What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain - We Are The Mighty
MIGHTY CULTURE

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

Naval Station Rota, Spain (NAVSTA Rota) is a beautiful Navy base located in Southern Spain. Called “the Gateway to the Mediterranean,” the port sits on the Atlantic Coast, but is only a few hours from Gibraltar, Mallorca, and other Mediterranean destinations. It’s a small base, with the main buildings all within a mile of the port. There are busses to take you from port to the NEX shopping Center, and from there, you can walk or grab a taxi to the destinations below.

There’s plenty to do on base, off base, and in the surrounding towns, so keep reading and make your libbo plans before the ship pulls into port!


Top 7 things to do in Rota, Spain

1. Get essentials from the NEX. When ships pull into port, they can almost double the on-base population. This means longer lines for everything and a shortage of supplies at the NEX and Commissary. If you need to stock up on cigarettes, razors, snacks, or other essentials, then go here directly from the ship. That way, you’ll avoid the empty shelves at the end of the weekend.

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

2. Check out MWR tours. Rota is an active base with a small number of permanent personnel stationed there, but a large number of troops come through on ships — some of who remain for a deployment. The base MWR office plans weekly activities. You can find them listed in the Vamos magazine, on their website, or by calling 727-1517 (on base). MWR plans bus rides to local towns, flamenco shows, and castle visits. They handle the transportation and the local guide, so you can just relax and take in the sights.

3. Sign up for Outdoor Rec. Whether you want to rent a bike or SCUBA gear, go on a rock climbing excursion, find local hiking trails, or ride quads in Tarifa, the Outdoor Rec Center is the place to begin. They can fill you in on group activities (listed in the Vamos magazine) or help you plan your own adventure.

4. Visit the Liberty Center: If you need a place to relax or get Internet access, the Liberty Center has a lounge, TVs, computers, and pool tables to enjoy. They also host regular events for single service members, like movie and bowling nights, sports competitions, or trips to local restaurants.

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

5. If you don’t have a car, walk through Rota: You can easily walk out the Rota gate and downhill through the town. There’s a Welcome Center to your left just as you walk out the gate where you can grab a map or ask questions. Visit the town hall (a 13th century castle), a medieval church, the beach paseo (boardwalk), and have lunch at any of the restaurants near the water.

6. Go golfing. The base has a nice golf course with low rates for service members. They host regular tournaments and events, or you can rent clubs and play a round on your own. If golf isn’t your thing, round up some friends to enjoy the Foot-Golf course, which is set up to play with a soccer ball.

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

7. Enjoy Spanish food. While Spanish food is not at all like Mexican food (it’s much more mild and based on fresh, Mediterranean ingredients), it is refreshing and delicious. To eat, try paella (rice and seafood), tortilla (an egg and potato dish), gazpacho (cold tomato soup), or any fresh seafood. To drink, don’t miss out on sangria (chilled wine with fruit) or a cerveza (beer).

If you have a car:

You can rent a car on base at the airport, or off base, just outside the Rota gate. You just need ID and a valid American driver’s license to reserve a vehicle. It will be more cost-effective if you team up to rent with some friends. Rental cars are typically stick shift, so make sure someone in the group can drive manual. Having a car will give you access to the town of El Puerto (just a few miles outside the base Puerto gate) and any other towns in Southern Spain that are within your liberty limits.

Here are some of the most popular:

1. Spend a day in Cadiz. This city just 40 minutes from Rota has a great history museum, church, and amazing seafood. It’s a gorgeous city with plenty of parks and unique architecture, and it holds the honor or being one of Europe’s longest continuously-inhabited cities — 2,000 years of constant development and counting!

2. Drive to Seville. Over an hour North of Rota is the royal city of Sevilla, once the port where all the New World gold passed through. The medieval cathedral and alcazar (castle) are both gorgeous and worth the visit. This is also a great location to purchase colorful Spanish pottery.

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

3. Go to Gibraltar for a day. You’ll need a passport to visit Gibraltar because it is not part of Spain! The town actually belongs to England as an overseas territory. The residents there speak English, eat fish and chips, and have occasional parades of British soldiers. After enjoying lunch at one of the pubs around the main square, take the tour up the Rock to see the monkeys and the Pillar of Hercules.

​4.See Roman ruins. The Roman town of Baelo Claudia has been excavated and partially restored, near the Spanish city of Bolonia. A quick day trip will let you walk through the ancient avenues, see the amphitheater, and marvel at the pillars of the public forum. This seaside port was once a bustling Roman town, and on a clear day you can see the coast of Africa. There are other places to see Roman ruins in Spain (statues in the history museums of Cadiz or Seville, aqueducts in Segovia, the theater in Merida), but Baelo Claudia is the closest day-trip to Rota.​​

Things NOT to do in Rota, Spain:

1. Avoid the forbidden clubs. Your libbo safety brief will probably include a list of establishments not to visit within the town of Rota. There are a few bars and clubs that are off-limits to service members. These establishments are on the list either because of illegal substances, or because they have experienced too many service member-related fights inside. Steer clear. Shore Patrol knows these locations and will check them regularly.

2. Don’t go to Morocco: Although the African city of Tangiers is just a ferry ride away from the Spanish town of Tarifa, service members are generally restricted from traveling to Africa. Not only would you need a passport, but you also need written permission from your CO because of occasional political unrest in Morocco.

MIGHTY CULTURE

The differences between flying for the Marine Corps and the Air Force

For anyone who’s been in the military, it goes without saying that being in the Air Force and being in the Marine Corps are two very different ways of life. This extends from enlisted troops all the way to the pilots flying in the skies above any active battlespace.


