2020 summed up through 12 months of memes - We Are The Mighty
MIGHTY CULTURE

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

This year has definitely seen its fair share of hilarious and uniquely 2020 memes. They’ve captured our angsty existence to a tee. From World War 3 and Corona, to hating on Matthew Morrison, welcome to 2020’s 12 Months of Memes. Hopefully, 2021 provides us with less material.

January 

  1. World War 3 
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

We were all simultaneously laughing and crying over this possibility.

  1. “Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, Tinder” or “The Dolly Parton Challenge”
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

We all have different sides to us.

  1. Nasa and the brooms
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

It didn’t work in 2012 when it was popular the first time, it still doesn’t work now. 

  1. Tom Hanks at the Golden Globes
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

You just know something is off…

February

  1. The Ice Age Baby
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

So versatile, yet so dark.

  1. Unscrew the cap
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Takes agility and strength, but more often than not, leads to immense pain after failing to actually complete the challenge and fall onto the floor.

  1. No one has this range
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

The amount of versatility in his expression…

March

  1. It’s Corona Time!
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Wash your hands!

  1. Hoarding toilet paper
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

We’re still working through all of it.

  1. Dancing Pallbearers
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

March brought on some more…morbid memes, but at least your Covid funeral will have some pep in its step.

April

  1. Tiger King
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

The distraction we all needed in lockdown.

  1. Quarantine bubbles
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Stranded inside, without a plan.

  1. 2020 can’t get any worse
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

At this point, nothing would surprise me.

May

  1. Online learning
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Twas…an adjustment.

  1. It’s Gonna be May
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Justin knows what’s up.

  1. Swole Dog vs. Cheems
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Swole dog might have a nagging superiority complex.

  1. My Plans/2020
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

2020 is just a one year-long raincheck.

June 

  1. From the Walking dead to the Purge
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Well that was a complete 180 degree turn.

  1. Murder hornets
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

The beginning of summer 2020 had us feeling like we were in a literal 10 plagues.

  1. Nature in Recovery
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Just look at these beautiful creatures…

July

  1. The beginning of Covid vs. Now (July)
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

By this point, we were practically unphased.

  1. Everything is cake
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Is it a croc or is it funfetti?

  1. Alien Invasion
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Fortunately, it seems they chickened out.

August

  1. Mi pan su su su
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Put this sound over anything and it’s instantly more entertaining.

  1. How the email found me
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Everything is going great!

  1. The Movie Villain vs. The Actual Villain
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Some character plots just don’t age well…

September

  1. The “Reese Witherspoon Challenge”
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Showcasing our prime moods for each month.

  1. This is where I’m at today
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Eternal limbo at this point…

  1. The longest March in history so far
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

It is currently the 238th of Marchtember.

  1. Which animal are you?
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

This year just showed us how obsessed we can be with our name being matched to a chocolate and cream cow or an orange rainforest frog.

October

  1. Mike Pence and the Fly
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Not only free press for the fly, but also a great Halloween costume.

  1. How it started, how it’s going
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Well, it can go one of two ways…

  1. Does this look like an appropriate father/son interaction to you?
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

A politically charged comment gone wrong…

November

  1. Something’s wrong. I can feel it.
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

It’s something in the air.

  1. I ain’t never seen 2 pretty best friends.
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Dude, where have you been looking?

  1. Ratatouille, the musical
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

It’s united a country and all it took was a tiny rat chef.

December

  1. Please. No.
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

The biggest fear of an eternal 2020.

  1. An environment that is so toxic
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Welcome to 2020.

  1. Mathew Morrison Hatred
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

He’s not only the Grinch and the master of cringe hip hop, but the subject of unmatched sarcastic hatred

MIGHTY CULTURE

US military thinks its next war will be underground

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) issued a peculiar request over Twitter on Aug. 28, 2019, asking for underground tunnels to use for research — as soon as possible.

Though DARPA’s request managed to spook Twitter users, DARPA told Insider that the request is related to technology development for underground combat and search-and rescue operations.

While President Donald Trump looks to create a Space Force — an entirely new military branch — the Pentagon itself has put more than half a billion dollars into technology and training to compete on underground battlefields.


2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Soldiers of 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, provide security during subterranean operations training, May 17. Lancers of 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, with the assistance of a Mobile Training Team from the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence, completed a 5-day exercise focused on subterranean operations, at a remote underground facility in Washington State, May 14-18.

(US Atmy photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Armstrong)

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency asked universities and colleges for underground tunnels to use for research.

Attention, city dwellers,” DARPA tweeted. “We’re interested in identifying university-owned or commercially managed underground urban tunnels facilities able to host research experimentation.”

The agency noted the short notice of the request — it asked for responses within two days — and specified that it was seeking “a human-made underground environment spanning several city blocks” which includes “a complex layout multiple stories, including atriums, tunnels stairwells.”

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Scientists watch soldiers sample simulated leaking chemical weapons in an underground facility in order to get a better idea of both the bulky protective gear soldiers must wear as well as the dark, constrained environments they sometimes work in.

(Stacy Smenos, Dugway Proving Ground)

While the Trump administration is increasingly looking to the skies and pressing for a Space Force, DARPA is focusing on operations underground.

In the agency’s online request for information, DARPA specifies that it’s trying to understand how technology could be used for rapid mapping, search, and navigation operations, likely in the case of urban conflict or disaster-related search-and-rescue operations.

“Complex urban underground infrastructure can present significant challenges for situational awareness in time-sensitive scenarios, such as active combat operations or disaster response,” Jared Adams, a spokesperson at DARPA, told Insider via email.

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

The Ultra-Light Robot employing its “arms,” which can be used to climb small obstacles such as stairs, July 3, 2019, in Stafford, Virginia. In the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019, the Corps will field the Ultra-Light Robot—a small, mobile robot system that enables explosive ordnance disposal Marines to manage or destroy improvised explosive devices or conduct various other reconnaissance activities.

(US Marine Corps photo by Matt Gonzales)

The request comes out ahead of DARPA’s Subterranean Challenge.

The Subterranean Challenge, or SubT Challenge, invites teams of researchers from all over the world to compete and find technological solutions for underground operations. The teams use locations — like the ones DARPA requested information about — to test technologies that can search and navigate in underground terrain where it might be too difficult for humans to go.

Teams in the systems competition focus on technology like robotics that can physically search and navigate in an underground terrain. On the virtual track, teams compete and develop software that can be used to assist in simulations of underground operations.

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Soldiers with 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division provide security while clearing an underground complex during dense urban environment training. The training, provided by a mobile training team from 3rd Squadron, 16th Cavalry Regiment out of Fort Benning, introduces tactics and techniques to the force to prosecute operations within dense urban terrain and populated urban centers.

