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Other than Honorable

"A Gazette investigation shows an increasing number of soldiers, including wounded combat veterans, are being kicked out of the service for misconduct, often with no benefits, as the Army downsizes after a decade of war."
"Disposable: Surge in discharges includes wounded soldiers"
"Left Behind: No break for the wounded"
"Locked Away: Army struggles with wounded soldiers"
posted by andoatnp on Jun 2, 2013 - 26 comments

"Never, ever let anybody use your gender as an excuse."

"Women get flustered under fire. They're too fragile, too emotional. They lack the ferocity required to take a life. They can't handle pain. They're a distraction, a threat to cohesion, a provocative tease to close-quartered men. These are the sort of myths you hear from people who oppose the U.S. military's evolving new rules about women in combat. But for women who have already been in combat, who have earned medals fighting alongside men, the war stories they tell don't sound a thing like myths" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 25, 2013 - 49 comments

"As long as you're breathing, life is worth living."

Six years ago, US Army Captain Ivan Castro was severely wounded in a mortar attack in Iraq that left him permanently and completely blinded. Today, he's one of only three blind active duty Army officers, and the very first to serve in the US Army Special Forces. Thirteen months and 36 surgeries after the attack, Castro ran the 2007 Marine Corps Marathon in 4:14 and the Army Ten Miler in 1:25. And he's still going: In the last 15 months, he's completed 14 marathons. Why? "Because I still can. Because people need to see what's possible." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 13, 2012 - 17 comments

.

Today is the 8th Anniversary of the beginning of the War in Iraq. Protesters around the country are trying to bring attention to our nation's continued involvement.
posted by whimsicalnymph on Mar 20, 2011 - 38 comments

"I couldn't justify shooting an unarmed civilian. I said I wasn't going to do it . . ."

In December 2010 Slate posted an interview with Iraq War veteran and conscientious objector Josh Steiber [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Feb 24, 2011 - 29 comments

Thanks for your service, killer.

War veteran barred from college campus for frank words on killing. After publishing essay on addiction to war, Charles Whittington must obtain psychological evaluation before returning to classes
posted by fixedgear on Nov 24, 2010 - 115 comments

How An American Soldier Is Made

This is how an American soldier is made. A fascinating photo essay that details 27 months in the life of new US Army recruit Ian Fisher. It chronicles his recruitment, induction, training, deployment and finally, his return from combat.
posted by Effigy2000 on Nov 3, 2009 - 65 comments

“There’s culture shock, and then there’s the culture shock of moving to a country that started a war in your home.”

"The war has uprooted 4.7 million people from their homes. So where are they?" With the election of Obama and the economic crisis, the topic of Iraq has fallen by the wayside. As hard as things may be right now, Iraqis have been going through far worse for years now. If you're curious about what they have to say, hear them tell it in their own words. Iraqi Refugee Stories. [more inside]
posted by wander on Mar 23, 2009 - 16 comments

to take brass and fire into his mouth

Army reports highest rate of soldier suicides for three decades in 2008. [more inside]
posted by batmonkey on Jan 29, 2009 - 20 comments

Team Lioness - Female Soldiers in Combat in Iraq

Team Lioness is the name given to a group of female soliders, (and the documentary about them) who were some of the first women in modern American warfare to engage in frontline combat — something that is officially forbidden by the military. "The female support soliders were assigned to the 1st Engineer Battalion and they were recruited to accompany Marine units during raids. Originally, the female soldiers were there to search and detain any women they came upon and to guard the unit's Arabic interpreter. Over time, however, as the situation in Ramadi deteriorated, the Marine units transitioned into a more offensive role, baiting insurgents into firefights in order to draw them out. Until officers higher up the chain got spooked over the possibility of a female soldier killed in combat and quietly disbanded the unit, members of Team Lioness were often right in the thick of things, including some of the fiercest urban firefights of the Iraq War."
posted by nooneyouknow on Nov 14, 2008 - 22 comments

The Downward Spiral

What killed Sgt. Gray? "He survived the war only to die at home. An exploration of his death and his combat unit's activities reveals what can happen to soldiers who feel the freedom -- or the pressure -- to do things in war they can't live with later." -- An American Radioworks documentary.
posted by empath on Nov 11, 2008 - 29 comments

