5 things you should know before diving into a 'contract marriage' - We Are The Mighty
Humor

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’

Scenario #1: A young service member walks into their newly assigned barracks room and notices how nasty it is. And on top of that, they have to share the small space with two or three other people that may or may not be very clean. The struggle is real.


Scenario #2: A service member may just have received orders to go on a 13-month deployment wants to make some cash while they’re gone.

Both of these very real circumstances of military life can be strong motivators for troops to tie the knot — and not for love.

Make money, money, money! (images via Giphy

Often called a “contract marriage,” these pairings are purely for monetary gain or medical benefits. No one is suggesting you do this versus saving your money or getting a second job if your command allows, but if you do it, keep these very important things in mind.

Related: 7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment

1. He/she can turn you in

Your contract husband or wife can blow the whistle on your verbal agreement without repercussions. So you’d better keep them happy.

Oh, sh*t! Busted. (images via Giphy)

2. Adultery is illegal

In the eyes of the military, you’re legally married (imagine that). So if you get caught engaging adult activites with anyone other than your spouse, you’re on the hook sailor.

Preach! (images via Giphy)

3. If she gets pregnant by you or someone else…

You better lawyer up, get divorced or decide to take care of the little rascal to keep the added benefits. That is all.

 You don’t want your name on that birth certificate. (images via Giphy)  

4. Separation pay

In some cases, if you play your cards right, you might be eligible for separation pay.

Separation pay is when your spouse “lives” in another area for one legitimate reason or another. Think about it. (images via Giphy)

Also Read: 7 ways to prove your spouse is really a spy

5. Repayment

If you do get a divorce, the military typically won’t stop the extra pay right away. So don’t go spending all that extra cash too fast. The government will take back every cent from your paycheck until they recoup what’s theirs.

The answer is, yes. (images via Giphy)You’re welcome America!

Humor

8 reasons you want Commander Riker to be your CO

We all have that officer we served with (or under) that we absolutely adore. We would follow them to the gates of hell or go there ourselves if they so ordered us. But, look: No one gives orders like Commander William T. Riker.


5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Riker isn’t taking anyone’s sh*t. Least of all, yours.

This is why you should want Picard’s “number one” to be your number one.

8. He’s genuinely a nice dude.

He doesn’t bitch when his officers call him by his first name. He remembers all his crews’ names. He’s best friends with his ex-girlfriend. He goes to his friends’ poetry readings. He even plays the trombone for people.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’

I mean, for a guy with so much to do as the first officer of a flagship, you wonder where he gets the energy.

7. He had a beard when it wasn’t even in regs.

How many beards do you see on Star Trek? Any show in the series. Go ahead and look – it’s not many. When you do see them, most of the time, they’re only for flag officers. Meanwhile, Riker grew his out almost immediately. He sure as hell wasn’t going to wait ’til he had a DD-214.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Operator AF.

6. Will Riker will not be tempted by a Fat Leonard.

All the officers who were seduced by the real Fat Leonard are getting off relatively light (especially considering how the enlisted people are getting the book thrown at them), and it’s the U.S. Navy who suffers. Commander William T. Riker has no use for hookers and champagne.

Related: 5 of the most ridiculous things naval officers did with ‘Fat Leonard’

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Damn right. He gets his own.

When the omnipotent alien called ‘Q’ tried to give Riker the powers of a god, Riker told him to f*ck off. Will Riker will make Captain on his own, dammit.

5. Everything bad happens to him and he’s somehow okay.

Riker had to kick his estranged father’s ass to be okay with his childhood. He was abducted by aliens who cut off his arm. Actually, he was abducted a few times. His first posting was a mutiny that resulted in the loss of the ship, he was in a transporter accident that basically duplicated him, he was infected with a parasite that turned him into a spy… The list goes on.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
That wasn’t even the worst injury he had that day.

But Will Riker always shows up for work the next day with a clean slate. And he owns it.

4. He’s just like any other sailor.

Make no bones about it, Riker likes to drink, dance, and get down (you know what I mean). He’s a man’s man — so much so that his only real relationship had to be with a female who could read his emotions because he’s not giving anything but a wink and a smile.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Fine by us.

He has 20 years in service and he still goes on shore leave to a place literally known as a “pleasure planet.”

3. Riker is 100 percent about equal opportunity.

He loves all beings, regardless of gender, race, and even androgyny. Even a robot or two.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Do it boldly.

I’m pretty sure he’s fine with women in combat and openly transgender Starfleet officers. He may have some trouble with the Military Equal Opportunity office, though.

2. His goddamned awesome command presence.

Nothing says, “I am confident in my ability to lead” like swinging your leg over the back of any given chair to sit down.

