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13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper

The maroon beret on your truck dash and the airborne wings tattooed to your chest are pretty good indicators that you’re a paratrooper. Still, if you want more proof, just check yourself for these common symptoms of airborne.


Also Read: 13 Signs You’re An Infantryman

1. You consider any day that you get to exit an aircraft a good day.

Paratrooper in front of a mountain
What a view!

2. You’re always prepared to deploy.

3. You believe jumping is a group activity.

Paratroopers jumping together
A member of the 82nd Airborne Division and British paratrooper prepare to jump from a tethered balloon in preparation for a jump into Sainte-Mere-Eglise, France, on on the 40th anniversary of D-day, the invasion of Europe.

4. You don’t think it’s fast unless it can be anywhere in the world in 18 hours.

5. A lot can happen before you get excited.

Navy Seal Paratrooper
I mean, you jump out of planes. It’s hard to top that.

6. If you walk away, you figure it went pretty well.

7. You buddy rig.

8. You’re pretty obsessed with your fitness.

Soldiers exercising
Gotta prepare for everything and anything.

9. When someone messes up, you assume they’re a NAP, or “Not A Paratrooper”.

10. You “double time.” Every. Damn. Morning.

11. And every run starts with that cadence, “C-130 flying over division!”

12. You honestly believe you’ll meet a woman with a “Jumpers, hit it!” tattoo.

Female paratroopers
Keep dreamin’.

13. You won’t stop talking about airborne.

Paratroopers launching from a plane
But honestly, why would you?

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OR: The 7 Thoughts That Go Through Your Head When You Can’t Find Your Rifle

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The 9 greatest military-themed pop songs in modern history

A lot of popular music artists have attempted to capture the military experience over the years, but only a small percentage of them have gotten it right in the eyes of the community. Here are the 9 that did it best:


1. “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Of Company B,” The Andrews Sisters (1941)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qafnJ6mRbgk

A fast-living jazz musician from Chicago gets drafted and winds up in the heat of the action with Bravo Company. But his CO is a music fan who uses his power and influence to get the rest of the guy’s band drafted and assigned to the same unit. They all wind up hated by their fellow soldiers because they’re the ones who play reveille every morning, never mind whether or not it’s a hip version of it. As classic a military tale as there is.

2. “Billy, Don’t be a Hero,” Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods (1974)

A young patriot goes to war against his fiancees’ wishes and gets killed because he didn’t follow her sage guidance. And in the end she tears up the letter that documents his heroism because she feels like his service and sacrifice were a waste.  This classic by these one-hit wonders may qualify as “bubblegum pop,” but its subject matter is super intense.

3. “Ballad of the Green Beret,” Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler, U.S. Army (1966)

“Silver wings, upon his chest . . .” This song was written by author Robin Moore and SSgt. Sadler while Sadler was recovering from wounds he sustained while serving as a medic in Vietnam, a fact that kept him from getting grief from fellow soldiers for going on TV in full uniform and singing with kind of a high voice. “Ballad of the Green Beret” became a no. 1 hit — amazing considering how the American public was rapidly going south about the war in Vietnam and pro-military sentiments were already hard to find.

4. I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag, Country Joe McDonald (1968)

Country Joe was a counterculture crooner from the Bay Area who walked on stage at Woodstock after Richie Havens’ opening set basically to kill some time. He played two songs with little response from the massive crowd and walked off. He thought better of it and walked back on and did what was commonly known as “the FISH cheer” (that actually spells something else). The crowd came alive, so he launched into “Fixin’ to Die Rag,” a satire of the military-industrial complex and the impact of the war on suburbia, which was included in the “Woodstock” movie and, as a result, became a classic hit of the Vietnam era.

5. “Fortunate Son,” Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tClM00n0fhY

Perhaps John Fogarty’s best recorded vocal performance, “Fortunate Son” hit the airwaves at a time when the Vietnam-era draft was starting to feel like class warfare and the hypocrisy of the ruling elite was revealing itself. With a driving beat, a searing guitar riff, and Forgarty singing lyrics like “I ain’t no senator’s son, no no,” the song resonated with those doing their duty while their richer and better-placed peers didn’t. “Fortunate Son” made it to no. 3 on the charts.