And it goes well beyond physical fitness standards.

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

A fact which totally earns a thumbs up from the USAF.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo)

In the Air Force, once a pilot is finished training, he or she is a full-fledged pilot, who still might train in other areas outside of their chosen aircraft, be it helicopters, fighters, bombers, etc. The investment the Air Force puts into training its officers to fly means those pilots are going to be flying as much as the USAF can safely force them to. As company-grade officers, they’re pretty much going to live in the wild blue yonder. As they advance in rank and skill, however, they will slowly be moved to more administrative and management positions, staff jobs, or even instructors. If they want, they might even get a chance to chew some dirt as an air liaison officer.

The life of a Marine Corps officer is much, much different.

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

Which goes beyond just the uniform, which is admittedly much cooler.

Anyone reading this site probably knows the saying “every Marine is a rifleman.” That goes for Marine Corps officers, too. But USMC pilots must also graduate from the Marine Corps Basic Officers Course so they can learn to command platoons of Marine Corps riflemen – and that’s before they ever become naval aviators.

It’s important to know that Marine pilots are trained as all Marine Corps officers are trained and that they’re also trained as all naval aviators are trained. They take the same training as infantry officers and as naval aviators. As if that wasn’t enough work, the Marine Corps doesn’t wait for officers of Marines to grow in rank before assigning them extra duties around the unit or a duty outside of flying altogether. This means the Marine directing close air support on the ground with you one day might be providing that top cover for you another day.

All that and they have to land on aircraft carriers too. Probably in the dark.

popular

You have to see the tombstones in this Soviet military cemetery

Somewhere in an Estonian Forest, causal hikers will come across a sea of red star-adorned metallic strips jutting out of the ground. Like some giant shark jaw, the 9,000-foot area is next to a wooded area, covered with what are actually aircraft tail fins, which are really grave markings of Soviet airmen.


Which are all really creepy.

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain
Wikimedia Commons

These days, what was once a Warsaw Pact airstrip is now near a NATO-run military installation in Estonia, a former Warsaw Pact signatory. The base, Ämari Air Base, had the name Suurküla under the Soviet Union until 1991. The fins bear the names, and some even bear the likenesses of the pilots, many of whom were probably at the controls of the plane their eternal tail fin came from.

Suurküla was the home of several Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer medium bomber squadrons, from which many of the tail fins originated in some form. Now it’s the home of Estonian and NATO Air Forces whose mission is to monitor activity on the nearby Baltic Sea, as well as a fleet of F-16s from Denmark.

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain
Wikimedia Commons

Just because these pilots happen to be buried below the aircraft that likely killed them, don’t think for a minute the Soviet Union’s air forces were nothing to write home about. For a time, the Soviets possessed superior technology and boasted the world’s largest air force. The Baltic States’ air force posture could actually cover much of the country in case of a NATO invasion.

This Estonian air base and the men stationed here contributed a large part to the defense of their countries, the men buried here gave their lives for it. If you ever visit Ämari Air Base, be sure to pour out a sip of vodka for these comrades.


Feature image: Wikimedia Commons

MIGHTY CULTURE

The 13 funniest military memes for the week of January 18th

It seems like everyone is doing that dumb “ten year’s difference” thing on Facebook. Personally, I think this is just depressing for the military community no matter how you slice it.

Either you’re a young troop who’s now reminded of how goofy they looked as a civilian, you’re a senior enlisted/officer who’s now reminded of how much of a dumb boot they once were, or you’re a veteran who’s being reminded of how in shape you once were ten years ago.

If you’re an older vet who’s been out for longer than ten years, well, you’re probably the same salty person in the photo, and no one could tell the difference or that you aged. Maybe a bit more gray and less hair.

Anyways. The Coast Guard hasn’t been paid, but at least these memes are free!


What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Coast Guard Memes)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Valhalla Wear)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Infantry Follow Me)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Comic by The Claw of Knowledge)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Disgruntled Vets)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Sh*t My LPO Says)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(meme via Do You Even Comm, Bro)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Army as F*ck)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via The Salty Soldier)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via History in Memes)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Decelerate Your Life)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Air Force Nation Humor)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Ranger Up)

MIGHTY CULTURE

Hate meetings? Maybe it’s your fault. Here are 3 steps to making meetings great again

Most people hate meetings –especially with large groups.

Sure, meetings are a great opportunity to get business done in the military, but many of the meetings I have attended and personally ran were squandered opportunities. I hate thinking about the hours of productivity lost sitting in meetings. Sometimes this was because of how they were structured; at other times, the people who called the meeting had no idea what they wanted to get out of it in the first place.


In my experience, most meetings fail because many of the participants don’t come to the meeting prepared, fail to read the room and end up sucking the productivity out of the room before any real work can get done. Yes. I’m pointing fingers, but one of them is pointing toward a mirror.

For me, meetings have been trial and error experiences, and it took me about 16 years before I came to the realization that I’ve been part of the problem. Below are three lessons I’ve learned over the years:

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

live.staticflickr.com

1. Don’t shoot from the hip and have your top lines ready.

I’ve gone to way too many meetings unprepared, not sure of what I wanted to contribute prior to walking into the room. I don’t recommend ever bringing a script, but definitely figure out your topline message ahead of time. Your topline message is the idea that you want the boss or other people in the room to take with them when they walk away from the table. Once you figure this out, write down 3-4 key points that support your message and talk through them.