(Photo by Capt. Scott Kuhn)

The urban circuit of the SubT challenge will take place in February 2020, hence the request for urban underground space.

“As teams prepare for the SubT Challenge Urban Circuit, the program recognizes it can be difficult for them to find locations suitable to test their systems and sensors,” Adams told Insider.

“DARPA issued this RFI in part to help identify potential representative environments where teams may be able to test in advance of the upcoming event.”

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Soldiers perform evacuation procedures at Fort Hood’s underground training facility. The training is part of a week-long training teaching Soldiers how to fight, win and survive in a dense urban terrain.

(Photo by Sgt. Jessica DuVernay)

The military has become more aware that it needs to develop technology and strategy to fight in an underground, urban setting.

Historically, underground warfare has been the domain of special operations troops like Navy SEALs. But military researchers predict that this kind of warfare will be too much for special operators alone to navigate, particularly if dealing with an adversary like China or Russia, which both have extensive underground space. China in particular uses vast underground complexes to store missiles and its nuclear arsenal.

“We did recognize, in a megacity that has underground facilities — sewers and subways and some of the things we would encounter … we have to look at ourselves and say ‘OK, how does our current set of equipment and our tactics stack up?'” Col. Townley Hedrick, commandant of the infantry school at the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia, said in an interview with Military.com last year.

The military has encountered underground facilities before — some Vietnam War-era special units explored tunnels dug by the Viet Cong.

ISIS militants also used tunnels in Iraq and Syria. In Israel and Lebanon, Hezbollah fighters used underground tunnels to launch attacks in Israel.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

MIGHTY CULTURE

What It’s Like to Transition Off Active Duty, in GIFs – Part IV

Need to get caught up? Check out Part I, Part II, and Part III.


[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FfemRvEeYusRCnnn6TrHJUf44ufBcch0Qqf8sVplA5ZN8TrfOxRLK_LM77XYX2nNc65eYWDLNbah3JT0NIzBeJo1wtfMPLjU_HimcR4PqTr0dDFwpho8zJ1OzOkaTeplqoBRNV7RH&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh6.googleusercontent.com&s=137&h=5f0b2a32b85bd6f50743ba0bfe2e19419064a11ce28f56a6a16eedcaaa33aa48&size=980x&c=1742207055 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FfemRvEeYusRCnnn6TrHJUf44ufBcch0Qqf8sVplA5ZN8TrfOxRLK_LM77XYX2nNc65eYWDLNbah3JT0NIzBeJo1wtfMPLjU_HimcR4PqTr0dDFwpho8zJ1OzOkaTeplqoBRNV7RH%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh6.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D137%26h%3D5f0b2a32b85bd6f50743ba0bfe2e19419064a11ce28f56a6a16eedcaaa33aa48%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1742207055%22%7D” expand=1]

lh6.googleusercontent.com

Part IV: Hitting Your Stride

First couple of paychecks under your belt, and you’re ready to look for a place. Game on! You didn’t watch those hundreds of hours of HGTV for nothing.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Fw1cAuq43SW4Jg1JMagZ9_uIgixl_h3IRo6qlnJGIPx2gNB4wx8cSbhnHUM_a1XSiQ-A-EElIVlKd_T_Yj9jrjulBbXb8OqtF5x9y_3oI2E3YsDKdjIbSkpsswY8M6IVQOeTNoZUO&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=345&h=3976a34703d6399f39f70cc7291da4d622d820acf4beac6d0a5ca0264bfe1f3e&size=980x&c=3775395698 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Fw1cAuq43SW4Jg1JMagZ9_uIgixl_h3IRo6qlnJGIPx2gNB4wx8cSbhnHUM_a1XSiQ-A-EElIVlKd_T_Yj9jrjulBbXb8OqtF5x9y_3oI2E3YsDKdjIbSkpsswY8M6IVQOeTNoZUO%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D345%26h%3D3976a34703d6399f39f70cc7291da4d622d820acf4beac6d0a5ca0264bfe1f3e%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3775395698%22%7D” expand=1]

lh4.googleusercontent.com

You found a place! Time to get your stuff out of storage and find out what broke during the PCS. You’re not sure how your dresser was shattered into five million pieces, but who cares? You’re too excited.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5GzQENC4n7J4e5AXPOqK-i63FAvPvBJ4IdZuI6-tP6-dUXxbJLPfbb74tnblw-MS88TV_fJUotHSrKRgsuZ0Zfs1NMJamQXHKk-VKxS2oGjvAlVDXSN8hz2SFXJXJ3xuSGL-dq_f&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=727&h=c444fa9c1ef6d6b522dd5637fd5bc993c82bc582aa0a36dad06eed57c358ee84&size=980x&c=2978945578 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5GzQENC4n7J4e5AXPOqK-i63FAvPvBJ4IdZuI6-tP6-dUXxbJLPfbb74tnblw-MS88TV_fJUotHSrKRgsuZ0Zfs1NMJamQXHKk-VKxS2oGjvAlVDXSN8hz2SFXJXJ3xuSGL-dq_f%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D727%26h%3Dc444fa9c1ef6d6b522dd5637fd5bc993c82bc582aa0a36dad06eed57c358ee84%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2978945578%22%7D” expand=1]

lh5.googleusercontent.com

When you went through TAP and everyone told you to file a VA disability claim, you said “no thanks.” You’re not that hurt, and other people need it more, right?

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F0ch4B7Jd4pZws29AAFW-tMLYela7Nlf9cCvdzfkw31nOmcj6CJ2Y1zNzudLtzJLRit9SNWVyecbh20VnQCAwnLGSxoGAjwUai950aEIqu9kol1mi3nYukHrqWNYGMmw27BK96h2E&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh6.googleusercontent.com&s=616&h=aec7df42154a1bf134fee51deba51ce3e1b20e24282a890fff484c9e19502c3b&size=980x&c=2969014259 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F0ch4B7Jd4pZws29AAFW-tMLYela7Nlf9cCvdzfkw31nOmcj6CJ2Y1zNzudLtzJLRit9SNWVyecbh20VnQCAwnLGSxoGAjwUai950aEIqu9kol1mi3nYukHrqWNYGMmw27BK96h2E%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh6.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D616%26h%3Daec7df42154a1bf134fee51deba51ce3e1b20e24282a890fff484c9e19502c3b%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2969014259%22%7D” expand=1]