6. “The Star Spangled Banner (live at Woodstock),” Jimi Hendrix (1969)

Jimi Hendrix was not that well known in America when he took the stage at Woodstock on the morning of August 18, 1969. It was a Monday morning and all but several thousand of the nearly 1 million attendees had left the festival. Hendrix, an Army vet, surprised the audience (and his band) by launching into his rendition of the National Anthem, a version that many conservatives at the time criticized as unpatriotic. But history has shown it to be perhaps the most accurate musical portrayal of the state of America at the time and, beyond that, a timeless reading of the chaos of war. In 2011, the editors of Guitar World placed his rendition at number one in their list of his 100 greatest performances.

7. “War Pigs,” Black Sabbath (1970)

With an ominous air raid siren opening and lyrics like “generals gathered in their masses, just like witches at black masses,” this track from Sabbath’s classic second album “Paranoid” was heavy metal before anyone even knew there was such a thing. And in Ozzy’s shallow metaphor lives the sentiments of millions who have gone in harm’s way since man first took up arms.

8. “99 Luftballoons,” Nena (1983)

The oldest military story ever told: 99 balloons are mistaken for UFOs, causing a general to send pilots to investigate. Finding nothing but child’s balloons, the pilots decide to put on a show and shoot them down. The display of force worries the nations along the borders and the war ministers on each side bang the drums of conflict to grab power for themselves. In the end, a 99-year war results from the otherwise harmless flight of balloons, causing devastation on all sides without a victor. (Wikipedia)

9. “Bodies,” Drowning Pool (2001)

The song that launched thousands of patrols out of the FOBs and into the dirty streets of Iraq and Afghanistan. “Bodies” may not have been written with the military in mind, but it’s urgent beat and overall atmosphere of brutality worked for those who answered the call after 9-11, and they adopted it as their own. Also of note is that the song was used by interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay detention camps in 2003, including over a 10-day period during the “questioning” of terror suspect Mohamedou Ould Slahi.

Now: Where Are They Now? An update on the “Taliban 5” exchanged for Bowe Bergdahl

 

Articles

12 awesome photos of troops jumping out of perfectly good airplanes

Falling out of a perfectly good airplane is what airborne soldiers call “work.”


While most Marines and soldiers walk or ride into battle, paratroopers pride themselves on getting into harder-to-reach spots, or dropping behind enemy lines. Though military strategists developed plans for their use before 1939, the use of “sky soldiers” was really perfected during World War II.

Perhaps the most famous use of paratroopers was during the Normandy invasion of 1944, when more than 13,000 airborne troops dropped from the sky behind German positions in France. Today, the U.S. and other countries still maintain airborne soldiers, or train up their special operations forces in airborne operations.

A common trope among the airborne is that it’s crazy to “jump out of a perfectly good airplane.” But if you think it’s crazy, then you’re probably just a leg (that’s airborne talk for regular-old ground troops).

Check out 12 photos of U.S. and other airborne troops:

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo Courtesy of 1st Special Forces Group

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Paratroopers from Britain’s 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment deploy from a French C160 Aircraft During Exercise Joint Warrior.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Members of the Air Force’s 26th Special Tactics Squadron jump out of an MC-130.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Irish Defence Force parachutists make a free fall exit from an Irish Air Corps CASA CN-235.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Marines jump out of the back of a KC-130J Hercules while conducting aerial delivery training during exercise Cobra Gold 2013 near Utapao Royal Thai Navy Air Field, Kingdom of Thailand, Feb. 15. Marines participated in the training with Royal Thai reconnaissance Marines, enhancing the two nations’ combat readiness and military-to-military cooperation. The Marines are with 3rd Marine Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Paratroopers from the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division jump from a C-17 Globemaster at Ft. Bragg, N.C., during Exercise Joint Forcible Entry in April 2005.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
A U.S. Soldier assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) salutes his fellow Soldiers while jumping out of a C-130 Hercules aircraft over a drop zone in Germany, Feb. 24, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Visual Information Specialist Jason Johnston/Released)

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Air Force Staff Sgt. Jonathan C. McCoy, a pararescue jumper assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, during freefall.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
U.S. Marines assigned to Force Reconnaissance Platoon, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit free fall from an MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft during a parachute operations flight over Djibouti June 3, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jocelyn Ford/Released)

Paratroopers from South Korea diving out of a ROK Air Force CASA CN-235 in the United Arab Emirates. Paratroopers from South Korea diving out of a ROK Air Force CASA CN-235 in the United Arab Emirates.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Elements of 1st Bn, 508th Infantry parachuting into a drop zone during training outside of Panama City. The jump was in preparation for Operation Just Cause in 1989.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Members of the Air Force’s 720th Special Tactics Group jump out of an airplane wearing flippers.

