21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon - We Are The Mighty
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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.

 

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

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

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

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

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

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Photo: Marine Corps Cpl. Tia Dufour

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

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Photo: Marine Corps Cpl. Octavia Davis

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Photo: Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Reina Barnett

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Photo: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rodion Zabolotniy

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Photo: Marine Corps Cpl. Dengrier Baez

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Photo: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Samantha Draughon

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Photo: Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Oscar L Olive IV

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Photo: Marine Corps Sgt. Chris Stone

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Photo: Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Ezekiel Kitandwe

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Photo: Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Oscar L Olive IV

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Photo: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Samantha Draughon

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Photo: Marine Corps Cpl. Carolyn Pichardo

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Photo: Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Ezekiel Kitandwe

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Photo: Marine Corps Cpl. Sarah Fiocco

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Photo: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jacqueline Smith

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

Lists

The 8 most famous US military recruiting posters of World War II

On May 8, 1945, the Allies accepted Germany’s unconditional surrender, putting an end to six years of war in Europe. Known as V-E Day, or Victory in Europe, the date was celebrated throughout the world. (V-J Day wouldn’t come until Sep. 2) Now 70 years later, we still remember and celebrate the incredible bravery, sacrifice, and resolve of the Allied forces. But we should also remember what persuaded many of those soldiers to enlist in the first place: recruiting posters.


Posters were ubiquitous during the era, whether they were asking men and women to join the Army, buy war bonds, or to be careful about talking about troop movements. We rounded up some of the most famous recruiting posters here.

1. Perhaps the most famous poster ever was of “Uncle Sam” and while it was used extensively during World War II, it actually first came out in 1917.

 

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

 

2. But Sam showed up in World War II-specific recruiting efforts as well, like this one below from 1944. And the original poster can still often be seen at modern recruitment offices.

 

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

3. In the wake of Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, many answered the call to “Avenge Pearl Harbor.”

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

4. While the era’s posters were not very politically correct, they were effective. It’s worth noting however, that many soldiers were drafted.

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

5. This poster recruited men to join the “Flying Leathernecks.”

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

6. While this one pushed for Navy enlistments. The war in the Pacific during World War II was the largest naval conflict in history, according to CombinedFleet.com.

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

7. This popular poster of a U.S. Marine “ready” from 1942 was so iconic, an updated version of a Marine with the tagline of “still ready” was made in the Post-9/11 era.

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

 

8. And for those on the home front, the “Rosie the Riveter” poster became well-known for motivating women to take over factory jobs men had left behind to fight in the war.

 

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

Lists

10 Photos That Capture The Military Experience

A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, so here are 10,000 words (um, 10 pictures) from DoD and The Blaze that capture a wide range of what the military experience is all about:


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

Sgt. 1st Class Eric Lloyd, grades the sit-up event of an Army Physical Fitness Test during early-morning rain at Fort Bragg, N.C.

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

Air assault. Company A, 101st Division Special Troop Battalion Jowlzak Valley, Parwan province.

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

Pfc. Kevin March kneels atop a cliff overlooking the Arghandab River Valley as he pulls security for his squad.

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

Medical evacuation training in harsh weather conditions at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Butlerville, Ind.

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

US Troops help distribute winter supplies in Safidar Village, Afghanistan.

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

Enjoying the sunset after a long day of conducting fire missions at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California.

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

An infantryman with Company C, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, Task Force Ironman, from Iowa Falls, Iowa, looks down on a spot in Tupac, Afghanistan

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

CH-47D Chinook helicopter flying from Kabul to Jalalabad, Afghanistan

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

25th Infantry Division, currently deployed to the U.S. Army’s National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., fire the M777 A2 Howitzer.

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

A Soldier and his military working dog jump off the ramp of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment during water training over the Gulf of Mexico.

Articles

The top 5 things to see at the US Air Force Museum

When planning their annual vacations, most American families don’t normally top their lists with Dayton, Ohio. While there are probably some sights to see in Dayton, arguably the most enticing reason to visit is the National Museum of the United States Air Force.


With notable examples of aircraft from before powered flight to the present day, the museum also includes slices of history from the U.S. and its Air Force. Watching the Avengers in IMAX is cool, but so is flying a fighter mission or buzzing through the skies on D-Day.

