The CH-47 “Chinook”, H-60 “Black Hawk”, V-22 “Osprey”, and the C-130 “Hercules” – what do these four aircraft all have in common? They’re all support aircraft that happen to have some pretty heavily armed combat variants. Check out this video that highlights the more kickass sides of their personalities:
Former U.S. Army Ranger and owner of S.W.O.R.D. International, Jeremy Elrod, talks to WATM about the latest in assault rifles.
The thing is, those speedboats are not really Iranian Navy. Instead, they belong to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy. These speedboats, which are often equipped with heavy machine guns, rockets, and other weapons, got a reputation for attacking merchant traffic in the Iran-Iraq War. Back then, they were called “Boghammars” after the Swedish company that built the first boats used by the Iranians.
Today, their primary threat to an American warship could be as a suicide craft. That said, American ships have options to address these craft. Two of the most prominent are the Mk 38 Mod 2 Bushmaster and the M2 heavy machine gun. The M2 is a legend. It’s been used on everything from tanks to aircraft to ships, and against just about every target you can imagine.
Now, the Mk 38 Mod 2 Bushmaster is not as well-known. That said, it’s been in quite common use. It got its start on the M2/M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, where the Army calls it the M242.
It needs a lot of luck to kill a tank, but it can bust up other infantry fighting vehicles, trucks, groups of infantry, even helicopters and aircraft. The Bushmaster made its way to the Marine Corps LAV-25.
The Navy put the Bushmaster on ships, and it comprises the main armament of the Cyclone-class patrol craft. Each Cyclone has two of these guns, one of which is paired with a Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher. The guns are also used on other surface combatants as well. The guns can do a lot of damage.
You can see the Mk 38 and the M2 go to work on a speedboat in the video below. One almost an imagine that the Iranian speedboat crews may be asking themselves the question that Harry Callahan told a bank robber to ask himself: “Do I feel lucky?”
Well, do they?
At CIA — or the Culinary Institute of America — is located just across the Hudson River from West Point. The institute was created to educate veterans and develop their food prepping abilities after coming back from World War II.
The CIA prides itself on turning experienced veterans into influential and knowledgeable chefs.
“I’ve seen folks from the military that have one basic advantage already,” Certified Master Chef Rudolph Speckamp explains. “They’re more disciplined, they’re more mature, and they come here for a purpose.”
From the lower enlisted to the highest pay grade officers, the CIA encourages their veteran students to mold their quick decision-making skills process with their need to endorse their artistic expression.
It’s the perfect set up for a veteran who feels the need to create something unique through different flavors and textures.
Compared to the military, working in the kitchen environment is similar to the fast-paced lifestyle of the serving your country.
Showing up on time, being in the right uniform, and having the proper mindset to complete each job as thorough as possible.
Just like earning rank in the military, the title of Chef takes countless hours of refining technique and culinary knowledge.
Check out the the video above!
Studio Roqovan’s new “World War Toons” video game fights a 20th Century-style war using chicken legs and Kool-Aid-man bombs to break through enemy lines.
Yes, you read that right.
Using the latest in virtual reality technology, “World War Toons” is optimized for the Playstation 4 and its VR headset so players can shoot where they’re looking and bob their heads around like Stevie Wonder at a recording session.
The developers behind the game held a release party near Los Angeles aboard the battleship USS Iowa that featured retro World War II Pinups for Vets models and music by the orchestra that performed the “World War Toons” score.
Not exactly what you’d expect from former “Call of Duty” developers, but “World War Toons” is sure to unleash the slapstick warfighter in gamers everywhere.
The game is set for release Oct. 13.
Considered the most advanced attack helicopter in the Army’s arsenal, the AH-64 Apache has racked up 4.2 million flight hours and counting since Boeing delivered the aircraft in 1984.
“This is the most survivable safest aircraft in the Army’s inventory,” Chief Warrant Officer 2 Josh Harris explains during an interview. “Hands down.”
