How to make it through Special Forces selection - We Are The Mighty
MIGHTY CULTURE

How to make it through Special Forces selection

Wondering what it takes to cut the mustard in Special Forces selection?

The time of my first (just) two-year enlistment in the Army was coming to an end. I originally enlisted for the shortest amount of time in the Army in the event that if I really hated it too much I only ever had two years to endure. There were two things that I was positively certain of:

  1. I really DID want to stay in the Army
  2. I really did NOT want to stay right where I was in the Army

    It wasn’t a matter of being so fervent about wanting to excel into the ranks of Special Forces soldiers at that time; rather, it was the matter of getting away — far away — from the attitudes and caliber of persons I was serving with at the time in the peace- time Army as it was. I understood, so I thought, that the way to ensure I could distance myself from the regular army aura was to go into Special Forces, namely the Green Berets.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    (Special Forces Regimental insignia)

    That was a great path forward, but with a near insurmountable obstacle — you had to be a paratrooper! Jumping from an airplane in flight was fine by me, the problem associated with that was that most airplanes had to be really high up before you jumped out of them. I was then as I am still horrendously terrified of heights — woe is me! My fear of altitudes was keeping me from going to Airborne Jump School and stuck in my current morass of resolve.

    Well, just two short years in the regular “go nowhere, do nothing” Army and I was ready to jump out of high-in-the-sky airplanes parachute or no parachute. I was ready to jump ship!

    Jump School was indeed terrifying despite the small number of jumps, just five, that we were required to make. All of the jumps were in the daytime though mine were all night jumps. All that is required to qualify as a night jump is to simply close one’s eyes. I did. I figured there was nothing so pressing to see while falling and waiting for the intense tug of the opening of the parachute, so I just closed my eyes.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    (Every jump can potentially be a night jump, so says I — Wikipedia commons)

    There were 25 of us paratroops headed to the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) upon graduation from Jump School. I was the highest ranking man even as an E-4 in the group, so I was designated the person in charge of the charter bus ride from Jump School to Ft. Bragg, NC for the course — of course! I imagined that duty would not entail much on a bus ride of just a few hours. I was shocked when approached by two men from my group who wished to terminate their status as Green Beret candidates.

    Well, the course certainly MUST be hard if men are quitting already on the bus ride to the course.

    “Sure fellows, but can you at least wait until we get to Bragg to quit?” I pleaded.

    Once at Ft. Bragg, it was our understanding that we were on a two-week wait for our SFQC class to begin. Our first week we tooled about doing essentially nothing but dodging work details like cutting grass and picking up pine cones. The second week was an event that the instructors called “Pre-Phase,” a term that I didn’t like the sound of and braced for impact.

    “Pre-Phase,” in my (humble) opinion, was a pointless and disorganized suck-athon. It was a non-stop hazing with back-breaking, butt-kicking, physical events determined to crush the weak and eliminate the faint of heart. In the end we had a fraction of the number of candidates that we started with. I noted that of the 25 men I brought over from Jump School, only me and one other very reserved soldier survived. We nodded at each other and shook hands at the culmination of the mysterious Pre-Phase.

    “Good job, brother-man!” I praised him.

    “Thank you; my name is Gabrial, you can call me Gabe,” he introduced.

    “Great job, Gabe — George is my name — please, call me Geo!” I invited.

    The documented entry-level criteria included the ability to pass the standard Army Physical Readiness Fitness Test (APRFT) in a lofty percentile, though one I am loath to admit I do not remember. There was also a swim test that was required of us to perform wearing combat fatigues, combat boots, and carrying an M-16 assault rifle.

    We did it in the post swimming pool. It was a bit of a challenge but by no means a threat to my status as a candidate. I was nonetheless dismayed at several men who were not able to pass it after having gone through all they had. It was sad.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    (Special Forces have a charter for conducting surface and subsurface water operations — Wikipedia commons)

    The first month of the SFQC was very impressive to me as a young man barely 20 years old. It was all conducted at a remote camp in the woods where we lived in structures made of wood frames and tar paper — barely a departure at all from the outdoor environment. We endured many (MANY) surprise forced marches of unknown distance, very heavy loads, and extreme speed that were hardly distinguishable from a full run.

    Aside from the more didactic classroom environment learning skills of every sort, there were the constant largely physical strength and endurance events like hand-to-hand combat training, combat patrolling, rope bridge construction with river crossings, obstacle course negotiating, living and operating in heavily wooded environments. We learned to kill and prepare wild game for meals: rabbits, squirrels, goats, and snakes. Hence the age-old term for Special Forces soldiers — “Snake Eaters,” a moniker I bore with proud distinction.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    (Survival skills are essential in Special Forces — Wikipedia Commons)

    We all had to endure a survival exercise of several days alone. There were dozens of tasks associated with that exercise that we had to accomplish in those days: building shelter, starting and maintaining a fire for heat and cooking, building snares and traps to catch animals for food, and building an apparatus to determine time of day and cardinal directions.

    Since the same land was used time after time by the survival training, it was understood by the cadre that the land was pretty much hunted out, leaving no animals to speak of for food. Therefore there was a set day and time that a truck was scheduled to drive by each candidate’s camp to throw an animal off of the back. When the animal hit the ground it became stunned and disoriented. We had just seconds to profit from the animal’s stupor to spring in and catch it before it ran away… or go hungry for the duration.

    Hence the sundial I built and my track of the days, to have myself in position to capture my animal when the time came. The time and the truck came. I crouched along the side of the terrain road. The cadre slung a thing that was white from the truck. It hit the ground and was stunned. I pounced on what turned out to be a white bunny rabbit.

    “Oh… my God!” I lamented earnestly in my weakened physical and mental capacity, “I’ve stumbled into Alice in Wonderland’s enchanted forest… I can’t eat the White Rabbit!”

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    (He’s late, he’s late, for a very important date — Wikipedia Commons)

    Some men were unfortunately unable to capture their rabbits in time before they ran away. One man was overcome by grief at the prospect of killing his rabbit — his only source of companionship. He rather built a cage for it and graced it with a share of the paltry source of food that he had. Me, I was a loner and swung my Cheshire rabbit by the hind legs head-first into a tree. I ate that night in solace and in the company of just myself.

    Men who could no longer continue sat on the roadside each morning and waited for a truck, one that I referred to in disdain as the hearse, to be picked up and removed from the course. One of them was carrying a cage lovingly constructed from sticks and vines in which sat therein a nibbling white rabbit. The man was washed out of the course for failing tasks, backed up by quitting. There was no potential for a man to return for a second time if he had quit on his first try — quitting was not an option.