lh6.googleusercontent.com

But lying awake with your bum ear ringing (and/or your knees throbbing, back hurting, your amygdala telling you you’re about to be eaten by a bear in the comfort of your own bed), you’re beginning to question the wisdom of that decision. Ok, maybe it’s time to file a claim.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FV8glFXKomdKRzSTouJBfVmpGHPE1GEXrbpg3ZyzmDtyXyLCGkyEu9u4jtpM2rlAqT9t7TjvmaH9xFBP7tZR51OLoLz0505ZshoGYNUvSkly4M24OV6TzLEyLPTDxndrnN5_UAKGH&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh6.googleusercontent.com&s=419&h=553870358afc4165357f79b6966c704dbdf9f588bf1f790128b4736481eed339&size=980x&c=3160411336 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FV8glFXKomdKRzSTouJBfVmpGHPE1GEXrbpg3ZyzmDtyXyLCGkyEu9u4jtpM2rlAqT9t7TjvmaH9xFBP7tZR51OLoLz0505ZshoGYNUvSkly4M24OV6TzLEyLPTDxndrnN5_UAKGH%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh6.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D419%26h%3D553870358afc4165357f79b6966c704dbdf9f588bf1f790128b4736481eed339%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3160411336%22%7D” expand=1]

lh6.googleusercontent.com

You can figure this out! It’s just some paperwork, right? A visit to eBenefits to check out the details suggests otherwise.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FyabK2FK0xAFh59Ljyri0AqQGA6x6tNHvEgLQyfyXbHA0cbC9nednZRiloe5D7YoeUwACcPhx6Seqq0fhKtoYb8veyIpL9dwJq-EboUNHRYKHbg7DTOc1EHJbv8MXlhgHgfQdamdo&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com&s=274&h=4237537c486fe9dc53cadfecd9c1e0f9092dae6b56c805095e59061bfeea4644&size=980x&c=4046490 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FyabK2FK0xAFh59Ljyri0AqQGA6x6tNHvEgLQyfyXbHA0cbC9nednZRiloe5D7YoeUwACcPhx6Seqq0fhKtoYb8veyIpL9dwJq-EboUNHRYKHbg7DTOc1EHJbv8MXlhgHgfQdamdo%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh3.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D274%26h%3D4237537c486fe9dc53cadfecd9c1e0f9092dae6b56c805095e59061bfeea4644%26size%3D980x%26c%3D4046490%22%7D” expand=1]

lh3.googleusercontent.com

You call in reinforcements in the form of a VSO. For the low, low price of zero dollars and your medical records, they’ll take care of it for you. Score! Asking for help isn’t that bad. You should do it more often.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F4ePADHCenwI8M6raQeSpHTn9lNJJPY-3xk8grWTzRsCgyqhP-JM2GYuO8atZSoa-6u7nyQU5-eTsGY13JUogVrE4fvWqUcxKjcS5qIvOz0DnMVaekILflX_0uX-hojdLR26_8H2l&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=83&h=699c326413284cbdb468bc847f16d4f70f2214d4b358ec12e6d3d789b3089f95&size=980x&c=29410169 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F4ePADHCenwI8M6raQeSpHTn9lNJJPY-3xk8grWTzRsCgyqhP-JM2GYuO8atZSoa-6u7nyQU5-eTsGY13JUogVrE4fvWqUcxKjcS5qIvOz0DnMVaekILflX_0uX-hojdLR26_8H2l%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D83%26h%3D699c326413284cbdb468bc847f16d4f70f2214d4b358ec12e6d3d789b3089f95%26size%3D980x%26c%3D29410169%22%7D” expand=1]

lh5.googleusercontent.com

You realize you haven’t talked to any of your old military friends in months, so you text a buddy who separated around the same time. As it turns out, they’re dealing with the same stuff. You communicate through memes, which is surprisingly cathartic. You’re not alone!

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FTsSKp_CJ-p7NaaSoRLAqbY89M5pMqVfEaGq7dkCZIosy6NUr1Mj4M378RR6zlgBy4WTOiZ1b1cE723jFI9nLP2j9rwnNHdBooUmUZDXaU-FKtfKBcww4IE6OScCElQirrcq4QQIG&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=218&h=82b0baa4d13d4f369bc5d730f82b07ee52399e6e3eab9ec981d6658ca9c22f6f&size=980x&c=2512167253 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FTsSKp_CJ-p7NaaSoRLAqbY89M5pMqVfEaGq7dkCZIosy6NUr1Mj4M378RR6zlgBy4WTOiZ1b1cE723jFI9nLP2j9rwnNHdBooUmUZDXaU-FKtfKBcww4IE6OScCElQirrcq4QQIG%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D218%26h%3D82b0baa4d13d4f369bc5d730f82b07ee52399e6e3eab9ec981d6658ca9c22f6f%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2512167253%22%7D” expand=1]

lh5.googleusercontent.com

Everybody from your therapist to your partner to your Facebook ads seems to think you’ll feel better if you start exercising again. You attempt an old PT workout, but it’s not the same when nobody is yelling at you. Time to try something new.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FrGv24T6XuDHviMy2i3dvbcrvCgImHStue4qfUi2FWaAWnUIynZTeDZHpnc8jNkQdfuVzzsz1xgmili6p3qmqXl-JI97fyGNy9SwnCXL4wk2uwRBezxiEgzHA6P7M5WbT1pSyqNlo&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=191&h=fe43dac4cd8897ab1b265701fc68affbcef59eaec09d2ed6088ccfbf461bd06d&size=980x&c=2822535822 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FrGv24T6XuDHviMy2i3dvbcrvCgImHStue4qfUi2FWaAWnUIynZTeDZHpnc8jNkQdfuVzzsz1xgmili6p3qmqXl-JI97fyGNy9SwnCXL4wk2uwRBezxiEgzHA6P7M5WbT1pSyqNlo%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D191%26h%3Dfe43dac4cd8897ab1b265701fc68affbcef59eaec09d2ed6088ccfbf461bd06d%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2822535822%22%7D” expand=1]

lh4.googleusercontent.com

Ok, apparently there’s exercise outside of pushups/situps/running and it’s actually fun. Now, you’re a lean, mean dancing machine.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F_KHAeOj96DOmvNBlFq8MxdG_WxMysRwY3Q_KfCAWWtzCa6aPAzkcp7o9THsUxjo5wca4Lcd06ama4QAYG4URNR359jX_u73wdz4myOwQp9r8w7y-OhbS7ZYLM46ZFsw7SCJ9VnO7&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=216&h=b0ee803c948f09061d65f46cf4e93e2e890c36d37e2d147f4f28001ce6bfa141&size=980x&c=3335133450 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F_KHAeOj96DOmvNBlFq8MxdG_WxMysRwY3Q_KfCAWWtzCa6aPAzkcp7o9THsUxjo5wca4Lcd06ama4QAYG4URNR359jX_u73wdz4myOwQp9r8w7y-OhbS7ZYLM46ZFsw7SCJ9VnO7%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D216%26h%3Db0ee803c948f09061d65f46cf4e93e2e890c36d37e2d147f4f28001ce6bfa141%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3335133450%22%7D” expand=1]

lh5.googleusercontent.com

Your new exercise routine has got you on an endorphin high. Things are really looking up!