This impressive piece of aviation comes equipped with laser-guided Hellfire missiles, 70mm rockets, and a 30mm automatic machine gun that’s capable of firing up to 650 rounds per minute.
War. It’s fantastic!
When fired, the Apache’s 30mm machine gun is so intense it vibrates the pilot’s internal organs, teeth, and the retinas in their eyes — along with helicopter’s mechanical parts.
This Boeing-made helicopter can not only dish it out, but it can take a beating too.
The Apache’s crew station houses sophisticated ballistic-tolerant seats comprised of kevlar and ceramic. The aircraft’s fuel tanks also have a few special defense surprises for enemy grounds troops that are attempting to blow this fly fortress out of the sky.
The fuel tanks are ballistic-tolerant as well and capable of sealing up .50 caliber rounds trying to penetrate.
But the real tactical advantage is the tank contains nitrogen, which is a part of a unique system where it removes the oxygen out of the fuel tank so that the gas becomes another barrier level for incoming rounds.
At the end of some missions, the Apache’s crew has to fish out enemy bullets from the fuel tank. That’s what we call impressive.
Check out the Smithsonian Channel‘s video below to see what makes the innovative aircraft so dang special for yourself.
(Smithsonian Channel, YouTube)
Each year, thousands of civilians host military for meals in their homes as thanks for their many sacrifices, including missing their family at holidays.
For “NFL Salute to Service,” USAA teamed up with Denver Broncos star DeMarcus Ware for a surprise home-cooked Thanksgiving meal for military members from Fort Carson (CO) in honor of their service. Watch as this NFL star hosts these unsuspecting military for a surprise home-cooked meal that they’ll never forget.
The experience was hosted by USAA, the Official Military Appreciation Sponsor of the NFL as part of its commitment to authentically honor military through “Salute to Service.”
Known as the “Davy Crockett bomb,” America’s smallest-ever nuclear weapon packed a relatively small punch when compared to its larger cousins — between a 10 and 250-kiloton yield.
But what it lacked in straight firepower, it made up for in ease of transport and delivery. It could be employed by a three-man team, and its launcher could be mounted directly on a Jeep.
Since it wasn’t actually a bomb, it was more properly labeled by its full name: the Davy Crockett Atomic Battle Group Delivery System. The weapon was a recoilless rifle that came in two calibers, 120mm and 155mm.
It could fire conventional warheads but its big draw was the ability to fire a W-54 warhead with a variable yield between 10 and 250 kilotons. This would have allowed American infantrymen in Eastern Europe to directly counter Soviet armored units if the Cold War went hot.
The immediate blast from the W54 would have killed tanks in the center while radiation poisoning would have killed most tank crews within a quarter mile of the epicenter.
Check out more about the weapon in the video below:
There are few things in the world so sacred they’re guarded 24/7/365 by armed sentinels. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery certainly qualifies as hallowed grounds. Consequently, when a woman ignores the “Do Not Cross” signs, squeezes past the barriers and tries to get a selfie, the Sentinels act REAL QUICK to put her in her place. We’re not exactly sure when this video was taken (although the ever-reliable folks on reddit tell us this is “new video footage”) but the moral of the story is always the same: Respect the fallen. Read signs. Obey armed guards.
If you’ve never seen the changing of the Guards or visited Arlington National Cemetery, try to find a way. It’s one of life’s most humbling, incredible places. Just make sure you read the signs.
From the Arlington National Cemetery website:
Through the ages, one of the consequences of warfare has been large numbers of unidentified dead. Sometimes unidentified remains resulted from poor record keeping, the damage that weapons of war inflicted on bodies, or the haste required to bury the dead and mark gravesites. In the United States prior to the Civil War, unidentified remains were often buried in mass graves. At Arlington National Cemetery, these include unknown soldiers and sailors from the War of 1812 who were discovered buried at the Washington Navy Yard and reburied at Arlington National Cemetery in 1905.