    The event that cut the greatest swath through the candidate numbers was the individual land navigation event. It lasted a week or so with some hands-on cadre-lead instruction, some time for individual practice, culminating in a period of several days and nights of individual tests. The movements were long, the terrain difficult, the stress level very high. Every leg of the navigation course was measured on time and accuracy — we had to be totally accurate on every move, and within the speed standard.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    (SF troop candidate during Land Navigation Phase of SFQC moves quickly with heavy loads — DVIDS)

    I recall a particular night when all of us lay in our pup tents waiting for our release time to begin our night movements. Just as the hour was on us a monumental torrent of rain began to gush down. The men scrambled and clambered back to their tents like wet alley cats. I performed a simple mathematical equation in my head:

    • time equals distance
    • hiding in a tent for an undetermined period equals zero time
    • zero time equals zero distance
    • choosing one’s personal comfort over time equals failure

    I had a Grandma Whipple’s rum-soaked cigar clenched tightly in my teeth; it was lit before the rain but no more, and I assure you most fervently that it was never in any way Cuban! Plowing through the vegetation for many minutes I came to a modest clearing that I came to be very familiar with over the days. It told me that I was thankfully on course for the moment. The rain was tapering off generously and I felt a leg up on the navigation for the night.

    I reached for my cigar but there was none there save the mere butt that remained clenched in my teach. To my disgust the waterlogged cigar had collapsed under its weight and lay in a mushy black track down my chin and neck edging glacially toward my chest. There would be no comfort of the smoke, nor deterrence of mosquitoes by the smoke of the Grandma Whipple’s rum-soaked positively non-cuban cigar that night.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    More than five months later I sat on my rucksack (backpack) of some 50 lbs just having completed a timed 12-mile forced ruck march, nothing any longer between me and graduation from the SFQC course. There were plenty of things to think of that had happened or did not happen to me over the nearly half-year, though I somehow chose the bus ride from Jump School to Ft. Bragg to ponder. How rowdy and arrogant the crowd had been, all pompously sporting green berets that they hadn’t even earned yet. Me, I had chosen to wear my Army garrison cap — nothing fancy.

    I filtered through the events that had taken each man who had not already quit from that arduous bus ride from Jump School. I remember how they had all failed or quit one by one except that one brother whose hand I shook at the end of pre-phase.

    Buses pulled up to move us back to some nice barracks for the night, some barrack at least 12 miles away by my calculation. Usually everyone snatched up his own rucksack by his damned self, but on this occasion the brother next to me pulled up my rucksack to shoulder height for me in a congratulatory gesture of kindness.

    I in turn grabbed his rucksack in the same manner though with a deep admiration and respect for the man who had come all the way with me from Jump School through the SFQC fueled by reserved professionalism. His name was Gabriel, but I just called him Gabe.

    By Almighty God and with honor, geo sends

    This article originally appeared on Sandboxx. Follow Sandboxx on Facebook.


    MIGHTY TRENDING

    25 strongest militaries in Europe, according to BI

    NATO member and partner forces are in Norway for a sprawling military exercise called Trident Juncture — the largest since the Cold War, officials have said.

    Russia is not happy with NATO’s robust presence next to its territory and has decided to put on its own show of force.

    From Nov. 1 to Nov. 3, 2018, Russian ships will carry out rocket drills in the Norwegian Sea, west of activities related to Trident Juncture, which runs from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, 2018.

    The exercises come at a time of heightened tension in Europe, home to some of the world’s most capable armed forces, based on the 2018 military strength ranking compiled by Global Firepower.


    The ranking aims to level the playing between smaller countries with technical advantages and larger, less-sophisticated countries.

    Additional factors — geography, logistical capabilities, natural resources, and industrial capacity — are taken into account, as are things like diversity of weapons and assets, national development, and manpower.

    NATO members, 27 of which are European, also get a boost, as the alliance is designed to share resources and military support. The US military has a massive presence in Europe — including its largest base outside the US— but isn’t included here as the US isn’t part of Europe.

    Below, you can see the 25 most powerful militaries in Europe.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    Belgium air force helicopter Alouette III takes off from BNS Godetia for a tactical flight over the fjords in support of an amphibious exercise during NATO’s Trident Juncture exercise.

    (NATO Photo By WO FRAN C.Valverde)

    25. Belgium (Overall ranking: 68)

    Power Index rating: 1.0885

    Total population: 11,491,346

    Total military personnel: 38,800

    Total aircraft strength: 164

    Fighter aircraft: 45

    Combat tanks: 0

    Total naval assets: 17

    Defense budget: .085 billion

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    A Portuguese sniper team identifies targets during the range-estimation event of the Europe Best Sniper Team Competition at 7th Army Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area, July 29, 2018.

    (US Army photo by Spc. Emily Houdershieldt)

    24. Portugal (Overall ranking: 63)

    Power Index rating: 1.0035

    Total population: 10,839,514

    Total military personnel: 268,500

    Total aircraft strength: 93

    Fighter aircraft: 24

    Combat tanks: 133

    Total naval assets: 41

    Defense budget: .8 billion

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    Slovak soldiers report to their commander during the opening ceremony of Slovak Shield 2018 at Lest Military Training Center, Sept. 23, 2018.

    (US Army photo by 1st Lt. Caitlin Sweet)

    23. Slovakia (Overall ranking: 62)

    Power Index rating: 0.9998

    Total population: 5,445,829

    Total military personnel: 14,675

    Total aircraft strength: 49

    Fighter aircraft: 18

    Combat tanks: 22

    Total naval assets: 0

    Defense budget: id=”listicle-2617982766″.025 billion

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    Austrian soldiers load gear onto their packhorses before hiking to a high-angle range during the International Special Training Centre High-Angle/Urban Course at the Hochfilzen Training Area, Austria, Sept. 12, 2018.

    (US Army photo)

    22. Austria (Overall ranking: 61)

    Power Index rating: 0.9953

    Total population: 8,754,413

    Total military personnel: 170,000

    Total aircraft strength: 124

    Fighter aircraft: 15

    Combat tanks: 56

    Total naval assets: 0

    Defense budget: .22 billion

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    A Bulgarian army tank crew maneuvers a T-72 tank during an exercise with US soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team at the Novo Selo Training Area, Sept. 15, 2018.

    (US Army National Guard photo Sgt. Jamar Marcel Pugh)

    21. Bulgaria (Overall ranking: 60)

    Power Index rating: 0.9839

    Total population: 7,101,510

    Total military personnel: 52,650

    Total aircraft strength: 73

    Fighter aircraft: 20

    Combat tanks: 531

    Total naval assets: 29

    Defense budget: 0 million

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    Standing NATO Maritime Group One trains with Finnish fast-attack missile boat FNS Hanko during a passing exercise in the Baltic Sea, Aug. 28, 2017.