NOW LEARN ABOUT The incredible World War II hero who was the first Navy SEAL

Lists

Notable athletes who served in the military

Athletes who were military heroes represent some of the bravest men and women to ever play professional sports. These Americans gave up the fame and fortune that would have come with being a professional athlete to serve their country. Many sacrificed more than that, giving up their lives on the front lines of World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War and the War in Iraq.


The military hero athletes on this list undoubtably include many names you know as sports stars first and soldiers second or vice versa, but each has a story behind their service in the United States Armed Forces.

For some, that story includes leaving professional sports at the peak of their career to serve their country during wartime, such as legendary baseball player Bob Feller, boxer Joe Louis and baseball great Joe DiMaggio. These athletes can be considered military heroes.

Others, such as basketball star David Robinson and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Art Donovan, their military service came before their professional sports careers as they were fortunate enough to return from battle healthy enough to continue.

Sadly, many were not so lucky. In one of the more recent cases, up and coming Arizona Cardinals football player Pat Tillman left the NFL shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to become a U.S. Army Ranger. Tillman made the ultimate sacrifice when he was killed in action in April 2004.

These notable athletes who served in the military may not have all been the best of their respective sports and may not have all been decorated soldiers but each of these fine men and women should be thanked for their service nonetheless.

Athletes Who Are Military Heroes

More from Ranker:

This article originally appeared at Ranker. Copyright 2015. Like Ranker on Facebook.

Lists

7 holiday gift ideas for the Army

Let’s continue our holiday shopping. We’ve already designed the U.S. Navy’s gift basket, so now let’s put one together for their rival, the Army. What do they want to find under the tree this year?


7. An extra brigade per division

The Army recently beefed up its brigades by adding a third infantry battalion, but decreased the number of brigade combat teams, or BCTs, per division from four to three. With Russia developing new tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, there’s a chance the United States Army may need more forces to hold the line. Going back to four BCTs per division wouldn’t be a bad idea. Maybe get some separate brigades, as well.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Capt. Lou Cascino, commander of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), pulls security while Staff Sgt. Eric Stephens and 1st Lt. James Kromhout verify their position during a partnered patrol in Madi Khel, Khowst Province, Afghanistan, Oct. 20, 2013. (U.S. Army Photo by Maj. Kamil Sztalkoper, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division)

6. More divisions

In 1989, the United States Army had 18 active divisions, plus 10 more in the National Guard. Today, there are 10 active Army divisions and only eight divisions in the National Guard. Even as the U.S. entered the War on Terror, that total did not increase. Now, ISIS has been beaten down, but the Russian threat is resurging. Let’s go back to 1989’s division totals and get even more troops on the line.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Shoulder patch of the 3rd Armored Division, one of the divisions deactivated after the Cold War. (US Army graphic)

5. More combat aviation units

The AH-64 Apache is one heck of an equalizer on the battlefield. With 16 Longbow-equipped Hellfires, one Apache could wipe out half a battalion of Russian tanks. But the Army only has 11 combat aviation brigades, according to a Heritage Foundation assessment of American military power. We’re sure the U.S. Army would be happy to have one combat aviation brigade per division.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Apache helicopters have successfully taken out advanced air defenses before, but it would still be better to use F-22s when possible. (Army photo by Capt. Brian Harris)

4. More M1128 “Stryker” Mobile Gun Systems

The M1128 is very mobile and carries a 105mm main gun. While it’s not able to stand up to an Armata, or arguably even a piece-of-junk T-72, it can still knock out armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, trucks, anti-aircraft guns, surface-to-air missile launchers, and buildings. Plus, it could give the 82nd Airborne the firepower it’s lacked since the M551 was retired decades ago.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Armor Soldiers assigned to 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, fire the Stryker’s 105mm main gun during a live fire range 28 March 2011, at Yakima Training Center, Wash. (US Army photo)

3. New tanks and IFVs

While the Abrams and Bradley are great, they’re old designs. Everyone loves to get the newest, high-tech gadget for Christmas — we think the U.S. Army would appreciate it, too. A new tank and IFV makes for a great gift. Plus, Russia’s been making great strides on their tanks; America needs to modernize.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks move to engage targets during a joint combined arms live-fire exercise near Camp Buehring, Kuwait Dec. 6-7, 2016.  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Aaron Ellerman)

