Here's what it's like when Special Forces raid a compound - We Are The Mighty
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Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

Few groups in the U.S. military are as revered as Army Special Forces. They slip into other countries and work with the locals to build up friendly forces and take down enemies. Here’s what it looks like when they strike a compound.


1. Operators prepare for the insertion, rehearsing if possible, before getting into their vehicles or transportation.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: US Army Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann

2. The soldiers then move to the target area. Walking allows them to move up quietly, but riding in ground vehicles or helicopters can allow them to strike quickly without warning.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Special Forces candidates ride to a compound during training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Photo: US Army Sgt. Justin P. Morelli

3. The Special Forces soldiers insert as quickly as they can, trying to get into a combat footing before the enemy can respond to their arrival.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Special Forces candidates fast rope out of a UH-60 Blackhawk during training. Photo: US Army Sgt. Justin P. Morelli

4. The soldiers then move to their entry point and prepare to breach.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
A Special Forces soldier attaches a breaching charge to a door during training. Photo: US Army Visual Information Specialist Ruediger Hess

5. Once they’re through the door, they start securing the target buildings.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: US Army Sgt. 1st Class Silas Toney

6. Multi-story buildings in a compound have to be searched floor-by-floor. Whenever possible, they try to work from the top down.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: US Army Sgt. 1st Class Silas Toney

7. Soldiers pull security on the perimeter so the enemy can’t come in behind the SF team.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: US Army Sgt. 1st Class Silas Toney

8. Most of the operators carry rifles, but they bring some larger weapons like the Carl Gustav recoilless rifle with them to destroy enemy vehicles or shoot through some walls.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: US Army Sgt. Justin Morelli

9. Once the compound has been taken, soldiers have to pull security to prevent an enemy counterattack while the team is still on the ground.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: US Army Spc. Sara Wakai

10. After searching the compound for intelligence and weapons, the operators will make their way back out of the compound.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Special Forces candidates maneuver out of a compound during training. Photo: US Army Sgt. Justin P. Morelli

11. If an enemy has been taken captive, they’ll be removed with the team back to the helicopter or vehicles.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Special Forces operators drag a simulated captive off an objective during training. Photo: US Army Sgt. 1st Class Silas Toney

12. The security teams stay at the edges of the compound until the last possible moment so the team remains safe from a counterattack.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: US Army Sgt. Daniel Love

13. When they make it back to their transportation, the SF operators will leave the compound.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Special Forces candidates climb into a Blackhawk helicopter as they depart a compound at the end of a training mission. Photo: US Army Sgt. Justin P. Morelli

14. The team will then study any intelligence they’ve collected and question any prisoners taken in the operation. The new intelligence will generate new missions and raids.

NOW: The definitive guide to US special ops

OR: Here’s what it looks like when paratroopers jump out of a helicopter

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8 reasons your DTS voucher was kicked back … again

Submitting vouchers through the Defense Travel System is one of those tasks that probably originated in military purgatory. Sure, an automated, online form for documenting travel expenses and getting paid sounds like a miracle, but it’s actually like having to do your taxes a few extra times per year.


Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
(Meme: via Air Force Memes and Humor)

Here are common reasons that DTS vouchers get kicked back, each with a quick example of what you will hear from the DTS manager for the mistake.

1. You checked a box the way your old unit wanted it.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
(Photo: U.S. Air National Guard Lt. Col. Dale Greer)

“This isn’t your old unit. Re-do your request. No, you can’t just edit your last voucher. I deleted it so that you would learn how to do it right.”

2. You put airfare and airfare taxes in the same box.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
(Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

“Do you think the DoD doesn’t want to save some tax money? Figure out what your airfare is without taxes, figure out what the taxes are, and separate those numbers into different line items.”

“The system might try to make you assign different legs of your trip to each dollar amount. If your flight only had one leg, that won’t work. You should’ve booked a trip with a layover.”

3. You changed an entry to how your unit-level reviewer wants it, but the next higher reviewer wants it the opposite way because screw you.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
(Photo: U.S. Air National Guard Master Sgt. Christopher Botzum)

“I know how Mr. X says he likes the voucher filled out. Do I look like Mr. X? Exactly. Now re-do your voucher from scratch. And staff it through Mr. X before it gets to me.”

4. You forgot to collect passport photos from the people in front of and behind you in line while traveling.

“How do we know you went on the trip if you can’t even be bothered to steal the passport photos of people near you in line? Did you really go on the trip? No, your jump manifests, training certificates, and hotel receipts don’t count. We want those passport photos.”

5. You haven’t bribed anyone yet.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
(Photo: Department of Defense)

“Seriously, what is wrong with you? You think we handle your DTS vouchers because we’re charitable? Or because we like collecting our salaries? No. It’s for the bribes.”

6. You failed to sacrifice at least three virgin sheep to the dark undergods of the Defense Travel Service.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

“How am I going to go back to my bosses and tell them that I reviewed your packet without a single dead, unblemished sheep to gift to them?”

7. You have a firstborn son, but have not relinquished him to your reviewer.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

“We probably won’t actually take your child, but you have to offer. It’s an ‘Abraham and God’ sort of thing.”