The exhibits aren’t limited to aircraft and wars. The museum documents air history from the balloons of the Civil War to the first powered flights (the Wright Brothers were bicycle mechanics from Dayton). It also takes visitors through exhibits on the Holocaust all the way through Cold War tensions and its nuclear armaments, as well as a tribute to Bob Hope and his dedication to the USO.

You can’t ride the bombs, though. They’ll ask you not to do that.

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

It was terribly difficult to narrow this list to a few items, considering the extensive Air Force and U.S. Military history contained here. Notable runners-up include a very visual walkthrough of Checkpoint Charlie, an explanation of POW tapping codes in the Hanoi Hilton, a graphic description of MiG Alley during the Korean War, a Boeing Bird of Prey, and an F-22 Raptor.

1. The First Presidential Jet

Though the President’s plane began its designation as Air Force One during the Eisenhower era, the first jet aircraft to fly with the distinctive blue and white pattern as we know it today was President Kennedy’s Special Airlift Mission (SAM) 26000. It was the first aircraft specially designed for the President of the United States. President Johnson was sworn in as President on it. It was also the plane that flew President Kennedy’s body back to Washington after his assassination in Dallas and the plane that flew Nixon to China.

2. An SR-71 Blackbird

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

You might wonder why the Air Force fly this plane anymore. My guess is the Blackbird just wasn’t fair to America’s enemies, so we stepped back a little bit. It was the first stealth aircraft, and paved the way for later stealth technology. It holds the record for fast aircraft not destined for orbit and from 1966 to 1998, it was the Department of Defense’s go-to for high altitude reconnaissance. The SR-71 was capable of Mach 3 speeds and was never lost in combat because the Blackbird would just fly faster than any missile launched at it. Peace out.

3. Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. All of them. 

Ok not ALL of them, but one each of many kinds. Officially called The Missile Space Gallery, it houses Thor missiles, Titan I and II, Minuteman, Peacekeepers and Jupiter missiles. It also contains Mercury and Gemini spacecraft as well as the command module from Apollo 15, the fourth mission to land on the moon. You can see the missiles from the ground or go on a raised platform and see them from the nose cones — the last thing Nikita Khrushchev would have seen if Curtis LeMay had his way.

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Missile Space Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force (U.S. Air Force photo)

4. The Doolittle Raiders’ Toast

Eighty small silver goblets commemorate the 80 men who joined together to blacken Japan’s eye after the sucker punch at Pearl Harbor in 1941. In less than six months after the sneak attack, 16 B-25 Medium Range Bombers took off from aircraft carriers (a then-unheard of feat) to bomb Tokyo undetected, without fighter escort. The attack had little military value beyond boosting U.S. morale and hurting Japanese morale, but it set the tone for the war in the Pacific as an all-out street fight.

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

The surviving raiders met annually on Doolittle’s birthday and in 1959, were presented by the city of Tucson with the silver goblets, each engraved twice with the name of a Raider. The case they’re in was built by Richard E. “Dick” Cole, Doolittle’s copilot during the 1942 raid. At every Raiders’ Ceremony, the surviving Raiders toast the deceased and then turn the recently deceased goblet’s upside down, where the engraved name can be read that way. When there are only two left, the two will share the final toast.

5. The Beginnings of an Iraq War Exhibit

I don’t know about how any other post-9/11 veterans feel about seeing themselves in museums. For me, museums have traditionally held stories from faraway places and some very old things. So it’s a strange feeling to see your own war already immortalized in a museum. Though admittedly, there isn’t much to this exhibit save for what a tent city DFAC looks like from the outside and the wall of the Air Terminal Operations Center from al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar from 2003. What’s interesting about the wall is that many of those who deployed in support of Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom went through this passenger terminal, and many of those wrote and drew on the drywall supporting the tent. It’s interesting to think of how the wars our current troops are fighting will be remembered in the future.

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

NOW: Hollywood may shoot a movie on the fight for Fallujah — written by an Army vet

OR: Watch the 6 most badass military test pilots:

Articles

The 13 funniest military memes of the week

Did everyone enjoy their freebies on Veteran’s Day? Congrats! Now enjoy these memes for free!


1. What’s better than getting a bunch of free food on Veteran’s Day?

(via Coast Guard Memes).

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Getting free food while collecting a bunch of Facebook love.