During the Civil War (1861-1865), high casualty rates and lack of personal identification led to large numbers of unknowns originally buried along marching routes or battlefields. The system of national cemeteries was established in 1862 to ensure the proper burial of all service members. Still, many unknown remains were recovered in the years following the Civil War. At Arlington National Cemetery, there are individual Civil War unknown burials as well as the remains of 2,111 Union and Confederate soldiers buried beneath the Tomb of the Civil War Unknowns. While exact numbers are unknown, estimates indicate that nearly half of the Civil War dead were never identified.
During the Spanish-American War (1898), the U.S. military’s policy was to repatriate (return to the United States) the bodies of service members who died abroad. New Army regulations required that soldiers be buried in temporary graves with identifying information. The Army’s Quartermaster Corps, which oversaw burials and repatriation of bodies, employed a burial corps. Identification rates went up to significantly.
World War I and the Creation of the Tomb
During World War I, U.S. service members received aluminum identification discs, the precursors to “dog tags,” to aid the process of identifying remains. The War Department created a new unit in the Quartermaster Corps, the Graves Registration Service, to oversee burials. During and after World War I, however, Americans debated whether bodies should be repatriated. With more than 100,000 U.S. casualties (compared to fewer than 3,000 in the Spanish-American War), repatriation was more challenging.
France and Great Britain, which suffered significantly higher casualties and more unknown dead than did the United States, barred repatriation of their citizens’ remains. To ease the grief of their citizens, France and Great Britain each repatriated and buried one unknown soldier on Armistice Day, November 11, 1920. Great Britain buried its Unknown Warrior inside Westminster Abbey in London, and France buried its Unknown Soldier at the base of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. These unknowns would stand in for other British and French service members whose remains could not be identified.
The American policy, by contrast, gave options to families of the war dead. If requested by the next of kin, the remains of service members who died in Europe would be transported to anywhere in the United States at no cost to the family. Or, families could choose to bury their dead at permanent U.S. military cemeteries to be established in Europe.
In December 1920, New York Congressman and World War I veteran Hamilton Fish Jr. proposed legislation that provided for the interment of one unknown American soldier at a special tomb to be built in Arlington National Cemetery. The purpose of the legislation was “to bring home the body of an unknown American warrior who in himself represents no section, creed, or race in the late war and who typifies, moreover, the soul of America and the supreme sacrifice of her heroic dead.”
In October 1921, four bodies of unidentified U.S. military personnel were exhumed from different American military cemeteries in France. On October 23, 1921, the four caskets arrived at the city hall of Châlons-sur-Marne (now called Châlons-en-Champagne), France.
Town officials and members of the U.S. Army’s Quartermaster Corps had prepared the city hall for the selection ceremony. Early on the morning of October 24, 1921, Maj. Robert P. Harbold of the Quartermaster Corps, aided by French and American soldiers, rearranged the caskets so that each rested on a shipping case other than the one in which it had arrived. Major Harbold then chose Sgt. Edward F. Younger of Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 50th Infantry, American Forces in Germany, to select the Unknown Soldier. Sgt. Younger selected the Unknown by placing a spray of white roses on one of the caskets.
From Châlons-sur-Marne, the Unknown journeyed by caisson and rail to the port town of Le Havre, France. From Le Havre, the USS Olympia transported the Unknown Soldier’s casket to Washington, D.C. The Unknown arrived at the Washington Navy Yard on November 9, 1921. After arriving in Washington, D.C. on November 9, 1921, the Unknown lay in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. About 90,000 visitors paid their respects during the public visiting period on November 10, 1921.
On November 11, 1921, the Unknown was placed on a horse-drawn caisson and carried in a procession through Washington, D.C. and across the Potomac River. A state funeral ceremony was held at Arlington National Cemetery’s new Memorial Amphitheater, and the Unknown was interred in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Nationwide, Americans observed two minutes of silence at the beginning of the ceremony. President Warren G. Harding officiated at the ceremony and placed the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration, on the casket. Numerous foreign dignitaries presented their nations’ highest awards, as well.