8. You didn’t attach the right receipts.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
(Photo: U.S. Air National Guard Master Sgt. Christopher Botzum)

“Seriously, this is easy stuff. Just do the paperwork and you’ll get your money.”

Lists

The 19 most game-changing weapons of the 21st century

We’ve come a long way since the stealth bomber.


Just as smart gadgets have invaded our homes and revolutionized our lives over the last 15 years, next-level weaponry has transformed the military.

The imperatives of the military have always been one of the main drivers of technological development.

ARPANET, one of the internet’s most important precursors was a Pentagon project, while most of the technology in an iPhone originated with the US Department of Defense.

Today, militaries all over the world are still pushing technological boundaries. Since the turn of the millennium, weapons featuring a vast range of technical sophistication have proven to be game changers.

Everything from concealed roadside bombs — cheap, primitive, and deadly  — to multibillion-dollar aerial lasers have transformed conventional methods of combat and altered the world’s technological and political landscape.

Here are 19 of the most important weapons of the last 15 years.

Massive Ordnance Penetrator bombs

 

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

America’s largest conventional bomb is precision-guided, 20 feet long, weighs 30,000 pounds, and can blast through underground bunkers.

Boeing’s Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bomb is designed to pierce 60 feet of reinforced concrete and then detonate 200 feet underground — making no bunker safe.

After the MOP’s first successful test in 2007, the US Air Force ordered an arsenal of these mega-bombs.

The Chinese anti-satellite program

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In January of 2007, China initiated a new and terrifying era in warfare. Using a C-19 ballistic missile, the People’s Liberation Army destroyed an out-of-commission weather satellite flying over 500 miles above the surface of Earth.

In a single widely condemned move, China had militarized outer space. It was a move that might have been inevitable, but whose long-term consequences are startling. If satellites were considered legitimate military targets, attacks could create debris fields that would knock out entire orbits or create chain reactions that might destroy vital communications and global-positioning satellites. Similarly, countries could deploy weapons to outer space capable of destroying terrestrial targets once the global taboo against space warfare is obliterated.

If that alarming worst-case scenario ever comes to pass, future generations could identify the successful 2007 test as the moment that space became a military frontier. The test also displayed China’s eagerness to develop weapons that its rivals would never use — showing how a state can use asymmetrical means to close the gap with it more powerful rivals.

The X-47B

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Northrop Grumman

 

The Navy’s X-47B is a strike-fighter-sized unmanned aircraft with the potential to completely change aerial warfare.

Northrop Grumman’s drone is capable of aerial refueling, 360-degree rolls, and offensive weapon deployment. It’s carried out the first autonomous aerial refueling in aviation history, and has taken off and landed from an aircraft carrier.

It cruises at half the speed of sound, and has a wingspan of 62 feet — as well as a range of at least 2,400 miles, which is more than twice that of the Reaper drone.

Reaper drones

 

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The M19 Reaper drone has radically changed the way that the US carries out military operations. First released in 2001, the Reaper drone has been used in surveillance operations and strikes against militants in places ranging from Iraq to Somalia to Pakistan.

Reaper drones are built to be effective at both surveillance and air support. The drones are capable of reading a license plate from over two miles away while at an altitude of 52,000 feet.

The drones can also carry 500-pound bombs and both air-to-ground missiles and air-to-air missiles. Capable of staying airborne for 36 hours, the drone has given the US a remarkable ability to strike targets quickly and quietly around the world — and without risking personnel in the process.

The V-22 Osprey

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Senior Airman Julianne Showalter/USAF

The V-22 Osprey is a multitask tilt rotor aircraft that has become a staple of the Marine Corps since its introduction into service. The Osprey can take off and land vertically like a helicopter, but it can also travel at speeds approaching that of a fixed-wing plane.

The Osprey originally suffered from several worrisome accidents, including a series of fatal crashes, before it was officially introduced into service in 2007. The plane’s later models have now become absolutely indispensable for the Marines. It has seen use in combat and rescue operations as far afield as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.

The Air Force, Navy, and Marines have used the Osprey for almost every conceivable mission. It has been used for troop transport, MEDEVAC missions, supply transport, and aerial delivery; it is also being tested for use as an aerial refueling platform. As it can land vertically, the Osprey is also able to take part in operations normally out of bounds for traditional aircraft, which typically need hundreds of feet of runway space.

Boost-glide hypersonic weapons

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Boost-glide hypersonic weapons are the latest arena in which the US and China are competing militarily. Neither country has quite developed a working advanced hypersonic weapon (AHW) prototype, but the two countries both tested their own versions in August 2014.

Boost-glide weapons can hit their targets with unprecedented speed and effectiveness. If they ever become operable, these weapons would be able to deliver weapons payloads while traveling at a velocity five times faster than the speed of sound over a range of several thousand miles.

Boost-glide weapons are capable of traveling on a trajectory that makes them difficult for missile-defense systems to intercept, since those systems are designed to work against the high arc of traditional ballistic missiles. Boost-glide projectiles travel quickly and at a flat angle, working at speeds and trajectories that flummox existing missile defense technologies.