You know why it looks so f*cking awesome? Because he looks like a cowboy mounting up on a horse for some adventure.

1. He’s going to bring his sailors home.

There’s a reason this redshirt leads away missions and still lives. Over the seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, only 57 Enterprise crew members were killed and only 14 of those died on Riker-led away missions — and they usually got the bad guy in the end.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Light ’em up.

Military Life

Grunt Style now runs the best air shows in America

The launch of the inaugural 2018 Grunt Style Air Show Majors tour was just announced at the International Council of Air Shows annual convention in Las Vegas. Grunt Style Air Show Majors is a collection of America’s most prestigious air shows: SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In Expo in Lakeland, Florida, the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach, Cleveland National Air Show, and the Commemorative Air Force “Wings Over Houston” Airshow.


The mission of Grunt Style Air Show Majors is to celebrate aviation, honor the military, and increase

mainstream awareness of the air show industry. By becoming an official tour stop, the four selected air shows will receive national promotion through a variety of marketing efforts, visibility for their air show at the other participating air shows, and additional mainstream recognition and benefits through partnering with tour creators, with Red Frog Events, and with the title partner, Grunt Style.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’

Grunt Style is a military, patriotic apparel company-meets-lifestyle brand with a perennial goal of instilling a sense of pride in everyone they reach through their products. More than 50% of their employees are veterans and they are known for their strong philanthropic values.

“Partnering with the inaugural Air Show Majors tour was an easy decision for us as our core values are very similar,” says Mike Birt, Chief Marketing Officer at Grunt Style. “We’re looking forward to boosting the aviation industry to a larger demographic and working with the participating shows to continue to honor our military.”

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’

Red Frog Events, a Chicago-based, large-scale event production company, is the creator and promoter of Grunt Style Air Show Majors. The company’s background in the air show space varies from providing concessions, operational expertise, and ticketing for air shows across the country. They are a supporter and member of the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) and are well-known for their nationwide Warrior Dash obstacle race series, as well as Firefly Music Festival, the east coast’s largest music festival.

“The launch of the Grunt Style Air Show Majors tour provides an opportunity to showcase the aviation industry and the selected shows to a new and broader audience,” says Scott Howard, Chief Marketing Officer at Red Frog Events, creators of the Grunt Style Air Show Majors tour. “We look forward to collaborating with these established and respected shows, as well as our partners at Grunt Style, for our inaugural year and during the exciting evolvement ahead.”

The four 2017 Grunt Style Air Show Majors shows will attract over 1.3 million total spectators. These shows have demonstrated their commitment to advancing the air show industry by participating in the nationwide tour.

The 2018 Grunt Style Air Show Majors tour dates and locations (in order of occurrence):

  • April 10 – 15, 2018: Sun’N Fun International Fly-In Expo, Lakeland, Florida
  • May 26 and 27, 2018: Bethpage Air Show, Jones Beach, Wantagh, New York
  • Sept. 1 – 3, 2018: Cleveland National Air Show, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Oct. 20 and 21, 2018: CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow, Houston, Texas

For more information on Grunt Style Air Show Majors, visit their website.

Humor

7 of the best drill sergeants to ever hit the screen, ranked

The scariest thing about joining the military is coming face-to-face with a legendary drill sergeant or, if you’re in the Marine Corps, drill instructor.


DIs tend to viciously yell, violently jump around, and throw your sh*t all over the place to get inside your mind and train you up to be a solid, enduring troop.

On several occasions, Hollywood has attempted to highlight the traits of an excellent drill sergeant on the big screen — many of these portrayals were, admittedly, pretty bad. However, they have managed to recreate the drill sergeant’s intensity and grim sense of humor a handful of times.

Related: 7 female TV detectives who’d make badass drill instructors

1. Maj. Benson Winifred Payne (Major Payne)

Technically, this character wasn’t a drill instructor, but he did train a group of misfit teens at a military academy. Payne’s training regiment wasn’t considered dull by any means; he managed to whip his recruits into ship-shape.

2. Sergeant. 1st Class Hulka (Stripes)

If you can train two future-Ghostbusters into soldiers, there isn’t a whole lot you can’t accomplish. Although he was injured during training, he must have left a stain on his crazy recruits’ minds, because they did graduate using the good ol’ razzle-dazzle.

3. Drill Sergeant (Forrest Gump)

This straight-talking drill sergeant got right up in Forrest’s face, spoke to him like a Soldier, and trained him up to be a future Medal of Honor recipient. Although this badass barely had any screen time, he made his presence widely known.

4. Staff Sgt. Fitch (Jarhead)

This on-screen badass used his outside voice and sported a trim, Marine mustache. His menacing demeanor and his ability to effectively use a chalkboard as a recruit head-catching device was pretty impressive.

