The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet - We Are The Mighty
MIGHTY CULTURE

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

The flying of different flags on naval vessels is a sub-culture in and of itself. Depending on their heritage, culture and achievements, ships sometimes fly the first Navy Jack, a Jolly Roger or the traditional Stars and Stripes. However, USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112) might fly two of the best flags in the fleet.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet
A Marine rifle team stands at parade rest as USS Michael Murphy passes by during the 75th Anniversary of the End of WWII ceremony at Pearl Harbor (U.S. Navy)

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer is the 62nd ship in her class and is homeported at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. She is named for Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient Lt. Michael P. Murphy, and was christened on his birthday May 7, 2011. Murphy gave his life to save his SEAL team in Afghanistan in 2005. His heroics, and those of the other SEALs involved in the ill-fated Operation Red Wings, are immortalized in the book Lone Survivor and its subsequent movie. Murphy was the first sailor to be awarded the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War (Senior Chief Britt K. Slabinski was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2018 for actions undertaken in 2002). As such, the crew of the ship that bears his name have a lot to live up to.

Fittingly, the ship’s motto is, “Lead the fight!” The command also prides itself as the, “MOST LETHAL, BEST DESTROYER of the FLEET!” To communicate this enormous pride, USS Michael Murphy flies an absolutely enormous American flag when she comes into port. When leaving port, she flies a similarly large skeleton frog flag as a tribute to the frogman for whom she is named. On certain occasions, USS Michael Murphy will even fly both flags.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet
USS Michael Murphy flying her skeleton frog flag (U.S. Navy)

USS Michael Murphy often flies her gigantic American flag during special ceremonies where the ship is underway like the 75th Anniversary of the End of World War II commemoration ceremony at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. She also flew the flag during the 79th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor ceremony. During the ceremony USS Michael Murphy sailed in front of the USS Arizona memorial. The flag flew large and proud as Michael Murphy‘s sailors saluted their fallen comrades entombed within the Arizona.

The ship’s social media posted about the enormous flags saying, “Sometimes, just sometimes… you just have to let them know who’s arriving!” And let them know she does. If ever you spot a destroyer coming in or leaving port and flying an absolute unit of a flag, you’ll have no doubt that it’s the USS Michael Murphy and her crew continuing to lead the fight.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet
You can’t mistake her for any other ship when she hoists that huge flag (U.S. Navy)
MIGHTY CULTURE

Why the US just moved the remains of fallen WWII soldiers

When American servicemen fall and are buried, it’s generally assumed that their resting place will be their last. Whether it’s a troop who was killed in World War I and buried in an American cemetery in France or a hero brought to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, the honored dead are not to be disturbed. However, some of these fallen heroes, whose identities were once unknown, are being disinterred.

One such ceremony took place in mid-July, 2018, at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific near Honolulu, Hawaii. This cemetery, also known as the Punchbowl, is where thousands of servicemen who fell during operations in the Pacific Theater of World War II and the Korean War have been buried (some prominent civilians and non-KIAs are also buried there).

The reason for disturbing this rest is a damn good one, though.


The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency believes it may be able to identify some of those fallen personnel and finally provide closure for their families. This has been done several times before, and a number of fallen personnel have been identified over the years as a result.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

U.S. service members with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) conduct a disinterment ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Devone Collins)

Perhaps the most high-profile disinterment for the purpose of identifying a fallen serviceman was of the Unknown Soldier of the Vietnam War, who had been interred at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 1984. In 1998, evidence pointing to the identity of that soldier resulted in the decision to disturb the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to conduct DNA testing.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

In 1998, the Department of Defense disinterred the Unknown Soldier of the Vietnam War to conduct DNA tests to determine his identity,

(DOD)

The tests eventually led to identifying the remains asthose of Air Force First Lieutenant Michael Blassie, killed in action when his A-37 Dragonfly was shot down. Blassie’s remains were turned over to his family and he was buried in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. You can see the July 2018 disinterment at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in the video below.

MIGHTY CULTURE

Time to shave that Movember ‘stache … here’s what it’s really about

December brings a lot of holiday cheer, but it isn’t the only thing worth getting excited about. Military spouses around the world are all breathing collective sighs of relief that “No shave November” or “Movember” is finally over. It’s also time to finally take the family picture for the holiday card since your hairy honey is finally back to normal. Why do they do it to us? Despite the humor-inducing effects of growing a horrific caterpillar above their lips to creep us out, it’s actually for a really good cause.

A movember mustache

Marine grows ‘Afghanistache’ for men’s health awareness

After doing some digging, you might change your tune about the ‘stache. The purpose of Movember is to tackle and bring awareness to men’s health issues. It’s also not just a clever phrase, it’s a real thing. The Movember organization is actually a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to preventing the premature death of men from prostate and testicular cancers – as well as suicides. Studies have proven that the life expectancy of men is shorter than that of women’s and Movember aims to change that. 

It was started in 2003 by thirty Mo’s (mustaches) and in 2020, it has since grown to a community of 6.6 million men. Since its inception, over 22.6 million people have donated to support the nonprofit organization and their focus on men’s health. Collectively, it has raised $1.16 billion for men’s health causes. 

It’s more than growing out the ‘stash that creates cringe worthy pictures. It’s a conversation starter to a more open dialog for men to pay attention to their health. For veterans, this is especially vital. While groups around the world spend November raising money to fund the projects within Movember that support men’s health, one of their biggest focus areas is preventing suicide. This is an issue that is particularly important for the military community especially. Reports alarmingly show that more veterans are losing their lives to suicide than combat related injury. 

So, why are men dying before women? There are many reasons that this can be attributed to. But one to pay particular attention to is their reluctance to seek help. Men are less likely to see a doctor or therapist for issues that come up, for a variety of reasons, but one is the mentality of remaining ‘tough’. Movember is about highlighting that caring and doing something about your health is being strong. 

Movember in Kuwait

While us military spouses will never, ever… evvvvvveerrrr…. truly like Movember, we should complain a little less after reading through this. The dreaded mustache growing season is a month long dedication to ending the stigma around open mental health discussions and to encourage men to prioritize their health. Although we don’t want those ‘stashes sticking around come December 1, we do want them with us as long as possible. Movember – despite the horrific ‘stashes it brings – will help with that. 
To learn more about Movember and how you can support men’s health issues, click here.

MIGHTY CULTURE

10 Black celebrities you didn’t know were veterans

If 2020’s stay-at-home order told us one thing, it’s how much we rely on entertainers to keep us sane. Music, movies and online entertainment have been our lifeline to the outside world. Many of the celebrities who have kept us amused have also spoken out about the importance of recognizing the achievements of Black Americans — and that includes veterans!


Over 160,000 Black people are currently in the United States military, serving a critical role in keeping our country safe, and they’ve been doing so for a long, long time. In fact, many of the Black celebrities you know and love are veterans! Keep reading to learn about 10 of the most famous Black veterans…you might be surprised!

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Montel Williams

Born in 1956, Montel Brian Anthony Williams is best known for his work as a TV host and motivational speaker. His show, The Montel Williams Show, ran for 17 years, but that’s not his only claim to fame. Williams served in both the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy. After enlisting in 1974, he attended a four-year officer training program, graduating with a degree in general engineering and a minor in international security affairs.