These weapons could deliver nuclear warheads faster and better than anything ever built, and experts fear that they could spark a new arms race.

Seaborne Tomahawk Missiles

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
A Tomahawk missile, guided by an F/A-18 Super Hornet hits a moving maritime target. (Photo: YouTube)

On January 27, the Navy carried out a successful test of a steerable marine-launched Tomahawk missile. Guided by an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the modified missile was able to change directions in flight and hit a moving maritime target.

“This is potentially a game-changing capability for not a lot of cost,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work said at the WEST 2015 conference. “It’s a 1,000-mile anti-ship cruise missile.”

The new converted Tomahawks would have a range of almost 1,000 nautical miles, allowing the US to maintain a considerable edge over rival naval powers. On the other side of the Pacific, one of China’s most threatening new military advancements is its development of its own advanced anti-ship cruise missiles. While potentially threatening to US ships, these missiles would have just half the range of the converted Tomahawk.

THAAD missiles

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Raytheon

The most advanced missile system on the planet can hunt and blast incoming missiles right out of the sky with a 100% success rate — from a truck, no less.

With its unmatched precision, the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system can equalize conflicts around the world. With its mobility and strategic battery-unit placement, the THAAD can close the gap between mismatched military forces and take away an enemy’s aerial advantage.

Impressively, the THAAD missile does not carry a warhead, instead using pure kinetic energy to deliver “hit-to-kill” lethality to ballistic missiles inside or outside of Earth’s atmosphere. Each launcher carries up to eight missiles and can send multiple kill vehicles, depending on the severity of the threat.

The YAL Airborne Laser Testbed

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
The YAL Airborne Laser Testbed’s turret assembly. (Photo: YouTube)

Weaponized lasers will likely be a feature on the battlefield of the future. Even though only one of the weapons was ever built and the program has been discontinued, the YAL Airborne Laser Testbed was an important proof of concept.

The American weapon, which was first tested successfully in 2007, was housed inside a converted 747 aircraft. The plane had the largest laser turret ever built installed on its nose. The laser was built to intercept tactical ballistic missiles midway through their flight path; in a 2010 test, the YAL succeeded in shooting down a test target.

The military decided the YAL was impractical — in order to intercept a missile, the aircraft would have to already be in the air, while the weapon itself was expensive to fabricate, operate, and maintain. Still, it demonstrated that enormous, high-powered lasers could destroy large and fast-moving objects, and do so in midair. 

If lasers ever become a feature of aerial combat, it will be because of the precedent of the YAL.

The Laser Weapon System

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: YouTube

The Navy’s Laser Weapon System, or LaWS, is a ship-mounted weaponized laser that can burn through enemy targets in less than 30 seconds.

The energy used to deploy a single LaWS laser shot costs approximately $1 compared to the traditional SM-2, a similar surface-to-air system that runs $400,000 per missile.

Earlier this year, Boeing signed a contract with the US Navy to upgrade the current software used on the laser system.

Stuxnet

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In 2010, a malicious computer program swept through Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Stuxnet caused uranium enrichment centrifuges to inexplicably fail and knocked out as much as 20% of Iran’s enrichment capacity. The computer worm essentially slowed Iran’s nuclear efforts, raising the pressure on Tehran and buying the US and its allies some valuable time to build up international opposition to the country’s program.

Stuxnet was a turning point in the modern history of warfare. It was a state-sponsored hack, a computer program likely built by the US and Israel in order to influence the behavior of a rival government. It arguably worked, to a degree — Iran’s program was slowed; the international community tightened its sanctions regime; the Iranian economy teetered on the brink of collapse, and the conditions for the current negotiations slid into place.

But it also set a precedent for governments hacking one another and hashing out their disagreements in the cyber realm. The North Korean hack of Sony is arguably the next step in the process and shows how cyber weapons may be so hard to control now that they’ve been introduced into international affairs.

Iron Dome

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Ever since Hezbollah rained hundreds of rockets over northern Israel during a July 2006 escalation in hostilities, projectile attacks have been the country’s most pressing security challenge. There have been some 15,000 rocket attacks on the country since 2001, including attacks from Iranian and Russian-made missiles capable of hitting Israel’s major population centers.

The Iron Dome antimissile battery is capable of tracking the trajectory of an incoming projectile and then launching an interceptor that detonates the missile at a safe altitude. Iron Dome saves lives on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Hamas rocket attacks during flare-ups in 2012 and 2014 killed few people inside of Israel even including days in which more than 100 rockets were fired. Without Iron Dome, the death toll would have been far higher in both conflicts and Israel’s response might have been even more protracted.

Iron Dome was developed by a state-owned Israeli defense company to face a specific threat and therefore has little battlefield applicability beyond the country’s borders. But it’s one of the primary modern examples of a country mustering all of its technological resources to solve a highly specialized and difficult security problem. In an era where large, set-piece battles between armies and traditional battlefield tactics may be a thing of the past, this may be the kind of the military edge that ends up counting the most.