5. Gunnery Sgt. Jim Moore (The D.I.)

Directed by and starring Jack Webb, The D.I. was centered around Gunnery Sgt. Jim Moore, a hardcore drill instructor that did everything in his power to train his recruits to be the best even when they didn’t believe in themselves, insulting them and comparing them to his 100-year-old grandma all along the way.

6. Gunnery Sgt. Emil Foley (An Officer and a Gentleman)

This badass drill instructor has no problem beating the sh*t out of his OCS students like they used to do back in the day. His strategy for producing the best naval officers is to break the weak and graduate the strong — an awesome tactic.

Also Read: 6 times Gunny Hartman was guilty of hazing

7. Gunnery Sergeant. Hartman (Full Metal Jacket)

Portrayed by real-life former drill instructor R. Lee Ermey, Gunnery Sgt. Hartman was fueled by real experiences from training young recruits. That authenticity is what ranks Hartman at the top of this list of DIs to hit the big screen.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’

(Warner Brothers’ Full Metal Jacket)

Articles

How 8 countries are preparing for war with Russia

Russia continues to issue threats to countries on its borders — most notably those with significant populations of ethnic Russians like Georgia and Ukraine which have already felt Moscow’s wrath in recent years.


But many European countries have reduced their spending in the decades since World War II, so preparing for a potential war with their aggressive and highly militarized neighbor is not as simple as giving their soldiers MREs, bullets, and marching orders.

And while the U.S. helps guarantee the security of NATO members, a recent analysis by the RAND Corporation indicates that many countries on the eastern front could be swallowed up long before American reinforcements could arrive. Some countries, like Estonia, could be conquered in as little as 60 hours, analysts say.

Here’s what eight countries in Eastern Europe are doing to get ready for the war they hope never comes:

1. Ukrainians are hastily emplacing fixed defenses

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Ukrainian soldiers practice clearing trenches on Nov. 2 during an exercise in Ukraine with U.S. soldiers. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Tarr)

Ukraine is the one state on the list who is currently engaged in a war with Russia. While their troops have fought limited groups of Russian “volunteers,” Ukraine’s top generals are worried about a full-scale air attack and ground invasion.

To prepare, they’re digging trenches and emplacing fixed defenses like tank traps and bunkers. They’ve also practiced maneuvering mobile air defenses and other units. Finally, Ukraine is planning a massive expansion of its navy to replace many some of the ships captured by Russia in the 2014 annexation of Crimea.

2. Estonia is training a guerrilla force to bleed Russian occupiers dry

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Estonian soldiers provide cover fire for U.S. paratroopers on Nov. 3, 2016, in Hellenurme, Estonia, during a joint training exercise. (Photo: U.S. Army Pfc. James Dutkavich)

Estonia fields an army of only 6,000 soldiers and fully expects to be overrun within days if attacked by Russia, an outcome that the RAND Corporation agrees with. But Estonia plans to make the Russians regret ever acre they took.

The nation is hosting “military sport” contests and encouraging citizens to keep weapons in their homes. The sports events include 25-mile ruck marches, evasion exercises, plant identification, and others which test skills useful for an insurgent force. Over 25,000 Estonians have joined the weekly drills.

3. Latvia is training up a “home guard” and investing in special operations

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Latvian soldiers drive their armored combat vehicles into position during a joint training exercise with U.S. troops on Oct. 31, 2016, in Adazi, Latvia. (Photo: U.S. Army)

Like Estonia, Latvia is bullish on training citizens to resist an invasion. They’re moving forward with plans to allow “home guard” member to keep their weapons and night vision devices in their homes. They’re also betting heavily on special operations forces, tripling the size of the National Armed Force Special Operations Forces.

Like most NATO members, they’re also trying to get more NATO troops on their soil to deter Russian aggression in the first place. Britain is already sending troops for exercises, and Denmark and France have promised forces as well.

4. Lithuania

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(Photo: U.S. Army Pfc. James Dutkavich)

Lithuania has distributed a civil defense book to its citizens which details how to survive a Russian invasion that includes a phone number which residents can call to report suspected Russian spies. It is also planning to restart military conscription for men between the ages of 19 and 26.

5. Norway

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Norwegian soldiers prepare for a stalking event during the 2016 Best Sniper Squad Competition in Germany. The team went on to win the overall competition. (Photo: U.S. Army Spc. Emily Houdershieldt)

Norway officially acknowledged that it believes Ukraine was illegally occupied by Russia during a state visit to Ukraine on Oct. 18. Russia later added Norway to its list of targets for “strategic” weapons. Russia uses the word “strategic” to differentiate between conventional and nuclear-capable forces.