2. Seriously. ‘Merica.

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
But remember: If it’s burning but doesn’t shoot a rocket, go see the corpsman.

3. Sorry, F-35. No one cares (via Air Force Nation).

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
We love you, Warthog.

SEE ALSO: The best A-10 memes on the internet

4. Adapt your equipment for your users’ knowledge level (via U.S Army W.T.F! moments).

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
This was probably the work of a bored staff duty runner.

5. It’s not easy to find talented snipers. You gotta take them where you can get them.

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Sometimes he shoots birds and sends those humans to fetch them.

6. #InsideThatCounts (via Sh-t My LPO Says)

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

7. Poor Coast Guard (via Coast Guard Memes).

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

8. This last name must be so much fun at each new unit (via Devil Dog Nation).

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
But he will likely be the scariest first sergeant.

9. Those awkward questions your child asks:

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

10. Air Force operators are hardcore (via Air Force Nation).

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Still a nonner.

11. If you wanted good food, you should’ve joined the Air Force (via Sh-t My LPO Says).

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
It’s kind of shaped like a heart though, so you got that going for ya.

12. Air Force saving Marines in the one event they’re good at.

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
If the enemy could combine gunfire and standardized testing, America would fall.

13. “Really, you waited until right now?”

(via Pop Smoke)

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Enjoy your weekend. We’re sure your release formation is right around the corner. Just one more tasking first …

NOW: 7 features that would make military games more realistic

OR: 9 times when troops said what they really felt

Articles

8 text messages from your Master Chief you never want to read

We’re hoping the top leaders in your unit don’t have your cellphone number, but if they do, the text messages you may someday receive probably won’t be fun to read.


There’s a way of gauging the level of trouble you’re in by the person who contacts you about your offense. The first and less severe level is your shop LPO (Leading Petty Officer). The second level is your chief and the third and most severe level is your Command Master Chief, also known as the CMC.

It’s never a good thing if your CMC skipped this chain to contact you directly. Here are nine text messages you’ll dread receiving from master chief:

1. Why is your liberty buddy in my office and you’re not?

You and your buddy submitted liberty plans agreeing to watch over each other during the weekend. Now you’re at your girlfriend’s place wondering what kind of trouble your buddy has gotten both of you in.

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

2. It’s called Cinderella liberty for a reason shipmate. WHERE THE F–K ARE YOU?!

Cinderella liberty means that you have to be on the ship by midnight. You haven’t earned overnight liberty at your new command. Do you play the new guy card and say you got lost or do you stay out all night and live it up while you can?

3. You better be dead, hurt or kidnapped. There’s no excuse for missing ship’s movement.

The CMC is right, there’s no excuse for missing ship’s movement. It had better been worth it, don’t expect to go on liberty for a long time.

 

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

4. Last minute change, your duty section is doing load-in tomorrow. Muster time is 0600.

The CMC doesn’t actually believe you’re sober on the last night before pulling out to sea. But he’s the CMC, so whatever he says, goes. Stop drinking now and prepare for a full day of intensive labor.

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

5. I’m not approving this marriage chit until I talk to you.

But CMC, I love this woman. I know she’s a little older, and her English isn’t great, but I think it’s time. We’ve been dating for six months.

6. I need to talk to you about chief’s Captain’s Mast tomorrow. Come to my office.

Do you comply with the CMC and lie at Captain’s Mast or do you throw him and the chief under the bus?

7. I just got a call from the MAs. Your entire shop is being accused of hazing the new guy.

Hazing is an egregious offense in today’s Navy. You and your shop will be the example for what not to do for years to come.

8. I just got a call from security. Your duty driver was in a wreck and he was drunk.

You’ve just lost your duty section leadership position. In the CMC’s mind, that idiot is a direct reflection of your leadership.

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

NOW: The 4 biggest myths US Marines keep telling themselves

OR: 9 text messages from First Sergeant you never want to read

Articles

The 13 funniest military memes of the week

Memesday! Thirteen of our favorites are below. Feel free to plaster your favorites all over our Facebook page.


1. That’s the sergeant major’s grass and you’re just lucky you won’t have to guard it.

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
But once it comes in a little more, you will be grooming it.

2. Mk-19s are for when you don’t like an entire geographic area.

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
It will occasionally take care of buildings you don’t like, too.