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FUTJk6jJ7GzeHsGw_K0NHT2pnWCipgxVEQG8yTyrsIDLjnyAIyYe27APlJT8zDB4yi839-tTCdN7sLIto2jXxrMKY95Ua8I8yuq4KVo4gISMx2RKWu34c7hsZ53SBCahWxXjz80U3&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=683&h=26bdd52d458e29787bafe5633bb62e37d68360dc214546d41cc8b9872169411a&size=980x&c=3894406549 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FUTJk6jJ7GzeHsGw_K0NHT2pnWCipgxVEQG8yTyrsIDLjnyAIyYe27APlJT8zDB4yi839-tTCdN7sLIto2jXxrMKY95Ua8I8yuq4KVo4gISMx2RKWu34c7hsZ53SBCahWxXjz80U3%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D683%26h%3D26bdd52d458e29787bafe5633bb62e37d68360dc214546d41cc8b9872169411a%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3894406549%22%7D” expand=1]

lh5.googleusercontent.com

You love your job, but one of the things you miss most about the military is serving others, so you track down a volunteer gig in your community. Sense of purpose restored!

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F2Y82zXbOa7ZvUwmMNDWvcpdCxxrVmxUu6QwTyRkj_pUX6kQYEy4-PhXHlbEcqeybgfKkBpQT-jmSIPE2rpkSjOYdwbUcb-p-RZHgfG2uGajFue_mYDaG2p4z7cvCxm1WV2JSYHJ1&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=904&h=e3fb74677988d2c2e7227acd3ca5d7b57d085a893ffbd3f68d46afb2b61053d7&size=980x&c=281507386 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F2Y82zXbOa7ZvUwmMNDWvcpdCxxrVmxUu6QwTyRkj_pUX6kQYEy4-PhXHlbEcqeybgfKkBpQT-jmSIPE2rpkSjOYdwbUcb-p-RZHgfG2uGajFue_mYDaG2p4z7cvCxm1WV2JSYHJ1%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D904%26h%3De3fb74677988d2c2e7227acd3ca5d7b57d085a893ffbd3f68d46afb2b61053d7%26size%3D980x%26c%3D281507386%22%7D” expand=1]

lh5.googleusercontent.com

At some point, you begin to realize that your military service will always be a part of who you are (a huge part), but it’s not your entire identity forever. You have an opportunity to use your skills and experience to benefit your community, to learn new skills and have new experiences, and to write your next chapter. It’s actually pretty exciting.

MIGHTY CULTURE

How China’s special forces stack up against the US’s special operators

Over the last two decades, special-operations forces have become the go-to choice for policymakers and military leaders around the world.

The successes of US and coalition special-operations units in the Global War on Terror (GWOT) and in Syria against ISIS have showcased the importance and utility of small teams of highly trained troops.

While the US and its allies have been fighting in the Middle East, the Chinese military has been paying close attention, especially to US special operations. As a result, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is increasingly investing resources in its own special-operations forces.

So with everyone gearing up for great power competition, how do Chinese special operations measure up against the US’s and what are the biggest difference between the two?

US special operators

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes
US Army Special Forces members perform an airborne operation near Mont Saint Michel in France, May 18, 2019.

US special-operations units can be divided into unofficial tiers.

Delta Force and SEAL Team 6 would be at the top (Tier 1), followed by the 75th Ranger Regiment, Night Stalkers, MARSOC, and SEAL and Boat Teams (Tier 2), and then the Special Forces Groups (Tier 3). Air Commandos are harder to categorize since they most often augment other units rather than deploy as teams.

It’s important to note that these tiers have more to do with mission sets and funding than with the quality of the troops.

For example, SEAL Team 6 is part of the National Mission Force (the Pentagon’s first responders, in layman’s terms) and has far more money to spend and resources to use than a “vanilla” SEAL team, but both are manned by SEALs.

Chinese special operators

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes
China navy Jiaolong, or “Sea Dragon” commandos during an exercise.

Irregular warfare and special operations have been part of Chinese military culture since the time of Sun Tzu, whose writings highlighted the value of specialized individuals and units in warfare.

However, modern Chinese special operations are fairly new. The first unit, the Special Reconnaissance Group, was established in 1988. In the late 1990s, as part of PLA’s modernization, seven Special Operations Groups of between 1,000 to 2,000 men were created.

Now there is one special-operations brigade-size unit in each of the five theater commands, which are a rough equivalent of the US’s combatant commands.

In addition, there are numerous smaller special-operations units of varying size in the other branches. The Chinese Navy, Air Force, and Rocket Force (the branch responsible for China’s nuclear and conventional missiles) each have a dedicated special-operations unit.

The Navy’s Jiaolong (Sea Dragons) is probably the most famous Chinese special-operations unit after it successfully recaptured a ship from pirates in the Gulf of Aden and assisted the evacuation of civilians from war-torn Yemen, which became the subject of a Chinese propaganda movie.

All in all, China has between 20,000 and 40,000 special-operations troops of varying quality.

Crucially, Chinese special-operations units have more than doubled in number in the last two decades, showing that Chinese leaders are paying close attention to the high-reward, low-cost characteristics of special-operations units.

Both special but not the same

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes
Chinese Navy Special Forces, or “Jiaolong Commando,” repel onto a ship during an exercise.

Since the early 2000s, the PLA has undergone a drastic modernization and professionalization process, transitioning from a mainly conscript force to a smaller, mostly volunteer military, though conscription remains as a policy.

The new force’s main aim is to fight short wars against regional adversaries while having a technological advantage.

Chinese special-operations units, and the PLA as a whole, have gained from that modernization and learned from the example provided by Western special-operations units over the past 60 years, but Chinese forces are still untested in combat.

On the other hand, US special-operations units have amassed an astounding level of combat experience in the last two decades. It’s not uncommon to have operators with double-digit combat deployments and hundreds of real-world operations under their belts.

Chinese special-operations units are also regionally focused and lack a centralized command like the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM). This could limit their effectiveness and hurt interoperability.

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes
A member of the “Jiaolong Commando.”

Moreover, Chinese special-operations units lack the dedicated aviation and maritime assets that American commandos have, namely the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, Special Boat Teams, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams, and the Air Force’s Special Operations Squadrons.

Without specialized insertion platforms, the utility of Chinese commandos is limited and their geographic scope localized. However, according to the US Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO), the PLA is establishing aviation brigades that might resolve some of these asset shortcomings.

Additionally, there is a difference in mission sets.