Even if you have your topline ready and your supporting points in hand, step back and ask, “So what?” If we identify a threat, what are we doing about it? If we identify a risk, how are we mitigating it? By asking, “so what” we not only ensure what we’re communicating is relevant to the listener, and not wasting our time or theirs, but we also ensure that we’re not presenting problems without solutions to our leaders.

2. Don’t go too deep.

I might know 1000 details on the topic I’m briefing in a meeting, but you have to ask yourself: Is it helpful? Maybe not. Therefore, it helps to know what is “above the line” or “below the line” in communication. Above the line is all the information the leader needs to know to make a decision or form a judgment about a topic. Below the line are all the details that aren’t necessary. These two characterizations change as you rise in the organization.

What’s above the line for a battalion commander is (hopefully) different than what’s above the line for a division commander. I’ve lost the attention of many leaders by mixing the two and going into too much detail in meetings, wasting minutes and confusing my messages.

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

p2.piqsels.com

3. Listen. Read the room. Adjust as needed.

I can’t tell you how many times I failed to pay attention and either covered an issue that was already addressed or tried to push through with my prepared briefing even though I knew time was running out (because the major talking ahead of me wasn’t prepared and went into excruciating detail on his topic).

Nothing will take the energy out of a meeting faster than when someone fails to read the room. Even when I’ve sat there with my notecards and top lines ready to go, I’ve learned that I need to continue to edit based on the atmospherics in the room. Is the boss fidgeting in his chair? Did someone bring up a topic that dampened the mood of everyone else, therefore your good idea will fall on deaf ears? These are a few areas that we need to read when in meetings and adjust accordingly. Maybe my three-minute briefing can be shortened to one minute for the sake of everyone’s sanity.

One last thing. Don’t ever walk away from a meeting without understanding the due-outs and the next steps on the topics discussed. If you do, then the meeting was a waste. If there’s time at the end or before everyone leaves, do a quick check and make sure you heard and understood your obligations.

Meetings don’t have to be wasted time. We all have a responsibility to play a part. We need to come prepared, maybe even rehearse, so we aren’t reading a piece of paper. We need to understand what’s important to the people in the room and not show off our brilliance on a topic. And finally, we need to actually pay attention, read the room and adjust our contribution to the meeting as needed. I will probably never utter the words, “I can’t wait for this meeting,” but at least I can play my part not to make it a wasted opportunity.

MIGHTY CULTURE

The 2016 Canadian military battle against… Pokémon?


What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

A couple individuals from the enraptured masses soaking in pure ecstasy.

The year is 2016. “Love Yourself” by Justin Beiber echoes through the streets. People are wearing choker necklaces again, for some reason. And millions of people are walking around, neck craned to their screens, trying to catch Pokémon.

The massive 2016 explosion of “Pokémon GO” sparked national hysteria. Multitudes of people took to the streets, surroundings be damned. Videos of novice Pokémon trainers falling prey to otherwise pedestrian obstacles (like the one below) went viral overnight.

According to a 2017 analysis, Pokémon GO usage contributed to 150,000 traffic accidents, 256 deaths, and a -7.3 billion economic price tag in the first six months of its launch.

Man Falls in Pond Playing Pokemon GO

www.youtube.com

The hysteria was present across the border of our northern ally, as well. The enraptured masses unsuspectingly wandered through Canadian military installations, in search of the powerful pocket monsters.

The Canadian military responded to this invasion with a geopolitical-move as old as time; they issued a firm warning. “It has been discovered that several locations within DND/CAF establishments are host to game landmarks (PokeStops and Gyms) and its mythical digital creatures (Pokémon).”

The enraptured Pokémon masses pressed forward, iPhones in hand, in spite of the vague threat of consequence, while the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation detailed the entire battle with a full after-action report on the situation.

According to the CBC’s report, the Canadian military brass was dumbfounded by their new enemy.

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

The enraptured masses.

Maj. Jeff Monaghan issued a base-wide memo at Fort Frontenac, letting his men know that many locations on the military base were being used as “both a Pokémon Gym and Pokèmon Stop.” The CBC contacted Maj. Monaghan to follow up his memo with insider knowledge, “I will be completely honest in that I have not idea what that is.” The war ravaged on.

While an assortment of Canadian stripes dripped sweat over a war table, moving pieces to chokehold Pikachu and his cohorts, security expert David Levenick verbalized his frustration, “We should almost hire a 12-year-old to help us out with this.” However, the enemy was resolute in their affiliation.

The base took to the offensive and armed a handful of MPs with iPhones and iPads to conduct an inside look into the enemy’s formation. The offensive move paid off, and the inside information led to the upgrading of an on-base museum from a “Pokéstop” to a “Pokémon Gym.”

In the end, however, the war ended as all things do: with a gradual decay. 45 million in the Poké-army became 20. And then 10. Then 5. Much like the Great Roman Empire, the enraptured masses slowly collapsed inward. Some sought refuge in “8 Ball Pool” some in “Super Mario Run” and a few brave souls transferred to a different battlefield altogether— “Bumble.”

Even the rapid hysteria of Pokémon GO was no match for the great equalizers of entropy and new apps, but the great flag of Canada waves on, swiping left to right through the end of time.

MIGHTY CULTURE

The 13 funniest military memes for the week of March 27

No matter where you look, there’s only one thing in the news – COVID-19. And as a comedic military writer, I feel a certain sense of duty to help others by trying to put a smile on the faces of our community in these trying times.

Even as we speak, all five thousand plus service members onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt are to be tested for the Coronavirus as a precaution and won’t allow any sailors to leave while it’s docked in Guam. You read that right, folks. No one is going anywhere until the Navy gets its 5,000 seaman samples.