SEE ALSO: 17 photos that show why troops absolutely love the .50 caliber machine gun

3. Armories makes no sense to airmen (via Military Memes).

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

4. Sailors are the world’s most glorified travel agents (via OutOfRegs.com).

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
The anchors sail away while the Marines go to play.

5. The Devil Doge (via Marine Corps Memes).

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Prepare to be bit.

6. You train like you fight …

(Via Coast Guard Memes)

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
… in ankle deep water.

7. When you learn your last unit was f-cked up (via Marine Corps Memes).

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

8. It’s a time-honored tradition (via Military Memes).

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
It’s not comfortable, but it’s time-honored.

9. Give your driver dip and energy drinks.

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
But, choose the energy drinks carefully.

10. How you know your unit needs more range time (via Sh*t My LPO says).

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
They may need a new range safety first though. The old one had a heart attack.

11. Why you get up at zero-dark-thirty for an afternoon mission (via Marine Corps Memes).

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
There will be a few more delays before anyone actually steps off.

 12. When “personalizing” your vehicle, don’t use military patterns (via Sh*t My LPO says).

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
That’s as bad as putting your entire military career in stickers on your back window.

13. The Air Force has so many sprinkles you can shower food in them (via OutOfRegs.com).

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
But, they’re totally a military branch and not a kid’s birthday party. Totally.

NOW: That time the Nazi’s planned to blow up Hoover Dam

OR: 6 of the most badass US military test pilots

Humor

9 stupid mistakes boots immediately regret

In life, making mistakes is inevitable — happens to everyone. While some screw-ups in the civilian sector aren’t considered a big deal, making them in the military can include a heavy punishment.


For many new service members, shedding that civilian mentality of “I can do whatever I want,” is a challenge — especially when you have to wait for permission to do something like go home for the day.

Too late now. (Images via Giphy)

Related: 7 military regs service members violate every day

So check out our list of stupid mistakes boots immediately regret during that special adjustment-to-active-duty period:

1. Talking back to a superior

Sometimes you feel the need to tell off someone higher ranking than you just to show your bros how tough you are. In many cases, the punishment given for that action can be worse than the crime committed.

Someone’s getting extra duty (Images via Giphy)

2. Marrying just for the benefits

Sure, the extra pay to buy beer for your friends sounds good now, but there are so many things that can go wrong right after saying the words, “I do.”

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Who here married a stripper to move out of the barracks? Sorry, exotic dancer…

3. Sleeping with a grenade for your friend

We do a lot for our military brothers and sisters; this can include sleeping with someone’s friend as a personal favor.

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Imagine waking up next to that.

This one is rarely a repeat mistake…

4. Over-sleeping and missing formation

It happens quite frequently, especially after a long night of drinking. I hope that sleep was worth it, because you’re gonna get reamed.

Being super cute won’t get you out of trouble every time. (Images via Giphy)

5. Getting caught with someone hiding in your trunk

After a set time, most military bases won’t allow people to enter the front gate without proper ID. So there’s only one way to sneak that special someone through security — stow them in the trunk.

Hopefully, your date will fit. (Images via Giphy)

6. Negligent discharge

Everybody wants to look cool while carrying a weapon around. But don’t be the one who accidentally fires the damn thing.

Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re prepared to fire. (Images via Giphy)

7. When you break something expensive because you don’t know how to work it

It happens, but now you either have to man up and face the situation or cover the mistake up somehow.

Yes, you did. (Images via Giphy)

Also Read: 7 important life skills you learned in the military and didn’t even realize it

8. When you try and complete a stunt but…

…it turns out to be an epic fail.

Now you’ve damaged government property. Go get your Motrin and then get ready to fill out paperwork.

His take off was good, but he failed to stick the landing. (Images via Giphy)

9. Getting a DUI

Showing your boys you can drive drunk is a dumb way to show off.

At least he didn’t spill his beer. (Images via Giphy)Can you think of any others? Comment below.
Articles

Here are the best military photos for the week of June 24th

The military has very talented photographers in the ranks, and they’re always capturing what life as a service member is like during training and at war. Here are the best military photos of the week:


Air Force:

A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle fires flares during a flight in support of Operation Inherent Resolve June 21, 2017. The F-15, a component of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, supports U.S. and coalition forces working to liberate territory and people under the control of ISIS.