Chinese special-operations units focus on direct action, special reconnaissance, and counterterrorism. Unlike US commandos, they don’t conduct unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, counterinsurgency, hostage rescue, civil affairs, and psychological operations.

In a nutshell, in terms of mission sets, Chinese commandos are closer to World War II special-operations units than to modern US special operations. It’s not that they aren’t capable, but their scope is more limited, a reflection of the PLA’s strategic priorities.

People first

But perhaps the biggest and most important difference is the people.

“Humans are more important than hardware,” is one of the five US special-operations “Truths.” Western special operators take pride in their independence and out-of-the-box thinking, which is encouraged if not expected by their leaders.

Units like Delta Force, the SEAL Teams, the Special Forces Groups, and allied units like the Special Air Service (SAS) excel because of their noncommissioned officers. When planning operations, it’s these NCOs who come up with the ideas and approach. Ironically, the British SAS have titled this enlisted-driven process “the Chinese Parliament.”

Conversely, elements of Chinese military culture, in particular the use of conscripts as well as differing views on unit cohesion, pose a significant barrier to small-team independence.

Allegiance to and scrutiny by the Communist Party complicates things further and adds another level of bureaucracy.

China is used to stealing and copying military technology and concepts, which is believed to be behind Beijing’s advances in fighter jets and other weapons. But when it comes to special-operations units, these cultural aspects aren’t easy to mimic.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

MIGHTY CULTURE

Mark Zuckerberg’s obsession with Augustus Caesar might explain his haircut

While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was testifying about Libra cryptocurrency before the House Financial Services Committee on Oct. 23, 2019, some viewers were focused on policy — but some were focused on his hair.

One congresswoman, Rep. Katie Porter, even brought up his hair during the hearing.

One person on Twitter pointed out that the short haircut might have something to do with Zuckerberg’s fascination with first century BCE Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar.


In a 2018 New Yorker profile, Zuckerberg revealed his admiration for the emperor — he and his wife even went to Rome for their honeymoon. He told the New Yorker, “My wife was making fun of me, saying she thought there were three people on the honeymoon: me, her, and Augustus. All the photos were different sculptures of Augustus.”

Zuckerberg and his wife even named one of their daughters August, reportedly after Caesar.

All of that admiration may be why Zuckerberg’s hairdo closely resembles “The Caesar” haircut (though the style is actually named after Emperor Julius Caesar, below).

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

(Hilverd Reker/Flickr)

But Augustus, Julius Caesar’s great-nephew and adopted son, has similar hair in most statues.

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Augustus

(Wikimedia Commons)

Facebook did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on where Zuckerberg drew inspiration for his ‘do, so while we don’t know for sure, it’s possible the Caesars’ iconic cuts were the source.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

MIGHTY CULTURE

This is why its important for troops to go through the CS chamber

Corson-Stoughton Gas, commonly known as “CS gas” or tear gas, has been a part of military culture since it was first mass produced in the 50s. Technically, it’s less-than-lethal — death from inhaling CS gas is rare, but it still hurts like hell to breathe in. You’re going to cry and all of the mucus in your body will try to escape at once. It’s not pretty.

So, why not subject troops to it regularly, on a every-six-months basis? What could possibly go wrong?

No really, I’m not being sarcastic. There are actually many good reasons to subject troops to a bi-annual deep cleanse in the CS chamber — and it’s a much more valid reasoning than the standard “it builds character” excuse that first sergeants use.


The very first moment troops are exposed to CS gas is the most important one — during initial training. This serves many different functions.

For starters, it builds confidence in your equipment. All of the “lowest bidder” jokes tend to go away when you realize that the mask you were assigned is perfectly capable of stopping the painful gas from entering your lungs.

It also serves as a way of teaching troops that pain is temporary. Troops have nothing to fear from temporary discomfort. Yeah, it’s going to hurt like hell, but you shouldn’t cower from it — just accept it and move on. Think of it like the scene in Dune when Paul Atreides faces the pain box.

“Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.”
2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

This is one of those moments where the phrase “suck it up, buttercup” is completely applicable because it will get easier the more you do it.

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Caleb Barrieau)

Troops will walk in with their mask on, knowing that they’re to take it off in the middle of the chamber. And before you start coming up with a plan, no, you can’t just hold your breath to escape the pain. The drill sergeant will likely ask you to recite the Soldier’s Creed, sing the Marines’ Hymn — whatever gets you to open your mouth and take in a breath. And then you can leave.

Feeling the pain of CS gas is universal experience throughout the U.S. Armed Forces — but it doesn’t last long. Twenty or thirty minutes later and you’re back on your feet — until the exercise is put back on the training calendar.

Heading into the CS chamber twice a year can actually help you build up a tolerance to the gas that lasts a lifetime. The first time hurts like a motherf*cker. The second time just hurts like hell. The third time is a little better than that, and so on, until it just makes you slightly uncomfortable. It’s not a complete immunity, but it’s a strong tolerance.

Your eyes will still water but you’re not vomiting in the corner at the very least — so that’s good.

MIGHTY CULTURE

7 life hacks from a former Intelligence Officer

The saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Sometimes, however, it’s both. There are times in life when knowing the right person can give you knowledge that can change your outlook. Occasionally, we meet someone interesting who inadvertently gives us rules to live by that can change our lives. Here are seven rules for life I learned from a conversation with a former intelligence officer:


Question everything.

Never take anything for granted or at face value. I get it, this sounds paranoid. Think about it, though, how many times in life have you simply believed what someone told you only to find out later that it was complete and utter BS? How many times have you been hurt because you believed a lie? On the surface, it might sound paranoid, but it can save you a lot of trouble and heartache.

Never tell all you know. 

It’s important to not show all your cards. By giving someone almost all you know, but not everything, you then protect yourself. Sometimes it’s okay to hold back a little bit.

Never rely on one source. 

This is the same as when someone tells you not to settle on the first car you look at or the first house you view. You should shop around when it comes to major purchases. In the same way, you should do your own research on things. Never simply believe the word of one person. There are always three sides to a story: view one, view two and the truth that lies somewhere in the middle.

Constantly re-evaluate and revise. 

The validity and integrity of facts can change, so it is important to constantly re-evaluate a situation, and be ready to revise your stance. If you’re truly paying attention at any given time, you will be able to see these changes and be prepared for them. Sometimes this can mean you have to re-evaluate everything you thought to be true.

Always remain objective. 

This is important in so many aspects in life. By remaining objective, your view on any given situation can’t be clouded. If you train yourself to always be objective, then you can enter into any circumstance with a clear head.

Trust no one you’re not absolutely certain is trustworthy. 

There are few people in life we can be absolutely certain we can trust. When it comes to anyone else, you should approach everything with a questioning opinion, circling back to the “question everything” rule. Protect yourself by not just assuming everyone you meet is trustworthy.

