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Possessing these documents without authorization would violate the national security laws of two nations: Canada (where it was built) and the United States (who footed the bill).

Government report on secret flying saucer program (pdf) made available.
posted by joannemerriam on Oct 18, 2012 - 26 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

One way to deal with hostile media...

US calls Assange 'enemy of state'. The US military has designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States - the same legal category as the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban insurgency. Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under US freedom-of-information laws, reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with "communicating with the enemy", a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death.
posted by jaduncan on Sep 26, 2012 - 234 comments

Use the enemy's own films to expose their enslaving ends. Let our boys hear the Nazis and the Japs shout their own claims of master-race crud—and our fighting men will know why they are in uniform.

Why We Fight is a series of seven documentary films commissioned by the United States government during World War II whose purpose was to show American soldiers the reason for U.S. involvement in the war. Later on they were also shown to the general U.S. public to persuade them to support American involvement in the war. Each of them is in the common domain having been produced by the US government, available online, and linked below the fold: [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 16, 2012 - 24 comments

“I used to take them at their word. I can’t do that anymore.”

824,273 disabled veterans are currently awaiting a response on claims from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. On average, it takes the government 257 days to respond, and there has been a 7.2% growth in claims over the last 1.3 years -- so the delays are growing. While they wait, veterans often cannot access health care from the agency or receive disability compensation. Plus, the backlog on claim appeals is at least 3.5 years. So how can veterans avoid the backlog? A special investigation by the Bay Area Citizen shows that processing speed is a matter of geographic location: veterans in sparsely populated areas have their claims filled faster than those living in urban centers. Interactive Map: Where is Worst Backlog? Related video and transcript.
posted by zarq on Aug 30, 2012 - 33 comments

Let There Be Light

"A post-World War II documentary, banned by the military in 1946 but lately released online, is one of the earliest depictions of psychotherapy." Let There Be Light, a film by John Huston. [more inside]
posted by bluefly on Aug 20, 2012 - 9 comments

"Captains Courageous"

'While they never met, they had some things in common. Both were Army captains, engaged in important work for the nation, their costly educations paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Ian Morrison, 26, returned to Fort Hood, Texas, last December after nine months flying 70 combat missions over Iraq. Dr. Michael McCaddon, 37, was an ob-gyn resident at Hawaii’s Tripler Army Medical Center. The pilot and the doctor shared one other thing: they found themselves in a darkening, soul-sucking funnel that has trapped some 2,500 military personnel since 9/11. Like them, each died, at his own hand, on March 21, nearly 4,000 miles apart.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 16, 2012 - 27 comments

The boat with two captains sinks.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy sacks the head of the Army. Hussein Tantawi (head of the Egyptian Army and SCAF) has been dismissed as the Egyptian president asserts his power over the traditionally dominant military. Morsy has also cancelled the SCAF memorandum keeping legislative powers with the military council, and it's widely thought that the fight over that will end up at the constitutional court again. If the cancellation stands, Morsi will also have almost complete control of the constitutional drafting process.
posted by Hosni Mubarak on Aug 13, 2012 - 36 comments

A Day Job Waiting for a Kill Shot a World Away

A Day Job Waiting for a Kill Shot a World Away (SLNYT)
posted by destrius on Jul 30, 2012 - 79 comments

"He is no longer his own person."

The Checkpoint. An essay which looks inside the conflicted mind of an Israeli soldier, stationed at a West Bank checkpoint. By Oded Na'aman, currently a student in the Philosophy PhD program at Harvard University, who served in the Israeli Defense Forces from November 2000 to October 2003. Mr. Na'aman is also a member of Breaking the Silence, a website that gathers and publishes anonymous testimonials from IDF soldiers -- combat veterans -- about their experiences and the realities of life in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.
posted by zarq on Jul 24, 2012 - 6 comments

A Nuclear Group of Observers

NPR show us and tells the story of five men who agreed to stand directly below and observe a nuclear explosion.
On July 19, 1957, five Air Force officers and one photographer stood together on a patch of ground about 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. They'd marked the spot 'Ground Zero. Population 5' on a hand-lettered sign hammered into the soft ground right next to them.

posted by gilrain on Jul 18, 2012 - 42 comments

Fantasyland delenda est

Optimal siege tactics for taking Cinderella Castle (via)
posted by prize bull octorok on Jul 18, 2012 - 55 comments

The Most Outstanding Camouflage $5 Billion Can Buy

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]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jul 8, 2012 - 171 comments

The Last Full Measure of Devotion

"The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed by the President in the name of Congress, and is conferred only upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through 'conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.'" The U.S. Army Center of Military History lists every citation for a Medal of Honor award since they were first issued. Most are awarded posthumously, to those who "gave the last full measure of devotion", as Lincoln called it. It's Memorial Day in the U.S., and reflecting upon these is perhaps a reasonable way to spend a bit of it. [more inside]
posted by disillusioned on May 28, 2012 - 59 comments

That smile will come, sooner or later. But I promise you, it will come.