Originally, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier consisted of a simple marble slab. During its early years, thousands of visitors came to Arlington National Cemetery to mourn at the Tomb and to pay their respects to the Unknown Soldier and the military personnel he represented.
The Tomb sarcophagus is decorated with three wreaths on each side panel (north and south). On the front (east), three figures represent Peace, Victory and Valor. The back (west) features the inscription: “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.”
World War II and Korean War Unknowns
Following World War II, some Americans supported the idea of interring and honoring an Unknown from that war. However, the start of the Korean War in 1950 delayed those plans. In August 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved the selection and interment of Unknowns from both World War II and Korea.
Fought on four continents, World War II complicated the selection of an Unknown. The chosen Unknown needed to represent all unidentified American dead, not just those from one theater of the war. In 1958, the Army exhumed 13 bodies from military cemeteries across North Africa and Europe and brought them to the Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial in France. On May 12, 1958, Major General Edward J. O’Neill placed a red and white wreath on one of the 13 caskets, selecting the Unknown who would represent the Trans-Atlantic (Europe and North Africa) Theater of World War II. The selected casket was then taken aboard USS Blandy for its journey to the United States.
To represent the Pacific Theater of World War II, the Army exhumed five bodies from Fort McKinley American Cemetery in the Philippines (now called Manila American Cemetery) and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (“The Punch Bowl”) in Hawaii. At the same time, they exhumed four bodies from the Korean War that were also buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. All nine caskets were brought to Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. On May 15, 1958, Army Master Sergeant Ned Lyle selected the Korean War Unknown. The next day, Air Force Colonel Glenn T. Eagleston selected the World War II Trans-Pacific Unknown. Both caskets were flown to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, before being loaded aboard the USS Boston.
The USS Blandy and USS Boston met the USS Canberra off the coast of Virginia. On May 26, 1958, all three caskets were placed on the deck of the Canberra, with the Korean War Unknown placed between the two World War II Unknowns. Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class William R. Charette, a Medal of Honor recipient from the Korean War, then selected the World War II Unknown. The caskets of the World War II and Korean War Unknowns were then transported to Washington, D.C. aboard the USS Blandy, while the remaining World War II Unknown received a solemn burial at sea.
Both Unknowns arrived in Washington, D.C. on May 28, 1958 and lay in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda for two days. Two days later, the Unknowns were transported to Arlington National Cemetery and interred in crypts to the west of the World War I Unknown.
Vietnam War Unknown
Before the Vietnam War ended, Arlington National Cemetery began making preparations to add a third crypt to the Tomb. However, many people believed that advances in technology would mean that all remains from Vietnam could eventually be identified.
In response to mounting political pressure to recognize a Vietnam War unknown, President Jimmy Carter and Max Cleland, Administrator of the United States Veteran Administration and a Vietnam veteran, dedicated a bronze plaque honoring American service members in the Vietnam War on Veterans Day, November 11, 1978, at Memorial Amphitheater.
By May 1984, only one set of recovered American remains from Vietnam had not been fully identified. In a ceremony held at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on May 17, 1984, Medal of Honor recipient Marine Corps Sergeant Major Allan Jay Kellogg, Jr. designated the remains as the Vietnam War Unknown. The casket was then transported to Travis Air Force Base, California aboard the USS Brewton.
In California, the Vietnam War Unknown was loaded on a C-141B Starlifter and flown to Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. The Vietnam War Unknown lay in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda from May 25 to 28, 1984. On Memorial Day, May 28, a military procession transported the casket to Arlington National Cemetery for burial. On Memorial Day 1984, President Ronald Reagan presided over the interment ceremony at Arlington. In his eulogy, Reagan assured the audience that the government would continue looking for the Vietnam War’s missing in action (MIA) personnel. Meanwhile, the Vietnam War Unknown would lay at rest at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for almost 14 years.