Heat rays

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Both China and the US have developed nonlethal “heat rays” that cause extreme pain and can aid in crowd control. The general idea behind the weapons is to heat the water just below the surface of a person’s skin so as to induce pain, causing the target to flee without inflicting death or incapacitation.

The Chinese heat ray can target individuals at up to 262 feet away. When hooked up to an extra power source, the beam can hit targets at distances of 0.6 miles.

The US version of the heat ray, known as the Active Denial System (ADS), had a range of 1,000 meters and could raise the temperature of a target’s skin by 130 degrees. However, the ADS was recalled by the US military without ever having been used over questions of its ethical application.

Bullets that can change direction in flight

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: DARPA

Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) are bullets that can change their path during flight to correct for the movement of a target or any other factors that might have driven the projectile off-course.

The bullets feature optical tips that can detect guidance lasers focused on a target. Tiny fins on the bullets then guide the bullet towards that laser. The Pentagon just successfully conducted a live-fire test utilizing these rounds.

If fully implemented, these rounds could drastically improve the accuracy of US soldiers. The weapons would also help reduce the risks of friendly-fire incidents or of stray bullets harming civilians.

The Golden Hour blood container

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Jason Johnston/US Army

This isn’t a weapon — but it’s still a game changer.

The Golden Hour, developed by US Army scientists in 2003, helped keep US soldiers alive after suffering a major battlefield injury. The box-like thermal container preserved red blood cells at a temperature that would prevent donor blood from dying under harsh environmental conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan — all without having to use electricity, batteries, or ice to moderate the blood’s temperature.

If soldiers were injured on the battlefield, there would be life-saving donor blood immediately on hand in small and easily portable containers that require no actual energy input. This allows medics to perform transfusions quickly and efficiently when soldiers’ lives are most at risk.

The container shows that not every major battlefield development is weapons related, and it demonstrates just how far technology has come in saving soldiers’ lives.

Improvised explosive devices

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Cpl. Alfred Lopez/USMC

Every era of modern warfare has had weapons that closed the gap between powerful state militaries and nonstate militant groups. During the Cold War, rebel groups around the world used the cheap and plentiful AK-47 to defeat far larger armies around the world.

The roadside bomb is how insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan bogged down a far larger and more powerful US military. Camouflaged “improvised explosive devices,” often hidden in cars or potholes, could be detonated using cell phones. They could also be built quickly and covertly, and without a huge amount of engineering expertise.

IEDs killed as many as 3,100 US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, representing around two-thirds of total US combat deaths. The bombs prevented the US from winning in both countries through conventional means, leading to technological developments like the MRAP and a shift to counterinsurgency strategy in both wars. IEDs have arguably transformed the US military and its mission like no other modern weapon.

Roadside bombs showed how in the 21st century, it’s still possible for a small and technologically primitive military force to wreak havoc on a larger and infinitely better-equipped one.

Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The US was in huge trouble in Iraq in 2005. The American-led mission was losing ground to a growing insurgency led by Al Qaeda elements. And the US was suffering huge losses from improvised explosive devices that would rip through even heavily armored vehicles. Insurgents were setting bombs that would detonate under American personnel carriers, which weren’t built to withstand the insurgents’ weaponry.

The heavily armored MRAP was designed, developed, and built in a matter of months to counter the US’ biggest operational challenge in Iraq; by 2009 over 21,000 of them were in service.

Developed on an accelerated schedule, the MRAP reduced US casualties from mine and IED attacks by 80%. And it provided the US and its allies with a vehicle that could operate in a new, challenging combat environment.

Four-tube night-vision goggles

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: USAF

 

Each member of Navy SEAL Team Six is issued $65,000 four-tube night-vision goggles, according to Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette in his book, “No Easy Day.”

Compared to the standard two-tube goggles, which Bissonnette says are similar to binoculars, the four-tube model gives soldiers a greatly expanded field of view.

The Ground Panoramic Night Vision Goggles are made in Londonderry, New Hampshire, by L-3 Warrior Systems’ Insight division, Defense One reports.

Since 2010, the Pentagon has spent at least $12.5 million on this elite military eyewear, according to Defense One.

The Ghost hovercraft

Developed by Juliet Marine Systems, the Ghost could become one of the military’s ships of the future.

Propped on two blade-like pontoons, the Ghost cuts through the water while maintaining enhanced balance. The design allows the ship to reduce friction and increase its stability.

The ship has also been designed for maximum stealth. It is nonmagnetic and hard to detect via sonar, making it ideal for infiltration and surveillance of enemy waters.

The Ghost can also deploy a range of offensive weapons that are similar to what an attack helicopter would carry. The vessel can be equipped with Gatling guns, Griffin missiles, and rockets launched either from its hull or from the craft’s skin.

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11 military propaganda posters that are surprisingly convincing

Rifles, grenades, and heavy machinery are the weapons of war, but there’s another, subtle and powerful form of warfare. Images, words, films, and even songs engage the hearts and minds of citizens to support wars.


The following posters are examples of persuasion used in the past to sway public opinion and sustain war efforts.