Norway has invited more NATO troops, including U.S. Marines, to train there. It’s also stepped up its intercepts of Russian aircraft flying near its shores. Norway’s F-16s now maintain a 24-hour alert. The country is also re-opening Cold War-era bases in the far north.

6. Poland is buying massive amounts of equipment, including new subs

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Polish soldiers of 17th Wielkopolska Mechanized Brigade move a simulated wounded soldier during a react to contact scenario during exercise Combined Resolve VII at the U.S. Army’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels Germany, Sept. 12, 2016. (Photo: U.S. Army Spc. Gage Hull)

Poland, which is considered to be one of the more hawkish NATO members, has been warning of a threat from Moscow for some time. For the past few years, it has championed regional security agreements with its neighbors and worked hard to ingrain itself with NATO.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, Poland has ramped up the purchase of military hardware such as new, stealthy submarines and Polish-manufactured S-70 helicopters for its special operations soldiers.

7. and 8. Finland and Sweden are securing defense agreements with the U.K. and U.S.

Finland and Sweden are countries which famously prefer to avoid alliances, but Russian aggression has spurred an interest in limited defense agreements which will make it easier for NATO troops to deploy to those countries in the event of war.

The U.K. and U.S. signed two contracts each with Sweden and Norway, and all four agreements have different details. But, the broad strokes are that all four countries will increase their interoperability by holding joint training exercises as well as participating in research, development, and procurement projects.

MIGHTY MONEY

This is why cash bonuses are different for each troop

You’ve probably seen it plastered all over billboards by now. The Army is offering “up to $40k in an enlistment bonuses!” Some hopeful recruits will learn that they can, in fact, get that down-payment for a Corvette. Another guy could come in that same day and walk out with just the “honor of serving.”

What’s the difference here? Why does one guy get a ‘vette and the other nothing but a hardy handshake? The determination process is kind of convoluted, but it all comes down to the military trying to get the right people in the right places.


5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’

I mean, it’s better to have a brilliant lawyer become an infantry officer than to have an idiot defending troops at a court martial, right?

(U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Ayana Pitterson)

Troops get a bonus based on what they bring to the military, how long they plan on staying in, and when they sign the contract.

So, if you have just a high school education and you want to enlist in a field that’s pretty crowded at a time when everyone is trying to get in for just the 3 years required to get full access to the GI Bill, your bonus prospects are looking pretty bleak. If you have a college degree and plan to use said degree to benefit the military at a time when it’s almost impossible to find others like you — the cash is yours.

With that being said, the stars need to align for everything to work out perfectly. Even if, say, you have a doctorate in law and decide to use your skills in JAG, if you arrive a time when the Army needs more infantry officers, you’re going infantry. Uncle Sam will always have the final say.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’

Obviously I’m making fun of water dogs (because they’re so used to enduring jokes by everyone that they won’t flip sh*t in the comments section).

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Adam Dublinske)

Highly trained and highly skilled troops, like cyber security NCOs, often leave the service and jump into higher-paying, civilian-equivalent jobs. The troop that was once the backbone of their unit is now working the IT help-desk at Google, dealing with a quarter of the stress for double the pay. The civilian sector is gunning for these troops by offering sweet cash deals — and the military can’t sustain this kind of personnel hemorrhaging.

If the military didn’t offer retention bonuses, those cyber security NCOs would all jump ship. Suddenly, offering that bonus of 0,000 over a four-year period for an indefinite contract doesn’t seem too unreasonable.

All that being said — and this isn’t to diminish the service or need of anyone who didn’t get an enlistment or a reenlistment bonus — the more competitive your specific skill set is to the outside world, the more of an incentive the military will offer to keep you in.

Articles

Get your tissues — The Rock just surprised a combat vet

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a big supporter of the troops, and this isn’t the first time he’s surprised a vet, but his sincerity and flare always make for a heart-catching watch.


He partnered with Ford to unveil the 2018 Ford Mustang, and he decided to take it one step further by giving the car to combat Army veteran Marlene Rodriguez, who earned the Purple Heart for injuries received from an RPG while serving in Mosul.

Her reaction was stunned as she said, “I don’t deserve all this.” Johnson replied with, “You deserve more,” and we all lost our sh**.

His Instagram caption of the reveal was perfect (including the emojis–we’ve kept them intact for you):

This one felt good. Very good. ?? Our Ford partners asked me to unveil the never seen before, brand new 2018 FORD MUSTANG to the world. As their Ambassador, I’m happy to do.

With a twist.

Myself and Ford compiled a big list of US veterans and from that list, I chose Army combat vet Purple Heart recipient, Marlene Rodriguez to surprise and give it away to her.