Rely on your gut. 

This might be the most important rule on this list, at least in my opinion. Too often we second guess ourselves, and it’s almost always a mistake. “Rely on your gut feeling, it’s very rarely wrong.” This is true when it comes to test taking. It’s true when it comes to making decisions. It is especially true when it comes to your judgement of other people. If your gut is telling you something isn’t right, 9 times out of 10, it isn’t right. Trust your instincts, they won’t steer you wrong.

Each of these is a rule that those in the intelligence world live by and swear by. They live out these rules both professionally and personally, they aren’t something that can just be turned off. By implementing even part of these rules into your own life, you could quite possibly save yourself pain and heartache in the future. Always be objective. Always be alert. And always, always trust your gut.

MIGHTY CULTURE

NAVSO is the veteran service organization for veteran service organizations

Military units are team-oriented by necessity and design, but when troops leave the service, they often find themselves isolated and working by themselves. The team dynamic is gone. Veteran service organizations are much the same way. Even with an incredible mission and the tools to serve veterans, everyone accomplishes more in a collaborative environment. NAVSO, the National Association of Veteran-Serving Organizations, was founded with that in mind.


NAVSO is out to change the landscape for veterans through further developing the veteran service organization marketplace. Whether public or private, any VSO is welcome to join the ranks and collaborate with like-minded organizations with similar goals. The idea is to improve efficiency and effectiveness while fostering innovation by working together.

In bringing together organizations like the Travis Manion Foundation, USAA, the Schultz Family Foundation, and the PsychArmor Institute, NAVSO has connected thousands of American veterans to other organizations dedicated to creating an environment where veterans and their families can live, work, and thrive.

Most importantly, the collaboration between organizations serving veterans can help identify gaps in services needed by vets and their families, then further identify how to address those gaps. NAVSO works to improve the lives of veterans through many different areas including education, employment, housing, healthcare, financial assistance, wounded warriors, and gold star families. It is the only organization working to change the landscape of the services available to veterans in both the public and private sector.

With more than 40,000 nonprofit organizations in the United States whose missions are focused on the lives of service members, veterans, and their families, it is increasingly important to build a community in which these organizations can collaborate towards the same goals instead of competing for the same funds. These organizations may simply be unaware of potential partners operating in the same space or may not know about resources available to them outside of their niche area.

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

NAVSO is a sponsor of the Military Influencer Conference.

“We’re geography agnostic, size and revenue agnostic, and specific military/veteran/family-serving mission agnostic – our tools and services can take VSOs at different stages of development from start to solvency, from solvency to sustainability, and from sustainability to growth and impact,” says NAVSO CEO Tim Farrell. “NAVSO is all about transforming the veteran-serving space, one organization at a time by helping them find funding faster and serve veterans better.”

Considering NAVSO’s dedication to collaboration, it makes sense that it would want to be a part of the 2019 Military Influencer Conference. The Military Influencer Conference brings together military and veteran professionals who are interested in developing their entrepreneurial acumen and build a better life for themselves and their families. The conference also brings together leading veteran entrepreneurs, startup accelerators, and – of course – veteran service organizations in the business development sector.

If you’re interested in starting your own business, check out MilitaryInfluencer.com for the next conference or just go check out all the VSOs and personalities involved. The Military Influencer Conference is a shining example of how collaboration makes everyone more efficient and effective.

MIGHTY CULTURE

US Air Force bases could be getting new names

The US’s long-awaited Space Force was officially established on December 20, when President Donald Trump signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

Space Force was created from US Air Force Space Command but is still part of the Air Force, much like the Marine Corps is a part of the Navy Department. Space Force is not meant to put troops into space but will provide forces and assets to Space Command, which leads US military space operations.


The secretary of the Air Force has to tell Congress by February 1 how Space Force will be organized and its expected funding needs. But there are still “thousands and thousands of actions that are going to have to take place” over the next 18 months, Air Force Gen. Jay Raymond said on December 20

Among those is the renaming of Air Force bases to reflect the space mission, according to Raymond, who is head of US Space Command and will lead Space Force as its first chief of space operations.

“We do have a plan to rename the principal Air Force bases that house space units to be space bases,” Raymond said.

“I just want to point out, though, that we will rely very heavily on the Air Force to operate those bases,” he added. “But we’ll work to rename those to match the mission of the base.”

Raymond mentioned five Air Force bases that could be renamed — Patrick Air Force Base, for example, could become Patrick Space Base — but he said “his list wasn’t necessarily all inclusive,” Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in an email last week, adding that the service was “still working through the details” and didn’t currently have any other information about renaming bases.

Below, you can see some of the bases that may soon have new names.

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

A C-17 Globemaster III at Buckley Air Force Base, March 19, 2019.

(US Air Force/Airman 1st Class Michael D. Mathews)

Located in Aurora, Colorado, Buckley AFB’s host unit is the 460th Space Wing, the mission of which is “to deliver global infrared surveillance, tracking and missile warning for theater and homeland defense and provide combatant commanders with expeditionary warrior airmen.”

In its day-to-day operations, the 460th SW directly supports combatant commands around the world.

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Runners exit the north portal of Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station during the Zombie Tunnel 5k Fun Run, Oct. 20, 2017.

(US Air Force/Steve Koteck)

Cheyenne Mountain AFS is located near Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, home to the headquarters of North American Aerospace Defense Command and US Northern Command.

While Raymond didn’t mention Cheyenne Mountain by name, it is a big part of US space operations. It is the alternate command center for NORAD and Northern Command and is a training site for crew qualification.

“NORAD and USNORTHCOM use just under 30% of the floor space within the complex and comprise approximately 5% of the daily population at Cheyenne Mountain,” according to NORAD. But it is owned and operated by Air Force Space Command, which is now Space Force.

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Staff Sgt. Heather Heiney takes photos on the flight line at Peterson Air Force Base, July 3, 2019.

(US Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Frank Casciotta)

In addition to hosting the headquarters for NORAD and Northern Command, Peterson Air Force Base is headquarters for Air Force Space Command and now for Space Force.

It is also home to the 21st Space Wing, the Air Force’s most geographically dispersed wing and the fifth-largest wing in the Air Force by number of units.

“We literally cover the world with our operations,” the base’s website says.

The 21st SW uses a network of command-and-control units as well as ground- and space-based sensors operated by units around the world to provide missile warning and space control to NORAD.

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

50th Operations Support Squadron students at Schriever Air Force Base, January 10, 2019.

(US Air Force/2nd Lt. Idalí Beltré Acevedo)

East of Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs, Schriever AFB’s host unit is the 50th Space Wing, the mission of which is “to evolve space and cyberspace warfighting superiority through integrated and innovative operations.”

