Here's where the military's highest award is made — the Medal of Honor - We Are The Mighty
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Here’s where the military’s highest award is made — the Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor is the highest award authorized by Congress and issued by the president himself. Earned for bravery during combat, the first medal was struck on Dec. 21, 1861, specifically for the Navy, but was adapted for U.S. Army less than two months later.


Since then, approximately 3,500 brave troops have earned our nation’s highest honor — and that number continues to grow. As those figures increase, so, too, does the need for additional medals.

Related: This Medal of Honor recipient blocked out being paralyzed to finish the mission

According to the Defense Logistics Agency, or DLA, each medal is stamped out from a strip of gold weighing an accurate 2.5 ounces at one of two different locations: IRA Green (Providence, R.I.) or Graco/Northwestern (Tomball, Tx).

Here’s where the military’s highest award is made — the Medal of Honor

The medal begins taking shape after being stamped at one of the two DLA’s locations. (Image from TheMedalOfHonor.com)

At the manufacturing facilities, each minute detail is accounted for, down to how many fibers make up the iconic blue cloth that is wrapped around the recipient’s neck during the ceremony.

This manufacturing clerk inspects the medal before sending it off to the next station. (Image from TheMedalOfHonor.com)

Every aspect must be perfect before it’s shipped off to its next destination for an essential, customized detail — the engraving of the recipient’s name.

Also Read: EOD airmen can build and defuse anything from a pipe bomb to a nuclear weapon

Just 13 miles away from where the U.S. claimed their independence lays the DLA Troop Support building, within which craftsmen use diamond-tipped, precision tools to engrave the names of brave service members onto their respective medals.

Here’s where the military’s highest award is made — the Medal of Honor

DLA Troops Support’s diamond-tipped engraver hard at work. (Image from TheMedalOfHonor.com)

After the engraving, the proud company ships the medals to their next destination, which is where they’re awarded.

Check out CBS This Morning’s video to see these highly-respectable awards go from production to patriotic issue.

(CBS This Morning | YouTube)

Articles

7 hilarious Marine shenanigans the commandant wouldn’t like

The Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert B. Neller, gave an interview recently where he critiqued Marines for getting into “general jackassery.” And while we strongly agree with most of Neller’s comments (don’t get drunk and commit crimes, don’t get drunk and get yourself kicked out, don’t get drunk and hurt yourself) we do hope that Marines keep getting into some general jackassery.


Because that’s how we get videos and photos like these, and these things are hilarious. (Just a heads up, most of these videos include some foul language.)

1. Marines creating spoof music videos

Come on, sir. This video is funny, family friendly, and no one got hurt. Assuming production didn’t affect operations, what’s the harm?

2. Marines racing in their sleeping bags

Alright, we get where you’re coming from with this one. Sure, it’s funny, but if those falls had gone a little differently the “Two Marines can’t train because of injury” would be a pretty expensive way to get some lulz. But we would still lulz, sir. We would still lulz hard.

3. Marines clearing their own barracks with brooms and mops

Come on, this is basically training.

4. Marines creating hilarious sketch videos

If it doesn’t affect operations but makes everyone laugh so hard they forget the green weenie in their butts, then it’s a net gain for the Corps. (Anyone who doesn’t know about Terminal Boots should follow them). This video even includes some good lessons for junior leaders like, “Never be the worst Marine in your grade.”

5. Marines dancing to what are likely video game instructions

Sure, they look ridiculous. But there’s no harm in that.

6. Marines trying to dance sexily in weird costumes

We hope no one actually finds this sexy, but it’s not exactly harmful or risky. (Also, that Marine in the back quietly getting ready to go somewhere like two dudes aren’t dancing in panda masks is our new hero).

7. Seriously, what is it with Marines, weird costumes, and “sexy” dancing?

Seriously, sir, you may want to train your men on what the word “sexy” means. Also, if either dude tried to dance on the bannister, we would be back to the injury problem.

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Watch Green Berets demonstrate a lot of cool firepower

When you think about United States Army Special Forces personnel, the Green Berets stand out. We’ve heard the stories of their heroism, ranging Dick Balwanz and ODA 525 surviving against outrageous odds during Desert Storm to the acts of Gary Beikirch during the Vietnam War. They are very well trained (as the famous song says, “100 men we’ll test today, only three win the Green Beret“), and a single ODA can make a huge impact on any mission, especially as they reach across cultural and language boundaries.


