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The Rock ’n’ Roll Casualty Who Became a War Hero

Jason Everman has the unique distinction of being the guy who was kicked out of Nirvana and Soundgarden, two rock bands that would sell roughly 100 million records combined. At 26, he wasn’t just Pete Best, the guy the Beatles left behind. He was Pete Best twice. Then again, he wasn’t remotely. What Everman did afterward put him far outside the category of rock’n’roll footnote. He became an elite member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, one of those bearded guys riding around on horseback in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban.
posted by Rangeboy on Jul 2, 2013 - 49 comments

 

Letters From A Private

Letters From A Private: "...[19 year-old Pvt. D. Bruce Hirshorn] was in the Army in 1944 and 1945. He wrote home almost every single day.... Today, Uncle Bruce is the same upbeat, funny guy. He’s 87 and he loves syrup and ships!" [more inside]
posted by knile on Mar 18, 2013 - 8 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

TF5-4523: The Mapmaking Process

Attention all GIS afficionados and fans of old-school maps! Report for duty and watch the U.S. Army's 1973 half-hour training film TF5-4523 in order to educate yourself in the process of cartography: part 1, part 2, part 3. The videos cover everything from surveying to printing, and all the steps in-between.
posted by barnacles on Aug 30, 2012 - 9 comments

Camel Corps of the US Army: bringing a bit of the Middle East to the Southwest

The U.S. Camel Corps was a short-lived experiment run by the U.S. Army before the Civil War, the result of two decades of support for importing and utilizing the foreign pack animal by George H. Crosman and some of his friends and colleagues. More than 70 camels were brought from the Middle East and southern Europe, along with 5 camel drovers from Greece and Turkey, arriving in Texas in 1856. A select few of that bunch made the trek across "unexplored territory" from El Paso to the Colorado River, with camels faring the best among the group of men, horses, and mules. When James Buchanan became president in 1857, there were numerous changes in command, including the commander of the Army in Texas, who "was outraged when he discovered a herd of camels under his command." By the time the Civil War started, the Camel Corps was dissolved and forgotten, but both the animals and the drovers would leave their mark in the West. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 23, 2012 - 23 comments

The Computer Tree

The Computer Tree from Electronic Computers Within the Ordnance Corps. More computer chronology, including this list of fictional computers at Wikipedia.
posted by OmieWise on Jun 14, 2012 - 8 comments

“All the weaker people have left. Now I’m the weakest one left.”

US Army Pvt. Danny Chen, 1992–2011
posted by zarq on Jan 7, 2012 - 105 comments

A G.I.'s WWII Memoir

Robert F. Gallagher served in the United States Army's 815th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Third Army) in the European Theater during WWII. He has posted his memoir online: "Scratch One Messerschmitt," told from numerous photos he took during the war and the detailed notes he made shortly afterwards. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 23, 2010 - 7 comments

They don't know what we do.

"For a lot of soldiers, there are two kinds of people: those who serve, and those who expect to be served, and those who serve are pretty noble.'' The U.S. Army now begins its 10th continuous year in combat, the first time in its history the United States has excused the vast majority of its citizens from service and engaged in a major, decade-long conflict instead with an Army manned entirely by professional warriors.
posted by bardophile on Oct 3, 2010 - 218 comments

No Book Burning Here. Just Pulping.

"In most cases, when a book that deals with potentially classified military information is due to be published, one of the United States's many government divisions inspect it, redact sensitive parts, and either let publication continue or stop it entirely. But a clash in opinion between the U.S. Army and the Defense Intelligence Agency may lead to the DIA buying up all 10,000 copies of [a] new memoir's first printing -- and promptly pulping the books." "The publication of Operation Dark Heart, by Anthony A. Shaffer, a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer and a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, has divided military security reviewers and highlighted the uncertainty about what information poses a genuine threat to security."* [more inside]
posted by ericb on Sep 10, 2010 - 43 comments

"A Minute With Venus... A Year With Mercury!"

"During World War I, the [US] Army lost 7 million person-days and discharged more than 10,000 men because they were ailing from STDs. Once Penicillin kicked in in the mid-1940s, such infections were treatable. But as a matter of national security, the military started distributing condoms and aggressively marketing prophylactics to the troops in the early 20th century." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 1, 2010 - 45 comments

Collateral Murder

Wikileaks posts a classified US military video (17:47) to YouTube. It depicts "the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad -- including two Reuters news staff." Supporting documents from military whistleblowers appear at the site they set up, Collateral Murder.
posted by cashman on Apr 5, 2010 - 423 comments

A contract with US Gov.