The 50th SW and its 16 units around the world provide “command and control of more than 185 satellites, to include commercial, DoD and civil assets,” the base’s website says.

The wing runs satellite operation centers at Schriever AFB and remote-tracking stations and command-and-control facilities across the planet, at which it monitors satellites throughout their service life.

Among the space operations that the wing supports are the Global Positioning System, defense meteorological and surveillance programs, and the mysterious X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle.

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, head of Northern Command and NORAD, tours Vandenberg Air Force Base, August 7, 2018.

(US Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Jim Araos)

Vandenberg Air Force Base

Located in a remote area north of Los Angeles, Vandenberg AFB is headquarters for the 30th Space Wing, which manages space and missile testing for the Pentagon, launches satellites and spacecraft, and supports the Minuteman III ICBM force development evaluation program.

Vandenberg is also home to the 14th Air Force, which on December 27 was redesignated as Space Operations Command, which “directly supports the US Space Force’s mission to protect the interests of the United States in space; deter aggression in, from and to space; and conduct space operations.”

SPOC comprises the five space wings on this list as well as the 614th Air and Space Operations Center, which is the SPOC commander’s command-and-control center at Vandenberg.

Among other things, SPOC will provide space domain awareness and electronic warfare, satellite communications, missile-warning and nuclear-detonation detection, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance for Space Force and Space Command and other combatant commands.

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, May 23, 2019.

(US Air Force/1st Lt Alex Preisser)

Patrick Air Force Base

Patrick Air Force Base is on Florida’s Atlantic coast near Orlando, and its host unit is the 45th Space Wing.

The wing operates the Eastern Range, which supports rocket and missile launches at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Kennedy Space Center. It also oversees satellite launches at Cape Canaveral for the US military and civilian agencies and commercial entities.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral on Monday with Starlink satellites in the first launch of 2020 and the wing’s first launch as a part of Space Force.

“The effects the new Space Force will have on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick Air Force Base has not been announced yet, but continuing to successfully accomplish the mission without interruption is our top priority,” 45th Wing commander Brig. Gen. Doug Schiess said January 3.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

MIGHTY CULTURE

After 75 years, D-Day veteran is reunited with his long-lost French love

An American D-Day veteran was reunited with his French love, 75 years after they first parted, USA Today reports.

K.T. Robbins kept a photo of the girl he met in the village of Briey in 1944. Jeannine Pierson, then Ganaye, was 18 when she met the Army veteran, who was 24 at the time.

“I think she loved me,” Robbins, now in his late nineties, told television station France 2 during an interview. Travelling to France for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, Robbins said he hoped to track down Pierson’s family, the BBC reports. “For sure, I won’t ever get to see her. She’s probably gone now.”


Robbins left Pierson when he was transferred east. “I told her, ‘Maybe I’ll come back and take you some time,'” he said. “But it didn’t happen.” After the war, Robbins returned to the US, got married, and started a family. Pierson, too, married, and had five children.

After Robbins showed the photo of the young Pierson to France 2 journalists, they tracked her down — she was still alive, now 92, and living just 40 miles from the village where they had originally met.

75 years later, D-Day veteran meets long-lost French love

www.youtube.com

Robbins reunited with his wartime love at Sainte Famille, her retirement home in the town of Montigny-les-Metz.

“I’ve always thought of him, thinking maybe he’ll come,” Pierson said. And, 75 years later, he did.

“I’ve always loved you. I’ve always loved you. You never got out of my heart,” Robbins told Pierson upon their reunion.

The two sat together and told reporters about the time they spend together so many years ago.

“When he left in the truck I cried, of course, I was very sad,” Pierson told reporters. “I wish, after the war, he hadn’t returned to America.” She also started to learn English after World War II, in hopes Robbins would return.

“I was wondering, ‘Where is he? Will he come back?’ I always wondered,” Pierson said.

“You know, when you get married, after that you can’t do it anymore,” Robbins said about returning to find Peirson earlier. Robbins’ wife, Lillian, died in 2015.

While the two had to part again — Robbins left for Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion — they promised to meet again soon.

This article originally appeared on Insider. Follow @thisisinsider on Twitter.

MIGHTY CULTURE

5 of the most important rules for setting an ambush

If you’re looking to punch the enemy in the gut and demonstrate just how much better you are than them, an ambush is your tactic of choice. In fact, that punch-to-the-gut scenario can be more literal than figurative — if you have some solid intelligence on enemy patrol or supply routes and you want to strike fear in their hearts, surfacing from the shadows to deliver a swift punch from the hand of justice is a good way to do it.

But ambushes are also a delicate strategy. If you screw it up and expose your position before you’re ready, things can take a turn for the worst. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you out. These are some of the most important rules to follow when conducting an ambush — ones that will help you avoid becoming the ambushed.


2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

It seems like the obvious choice, but it may not be the best one…

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl Will Lathrop)

Don’t initiate with an open-bolt weapon

This is mostly a rule for Marine Corps infantry, but the idea is that open-bolt weapons are more likely to jam and the last thing you want when initiating an ambush is for the enemy to suddenly hear the bolt clicking on a misfire. It’s better to leave the initiation to someone with a standard rifle, preferably someone who keeps their weapon clean, so you know the first thing the enemy hears is a gunshot.

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Move silently and cautiously.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl Justin Updegraff)

Maintain noise discipline

If the enemy hears you rustling in the bushes and you’re not a squirrel, you’re exposing yourself. An ambush is designed to allow you to capitalize on the element of surprise. You lose that when the enemy figures out where you’re hiding.

Keep quiet.

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Seriously, don’t be that guy.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt Marco Mancha)

Have trigger discipline

Typically, your leader will determine who’s to shoot first (a designated Han Solo, if you will) and, if you aren’t that person, your finger better stay off the trigger until you hear that first shot go off. The gunshot is an implicit command for the rest of the unit to open fire and, once they hear that, it’s open season until your leader calls for a ceasefire.

Don’t be that guy.

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Ask your subordinates questions to make sure they know.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl J. Gage Karwick)

Ensure everyone knows their role

Once you’re set into the ambush position, you have to remain silent until it’s time. So, if you’re the leader, make sure everyone knows what their role is and where they’re going to be firing. That way, when the shooting starts, you don’t have to call out many commands.

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Make sure everyone knows what the plan is.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ryan Conroy)

Have a solid egress plan

Ambushes have to be quick, which means you have to spring the trap and leave before anyone really knows what’s happened. You want to hit the enemy hard and fast enough to disorient them, but you want to get out of there before they can muster reinforcements. Otherwise, your short ambush just turned into a lengthy firefight that you’re likely under-equipped for.