1. Fear is a powerful motivator. After all, it’s either them or us.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

2. Nothing like a woman and child in imminent danger to jump-start our natural protective instincts.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

3. This poster draws on the similarity of a child’s college fund.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

4. Events like the massacre at Lidice gave Nazis a reputation for their brutality. This poster is a reminder of the atrocities that await should they invade American cities.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

5. Posters like the one below alerted citizens to the presence of enemy spies lurking in everyday society. These posters reminded well-meaning citizens of the consequences careless talk may cause, such as compromising national security and troop safety.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

6. “Uncle Sam” was extensively used during World War II. He was a fighter, a laborer, a recruiter and more.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

7. “Avenge Pearl Harbor” was a popular cry after the surprise attack on Dec. 7, 1941.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

8. Posters like the one below encouraged continued support for the war.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

9. Humor was also used in propaganda posters.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

10. But direct and emotional messages were more effective.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

11. World War II took place during the golden era of comic books, which lasted from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. This poster made in the popular comic book style was a sure fire way to promote a message.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

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

OR: Watch 5 Hollywood directors who served and filmed real wars:

 

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The 9 most badass unit mottos in the Marine Corps

There are some units in the U.S. Marine Corps that really know how to make an impression.

Like the rest of the military, Marine units have unit crests, nicknames, and of course, mottos. And in quite a few cases, those elements are pretty badass.


These are our picks for the units with the coolest unit mottos, along with a brief explanation of what they do.

1. “Whatever It Takes”

1st Battalion, 4th Marines: Stationed at Camp Pendleton, California, 1/4 is an infantry battalion that has been fighting battles since its first combat operation in the Dominican Republic in 1916. That’s also where 1st Lt. Ernest Williams earned the Medal of Honor, the first for the battalion.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

2. “Get Some”

3rd Battalion, 5th Marines: Based at the northern edge of Camp Pendleton, California, the “Dark Horse” battalion is one of the most-decorated battalions in the Marine Corps.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

3. “Balls of the Corps”

3rd Battalion, 1st Marines: “The Thundering Third” is stationed at Camp Pendleton, California, and has a notable former member in Gen. Joseph Dunford.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

4. “We Quell the Storm, and Ride the Thunder”

3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines: “The Betio Bastards” of 3/2 are based at Camp Lejeune, and have been heavily involved in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. The battalion is perhaps best known for its fight on Tarawa in 1943.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

5. “Retreat Hell”

2nd Battalion, 5th Marines: It was in the trenches of World War I where 2/5 got its motto. When told by a French officer that his unit should retreat from the defensive line, Capt. Lloyd Williams replied, “Retreat? Hell, we just got here!” With combat service going back to 1914, 2/5 is the most decorated battalion in Marine history.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

6. “Ready for All, Yielding to None”

2nd Battalion, 7th Marines: Stationed at Twentynine Palms, California, the battalion’s current motto is a slight variation on its Vietnam-era one: “Ready for Anything, Counting on Nothing.”

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

7. “Semper Malus” — Latin for “Always Ugly”

Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 362 (HMH-362): This helicopter unit nicknamed “Ugly Angels,” is stationed at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii and holds the proud distinction of being the first aircraft unit ashore in Vietnam.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

8. “Swift, Silent, Deadly”

1st, 2nd, and 3rd Recon Battalions: Reconnaissance Marines are trained for special missions, raids, and you guessed it: reconnaissance. For these three battalions, stationed at Camps Lejeune, Pendleton, and Schwab, the motto pretty much sums up what they can do.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

9. “Make Peace or Die”

1st Battalion, 5th Marines: Nicknamed “Geronimo,” the Camp Pendleton based 1/5 has been involved in every major U.S. engagement since World War I. Most recently, the battalion has been deployed to Darwin, Australia as the Corps tries to “pivot to the Pacific.”

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

Lists

Fortune 500 CEOs who served in the military

Business leaders who served in the military have a tremendous knowledge in leadership and motivation. Many CEOs of major companies spent time in the armed forces, with a number seeing combat in the Vietnam War, and some even being wounded. Along the way, they learned a great deal about how to motivate people under you, logistics, efficiency, and managing expectations.


These lessons would come in handy when they transitioned to the business world. These leaders turned major companies around, oversaw mergers and new products, weathered uncertain economic times, and made profits for shareholders – all while managing employees with the skills they learned in the military.

As the current generation of Vietnam veteran CEOs retires, the corporate world is left with a vacuum that won’t be filled for decades, until Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans take high-ranking business leadership positions. Here are some of the most prominent current and recently retired CEOs who also served in the military.

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9 facts about NASA’s amazing legacy

From a one-man capsule to the space shuttle, here are 9 facts about America’s space program that will remind you of NASA’s amazing history and the legacy of dedication and service on the part of all who’ve worked there over the years.


1. Wally Schirra was the only one of the Mercury 7 astronauts to fly in all three of NASA’s ‘Moon Shot’ programs (Mercury, Gemini and Apollo).