After completing Naval Cryptologic Officer training, he spent 18 months as a cryptologic officer in Guam. He later became supervising cryptologic officer at Fort Meade, eventually leaving the navy after achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

He earned several awards including the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Sunny Anderson

Food Network personality Sunny Anderson grew up as an Army brat. Her family’s ongoing travels and her parents’ love of food gave her a chance to explore international cuisines, inspiring her future career. After graduating high school in 1993, she joined the United States Air Force, where she earned the rank of Senior Airman. She also worked as a military radio host in Seoul, South Korea, going on to work for the Air Force News Agency radio and television in San Antonio from 1993 to 1997.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

(Wikimedia Commons)

MC Hammer

Stanley Kirk Burrell, better known as MC Hammer, is one of the most well known American rappers of the late 80s. He rose to fame quickly both as a rapper, dancer and record producer, coming out with hits like “U Can’t Touch This” and “2 Legit 2 Quit.” In addition to creating the famous “Hammer pants” and his successful entertainment career, Burrell served in the Navy for three years as a Petty Officer Third Class Aviation Store Keeper until his honorable discharge.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

(Wikimedia Commons)

Ice-T

Tracy Lauren Marrow, AKA Ice-T, is a multi-talented entertainer with a tumultuous background. He had more than one run-in with the law in his youth, but after his daughter was born he decided to join the Army. Marrow served a two year and two month tour in the 25th Infantry Division.

Military life wasn’t for him, however, and he used his status as a single father to leave the Army and begin his career as an underground rapper. Since then, he has made a name for himself as a musician, songwriter, actor, record producer and actor, starring as a detective on Law Order SVU and hosting a true-crime documentary on Oxygen.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Harry Belafonte

Jamaican-American singer, songwriter, activist and actor, Harold George Bellanfanti Jr is no stranger to hard work. He enlisted in the Navy at the start of World War II while he was still finishing high school. After an honorable discharge two years later, he focused on his music career, bringing Caribbean-style music to the US. One of his first albums, “Calypso,” was the first million-selling LP by a single artist.

He was also a passionate supporter of the civil rights movement, going on to advocate for humanitarian causes throughout his life. Since 1987, he has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and currently acts as the American Civil Liberties Union celebrity ambassador for juvenile justice issues.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Shaggy

Ever heard of Orville Richard Burrell? Don’t worry, I hadn’t either, but you probably know his stage name: Shaggy. Burrell was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1968. He began taking voice lessons in the early 80s, filling the streets with music. His talent was apparent early on, but in 1988 he joined the Marine Corps, serving with the Field Artillery Battery in the 10th Marine Regiment during the Persian Gulf War. He achieved the rank of lance corporal, and continued to sing while he did it. He went on to earn seven Grammy nominations, winning twice for Best Reggae Album.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

(Wikimedia Commons)

Jimi Hendrix

James, better known as Jimi, Hendrix, began playing guitar in his hometown of Seattle at just 15 years of age. After enlisting for a short time in the Army and training as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division, he continued his music career to become one of the most renowned guitarists of all time. His music career, much like his military career, was brief, but powerful. He earned a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which describes him as “the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music.”

Berry Gordy Jr

American record, film, and tv producer and songwriter Berry Gordy Jr didn’t get his start in the music industry. He dropped out of high school to become a professional boxer, which he excelled at until he was drafted by the U.S. Army in 1950. He was first assigned to the 58th Field Artillery Bn., 3rd Inf. Div. in the Korean War, later playing the organ and driving a jeep as a chaplain’s assistant. When his tour was over in 1953, his music career took off.

He founded the Motown record label, which was the highest-earning African American business for several decades. Several of his songs topped the charts, and he’s known for helping budding artists like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and the Supremes achieve greatness.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet
2016 Invictus Opening Ceremony

Morgan Freeman

Actor and film narrator Morgan Freeman is yet another famous veteran. He earned a partial drama scholarship from Jackson State University, but he turned it down to enlist in the U.S. Air Force. There, he served as an Automatic Tracking Radar Repairman, rising to the rank of Airman 1st Class.

After being discharged four years later, he moved to Los Angeles and studied theatrical arts at the Pasadena Playhouse. Considering he has since won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and many Oscar nominations, it looks like his hard work paid off!

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

(Wikimedia Commons)

James Earl Jones

Few voices are as iconic and recognizable as that of American actor James Earl Jones. Before launching his acting career, Jones served in the military, receiving his Ranger tab and helping to establish a cold-weather training command at the former Camp Hale. During his time in the military, he was promoted to first lieutenant. Following his discharge, he served his country in a different way, with over seven decades of theatrical excellence. In addition to winning numerous Tonys, two Emmys and a Grammy, he was presented with the National Medal of the Arts by President George H.W. Bush in 1992. Nearly two decades later, President Barack Obama invited him to perform Shakespeare at the White House. Wow!

These Black veterans aren’t the only ones we should care about.

The history of African American military personnel is as old as our country itself. Countless Black Americans have made their mark on U.S. Military history, and they continue to do so today. Click here to explore the firsthand experiences of Black vets, or learn more about how to support them here.

MIGHTY CULTURE

See the Air Force play Santa for thousands of islanders

For people living on remote islands across the Pacific, Christmas is the sound of C-130s roaring overhead as boxes of food, clothing, toys, and more parachuted from the holds drop down from the sky.

Here’s what it looked like this year.


The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

The patch of Operation Christmas Drop 2018 rests on the flight suit of a pilot from the 374th Airlift Wing as he and his crew delivers Coastal Humanitarian Air Drops to the island of Nama, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Dec. 10, 2018.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Gilmore)

Operation Christmas Drop, which began during the holiday season in 1952 as a spur-of-the-moment decision by a B-29 Superfortress crew, is the Department of Defense’s longest-running humanitarian airlift operation.

Source: Andersen Air Force Base

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

U.S. Air Force 1st. Lt. Emery Gumapas, a pilot assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan, looks out the flight deck window of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft during Operation Christmas Drop 2018 en route to the island of Nama, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Dec. 10, 2018.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Gilmore)

Now in its 67th year, the OCD mission is supported by the US Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard, as well as members of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Royal Australian Air Force. It serves over 50 remote islands in the Pacific.

Source: Indo-Pacific Command

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Three villages await Operation Christmas Drop on Fais Island, Federated States of Micronesia, Dec. 10, 2018. A C-130J Super Hercules from the 36th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan, delivered more than 1000 pounds of agricultural equipment, food, clothing, educational and medical supplies to the inhabitants of Fais during Operation Christmas Drop 2018.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Donald Hudson)

The first drop all those years ago began with a B-29 crew dropping supplies to waving locals on Kapingamarangi island. The program now helps tens of thousands of people living on 56 islands across an area of 1.8 million square nautical miles annually.

Source: Indo-Pacific Command

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

A C-130J Super Hercules with the 36th Airlift Squadron drops three Low-Cost Low-Altitude bundles filled with humanitarian aid supplies during Operation Christmas Drop, Dec. 10, 2018, on Fais Island, Federated States of Micronesia.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Donald Hudson)

US military C-130J Super Hercules aircrews conduct low-cost, low-altitude drops, with parachuted packages touching down on land or at sea, the latter sometimes being necessary to avoid unintended damage to the environment or property.

Source: Andersen Air Force Base

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Two Low-Cost Low-Altitude bundles filled with humanitarian supplies float to the ground during Operation Christmas Drop, Dec. 10, 2018, on Fais Island, Federated States of Micronesia.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Donald Hudson)

For OCD 2018, military and civilian organizers collected 62,000 pounds of food, clothing, and other supplies for around 30,000 islanders.