For Memorial Day weekend, at TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), Vice President Joe Biden talks about grief, and loss, and how "there will come a day, I promise you, and you parents, as well, when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye."
posted by Guy Smiley on May 26, 2012 - 58 comments

The Sea Shadow goes quietly into the night

The Sea Shadow is a prototype stealth ship built thirty years ago for the US Navy, and the only ship ever designed by the Lockheed Skunk Works. Like its airborne cousin, the F-117 Nighthawk, it is nearly invisible to radar. It is extremely stable in high seas, has no conventional rudder, and requires a minimum crew of only four to operate.
Despite the successful field trials and futuristic technology, the Navy passed on the program and the boat sat largely unused. At 5PM central time, the auction ends that will send the Sea Shadow to the scrapyard. Pictures will soon be all that is left, but check out this extensive virtual tour. [more inside]
posted by startled on May 4, 2012 - 54 comments

“He just has some things on his mind he’s trying to work out.”

Why Noah Went to the Woods: He was a proud Marine who survived three ­brutal tours in Iraq and had plans to redeploy with the ­national guard. But when 30-year-old Noah Pippin ­vanished inside Montana’s remote Bob ­Marshall ­Wilderness, he left behind a trail of haunting secrets—and a mystery that may never be solved. "The Pippins were alarmed. Given their son’s strict adherence to his moral code, a scenario in which Noah had intentionally shirked his military duty was nearly inconceivable. After several calls to his phone went straight to voice mail, they began to investigate, discovering that they knew far less about their son than they had imagined."
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 3, 2012 - 46 comments

President Obama cracks down on for-profit recruiting of veterans.

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]
posted by Scientist on Apr 27, 2012 - 52 comments

Getting pepper sprayed > enlisting

"I was wrong about Don't Ask, Don't Tell." A discharged military activist and, lately, Occupy protester, now says, "The reason I’m wrong isn’t because gay people shouldn’t join the Army. It’s because no-one should join the Army."
posted by liketitanic on Apr 19, 2012 - 48 comments

Honor your enemy

Who was the greatest foe the British Empire ever faced? George Washington, according to the UK's National Army Museum.
posted by Chocolate Pickle on Apr 15, 2012 - 59 comments

Fight and Flight. And Cars, too.

AIRBOYD.tv has three Youtube channels: The eponymous AIRBOYD features 2000+ videos for "aviation and aerospace enthusiasts. Then there's the Nuclear Vault: Vintage Military, War and News Videos, with 1200+ full-length documentaries, news reels and other assorted footage, including 200 episodes of "The Big Picture (Army Signal Corps)" and a variety of Atomic and Nuclear energy films. Last but not least is US Auto Industry, an archive of over 450 vintage automobile films, including commercials from Buick, Pontiac, Chevy and Ford. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 8, 2012 - 2 comments

Call of Apathy: Violent Young Men and Our Place in War

People need to realise that their wars are not fought by the guy on the news that lost a leg and loves his flag — he was the FNG [f--king new guy] that got blown up because he was incompetent, who left the fight before it turned him into one of us. A private military contractor and former infantryman talks about the military PR complex. [more inside]
posted by bumpjump on Mar 2, 2012 - 64 comments

The Electromagnetic Railgun

The Navy has spent seven years testing out the components of a way-futuristic weapon: a shipboard cannon that blasts bullets over vast distances at hypersonic speeds using bursts of electricity. ... The Navy released video of the first tests, viewable above, on Tuesday. The dramatic mini-inferno in the wake of the slug fired from the railgun is the result of “1 million amps flowing through” the gun, said test chief Tom Boucher, the hypersonic speed of the shot, and the actual aluminum of the bullet — “reactive in the atmosphere” — burning off.
posted by Trurl on Feb 28, 2012 - 143 comments

James Gould Cozzens' "Guard of Honor"