The Department of Defense and civilian partners continued working to identify remains recovered from Vietnam. Through these efforts, they reviewed evidence that suggested the Vietnam War Unknown was likely Air Force 1st Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie, a pilot who had been shot down in 1972. At the request of Blassie’s family, the Department of Defense exhumed the remains from the Vietnam Unknown’s crypt on May 14, 1998. Using DNA testing, scientists positively identified the remains as those of Blassie. In accordance with the wishes of his family,
Blassie was reinterred at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri. The crypt designated for the Vietnam War Unknown remains vacant. On September 17, 1999 — National POW/MIA Recognition Day — it was rededicated to honor all missing U.S. service members from the Vietnam War.
Guarding the Tomb
In March 1926, soldiers from nearby Fort Myer were first assigned to guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The guards, present only during daylight hours, discouraged visitors from climbing or stepping on the Tomb. In 1937, the guards became a 24/7 presence, standing watch over the Unknown Soldier at all times.
The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as “The Old Guard,” was designated as the Army’s official ceremonial unit on April 6, 1948. At that time, The Old Guard began guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Soldiers of The Old Guard also serve as escorts to the president and conduct military ceremonies in and around Washington, D.C., including military funeral escorts at Arlington National Cemetery.
Soldiers who volunteer to become Tomb Guards must undergo a strict selection process and intensive training. Each element of the Tomb Guard’s routine has meaning. The Guard marches 21 steps down the black mat behind the Tomb, turns and faces east for 21 seconds, turns and faces north for 21 seconds, and then takes 21 steps down the mat. Next, the Guard executes a sharp “shoulder-arms” movement to place his/her weapon on the shoulder closest to the visitors, signifying that he or she stands between the Tomb and any possible threat. The number 21 symbolizes the highest symbolic military honor that can be bestowed: the 21-gun salute.
Wreath Layings and Visitors Today
Laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has long been a way for individuals and organizations to honor the sacrifices of American service members. Presidents, politicians, public figures and foreign dignitaries have all paid their respects in this way. Honor Flights, which honor our nation’s veterans with all-expense paid trips to see the memorials in Washington, D.C., almost always visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and sometimes lay wreaths. The opportunity to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony is also open to the general public, including school groups. In addition, each year, millions of people from around the world visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Some visit to honor military service and sacrifice; some to mourn a loved one; and some because of the Tomb’s historical and national significance.
One hundred years after the World War I Unknown’s burial, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier continues to be a powerful symbol of service and sacrifice, mourning and memory.
Veteran and fitness expert Max Philisaire shows us how to max out with Navy Seal sit-ups!
The Air Force is revving up electronic warfare upgrades for its F-15 fighter as a way to better protect against enemy fire and electronic attacks, service officials said.
Boeing has secured a $478 million deal to continue work on a new technology called the Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System, or EPAWSS.
Marine veteran James P. Connolly (Sirius/XM Radio, Comics Unleashed) hosted the 6th Annual Veteran’s Day Benefit Comedy Show “Cocktails Camouflage” at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank, California in early November.
Team Red, White Blue kicked off the Old Glory Relay 2016 on 9-11. Sixty-two teams of runners, walkers, and cyclists will carry the American flag across 10 states for 4,216 miles, starting in Seattle, WA and ending in Tampa, FL.
With the support of the presenting sponsor, Microsoft, along with other partners, Amazon, Westfield and Starbucks, the relay will be following a route through Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles through the end of the month. The relay then turns east, through Phoenix, Tucson and San Antonio before crossing the South through the Florida Panhandle to Tampa.
Team Red, White Blue’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity, and the Old Glory Relay is one of the cornerstones of their efforts.
There are many ways to support Team Red, White Blue and the Old Glory Relay, so check out their website to get more information – or text ‘OGR’ to 41444 to learn more and donate!
And follow the progress of Old Glory via the OGR Live webpage.