Military infographics are completely insane
-- An analysis of some of the baffling infographics that the US military have made public on the web for some reason.
This is The Big Picture, an official television report of the United States Army, produced for the armed forces and the American people. Now to show you part of The Big Picture here is Master Sargent Stuart Queen
The series consists of ~822 documentaries produced by the United States Army Signal Corps Army Pictorial Service from 1951 to 1971 to educate both soldiers in uniform and the American public about military concerns as well as things like historical battles, world geography, famous soldiers, the latest weapons, space exploration, strategic objectives, peaceful initiatives, and the life of a soldier. Being a product of the Federal Government it belongs to the the American people, and is thus freely available to all to copy and distribute. Most can now be viewed on archive.org [more inside]
The A-Team Killings
"Last spring, the remains of 10 missing Afghan villagers were dug up outside a U.S. Special Forces base – was it a war crime or just another episode in a very dirty war?"
The National Archives' Media Matters blog
recently highlighted several newly digitized military etiquette training films from the late 60s and early 70s. These included a series of three films aimed at the difficult intersection of military service and gender dynamics for the members of the Women's Army Corps: The Pleasure of Your Company
), Mind Your Military Manners
, and Look Like a Winner
). Bonus film for the guys: How to Succeed with Brunettes
"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."
: Surge in discharges includes wounded soldiers"
: No break for the wounded"
: Army struggles with wounded soldiers"
"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]
Your Favorite Army General Actually Sucks
. Tom Rick
's new book The Generals
focuses on professional shortcomings of high-ranking Army officers, and offers a new (old) solution: fire them.
"But as far as I can tell, no general has been fired for incompetence in combat since Maj. Gen. James Baldwin was fired as commander of the Americal Division in 1971." [more inside]
Today, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will announce
that the Pentagon has lifted its 19 year old ban on women serving in combat roles in the military. [more inside]
The permanent collection of the (US) National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago contains more than 2,500 pieces of art by 250 artists, all of which can be seen at NVAM Collection Online
. The site includes biographical material on the artists who created the work. Featured Artwork
. A small selection
. (Via. Images at links in this post may be nsfw, and/or disturbing to some viewers.)
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]
After spending $5 billion dollars to develop the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP)
, the US Army is abandoning the grey-green pixelated camouflage
because it has routinely failed to hide soldiers from view in nearly every environment it has been tried in, and considers adopting the UCP "a colossal mistake"
and a "fiasco". [more inside]
Today, President Obama signed an executive order
which places stricter disclosure requirements on recruiters for for-profit schools looking to recruit veterans and soldiers. The move comes amid growing concern among state and federal legislators
that for-profit educational institutions are doing more harm than good and are employing predatory recruiting practices
especially on veterans who are exiting the military and looking to improve their education through the Post-9/11 GI Bill
. [more inside]
There are an increasing number of homeless military vets living in Los Angeles. The VA in Los Angeles has a 400 acre parcel of land meant to house vets. Slight problem: the VA has decided to lease the property to various area businesses instead of using the land for its intended purpose.
"Tanks Are Mighty Fine Things!" And Other Tales Of Truthiness...
At the end of World War II, Chrysler sent small hardbound books to shareholders chronicling ways the company had contributed to the war effort. Two have now been placed online at the Chrysler Imperial Club
's website: "Tanks are Mighty Fine Things"
and "A War Job 'Thought Impossible' (The story of the Chrysler-Sperry Gyro-Compass)" (Via) [more inside]
A Tragedy of Errors.
On Feb. 21, 2010, a convoy of vehicles carrying civilians headed down a mountain in central Afghanistan and American eyes in the sky were watching. "The Americans were using some of the most sophisticated tools
in the history of war, technological marvels of surveillance and intelligence gathering that allowed them to see into once-inaccessible corners of the battlefield. But the high-tech wizardry would fail
in its most elemental purpose: to tell the difference between friend and foe." FOIA
of US cockpit and radio conversations and an interactive feature
provide a more in-depth understanding of what happened.