Battlemind

Battlemind: Armor for Your Mind is a U.S. Army website designed to help, in part, families deal with deployment, including a series of cartoons and videos intended for children whose parents may be sent to or be returning from warzones. Part of the Army's Behavioral Health program, these give intriguing insight into military culture. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Jul 29, 2008 - 6 comments

Abu Ghraib Interrogator Becomes Conscientious Objector

A riveting ten-minute interview with playwright and former US Army interrogator Joshua Casteel. He discusses how a particular interrogation with an Iraqi prisoner--and an exchange of views on Islam and Christianity--motivated him to leave the armed forces and become a conscientious objector.
posted by dbarefoot on Nov 14, 2007 - 42 comments

Meeting Resistance

Know Thine Enemy. "In a video Op-Ed by documentary filmmakers Molly Bingham and Steve Connors, Iraqis explain the roots of the insurgency." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 18, 2007 - 15 comments

Left of Boom - The struggle to defeat roadside bombs

Left of Boom - The struggle to defeat roadside bombs. [washpo - flash & flash video]
posted by srboisvert on Sep 30, 2007 - 22 comments

The killing of Jamie Dean

The killing of Jamie Dean. "Police in rural Maryland staged a military stakeout and shot a troubled Army vet. As his family plans to sue, they are asking how a soldier being treated for PTSD could be shipped to Iraq."
posted by homunculus on Sep 4, 2007 - 27 comments

How Specialist Town Lost His Benefits

How Specialist Town Lost His Benefits: His deafness, memory problems and depression caused were not caused by a rocket attack he survived in Ramadi, but by a pre-existing personality disorder. Well, according to the Army medical staff, that is. (via)
posted by knave on Apr 4, 2007 - 35 comments

US Army Counter-insurgency manual

So, you want to run a counter-insurgency? (Large .pdf of the current US Army counter-insurgency manual.)
posted by wilful on Dec 19, 2006 - 58 comments

A soldier speaks out

Chief of the General Staff General Sir Richard Dannatt has given an interview to the Daily Mail in which he says that the presence of British troops makes the security problems in Iraq worse . The General won the MC aged 22 in an action in Northern Ireland, so he presumably knows a thing or two about insurgency, never mind courage. Mr Blair has agreed...
posted by A189Nut on Oct 13, 2006 - 36 comments

The Sandbox

The Sandbox A Doonesbury driven non-partisan non-policy community blog on the details of being human in a global war on terror.
posted by srboisvert on Oct 10, 2006 - 22 comments

Middle Eastern troops at Hadrian's Wall in the early fifth century

Iraqi peacekeepers sent to the Scottish border... 1600 years ago. The Notitia Dignitatum, the Roman equivalent of an organisation chart for the imperial bureaucracy in the fifth century, contains a reference to soldiers from the Tigris stationed at Hadrian's Wall. More on the Notitia here; more on Hadrian's Wall here, including a 3D tour of a fort near the Wall, and tablets discovered at another fort (including a request by a commanding officer for "more beer").
posted by greycap on Aug 19, 2006 - 8 comments

...another less attractive but probably more realistic version of modern warfare in Iraq today ...

Pentagon to Soldiers: Don't Post those Trophy Videos Online ... another said it made him feel good to bring the gruesome reality of a soldier's life in Iraq to those living safely behind their "clean, white picket fences at home". ...the taking and posting of trophy video served as some kind of relief from the psychological stresses of serving as a soldier in such a violent and acutely dangerous place. ... and from PBS' Mediashift: Your Guide to Soldier Videos From Iraq
posted by amberglow on Aug 5, 2006 - 13 comments

I Love the Smell of Sim-Napalm in the Morning

The Smell of War -- the Institute for Creative Technologies preps Quake-happy teens to become first-person shooters in the non-virtual war on terror. Now in Odorama.
posted by digaman on Jul 25, 2006 - 22 comments

What it's like to lose a son in the Iraq war.

Never Coming Home is about the families of five young men killed in Iraq. Slate presents a short documentary that focuses on the bereavement of the parents, or in one case, a brother. This portrait of grief and sacrifice is brought to life through the use of still photography and the recorded voices of family members.
posted by ND¢ on Jun 12, 2006 - 24 comments

"playing" America's Army

In Memoriam and in Protest --why not use an online deathmatch as a pedestal for speaking out against a war? Artist/Professor uses US Govt-developed America's Army (...placing Soldiering front and center within popular culture and showcasing the roles training, teamwork and technology play in the Army. ... ) as protest and art space. DeLappe's homepage (and jpgs) here
posted by amberglow on May 30, 2006 - 135 comments

Not your soldier

An interesting anti-war animation (flash). (via) Another one. More.
posted by IronLizard on May 13, 2006 - 22 comments

Lazy Ramadi

Lazy Ramadi
posted by ColdChef on May 13, 2006 - 20 comments

Gen. McCaffrey: We can (and should succeed in Iraq) -- though it will take 10 years.