It was such a cool moment that all of us in the room will never forget.

When Marlene, stopped and just looked at me and asked “Why?”, well that’s when I may or may not have gotten a lil’ emotional with my answer – in a bad ass manly way of course.

Why? Because of the boundless gratitude and respect I have for you, Marlene and all our men and women who’ve served our country. Just a small way of myself and the good people of FORD of saying THANK YOU.

A HUGE thank you to FORD, our SEVEN BUCKS PRODUCTIONS and everyone who was involved in making this awesome surprise come true.

Finally, thank you FORD for making the new 2018 Mustang straight ?, completely customizable for the world to enjoy. Thanks also for making sure I fit in it as well.

Marlene, fits better. ?. Enjoy your ride mama. Enjoy that Dodger game. You deserve it. 

It’s okay if you get a little misty-eyed over this one. We did.

Humor

The 6 most OFP jobs in the military

For the uninitiated, OFP is a military initialism that means, “own f*cking program.” The term is commonly used by one service member in reference to another that seems to be immune from formations, uniform inspections, working parties, and the general tomf*ckery that goes along with being a part of the world’s most elite fighting forces.


This is not to say these individuals do not work hard or are not important to the fight. In fact, in most situations, the reason they are OFP is because of the vital tasks they perform — sometimes at odd hours.

Let’s explore the duties and responsibilities of the individuals the military allows to be on their own f*cking program.

Related: The origin of the ‘best’ rank in the Marines (Lance Corporal)

1. Military Working Dog Handler – all services

Military Working Dog handlers are responsible for the care and training of his or her service dog, which contributes to combat operations abroad and installation security at home by providing targeted odor detection (explosive/drug).

Service dogs, generally seen as a non-lethal option for neutralizing a threat, also serve as a psychological deterrent during law enforcement operations.

In other words, these badasses are expected to play with their dogs — it’s their job and no one can tell them not to.

2. Ammunition Technicians – all services (various titles)

Ammo techs do everything that needs to be done regarding ammunition, including receipt, storage, issue, and handling of ammunition and toxic chemicals.

They often spend hours driving around to various ranges ensuring compliance with standards regarding ammo. They often have their own office and a parking spot at the S-shops — all as an E-4.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’

 

3. Enlisted Aide for Generals/Admirals – all services

Speaking of OFP, enlisted aides are responsible for… well, I’ll let the official enlisted aide guidebook do the talking:

The good news is your only boss is a general and he/she is usually very busy.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Serving more than the country. (Photo by Tony Lopez)

4. CBRN Defense Specialist – all services (various titles)

These are the sadists adorned in gas masks and HAZMAT suits, making their military brothers and sisters cry with CS gas (commonly called “tear gas” by Eagles fans).

They are tasked with monitoring, detecting, training for, and advising anything that has to do with Chemical, Biological, Radiological, or Nuclear threats.

CBRN personnel are often ridiculed for their abundant “spare time.”

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Yes, YES! It’s perfect! (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Brendan King)

5. Religious Program Specialist/Chaplain Assistant (“Chap-Ass”) – all services except the Marines

These motivators are tasked with supporting chaplains in any area that does not require ordination or pastoral counseling.

The title explains most of the job, however, these guys have one boss and he or she is generally the most understanding, kind, and generally happy person in uniform.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Let us pray. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Specialist Sabrina Fine)

Also Read: 7 things you didn’t know about the Marine Jungle Warfare Training Center

6. Marine Corps Infantry Weapons Specialist – aka “GUNNER”

A “Marine Gunner” is qualified to train Marines on the proper employment of all weapons systems organic to the infantry.  That includes, but is not limited to, pistols, rifles, machine-guns, rockets, mortars, missiles, explosives, and their associated accessories.

To qualify for selection as a “Marine Gunner,” you must be a Gunnery Sergeant with 16 years active duty in the infantry and have served as an Infantry Platoon Sergeant. Upon selection, Marines are promoted to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 2, but a “Marine Gunner” is always referred to as “Gunner,” never CWO.

There are about 102 Gunners total in the Corps.

After a tour with an infantry battalion, they move on to billets as regimental and divisional Gunners, range OICs, and various other positions where Gunners continue to teach infantry skills to Marines.

And nobody… nobody, tells a Gunner to do sh*t.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
The Legendary Gunner Wade. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alan Adison)

Military Life

How a pilot in one of America’s least stealthy aircraft saved a downed pilot from one of the stealthiest

In March 1999, NATO announced that coalition forces would begin a massive air war and bombing campaign against Serbia. Within hours after the first round of strikes, an A-10 squadron received an urgent call that one of America’s stealthiest aircraft had been shot down — the F-117 Nighthawk.