Outside of being extremely brave and skilled with their weapons, Green Berets are also trained in operating and maintaining weaponry from foreign arsenals. Given that a primary mission of Green Berets is to help train and support foreign military forces, this lesser-known skill is quite important. Take, for instance, the Special Forces troops being sent today to work with Nigerian troops against ISIS presence in West Africa, known as Boko Haram.

Here’s where the military’s highest award is made — the Medal of Honor
Green Berets train military personnel from other countries – and that requires being familiar with a lot of weapons not used by American forces. (DOD photo)

Wikipedia lists a wide variety of assault rifles used by the Nigerien Army, ranging from M16A1 rifles to Soviet-era AKMs to Heckler and Koch G3s to FN FNCs. Sounds confusing, right? Well, a Green Beret weapons specialist can help train Nigerien troops on maintaining and effectively employing just about any of those rifles, and those freshly trained troops pass lessons on to newer recruits down the line.

The result? The Nigerien Army troops who go into battle against Boko Haram now have weapons they can rely on. A single detachment of Green Berets can give an entire foreign force the much-needed, modern training to wrest any power from the hands of Boko Haram terrorists. Such is true for many missions around the world, in countries ranging from Colombia to Kenya to Iraq to Indonesia.

Here’s where the military’s highest award is made — the Medal of Honor
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Sean Suttles (left), and Sgt. 1st Class Keith Looker (right), brief U.S. and Royal Thai Special Forces personnel on safety procedures prior to fast-rope training on May 17, 1998, during Exercise Cobra Gold ’98. (DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Raymond T. Conway, U.S. Air Force)

In the video below, see Green Berets carry out a demonstration of foreign weapons. It’s just one of the many ways that Green Berets put the hurt on the bad guys – albeit indirectly.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-FbEAmjQMQ
Articles

This special ops sniper challenge is the most ridiculous video you’ll see all day

Snipers are considered one of the most dangerous warfighters in the battlefield, taking out targets from concealed and undisclosed locations while homing in on prey that has no clue that they’re even in the crosshairs.


So who in their right mind would challenge a highly-trained sniper to a duel without having a weapon?

Answer: This freaking guy.

Here’s where the military’s highest award is made — the Medal of Honor
Comedian and BuzzFeed Blue host Mike Carrier. (Source: Buzz Feed Blue/ Screenshot)

Related: WWI’s deadliest sniper was from Canada

You may have seen Mike on the popular show “Outsmarted” currently on the BuzzFeed Blue channel on YouTube as he attempts to outsmart some of the toughest minds and computer software out there.

In the episode “I Tried Escaping A Special Operation Sniper,” Mike challenges a retired Marine Corps sniper, claiming that he can evade the devil dog’s crosshairs in a wide open space for 10 minutes.

If Mike wins, he’ll eat his favorite candy — Reese’s peanut cup. But if he loses the duel, he’ll be forced to eat wet cat food.

Here’s where the military’s highest award is made — the Medal of Honor
Yum. (Source: Buzz Feed Blue/ Screenshot)

Let the games begin!

Step 1: Mike stands out in the open and strips down a layer of his clothing. Underneath, he is wearing a Zentai suit which he finishes putting on.

What a nice beach bod? (Images via Giphy)

Step 2: A car pulls up next to Mike, and four other men with matching body types also wearing Zentai suits pop out. A decoy perhaps?

Yeah, it’s a decoy. (Images via Giphy)

Step 3: Mike and his team ignite colored smoke grenades which confused the sh*t out of our trained sniper.

The confusion draws out the sniper. (Images via Giphy)

Step 4: The decoys dance in a circle, bringing the sniper in for a closer look.

Ring around the rosy. (Images via Giphy)

Step 5: After showing off their incredible dance skills, the decoys pair off and hide under blankets.

Team work. (Images via Giphy)

Step 5: Time is up! The sniper shoots one of the decoys in the a**.

Shot directly on the right cheek. (Images via Giphy)

Step 6: The winner is! Mike.

It’s time to celebrate. (Images via Giphy)

Step 7: Claim your prize.