    (NATO photo by Christian Valverde)

    20. Finland (Overall ranking: 59)

    Power Index rating: 0.9687

    Total population: 5,518,371

    Total military personnel: 262,050

    Total aircraft strength: 153

    Fighter aircraft: 55

    Combat tanks: 160

    Total naval assets: 270

    Defense budget: .66 billion

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    Cpl. Cedric Jackson, a US soldier from the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team of Army’s 1st Infantry Division, assists a Hungarian soldier in applying tape to secure a fluid-administration tube to a simulated casualty during a combat life-saver course led by US troops in Tata, Hungary, Dec. 2017.

    (US Army photo by 2nd Lt. Gabor Horvath)

    19. Hungary (Overall ranking: 57)

    Power Index rating: 0.9153

    Total population: 9,850,845

    Total military personnel: 77,250

    Total aircraft strength: 35

    Fighter aircraft: 12

    Combat tanks: 32

    Total naval assets: 0

    Defense budget: id=”listicle-2617982766″.04 billion

    18. Denmark (Overall ranking: 54)

    Power Index rating: 0.9084

    Total population: 5,605,948

    Total military personnel: 75,150

    Total aircraft strength: 113

    Fighter aircraft: 33

    Combat tanks: 57

    Total naval assets: 90

    Defense budget: .44 billion

    17. Belarus (Overall ranking: 41)

    Power Index rating: 0.7315

    Total population: 9,549,747

    Total military personnel: 401,250

    Total aircraft strength: 202

    Fighter aircraft: 43

    Combat tanks: 515

    Total naval assets: 0

    Defense budget: 5 million

    16. Romania (Overall ranking: 40)

    Power Index rating: 0.7205

    Total population: 21,529,967

    Total military personnel: 177,750

    Total aircraft strength: 135

    Fighter aircraft: 34

    Combat tanks: 827

    Total naval assets: 48

    Defense budget: .19 billion

    15. Netherlands (Overall ranking: 38)

    Power Index rating: 0.7113

    Total population: 17,084,719

    Total military personnel: 53,205

    Total aircraft strength: 165

    Fighter aircraft: 61

    Combat tanks: 0

    Total naval assets: 56

    Defense budget: .84 billion

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    A Norwegian soldier takes aim during Trident Juncture 18 near Røros, Norway, Oct. 2018.

    (NATO photo)

    14. Norway (Overall ranking: 36)

    Power Index rating: 0.6784

    Total population: 5,320,045

    Total military personnel: 72,500

    Total aircraft strength: 128

    Fighter aircraft: 49

    Combat tanks: 52

    Total naval assets: 62

    Defense budget: billion

    13. Switzerland (Overall ranking: 34)

    Power Index rating: 0.6634

    Total population: 8,236,303

    Total military personnel: 171,000

    Total aircraft strength: 167

    Fighter aircraft: 54

    Combat tanks: 134

    Total naval assets: 0

    Defense budget: .83 billion

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    Swedish air force Pvt. Salem Mimic, left, and Pvt. Andreas Frojd, right, both with Counter Special Forces Platoon, provide security for US Air Force airmen and aircraft on the flight line at Kallax Air Base, Sweden, during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, Oct. 26, 2018.

    (Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

    12. Sweden (Overall ranking: 31)

    Power Index rating: 0.6071

    Total population: 9,960,487

    Total military personnel: 43,875

    Total aircraft strength: 206

    Fighter aircraft: 72

    Combat tanks: 120

    Total naval assets: 63

    Defense budget: .2 billion

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    erved by US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in Prague, Czech Republic, Oct. 28, 2018.

    (Defense Department photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

    11. Czech Republic (Overall ranking: 30)

    Power Index rating: 0.5969

    Total population: 10,674,723

    Total military personnel: 29,050

    Total aircraft strength: 103

    Fighter aircraft: 12

    Combat tanks: 123

    Total naval assets: 0

    Defense budget: .6 billion

    10. Ukraine (Overall ranking: 29)

    Power Index rating: 0.5383

    Total population: 44,033,874

    Total military personnel: 1,182,000

    Total aircraft strength: 240

    Fighter aircraft: 39

    Combat tanks: 2,214

    Total naval assets: 25

    Defense budget: .88 billion

    9. Greece (Overall ranking: 28)

    Power Index rating: 0.5255

    Total population: 10,768,477

    Total military personnel: 413,750

    Total aircraft strength: 567

    Fighter aircraft: 189

    Combat tanks: 1,345

    Total naval assets: 115

    Defense budget: .54 billion

    8. Poland (Overall ranking: 22)

    Power Index rating: 0.4276

    Total population: 38,476,269

    Total military personnel: 184,650

    Total aircraft strength: 466

    Fighter aircraft: 99

    Combat tanks: 1,065

    Total naval assets: 83

    Defense budget: .36 billion

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    A sniper and spotter from the Spanish Lepanto Battalion line up their target near Folldal during Exercise Trident Juncture, using the .50 caliber Barrett and the .338 caliber Accuracy sniper rifles, firing at targets over 1,000 meters away.

    (Photo by 1st German/Netherlands Corps)

    7. Spain (Overall ranking: 19)

    Power Index rating: 0.4079

    Total population: 48,958,159

    Total military personnel: 174,700

    Total aircraft strength: 524

    Fighter aircraft: 122

    Combat tanks: 327

    Total naval assets: 46 (one aircraft carrier)

    Defense budget: .6 billion

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    An Italian F-35A fighter jet with special tail markings.

    (Italian Air Force photo)

    6. Italy (Overall ranking: 11)

    Power Index rating: 0.2565

    Total population: 62,137,802

    Total military personnel: 267,500

    Total aircraft strength: 828

    Fighter aircraft: 90

    Combat tanks: 200

    Total naval assets: 143 (two aircraft carriers)

    Defense budget: .7 billion

    5. Germany (Overall ranking: 10)

    Power Index rating: 0.2461

    Total population: 80,594,017

    Total military personnel: 208,641

    Total aircraft strength: 714

    Fighter aircraft: 94

    Combat tanks: 432

    Total naval assets: 81

    Defense budget: .2 billion

    4. Turkey (Overall ranking: 9)

    Power Index rating: 0.2216

    Total population: 80,845,215

    Total military personnel: 710,565

    Total aircraft strength: 1,056

    Fighter aircraft: 207

    Combat tanks: 2,446

    Total naval assets: 194

    Defense budget: .2 billion

    3. United Kingdom (Overall ranking: 6)

    Power Index rating: 0.1917

    Total population: 64,769,452

    Total military personnel: 279,230

    Total aircraft strength: 832

    Fighter aircraft: 103

    Combat tanks: 227

    Total naval assets: 76 (two aircraft carriers)

    Defense budget: billion

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    French sailors watch the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush as it transits alongside the French navy frigate Forbin, Oct. 25, 2017.