It was reported the stealth pilot managed to bail out in time but was trapped deep behind enemy lines.

As rebel forces assembled to hunt down the American pilot, allied forces gathered and quickly began designing a search and rescue mission to locate their missing brother.

“One of the things I have to do as the on-scene commander is figure out if he’s ready to be picked up,” Air Force pilot John Cherrey explains.

Related: 5 countries that tried to shoot down the SR-71 Blackbird (and failed)

Since landing an A-10 in enemy territory was impractical, using Black Hawks to pick up the missing pilot was the only option. But with Serbian missiles on high alert, there was no way helicopters could outrun enemy defenses.

The rescue mission must be handled with extreme caution or risk losing more men, so developing a clever plan was in order.

The Warthog’s commanders decided to create a diversion that would prompt Serbian anti-air missile radar to look in one direction, while the slower Black Hawks swooped in through the enemies’ back door.

Also Read: That time American POWs refused a CIA rescue mission in Vietnam

Their plan worked as the two Black Hawks managed to sneak their way to the downed pilot and egresses out of the Serbian air space. Once the A-10s were notified the pilot was safe, they bugged out and went home. No additional casualties were reported.

Mission complete.

Check out the Smithsonian Channel‘s video to see how Allied forces went on this daring rescue mission for yourself.

(Smithsonian Channel, YouTube)

Articles

Here’s what it’s like to fly a close air support mission against Islamic State militants

While the Pentagon has been very adamant with claims that none of the 4,000+ American troops in Iraq are involved in “combat,” American jets have been flying attack sorties against Islamic State (IS) militants. But what exactly goes into getting bombs on the bad guys? Here’s what a day in the life of an aircraft carrier-based crew is like:


The mission cycle begins with CENTCOM’s Joint Task Force sending the tasking order to the intelligence center on the aircraft carrier. From there, the air wing operations cell assigns sorties to the appropriate squadrons, and those squadrons in turn assign aircrews to fly the sorties. At that point aircrews get to work with intel officers and start planning every detail of the sortie.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Mission planning in CVIC aboard the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Once the long hours of mission planning are done, crews attempt a few hours of sleep. (The regs call for 8 hours of sleep before a hop, but that seldom happens.)

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(Photo: Flikr)

After quick showers and putting on “zoom bags” (flight suits), aviators hit the chow line before the mission brief.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(Photo: Walter Koening)

All the crews involved with the mission gather for the “mass gaggle” brief, usually two and a half hours before launch time. After that elements break off for more detailed mission discussions.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

Meanwhile, on the flight deck maintainers fix gripes and make sure jets are FMC — “fully mission capable.”

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

At the same time ordnance crews strap bombs onto jets according to the load plan published by Strike Operations.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Ordies (in red jerseys) load 500-pounders onto Super Hornets aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Forty-five minutes before launch, crews head to the paraloft and put on their flight gear — G-suits, survival vests, and helmets. They also strap on a 9mm pistol in case they go down in enemy territory.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

Aviators walk to the flight deck and conduct a thorough preflight of their jets, including verifying that their loadouts are correct.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Super Hornet pilot checks a GBU-12 – a laser-guided 500-pounder. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Once satisfied that the jet is ready, crews climb in and wait for the Air Boss in the tower to give them the signal to start ’em up.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Super Hornet weapons system operator climbs into the rear cockpit of an F/A-18F Super Hornet. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

While lining up with the catapult for launch, pilots verify that the weight board is accurate.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Green shirt holds up weight board showing a Super Hornet pilot that the catapult will be set for a 43,000 pound launch. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

With the throttles pushed to full power and the controls cycled to make sure they’re moving properly, the pilot salutes the cat officer. The cat officer touches the deck, signaling the operator in the catwalk to fire the catapult.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’

Zero to 160 MPH in 2.2 seconds. Airborne! (Airplanes launching on Cats 1 and 2 turn right; those on Cats 3 and 4 turn left.)

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

Overhead the carrier, Super Hornets top off their gas from another Super Hornet configured as a tanker.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
F/A-18F passes gas to an F/A-18E. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Wingmen join flight leads and the strike elements ingress “feet dry” over hostile territory.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

The flight hits the tanker again, this time an Air Force KC-135.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Super Hornet tanking from KC-135 (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

At that point the mission lead checks in with “Big Eye” — the AWACS — to get an updated threat status and any other late-breaking info that might be relevant.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

E/F-18 Growlers — electronic warfare versions of the Super Hornet — are part of the strike package in the event of any pop-up surface-to-air missile threats.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Growler firing flares. (Photo: Boeing)

The AWACS hands the flight off to the forward air controller in company with Iraqi forces. The FAC gives the aviators a “nine-line brief” that lays out the details of the target and any threats surrounding it and the proximity of friendlies.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
USMC Forward Air Control team in Iraq. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps)

The enemy has no idea what’s about to happen . . .