2. A new scout helicopter

One consequence of the budget cuts enacted under the Obama Administration was that the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior was retired without an immediate replacement. Yes, UAVs can handle some reconnaissance, but not all. A new version of the Lakota could be had relatively cheap, in federal budget terms.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Airbus H145M, showing a gun pod on the left and a 12-round rocket pod on the right. (Photo from Airbus Helicopters)

1. Re-start A-10 production

Yes, the A-10 is technically an Air Force system, but the need for close-air support is always there. We’re told the F-35 or the OA-X program will replace the A-10, but somehow, that doesn’t seem to add up.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Two U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs fly in a wingtip formation after refueling from a 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, Feb. 15, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jordan Castelan)

What do you think the U.S. Army should get for Christmas? Let us know in the comments.

Articles

The 13 funniest military memes of the week

Meme day! Since many of you are already enjoying your four days off for Memorial Day, you won’t have to hide your phone while you read this week. (Unless you have duty, and in that case … sorry.)


1. Is there any doubt here?

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Your troops are planning their weekend. They are always planning their weekend.

2. Mario Kart no longer has anything on real life.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Though it will probably hurt more to crash in real life.

SEE ALSO: Video: 10 little known (and surprising) facts about al Qaeda

3. Coast Guard leads a flock of ships into safer waters.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper

4.  Junior enlisted can’t get no respect (via Air Force Memes and Humor).

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
… unless the Air Force forms an E4 mafia.

5. Kids restaurants are taking serious steps to prevent fraud.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Of course, if they could just install .50-cal games, I’d be more likely to take my niece there.

6. Nothing shady about this at all (via Sh-t My LPO Says).

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Move along. Nothing to see here.

7. Dempsey discusses his plans for ISIS. (via Sh-t My LPO Says)

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Finally, the infantry arrives and things really get going.

8. Most important class in the military: how to get your travel money (via Air Force Memes and Humor).

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Of course, it’s a little more complicated than is presented here.

9. “Do you even sail, bro?”

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Those machine guns look pretty cool when there isn’t a deck gun in the photo.

10. Mattis always focuses on the strategic and tactical factors.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
You only get to give Mattis orders if you’re in his chain of command.

11. Airmen 1st Class are trained professionals. (via Air Force Memes and Humor)

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
But, they aren’t necessarily experienced, and that can be important.

 12. There are different kinds of soldiers.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
If Waldo was the specialist, he would never be found.

13. “Everything needs to be tied down.” (via Sh-t My LPO Says)

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper

NOW: 19 of the coolest military unit mottos

AND: The 14 best military non-fiction books of all-time

Articles

These Are The Most Incredible Photos The US Army Took In 2014

The past year has been a busy time for the US Army.


US soldiers remained engaged in operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan and took the lead in multi-national training exercises throughout the world. Army veterans received high honors during a memorial to the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, while one Afghanistan veteran received the Medal of Honor.

The Army compiled a year in photos to show what they were doing 2014.

These are some of the most amazing photographs of the Army from the past year.

In March, members of the US Army Parachute Team conducted their annual certification test.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Joe Abeln/US Army

The past year saw the first instance of the Spartan Brigade, an airborne combat team, training north of the Arctic Circle. Here, paratroopers move to their assembly area after jumping into Deadhorse, Alaska.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Sgt. Eric-James Estrada/US Army

Elsewhere, in Alaska’s Denali National Park, the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, hiked across Summit Ridge on Mount McKinley to demonstrate their Arctic abilities.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: US Army

Beyond the frozen north, the Army took part in training exercises around the world. In Germany, members of Charlie Company trained Kosovo authorities in how to respond to firebombs and other incendiary devices.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Spc. Bryan Rankin/US Army

Charlie Company also fired ceremonial rounds from their M1A2 Abrams tanks during Operation Atlantic Resolve in Latvia. US forces were in the country to help reassure NATO allies in the Baltic as well as provide training to Lavia’s ground forces in the wake of Russian aggression in Ukraine.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy J. Fowler/US Army

Members of the US Army, Marines, and Alaska National Guard also participated alongside the Mongolian Armed Forces in the multi-national Khaan Quest 2014 exercise in Mongolia.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Sgt. Edward Eagerton/US Army