    (US Navy photo by Mass Comm. Specialist 3rd Class Matt Matlage)

    2. France (Overall ranking: 5)

    Power Index rating: 0.1869

    Total population: 67,106,161

    Total military personnel: 388,635

    Total aircraft strength: 1,262

    Fighter aircraft: 299

    Combat tanks: 406

    Total naval assets: 118 (four aircraft carriers)

    Defense budget: billion

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    Russian troops participating in the Zapad 2017 exercises in Belarus and Russia.

    (Russian Ministry of Defense photo)

    1. Russia (Overall ranking: 2)

    Power Index rating: 0.0841

    Total population: 142,257,519

    Total military personnel: 3,586,128

    Total aircraft strength: 3,914

    Fighter aircraft: 818

    Combat tanks: 20,300

    Total naval assets: 352 (one aircraft carrier)

    Defense budget: billion

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

    MIGHTY HISTORY

    7 awesome pirate crews who plundered the Seven Seas

    So, after sitting through weeks of military transition classes, you’ve decided, “screw it! I’ll just turn to a life of crime!” Congrats! You’re joining a long tradition — a tradition mostly limited to privateers in the 17th and 18th centuries, sure, but a tradition nonetheless.

    So, how about piracy? It’s glamorous, it’s profitable, and it’s exciting (also brutal, uncomfortable, and morally repugnant — but don’t get wound around the axle). Here are seven awesome pirates and their crews who turned their seafaring skills into fun, usually short careers in sea vessel re-appropriation:


    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    The face of a blacksmith who will absolutely start a crime syndicate and use it to topple an empire.

    French Pirate King and American hero Jean Lafitte

    Jean Lafitte was a French blacksmith who expanded his business into smuggling and piracy until he, his brother, and their men controlled a fleet in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, that was stronger than anything the U.S. Navy had in the area. During the War of 1812, Great Britain decided that it would be way easier to buy their way into New Orleans through him than fight for it.

    So they offered him ,000 and a captaincy to help them, but he apparently loved America and told Louisiana instead. Authorities didn’t believe him and imprisoned him until then-Gen. Andrew Jackson pointed out that the British would totally do that. Lafitte and his men fought on Jackson’s side during the Battle of New Orleans and were granted full pardons. They later returned to piracy, focusing on Spanish ships because screw those guys.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    Madame Cheng was known for her *ahem* humble roots and her ability to cut your fleet to shreds, fool.

    The prostitute pirate Madame Cheng

    Cheng was a pirate king looking for love when he fell in with a prostitute and married her. She took the name Cheng I Sao and, when her husband died in 1807, turned his pirate fleet from a successful operation into possibly the largest pirate fleet in history. She overhauled the command structure and rule of law in the fleet, captured vessel after vessel, and made enemies of every European power in China at the time.

    But when the Chinese Navy came to stop her, she stomped them so hard that the Chinese military was crippled. They then allied with the Portuguese and British fleets to come after her again, and she stomped them so hard that she ended the battle with more ships and men than she started it with. Finally, China offered her an amnesty and noble title to end the fighting.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    Captain Bart Roberts captured 400 ships, including one filled with the Portuguese king’s personal jewels from the middle of a 44-ship fleet.

    Black Bart’s buccaneers on the Royal Fortune

    Black Bart was born John Roberts (and likely was never called Black Bart while he was still alive). He was forced into piracy in 1719, but was so good at navigation and assessing enemy ships strengths that he was elected commander only six weeks later when the captain was killed.

    His flagship was generally named Royal Fortune, and the crews of his ships did very well for themselves when they weren’t attempting to mutiny. Bart’s crews once stole the best ship out of the Portuguese treasure fleet of 44 ships, including two man-of-wars. Onboard were 40,000 gold coins and a cross covered in diamonds destined for the King of Portugal. Black Bart and his men stole another 400 ships during their short career from 1719 to 1722.

    Unfortunately, Bart pushed it too far, constantly pushing off his retirement until a British man-of-war forced the issue with grapeshot through his neck.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    Benjamin Hornigold was known for his antics as well as his fuzzy features and thin ankles.

    (Public Domain)

    Blackbeard’s mentor, Benjamin Hornigold

    Benjamin Hornigold began his pirate career in 1713 as the head of a small gang of men in canoes, but he quickly built up a fortune and a fleet, eventually leading 350 men in the 30-gun Ranger, possibly the most heavily armed ship in the Bahamas in 1717. In one awesome incident, they stopped a merchant ship and boarded it. Instead of stealing the cargo and ship, though, they said that they had all lost their hats the night before and needed to take the crew’s.

    But his men were annoyed that Hornigold never allowed them to attack British ships, so they mutinied. Hornigold fled to Jamaica and received the king’s pardon for his piracy, then became a pirate hunter. No honor among thieves.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    Henry Every stands on shore while his ship fights an enemy vessel. Not sure why Every is waving his sword around while hundreds of meters from any action, but whatever.

    Henry Every and the Fancy’s successful retirement

    Henry Every began his life at sea as a boy and, by 1693, he was an experienced seaman. He took a slot as first mate on a privateer vessel named Charles II. But the vessel sat in port for months and the crew went without pay, so Every stole that ship and renamed it the Fancy.

    And the Fancy had a stunning career. Every led the crew to the coast of Africa where they preyed on European merchant vessels and put together a fleet of pirate ships that stole the flagship of India’s Grand Mughal as well as 325,000 British pounds in gold and silver. Then, he cleverly retired. Few of his men faced justice and the rest disappeared wealthy.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    Capt. Jack Rackham got his nickname, “Calico Jack,” for his wardrobe. You’d think the fact that he helped a woman escape from prison and potentially got her pregnant while she was on his crew would be what he was known for, but nope. Calico.

    (George S. Harris Sons)

    Calico Jack Rackham

    John Rackham was known for his calico clothing and for stealing the Ranger from then-Captain Charles Vane. He used the Ranger to plunder a series of merchant vessels, but then took the King’s pardon for a seemingly peaceful life. A peaceful life that involved an affair with the wife of a pirate informant. And then he voided his pardon to break said wife out of jail, and they started a new pirate crew and ship.

    Rackham had another few months of successful piracy but then partied a little too hard. Capt. Jonathan Barnet was sent to capture Rackham and found him and most of his crew too drunk to defend themselves. Rackham was executed, but the two women in his crew, the aforementioned informant wife, Anne Bonny, and another woman, Mary Read, were pregnant and allowed to live.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    William Kidd, pimp and traitor

    William Kidd and his motley traitors

    William Kidd was commissioned as a privateer, and he and his men were sent to the West Indies in 1696 where it didn’t go well. They couldn’t find good targets, so, in 1697, they went to Madagascar and started preying on Indian vessels. Then, in 1698, they spotted the Quedagh Merchant, a 500-ton ship loaded with treasures.