Stay safe out there, you dirty animals. Anyway, here’s some memes.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Fkw3QutpgsaiBCDFvVc686Ir1emgFkOulmSd0TL9n67V28ZJq4shiWUUvvZ2NuBXjHHsDbPH3LoNT3UgoFA7cJalTiDSkqcIXn_gRMmaflXVUV62vTwwsL8vmxxKY6vVr2ws2m4P3WCn4EQkw5A&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=726&h=244ee819714e56b813f50d392e9bc9db7b72dea1757537625481f4af83175864&size=980x&c=748705079 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Fkw3QutpgsaiBCDFvVc686Ir1emgFkOulmSd0TL9n67V28ZJq4shiWUUvvZ2NuBXjHHsDbPH3LoNT3UgoFA7cJalTiDSkqcIXn_gRMmaflXVUV62vTwwsL8vmxxKY6vVr2ws2m4P3WCn4EQkw5A%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D726%26h%3D244ee819714e56b813f50d392e9bc9db7b72dea1757537625481f4af83175864%26size%3D980x%26c%3D748705079%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via The Salty Soldier)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FcnTLzrsz7d2QRzu8-oMz-5HDUHpqfTGN0KBA7rQJxyl0ujOx5NVWpERz750rhML0v_Irf0N8GofBZ0Bb-sA6M190XYlsxmOAgtQKvLh6&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com&s=474&h=07e29999117bb1e0fabf11ddfd6c89ae3e4b20b589340b83d1d83956b886a7b9&size=980x&c=2107624224 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FcnTLzrsz7d2QRzu8-oMz-5HDUHpqfTGN0KBA7rQJxyl0ujOx5NVWpERz750rhML0v_Irf0N8GofBZ0Bb-sA6M190XYlsxmOAgtQKvLh6%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh3.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D474%26h%3D07e29999117bb1e0fabf11ddfd6c89ae3e4b20b589340b83d1d83956b886a7b9%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2107624224%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Disgruntled Vets)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F_ZRC4pmYJ_5ydQpKqvF1gAVCBXzfgk4oJIhRQALgPY2UVzRoLRoW4gPJcPy2aLkjDLbp55NedPa2eeIWvkF92OMWBL3qUo1F0ZuApX4TlRK4fSVniy3wg9M0LbvdJcHKnv8fiXlCsyvv5R54PQ&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=57&h=a021350c847fba78117f365f8c9d3d9ef284cabccc3e41ab15922a41aa3f9bd1&size=980x&c=2833180680 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F_ZRC4pmYJ_5ydQpKqvF1gAVCBXzfgk4oJIhRQALgPY2UVzRoLRoW4gPJcPy2aLkjDLbp55NedPa2eeIWvkF92OMWBL3qUo1F0ZuApX4TlRK4fSVniy3wg9M0LbvdJcHKnv8fiXlCsyvv5R54PQ%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D57%26h%3Da021350c847fba78117f365f8c9d3d9ef284cabccc3e41ab15922a41aa3f9bd1%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2833180680%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via US Army WTF Moments)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FnmGjLkI01UoN5DF2QZmsS6QtYpbfuiE06fe_Ejh-NioWf0l2CzKDqr0qePPGV-v8N1uD3izimQj1RCamDuy0YCJIdOmJMxJ5GGDGKKpHx9edU9KmNU5fiQ75Zvvzs0RcKvFT_P-YqFgdyxkBaQ&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=681&h=0f9417de5af9cfc1aa65a514b162b440f5519f85c3090938cf452731248007c5&size=980x&c=38713566 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FnmGjLkI01UoN5DF2QZmsS6QtYpbfuiE06fe_Ejh-NioWf0l2CzKDqr0qePPGV-v8N1uD3izimQj1RCamDuy0YCJIdOmJMxJ5GGDGKKpHx9edU9KmNU5fiQ75Zvvzs0RcKvFT_P-YqFgdyxkBaQ%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D681%26h%3D0f9417de5af9cfc1aa65a514b162b440f5519f85c3090938cf452731248007c5%26size%3D980x%26c%3D38713566%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Call for Fire)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FA5A9ovP6q9_mhsNhWQWV7M4B78Lu6_mKk3-MFBYJuUs9affT3pG-_BjiajdGu73eY-hmH0O20PeJ92PpxmHP8Ar69vTd3xoF4CXYJtiw&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh6.googleusercontent.com&s=710&h=658618f048c27ed1a98cd50fdf92eb7fcc79725121929889b01ab4e187ac9004&size=980x&c=1775226212 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FA5A9ovP6q9_mhsNhWQWV7M4B78Lu6_mKk3-MFBYJuUs9affT3pG-_BjiajdGu73eY-hmH0O20PeJ92PpxmHP8Ar69vTd3xoF4CXYJtiw%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh6.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D710%26h%3D658618f048c27ed1a98cd50fdf92eb7fcc79725121929889b01ab4e187ac9004%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1775226212%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Infantry Follow Me)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F6LFHFfG_ZYUqM4-Lbkdol_CsiLRZbCPbVRWh-C_9BbrM1bLkfcUbJ9aMCwulgKItSo1a4ocnpB7rgWGarZZhanWcSV32wiEin0DVt72C&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com&s=471&h=496db1eb993011b7d4867565992ef1953013b8d238c3424f89da9b999ef62987&size=980x&c=3979691725 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F6LFHFfG_ZYUqM4-Lbkdol_CsiLRZbCPbVRWh-C_9BbrM1bLkfcUbJ9aMCwulgKItSo1a4ocnpB7rgWGarZZhanWcSV32wiEin0DVt72C%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh3.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D471%26h%3D496db1eb993011b7d4867565992ef1953013b8d238c3424f89da9b999ef62987%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3979691725%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via The Army’s Fckups)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FUPIxbtdVfL3f3XxujiAymEBpfxbMjhkGMeP0hXbC5gjlwlmsBIkTWd8iu4LP6N1NlFcp51ULXkCI8onngZY8lIhXqP6ZlGzAGrD9JCebgzKwSHeN9U-yMdOAVyBQf0g2HqsYzZ3QK7Ae9XMoEA&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com&s=809&h=133dbde2c3ae73e5930b07709916827beb8cdf12b2ad7ee4a1f89ebfc9a62b70&size=980x&c=4023709039 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FUPIxbtdVfL3f3XxujiAymEBpfxbMjhkGMeP0hXbC5gjlwlmsBIkTWd8iu4LP6N1NlFcp51ULXkCI8onngZY8lIhXqP6ZlGzAGrD9JCebgzKwSHeN9U-yMdOAVyBQf0g2HqsYzZ3QK7Ae9XMoEA%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh3.