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
ISIS trucks driving around Mosul, Iraq. (Photo: ISIS sources on the web)

Op away!

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
F/A-18C releasing a laser-guided bomb. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Target in the cross-hairs of the Super Hornet’s forward looking infrared pod.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(FLIR screen capture: U.S. Navy)

*Boom!*

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(FLIR screen capture: U.S. Navy)

 

Ground view . . .

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(Photo: U.S. Army)

Mission complete, the jets head back “feet wet,” stopping at the tanker once again along the way.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Two Super Hornets tanking from a KC-10. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Jets hold over the carrier until it’s time to come into the break and enter the landing pattern. The aircraft from the event attempt to hit the arresting wires every 45 seconds or so.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
F/A-18F about to touch down. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Once the planes are shut down on the flight deck, aircrews head straight to CVIC with their FLIR tapes for battle damage assessment or “BDA.”

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

At that point everybody waits for the word to start the process all over again . . .

Humor

9 ISIS weapon fails that you have to see to believe

Take care of your gear and your gear will take care of you. Sounds simple, right?


Apparently not for terrorists. Most of them don’t thoroughly study their weapon systems before employing that power on the battlefield.

There are also the bad guys just want record themselves laying rounds down range for honor?social media purposes.

We’re glad they did because they have some epic weapon fails that we now get to laugh at.

Related: The military is going to put laser attack weapons on fighters

9. The terrorist who just can’t seem to keep his balance.

Can we get this guy a seat belt or something? (Images via Giphy)

8. This isn’t technically a weapons fail, but seeing the bad guys get smashed by a truck — we couldn’t pass that up.

Oopsie. (Images via Giphy)

7. You gotta love a funny ISIS negligent discharge every once in a while.

We guess he’s not used to touching something sensitive. (Images via Giphy)

Also Check Out: 9 weapon fails that will make you shake your head

6. Somebody didn’t properly lube their rifle before the ambush.

This is why terrorists can’t have nice things. (Images via Giphy)

5. There’s never a trained mortarman around when you need one.

Someone call the EOD techs. (Images via Giphy)

4. When you lie on your resume to get the tank driver position…but you get the job anyways.

Your left or my left? (Images via Giphy)

3. Just when you think you found a brilliant new way to fire that rocket you stole.

It looked good on paper. (Images via Giphy)

2. When you’re too focused lining up that perfect shot, but an American sniper ruins it.

Even the camera knew to get down. (Images via Giphy)

Also Read: This is who would win a shoot off between a ‘Ma Deuce’ and a Minigun

1. When your rocket just doesn’t have enough juice.

Maybe next time. (Images via Giphy)

Articles

15 clichés every military recruit from Texas hears in basic training

Being from Texas bring a certain set of expectations. Some are good, some are funny, and some are just ridiculous.


There are many, but here are 15 clichés every recruit hears at boot camp:

1. “Only steers and queers come from Texas private cowboy, and you don’t much look like a steer to me so that kinda narrows it down” – Sergeant Hartman, “Full Metal Jacket” (1987)

You know how it goes. You get to a new unit and the first thing someone asks is what’s your name and where you’re from. You say, “my name is ____” followed by, “I’m from Texas.” The first thing you get is the Gunny Hartman quote about steers and queers. It doesn’t get more original than that (note my sarcasm).

2. The drill instructor calls you “Lone Star” to single you out.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Photo: Cpl. Caitlin Brink/USMC

What the hell are you doing Lone Star? Why are you out of formation!? This one is worth owning.

3. Everyone calls you “Tex” instead of your name. This usually happens for the first two weeks of boot camp while everyone is still learning names.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Photo: YouTube Screen Grab

“There was Dallas, from Phoenix; Cleveland – he was from Detroit; and Tex… well, I don’t remember where Tex come from.” – Forrest Gump, “Forrest Gump” (1994)

4. Everyone assumes you have a horse back home.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Photo: Reddit

Nope. Too expensive.

5. Everyone from Texas goes hunting.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Photo: @outdoorhunters/instagram

Not really. But we do have a friend that does who’d let us tag along with if we wanted to.

6. The other recruits assume you know your way around a rifle because everyone in Texas has a gun.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’

… because Texas has that open carry law.

7. You eat BBQ for every meal.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Photo: @jdslaugh/instagram

We f–king love BBQ! And, we don’t settle for that nonsense other states call BBQ. Your choice of meat with pepper and salt over misquite is all you need.

8. All Texans are stupid.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Photo: mike_who/instagram

They’re just mistaking our Texan drawl for being slow.