Source: US Navy

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Islanders carry a box of humanitarian supplies from the air-drop site to their village center during Operation Christmas Drop, Dec. 10, 2018, on Fais Island, Federated States of Micronesia.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Donald Hudson)

“My father experienced this drop when he was a little kid back in ’77, I believe, and in that drop, he got his first pair of shoes,” airman Brandon Phillip recently said. “I get to give back to my dad’s island while serving my country. It just makes it all special.”

Source: Department of Defense

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Islanders carry a box of humanitarian supplies from the air-drop site to their village center during Operation Christmas Drop, Dec. 10, 2018, on Fais Island, Federated States of Micronesia.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Donald Hudson)

Many military personnel and civilian volunteers work for months putting together packages for the annual OCD drops across the Pacific.

Source: US Navy

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Islanders carry a box of humanitarian supplies through their village during Operation Christmas Drop, Dec. 10, 2018, on Fais Island, Federated States of Micronesia.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Donald Hudson)

The OCD supply drop came a little over a month after the Marianas were hammered by the 180 mph winds of Super Typhoon Yutu, the worst storm to hit any part of the US since 1935.

Source: The Washington Post

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Island children wait and watch while their village chiefs sort and divide humanitarian supplies for equal distribution during Operation Christmas Drop, Dec. 10, 2018, on Fais Island, Federated States of Micronesia.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Donald Hudson)

The islanders use every part of the delivery, including the parachutes and parachute cords. They reportedly use the parachutes to make boat sails.

Source: Stars and Stripes

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Island children wait and watch while their village chiefs sort and divide humanitarian supplies for equal distribution during Operation Christmas Drop, Dec. 10, 2018, on Fais Island, Federated States of Micronesia.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Donald Hudson)

“This is what Christmas is for,” Bruce Best, who has been part of the OCD mission for four decades, told Stars and Stripes. “When they hear the rumble of the plane engines, that’s Christmas.”

Source: Stars and Stripes

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

MIGHTY CULTURE

Navy authorizes two-piece swimsuits and other clothing items

The Navy has authorized a range of new clothing items, including two-piece swimsuits for male and female sailors, special pins to designate survivors and next-of-kin of fallen troops, and a thermal neck scarf for cold weather.

In a Navy administrative message Monday, officials announced that sailors have the option of wearing two pieces for their semi-annual physical readiness test, or PRT. But don’t show up in a bikini; Navy officials made clear that this regulation change is for sailors who want more coverage, not less.

Full torso coverage is still required for all swimsuits worn. The new guidance makes it possible for sailors to add a pair of swim shorts to a one-piece, or a rash-guard top to swim shorts based on preference or religious conviction. Also authorized is full-body swimwear, like the “burkini” wetsuit-style option popular with Muslim women.


Robert Carroll, the head of the Navy’s Uniform Matters Office, told Military.com that the change is the result of feedback from the fleet, coupled with the fact that existing swimwear guidance was ambiguous.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Benjamin Kittleson)

“We have sailors who have religious convictions, or religious concerns or beliefs,” he said. “Then you have people who just prefer a different level of modesty.”

The change will also help those, he said, who just want a greater level of warmth in the water.

Swimming is an optional alternative to running in the Navy’s current PRT.

Also newly authorized are special lapel pins, approved by Congress, as official designation for surviving family members of service members. The Gold Star Lapel Button, designed and created in 1947, is awarded by the government to surviving families of service members who were killed in action. The closely related Next of Kin Deceased Personnel Lapel Button was approved in 1973, specifically for family members of fallen service members from the Army Reserve or Army National Guard. The small round pins feature a gold star at the center.

Navy guidance specifies that these pins are approved only for optional wear with the service’s most formal uniforms: service dress and full dress.

Carroll said the decision to authorize the buttons followed a number of requests from the fleet.

Also approved for wear is a black neck gaiter, authorized during “extreme cold weather conditions,” according to Navy guidance. Sailors must procure their own all-black gaiters, and the item is authorized only with the cold-weather parka, Navy working uniform type II/III parka, pea coat, reefer and all-weather coat. The guidance comes out just ahead of the Army-Navy game this weekend. However, conditions at the U.S. Naval Academy are expected to be relatively balmy, at a rainy 53 degrees Fahrenheit, and likely do not merit the gaiter.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Sailors swim in the Gulf of Aden during a swim call aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dominique Pineiro)

When to wear the gaiter is a decision reserved for Navy regional commanders, Carroll said, who will promulgate the policy for their region.

Finally, the Navy is authorizing a new chief warrant officer insignia for acoustic technicians, which is approved for wear by all warrants with a 728X designator. The service redesignated submarine electronics technicians as acoustic technicians in 2017, reopening the field, which had been closed since 2011. The electronics technician insignia had depicted a helium atom.

Carroll said the new insignia will be a throwback to earlier Navy acoustic ratings, and feature a globe with a sea horse in the center and a trident emerging from it.

“They’re pretty excited about it,” Carroll said of the acoustic technician community.

In addition to new uniform items, the Navy announced it is redesigning two current items to improve the design. The summer white/service dress white maternity shirt will undergo redesign “to enhance appearance and functionality when worn,” officials said.

The new shirt, once complete, will include princess seams for fit, adjustable side tabs with three buttons, epaulettes and two hidden pockets in the side seams. The new shirt will also look more like the Navy’s service khaki and service uniform maternity shirts, with chest pockets removed. Additional details, including a timeline for the shirt’s release, will be announced in a future message, officials said.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Sailors from the Royal New Zealand navy and U.S. Navy dive into the pool to start a 200-meter freestyle relay during a Rim of the Pacific Exercise international swim meet.

(Department of Defense photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth)

Also being redesigned is the black fleece liner for the Navy Working Uniform and cold-weather parka. Updates will include outer fabric that is resistant to rain and wind, an attached rank tab and side pockets with zip closures.

Officials continue to test the I-Boot 5, a next-generation work boot that improves on previous designs.

“The evaluation will continue through the end of calendar year 2019 to facilitate wear during cold weather conditions,” officials said in a release. “The completion of the I-Boot 5 evaluation, participant survey and final report to Navy leadership with recommendation is expected to occur by the first quarter of calendar year 2020.”

As for other recently rolled-out uniform items, Navy officials say previously announced mandatory uniform possession and wear dates have not changed.

Enlisted women in ranks E-1 to E-6 must adopt the “Crackerjacks” jumper-style service dress blue with white “Dixie cup” hat by Jan. 31, 2020; female officers and chief petty officers must own the choker-style service dress white coat by the same date; enlisted sailors E-1 through E-6 must have the service dress white with blue piping by Oct. 31, 2021; and all sailors must own the new Navy fitness suit by Sept. 30, 2021. The black cold-weather parka is also designated for mandatory possession by April 30, 2021, officials said.

This article originally appeared on Military.com. Follow @militarydotcom on Twitter.

MIGHTY CULTURE

Coach Wooden’s Advice for 2021

When Coach John Wooden arrived at UCLA in 1948, the athletic department promised him they would eventually get him a nice gym. But until then, he had to share a poorly lit, unventilated facility with the wrestling team, the cheerleaders, and the gymnastics team, often with everyone practicing at the same exact time. This existence was Wooden’s reality for 16 years.  

I’m sure during those first years at UCLA, the administration continued to promise that construction on the new facility was right around the corner. Wooden could have been tempted to hold off on pushing his basketball program until the perfect gym was completed. Yet, it was in that ragged facility he shared with the other teams that he built the winning team for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship in 1964 and 1965. Reflecting on his team’s success he wrote, “You could have written a long list of excuses why UCLA shouldn’t have been able to develop a good basketball team….you must take what is available and make the very most of it.”