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D809%26h%3D133dbde2c3ae73e5930b07709916827beb8cdf12b2ad7ee4a1f89ebfc9a62b70%26size%3D980x%26c%3D4023709039%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Valhalla Wear)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Fw8guRgJm2s2zTRzCZi9DsBrOh-ir4Y29_Ge7LWVrOe_Bjigz34xrn2DHhCLq4NfH4nV4AC4SlGY091sZWAVMkbDqdjzzsxGoAtFm8eeP7wqtXkTLow4IZ2KWW2vEdO9fZYA_BrdEYbF91psK2g&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=730&h=27ecbc6791d76fac02c0f0efb8a71b6bffbf6e38c8680715410f8cb1ba68b60f&size=980x&c=2447655748 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Fw8guRgJm2s2zTRzCZi9DsBrOh-ir4Y29_Ge7LWVrOe_Bjigz34xrn2DHhCLq4NfH4nV4AC4SlGY091sZWAVMkbDqdjzzsxGoAtFm8eeP7wqtXkTLow4IZ2KWW2vEdO9fZYA_BrdEYbF91psK2g%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D730%26h%3D27ecbc6791d76fac02c0f0efb8a71b6bffbf6e38c8680715410f8cb1ba68b60f%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2447655748%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via ASMDSS)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FYLMps3Bvka3pUz-aP6f_bsGKRrMJjmJNL4zI5ABK73ireqZ0p4H8QV61Y_7AQVyqQbeZrUDmz9rI-H01n0f98SEVo4F03XSEgDUVTd-CbaUl5WQ3UDML3J3x757EuW3166sth2AmbkVLndck7Q&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=379&h=7a15ac5b490a46e325f318971178da01bb68b89b739f2802e0444bc8701bc05c&size=980x&c=1787017625 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FYLMps3Bvka3pUz-aP6f_bsGKRrMJjmJNL4zI5ABK73ireqZ0p4H8QV61Y_7AQVyqQbeZrUDmz9rI-H01n0f98SEVo4F03XSEgDUVTd-CbaUl5WQ3UDML3J3x757EuW3166sth2AmbkVLndck7Q%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D379%26h%3D7a15ac5b490a46e325f318971178da01bb68b89b739f2802e0444bc8701bc05c%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1787017625%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Do You Even Comm, Bro?)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FNMvmdjzBU3Hso2l2EQ8NFdgqHNHJCfufqXJlzQ0ipnMp6Ii5WH97uPhLgFfKx4WBnvtKh-m-BTS8H15A_QTmbbOFSsq6uMMwXveQyQJdD3055Fw9YSwaxcnxVRMWWOQfyENUncM5tTMaTpKtwA&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=872&h=fbffd55f704cf40008474f74d4fca0d7334b957e7af3908cff192447de3d72f6&size=980x&c=167450354 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FNMvmdjzBU3Hso2l2EQ8NFdgqHNHJCfufqXJlzQ0ipnMp6Ii5WH97uPhLgFfKx4WBnvtKh-m-BTS8H15A_QTmbbOFSsq6uMMwXveQyQJdD3055Fw9YSwaxcnxVRMWWOQfyENUncM5tTMaTpKtwA%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D872%26h%3Dfbffd55f704cf40008474f74d4fca0d7334b957e7af3908cff192447de3d72f6%26size%3D980x%26c%3D167450354%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Decelerate Your Life)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FfTjpGXBD020qaBMaZjL7ny_q6uwPoXChKb6J3M9mbmeD9gugbjf_fIDuRjDetxpTWU9huRmOsweo7-gBHS2xe6ULKN-1Bh7SyuapuHS-wB9_LFvNc-_r87rV0nDlWCzeu7QkPHlXrJdaYXyjtQ&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=830&h=3f250890ba8d57c54083a8007e935120933e4e1abd15a710e1445749955bfb35&size=980x&c=914388412 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FfTjpGXBD020qaBMaZjL7ny_q6uwPoXChKb6J3M9mbmeD9gugbjf_fIDuRjDetxpTWU9huRmOsweo7-gBHS2xe6ULKN-1Bh7SyuapuHS-wB9_LFvNc-_r87rV0nDlWCzeu7QkPHlXrJdaYXyjtQ%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D830%26h%3D3f250890ba8d57c54083a8007e935120933e4e1abd15a710e1445749955bfb35%26size%3D980x%26c%3D914388412%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Army as F*ck)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Fr1E7ePBAPQff7mGc_Pv1eBm1haLKgaeFkN-velmmim6HhSoiJY0tUZC99-r_nLIuiimD2FB6q7LkjLDtJPr761XTptCoYIrd33TOqC_tzp9SQ2ULOgqX0ak92ddvp_8iK70_hjOaJQIiY6kJJg&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh6.googleusercontent.com&s=536&h=01de4a67ab22fa2d96366b0cdc5f815593150e4890e795b97a3ce4c5f1b84314&size=980x&c=3839417368 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Fr1E7ePBAPQff7mGc_Pv1eBm1haLKgaeFkN-velmmim6HhSoiJY0tUZC99-r_nLIuiimD2FB6q7LkjLDtJPr761XTptCoYIrd33TOqC_tzp9SQ2ULOgqX0ak92ddvp_8iK70_hjOaJQIiY6kJJg%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh6.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D536%26h%3D01de4a67ab22fa2d96366b0cdc5f815593150e4890e795b97a3ce4c5f1b84314%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3839417368%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Air Force amn/nco/snco)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FytTUO4VuWCf6RsHk-w3ZHzGPyl4BS2GK51H4_AzJVKHlBVqmiVj7ODwCFV2b7MLK6f6xkM9uy6lFvXNu7ChHwHll11713KpYU7MdGFJLj7x0_yWNDbXacYOGAACetdsNwxsI5nTBhfqokFKZNQ&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com&s=381&h=bbcebcc26d8d3efbdc55c9b3e7a13e18093dd1c47c6df738c123bbc651dbceba&size=980x&c=2206794480 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FytTUO4VuWCf6RsHk-w3ZHzGPyl4BS2GK51H4_AzJVKHlBVqmiVj7ODwCFV2b7MLK6f6xkM9uy6lFvXNu7ChHwHll11713KpYU7MdGFJLj7x0_yWNDbXacYOGAACetdsNwxsI5nTBhfqokFKZNQ%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh3.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D381%26h%3Dbbcebcc26d8d3efbdc55c9b3e7a13e18093dd1c47c6df738c123bbc651dbceba%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2206794480%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Pop Smoke)