Even with the drawdown of forces from Afghanistan, US Army personnel are still active in the Middle East. Here, a soldier loads rockets into an AH-64 Apache during a Forward Arming and Refueling Point exercise in Kuwait.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Spc. Harley Jelis/US Army

Linguistic and cultural training for the Army is also continuing. Here, ROTC cadets participate in a training mission in Africa through the US Army Cadet Command’s Culture and Language Program.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: US Army

Here, an M1A2 tank drives past a camel during multi-national exercises in the Middle East.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Sgt. Marcus Fichtl/US Army

This past year marked the end of US-led combat operations in Afghanistan. In this picture, US Special Forces soldiers fight alongside the Afghan National Army against Taliban insurgents.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Pfc. David Devich/US Army

Here, US Army soldiers go on a patrol in Sayghani, Parwan province, Afghanistan to collect information on indirect fire fire attacks against Bagram Air Field, outside of Kabul.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Staff Sgt. Daniel Luksan/US Army

Throughout 2014 US Army Rangers engaged in constant training operations to maintain their tactical proficiency.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Spc. Steven Hitchcock/US Army

Here, Rangers fire a 120mm mortar during a tactical training exercise in California.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Pfc. Nahaniel Newkirk/US Army

An MH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment provides close air support for Army Rangers from Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, conducting direct action operations during a company live fire training at Camp Roberts, California.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Staff Sgt. Teddy Wade/US Army

A Ranger carrying an M24 rappels down a wall during a demonstration at an Army Ranger School graduation at Fort Benning, Georgia.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: US Army

Rangers took part in the grueling Best Ranger competition at Camp Rogers, Fort Benning, Georgia. Through a series of physical challenges, the event finds the best two-man team in the entire US Army.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Sgt. Austin Berner/US Army

US Army Medics also competed in the All-American Best Medic Competition, a series of tactical and technical proficiency tests.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Armas/US Army

Everyone in the army receives combat training, whatever their job may be. Here, Pfc. Derek Evans, a food service specialist, engages targets during a live-fire waterborne gunnery exercise

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Staff Sgt. Richard Sherba/US Army

Training exercises allow the Army to maintain its readiness for all possible battlefield scenarios. In this scenario, MH-47G Chinook helicopter move watercraft over land or water to a point of deployment.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Sgt. Christopher Prows/US Army

Soldiers were picked up by a Black Hawk helicopter as part of a survival training exercise called Decisive Action Rotation 14-09.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Staff Sgt. Corey Hook/US Army

Here, a soldier from the California Army National Guard takes part in Warrior Exercise 2014, a combat training mission.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Staff Sgt. Christopher Klutts/US Army

The Army National Guard had a busy 2014 responding to natural disasters. Here, members of the Washington National Guard’s 66th Theater Aviation Command respond to wildfires.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Staff Sgt. Dave Goodhue/US Army

Members of the Oregon National Guard trained in firing the main gun of an Abrams M1A2 System Enhanced Package Tank during combat readiness exercises.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Maj. Wayne (Chris) Clyne/US Army

One member of the Army received the nation’s highest recognition for combat bravery. On May 13, President Obama presented the Medal of Honor to former US Army Sgt. Kyle White for his actions in Afghanistan.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Spc. Michael Mulderick/US Army

On May 28, newly commissioned second lieutenants celebrated commencement at the US Military Academy, at West Point, New York.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Fincham/US Army

The past year also marked the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion. To honor America’s role in liberating France from the Nazis, a French child dressed as a US soldier held a salute on the sands of Omaha Beach for 2 hours.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Abram Pinnington/US Army

Also from Business Insider:

This article originally appeared at Business Insider Defense Copyright 2014. Follow BI Defense on Twitter.

Lists

5 reasons why the Volunteer Service Medal is the most ridiculous medal

The awards that decorate a troop’s dress uniform have meaning. If a troop does something extraordinary, there are plenty of awards they might earn, depending on the specific heroics. There are medals for more mundane actions, as well. If they serve at a specific location, like going overseas or even to Antarctica, in support of a military campaign, they’re likely to earn a medal. Enlisting at a certain time during conflict adds the National Defense Service Medal to your ribbons rack. However, there’s one award that sticks out as ridiculous — the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (MOVSM).


All that’s required by this medal is that a troop (active duty, reserve, or national guard) performs a substantial volunteer service to the local community. The idea behind establishing the award in 1993 was to incentivize troops to do great deeds that would reflect highly on military service. In reality, it’s often seen as just another box to check.

