6 Air Force pararescuemen who risked it all 'that others may live'

"These things we do, that others may live." Air Force pararescue specialists risk their lives to save downed pilots, isolated special operators, or anyone else in a medical or combat crises. Their job is risky and daring and requires that they put the lives of others above their own. But they do it, and these six did it with guts than many others.

This article is sponsored by The Last Full Measure, now playing in theatres! Get your tickets here.

Troops headed into combat know that an entire medical chain exists to keep them alive and as healthy as possible for as long as possible if they're hit. The goal is to get them out of harm's way within the "Golden Hour," the first hour after injury, to maximize their odds of survival and recovery. But while medics and corpsmen are the backbone of that chain, the Air Force has teams of specially trained personnel who exist solely to put their lives on the line to save others in the most dire of combat medical crises.

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6 absolute BAMFs who saved lives in Vietnam War

From a Navy SEAL who made repeated trips behind enemy lines to a chaplain who rescued men under machine gun fire to a pilot who lit up his own helicopter to save downed aviators in a firefight, these six men were willing to repeatedly put their lives on the line to save others.

This article is sponsored by The Last Full Measure, now playing in theatres! Get your tickets here.

There are two primary ways to end up a hero on the battlefield: either slay the enemy in such stunning numbers that even Frank Miller starts to think the story sounds exaggerated, or else place your own body in harm's way repeatedly so as to save the lives of friendly forces (bonus points for doing both).

These six men put themselves in mortal danger to rescue their peers.

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This airman gave his life to rescue soldiers from a massive firefight

This article is sponsored by The Last Full Measure, now playing in theatres! Get your tickets here.

The Air Force Pararescue community lives according to the motto, "These Things We Do, That Others May Live." There may be none who lived that motto more fully than Airman 1st Class William Pitsenbarger who was killed in action in March, 1966, after intentionally placing himself in harm's way to rescue infantryman pinned down by snipers, mortars, and machine gun fire.

For his valor, he became the first enlisted airman to receive the Medal of Honor.

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MIGHTY HISTORY

These Gold Star families capture their grief in stunning new book

The Knock at the Door, a new book from three women who lost loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan, goes through the women's stories of loss as well as the lessons they learned while recovering and rebuilding their lives. Their lessons aren't limited to other military families, though. They'll help anyone who has suffered a sudden loss.

The military has a very prescribed, formal process for telling Gold Star families about the loss of their service member. Two to three members of that branch of the military will receive word that they need to notify a family of a casualty. They carefully double and triple check the information. They ensure each other's uniforms are perfect. And then they knock at the door.

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MIGHTY HISTORY

At the Battle of Midway, key decisions shifted tides of war

Sailors, soldiers, and Marines at the Battle of Midway were given the unenviable task of ambushing a larger force while some of their own ships were heavily damaged in previous fighting. But the heroics of men deployed across the Pacific allowed a small American force to cripple the Japanese Navy and turn the tides of World War II.

This article was sponsored by Midway, in theaters November 8!

In 1942, a Japanese fleet of almost 100 ships, led by the architect of the Pearl Harbor attack, attempted an even more overwhelming attack that would have kicked the U.S. out of the Central Pacific and allowed the empire to threaten Washington and California. Instead, that fleet stumbled into one of the most unlikely ambushes and naval upsets in the history of warfare.

Thanks to quick and decisive action by key sailors in the fleet, the U.S. ripped victory from the jaws of almost-certain defeat.

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MIGHTY HISTORY

The fastest fighter jet in the world is over 50 years old

The fastest fighter jet in history is still in service, but it's not America's F-15s or F-22s, China's J-11, or even Russia's Su-57. Nope, the fastest fighter jet in the world is an old Soviet design that can rocket up to the edge of space and then scream around the planet like a banshee.

Fastest jet in the world? That's easy. Most people know it's the SR-71, the reconnaissance plane so fast it could outrun missiles. But the fastest fighter jet? Well, the Soviets created a fighter jet to chase down the SR-71 Blackbird, and it was so fast that it's still the fastest fighter jet ever built. And it's still in service today.

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MIGHTY TRENDING

Scientists want to give you artificial, robot muscles

Army researchers and visiting scientists are working on two avenues of research that could lead to robotic muscles that contract and move like biological ones. This would allow the construction of more quiet robots as well as drastically improve the efficiency and form of prosthetic devices and exoskeletons.

Remember that LS3 Mule robot the Marines tested but then decided against deploying because it was just too noisy for use on the frontlines? That was sort of crazy, right? But Army researchers are doing a large amount of work to make quiet, robotic muscles to reinforce soldiers, exoskeletons, and robots of the future.

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MIGHTY CULTURE

How the Space Force could conduct an airborne assault on the moon

So the Space Force wants to be a thing, huh? Well, if they want to be cool guys, they have to learn to do what paratroopers, Rangers, Recon Marines, Air Force pararescuemen, and Navy SEALs have all learned: How to parachute into enemy territory. It is, admittedly, harder when your target has little gravity.

Look, we all hope that Space Rangers will be elite, Buzz Lightyear-types but with tattoos and lethal weapons instead of stickers and blinking lights. But if they're going to be Buzzes, they have to learn to fall with style. And in the U.S. military, that means airborne school.

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MIGHTY HISTORY

What happened when the VC attacked a Special Forces base

In 1967, Viet Cong forces launched a 10-day assault on the Irregular Defense Group base at Loc Ninh in an attempt to wipe it out and to prepare for the Tet Offensive. The town of 6,000 bore witness to the battle as an entire communist division descended on a base with 11 Green Berets and a couple hundred South Vietnamese forces.

It was a small airbase on the border with Cambodia. It bordered a town of 6,000 that survived on the proceeds of local rubber plantations. The airbase was guarded by a few hundred South Vietnamese regulars supported by 11 U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers. But it would host a 10-day battle that would see hundreds of North Vietnamese forces killed while that tiny force held the ground.

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