MIGHTY CULTURE

Borne the Battle: Vietnam veteran Dr. Robert Primeaux, Lakota Warrior

Native American Vietnam veteran Robert Primeaux shared his journey from a Lakota reservation to the Army and even to Hollywood.

As a young man, Primeaux was eager to get off the reservation and see the world. To leave, he decided to join the Army. He trained in Fort Lewis and Fort Knox before joining the 101st Airborne Division and sent off to Vietnam.

In 1972, Primeaux returned to the United States. His younger brother had been killed in a car accident, leaving Primeaux as the sole male survivor of his family.


However, he did not stay in the Army long. A car accident of his own put him in a coma for three weeks. After he recovered, he was discharged.

Primeaux then lived on his grandmother’s ranch while he recovered from his injuries. To help with his recovery, he began to self-rehab by working with the horses on the ranch. His love for horses gave him the opportunity to go to school through a rodeo scholarship from the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA).

Between school and living on his family ranch, Primeaux met Michael Apted on the set of Thunderheart in South Dakota. Through this meeting, he landed a stunt role on Thunderheart and become eligible for access to the Union of the Screen Actors Guild.

Later, Primeaux moved to LA to begin his film career where he landed roles in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and a more prominent role in Rough Riders. This role as Indian Bob was special to Primeaux because the director John Milius specifically created it with him in mind.

Recently, Primeaux has worked as an advocate for fallen service-members.

Throughout his life, through thick and thin, Primeaux credited the Four Cardinal Lakota Virtues for helping him recover from the Vietnam War and his car accident. He listed the Lakota Virtues as:

  1. Bravery. “Individual valor meant more than group bravery, and the warrior who most fearlessly risked his life earned the admiration of all the people and received the most cherished honors.”
  2. Generosity. “If you have more than one of anything, you should give it away to help those persons.”
  3. Fortitude. “All had to be borne without visible signs of distress.
  4. Wisdom. “A man who displays wisdom, displays superior judgment in matters of war, the hunt, of human and group relationships, of band and Tribal policy, and of harmonious interaction with the natural and spiritual world.”

From childhood, Lakota Warriors were taught these four virtues. Primeaux stated that warriors who were taught the true meaning of these virtues learn to treat their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

This article originally appeared on VAntage Point. Follow @DeptVetAffairs on Twitter.

MIGHTY CULTURE

Learn about the French Foreign Legion from an American enlistee

How many military branches make you surrender your passport, catalog everything you brought to the recruitment center and give you a new identity, all before you sign your enlistment contract?

That’s the French Foreign Legion and that’s exactly how it works… at least according to a Reddit user with the handle FFLGuy, who did an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit in 2011. On other responses on Reddit he mentions serving as “a former légionnaire in the Légion étrangère,” as the French saying goes.


For anyone unaware, the French Foreign Legion is a highly-trained, highly capable fighting force fighting for France – but is open to anyone from any nation. What makes serving in the unit unique is that after three years, members can apply for French citizenship. They are also immediately eligible for citizenship if wounded in combat, a provision known as “Français par le sang versé” – or “French by spilled blood.”

Also unique to the Legion is being able to serve under an assumed identity and then retain that identity after serving. While the Legion used to force everyone to use a pseudonym, these days, enlistees have a choice of identities, real or assumed.

For the first week of your enlistment, you sign contracts and wait to find out if Interpol has any outstanding warrants for you. Once selected, you go right to training in Aubagne, in the Cote-d’Azur region of Southern France. You are stripped of everything, as the Legion now provides you with everything you need.