We’re not disparaging charitable action, especially when it shines a good light on military service, but here’s why the award itself is silly.

5. The Humanitarian Service Medal already exists

The Humanitarian Service Medal is given to troops who participate in acts like disaster relief or the evacuation of refugees from a hostile area. The difference between this medal and the MOVSM is that this one is earned while on duty.

The HSM goes to the troops who were sent, let’s say, to New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The MOVSM, however, might go to the troop who helped put together a few potluck dinners. Both are the reward for doing a good deed but, according to the military, both nearly as prestigious as the other…



…which leads troops to not care about helping. (Image via GIPHY)

4. The criteria for earning one is vague

Every other award has clean-cut requirements. Have you been to this location or not? How does this act of heroism compare to other selfless acts? Were you able to be a good troop for three years or at least not get caught? This medal is an exception.

If a troop spends every weekend for a decade helping train the Boy Scouts, that’s a Volunteer Service Medal. If a troop says, “yeah, I got time. I can help you with that.” That act might be just as worthy, according to the nebulous criteria.



Basically… (Image via GIPHY)

3. Standards range from impossible to non-existent

Many units see this award as ridiculous and put unreasonable restrictions on it. According to Army Regulation 600-8-22, to earn the MOVSM, one must exceed 3 years and/or 500 hours of service. Many times, a unit will ask for a proof-of-hours sheet that highlights how each of those hours was spent.

On the other side of the coin, the only definitive requirement — as outlined by the DoD — is that the good deed has tangible results and is not a single act. Many troops can tell you that they’ve earned this act simply by preparing and then attending a charity event. Boom. Instant award. Meanwhile, the Soldier who became his son’s Scout Leader has two years, 11 months, and three weeks to go to earn the same accolade.



Chances are that it’ll still get denied. (Image via GIPHY)

2. There’s no citation

The Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal is still a service medal. The award gets put in and, if it’s approved, the troop receives it. A commendation medal, on the other hand, is reflective of a specific, heroic action.

Technically speaking, there doesn’t need to be a formation and award ceremony for a MOVSM. The troop should just add it to their record and move on.

No need to waste everyone’s time with a BS award. (Image via GIPHY)

1. You can do the paperwork yourself and not need proof

By now, you’re probably already thinking about this point. If all that’s required is an hours sheet, how can you make sure a troop actually did what they claim? You can’t, really.

Troops who make a habit of volunteering, time and time again, over the course of three years are clearly not doing it for a single award worth five promotion points. They genuinely care. The guy who put on a couple of community potlucks doesn’t care about the volunteer service — they’re in it for the pat on the back.

Without a uniform standard on how to earn one, the award means almost nothing.



You don’t need to confess. Just know if you lied to get one, you suck. (Image via GIPHY)

Articles

The 13 funniest military memes of the week

Good news! It’s Friday and your week is almost over! Even better? More memes.


1. “I don’t always play Army …”

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper

2. The combat diapers have gotten much bigger. (via Sh-t My LPO Says)

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Of course, this guy is big enough to fill it up.

SEE ALSO: 15 GIFs that sum up your military experience

3. Carriers have some pretty confined spaces. (via Sh-t My LPO Says)

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Too tall for the showers, and the hatch frame, and the halls, and the …

 4. “Alright guys, you can leave the PT belts in the tent this time.”

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper

5. Accelerate your life. (via Sh-t My LPO Says)

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
But watch out for obstructions.

6. You wanted him to be alert for the drive. (via Military Memes)

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
This guy’s first step in a rollover drill is probably to protect the energy drinks.

7. How to end the service rivalries.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Most people would hug it out if they were paid what Mayweather was.

8. Marine Corps Recruit Training.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Where they make you a man by treating you like a child.

9. When your boss asks you about the memo one too many times.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
For some people IEDs are preferable to spreadsheets.

10. Navy Strong. (via Sh-t My LPO Says)

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper
Even Mickey Mouse thinks that’s an embarrassing way to work out.

11. There are some top-tier painters in Australia. (via Military Memes)

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper

 12. “Guys, I can’t go any further.” vs. “Guys, Starbucks is right around the corner!” (via Military Memes)

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper

13. Bad Luck Brian just can’t catch a break.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper

NOW: 9 recipes to make your MREs actually taste delicious.