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor T. McBride

U.S. Air Force Col. Peter Fesler, 1st Fighter Wing commander, looks back to his wingman during his final F-22 Raptor flight over Charlottesville, Va., June 21, 2017. The Raptor is a 5th-generation fighter jet that combines stealth, supercruise, maneuverability and integrated avionics.

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Natasha Stannard

Army:

Soldiers of the 100th Battalion donned Ghillie suits, June 18, 2017, in preparation for their mock ambush on opposing forces during their annual training at Kahuku Training Area.

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Photo by Staff Sgt. Gail Lapitan

An M1A1 Abrams from Task Force Dagger plays the role of Opposing Forces at Fort Hood, Texas, to provide the 278th Armored Brigade Combat Team with a near-peer opponent during the unit’s eXportable Combat Training Capability rotation May 30 – June 21. Task Force Dagger consisted of the 116th Brigade Engineer Battalion’s forces and was supplemented by units from five other states during the exercise.

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle Warner

Navy:

The Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler USNS Yukon (T-AO 202) is underway alongside the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) during a replenishment-at-sea. Kidd is underway with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group on a scheduled deployment to the western Pacific and Indian Oceans.

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob M. Milham

Sailors aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) prepare to participate in an M9 pistol shoot on the ship’s port aircraft elevator. The ship and its ready group are deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations designed to reassure allies and partners, and preserve the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in the region.

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Evan Thompson

Marine Corps:

Marine Special Operations School Individual Training Course students fire an M249 squad automatic weapon during night-fire training April 13, 2017, at Camp Lejeune. For the first time, U.S. Air Force Special Tactics Airmen spent three months in Marine Special Operations Command’s initial Marine Raider training pipeline, representing efforts to build joint mindsets across special operations forces.

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ryan Conroy

U.S. Marines of Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Marines, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve, exit a CH-53E from Heavy Marine Helicopter Squadron 772, 4th Marine Air Wing, MARFORRES, to perform a rehearsal for the Air Assault Course as a part of the battalion final exercise for Integrated Training Exercise 4-17 at Camp Wilson, Marine Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, June 21, 2017. ITX is a Marine Air Ground Task Force integration training exercise featuring combined arms training events that incorporate live fire and maneuver.

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Stanley Moy

Coast Guard:

A 25-foot Response Boat-Small boatcrew from Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team Honolulu (91107) conducts a coastal safety and security patrol while escorting Hōkūleʻa, a Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe, back to Magic Island, Oahu, June 17, 2017. The Hōkūleʻa returned home after being gone for 36 months, sailing approximately 40,000 nautical miles around the world.

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle

A member of the U.S Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard’s silent drill team waits prior to performing at a sunset salute program, Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. The team performed in front of the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle as part of the festivities surrounding Sail Boston.

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Barresi

Articles

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

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


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

1. Adultery (by the masses)

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

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

2. Homosexuality

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

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
(Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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

3. Dodging the draft

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

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

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

4. Seceding from the Union

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

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

5. Illegal Immigration

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

21 photos showing the awesomeness of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
(Photo: TA4.org)

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

 

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

OR: The 5 military laws that nearly everyone breaks

Lists

6 things CIF wants back that make no sense

When you first enlist and are given loads of new gear, it’s a pretty great feeling — until you realize that you’ll have to return most of it eventually. Not all of it, but most. Obviously, you keep your well-worn and dirty uniforms and plenty of small, inconsequential things, like IR beacons.

Although each Central Issuing Facility of each branch at each duty station as their own standard operating procedures, in general, they all follow a guideline of “if it’s touched a troop’s skin or it’s basically worthless, then the troop keeps it.” But if you stop and think about it, what doesn’t get dirty and worn just from regular use?


With that in mind, here’s a rundown of things that would be better off left in a troop’s hands as they head into the civilian world — or to their next duty station.

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I mean, you guys really want it THAT bad…

(Photo by Spc. Kristina Truluck)

Sleeping bag sets

Here’s a fact: The only way to get comfortable in one of these sleeping systems is to strip butt-naked so your body heat is evenly distributed. Still want it back?

These things get nasty after they’ve soaked in so much body odor and sweat that it’s like CIF asking for your field socks back.