Looks delicious. (Images via Giphy)Check out Buzz Feed Blue’s video to watch this intelligent dude attempt to outsmart a retired Marine sniper.
(YouTube, BuzzFeedBlue)
WATCH

This video shows a bizarre part of North Korean fighter pilot training

The 24-hour Korean-language YTN News Network based in Seoul, South Korea broadcasted video of North Korean dictator and alleged Swiss chocolate enthusiast Kim Jong Un looking at the “unusual” fighter training methods of the North Korean Air Force.


The video, from North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency, the media mouthpiece of the regime, shows pilots using what looks like cardboard cutouts of their cockpits along with toy fighter models, walking over a large map of the country.

The training is purportedly for what the pilots should do in a low fuel situation, which probably happens a lot in the North.

Kim is not only watching the pilots train. It’s customary for the dictator, like his father Kim Jong-Il, and grandfather Kim Il-Sung before him, to administer “on the spot guidance.” The dictators conduct what are known as business inspections. They visit critical areas of the North Korean defense, industrial, and agricultural centers, and offer advice on how to better perform their job functions.

Here’s where the military’s highest award is made — the Medal of Honor

This is why so many photos of the leaders include them standing around talking while any number of aides are standing around taking notes. Accompanying military officers and leaders of the local area are expected to take meticulous notes of everything the leader says. When the guidance is given, it is usually memorialized with a plaque, including a quote from the leader’s advice.

Here’s where the military’s highest award is made — the Medal of Honor
Kim Jong-il visited the Songjin Iron and Steel Complex in the city of Kim Chaek, making that day either the best or worst of that factory worker’s life.

MIGHTY BRANDED

Watch these spec ops vets explain the differences between Rangers, SEALs, PJs, Green Berets, and Recon

In Michael Bay’s “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”, the actors were mentored by the type of warfighters they portray in the film in order to accurately depict their abilities and experiences. Each of these men was a member of an elite group called the Global Response Staff, which draws from the full suite of special operations units.


We Are The Mighty partnered with “13 Hours” to bring together spec ops vets of each branch to discuss the differences between Army Rangers and Green Berets, Air Force Pararescuemen, Navy SEALs, and Marine Recon.

Their explanations are specific and nuanced and explained as only those who’ve “been there and done that” can.

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Here’s how to rescue an F-4 Phantom crew

Fighter pilots have a reputation for playing very hard — and there’s a bit of a reason for that. They risk their lives every time they’re airborne, as the recent, tragic crash of an F/A-18F Super Hornet off Key West shows.


In the event of an emergency, the crew usually tries to eject but, sometimes, that simply isn’t possible. The only option is to try and bring back a damaged plane. The problem is, when a plane is damaged, it may be leaking extremely flammable liquids. The military has specially trained firefighters on hand ready to react to these crashes, to put out fires, and to recover the most important things in the plane: the crew. The good news for those brave personnel who race into action, risking their lives to extract crews from crashed planes is that combat airframes are typically built with some type of escape mechanism.

Here’s where the military’s highest award is made — the Medal of Honor

For instance, if you get a close look at the exterior of an A-10 cockpit, aside from information about the pilot and crew chief, you’ll notice a few other labels. One is prominently marked, “Rescue.” This is a mechanism designed to help raise the canopy should the pilot be unable to due to damage or injury.

Even still, you can’t just rush in to immediately extract the crew. There are many dangers that need to be addressed. A warfighting jet has extremely flammable fuel coursing through its veins and is typically loaded up with devastating ordnance — any spark could lead to a disaster. Even ejection seats are a potential hazard to consider when extracting crew (the pilot is literally sitting on a rocket when he flies a modern fighter).

Here’s where the military’s highest award is made — the Medal of Honor
The head of the pilot boarding this F-35A Lightning slightly obscures the instructions for operating a rescue handle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Sutton)

The techniques for getting crews out of different types of planes can vary — what works to extricate an F-15 pilot might not be a good idea for a B-1B crew. Watch the video below to see how ground personnel are trained to rescue the crew of an F-4 Phantom.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-WWK_Seflg
WATCH

This US Marine went to Somalia and became a warlord

Hussein Farrah Aidid left the United States Marine Corps and attempted to be a warlord like his father, Mohamed Farrah Aidid, who is a central figure in the story of “Black Hawk Down.”


Mohamed Aidid was the leader of the Habr Gidr clan, who vied for power in the wake of the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre’s Somali regime. Aidid not only diverted food aid and relief supplies to starving Solamis, his fighters ambushed 24 Pakistani peacekeepers.