The usual summary of comic book artist Will Eisner’s career follows the formula that he drew the Spirit all through the 1940s except for the war years and a bunch of ‘graphic novels’ from 1978 till the end of his life in 2005. There’s a long missing period between 1951 and 1978 during which he packaged and adapted cartoon art to commercial purposes, which has not been readily available for our scrutiny or pleasure. It is sometimes summarily dismissed as being of little interest. - Artist Eddie Campbell reappraises Will Eisner's missing years.
posted by Artw on Aug 31, 2009 - 13 comments

"Democracy Now!"

Democracy Now! Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now!" has been featured in many Metafilter posts over the years but I didn't find any direct links to the main site recently. Daily video webcasts are available and the program is also heard on many Pacifica stations. Today's reports :
posted by notmtwain on Mar 7, 2006 - 40 comments

US Army gives advice on picking a partner

US Army Teaches Troops How to Pick a Spouse "Army chaplains are trying to teach troops how to pick the right spouse, through a program called "How To Avoid Marrying a Jerk. ... It teaches the lovestruck to pace themselves with a R.A.M. chart — the Relationship Attachment Model — which basically says don't let your sexual involvement exceed your level of commitment or level of knowledge about the other person."

I can't decide if this is common sense or takes all the fun out of love. If, indeed, there is any fun in it. Details on the programme can also be found at www.nojerks.com
posted by badlydubbedboy on Feb 7, 2006 - 43 comments

US Army counterinsurgency

Writing in the most recent Military Review, British Army Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster very politely points out some observed cultural difficulties inherent in the US Army, such as rigid heirarchies, "institutional racism" and destructive aggression.
posted by wilful on Jan 11, 2006 - 46 comments

Citizens Support Where Pentagon Fails

Marines recall faulty body armor. In yet another blow to the struggle to supply soldiers with adequate armor, 5,277 defective vests were recalled today from troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. In response to the armor shortages, new Oklahoma legislation would create "Patriot Plates," a $35 license plate of which $20 would go to supply body armor for Oklahoma soldiers. Soldiers have been lacking this armor for months now. According to an April GAO report: (PDF)
Because of the shortages, many individuals bought body armor with personal funds. The Congressional Budget Office estimated (1) that as many as 10,000 personnel purchased vests, (2) as many as 20,000 purchased plates with personal funds, and (3) the total cost to reimburse them would be $16 million in 2005. (P. 78)
Another continuing problem is a lack of adequately armored HMMWVs. "Current HMMWVs are protected only by canvas tops and have no additional armor protection." (P. 122) In this case, for protection from ambushes and roadside bombs, an add-on armor kit is required. However, "as of September 2004, the Army supplied 8,771 of the 13,872 Add-on Armor kits required by CENTCOM but still needed 5,101 additional kits to meet all requirements." (P. 121) Attacks on vehicles have accounted for as many as 40 percent of the 1,037 deaths attributed to hostile action.

But at least we can sleep soundly knowing that manufacturers are seeing record profits from all of this.
posted by ScottMorris on May 10, 2005 - 31 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

Fine Print: Contract is Void if US Military Say So

Soldiers Challenge Enlistment Extensions
You sign a contract for a specific period of service, when that service is up you're supposed to be done but that doesn't happen if its a contract with the US government. Soldiers are now suing to try and get out of their extended duties.

Yes, there is the Pentagon's "Stop Loss" program but "The lawsuit contends the policy [stop loss] is a breach of the service contract because it extends the length of service without a soldier's consent. It also alleges the contracts were misleading because they make no reference to the policy, said Staughton Lynd, an attorney for the soldiers."
posted by fenriq on Dec 6, 2004 - 41 comments

US Army to Rebid Halliburton Contracts

US Army to Rebid Halliburton Contracts
Looks like Halliburton's about to lose its sweetheart deal as the US Army looks to rebidthe contracts.
"Pentagon auditors last month "strongly" urged the Army to withhold paying 15 percent of Halliburton's bills in Iraq, saying the company had not provided enough details to support at least $1.82 billion out of $4.3 billion of logistical work."
Insert inappropriate snide political comment here.
posted by fenriq on Sep 7, 2004 - 26 comments