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

Alan Shepard flew in Mercury and Apollo, but not in Gemini. Gus Grissom was involved in all three projects, flying in Mercury and Gemini, but he was killed during a pre-flight simulation in his Apollo 1 capsule, so he never actually flew in the Apollo program. (NASA.gov)

2. Gus Grissom was the only Mercury astronaut to give his capsule a name: Molly Brown. (NASA.gov)

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3. Alan Shepard used a modified six iron during the Apollo 14 mission in 1971.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

NASA planners were unaware that he’d carried the device with him on the mission. Shepard later presented the folding club to comedian Bob Hope, an avid golfer beloved by the military. (NASA.gov)

4. President and First Lady Clinton and President and First Lady Trump are the only sitting presidents to witness a launch.

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They watched John Glenn’s return to Space on STS-95 on October 29, 1998 from the Kennedy Space Center. President Obama had planned to watch the shuttle Endeavour lift off on its final mission, STS-134, on April 29, 2011, but that launch was delayed. (NASA.gov)

5. Astronaut Kathy Sullivan was first U.S. woman to perform a spacewalk.

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She accomplished the feat during the shuttle Challenger’s mission (STS-41G) in October of 1984. (NASA.gov)

6. Norm Thagard became the first American astronaut to ride aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket.

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He joined two Russian cosmonauts in blasting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan on March 14, 1995. The Mir 18 mission lasted 115 days. (NASA.gov)

7. Bernard Harris became the first African-American to walk in space.

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On Feb. 9, 1995, Bernard Harris, payload specialist aboard STS-63, became the first African-American to walk in space. This photo shows Harris and mission specialist C. Michael Foale in the airlock chamber just before exiting the shuttle. (NASA.gov)

8. The shuttle Columbia flew 28 flights.

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The shuttle Columbia flew 28 flights (including the first shuttle mission), spent 300.74 days in space, completed 4,808 orbits, and flew a total of 125,204,911 miles. The shuttle met a tragic end in 2003 when it was destroyed on re-entry, killing all seven astronauts aboard.

9. Pushing out the boundaries of space exploration has taken a human toll.

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Eighteen NASA astronauts have died in the course of carrying out the mission: three on Apollo 1, one on X-15-3, seven on Challenger, and seven on Columbia.

Lists

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

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

 

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
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.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Marine Corps Cpl. Tia Dufour

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

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Marine Corps Cpl. Octavia Davis

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Reina Barnett

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rodion Zabolotniy

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Marine Corps Cpl. Dengrier Baez

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Samantha Draughon

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Oscar L Olive IV

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Marine Corps Sgt. Chris Stone

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Ezekiel Kitandwe

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Oscar L Olive IV

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Samantha Draughon

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Marine Corps Cpl. Carolyn Pichardo

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Ezekiel Kitandwe

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Marine Corps Cpl. Sarah Fiocco

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jacqueline Smith

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Alejandro Sierras

BONUS: Now watch one of their performances…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXa39XyP6q8

 

NOW: 7 things ‘Hollywood’ Marines will always remember

OR: 5 problems infantry Marines will understand

Articles

9 things new chief petty officers do when they put on khakis

The US Navy is an institution rich in tradition with its own language and elaborate ceremonies. One of those ceremonies is the Chief Petter Officer initiation.


Ask any sailor what a newly made chief does as soon as they put on the khaki uniform and you’ll get mixed results. Responses vary from the good to the awfully absurd and usually based on a sailor’s time in service.

For example, this sailor on Facebook said that his chief completely changed when he put on the khakis for the first time:

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

Ask a chief and he’ll say that it’s one of the hardest and most satisfying jobs in the world:

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

WATM did an informal poll of sailors of all ranks to uncover the nine common things that new chiefs do when they put on the khakis:

1. Smile incessantly for about an hour.

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Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Trevor Welsh/USN

They’ve just been made and now have the privilege to do the following eight things:

2. Get a new coffee mug that says “chief.”

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Photo: navychief.com

A good chief’s mug will be respected and left alone. A bad chief will have their mug washed out. Apparently, chiefs have it in their mind that their unwashed coffee mugs have super caffeine powers.

3. Start calling everyone ‘shipmate.’

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Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer A. Villalovos/USN

Everyone becomes a “shipmate” once you become a chief. It used to be that they call everyone by their rate (Navy job) and rank.

4. Start calling other khakis by their first names.

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Photo: Chief Mass Communication Specialist Tiffini Jones Vanderwyst/USN

It’s now Frankie and Jane instead of Smith and Martinez.

5. Start eating like a king in the chief’s mess.

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Rumor has it that the chiefs eat better than the officers aboard a ship.

6. Gain weight.

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Everything has a cause and effect.

7. Pass off the ensign to the first-class.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Deven B. King/USN

They lose an ensign but gain a lieutenant.

8. Wait for the first person to call him ‘sir’ so he can say, “don’t call me sir, I work for a living.”

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: USN

Along with the new position comes treasure trove of cliché terms that they’ve been waiting years to use. (Poor boot, he confused the chief for an officer.)