Coach Wooden’s lesson is the one we need for 2021. How many of us put life on hold in 2020 when the Coronavirus changed our reality to wait for that time when things were back to “normal?” We put off activities like getting in shape or connecting with friends and family because we were waiting for the return of the familiar. Those of us who fell into this hopeful state wasted the time and resources we had available to just maintain the status quo. It’s almost been a year since the world changed. What do you have to show for your new normal?

In 2021, let’s heed the coach’s wisdom and make the most of the resources at our fingertips. Start that project you’ve been putting off. Begin that hobby you bought all the parts and pieces for back in March but never started. Do body weight exercises while you wait for your gym to re-open. Call that family member you weren’t able to visit over the holidays or focus on that relationship that took a hit while you were both stuck at home all the time. Whatever it is, don’t make any more excuses. Focus on action. Remove from your vocabulary the phrase, “When things return to normal, I’m going to…” 

Finally, I would like to leave you with a passage that was written down 2000 years before Coach Wooden set foot in that run-down gym at UCLA. It was written by the Roman philosopher Seneca in a treatise titled, On the Shortness of Life. He said, “Life is divided into three periods, past, present, and future. Of these, the present is short, the future is doubtful, and the past is certain.” In other words, the only thing we can affect is the present so don’t let another year go by without taking action on whatever it is in your life that you’re putting off for a post-COVID world.

In 12 months we are going to do what we inevitably do before a new year. We’re going to reflect. Let’s look back on 2021 and know that we made the most of it; that we didn’t wait for a new gym. Instead, we found opportunities within our individual realities and we seized them. Let this be our new normal. 

MIGHTY CULTURE

8 unanticipated downsides of cool Army jobs

The Army is cool, as any recruiter will happily tell you while sliding a suspiciously thick stack of paperwork your way across the desk. But even the coolest jobs have downsides. The people who get to do the coolest stuff also often have to deal with the crappiest side bits.

Here are eight awesome jobs that sometimes, unexpectedly, suck:


The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Mortar Soldiers with the 77th Armored Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, fire a 120mm mortar round to provide indirect, suppressive fire for infantry Soldiers during a squad live-fire exercise November 3, 2016 at Udari Range near Camp Buehring, Kuwait.

(U.S. Army Sgt. Angela Lorden)

1. Mortarmen lob bombs but carry insane weight

On the list of cool jobs, “use rifles and armor to find and fix enemy forces, then bomb them with mortar shells that you launch out of hand-held tubes,” ranks pretty highly. But being a mortarman, or “Indirect Fire Infantryman” as it’s known, has some drawbacks. The greatest of which is the sheer weight.

Mortarmen can sometimes get close to their firing points with vehicles, but that’s far from guaranteed. And planners seem to take a perverse interest in making the 60mm mortar crews march as far as possible. Those crews have to carry a mortar that weighs about 20-40 pounds in addition to mortar shells that weigh about 4 pounds each.

The weight only goes up from there with the 81mm mortar system. The 120mm mortar system obviously weighs the most, but the weapon and its ammo is typically moved by vehicle.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

U.S. Army Sgt. John Leslie, of Sierra Vista, Ariz., completes system setup for the Wolfhound intelligence gathering system during the fielding and training class at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, January 25, 2014.

(U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class E. L. Craig)

2. Wolfhound operators can listen in on enemy radio transmissions but are always seen as nerds

There’s a class of soldier that can detect the location of enemy transmissions and then listen in on them, translating them instantly if they’re a linguist or have one nearby. But, unless the carrier is an infantryman who can absolutely destroy on the Expert Infantry Badge course, they’re going to be derided as a nerd.

And that’s because they have to learn some nerdy stuff, especially if they’re an Electronic Warfare Specialist by MOS. Managing the device requires knowing a bit about radio frequencies and electronic devices used by the enemy, but getting a soldier who can relay the enemy’s entire plan to the platoon is worth the occasional Poindexter joke.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brendan Mackie, photojournalist with the Hawaii Army National Guard’s 117th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, photographs from the back of a Stryker fighting vehicle during Operation Buffalo Thunder II in Shorabak district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan, June 27, 2012.

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Brendan Mackie)

3. Public affairs troops get to see many angles of the Army, but are always just tourists

Want to patrol with the cavalry one day, hit buildings with infantry the next, and clear obstacles with the engineers on the third? Then public affairs is for you! Unfortunately, you will also be considered a tourist for your efforts.

That’s because public affairs rarely has the chance to really learn their unit’s job on the tactical level since, you know, that’s not their job. But they do get to learn a little about all the forces in their unit or — if they’re in a public affairs detachment or a high-level office — their entire area of operations. Kind of like how a tourist learns a little about a bunch of things in a city or country.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to Multinational Battle Group-East’s Forward Command Post clear a building during a training exercise in Gracanica, Kosovo, May 10, 2017.

(U.S. Army Spc. Adeline Witherspoon)

4. Cav scouts are human eyes and ears for units, but are heckled for their efforts

They go forward in small groups, sneaking as best they can around potentially massive enemy forces. They’re outgunned, outnumbered, and using their eyes and ears to call in bigger, badder weapon systems against enemy formations. And they’re also widely made fun of, especially by the infantry.

Cavalry scouts have a reputation for being a bit weird, and that leads to all sorts of comparisons to groups considered odd by the internet, like Bronies and Furries. It’s not fair, obviously, but the scouts seems happy as long as they still get to crawl around in the mud looking for tanks and yelling, “Scouts out!”

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

California Army National Guard Soldiers from the 40th Combat Aviation Brigade prepare simulated casualties to be evacuated by a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from Company F, 2nd Battalion, 238th Aviation Regiment, 40th CAB, at a tactical combat casualty care lane at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, February 23, 2016.

(U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ian Kummer)

5. Medics are linchpins of combat units, but have to see lots of gross genitals

They’re venerated, valued, and skilled. They’re de facto members of whatever unit they’re part of, even being protected from the “POG” title if they serve with the infantry. Their skills transfer well to the civilian world — they’re actually required to maintain their EMT certification, which makes finding employment easy.

But medics are the primary source of medical advice and care in many of their companies and platoons, meaning that they see all the symptoms of disease or injury in their units first. And that includes STDs and genital trauma, which means that most medics have a mental library of nightmare material. They also have to ask things like, “can you describe the discharge for me?”

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

A Soldier for 4th Squadron, 10th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, ground guides an M1A2 Tank commander to a maintenance area after his crew qualified during Gunnery Table VI, Fort Carson, Colorado, March 2, 2017.

(U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ange Desinor)

6. Tank crews roll in thick armor, but draw fire from everything that can kill them

What could be safer than a tank, with its thick, composite armor, massive gun, and multiple machine guns? Well, in force-on-force warfare, a lot of things. That’s because tanks are so powerful that any maneuver force that can take them out needs to do so as quickly as possible. And tanks aren’t invulnerable. Even powerful IEDs have destroyed them.

So, when an enemy force sees a body of Abrams tanks, they concentrate artillery and anti-tank fire on them. Now, luckily, tanks do have great defenses and both armored and standard commanders work hard to protect them. But, if you take a tank into a fight against Russia or China, be prepared for your cramped little tank to get rocked all the time.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

U.S. Army Sergeant 1st Class Jeramy Bays, a master diver assigned to Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, returns from inspecting a seaplane wreck site in the waters of U.S. Army Garrison Kwajalein Atoll on August 16, 2016.