9. You grew up on a ranch.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Photo: @jmd.x/instagram

Where do you think we do all our BBQing, shooting, and hunting? Actually, no. Cities like San Antonio, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Houston are among the largest in the country. There’s no room for a ranch in the asphalt jungle.

10. You must have an oil well in your backyard.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Photo: @asoto217/instagram

Who do you think we are, the Beverly Hillbillies?

11. You probably have a big truck.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Photo: @lonestar_diesel

If we don’t have one, we really want one. Who doesn’t?

12. People from Texas are the definition of “Murica.”

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Photo: evan_el_jefe/instagram

We’re very patriotic, which is why there’s always a handful of recruits from the great state in your unit.

13. Football is your religion.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Photo: @katytexans_tyfa/instagram

Yes. We go to church every Friday (high school football), Saturday (college football), and Sunday (NFL football).

14. You have long horns over your fireplace or on your vehicle.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Photo: @jon_jp/instagram

Nope. Not so much. It would go well with UT Longhorn gear though.

15. You’re from Texas, so therefore you’re a redneck. Nope, I’m a Texan.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
Photo: American Sniper/imdb

“Texans tend to ride horses whereas rednecks ride their cousins.” — Chris Kyle, “American Sniper” (2014)

Military Life

Here are the best military photos for the week of December 16th

The military has very talented photographers in the ranks, and they’re always capturing what life as a service member is like during training and at war. Here are the best military photos of the week:


Air Force:

Firefighters begin creating fire lines to combat the wildfire in Custer State Park, S.D., Dec. 13, 2017. Ellsworth Airmen worked with more than 330 firefighters from four surrounding states to combat the wildfire covering 55 square miles of the park.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald C. Knechtel)

U.S. Air Force Airmen sit on the back of a C-130 cargo aircraft during Operation Christmas Drop 2017, Dec. 15, 2017, at Mariloa Atoll, Chuuk. Over the course of 12 days, crews will airdrop donated food, supplies, educational materials, and tools to 56 islanders throughout the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Gerald R. Willis)

Army:

Pfc. Brandon DeFlippo, a Rolla, Mo. native and a tank systems maintainer with 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, performs maintenance on a Bradley fighting vehicle during training in Adazi, Latvia Dec. 9, 2017.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Hubert D. Delany III/22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

U.S. Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Regiment Cavalry bound forward and find cover behind a berm as support fire is being provided by another team during a live fire exercise at the Guadnek training range in Orzysz, Poland, Dec. 14, 2017. These Soldiers are a part of the unique, multinational battle group, comprised of U.S., U.K., Croatian and Romanian soldiers serve with the Polish 15th Mechanized Brigade as a deterrence force in northeast Poland in support of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrew McNeil / 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

Navy:

Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Key West (SSN 722) returns to its homeport of Guam following a four-month forward-operating period in the Western Pacific. Key West is one of four forward-deployed submarines homeported in Apra Harbor, Guam.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(U.S. Navy photo by Culinary Specialist Submarines Seaman Jonathan Perez)

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) transits the Atlantic Ocean at night. Ford is underway conducting test and evaluation operations.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua D. Sheppard)

Marine Corps:

Gunny Claus poses with children after the 2nd Marine Division (2d MARDIV) holiday concert at the base theater, on Camp Lejeune, N.C., Dec. 9, 2017. The program included a variety of traditional and modern Christmas and holiday music performed by the full concert band, jazz ensemble, party band, and soloists.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Michaela R. Gregory)

U.S. Marines with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, observe a beach after a simulated amphibious breach in support of exercise Steel Knight 2018 at San Clemente Island, Calif., Dec. 9, 2017. Steel Knight is a 1st Marine Division led exercise enabling Marines and Sailors to operate in a realistic environment developing necessary skill sets to maintain a fully capable Marine Air Ground Task Force.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by LCpl. Rhita Daniel)

Coast Guard:

Members of the Hurricane Maria ESF-10 Puerto Rico response examine a vessel wrecked by Hurricane Maria, Fajardo Puerto Rico, Dec. 13, 2017. The ESF-10 is offering no-cost options for removing vessels stranded by Hurricane Maria; affected boat owners are asked to call the Vessel Owner Outreach Hotline at (786) 521-3900.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lisa Ferdinando)

A Coast Guard boat crew aboard the Triumph II, a 52-foot Motor Life Boat from Coast Guard Cape Disappointment, conducting a tow off the Pacific Northwest coast, Dec. 10, 2017. The Triumph II is one of only four 52-MLBs in the Coast Guard and is specially designed for the deep water bars of the Pacific Northwest.

5 things you should know before diving into a ‘contract marriage’
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Fishler

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