    Kidd and his crew stole it, making off with a massive boatload of gold, silk, spices, and other goods. Unfortunately for them, one of the owners of the ship was a senior member of the Indian government and put pressure on the English government to turn Kidd over. Kidd tried to escape to America, but he was caught, bundled to England, and hanged on May 23, 1701.

    MIGHTY HISTORY

    This is why you can’t climb the arm of the Statue of Liberty anymore

    More than 100 years ago, European powers were in the middle of World War I and looking everywhere for potential enemies and allies. In 1916, even President Wilson believed it would soon be inevitable for the U.S. to enter the war on the side of England and the Triple Entente. Then, an explosion on July 30, 1916 shattered windows in Times Square, shook the Brooklyn Bridge, and could be heard as far away as Maryland.

    But the effect that would have lasting impression was the shrapnel that peppered the nearby Statue of Liberty.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection
    New York Harbor in 1916.
    (National Board of Health)

    German saboteurs moved to hit a munitions plant in New York City’s Black Tom Island (an artificial island near Liberty Island) that was already making weapons and ammunition bound for Britain and France. They did it in the early morning hours on the poorly lit, poorly defended ammunition depot.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection
    View of the debris of the Lehigh Valley pier wrecked by an explosion of munitions on Black Tom Island, New Jersey. Five dead and $25,000,000 worth ($500,000,000 in 2018) of property destroyed.
    (National Archives)

    It was part of a two-year German campaign of sabotage in the United States and shook far away America to its core. The outrage over the previous year’s sinking of the RMS Lusitania and the loss of 120 Americans aboard that ship already began to turn American public opinion against Germany.

    The Great War had finally come home in a big way.

    This was not the first explosion or “accident” that occurred in munitions plants or on ships bound for Europe. German agents operating out of New York and its port facilities hired German sailors and Irish dock workers to plant bombs and incendiary devices on ships and in plants working on war materials. The number of accidents aboard those ships skyrocketed. But the Black Tom incident was different.

    Two million tons of explosives were set off in a single instant. Five people died and it’s fortunate more people weren’t killed, considering the size of the blast. The buildings on the landfill island were smashed and flattened.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection
    The aftermath of the Black Tom explosion.
    (U.S. Army Signal Corps photo)

    The shrapnel that exploded in every direction damaged the Statue of Liberty and didn’t just scar her lovely face, it popped the rivets that connect the arm that bears the torch of freedom, forcing the the arm to be forever closed to tourists. For a little while, even the years following the end of World War I, Black Tom was all America could talk about.

    That is, until a new Germany rose from the ashes of the Kaiser’s Empire.

    MIGHTY CULTURE

    Journey from Secret Service to Airman

     For one Airman, deciding to switch careers from a law enforcement tradition to serving her country was no easy decision.

    Joining the Air Force wasn’t an easy decision for Senior Airman Shayna Dunn, 690th Cyberspace Operations Squadron network manager operator, but looking back she feels it was the right one for her.

    “My father was a Marine and he met my mother while stationed in Germany,” said Dunn, who grew up in Stafford, Virginia. “By the time I was born, my father was no longer in the military, and was working as a Capital Police officer.”

    While in high school, Dunn developed an interest in criminal justice from influences from her father and television.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection
    Senior Airman Shayna Dunn, 690th Cyberspace Operations Squadron network manager operator, works on a cyber-related issue at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, April 1, 2021. As a member of the 690th COS, Dunn’s unit provides agile cyber combat support to Pacific Air Forces, enabling warfighters the ability to leverage advanced weaponry against adversaries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jermaine Ayers)

    “I used to watch a lot of criminal justice shows like ‘NCIS’ or ‘Criminal Minds’ and I ended up taking a class in high school and it piqued my interest,” she said.

    Dunn attended James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

    After college, Dunn was offered an opportunity to work with the U.S. Secret Service, but while training, an injury caused her to rethink her plans.

    “One day while training, I ended up fracturing my wrist and during my recovery I was tasked with more administrative work,” said Dunn. “During this time I had to decide if I wanted to continue down my current path or did I want to do something else. On one hand, I was in a position where I should have been content with this job, however, on the other hand, something internally just didn’t feel right.”

    Secret Service to Airman
    Senior Airman Shayna Dunn, 690th Cyberspace Operations Squadron network manager operator, provides cyber network operations at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, April 1, 2021. After technical school, Dunn received orders to JBPHH where she helps to provide global cyber supremacy for the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jermaine Ayers)

    After much deliberation, Dunn decided to resign from the U.S. Secret Service and start on a new path by joining the Air Force.

    Breaking the news to her family and friends about her decision wasn’t easy.

    “To some, my decision was surprising,” said Dunn. “It took a little while for people to understand where I was coming from, which made it difficult for me because I didn’t want to let anyone down, I didn’t want to let my family down, my friends down.”

    Even though it took Dunn a year to make it Basic Military Training, it wasn’t until she arrived that she felt confident with her decision to enlist.

    After being assigned to the 690th COS for her first assignment, Dunn earned several awards, made Senior Airman below-the-zone, and met her future husband.

    Secret Service to Airman
    Robert and Shayna Dunn celebrate her birthday at the Sky Waikiki Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii, February 9, 2020. Robert and Shayna met a little after she arrived to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and after their first date they’ve been together ever since. (courtesy photo)

    “If I had to describe Shayna, she is humble and caring, always putting others before herself,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Dunn, 690th COS cyber systems operator.

    To some, the uncertainty of not knowing the outcome of a decision can be exhausting, but for Shayna, her difficult choice proved to be worthwhile.


    -Feature image: Courtesy photo via DVIDS

    Humor

    6 things only a lower enlisted can get away with

    Rank has its privilege. It goes far beyond just getting a slight bump in pay that finally puts your base pay above minimum wage.


    As a lower enlisted, if you mess up, you’ll get smoked — or at least get a talking-to. Once you become an NCO or an officer, your ass is grass if you act like a young Private (there’s some leeway for butterbars, but not much). Be warned, young lower enlisted with your eyes on the prized NCO rank: There’s a line in the sand. Once you enter the NCO Corps, you can no longer do any of the following.

    6. Shaming / skating

    Don’t expect much downtime as a junior NCO — training meeting over here, command and staff meeting over there. There’ll be a lot of dog and pony shows between the moments you need to actually do your freaking job.

    There’s literally no time to sit on your phone and ask the daily, “why haven’t they cut us lose yet?”

    How to make it through Special Forces selection
    Of course I’m at the layout… (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

    5. Mistakes out of ignorance

    Young Privates botch setting up a radio and no one bats an eye. A Sergeant messes up with that same radio and someone is on their ass about why they didn’t take the time to download all the manuals in their free time to learn a piece of equipment that was just fielded.