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No one wants to put their mouth on the Camelback that some nervous private was chewing on…

(Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michel Sauret)

Camelback, canteens, and water systems

As you can imagine, these directly touch your mouth. If you’re required to return it, that means others returned it before you. Now, we’re sure it’s been cleaned time and time again, but we still can’t help but wonder about what kind of nasty germs have lived on it.

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

“Those would look so great as civilian attire!” said no veteran ever.

(Photo by Rob Schuette)

Outdated uniforms

It seems like every branch swaps out their service uniform faster than you can blink. Generally speaking, the military wants their old uniforms back before you can get a new set.

Just to toss salt on the already pointless wound, they’ll raise hell if the old uniform you’re turning in isn’t perfectly clean.. you know, for the next troop who definitely won’t be wearing it.

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

Even if you don’t spray paint it, it’ll still get worn the hell out.

(Photo by Spc. Brianna Saville)

Duffel bags with your name stenciled on

Duffel bags are cheap. They’re just a bit of canvas made into a bag. Everyone in the military has the exact same O.D. green bag, so units ask troops to spray paint their name, last 4, and unit onto the bottom.

Here’s the problem: that paint isn’t coming off any time soon. Good luck trying to find another “Milzarski” in that that exact same unit after I leave.

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

What’s worse is when the CIF clerk gets hostile with you and questions you why parts are missing. Because, you know, we needed to save a life?

(Photo by Staff Sgt. Ciara Wymbs)

First-aid kits

Instead of asking troops to turn in a partly-used first-aid kit, why not let them keep it and stash it in their vehicle in case of emergencies? Sure, it puts the military out a whole (according to Amazon), but wouldn’t it be nice to have a bunch of medical supplies out there in the hands of people trained to use them?

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

It’s really not uncommon for troops to just buy a cheapo woobie off-post at some surplus store…

(Photo by Spc. Kristina Truluck)

The poncho liner

There’s one item that every troop holds dear above the rest — their poncho liner, affectionately called a “woobie.”

Troops sleep with it, it’s fairly cheap, the camo pattern is quickly outdated, and they’re perfect for emergency situations. Long after troops get out, if they managed to sneak one past supply, they’ll cuddle up with it on the couch and fondly recall their service.

Humor

4 hilarious tips for pulling the ‘veteran card’ in school

Going to college is a huge step in every veteran’s life after they get out of the military. You just finished serving your country, now you can go to school full time and get it completely paid for – and get paid while you’re doing it.


We earned a pretty epic deal.

But the benefits of being a veteran don’t have to stop there. If you play your cards right, you can flex your “veteran” title and receive some less-than-official bonuses.

Related: Here’s the best time and place to pull the ‘veteran card’

Check out these insightful ways to pull the veteran card in your school – but please use these tips for good and not evil.

1. Getting accepted

Colleges around the country tend to have a strict application process which weed out many student hopefuls. Having the government willing to pay your full tuition is a huge benefit in the school’s eyes — everyone likes to get paid.

It’s a fact.

It’s important that you fill out all the necessary paperwork in a timely order or risk sitting at home for a whole semester.

Please stop clapping like that — its only community college. (Image via Giphy)

2. Receiving extra time for homework and other projects

The majority of colleges have procedures in place for veterans who have “focus issues,” which is great. As long as you let your teachers and the school’s administration know you may have this issue because of your deployments, the more lee way you’re bound to get.

We know you do! (Image via Giphy)

3. Booking classes

Sometimes classes just fill up too quickly, and a veteran can’t register for one of the spots in time — we know it sucks.

Here’s what you do — tell whoever is in charge of booking the classes that you won’t get your monthly VA benefits unless you can get in, followed by the sweetest smile you can muster.

It so freakin’ worked. (Images via Giphy)

Also Read: 7 phrases old school veterans can’t stop saying

4. Missing classes

Sometimes you don’t want to go to school on certain days — you’re just not feeling it.

Here’s what you do if you’re willing to put in a little leg work. After you get in good with the teachers, email them saying you’re stuck at the VA waiting for your appointment.

If they ask for a doctor’s note, you need to show some proof like a dated appointment card for another day. Schools tend to work around the veteran’s schedule because we’ve earned it.

Don’t abuse this perk because if they lose faith in your integrity, you could screw other vets over.

That’s what you get. (Images via Giphy)Can you think of any others? Comment below.

