded in 1851. British army officers wore its water-repellent grey raincoats during the Crimean War to help withstand the rain and mud in the Russian trenches (the brand’s name is derived from Latin words “aqua,” which means water, and “scutum,” which translates as shield.) And, a few decades later, here’s former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill wearing one of its classic trench coats.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Aquascutum

5. Probably the best-recognized sunglasses in the world, the Ray-Ban Aviator. Bausch Lomb developed the style after being asked by the US Army Air Corps Lieutenant General to create sunglasses that would reduce the nausea and headaches pilots flying at high altitudes were experiencing. The original prototype was created in 1936 and had green lenses, which served as anti-glare without obscuring pilots’ vision.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Ray-Ban

6. Kotex sanitary pads actually started out as medical gauze to treat soldiers during World War I. Army nurses then adapted the wadding for menstrual purposes. In 1920, Kotex became Kimberly-Clark’s first consumer product.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

7. Super glue was first discovered in 1942 when a team of scientists, who were looking for materials to make clear plastic gun sights for the war, came across a material that stuck to any other material it contacted. American researchers rejected cyanoacrylates (the chemical name for glue) because it was too sticky. But in 1951, they were rediscovered by researchers at Eastman Kodak. Super Glue began being sold as a commercial product in 1958.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: The Original Super Glue

8. Victorinox originated in 1864 from a knife cutler’s workshop Ibach-Schqyz, Switzerland. Founder Karl Elsener I went on to become the first major supplier of soldiers’ knives to the Swiss Army. Here’s one of the original designs.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Victorinox Swiss Army

9. Silly Putty was an accidental creation. It was invented in the 1940s by an engineer looking to create a synthetic rubber. During World War II, rubber was rationed in the US and the government asked companies to attempt to make an alternative in order to speed up wartime productive efforts. A practical use for the putty was never really found but, after a marketer placed a batch of the putty into little plastic eggs and began selling them for a $1, it became a world-renowned toy.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Facebook

10. Hugo Boss was a member of the Nazi Party and in 1928 became an official supplier of uniforms organizations within the National Socialist party, including the Hitler Youth, Sturmabteilung (paramilitary), and the SS.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

11. Fanta was first invented due to a trade embargo on importing Coca-Cola syrup into Nazi Germany during World War II. The then-head of Coca-Cola Deutschland decided to create a new drink made up ingredients actually available in the country at the time, such as whey and pomace. The result was Fanta, which comes from the German word “Fantasie.” Coca-Cola relaunched Fanta worldwide in 1955.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Youtube

12. Banana Republic was founded by husband and wife team Mel and Patricia Ziegler in 1978, who began by re-purposing and selling vintage military surplus clothing and safari wear. The clothing retailer later expended to its own original lines and was acquired by Gap in 1983. Here is the very first Banana Republic in Mill Valley, California.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Banana Republic

13. Porsche created the Volkswagen Beetle after Adolf Hitler expressed demand for a mass-market, sturdy, but cheap vehicle for Germany’s newly established road network. The first Beetle was manufactured in 1938. Here’s a 1963 Beetle, made famous by the movie “Herbie.”

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

14. Motorola originally started out as a battery-maker called Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. But in 1940 it developed the Handie-Talkie SCR536 portable two-way radio, which became a World War II icon.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Motorola

15. The founders of Adidas and Puma were two brothers (Adi and Rudolf) who were partners at the Dassler Brothers Sport Shoe company in the 1920s and even supplied shoes to gold medal-winning African-American athlete Jesse Owens during the 1936 Olympics. But a fierce rivalry grew between them, which came to a head during World War II when the Allies bombed Herzogenaurach. Adi is reported to have exclaimed: “The dirty bastards are back again,” as he and his wife climbed into a bomb shelter already occupied by Rudi and his wife. Rudi thought it was directed at him, and as their conflict escalated, the two split the company in 1945. Adi named his new company Adidas, and Rudi called his Puma.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Wikipedia

16. Duct Tape was first created by Johnson Johnson during World War II, where soldiers had a need for strong, flexible, waterproof tape that could repair their machinery, equipment, and ammunition. It was nicknamed “Duck Tape” by soldiers, due to its duck cloth backing.

9 Recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious
Photo: Wikimedia/Evan Amos

 

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