(U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Markus Castaneda)

7. Divers get to swim all day, but have some of the toughest fitness requirements

Who doesn’t love a nice day at the pool, complete with sunshine, warm water, and military salary and benefits? Well, Army divers enjoy all three of those things, but the frequent exposure to chlorine and the constant fitness requirements still make it a tough job.

During training, recruits often spend three hours a day in the pool and have to do tasks like treading water with large weights. Trainees get a few months to build up their skills before graduating, but then they have to maintain or even improve their already-high levels of physical fitness so their bodies can perform and withstand the rigors of living under the water.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Unmanned aerial systems operators prep a drone for launch. While Air Force pilots famously operate from remote stations, Army pilots are typically near the front.

(U.S. Army Spc. Andrew Ingram)

8. UAS operators are commonly near the front lines despite the whole “remote” part of their job

Want the title of pilot without all the risk of flying over enemy forces? The unmanned aerial systems operator is the job for you (most people refer to them as “drone pilots)! But, before you start shopping for real estate in the American West, you should know that it’s mostly Air Force pilots who can fly drones over the Middle East from the States.

But Army drone pilots are much more likely to be enlisted and to be deployed forward with their birds. Part of their job is actually launching and recovering their aircraft. So, yeah, they’re generally within a few dozen miles of the fighting, potentially within range of enemy artillery, close air support, or even enemy drone attack.

MIGHTY CULTURE

Four myths about war

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley is a firm believer that a strong military is key in a whole-of-government approach to national security issues.

Still, he cautions, there are Americans who believe some myths about the military.

Here are his four “Myths of War”:


The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Abraham Lincoln and George B. McClellan in the general’s tent.

(Library of Congress)

1. The ‘Short War’ Myth.

This is a very prominent myth and one that recurs throughout history, Milley said.

President Abraham Lincoln called for troops to put down the rebellion in 1861. He was so sure it would be a quick war that he only called for 90-day enlistments. Both the French and Germans in 1914 believed the conflict would be short, but World War I lasted four years and took millions of lives.

“War takes on a life of its own,” Milley said. “It zigs and zags. More often than not, war is much longer, much more expensive, much bloodier, much more horrific than anyone thought at the beginning. It is important that the decision-makers assess the use of force and apply the logic we’ve learned over the years. War should always be the last resort.”

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Gen. Mark Milley, then Army chief of staff, at the 2019 Army Birthday Ball, in honor of the 244 Army Birthday, at the Hilton in Washington, DC, June 15, 2019.

(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Dana Clarke)

2. The ‘Win From Afar’ Myth.

Americans’ belief in technology encourages this myth. At its heart is that wars can be won from afar, without getting troops on the ground. Whether it is the strategic bombing during World War II or launching cruise missiles, there are those who believe that will be enough to defeat an enemy.

“These allow you to shape battlefields and set the conditions for battle, but the probability of getting a decisive outcome in a war from launching missiles from afar has yet to be proven in history,” Milley said.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Troops of the US Army 2nd Infantry Division.

(U.S. Army photo)

3. The ‘Force Generation’ Myth.

This is the idea that it is possible to quickly generate forces in the event of need.

In World War I, it took more than a year for American forces to make a significant contribution on the battlefields of France after the United States declared war in April 1917. In World War II, the US Army fought on a shoestring for the first year.

War has only become more complicated since then, Milley said, and it will take even longer for forces to generate. “I think for us to maintain strength and keep national credibility, we need a sizable ground force, and I have advocated for that,” he said.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Milley at the Anakonda 16 opening ceremony at the National Defense University in Warsaw.

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Betty Boomer)

4. The ‘Armies Go to War’ Myth.

“Armies or navies or air forces don’t go to war. Nations go to war,” Milley said.

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

MIGHTY CULTURE

The 13 funniest military memes for the week of April 20

The stimulus checks have started to appear in everyone’s bank accounts and we’re sure they’re on the way if they’re going through mail. On one hand, it’s fantastic news for the folks that have been hit hard financially by the coronavirus. Hell, we all kind of need it after paying rent last week.

But there’s a little voice in the back of my head telling me that not everyone’s going to spend it on rent, utilities, essential groceries or whathaveyou, and wonder where it all went. Maybe it’s because I saw way too many young troops look at their clothing allowance as beer money…

Don’t worry if you’re like 99% of lower enlisted seeing a comma in their bank account. At least these memes won’t cost you a cent!


[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FvXnZPpypAh0HNQ-nKg-mbbnNco-B3g1KLpmObIjzBtCzuEpd8ywca9GhjmFMN6aiSK0_CSLdTt3Lv3YKVfUELOF2nmDGqLrUioDvKytk2w5F6wmtw7zLCkoLgBCJb3FOCIxkWSc4OQAVi4khiQ&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh6.googleusercontent.com&s=965&h=6bd7bbaa96d42eb4ea50239592561f0a4d6cc2e767b80961cac7b17fa2b47f2b&size=980x&c=482059744 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FvXnZPpypAh0HNQ-nKg-mbbnNco-B3g1KLpmObIjzBtCzuEpd8ywca9GhjmFMN6aiSK0_CSLdTt3Lv3YKVfUELOF2nmDGqLrUioDvKytk2w5F6wmtw7zLCkoLgBCJb3FOCIxkWSc4OQAVi4khiQ%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh6.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D965%26h%3D6bd7bbaa96d42eb4ea50239592561f0a4d6cc2e767b80961cac7b17fa2b47f2b%26size%3D980x%26c%3D482059744%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via SFC Majestic)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FC-NLENklMdGoFHYyou4sjQR-aVRXQlmaELZ5y3y8kwbuDkDuGcLHSeGHCv862ZolWzJUyVDmEuqe43qBBexz9oA1ZpEuw7Zdhv9Qq05cAfYI3r6DYnJ-PRNwibF6U-MVGQ8yi52sHACEIYTrsQ&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh6.googleusercontent.com&s=21&h=7a157989fbf18dc3fc611cc518a968f54386987fb974f533b86b06afa653659b&size=980x&c=2589121755 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FC-NLENklMdGoFHYyou4sjQR-aVRXQlmaELZ5y3y8kwbuDkDuGcLHSeGHCv862ZolWzJUyVDmEuqe43qBBexz9oA1ZpEuw7Zdhv9Qq05cAfYI3r6DYnJ-PRNwibF6U-MVGQ8yi52sHACEIYTrsQ%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh6.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D21%26h%3D7a157989fbf18dc3fc611cc518a968f54386987fb974f533b86b06afa653659b%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2589121755%22%7D” expand=1][rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FmdPysMH8Y3PdSs4Gb19JbHKJdNXwOa-sRj68A_iX2ZuFhDP9Oxg_e2A-7vdj3jcjbCMGz5_Jj5g7a4_ZSu-QE03yQqI7u53ZYLa8osvQmrKbfA1LhiDLERZE0Piq2I43Tnz0jKm6epwoa6xctQ&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=898&h=39a2afac097b7067e2bca64318abd48290df625b7f1d3f44473e44f8183d23f9&size=980x&c=1087067139 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FmdPysMH8Y3PdSs4Gb19JbHKJdNXwOa-sRj68A_iX2ZuFhDP9Oxg_e2A-7vdj3jcjbCMGz5_Jj5g7a4_ZSu-QE03yQqI7u53ZYLa8osvQmrKbfA1LhiDLERZE0Piq2I43Tnz0jKm6epwoa6xctQ%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D898%26h%3D39a2afac097b7067e2bca64318abd48290df625b7f1d3f44473e44f8183d23f9%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1087067139%22%7D” expand=1]