    Lower enlisted learn things as they progress, so mistakes are common. Senior NCOs can rely on other people to know how to do it, so mistakes are rare. As for junior NCOs… you’re on your own.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection
    Let’s see… it need batteries, a hand mic, and an antenna thingy… (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Alex Kouns)

    4. Failing to meet standards (even just barely)

    Standards are there for a reason. If a private just barely misses their run time or just barely misses weapons qualification, it’s not the end of the world even if it seems like it is. Their NCO should help get them back up to the standard and things are good again. No harm, no foul, and everyone looks good.

    The subordinate looks good because they improved even though it’s just to the standard. The NCO looks good because they helped nudge them to where they were supposed to be.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection
    Can’t tell if the Command Chief Master Sergeant is offering a hand or knifehanding the airman. Either way, motivation! (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. CT Michael)

    3. Doing dumb sh*t with your free time

    Depending on your unit and immediate chain of command, team-building exercises off duty, like when your entire squad goes out to get smashed after payday, is the norm. If you’re a Private, go nuts! Enjoy your time. NCOs and officers usually attend to see what their troops are really like, and it’s worth it even if they have to play the sober babysitter.

    Even when the boots finally come off, an NCO’s job isn’t done. If you can manage to do something other than make up the work you couldn’t get to earlier in the day (meaning filling out bullsh*t paperwork, reading useless manuals, and getting ready for the next day), it doesn’t matter — someone f*cked up! Even if you’ve just met the kid and haven’t drilled into them how your unit operates, you’re in trouble with them. Never a day off.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection
    Ever wonder why there’s always one NCO at every barracks party? (Screengrab via YouTube)

    2. Complaining in general

    No one likes hearing complaining about minor things. If a Private is told, “suck it up, buttercup,” then that’s the end of the conversation. Plenty of things suck, and it’s not like crying will make things better. Best of all, no one cares if a lower enlisted complains. Things get better or they suck it up.

    If an NCO or an officer whines that it’s too hot, everyone from the lowly Private to the full-bird Colonel laughs at the pansy. Complaining about mundane crap will destroy a hard-ass reputation and open the floodgates for their subordinates to keep b*tching.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection
    Even if things do suck, it’s just a drop in the bucket of all the dumb sh*t that’s ever happened in the military. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jonathon D. A. Carnell)

    1. Being protected from the sh*t rolling downhill

    This one depends on if you’re a good NCO/Officer. A good leader stands in front of that incoming sh*t-boulder rolling at their troops and tries to keep them out of the suck as much as possible. If it splashes, that’s fine. If a leader throws their troop under said boulder, they don’t deserve to be called a leader.

    Let’s say, for example, a Private is driving a Humvee and rear ends the Brigade Commander’s personal car. The Brigade Commander will want their head on a spike. Each leader along the way has the choice to talk the previous link on the chain of command out of decapitating an idiot and displaying their severed head for an honest mistake.

    Eventually, this particular boulder rolls into the first-line supervisor. Any leader worth their rank would pull an excuse out of their ass as to why it was actually not the private’s fault, but their own. If getting smoked until they’re sore is the only consequence, that Private has a damn good leader.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection
    But it’s all worth it to knifehand a motherf*cker. (Image via Imgur)

    MIGHTY TRENDING

    Watch: President Trump addresses nation on Coronavirus

    Today the World Health Organization designated COVID-19, more commonly known as Coronavirus, a global pandemic. President Trump addressed the nation from the White House this evening to talk about what we know, what we’re doing and how we will respond. Watch the full address, here:


    MIGHTY TRENDING

    President Trump issued a stern warning to North Korea’s dictator

    President Donald Trump said he was going to “remain flexible” and left open the possibility of shelving highly anticipated talks between the US and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

    “We’ve never been in a position like this with that regime,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe on April 18, 2018. “I hope to have a very successful meeting. If we don’t think that it’s going to be successful … we won’t have it. We won’t have it.”


    Trump went further, and floated the possibility of leaving Kim during the summit.

    “If the meeting when I’m there is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting,” he said.

    The exact location and date of the proposed Trump-Kim summit is not yet clear, but Trump reportedly said it could happen by early June 2018. The president said five locations were being considered, but added that the US is not one of them

    How to make it through Special Forces selection
    Kim Jong Un

    US officials confirmed that CIA director Mike Pompeo made a secret trip to North Korea during Easter weekend 2018, to meet with Kim. Pompeo visited the country as part of Trump’s advance envoy to lay the groundwork for the proposed summit, during which the two leaders are expected to discuss the regime’s nuclear weapons program.

    “I like always remaining flexible,” Trump said. “And we’ll remain flexible here. I’ve gotten it to this point.

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

    MIGHTY CULTURE

    Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

    Before he became a No.1 Billboard-charted artist, B. Taylor found success in sports and the military. The Peoria native played football and basketball at the University of Missouri and served in the Navy with distinction. His athleticism persisted into his Navy career and he played on the All Navy and Military Team USA basketball teams. He was later awarded special duty and given an honorary discharge by the Secretary of the Navy in order to pursue his interests in the NFL and music professionally.

    B was discovered by the late Pete Moore of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles fame. “I call B. Taylor the ‘Stevie Wonder of Hip Hop’ because of his musicianship and it reminded me of when we, ‘The Miracles,’ discovered Stevie Wonder and brought him to Motown,” said the Motown legend. “B is my swan song.” In addition to Moore and The Miracles, B has been endorsed by The Temptations, The Marvelettes, The Vandellas, The Four Tops, The Gordy Family and even the Cash Family for his musicality and talents as an artist, producer, and songwriter. He has performed for President Bush’s family and President and First Lady Obama. B has also opened for notable entertainers like Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, and Ray J.

    B earned two Grammy Nomination Considerations in 2012 for his hit single “Fire In Your Eyes.” The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles Sales Chart. The music video for the song features actress Pauley Perrette of NCIS fame. The two met on the show’s set when B was invited to visit by a friend who serves as an adviser to the series. B and Perrette hit it off and Perrette invited him to her church. “She was just so charismatic and had a great spirit,” B said. The time they spent together inspired B to write “Fire In Your Eyes.”

    “We were just hanging out afterward at church, playing piano and messing together,” Perrette recalled. The two artists collaborated on the song and music video. “I love his positivity,” Perrette said of B.

    B has gone on to find success with appearances on ESPN, Extra and The Insider/Entertainment Tonight. He has been featured in Billboard and Black Radio Exclusive Magazine and wrote a chapter for the best-selling book Professional Performance 360 Special Edition: Success 2nd Edition. His chapter, “1 Life, 1 Miracle,” details his determination to pursue success throughout his athletic, military and music careers.