Also read: 21 of the US military’s most-overused clichés

9. Change their civilian wardrobes to match their uniforms.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo: NavyChief.com

(OBTW: It’s safe to call a chief “a lifer.” If they’ve made it this far, you can expect to get a full 20 years before retiring.)

NOW: 9 WTF? questions Navy recruits have at boot camp

OR: 13 lessons every new sailor learns the hard way

Articles

The 13 funniest military memes of the week

Sure, everyone wants to get off for the weekend so they can celebrate the big win by Delta and raise a toast to the operator we lost this week. Here are 13 memes to keep you chuckling until release formation:


1. When airmen aim a little too high:

(via Air Force Memes and Humor)

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
I don’t know what he was thinking. That was clearly a naval aviation mission.

2. Looks more like a barracks haircut to me (via NavyMemes.com).

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Either way, gunny will not be impressed.

SEE ALSO: 12 signs you may be ‘motarded’

3. Great drill and ceremony, but can you fight with it (via Coast Guard Memes)?

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Everyone knows the iguana qualification tables are a pain in the a-s.

4. Payday activities are no fun.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

5. Someone is going to have a bad night …

(via Coast Guard Memes)

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
… or maybe a bad morning. Depends on when the booze wears off.

6. Marines are ready to step in and assist.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
And, they’ll do it with helmet bands and rifles from the Vietnam era.

7. Air power!

(via Air Force Memes and Humor)

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

8. This is a true master-at-arms (via Sh-t My LPO Says).

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
The point man needs his knifehand to protect himself in case of ambush.

9. Shoulder-fired, panting-cooled, autonomous weapons system.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Bowl-fed and bad-ss!

10. For a stealthy bomber, the B-1 is pretty loud.

(via Air Force Memes and Humor)

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Not as loud as its bombs, but loud. 

11. Finding the flag can be challenging on a new post (via Team Non-Rec).

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Meh, probably back there somewhere.

 12. When soldiers are finally told they can do something fun …

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
… but have to do it in full battle rattle.

13. That sudden drop in your stomach when you hear it.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

NOW: The 8 most painful nonlethal weapons

OR: Ex-President Jimmy Carter perfectly trolls Russians fighting in Syria

Lists

Top 10 reasons to be a military nurse

The COVID-19 pandemic, like many crises before it, has demonstrated the importance of nursing in unsettling times. From the Civil War days of Clara Barton, whose compassion and skills earned her the nickname “Angel of the Battlefield,” to the ongoing roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine, nurses have long been on the forefront of humanitarian efforts.  Whether you’re a nurse already or are seeking a profession that will make a significant positive impact, consider these 10 benefits of military nursing:

1: Loan Repayment Programs

The clouds parted, the angels sang and your loans were pardoned. While this seems too-good-to-be-true, especially in a world where loan forgiveness is so hard to come by, the Active Duty Health Professionals Loan Repayment Program and Healthcare Professionals Loan Repayment Program offer up to $120K in loan repayment for active duty and $50K for the Reserve Corps, respectively. Through these programs, you can graduate with a BSN and pay back the cost of your education within three years of working. The ADHPLPR even offers a $10K accession bonus!

2: Nurses have great insurance benefits

Military Nurses qualify for excellent medical and dental care while serving. Family members can also receive the military benefits. Life insurance is significantly discounted, and military nurses are permitted to collect up to $400K in the circumstance of a catastrophic event. Active duty and retirees and their families can also take advantage of Space A travel, free flights around the globe when space is available on military aircraft.

3: Salary and financial bonuses

Military nurses make, on average, $70,559 annually. The salary range is $58K to $103K. There are also paid bonuses for military nursing specifically – each branch has different bonuses, but the average amount is estimated at $22K annually. Accession bonuses – granted when a new nurse joins the military – are also offered and vary in amount.

4: Vacation

Military nurses are granted 30 paid vacation days per year. This is 20 more than regular Registered Nurses are granted.

5: Surprisingly, nurses get to travel

The travel congruent with a career as a military nurse is what part of what makes the job so fun. Positions across our country and the world are offered throughout the different branches of the military, and nurses are granted free or discounted air travel. Active duty, retirees and their families can take advantage of Space A travel, free flights around the globe when space is available on military aircraft. Put those 30 days off to good use!

6: Housing benefits

Nurses living off-base are granted a monthly housing allowance, granted in consideration of family size and rank. Nurses who choose to live in base housing or in the barracks enjoy life without a mortgage payment or rent, with direct access to base amenities and the military life that thrives within.

7: Job Availability is always a thing for nurses

Pre-Covid, there was already a huge shortage of nurses – the US needed approximately 200,000 more in order to accommodate hospitals. Now, in the midst of the pandemic, the US Healthcare system needs nurses more than ever before. With so many vaccines to give and patients to take care of, Registered Nurses are the second most “in-demand” professionals today. Subsequently, nurses are needed almost everywhere; job options are endless after service!

8: Access to COVID Vaccine

Healthcare workers are the first to receive the COVID Vaccine. If that interests you, nursing could be an excellent option.