MIGHTY CULTURE

Old Ironsides and Operation Torch: The Army’s 1st Armored Division

They’re the oldest and the most recognized armored division in the Army. The first division to see combat in Germany during WWII and the first mash-up of reconnaissance and cavalry units in all of Army history. Here’s everything you thought you knew but didn’t about America’s Tank Division.


Kentucky Wonders, Fire and Brimstone or Old Ironsides?

After the division was organized in 1940, commanding general Maj. Gen. Bruce Magruder was the division’s first commander. His friend, Gen. George Patton, had just named the 2nd Armored Division “Hell on Wheels,” and Magruder didn’t want to be left behind. So, he held a contest to find an appropriate nickname for the new division.

Over two hundred names were submitted, including “Kentucky Wonders” and “Fire and Brimstone.” Gen. Magruder hated all the names submitted and decided to take the weekend to find the best one. It just so happened he’d recently purchased a painting of the USS Constitution, whose nickname was, wait for it, Old Ironsides. It’s said that Magruder was impressed by the correlation between the Navy’s unwavering spirit during the war and his new division’s. It was then that he landed on the nickname Old Ironsides, and the name’s been the same ever since.

The first enemy contact was in North Africa, and it was rough.

Contrary to what many think, the Old Ironsides didn’t engage with the Germans as their first combat experience. Instead, they traveled to North Africa and participated in Operation Torch, part of the Allied Invasion.

Operation Torch was intended to draw Axis forces away from the Eastern Front and relieve pressure on the Soviet Union. It was a compromise between the US and British planners. The mission was planned as a pincer movement with the Old Ironsides landing on Morocco’s Atlantic coast. The primary objective for the Old Ironsides was to work toward securing bridgeheads for opening a second front to the rear of German and Italian forces. Allied soldiers experienced unexpected resistance from Vichy-French units, but the Old Ironsides helped suppress all resistance and were heading toward Tunisia within three days.

The invasion of Africa helped win the war

The invasion of North Africa accomplished a great deal for the Allies since American and British forces finally had the offensive against the Germans and Italians. For the first time, US and UK directives were able to dictate the tempo of events. Forced to fight on both the western and eastern fronts, the German-Italian forces had the additional burden of having to plan and prepare for attacks in North Africa.

However, the harsh conditions of North Africa were quick teachers for the new Old Ironsides soldiers. In February 1943, the Old Ironsides met a better trained German armored force at Kasserine Pass, and the division sustained heavy losses in both service members and equipment.

The division was forced to withdraw, but the Old Ironsides used their retreat time to review the battle and prepare for the next one. After three more months of hard fighting, the Allies claimed victory in North Africa.

The Old Ironsides were recognized publicly for their efforts and then moved to Naples to support Allied forces there.

The Infamous Winter Line Attack

As part of the 5th Army, the 1st Armored Division took part in the attack on the Winter Line in November 1943. Old Ironsides flanked Axis forces in the landings at Anzio and then participated in the liberation of Rome in June. The unit continued to serve in the Italian Campaign until German forces surrendered in May 1945. One month later, Old Ironsides was moved to Germany as part of the US occupation forces stationed there.

WWII to present 

In the drawdown after WWII, the 1st Armored Division was deactivated in 1946 but was then reactivated in 1951 at Fort Hood, where it was the first Army unit to field the new M48 Patton tank. Currently, the unit home is Fort Bliss, Texas, but it previously was housed at Baumholder, Germany. With the relocation, the unit went from roughly 9,000 soldiers to more than 34,000.

In 2019, the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team turned its smaller vehicles in for Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles.

MIGHTY CULTURE

Former Somali warlord now drives Uber

A man accused of committing war crimes while serving as a Somali military commander during the African nation’s brutal civil war later moved to the US and got a job driving for the ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft.

According to a CNN investigation, Yusuf Abdi Ali, a driver for Uber in Virginia since November 2017, is a former officer in the Somali army who is accused of being involved in killing more than 100 men while serving under the dictator Siad Barre.

Eyewitnesses from the Somali war zone told journalists from Canada’s CBC network in 1992 that Ali committed atrocities during the civil war in the 1980s.


“Two men were caught, tied to a tree,” one said. “Oil was poured on them and they were burnt alive. I saw it with my own eyes. I cut away their remains.”

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

An eyewitness from the Somali war zone telling journalists about the crimes committed by Ali. “Two men were caught, tied to a tree, oil was poured on them and they were burnt alive. I saw it with my own eyes. I cut away their remains.”

Another told CBC: “He caught my brother. He tied him to a military vehicle and dragged him behind. He shredded him into pieces. That’s how he died.”

After the CBC documentary, Ali was deported from Canada and moved to the US. According to CNN, he worked as a security guard until 2016, when CNN found him and confronted him about the allegations. He was fired soon after.

Undercover reporters from CNN ordered an Uber ride with Ali as their driver this month — and recorded him in secret.

Ali drove a white Nissan Altima and was an “Uber Pro Diamond” driver with a 4.89 rating.

In the report published May 14, 2019, CNN said Ali had been driving for Uber for 18 months and had also worked for Lyft.

The undercover footage shows Ali telling CNN reporters Uber “just want your background check, that’s it,” and that if “you apply tonight, maybe after two days it will come, you know, everything.”

He’s accused of war crimes and torture. Uber approved him to drive.

www.youtube.com

Business Insider understands that Ali passed TSA and FBI background checks.

“This new continuous checking technology will strengthen our screening process and improve safety,” Uber’s vice president of safety and insurance, Gus Fuldner, said at the time.

CNN previously discovered in 2016 that Uber and Lyft had hired drivers with serious felony records, some of whom went on to be accused of sexually assaulting passengers.

A man saying he was one of Ali’s victims brought legal proceedings against him in a US court in 2004.

On May 13, 2019 — 15 years later — a court in Alexandria, Virginia, heard opening statements from lawyers for Ali and the man, Farhan Mohamoud Tani Warfaa.

Warfaa has accused Ali of shooting him and leaving him for dead during an interrogation at his village in Somalia in 1988.

Ali was named by Warfaa’s lawyer as the leader of the Somali army’s 5th Brigade. Warfaa said Ali was known to soldiers as Colonel Tukeh, or Colonel Crow.

2020 summed up through 12 months of memes

Ali speaking with CBC in 1992.

(YouTube/CBC)

Ali has denied all allegations of war crimes, calling them “totally baseless.” Business Insider has contacted Ali’s lawyer for comment.

Business Insider understands Ali was not flagged on any of the government watchlists and sanctions lists searched during Uber’s screening process.

An Uber spokeswoman told Business Insider:

“Drivers must undergo a driving and criminal history background check reviewing local, state and national records, and we evaluate eligibility in accordance with criteria set by local laws.”

Lyft told CNN that it was barring Ali from its service but that he had not driven for the company since September.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.