OR: Watch ‘Universal Soldier’ in under 3 minutes

Articles

9 highest war movie body counts

Despite Hot Shots Part Deux‘s claim to be the bloodiest movie ever, we actually did the math and found the top body counts for war films featuring the U.S. military. These counts are only for onscreen, confirmed dead. If they’re still moving when the director cuts to the next shot, it doesn’t count. The results are surprising.


9. Delta Force

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nE0V-xhTF4s
Despite his online reputation for ceaseless badassery, Chuck Norris’ seminal work Delta Force only has 78 confirmed kills. Though admittedly, 43 of those are at the hands of Chuck Norris himself.

8. Rambo Series

First Blood (commonly known as “the Rambo movie”) is the most surprising. With a body count of one confirmed kill, you wonder how John Rambo earned the reputation of being Hollywood’s biggest military badass… until you see the rest of the Rambo films (lots of cops go through windows, though). Body counts rise at a near exponential rate after the commies kill Rambo’s love interest, with 80 kills in First Blood Part II, 158 in Rambo III, and a whopping 273 in 2008’s Rambo. At that rate, I imagine that Rambo: Last Blood will maim more people than a movie starring 100 untamed lions.

7. The Patriot

Another surprise is the number of onscreen deaths in The Patriot. Mel Gibson’s Revolutionary War film, based on the Southern colonies’ fight against brutal British Colonel Banastre Tarleton, only had 123 onscreen kills.

6. Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down is considered one of the most realistic portrayals of any military action ever depicted onscreen, but the 135 deaths (122 Somalis, 13 Americans) doesn’t reflect the real-world body count of 1,500 Somalis, 18 Americans, 1 Malaysian and 1 Pakistani.

5. Saving Private Ryan

Steven Spielberg’s WWII epic Saving Private Ryan defined the distinctive WWII onscreen look and feel, replicated again and again. Appropriately, the film starts with his vision of the intense D-Day landings at Normandy. The final tally, including the dog tags of the KIA, stands at 243.

4. Platoon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKpQB3bEPbI
Platoon’s 277 kills are enough to give anyone a thousand-yard stare.

3. We Were Soldiers

The 305 total onscreen deaths between US forces and the North Vietnamese Army in We Were Soldiers gives Mel Gibson war film extras a higher mortality rate than Sean Bean in any film or TV show ever.

2. Inglourious Basterds

Quentin Tarantino’s films have a reputation for violence and his WWII masterwork Inglourious Basterds delivers Lieutenant Aldo Raine’s scalps and then some with a confirmed kill count of 315.

1. Windtalkers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygXyaFv9ub0
The all-time top body count of any movie featuring US troops in combat goes to Nicolas Cage’s Windtalkers with a whopping 548 onscreen kills.
Articles

6 newbie boots you wouldn’t want in your infantry squad

Hollywood war movies are usually comprised of strong and versatile trope elements like the wise seasoned soldier, the good decision makers, and the flawed protagonist who needs a solid character arch before the credits roll.


There’s also the cast of characters that are considered the weaker links, or they’re just so naïve audiences sigh with relief when they die off.

So here’s our list of newbie boots we wouldn’t want taking point on patrol with us.

1. Conrad Vig (“3 Kings”)

He’s the funny, goofy guy who also talks too much and no one takes him seriously until you get annoyed by his presence.

Great movie, but bad karate kick. (Image via Giphy)

2. Corporal Upham (“Saving Private Ryan”)

He stops himself from saving a fellow brother because his fear got the best of him, but to add insult to injury, he gave up an easy kill shot and let the German soldier off the hook. Unacceptable!

Unfreaking believable. You had him, Upham! (Image via Giphy)

3. Gardner (“Platoon”)

We knew this over-weight character was going to perish sooner rather than later — no way his stature meets physical regs. No squad wants the guy who can’t hold his own weight — literally — on their team.

He ain’t gonna make it! (Image via Giphy)

Related: The 6 best Hollywood sniper shots ever

4. Norman Ellison (“Fury”)

Although this character wasn’t meant to be a “tanker”, the situation called for it. There’s nothing worse for an infantry squad than the guy who refuses to do his job — killing the enemy.

Good for nothing. (Image via Giphy)

5. Fergus O’Donnell (“Jarhead”)

He’s the Blue Falcon that managed to burn down a weapons cache when all he had to do is sit and listen to Christmas music.

The ultimate Blue Falcon (Image via Giphy)

6. Gomer Pyle (“Full Metal Jacket”)

Also known as Leonard Lawrence in the film, Pyle was hated by his fellow recruits and they held an awesome blanket party in his honor.