Lists

5 times the Trump administration actually was tough on Russia

Despite President Donald Trump’s national-security advisers’ note reminding him “DO NOT CONGRATULATE” Russian President Vladimir Putin on his election victory during their call on March 20, 2018, Trump did anyway.


When asked whether Trump thought Putin’s election victory was free and fair during a press briefing that day, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders demurred.

“We’re focused on our elections,” she said. “We don’t get to dictate how other countries operate.”

During another press briefing in February 2018, Sanders argued Trump had been “tougher on Russia in the first year than [former President Barack] Obama was in eight years combined.”

Also read: Trump’s strategy to prepare the US for power war with Russia and China

This argument has become a frequent line of defense Trump officials have used when pressed about the administration’s complicated relationship with Russia.

Trump, whose response to the US intelligence community’s assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 US election has been lukewarm at best, is often perceived as being hesitant to confront the Kremlin’s aggression.

But the Trump administration has actually taken some concrete actions against Russia. Here are five examples:

1. Sanctions

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo by Russian Presidential Press and Information Office)

On March 15, the Trump administration announced new sanctions on Russia for its attempts to interfere in the 2016 US election.

The sanctions were scheduled to be implemented early 2018, but Trump backed down, arguing that the sanctions bill he signed August 2017 was already working as a deterrent against Russia.

Related: The difference between Russian and Chinese influence campaigns

Trump originally signed the sanctions bill — officially called the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act — August 2017, albeit begrudgingly.

The sanctions bill also imposes a wide range of sanctions on North Korea and Iran.

2. Closing of diplomatic facilities

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Consulate-General of Russia in San Francisco. (Photo by Eugene Zelenko)

After Congress approved Russia-related sanctions summer 2017, Russia expelled 755 American diplomats from the country.

In response, the Trump administration ordered Russia to close three of its diplomatic facilities in the US, including its consulate in San Francisco and two annexes in Washington, DC and New York City.

3. Arms sale to Ukraine

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In December 2017, Trump announced his support for the sale of lethal munitions to the Ukrainian government in its fight against Russian-backed separatists in the country’s Donbas region, a move that angered Russia, which has been engaged in a hybrid war in the region for the past four years.

The State Department officially approved $47 million weapons sale in early March 2018. It included Javelin launchers and anti-tank missiles.

4. Condemnation of nerve agent attack in the UK

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Sergei Skripal in 2004, in footage obtained by Sky News.

On March 4, 2018, Russian dissident Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, suffered from a nerve agent attack. The father and daughter are living in London.

The US, the UK, France, and Germany all blamed Russia for the attack.

Although Trump initially failed to deliver a forceful condemnation of Russia for the attack, other officials in his administration picked up the slack.

“Over the past four years, Russia has engaged in a campaign of coercion and violence, targeting anyone opposed to its attempted annexation,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

“We stand behind those courageous individuals who continue to speak out about these abuses and we call on Russia to cease its attempts to quell fundamental freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and religion or belief.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the attack “clearly came from Russia” and US Ambassador to the US Nikki Haley said the US stood in “absolute solidarity” with the UK after the attack.

A full day after the UK blamed Russia, Trump told reporters that “as soon as we get the facts straight, if we agree with them, we will condemn Russia or whoever it may be.” Referring to the UK’s findings, he added, “It sounds to me like they believe it was Russia, and I would certainly take that finding as fact.”

More: Trump’s leaked nuclear report suggests Russia has a doomsday device

National-security experts were baffled and alarmed by Trump’s delayed reaction to the chemical attack.

Trump then joined a statement with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreeing that there was “no plausible alternative explanation” than that Russia was to blame for the attack.

5. Trump officials repeatedly criticize Moscow

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State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley have been particularly critical of Russia.

On March 7, 2018, Nauert condemned Russia in a tweet, saying that it ignored a UN ceasefire agreement in Syria by bombing civilians in Damascus and Eastern Ghouta.

Her criticism elicited a direct response from Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), which told Nauert to “calm down.”

“Your propaganda machine is out of control — you’re spamming all of us,” the MFA added.

In January 2018, Nauert condemned Russia for supporting separatists in the country of Georgia. Trump recently promoted her to undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs.

Haley has also been critical of Russia over a variety of issues, including Moscow’s support for Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria and the Kremlin’s aggression in Ukraine.

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