9: Technology

Military nurses are permitted to use some of the most advanced medical technology and work at world-class hospitals. Notably, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) significantly decreases paperwork and allows for actual time in medical practice rather than in logistical or administrative work.

10: Nursing is one of the most rewarding and respectable jobs

Aside from these benefits, military nursing is one of the most rewarding career options. While providing service to our country, we also have the opportunity to help others; to save or improve their lives. Nurses are trusted and respected; 85% of Americans polled believed nurses maintained secure, high ethics. In addition to helping others, serving our troops and giving back to our country, nursing can provide the eudaimonistic feeling of knowing that you are making a positive impact in the world. The question may not be why should I become a military nurse – you should be asking yourself why you shouldn’t.

Articles

6 Tips For Being The Perfect Wingman

 


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Dating in the military is tough. There are rules against fraternization: no dating within your unit, no public displays of affection, and no dating of subordinate. On top of all of these rules, troops work long hours and have myriad duty responsibilities, so there’s very little time to get off base and meet someone.

So when liberty arrives, service members have to maximize their chances. This is where the a good wingman can come in handy.

Also Read: 13 Tips For Dating On A US Navy Ship

Being the perfect wingman is more than just accompanying your buddy for a night out in town. It takes dedication, humility, and a sixth sense. Here are six tips for being the perfect wingman:

1. Never let your buddy feel stupid.

funny gifs

Your job is to keep your buddy feeling good about himself no matter what.

2. Know when to bail your buddy from danger.

You do whatever it takes to save your buddy from making a mistake.

3. Never outshine your buddy.

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Photo: wing-manning.tumblr.com

Remember, you’re the wingman, not the lead. Your job is to play the support role.

4. Know when to give your buddy space.

Here’s where the sixth sense comes into play.

5. If he or she is happy, you’re happy.

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Photo: Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Zachary S. Welch/US Navy

You stand back and keep an eye on your buddy the remainder of the night.

6. Be there if your buddy happens to crash and burn.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound

Learn from your buddy. Next time, it’s his or her turn to be the wingman.

NOW: 5 Signs You’ve Been In The Barracks Way Too Long

OR: 17 Signs That You Might Be A Military Aviator

Articles

The US military took these incredible photos this week

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


NAVY

An MV-22 Osprey takes off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6).

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Photo by: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Taylor A. Elberg/USN

MARINETTE, Wis., (July 18, 2015) The littoral combat ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Little Rock (LCS 9) is launched into the Menominee River in Marinette, Wisc. after a christening ceremony at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard.

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Photo by: USN

MARINE CORPS

Lance Cpl. David Sellers, a refrigeration mechanic with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, embraces his wife with a kiss during the Command Element’s homecoming at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

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Photo by: Cpl. Todd F. Michalek/USMC

I SAW You

A Marine with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines provides cover for fellow Marines moving between buildings during a military operations in urban terrain training event aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo by: Lance Cpl. Chris Garcia/USMC

SOUTHWEST, Asia – U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Zachary Claus and Lance Cpl. Luis Alvarez, avionics technicians with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron – 165 (VMM – 165), Special Purpose Marine Air – Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command, take multimeter readings from the engine of an MV–22 Osprey.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo by: Lance Cpl. Garrett White/USMC

ARMY

Marines assigned to 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, and an Army instructor assigned to U.S. Army Alaska‘s Northern Warfare Training Center, conduct military alpine operations, at Black Rapids Training Site and Gulkana Glacier.

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Photo by: Staff Sgt. Sean Callahan/US Army

A soldier, assigned to the Georgia National Guard, fires a Mark 19 40-mm grenade machine gun from a Humvee during mounted weapons qualification, part of the unit’s annual training, at Fort Stewart, Ga., July 21, 2015.

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Photo by: Capt. William Carraway/National Guard

AIR FORCE

The Thunderbirds Delta Formation flies over Niagara Falls, N.Y., July 20, 2015.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo by: Senior Airman Jason Couillard/USAF

Five members of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly in formation behind a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to McConnell Air Force Base, Kan, July 23, 2015. The Thunderbirds are the Air Force’s premier air demonstration team and perform at different events across the country every year.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo by: Senior Airman Victor J. Caputo/USAF

COAST GUARD

Line handlers from the Coast Guard Cutter Spencer moor the Coast Guard Barque Eagle in Boston, Thursday, July 23, 2015. The Eagle was operated by the pre-World War II German navy and taken as a war reparation by the U.S., is now a training ship where cadets and officer candidates learn leadership and practical seamanship skills.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo by: Petty Officer 2nd Class Cynthia Oldham/USCG

The Coast Guard Barque Eagle is in Boston Harbor, Thursday, July 23, 2015. The Eagle, operated by the pre-World War II German navy and taken as a war reparation by the U.S., is now a training ship where cadets and officer candidates learn leadership and practical seamanship skills.

Here’s what it’s like when Special Forces raid a compound
Photo by: Petty Officer 2nd Class Cynthia Oldham/USCG

NOW: More awesome military photos

OR: The 13 funniest military memes of the week

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