lh5.googleusercontent.com

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F1UEH183jhXuEAV9ZaeeeoPWfWkACXKwEImgu46Bcferz9ebxuHprfoBiTCfKJCe7kBiedxKZW0IgRT4BpYd5U7aepj4T5ufG74RowNeCaTBlnjyGZIEDk7PwGn4eoeWIqpXuOiFbwgo0uDyJMA&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=785&h=142dcc3dae9358a9c33c4865d1f3d04b4b0b5ef00dc09314096f6ba8df86f196&size=980x&c=2637130165 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F1UEH183jhXuEAV9ZaeeeoPWfWkACXKwEImgu46Bcferz9ebxuHprfoBiTCfKJCe7kBiedxKZW0IgRT4BpYd5U7aepj4T5ufG74RowNeCaTBlnjyGZIEDk7PwGn4eoeWIqpXuOiFbwgo0uDyJMA%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D785%26h%3D142dcc3dae9358a9c33c4865d1f3d04b4b0b5ef00dc09314096f6ba8df86f196%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2637130165%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via US Army WTF Moments Memes)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FH3p0bE1kYMwVtwUFFWBacLmsrgMmwUXhaQvWMA9upfhPV4SBb7LDg22UH4j5xeFbE84iJ6GDA08eS0YhmoKUFXdA0QGTD4rfImjm17hpZLKaXUXr2fs49nY28pF4JcF-lIbXQV8qWsaVW55oxQ&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=965&h=f79fcf06d47955fdf674dc9c2799c68a9cbdba8828273e0947dd52d73cdc6f62&size=980x&c=1178492016 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FH3p0bE1kYMwVtwUFFWBacLmsrgMmwUXhaQvWMA9upfhPV4SBb7LDg22UH4j5xeFbE84iJ6GDA08eS0YhmoKUFXdA0QGTD4rfImjm17hpZLKaXUXr2fs49nY28pF4JcF-lIbXQV8qWsaVW55oxQ%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D965%26h%3Df79fcf06d47955fdf674dc9c2799c68a9cbdba8828273e0947dd52d73cdc6f62%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1178492016%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Call for Fire)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FH9T5h84Rxj3GqHO2NwMxOXZiyWIjEAAcZHyC7OgMbTbjb_ocdqeDF1cmfzS4TzCtF65EldXqgFTkYi8mlpE6t10o_ghfUU3RWDVGY3A9aeARqc0InHCQqUkSzmVKkkd8rmU75g5wqaEiWbV9kg&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=489&h=bda7074c73a34948c4fadf6c7d640f8e53593ecba6c5b049f8a6b9e03a595713&size=980x&c=773991509 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FH9T5h84Rxj3GqHO2NwMxOXZiyWIjEAAcZHyC7OgMbTbjb_ocdqeDF1cmfzS4TzCtF65EldXqgFTkYi8mlpE6t10o_ghfUU3RWDVGY3A9aeARqc0InHCQqUkSzmVKkkd8rmU75g5wqaEiWbV9kg%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D489%26h%3Dbda7074c73a34948c4fadf6c7d640f8e53593ecba6c5b049f8a6b9e03a595713%26size%3D980x%26c%3D773991509%22%7D” expand=1]

(Comic by Claw of Knowledge)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FfQVk8okzqO7O6SOtu1A-BR4ApfJb-s8C3bN-RdX7v0kXfai2ztcHNHaH6pR6VqLr4cmWPpVvlY8ERrPJ-ooZa9y6KFNkPKV4ut6nukNq4wlnJuFVO2Vfpgf0f468CPvjiUMdxWa0ZlhoED0GXw&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com&s=806&h=4994d36353c07907ad5ce5fd4f1367d422e8aa764954ad24445014b2b43b22ba&size=980x&c=2433917630 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FfQVk8okzqO7O6SOtu1A-BR4ApfJb-s8C3bN-RdX7v0kXfai2ztcHNHaH6pR6VqLr4cmWPpVvlY8ERrPJ-ooZa9y6KFNkPKV4ut6nukNq4wlnJuFVO2Vfpgf0f468CPvjiUMdxWa0ZlhoED0GXw%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh3.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D806%26h%3D4994d36353c07907ad5ce5fd4f1367d422e8aa764954ad24445014b2b43b22ba%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2433917630%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via The Army’s Fckups)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F_or_8Cu75yYmQbpefSnSiRKY1D4zorT8Aos48CPYJ4C1FJKRMh8P8Fbl9X9EwvxW8fgZvJAVgjSVaczyaXIQ6pen7MUabuHGkl9r6dGE87Iq7qgRXKcfXf8TXxZxn9ZTzpkxP_2-oNRbGkYsww&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com&s=887&h=e5c3f43c885dbe0b5343450b605df0c9aab24a169af512a9867a5c46daad3ee7&size=980x&c=969912412 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F_or_8Cu75yYmQbpefSnSiRKY1D4zorT8Aos48CPYJ4C1FJKRMh8P8Fbl9X9EwvxW8fgZvJAVgjSVaczyaXIQ6pen7MUabuHGkl9r6dGE87Iq7qgRXKcfXf8TXxZxn9ZTzpkxP_2-oNRbGkYsww%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh3.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D887%26h%3De5c3f43c885dbe0b5343450b605df0c9aab24a169af512a9867a5c46daad3ee7%26size%3D980x%26c%3D969912412%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Hooah My Ass Off)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FGwJuPdFyi255MQiCvEzCTQom33pDFDIG6IfUtgFqMKzI4RNvaWjlghU-oHjC7RWEPdlE9FVYcFBfYZENh1ZCgQhnVEmbiob6NlOstbYYZ1bDO-b4uMDFEhy5Y_f6kfcSlYA4F1juVnUKAZvIyQ&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=805&h=8ceaa79fd8e556cf35f12cae8f468533706ca3b2a6e8e88facc2a212df8be4b4&size=980x&c=3866751256 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FGwJuPdFyi255MQiCvEzCTQom33pDFDIG6IfUtgFqMKzI4RNvaWjlghU-oHjC7RWEPdlE9FVYcFBfYZENh1ZCgQhnVEmbiob6NlOstbYYZ1bDO-b4uMDFEhy5Y_f6kfcSlYA4F1juVnUKAZvIyQ%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D805%26h%3D8ceaa79fd8e556cf35f12cae8f468533706ca3b2a6e8e88facc2a212df8be4b4%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3866751256%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Valhalla Wear)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FpHZacP0aiZgx2nMQ0PgwQx7B6ZbteYmYTZ-FDgEnz5zg6kXOmJiPM73RrvHECanTKOFtNq42ZQdf7oWr2Zz5WkEBCulSmlWOSs5FnXEtGod5s5fep86HITEuV2E4nT0_vsBiCyzQVz_55LCC6Q&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh6.googleusercontent.com&s=658&h=d093ce343240c81eef0e2bc06d333db8adc767f39db6714ff46e43a550d15736&size=980x&c=1568210314 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FpHZacP0aiZgx2nMQ0PgwQx7B6ZbteYmYTZ-FDgEnz5zg6kXOmJiPM73RrvHECanTKOFtNq42ZQdf7oWr2Zz5WkEBCulSmlWOSs5FnXEtGod5s5fep86HITEuV2E4nT0_vsBiCyzQVz_55LCC6Q%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh6.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D658%26h%3Dd093ce343240c81eef0e2bc06d333db8adc767f39db6714ff46e43a550d15736%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1568210314%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via ASMDSS)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FpsQvxtMopYQWaHdfVzu49Dr2Hz4MOUzm4ciT6pNv6LU57RHEDSTWjWl9_E-CY06FUVb2ANXIQoo2JXXMEWuIoMEHD2eF20hx12QJt9J68LBOwli9x-Gax3Rh7BRsJuuCPz-JO42BUPbiqngWjw&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com&s=448&h=26b8dc49299517544f1c2a10ada8b2f1e3a6be2109078a12cc0adb64621a9f3b&size=980x&c=1825766325 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FpsQvxtMopYQWaHdfVzu49Dr2Hz4MOUzm4ciT6pNv6LU57RHEDSTWjWl9_E-CY06FUVb2ANXIQoo2JXXMEWuIoMEHD2eF20hx12QJt9J68LBOwli9x-Gax3Rh7BRsJuuCPz-JO42BUPbiqngWjw%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh3.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D448%26h%3D26b8dc49299517544f1c2a10ada8b2f1e3a6be2109078a12cc0adb64621a9f3b%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1825766325%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Private News Network)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FbCHjL0sAk9O5-7RzX0pMiN3FpTmAsT0viWw162PWZMyZ1HBgSsYZ6c7CNhQ8NCwaO_JX7Ld-axDABXtZIcnd-XTM44d_u4ELNLAYQBHHydWVBwKqAk4HltPWMiikd2pROr8Zeqy_HNDbrb-__Q&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=353&h=d196d1a37040b20f464f871c408369673a8bcbe6c86ae72848e82eacf8e38a0b&size=980x&c=3442749607 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FbCHjL0sAk9O5-7RzX0pMiN3FpTmAsT0viWw162PWZMyZ1HBgSsYZ6c7CNhQ8NCwaO_JX7Ld-axDABXtZIcnd-XTM44d_u4ELNLAYQBHHydWVBwKqAk4HltPWMiikd2pROr8Zeqy_HNDbrb-__Q%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D353%26h%3Dd196d1a37040b20f464f871c408369673a8bcbe6c86ae72848e82eacf8e38a0b%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3442749607%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Decelerate Your Life)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FbBEdOBLza__89izE8zfI4bngBeqM2_qDxarKB6q296_5QWZhtsnAZxDO6kunKFCkwizcnGtp8Mj617i8VOliu8KDm6ppfFJQihaFGK5brJJeEbj7wqWE5kCQ2bSWY2-tN3PnBDXh5yaSxT6sIg&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=982&h=299d36a10e7f2517810307fbeeefac35f23264eff0c0c5efd37256fe434cb4a3&size=980x&c=2555679938 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FbBEdOBLza__89izE8zfI4bngBeqM2_qDxarKB6q296_5QWZhtsnAZxDO6kunKFCkwizcnGtp8Mj617i8VOliu8KDm6ppfFJQihaFGK5brJJeEbj7wqWE5kCQ2bSWY2-tN3PnBDXh5yaSxT6sIg%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D982%26h%3D299d36a10e7f2517810307fbeeefac35f23264eff0c0c5efd37256fe434cb4a3%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2555679938%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via fuSNCO)