"Do we have the political will, do we have the military power, will we spend the resources required to achieve our aims [in Iraq]?" writes retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey in a memo addressed to the heads of the social science department at West Point summarizing his findings after a week-long fact-finding trip in Iraq. It will take ten years and billions of dollars, but the McCaffrey Memo claims that to leave Iraq prematurely would risk "a ten year disaster of foreign policy in the vital Gulf Oil Region." Fred Kaplan thinks the costs are too high.
posted by shivohum on May 3, 2006 - 18 comments

DisCHARGEd

Dear First Lieutenant Rebrook: Thank you for your service to your country. Here's your medical discharge, and here's a bill for $700 to cover the loss of the armor you ruined by bleeding all over it when you got shot.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Feb 7, 2006 - 63 comments

Marching orders

He wasn't asked. He didn't tell. Now he's out — and discharged. Eye-opening tale of Jeff Howe, courtesy of Raw Story. After 9/11, feeling personally unfulfilled and wanting to serve his country, Howe enlisted at the age of 29. Knowing he was gay but realizing that Army guidelines forbade his kind, he re-entered the closet, underwent basic training, and was shipped to Iraq. After a two-year stint on the front lines, with five commendations, he returned stateside. Then he was stop-lossed, shipped back to Iraq, and started writing a blog. That began a chain of events that, through no apparent fault of his own — or loose lip-flapping — led to Jeff Howe and the Army parting company.
posted by rob511 on Feb 7, 2006 - 37 comments

For Injured U.S. Troops, 'Financial Friendly Fire'

His hand had been blown off in Iraq, his body pierced by shrapnel. He could not walk. Robert Loria was flown home for a long recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he tried to bear up against intense physical pain and reimagine his life's possibilities
...
But nine months after Loria was wounded, the Army garnished his wages and then, as he prepared to leave the service, hit him with a $6,200 debt. That was just before last Christmas, and several lawmakers scrambled to help. This spring, a collection agency started calling. He owed another $646 for military housing.
...
posted by zouhair on Oct 16, 2005 - 68 comments

Three free downloads??

So, the US Army is having trouble meeting it's recruitment goals, and is lowering the bar for admission to try and make up the shortfall. Another tactic they are apparently trying is sweetening the deal with 3 free (FREE!!!) iTunes downloads if you agree to talk to a recruiter. It'd be foolish NOT to sign up, frankly!
posted by jonson on Oct 6, 2005 - 56 comments

Join the Army for just fifteen months!

Join the Army for just fifteen months! Visit exciting foriegn lands! Now with "ultra-lite" benefits!
(Warning: Requires an additional two years of service in the Army Reserve / National Guard, may contain additional deployments overseas, stop-loss, 4 1/2 years in the inactive reserve, and possible devil's bargains.)
posted by insomnia_lj on May 12, 2005 - 113 comments

David Hackworth fades away.

Col. David Hackworth, who billed himself as America's most decorated living soldier (he had eight Purple Hearts and ten Silver Stars), died in Mexico this week at age 74. Hackworth saw combat in World War II (having joined the Army at 15), Korea, and Vietnam; in 1967 he and Gen. Samuel Marshall wrote the Vietnam Primer, a "lessons learned" document prepared for the Army to explain how not to fight a guerilla war. In 1971, after years in-country, Hackworth turned publically against the war, telling ABC News that it could not be won and moving to Australia, where his anti-nuclear efforts earned him a United Nations Medal for Peace. Hackworth was a distinguished war correspondent, a self-appointed advocate for the average soldier who used his website as a soapbox, a best-selling author, a critic of American tactics in the Iraq War, and possibly the only figure respected by both WorldNetDaily and Common Dreams.
posted by snarkout on May 6, 2005 - 33 comments

Uncle Sam Wants You!