This poor bastard. (Image via Giphy)Can you think of any others? Comment below.

Humor

7 reasons why you’d want ‘Pvt. Pyle’ in your infantry squad

Joker, Cowboy, and Animal Mother are just some of the iconic characters in Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket” that audiences hoped would survive as they maneuvered their way through the dangerous battlegrounds of the Vietnam War.


One character no member of the audience gave a sh*t about, though, was Leonard Lawrence a.k.a. Pvt. Pyle because he was slow, overweight, and ended up murdering his D.I. and blowing his brains out while sitting on a toilet.

Let’s pretend that the murder-suicide never took place and Private Pyle actually went out to the fleet.

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

Check out these reasons why it would be a solid idea to have Pvt. Pyle assigned your infantry squad:

1. He’d be great to have during morning PT…if you’re hungover

Formation runs only go as fast as the slowest man. Since Pvt. Pyle was no marathon runner, the multi-mile runs would be at a pretty slow pace.

Monday morning PT would be a breeze. (Image via Giphy)

2. Everyone would look sh*t hot compared to him

He’s a f*ck up, so having him around would make everyone else look like rock stars.

Look at his silly smile. (Image via Giphy)

3. He’s actually a good shot

Even the drill instructor said so.

Having accurate trigger pullers on the battlefield is a huge advantage.

Foreshadowing. (Image via Giphy)

4. You would always have someone you can trick into standing your duty

Who could we get to stand fire-watch around the barracks on Christmas Day? Answer: Pvt. Pyle.

I wonder what he was thinking. (Image via Giphy)

5. He’d always have good snacks on deployment

If he can sneak a jelly donut into the squad bay, we’re sure he’d be able to get much more than that through customs.

To be fair, jelly donuts are delicious. (Image via Giphy)

6. You wouldn’t be the last one to finish anything

Pyle would be the last if he even finished anything he started.

You would literally never finish last. (Image via Giphy)

Also Read: A Marine explains why people love the film ‘Full Metal Jacket’ so much

7. You’d watch him and learn from his mistakes

His form is way off.

That obstacle isn’t easy for anyone. (Image via Giphy)Can you think of any others? Comment below.

Lists

8 over-the-top ways troops had fun with their reenlistment

Troops rarely get a say in anything. As a lower-enlisted, your opinion is often discounted and, not to burst any bubbles, as you climb higher, you’ll likely find more of the same. One of the rare exceptions, however, is in determining the conditions of your reenlistment.


Nine times out of ten, a reenlisting troop will say, “screw it, just give me the paperwork” without testing the limits of exactly how far a commander is willing to go to keep them in. Commanders can shoot down the silly requests, sure, but on rare, beautiful occasions, a troop will get exactly what they want.

These are a few of those moments:

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper

(Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Laurie Dexter)

While putting out a fire

It makes perfect sense if you’re a firefighter to have your reenlistment in the middle of a simulated fire. The key word here is ‘simulated.’ If it wasn’t, you probably should focus on, you know, the task at hand.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper

(Meme via Decelerate Your Life)

On an anchor

This one seems fitting as you’re tying your career down for a few more years.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper

(U.S. Navy photo by James Woods)

While freefalling

Why reenlist before your jump or after you land when you can save time and take the Oath right in the middle?

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper

(Meme via USAWTFM)

At a Gamestop

Deep down, we all know that dude’s reenlistment bonus is going towards video games. Let’s just cut out the middleman and hand the check directly to the guy behind the counter.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper

(U.S. Army Photo)

At a football game

You and your buddies might as well get free tickets to a football game while you give Uncle Sam a few more years of your life.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper

(Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Caleb Barrieau)

In the gas chamber

This may seem like a terrible idea, but with all that CS gas, you can try and pull the “I didn’t make the oath. I was coughing too much!” line if you change your mind.

Protip: It won’t work.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper

(U.S. Army)

At the South Pole

On the bright side, they got an Antarctica Service Medal in exchange for giving a few additional years to Uncle Sam.

13 Tell-Tale Signs You’re A Paratrooper

(Photo by Bruce Howard)

By Jon motherf*cking Bon Jovi at the One World Trade Center

I’m not even mad. This is just impressive. She forever has a one-up on anyone trying to out do her reenlistment.

“You just want a reenlistment on the bow of the ship? Oh, that’s neat…”
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