    Though he has found great success as an artist, producer and songwriter, B has not forgotten about his brothers and sisters in uniform. He maintains an active presence in the military community as a Global Ambassador of Music and Entertainment for service members, veterans, first responders and their families. He is also a part of the 1 Life Organization, a nonprofit whose mission is to combat veteran and first responder ailments like PTSD, suicide, homelessness and depression. They do this through a variety of alternative healing therapies like music, arts, sports, and animal therapy programs.

    Seeing the division and strife in America today, B decided to use his musical talents to deliver a message of unity and love. His new single, “We Are One, Love Is All We Need,” focuses on bringing people together on common ground like service and support. The music video was an immense collaboration that included organizations and agencies like the DoD, DHS, VA, Tampa Warriors and Tampa Bay Buccaneers to name a few. Thanks to the outpouring of support from so many communities, the video features first responders, service members, veterans and civilian community members united to deliver the message that we are one … and love is all we need.

    MIGHTY SURVIVAL

    No hand sanitizer? No problem. Here’s how to make your own.

    The world is on high alert as COVID-19, more commonly known as Coronavirus, was declared a global pandemic today by the World Health Organization. WHO and other medical experts are imploring people to wash their hands, wipe down surfaces and not to touch your face. As more and more people take precautions seriously, more and more shelves are being emptied of things like toilet paper, paper towels and one of the most necessary items for on-the-go hygiene: hand sanitizer.

    Empty shelves? Make your own. And the best part? It only takes two ingredients.


    No hand sanitizer? No problem. Here’s how to make your own. #coronavirus #preparednesspic.twitter.com/EtKW06PAZM

    twitter.com

    We promise it’s that easy, but here’s a video so you can see for yourself. This mother-daughter duo also has some great tips on how to make your homemade hygenic concoction smell a little less like you’re a walking disinfectant. Although in these times, that’s definitely not a bad thing.

    www.youtube.com

    popular

    Why the Certificate of Appreciation is a slap in the face to troops

    Troops always like feeling appreciated. A simple “good job” at the right time can go a long way in improving the morale of a unit. You can even take it a step further by expressing your gratitude to troops in many different ways: by releasing them early, taking them out for chow, going a little easier on them throughout the work week — you name it.

    Then, there’s the Certificate of Appreciation. Given its name, it may seem like a good thing, but if you’re the type of leader that puts a troop in for one of these after they’ve worked their ass off for an extended period of time, well, you might as well just tell them they’re garbage.


    Keep in mind, the Certificate of Appreciation is different from a Certificate of Achievement. They look exactly alike, have the same acronym, and they’re often treated the same way at ceremonies — but the one for achievement is actually worth something: Five promotion points each, to be exact, for a maximum of 20 points. It’s not huge, but it’s something.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection
    (Air Force photo by Ron Fair)

    2nd Lts. handing them out is fine, because it’s the best they can do and they’re at least trying to do something nice. Company commanders and above who can argue for higher have no excuse.

    The other key difference between these two certificates is the approving authority involved. A Certificate of Achievement has to go through the battalion commander for approval. The Certificate of Appreciation, on the other hand, can be signed by literally anyone in the unit because all it tells a troop is that someone appreciates them. Despite that, if you look at who most often hands them out, it’s Lieutenant Colonels in battalion commander positions.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection
    (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Eric Provost, Task Force Patriot PAO)

    If that troop royally f*cked up, fine. But there’s nothing more discouraging than seeing everyone else get something better while you’re stuck with a CoA.

    Don’t get this twisted — not every action warrants official recognition. If a troop did something great or put forth a little extra effort, but it’s still well within the scope of their normal duties — like if a commo soldier brought the NIPR net back up at a critical moment — then it’s the right amount of reward. You can even make it a huge thing and officially let the unit know that you appreciate the hard work that a certain soldier put forth at the right moment.

    This becomes a problem when the act was actually deserving of an award — like what happens to the many troops who “earn” one as an end-of-tour award. Troops who put heart into what they do get burnt out because they’ve earned far better than what they’re being given. Certificates of Appreciations like that are what sour it for the entire military. If you’re going to go through that extra effort to congratulate them, then make it actually matter.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection
    (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Thomas Duval)

    It’s also costs the same amount of money on behalf of the unit, since the troops have to go out and buy the damn medal themselves after the ceremony.

    If you actually want to show a troop they’re appreciated, let them know. Hell, you can even keep the exact same format— bring the troop in front of the formation and personally thank them for what they did. Just replace the “military’s version of a high five” with an actual high five.

    But when that exact same level of effort on the leadership’s part that could be put toward something that actually matters? Please don’t insult your troops like that. Hell, an Army Achievement Medal is also approved at a battalion commander-level and that could actually make a difference on a troop’s morale by appearing on their uniform — if they’ve done something worthy of it.

    MIGHTY TACTICAL

    Helicopter-mounted lasers can attack and destroy sea mines

    The US Navy used an MH-60S helicopter-mounted laser system to scan and detect underwater mine-like targets during the ongoing multi-national Rim of the Pacific exercise, marking the first operational use of an emerging technology bringing much faster detection and a wider Field of View to countermine missions.

    The now-operational technology, called Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS), enables efficient, high-speed shallow water mine detection for the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship.


    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the Eightballers of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 provides cargo transportation during a replenishment-at-sea.

    (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Marco Villasana/Released)

    “This is the first opportunity for a non-test-centric fleet exercise. It has been placed in sailors’ hands and we are looking forward to getting training feedback and tactics feedback. This is the first real operational exercise,” Capt. Danielle George, Program Manager, Mine Warfare, told Warrior Maven in an interview.

    George said that the Navy is now analyzing findings and key data emerging from the RIMPAC exercises.

    “Another system performs post-mission analysis. ALMDS collects all the data and when the helo returns, it will download. Then you have options for how you can destroy the mine,” George said.

    Instead of using more narrowly configured, mechanized or towed mine detection systems, ALMDS massively expands the surface area from which mine detection takes place. Naturally, this enables shallow-water warships such as the LCS have a much safer sphere of operations as commanders will have much greater advanced warning of mine-cluttered areas.

    The ALMDS pod is mechanically attached to the MH-60S with a standard Bomb Rack Unit 14 mount and electrically via a primary and auxiliary umbilical cable to the operator console, according to a statement from the systems maker, Northrop Grumman.

    Also read: American pilots are being targeted by lasers in the Pacific

    “It does not use any bombs. It flies at a certain altitude and a certain speed. The laser emits beams at a certain rate. Cameras underneath the helicopter receive reflections back from the water. The reflections are processed to create images displayed on a common consol on the helicopter,” Jason Cook, the Navy’s Assistant Program Manager, ALMDS, told Warrior Maven in an interview.