MIGHTY CULTURE

Rangers vs. SEALS: Who’s had more impact in the War on Terror?

U.S. Navy SEALs — the elite Special Operations group with a name that has earned its reputation around the world. If people know the name of one elite unit, it’s probably the Navy SEALs.

U.S. Army Rangers — as old as American history itself, they have presented themselves as masters of both conventional and unconventional warfare time and time again. During the Global War on Terror (GWOT), they have evolved into a precision special operations force (SOF) and gained extensive combat experience, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Both are intensely involved in the GWOT, and both have had resounding successes and serious losses. As modern warfare continues to evolve, which one of these SOF units has delivered more impact in the War on Terror?

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Navy SEALs train at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

(Photo by John Scorza, courtesy of U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command)

When discussing the U.S. Navy SEALs, it’s important to distinguish between the SEAL Teams and SEAL Team Six. SEAL Team Six (sometimes referred to as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or DEVGRU) belongs to the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and is tasked with executing a broad scope of special missions that often have a direct impact on the United States’ foreign policy and national security strategy. Most notably, they were responsible for killing Usama Bin Laden in 2011.

The other SEAL teams are under the purview of the Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) and conduct special operations, often against terrorists and insurgents. This can be confusing since the vast majority of U.S. troops in foreign engagements from Afghanistan to Syria are fighting “terrorists,” but SEAL Team Six specializes in it.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Navy SEALs conduct operations in Afghanistan alongside Afghan partners.

(U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command)

In short, SEAL Team Six is conducting complex missions like hostage rescue; high-level, low-visibility reconnaissance; and direct-action raids against high-value targets (more in the vein of Delta Force, their Army counterpart). The other SEAL Teams have a different overall mission, though overlap does exist. The clear-stated mission on paper is to conduct maritime-based missions, but that is certainly not the end of it. Special operations units are versatile, and today’s SEALs are often training friendly foreign forces, conducting direct-action raids in and outside of large American engagements, or performing their legacy mission of carrying out maritime missions.

SEALs are currently conducting operations in war zones around the world; not all of the teams are relegated to Afghanistan and Syria. They have recently worked in the Philippines, Djibouti, Central America, and South America, to name a few places. They are not necessarily running direct-action raids in all these places. For example, conducting FID (Foreign Internal Defense) with a host nation could mean accompanying local groups on missions, or it could simply mean training them on basic infantry tactics and calling it a day.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

A Navy SEAL conducts training with a SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV).

(U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command)

Rangers, on the other hand, are more specific when it comes to geography. You’re not going to run into a Ranger platoon in the middle of Ethiopia, and Rangers aren’t going to be the ones tasked with hostage rescue missions off the Ivory Coast. For the most part, they go to places where there is a large American presence (or where the military wants there to be one), where the fighting is heavy and the missions are frequent, and they can roll up their sleeves and get busy. They are a precision strike force, but they are precise amid large military efforts.

While Rangers also conduct FID missions, especially in Afghanistan, their purpose revolves around kill/capture missions on a day-to-day basis.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Rangers from the 75th Ranger Regiment prepare to conduct an airfield seizure.

(75th Ranger Regiment)

Seizing an airfield is to Rangers as a maritime raid is to the SEALs. The 75th Ranger Regiment is known for its ability to take an airfield from enemy control, though this hasn’t actually been conducted for years. Most of the time, Rangers are conducting kill or capture raids in Afghanistan. In fact, they were credited with killing or capturing over 1,900 terrorists during a recent deployment to Afghanistan. They have had a presence in Syria as well.

As terrorism and insurgent-type tactics have been more common among the enemies of the United States (in contrast to conventional military tactics), the need for special operations units has skyrocketed. Rangers, SEALs, and other elite groups have found themselves bearing that weight, evolving rapidly, and fulfilling the needs of a constantly changing battlefield.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

A Ranger from the 75th Ranger Regiment conducts close quarters combat training.

(75th Ranger Regiment)

These units are required to have a breadth of skillsets, intensive training, and a specific state of body and mind — however, that doesn’t mean that every deployment is rife with firefights and explosions. Many Ranger deployments to Afghanistan have ended with no shots fired; many SEALs will deploy to countries around the world without conducting any raids.

So, who has the greatest impact on the GWOT?

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Rangers often use helicopters to get to their objective.