Noel Perrin, "The Best American Novel about World War II": Guard of Honor is a classic (I think), but it is a hard one to put in an American literature course. Why? Because [James Gould] Cozzens was not a romantic. ... Its rightful place is as one of the greatest social novels ever written in America. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Feb 21, 2012 - 15 comments

The long strange trip of a Singaporean assault rifle

The long strange trip of a Singaporean Cold-War-era assault rifle into the hands of Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, and what it reveals about the unintended consequences of the global trade in small arms and ammunition. [slnyt]
posted by killdevil on Jan 26, 2012 - 9 comments

Ensign Flipper? Dolphins in the U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program has been training the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) in mine and swimmer detection for many years. (The program was declassified in the 1990s.) Military dolphins were used in the first and second Gulf Wars, and there are rumors they are deployed in the Gulf today. These animals could be important if Iran blockades the Hormuz Strait as threatened.
posted by blob on Jan 14, 2012 - 31 comments

"The All-Star Bond Rally"

Hollywood is asking Americans to financially contribute to the war. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jan 11, 2012 - 26 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

Bomber Jackets

A gallery of personalized bomber jackets from WWII with descriptions.
posted by gman on Jan 6, 2012 - 22 comments

Obama unveils new strategy for 'leaner' US military

"As I made clear in Australia, we'll be strengthening our presence in the Asia-Pacific, and budget reductions will not come at the expense of this critical region," President Obama and Sustaining US Global Leadership (pdf) [more inside]
posted by Petrot on Jan 5, 2012 - 29 comments

An unusual coup d'etat

Today is the 30th anniversary of Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawling's coup d'etat catapulting him into the crowded ranks of military dictators in Africa. Yet, Ghana chooses to celebrate this date and Rawlings' speech on this historic occasion has been shared and published, his words hearkened to (albeit) and his global standing only embellished by his [role]* as the African Union's envoy to Somalia. What manner of military dictatorship was this and what changes did the coup accomplish in democratic Ghana, today considered the fastest growing and stable Sub Saharan economy expected to be elevated to middle income status in the near future? [more inside]
posted by infini on Dec 31, 2011 - 7 comments

The Worst War Movies Ever

Danger Room, the tech magazine Wired's section for covering military and security matters, have compiled The Worst War Movies Ever, From Delta Force to The Empire Strikes Back for your Friday list viewing pleasure.
posted by Harald74 on Nov 25, 2011 - 46 comments

Military Crowdsourcing

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is using a challenge program to find out whether it's possible to put shredded documents back together again. "DARPA’s Shredder Challenge calls upon computer scientists, puzzle enthusiasts and anyone else who likes solving complex problems to compete for up to $50,000 by piecing together a series of shredded documents. The goal is to identify and assess potential capabilities that could be used by our warfighters operating in war zones, but might also create vulnerabilities to sensitive information that is protected through our own shredding practices throughout the U.S. national security community." [more inside]
posted by keli on Nov 23, 2011 - 55 comments

What Are These Mysterious Lines In China's Desert?

Some Google Earth enthusiasts have found a strange and unexplainable grid pattern in the middle of China's Gobi Desert.
posted by reenum on Nov 14, 2011 - 70 comments

Press X to not die

Zero Punctuation reviews Battlefield 3 (video), possibly the most reviled game ever to earn itself 93% on Metacritic. Remember to press X to not die (TV tropes).
posted by Artw on Nov 11, 2011 - 85 comments

"There's nothing you can't do on a prosthetic leg."

"Every day in the U.S., about 500 people lose a limb. About 1,800 amputation surgeries are performed each year in Oklahoma. More than 1,600 of those — about 90 percent — are lower body amputations. So every day in Oklahoma, four people lose part or all of a leg." (Nationally, the most common procedure is toe amputation.) "These are the stories of four people living in Oklahoma — a mother, a senior, a Marine and a student — all living life on at least one prosthetic leg": Standing Tall [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 7, 2011 - 21 comments

A Farewell to Arms

The B53 wasn’t just any old megabomb. It was the first bunker buster. U.S. nuclear doctrine called for it to be delivered over suspected underground Soviet command-and-control facilities. The dumb bomb wouldn’t destroy them so much as it would destroy everything remotely near it, leaving — literally — a smoldering crater. That was the U.S. plan for “victory” in a nuclear war right up until the implosion of the Soviet Empire. (related) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 25, 2011 - 75 comments

LA vets demand housing at giant VA campus

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.
posted by reenum on Oct 22, 2011 - 36 comments

"It begins with a knock at the door."