    Cook explained that the camera or receiver on the helicopter is called a Streak Tube Imaging LIDAR (STIL). The laser is released in a fan pattern, and photons received back are transferred into electrons, create a camera-like image rendering.

    “Instead of a human out searching and sweeping, ALMDS achieves a higher rate of speed and covers a lot more area,” he added.

    Northrop information on ALMDS further specifies that the system can operate in both day and night operations without stopping or towing equipment in the water.

    “Allowing unteathered operations, it can attain high area search rates. This design uses the forward motion of the aircraft to generate image data negating the requirement for complex scanning mechanisms and ensuring high system reliability,” Northrop information states.

    Having this technology operational, it seems, offers a few new strategic nuances. First and foremost, detecting mines more quickly and at further ranges of course makes the LCS much more survivable. It will be able to pursue attack, anti-submarine and reconnaissance missions with a much lower risk of mine-attack. Furthermore, identifying the location of mines at greater distances brings the added advantage of enabling lower-risk small boat missions to approach target areas for shore missions, surface attack or recon.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    The Sikorsky SH-60/MH-60 Seahawk (or Sea Hawk) is a twin turboshaft engine, multi-mission United States Navy helicopter based on the United States Army UH-60 Black Hawk and a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family.

    Also, given that attack submarines are routinely able to launch attacks, conduct recon and access enemy areas in closer proximity to island and coastal areas, compared with many deeper draft larger surface combatants, ALMDS could measurably improve submarine operations.

    Finally, given that the LCS is engineered for both autonomous and aggregated operations, ALMDS could provide occasion for the ship to alert other surface and undersea vessels about the location of enemy mines. In fact, Northrop writes that ALMDS provides accurate target geo-location to support follow on neutralization of the detected mines.

    Along these lines, George explained that ALMDS is oriented toward shallow portions of the water column, thus brining a special littoral tactical advantage; the ALMDS will eventually be integrated into the LCS’ Mine Countermeasures mission package.

    Some of the technical details of the system are further delineated in a research paper written by Arete Associates – a science and technology consulting firm with a history of supporting entities such as the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force.

    “A high resolution 3-D image of the scene is produced from multiple sequential frames formed by repetitively pulsing the laser in synchrony with the CCD (Charge Coupled Device) frame rate as an airborne platform “push broom” scans or as a single-axis scanner on a ground-based platform scans the laser fan beam over the scene,” the Arete Associates essay titled “Streak Tube Imaging LIDAR For 3-D Imaging of Terrestrial Targets, writes. “The backscattered light from the objects and the terrain intersecting the fan beam is imaged by a lens.”

    STIL technology, while only recently becoming operational with ALMDS, has been in development as a maritime surveillance system for many years. A 2003 study from the Naval Surface Warfare Center cites how “pulsed light” sent out from a three-dimensional electro-optic sensor STIL system can “identify objects of interest on the ocean bottom.”

    The Arete essay also talk about STIL technology also being developed and tested for use as a “missile seeker” by weapons and a sensor system for an Air Force C-130 aircraft.

    This article originally appeared on Warrior Maven. Follow @warriormaven1 on Twitter.

    MIGHTY SPORTS

    7 fat-burning workouts that aren’t boring

    For some guys, the structure and routine of hitting the gym is exactly what they need to keep their fitness on track. For others, it’s a slog. The space is dark, the treadmills relentless, and the music mind-numbing. You’d rather be outside, shooting hoops with your boys. Which, actually, you should be, since a pick-up game of basketball burns more calories and builds more muscles than any 30-minute session on the elliptical ever could.

    If sports excite you more than spin class, and the idea of scoring points matters more than how much you can bench press, consider these activities that emphasize team spirit and gamesmanship while getting you, incidentally, super fit.


    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    (Photo by Christopher Burns)

    1. Tennis

    At 600 calories an hour, you’ll definitely be feeling the burn as you channel your inner Nadal. What’s more, the lateral movements — something your body is not used to — strengthens your glutes, quads, calves, and core, while mastering your stroke is excellent for developing ripped shoulder and arm muscles.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    (Photo by Edoardo Busti)

    2. Soccer

    A sneaky way to disguise a running workout, you’ll benefit from exercising with your buddies on soft turf. Few activities tax the lungs and heart the way running does, so you’ll reap the benefits of a monster aerobic workout while still honing your coordination and motor skills. The sport burns about 300 calories for every 30 minutes of field time.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    (Photo by Tamarcus Brown)

    3. Basketball

    The quintessential pickup basketball game is so popular because it is both exceptionally simple (you just need a ball and hoop), and also enticingly precise (the satisfaction of hitting a three-pointer is hard to beat). The calorie burn is on par with tennis (roughly 600 an hour), but the rhythmic agility and closer physical contact of b-ball means you work a little more on balance and flexibility.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    (Photo by Elizeu Dias)

    4. Volleyball

    There are indoor leagues where you can play in a gymnasium in the winter, but nothing beats beach volleyball for that emotional, summer-is-finally-here high. (You don’t have to live at the beach either, New York City has large courts in the middle of Central Park.) You’ll burn around 400 calories an hour in this spirited game, developing shoulder and arm muscles, eye-hand coordination, and explosive power from your jump shots, all the while protecting your bones by landing on soft sand.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    (Photo by Jose Francisco Morales)

    5. Baseball and Softball

    Team camaraderie rules this sport, so if socializing is an important carrot for getting you to exercise, consider spending an hour or two, a few nights a week, in the dugout with your buds, swapping jokes and de-stressing while building a solid fitness base. The on-off nature of the sport means you burn fewer calories (around 350 per hour), but you’ll get moderate cardio from running the bases, and reasonable upper-body strength from working on your swing.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    (Photo by Josh Rocklage)

    6. Ultimate Frisbee

    No longer the pastime of overgrown collegiates, ultimate frisbee is a legit sport recognized by the International Olympic Committee. More importantly, it is a game on nonstop running, leaping, reaching, and throwing. This full-body workout burns about 500 calories an hour, while developing reflexes, hand-eye coordination, and some serious tumbling skills.

    How to make it through Special Forces selection

    (Photo by Riley McCullough)

    7. Football

    Strength, explosiveness, mental toughness and a desire to be pummeled by large men are at the core of this sport. In rec leagues, the physical contact is often moderated (see: flag football), so if you’re looking for the adrenalin rush minus the bruising, know which rules you’re playing by before you sign up. While calorie burn varies significantly depending on the position your play, you’ll definitely benefit from an increase in strength, flexibility, and range of motion through warm-up drills and stretches.

    This article originally appeared on Fatherly. Follow @FatherlyHQ on Twitter.

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