You are now wearing a blue Legion track suit and are working all day long. Cleaning, painting and cooking are the primary preoccupations, but members are taken away for physical and psychological testing. Also, the hazing begins. While that may not fly in America, this is the Legion, and there’s a 80 percent attrition rate. When would-be Legionnaires give up, it’s called “going civil.”

After two weeks of this “rouge” (red) period, you’re whisked away by train to Castelnaudary, where trainees spend the bulk of their basic training time. In total, the training is four months. Three of it will be spent here. It is from here you transition from engagé volontaire (voluntary enlistee), to actual légionnaire. The groups are split up into four groups of 25-45 would-be légionnaires.

Castelnaudary is where the foreign légionnaires learn French, work out, train, ruck, learn to use weapons and basically all the rudimentary things infantrymen do while in the infantry.Once at Castelnaudary, getting out of the Legion is very difficult. They will find a way to make you stay, the author writes: “Trust me when I tell you that it isn’t a wise choice.”

“Hazing at this point is constant,” the author wrote. “There will be many nights without sleep, and many meals missed. You are never alone and are constantly watched for even the tiniest mistakes. The consequences for mistakes are severe and painful; physically, psychologically or both. The environment is initially set up to ensure failure. You are broken down individually – both mentally and physically – slowly being built back up with larger and larger successes as a group.”

Hazing includes food and sleep deprivation, physical abuse and the like. As the author writes, “If you made it through Castelnaudary without being hit at least once, you weren’t there. “

Ten percent of the group who make it to Castelnaudary will go civil before they earn the coveted Kepi Blanc. It’s when your ceremony for earning the Kepi Blanc is when you officially are a Légionnaire. But the training is not complete. For three more months, you go through basic infantry training.

Those that quit or are not chosen to continue their training are given back their possessions, passports, a small amount of money for every day spent working, and a train ticket to the city in which they entered the Legion. They also have to resume their old identity.

With their old identity in hand, they must return to their country of origin.

MIGHTY CULTURE

5 big reasons why you should’ve gone to the Marine Corps Ball

So, the time for you to go to your first Marine Corps Birthday Ball came and went. Everyone got together to celebrate that time a bunch of drunks gathered at a bar in Philly and started a world-class war-fighting organization. And yet here you are, a couple hundred years later, so disillusioned by your command that you didn’t spend the $80ish on the ticket.

The Marine Corps has a long-standing history of warfare and professionalism. Our fighting spirit has been recognized by forces all over the world, both those we’ve fought against and those that’ve fought at our side. The Birthday Ball is a celebration of this history; that’s why we wear those sexy dress blues that the first Marines wore into battle.

Just because you don’t like your command or the politics of the military doesn’t mean you should skip out. Here’s why you should buy a ticket next year.


What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain
It’s so exclusive that celebrities can’t get in unless invited by a Marine.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Johnny Merkley)

 

It’s an exclusive event

Sure, you have to buy your ticket, but those tickets aren’t for everyone. The event is only open to Marines and sailors attached to the unit. It doesn’t matter how rich or how famous you are, if you’re not in the Corps and you haven’t been invited by someone who is, you’re not getting in.

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain
Just about the only use those swords get these days.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Laura R. McFarlane)

 

There’s tons of tradition

How much tradition? Precisely 243 years’ worth. And at the Ball, you genuinely feel it. From the cake cutting to the commandant’s birthday message, you truly feel like you’re a part of an organization that’s been kicking the asses of America’s enemies since before there was a USA.

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain
This uniform is one of the reasons you joined and you know it.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Zachary Orr)

 

Dress blues are sexy AF

Everyone and their grandmother knows that Marine dress blues are top-shelf sexy. They suck to wear and they’re hot as hell, yeah, but once you look in a mirror, you kind of stop caring about the details. Walking around in them makes you feel like a member of an elite organization. Plus, it feels great to take them off when it’s all over.

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain
Reading General Lejuene’s birthday message could take a while if read by a Gunny.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Samantha Saulsbury)

 

It’s not that time consuming

The ceremony typically only lasts a couple of hours and no one forces you to stay for the dancing after. If nothing else, show up out of respect for your uniform. After the ceremony is done, you’re usually allowed to go out and have a night on the town.

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain
Honestly, you’ll be there much longer.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tyler Pender)

 

You’ll be on working party otherwise

Your command kind of tricks you into going by giving you a false choice: buy a ball ticket or be on the clean-up crew. Honestly, it’s much easier and way better to buy the ticket and be at the ball for a couple hours than to have to be there until the dancing is over.

popular

The actual process of naming military vehicles isn’t what most people think

Recently, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson got a tank named after him. The actor/wrestler/producer took joy in being given the honors and posted the image onto his social media. Because you can’t go two days on the internet without some sort of backlash from people with nothing better to do than argue over some mundane thing that has absolutely no bearing on their life… people argued.

On one side, some people are upset that he felt honored for it because, you know, that has to mean he is advocating war or whatever. Counter-arguers are also quick to jump at the chance to point out that it is a high honor for such a beloved figure because he’s always been a friend and supporter to the military and veteran community.

In reality, the process of naming tanks, artillery guns, and rocket launcher systems isn’t as grandiose as the people arguing are making it out to be.


What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain
Naming your HIMARS doesn’t make it any less uncomfortable. But it doesn’t hurt to at least enjoy your time cramped in with your crew. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. Christopher A. Hernandez)

When it’s time for a crew to take command of a new vehicle, they need to give it a name.