(75th Ranger Regiment)

Many of these conversations — Rangers versus SEALs versus MARSOC versus PJs versus Green Berets — devolve into a “which one is better” conversation. However, each has their task and function, and asking whether one is better than the other is like asking if a cardiac surgeon is “better” than a neurosurgeon — it depends on if you need heart surgery or brain surgery. The better informed find themselves asking: “Who is better at a maritime interdiction?” “Who can take this airport?” “Who has a presence in this area?” These are the practical questions that warrant practical answers, and those are the ones that matter on the practical battlefield.

This article originally appeared on Coffee or Die. Follow @CoffeeOrDieMag on Twitter.

MIGHTY CULTURE

Don’t bleed around your unit cartoonist; Bill’s trick back

Master Sergeant George Hand US Army (ret) was a member of the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, The Delta Force. He is a now a master photographer, cartoonist and storyteller.

Master Sergeant Bill — and that was his real last name — had a trick back, so he claimed. It seemed to flare up just as we were on the cusp of an unpleasant mission. My gosh, it didn’t seem to trouble him much at all during “good deal” trips, no Sir. Whether or not it was a valid ailment, that we shall never know, but the timing of the affliction sure seemed suspect over the years.

Well sure, I understood as well as the next man, that with all of the non-stop training we did to satisfy our charter to deploy in just a few hours, to deploy to the four corners of the planet and be ready to sustain combat for several days… a brother just needed a break now and then to harness and hold a semblance of sanity — “to each his own,” I often rationalized.


The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

“Woo, yeah brother… I can feel my back getting ready to go out again. Yes sirree I can feel it coming on.”

“$hit Bill, your back goes out more than a hooker on East Central… I don’t suppose your back is just feeling the freezing cold early on, is it?”

“What freezing cold?”

“Yeah, the freezing cold of our trip to Fairbanks Alaska for Arctic weather training.”

“Oh, yeah… well I guess that is coming up, isn’t it…”

“Oh, well yeah… I guess it is, Bill.”

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

(Arctic warfare training always promised deep snow and freezing temperatures)

There were a few brothers that had a perceived penchant for backing out of what we called “bad deal trips,” in favor of pursuing only the “good deal trips.” They were just slick like that. Again it was just a perception, but perception is the better part of reality in most cases.

Three of the guys earned the following monikers:

Samuel: Good deal Sam, bad deal — scram!

William: Good deal Will, bad deal — chill!

Martin: Good deal Marty, bad deal — departy!

Ah, but Sergeant Bill… now he just carried his maneuvers a smidge farther than the rest, and he didn’t deserve any finesse in his moniker:

Bill: Good deal Bill, bad deal — fake a back injury!

When I look back on some of our more gruesome training missions I am aware, ever so aware, that I do not recollect his presence there. There was the Arctic training in Alaska where we endured temperature plummets as low as -45 degree Fahrenheit while we made death marches on skis and snowshoes all night long.

No Sergeant Bill — threw his dang back out.

There was the trip to British Guyana 100 miles south of the infamous Jones Town where some 950 followers of Jim Jones’ “religion” committed suicide by poisonous Kool-aid in honor of their leader. Triple canopy jungles, All night movements again on foot and by tactical assault boats through snaking inland riverways in the sweltering heat.

No Sergeant Bill — threw his dad-blamed back out.

Hey but the desert mobility training trip where we planned extreme long range patrols… Bill was there! Oh, but his back got to acting up, and he stayed in the rear at the communications relay station — bless his lame heart. If that were not enough, then there was this thing that happened:

Long range tactical patrols meant movement all night long. Before the sun comes up, we stopped and set up camouflage nets. We then performed work priorities, set out guards, and tried to sleep in the frying pan desert as best we could.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

(An Austrian Pinzgauer, the vehicle of choice for desert mobility movements)

We played the tactical game to the hilt because we knew there were Russian helicopters flying the desert looking for our Rally Over Day (ROD) locations at this particular state-side training venue. To be spotted was a compromise and we would have to pack up and run from them in daylight— a losing situation.

To the lonely sound of the buzzing of deer flies, punctuated by the omnipresent smacking noise of the swatting of deer flies, was the low rumble of men in fitful sleep. Very suddenly came the booming of the heavy rotor blades of a Russian Hind-D attack helicopter looming at some 75 feet of altitude… with spineless Bill leaning out of a cargo window pointing wildly to us on the ground.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

(The very intimidating Russian attack helicopter Hind-D)

“I’m going to kill him pretty soon… I’m going to kill spineless Bill. I’m going to chop him up into pieces then burn each of the pieces to ashes. I’m going to collect up those ashes and tamp them down into the barrel of a 12-pound Napoleon cannon, and fire his ashes out of over a field full of cow sh!t; when the cows come to eat the grass I’m going to kill them too and then burn the grass… and I’m going to do it all on a piping-hot Summer’s day,” projected the oath a particularly agitated brother.

The moral of the story here could possibly be: whether your back injury is real or faked, and perception being the greater part of reality, your shenanigans will not write you a day pass from… THE UNIT CARTOONIST!

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

(12-pound Napoleon cannon)

MIGHTY CULTURE

10 Ways to Show Your Gratitude During Military Appreciation Month

May is Military Appreciation Month. Each year the President makes a proclamation reminding the nation of the importance of the Armed Forces, and declaring May as Military Appreciation Month.

Here are 10 ways you can show your gratitude to military members during Military Appreciation Month:

Wear your pride

Pull out those patriotic and military themed shirts, or buy a new one and wear them with pride. This shows those members of the Armed Forces that you support them and appreciate all that they do.

Donate to a military charity

If you want to give of yourself or financially, consider donating to a military charity. It can be difficult to know which charities are worthy of your gifts, as there are so many out there. The key to this is to do your research before you decide. A few of the top rated charities are: The Gary Sinise Foundation, Homes for Our Troops and Fisher House Foundation.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Fly the flag

As Americans, this is always the number one way we show our patriotic pride. During the month of May fly those colors (properly, of course) and show your pride and appreciation for those who protect our country every day.

Buy a military member a drink, coffee or meal

If you are out, why not buy a military member a drink, a coffee or even a meal? Acts of kindness are always appreciated by the men and women of the Armed Forces.

Take to social media

This Military Appreciation Month, fill up social media with notes and posts of how much our military is appreciated. Paint your gratitude across Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms.

Send a note or card

There are thousands of men and women deployed across the world from all branches of the military. Send them a note or a card telling them how much you appreciate their service and sacrifice. Better yet, get the kids involved and have them make cards to send to the troops.

Send a care package

If you want to take things a step farther, care packages are always appreciated by the troops, especially those deployed. Websites like Operation Gratitude give information on how to best get care packages to the members of the Armed Forces.

The USS Michael Murphy flies some of the best flags in the fleet

Pay respects at a military cemetery or memorial

Part of the month of May is Memorial Day. This is one of the reasons this month was chosen for Military Appreciation Month. Take the time to visit a cemetery or memorial and pay your respects to those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Support military-owned businesses

There are many military members, military spouses and veterans who own their own business. Find some in your neighborhood and make a point to support them by stopping by, purchasing their goods, and recommending them to your friends and families.

Say thank you

Any of these options are a wonderful way to show appreciation to members of the military. However, oftentimes a simple ‘Thank You’ is more than enough. If you see a member of the military out and about, take the time to give them a smile, a handshake, and a thank you. Those two words mean more than you can know.

May is Military Appreciation Month. However, these men and women serve and sacrifice every day of the year. Yes, this month in particular show your gratitude towards them. But, remember them the rest of the year as well. They make the choice to serve and to sacrifice for you, give them your thanks every day.

Do Not Sell My Personal Information