"Recruiting has always been a difficult job, and some say the scandals that have periodically surfaced are inevitable. But the temptation to cut corners is particularly strong today..."
posted by furtive on May 3, 2005 - 20 comments

For young deserters, refuge is hard to find

For young deserters, refuge is hard to find It seemed like a drastic but simple solution: a step over the border into a country that had offered sanctuary before to Americans fleeing their homeland. Instead, the growing band of US soldiers who have sought political refuge in Canada after defying orders to serve in Iraq have found themselves in a political limbo.
posted by Postroad on Apr 25, 2005 - 83 comments

The Making of the Twenty-First-Century Soldier (Part 1)

The Making of the Twenty-First-Century Soldier (Part 1) "In which a dope-smoking, valet-parking skateboarder living at home makes his way into the infantry, and into Iraq." By Colby Buzzell, author of the My War weblog we've discussed previously. The Army Times mentioned his blog in a recent article on weblogs by military personnel. Buzzell stopped posting personal accounts to the weblog after getting busted by the Army (Google caches are still available), but he's writing a book.
posted by kirkaracha on Apr 3, 2005 - 15 comments

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty The St. Petersburg Times reported this week that Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, killed in action in Iraq on April 4, 2003, will be posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Sgt. Smith had always said he would give "all that I am to make sure all my boys make it home." The Medal of Honor is awarded "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty." Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham, killed in Iraq in April 2004 after he threw himself on top of a grenade to protect his fellow Marines, has been nominated for the Medal of Honor.
posted by mlis on Feb 5, 2005 - 6 comments

Fighting Tthe Covenant from Baqubah

Gaming in Iraq by US troops. Soon after the battle for Fallujah ended in November, U.S. Marines brought their Xbox consoles, Gameboys and laptops forward and started fighting the Covenant hordes in "Halo," Mario and Luigi's worst enemies and those irksome roommates from "The Sims." Of course such actives during war are nothing new. Iraqies have also gotten in on the action too.
posted by Bag Man on Jan 3, 2005 - 14 comments

Restricting freedoms

There are only two ways to describe the US army plans for Falluja: either "American gulag" for those who enjoy Stalinist imagery, or "concentration camp" for those who prefer the Nazi version of the same. But maybe we should just call it a plain old police (city-)state, just like it's feared US is becoming.
posted by acrobat on Dec 22, 2004 - 43 comments

http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/06/29/iraq.reserves.ap/index.html

Army to recall former military members It is good to be too old! "The Army is preparing to notify about 5,600 retired and discharged soldiers who are not members of the National Guard or Reserve that they will be involuntarily recalled to active duty for possible service in Iraq or Afghanistan, Army officials said Tuesday."
posted by Postroad on Jun 29, 2004 - 136 comments

the wrong morons

The Wrong Morons. (from the Army Times) "Around the halls of the Pentagon, a term of caustic derision has emerged for the enlisted soldiers at the heart of the furor over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal: the six morons who lost the war...But the folks in the Pentagon are talking about the wrong morons."
posted by Ty Webb on May 11, 2004 - 23 comments

Contractor served troops dirty food in dirty kitchens

Contractor Halliburton served troops dirty food in dirty kitchens Well, Bush served up clean turkey and these guys were busy overcharging the Pentagon on energy so they could reap big bucks...Cheney remains in his gopher hole.
posted by Postroad on Dec 14, 2003 - 22 comments

Real or Memorex?

A soldier's letter home, or clever propaganda? This "letter" has been making the rounds as an email, supposedly from an officer, stationed in Iraq, named "Mark". He certainly seems to know a lot about what's going on. He loves his job, likes his generals, and admires the Iraqi people, who like him and other Americans; and he hates the press and the foreigners he says are fighting reconstruction. Sounds a little too good to be true.
posted by kablam on Jul 23, 2003 - 45 comments

Today's most buried headline

This week's most buried headline could be a real stinker this week for the Pentagon. Apparently over $1 trillion are missing as well as "dozens of tanks, missiles and planes."
posted by jackspace on May 19, 2003 - 25 comments

Willard appointed assault commander

According to UPI, the United States has been offered by coalition partner Morocco its tide-turning force of 2,000 monkeys trained to detonate land mines. It wouldn't be so unbelievable if the U.S. wasn't already training dolphins and sea lions to do the same. Considering the carnage already happening to humans in Iraq, this news doesn't inspire thoughts of happy endings for our animal friends.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Mar 27, 2003 - 28 comments

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