The Scandal's Growing Stain

The Scandal's Growing Stain Time Magazine: "Abuses by U.S. soldiers in Iraq shock the world and roil the Bush Administration. the inside story of what went wrong—and who's to blame"
posted by Postroad on May 9, 2004 - 18 comments

A real head-turner

The Exorcist Experience: U.S. soldier pops The Exorcist into his portable DVD player and discovers that he's right there, where the opening scenes were filmed. Now the Army (and movie director William Friedkin) plan to back an Exorcist-themed tourist attraction. Admission will be $2 or $5 with a kabob lunch.
posted by Holden on Feb 3, 2004 - 14 comments

Arrogance of Power

US soldier kills rare tiger in Iraq zoo
...during a drunken night of revelry involving - you guessed it - feeding the animals. Geez, this occupation gets better every day.
posted by mapalm on Sep 20, 2003 - 100 comments

US Army Used Reporters for Own Ends in Iraq War

U.S. Army Used Media Cover in Iraq for Own Ends which sounds like a big old bowl of yellow journalism but isn't really, at least I don't think so. It was more to refute the Iraqi Minister of Lies talking about the whooping the Iraqi war machine was delivering to the coalition forces.

The main issue that the reporters had was that they were only getting the one side of the story and not the Iraqi perspective.

But it raises some questions about the supposed objectivity of the media. Is this a proper use of them? To help achieve military goals? Or to try to avoid more unnecessary deaths?
posted by fenriq on Sep 8, 2003 - 15 comments

Hello Son of Star Wars - Goodbye Low Earth Orbit

Weaponizing Space
The Case Against
Four Myths about Space Power - From Parameters, US Army War College Quarterly
Star wars could make space unusable
posted by y2karl on Jul 29, 2003 - 20 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

Jules is a thief.

Jules is a thief. The fact that "all the embedded reporters were doing it" does not make it right. Presumably the US soldiers who were overseeing the embedded reporters knew of this kind of cultural theft -- more than likely, many were a party to it themselves. I'm sending him an email to remind him of that fact, and I will also contact his bosses, urging disciplinary action.
posted by insomnia_lj on Apr 23, 2003 - 42 comments

The Army Is Dumb

Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Matter If You Are Fluent In Arabic, Despite Our Serious Need For That.... This story hits very close to home. This is a friend from college (Emory) who was just thrown out of the army when they discovered he had a boyfriend. Particularly ridiculous is the fact that he had just achieved fluency in Arabic and would have been (among other gay soldiers) extremely useful to the cause at present. Apparently, heterosexual couples discovered coupled in their rooms at the same inspection were given 10 days restriction and extra duty.
posted by adrober on Nov 13, 2002 - 66 comments

The US army selects MIT for $50 million superhuman exoskeleton project.

The US army selects MIT for $50 million superhuman exoskeleton project. Includes nanomaterials, invisibility, superhuman strength, protection from ballistics, and a built in kit for autonomous treatment. Will this be the soldier of the future?
posted by Aikido on Mar 14, 2002 - 37 comments

Army to develop video games.

Army to develop video games. According to an Yahoo article, a venture funded by the US Army is developing videos games for the home market. "The U.S. Army will provide funding, but its Training & Doctrine Command bureau will also be involved in game development, ICT said. The games will allow players to control entire groups of soldiers, ICT said, with CS-12 allowing the player to take the role of a company commander and C-Force putting the player in the role of squad leader." I kinda get an "Ender's Game" sort of feel from this.
posted by Darke on Oct 25, 2001 - 16 comments

Amazing!

Amazing! If I live to be 1000, I will never be able to properly underestimate the stupidity of human beings. Many of the enlisted personnel who are now seeking honorable discharges argue they didn't sign up to defend America; they just wanted to learn a trade or earn money for college. I'd let them go if they pay back the money spent of training and salary.
posted by thirteen on Oct 18, 2001 - 75 comments

The difference between intelligence and wisdom.

The difference between intelligence and wisdom. How can someone that smart do something so foolish? (Borland Interbase has a hard-coded backdoor account name politically and password correct in it. Word has gotten out. It's used by such small organizations as Nokia, MCI, Boeing, and the US Army.) Here's the CERT advisory on this blunder.
posted by Steven Den Beste on Jan 12, 2001 - 0 comments

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