The United Nations offered a $25,000 reward for his capture, and he was targeted by Task Force Ranger. TF Ranger’s hunt for Aidid led to the ill-fated Battle of Mogadishu that resulted in the death of 18 American troops.

Aidid had four wives. His first wife, Asli Dhubad, gave birth to five children. Hussein Farrah Aidid was the first of those five.

He was born in a remote area of Somalia in 1962. At the age of 14, he emigrated to the United States at a time when Somalia was ruled by the dictator Barre whose authoritarian government was enjoying a brief thaw in relations with the U.S. Hussein graduated from high school in Covina, California, two years later before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps.

You can read more about Hussein Farrah Aidid and his journey from the Marines to becoming a warlord here.

MIGHTY TRENDING

This elite veteran trainer is why your ammo shows up on time

Failure.

Is it an absolute? Is it to be avoided at all costs? Obviously, it’s an undesirable outcome when lives are on the line.


In horseshoes and hand grenades, failure exists on a suckiness sliding scale, from “Finish your beer” on one end to the Ultimate Oh Sh*t on the other.

In training, though, failure is a teacher, a mentor that can take you to levels of preparedness you never imagined attainable by your puny, mortal self.

Here’s where the military’s highest award is made — the Medal of Honor
“I don’t know, why would you say your ass is candy?” is what shrugging makes Max think. (Go90 Max Your Body screenshot)

When Max “The Body” Philisaire is leading your PT, failure is a directive. As in, “execute as many repetitions as you can until failure.”

In the Army, Max earned the nickname “The Body,” not because he had a good one, but because he was first recruited as an incorporeal Warrior Spirit, until Mighty Zeus came down in the form of a Lightning Eagle and lightning-sculpted Max a body out of mountain granite, saying “Go Forth, Max, And Enlighten The People As I Have You. With Lightning!”

(Max uses kettlebells these days, and he GETS BETTER RESULTS.)

Here’s where the military’s highest award is made — the Medal of Honor
And here is what Zeus looked like. Exactly. Like. This. (Gif by Jaybyrdamw78)In this episode, Max takes issue with an important set of muscles, those responsible for executing high-speed, high-stakes ammo resupply in the field, a situation in which failure will land you on the sh*t end of the sliding scale. Make these exercises part of your regular routine, though, and nothing short of an anti-tank round will be able to stop you.

Watch as Max shows you how to go from finishing beers to banishing fears, in the video embedded at the top.

Watch more Max Your Body:

This elite veteran trainer will make you aim true

Our trainer will make you want to play Ruck Ruck Goose

This is how squats can open doors for you

This trainer will make you a card-carrying member of the log-carrying elite

This is how to beat the rope-a-dope

WATCH

This is what it’s like to fire Ma Deuce and the M240

We know all about the legendary status that Ma Deuce has. It’s served for over eight decades, and has shot down planes, mowed down terrorists, among a host of other missions.


That said, Ma Deuce didn’t become a legend on its own. When you look at it, it’s just a big, metal object by itself. It can’t target the enemy, much less fire, on its own. To work, it needs to have someone load the belt, chamber the round, aim it, and pull the trigger. In other words, Ma Deuce is nothing without a well-trained soldier, Marine, airman, or sailor manning it.

Here’s where the military’s highest award is made — the Medal of Honor
U.S. Marines man an M2 Browning .50-cal machine gun. (U.S. Marine Corps)

That said, you can’t just hand the guns over to those folks and expect them to use Ma Deuce (or any other weapon) to its maximum potential. That takes training and practice. And for all the advances in computer technology, you just can’t beat going to the range and putting real bullets downrange.

This just doesn’t apply to Ma Deuce. The M240 is much the same way. Based on the FN MAG, a medium machine gun chambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO round. This is a much newer gun than Ma Deuce, and has largely replaced the M60 machine gun that saw action in Vietnam and Desert Storm, among other conflicts.

Here’s where the military’s highest award is made — the Medal of Honor
Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Richey, a crewmember at Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor, mans an M240B machine gun on the bow of a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Barresi)

According to FN’s web site, the M240 is 48.5 inches long with a 21.7 inch barrel. It can fire up to 650 rounds a minute. Usually the teams come in two, with a gunner and an assistant who also carries the ammo, although in some cases, and ammo bearer is added to the machine gun team.