Final Salute. Between 2004 and 2005, "Rocky Mountain News reporter Jim Sheeler and photographer Todd Heisler spent a year with the Marines stationed at Aurora's Buckley Air Force Base who have found themselves called upon to notify families of the deaths of their sons in Iraq. In each case in this story, the families agreed to let Sheeler and Heisler chronicle their loss and grief. They wanted people to know their sons, the men and women who brought them home, and the bond of traditions more than 200 years old that unite them. Though readers are led through the story by the white-gloved hand of Maj. Steve Beck, he remains a reluctant hero. He is, he insists, only a small part of the massive mosaic that is the Marine Corps." The full story ran on Veteran's Day, 2005 and won two Pulitzer Prizes: one for Feature Photography, another for feature writing in 2006. A nice single-page version of one section: Katherine Cathey and 2nd Lt. James J. Cathey (via.) The Rocky Mountain News closed in 2009. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 12, 2011 - 12 comments

Who Watches The Robots?

Wired Magazine: Mystery virus hits U.S drone fleet
posted by The Whelk on Oct 8, 2011 - 68 comments

Inside the Russian Short Wave Enigma

UVB-76 is a Russian short wave station that has enthralled and mystified enthusiasts for decades.
posted by reenum on Oct 4, 2011 - 59 comments

"I will always love you and be proud of you."

Immediately following the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, a previously-closeted gay soldier stationed in Germany calls his father to come out of the closet. (SLYT)
posted by mightygodking on Sep 19, 2011 - 67 comments

Chrysler Blue from World War II

"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]
posted by zarq on Sep 6, 2011 - 15 comments

New Gay Military Magazine Headed for Base Newsstands

With the official repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" less than a month away, members of the military can expect to see a new gay-themed magazine available at military exchange stores on Sept. 20 which is also the day that the repeal of DADT goes into effect and it is the day that a new gay-themed magazine will be available at military exchange stores. This particular issue will be free and will feature a photo spread of a number of active duty military personnel.
posted by 2manyusernames on Sep 1, 2011 - 97 comments

VSA! VSA! VSA!

Q: Could I destroy the entire Roman Empire during the reign of Augustus if I traveled back in time with a modern U.S. Marine infantry battalion or MEU? A: It might be harder than you expect.
posted by overeducated_alligator on Aug 31, 2011 - 377 comments

The Camofleurs

Invisible, Inc. Inside the evolving science of concealment.
posted by gottabefunky on Aug 31, 2011 - 21 comments

Tell

"I finally said, you know what, I'm going to tell my story. The first American injured in the Iraq war is a gay Marine. He wanted to give his life to this country." ~Eric Alva, 40, former Marine and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom
Tell: An Intimate History of Gay Men in the Military [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 26, 2011 - 29 comments

Veterans and PTSD

Army vet with PTSD sought the treatment he needed by taking hostages – but got jail instead. "Fifteen months of carnage in Iraq had left the 29-year-old debilitated by post-traumatic stress disorder. But despite his doctor’s urgent recommendation, the Army failed to send him to a Warrior Transition Unit for help. The best the Department of Veterans Affairs could offer was 10-minute therapy sessions — via videoconference. So, early on Labor Day morning last year, after topping off a night of drinking with a handful of sleeping pills, Quinones barged into Fort Stewart’s hospital, forced his way to the third-floor psychiatric ward and held three soldiers hostage, demanding better mental health treatment." [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Aug 21, 2011 - 38 comments

A most obscure sport - Aeronautical Pentathalon

The Aeronautical Pentathlon Has Six Events—and Flying Doesn't Count. Aeronautical pentathlon—which inexplicably has six events—is a riff on the modern pentathlon at the Olympics. Created 63 years ago, the military pilots' version has pretty much flown under the radar. And though the sport is based on flying, the nonflying parts of the competition determine the winner. While it is exclusively practiced by air forces, it was always excluded from the military Olympics—called the World Military Games—until last month's event in Rio de Janeiro. ... and the home team wins. [more inside]
posted by caddis on Aug 18, 2011 - 8 comments

RCN and RCAF Return to Canada

What's in a Name? Canada gets (back) a Navy, Army and Air Force [more inside]
posted by Dreadnought on Aug 16, 2011 - 93 comments

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