With some exception, you name it entirely for the purpose of easily identifying it. When you’re walking through the motor pool, reading the name stenciled on the gun or rocket pod is going to be a lot easier to read from a distance than its serial number.

Unlike with Humvees or other troop carrying vehicles often forgotten until it’s time to use them, artillerymen and tankers take pride in what is theirs. The name has to be something that the crew could proudly sit in for hours until the FDC finally gets around to approving a fire mission.

The name itself is generally something that invokes strength, humor, or holds sentimental value to one member of the crew – like a loved one. The command staff usually doesn’t bother as long as it isn’t (too) profane and it typically follows the guideline of the first letter being the same as your company/battery/squadron for uniformity.

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain
I keep using “typically” and “usually” because there are plenty of exceptions. The name, the naming convention, and even the ability to name it are ultimately up to the chain of command’s discretion. (United States Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Corey Dabney)

So an MLRS in Alpha Battery could be named “Alexander the Great” or “Ass Blaster.” Bravo Battery gets something along the lines of “Betty White” or “Boomstick.” Charlie gets names along the lines of “Come Get Some” or “Cat Scratch Fever.” And so on.

As for the tank named “Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson,” well, just happens to be in a Delta Squadron, the crew were probably fans of his work, and his name invokes strength. I can attest, entirely anecdotally of course, that Dwayne Johnson isn’t that uncommon of a name within Delta Batteries/Squadrons.

The crew comes up with the name, submits it to the chain of command, and if it gets approved, they spray paint the name prominently on the gun. If the commander wants it to be all people’s names, then they’re all people’s names. If they give the troops free rein, then that’s their prerogative.

It should also be noted that some commanders may forgo the entire process of naming their vehicles and guns altogether. It is what it is, but some tankers and artillerymen may see it as bad luck to not give their baby a name and troops can be particularly superstitious. That, or they may just be saying it so they can spray-paint “Ass Blaster” on their tank’s gun.

MIGHTY CULTURE

The 13 funniest military memes for the week of August 9th

There’s no other way to put it. This week was full of horrific events and terrible news.

Yet, in the midst of all the bad that happened this week, there were some rays of goodness. Because that’s what memes are supposed to be about – making a joke and putting a smile on someone’s face after a sh*tty day.


As the saying of the Army’s short-lived resiliency training that my chaplain really awkwardly tried to make a thing goes: Let’s hunt the good stuff.

There are many children still here today because of the quick-thinking PFC Glendon Oakley. An all-veteran A Cappella group called Voices of Service performed a breathtaking rendition of See You Again on America’s Got Talent and made it to the live rounds. Across the country, many unclaimed veterans – deceased veterans without contactable next of kin – are having their brothers and sisters-in-arms attend their funerals.

The world’s too full of fighting and bickering over mundane BS. I’ll let someone else tell you that everything is on fire, but I say we just take a breather and remember that there is still some good in the world. Anyways, here are some memes.

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via The Army’s Fckups)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Uninformed Veteran)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Army as F*ck)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Decelerate Your Life)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via PT Belt Nation)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Team Non-Rec)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Not CID)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme by Call for Fire)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Coast Guard Memes)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Lost in the Sauce)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Disgruntled Vets)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Valhalla Wear)

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Meme via Air Force amn/nco/snco)

MIGHTY CULTURE

Why names are added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

Known simply as “The Wall” to the men and women who can find the name of a loved one inscribed on it, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall lists the names of those who fell during the Vietnam War. The names are arranged first by date, and then alphabetically. There are more than 58,000 names on more than 75 meters of black granite, memorializing those who died in service to that war.


The eligibility dates span Nov. 1, 1955, through May 15, 1975, though the first date on The Wall during its dedication was from 1959. A service member who died in 1956 was added after The Wall was dedicated – and names have actually been added on multiple occasions.

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

(Hu Totya)

When The Wall was completed in 1982, it contained 57,939 names. As of Memorial Day 2017, there were 58,318 names, including eight women. There are veterans still eligible to have their names inscribed with their fellow honored dead. The Department of Defense decides whose name gets to go on The Wall, but those inscribed typically…

  • …died (no matter the cause) within the defined combat zone of Vietnam (varies based on dates).
  • …died while on a combat/combat support mission to/from the defined combat zone of Vietnam.
  • …died within 120 days of wounds, physical injuries, or illnesses incurred or diagnosed in the defined combat zone of Vietnam..

Currently, victims of Agent Orange and PTSD-related suicide are not eligible to have their name inscribed on the memorial wall. You can request to have a name added at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund website.

10 more names were added to The Wall in 2012 and the statuses of 12 others were changed. The 10 servicemen came from the Marine Corps, Navy, Army, and Air Force, and died between 1966 and 2011. The Department of Defense determined that all deaths were the result of wounds sustained in Vietnam.

As for the status changes, the names are still recorded on The Wall. For those who’ve never seen The Wall in person, each name is also accompanied by a symbol. A diamond means the person was declared dead. A name whose status is unknown is noted by a cross. When a missing person is officially declared dead, a diamond is superimposed over the cross. If a missing person returned alive, the cross would be circumscribed with a circle.

The latter has never happened.

What to do when your ship pulls in to Rota, Spain

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial features more than just The Wall, it also includes the Women’s Memorial and “The Three Soldiers” statue.

Status changes happen all the time, as the remains of those missing in action are found, identified, and returned home.

While the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall doesn’t include the names of service members who died through diseases related to Agent Orange exposure, other state and local memorials may include them. As recently as October, 2018, the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall began to include those who died through such illnesses.

Do Not Sell My Personal Information