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]
In the scale of its intensity, its destructiveness and its horror, Stalingrad has no parallel. It engaged the full strength of the two biggest armies in Europe and could fit into no lesser framework than that of a life-and-death conflict which encompasses the earth.
- The New York Times, February 4, 1943 [more inside]
Canadian Jiffy Jeep Crews
can completely disassemble and reassemble a Willys Jeep
in less than four minutes.
The Korean DMZ (pdf)
has been a hot tourist
attraction for years
, featuring must-see sites like the Third
, Dora Observatory,
the Dora Mountain Train Station
, the Freedom Bridge
and the Imjingak
Tourist Site, complete with its statue of Harry Truman
. And now, South Korea's border with North Korea -- the most heavily militarized border on Earth,
-- will be patrolled by killer robots
. [more inside]
Selections from a handmade military discharge scrap book and comic
made by a USSR army recruit, 1984-1986.
The New York Times examines
several reports of sexual harassments and assaults on women in the US Military. In the article's comments, current and former troops chime in to suggest that this is an inevitable result of including women in combat zones
. [more inside]
Soldier Kills 12, wounds 31 at Fort Hood
Two descriptions of the alleged killer. One
from the New York Times describes the suspect as unwilling to deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan, and some of his background, the second
talks about some different aspects of his past.
"A young mother is injured and her three month old baby killed by shell fragments as she breastfeeds the child in the government declared no fire zone. Parents hide their children in roughly dug bunkers to escape LTTE press gangs who comb the no-fire zone for conscripts. A woman loses her husband to sniper fire and the toddler he was carrying too drowns when they attempt to wade across a lagoon to escape the no-fire zone. A father is shot in the head by LTTE members as he attempted to flee with his family." - The University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) discuss the situation in Vanni, Sri Lanka, in their 47th information bulletin.
Army reports highest rate
of soldier suicides
for three decades in 2008. [more inside]
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."
The Vinkhuijzen Collection of Military Costume Illustration
has drawings of uniforms and regimental regalia from all over the world. Assembled by one of these great, eccentric collectors of the late 19th Century, Dr. H. J. Vinkhuijzen, a Dutch medical doctor who started out as an army physician and eventually rose to the position of official court physician to Prince Alexander of Netherlands. He pulled plates out of books, colored in black and white drawings and painted his own watercolor illustrations. His collection includes pictures of the soldiers of many different nations and eras
, from military superpowers like the Roman Empire
and Great Britain
, to lesser known, but no less formidable forces, like Byzantium
and even taking in such minnows as Luxembourg
, Monaco and Montenegro
. Due to Vinkhuijzen's unusual classification system it can be hard to find some of the more interesting images, such as pictures of Etruscan cavalry
, Spanish military musicians
and 1830's Belgian ambulance
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]
Prvi svetski rat
- Gritty and poignant Serbian postcards from the First World War. Just one of the seriously interesting
(e.g. check out the collection of 78s
) holdings at the Digital National Library of Serbia
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."
Fired for serving her country
- while reports about reservists losing their jobs upon returning home
are nothing new, the story of one reservist and her fight against her previous employer has caught the attention of the national media
(see "Coming Up" teaser), in addition to the local news
(video link). Meet Lt. Col. Debra Muhl, a nurse and hospital administrator currently suing Sutter Health
, her former employer, which less than three years ago promoted her military service as an asset to the organization
(7MB pdf link - see page 5).
A Doonesbury driven non-partisan non-policy community blog on the details of being human in a global war on terror.
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.
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
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.
Army Orders Soldiers to Shed Dragon Skin or Lose SGLI Death Benefits
Two deploying soldiers and a concerned mother reported Friday afternoon that the U.S. Army appears to be singling out soldiers who have purchased Pinnacle's Dragon Skin Body Armor for special treatment.