You can see a video of Army Reserve soldiers training on these two machine guns below.

Articles

This Desert Storm gun is a favorite for special ops units

Believe it or not, there is one gun very notable for having been taken by the United States Air Force to other planets. That said, it was only on TV.


The “Stargate” TV franchise — based on the 1994 movie featuring Kurt Russell — starred Richard Dean Anderson of “MacGyver” for its first eight seasons. The series was notable in having two separate Air Force Chiefs of Staff cameo as themselves, Gen. Michael Ryan in “Prodigy” and Gen. John Jumper in “Lost City, Part Two.”

Here’s where the military’s highest award is made — the Medal of Honor
Pew pew.

The central premise around the series was that the Air Force had acquired a “stargate” that was set up in Cheyenne Mountain. The team led by Anderson’s character, SG-1, was pretty much carrying out a mission similar to of the Army Special Forces: building alliances with native populations.

The adventures eventually took SG-1 all the way across the galaxy and beyond, where they not only faced off against hostile nations, but also made contact with friendly aliens and acquired new technology.

And as is the case with special operations forces, SG-1 had gear that average grunts didn’t get their hands on — usually. In addition to all the alien tech, they did get some earth weapons, too. Notable among them was the P90 personal defense weapon from FN Herstal.

Here’s where the military’s highest award is made — the Medal of Honor
FN P90 with accessories. (Wikimedia Commons)

The P90 is a select-fire weapon that fires the 5.7x28m cartridge. It is a compact weapon with a 50-round magazine. The gun made its combat debut during Operation Desert Storm with Belgian special operations troops.

You can see a video about this PDW that has gone to other worlds below.

Articles

Watch these skydivers jump out of a B-17’s bomb bay door with wingsuits and Ol’ Glory

Recently, four skydivers from FullMag decided to step up their game by jumping out of the bomb bay doors of a World War II B-17 bomber using wingsuits.


The skydivers are all equipped with go-pros, parachutes, and the American flag.

The B-17 Flying Fortress has lived up to its name. Primarily, it saw combat during WWII for allied bombing runs in Europe. Originally developed for the U.S. Army Air Corps, this behemoth had as many as 13 machine guns attached.

But what its known for is the devastating 9,600-pound bomb load that it could bring into battle.

Related: This is what you need to know about the B-17 Flying Fortress

Here’s where the military’s highest award is made — the Medal of Honor

The 14 men of the ‘Memphis Belle’ were among the most famous B-17 Bomber crews. It was one of the first bombers to complete 25 combat missions and bring all of her men back.

The tales of this beauty have been made into a documentary in 1944 and a feature film in 1990. In May 2018, the aircraft will be restored and placed in the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This will be done in celebration of the 75th anniversary of it’s final combat mission.

Out of the 12,000 built, only 11 remain airworthy to this day.

“Commercial skydiving isn’t without it’s risks” says Richard Ryan of FullMag. “When doing a demo jump, there are many variables to take into consideration.”

When jumping out of the B-17, the skydivers must work within the narrow space of the bomb racks. When they jump, they have to make sure that their suits don’t catch anything upon exit.

Yet the biggest concern that they had was with the machine gun turret on the belly. If the aircraft’s speed isn’t slow enough, their suits could pressurize and strike it.

They avoided it by back flying the exit into a gainer — or by watching the jumper ahead of them.

To check out the jump or for more content, check out FullMag on the video below.

(FullMag, YouTube)

Articles

This pilot landed his F-15 with only one wing

The F-15 is an amazing aircraft that was designed to go head-to-head with the Soviet’s MiG-25 and was the top dog for years, most notably during Desert Storm where American and Saudi Eagles took it to the Iraqis in a big way.


The F-15 has endured because its design was years ahead of its time, and a great data point behind that fact is the time Israeli pilot Zivi Nedivi landed his jet with only one wing. Nedivi had one of his wings sheared off in a midair collision with an A-4 Skyhawk during a training event. Nedivi’s Eagle went into a rapid roll by the crash and he told his navigator to prepare the eject.

Nedivi turned on his afterburners in an attempt to stabilize the jet. The move worked. After his aircraft stabilized, he decided to attempt to land at a base 10 miles away. Because of the fuel coming from the damaged fuselage, neither he nor his wingman knew that the F-15 was missing a wing.

Hear the rest of this amazing story from Nedivi himself in this video:

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