In a study and trial somewhat breathlessly reported as Norwegian troops get unisex dorms
, the Norwegian Armed Forces has tried out unisex dorm rooms with two women and four men to a room, and consider the experiment a success, with better unit cohesion and lower rate of sexual harassment as results. [more inside]
posted by Harald74
on Mar 25, 2014 -
A New Theory of PTSD and Veterans: Moral Injury
But as clergy and good clinicians have listened to more stories like these, they have heard a new narrative, one that signals changes to the brain along with what in less spiritually challenged times might be called a shadow on the soul. It is the tale of disintegrating vets, but also of seemingly squared-away former soldiers and spit-shined generals shuttling between two worlds: ours, where thou shalt not kill is chiseled into everyday life, and another, where thou better kill, be killed, or suffer the shame of not trying. There is no more hellish commute. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on May 17, 2013 -
"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 -
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 -
This iconic photo
of the first Aboriginal woman to enlist in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps was used as a recruitment tool, and "appeared all over the British Empire [in 1942] to show the power of the colonies fighting for King and country." Its original caption in the Canadian War Museum read, "Unidentified Indian princess getting blessing from her chief and father to go fight in the war."
Its current caption in The Library and Archives of Canada reads: "Mary Greyeyes being blessed by her native Chief prior to leaving for service in the CWAC, 1942."
But as it turns out, the two people in the photo had never met before that day. They weren't from the same tribe or even related and Private Mary Greyeyes was not an "Indian Princess." 70 years after the photo was taken, her daughter-in-law Melanie made sure the official record was corrected. Via [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jan 22, 2013 -
American paratrooper Arthur Boorman suffered debilitating injuries during the first Gulf War. Doctors told him he'd never walk unassisted again. 15 years later.... [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Nov 27, 2012 -
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 -
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 -
Given how little thought India’s contribution to the World Wars gets in our collective historical memory, it is almost strange to think that in the First World War India made the largest contribution to the war effort out of all of Britain’s colonies and dominions. Close to 1,700,000 Indians – combatants and non-combatants – participated in WWI. My own area of interest is India’s role in the Mesopotamian theatre. [more inside]
posted by infini
on Jul 8, 2012 -
A Year at War:
One Battalion's Wrenching Deployment to Afghanistan
: "Some 30,000 American soldiers are taking part in the Afghanistan surge. Here are the stories of the men and women of First Battalion, 87th Infantry of the 10th Mountain Division" out of Fort Drum, NY., based in Kunduz Province
, Afghanistan. Over the next year, The New York Times will follow their journey, chronicling the battalion’s part in the surge in northern Afghanistan and the impact of war on individual soldiers and their families back home. (First link is an interactive feature containing images and autoplaying video, and requires flash. Second link is a standard-style article.) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 21, 2010 -
World War II was a time that called for many things from many different people. However, one Polish soldier stepped above and beyond the call of his nature. He carried ammunition, he helped his squad members get better at wrestling, and he drank and smoked with the rest of them - Wojtek, the soldier bear
. [more inside]
posted by lizarrd
on Aug 12, 2010 -
The Soldier in later Medieval England
is a historical research project that seeks to 'challenge assumptions about the emergence of professional soldiery between 1369 and 1453'. They've compiled impressive databases
of tens of thousands of service records. These are perhaps of interest only to specialists; but the general reader may enjoy the profiles
of individual military men: these run the gamut from regional non-entities like John Fort esquire of Llanstephan
("in many ways a humdrum figure" though once accused of harbouring a hostile Spaniard!) to more familiar figures such as rebel Welsh prince Owain Glyndŵr
, who began his soldiering, as did many compatriots
, in the service of the English king. Between such extremes of high and low we find, for example, Reginald Cobham
, who made 6,500 florins ransoming a prisoner taken at Poitiers
and rests eternal in a splendid tomb; and various men loyal and rebel
who fought at the bloody Battle of Shrewsbury
posted by Abiezer
on Dec 5, 2009 -
"Habsburg! A vile being, heir to an illustrious name, born to a fortune, to honours, to soldiers, to prestige, and who finished as the lowest of Montmartre pimps, living from the money of a poor and unstable girl whom he sent to commit his foul deeds in his place!"
That was after
this Polish scion of the most famous family in Europe and commander of a soi disant
"Ukrainian Legion" failed to finagle the crown as a Socialist king of The Ukraine, and became instead a patron of the rent boys of Paris who "handled women by necessity and men for pleasure"
. And all that before
he turned successively a Nazi sympathizer, a British spy, and finally came, for the first and last time, to Ukraine's capital Kiev as a victim of Stalin and the Twentieth Century.
posted by orthogonality
on Feb 7, 2009 -
first developed his technique of collective portraiture in a religious context, photographing fellow church members gathered together in the shape of religious symbols. When the United States entered World War I, Mole and his colleague John Thomas turned to patriotic themes
. They choreographed thousands of soldiers into formations
such as the Liberty Bell
and the Statue of Liberty
. Their largest production was the U.S. Human Shield
, photographed at Camp Custer, Battle Creek, Michigan, which comprised 30,000 men. Wiki. [more inside]
posted by ColdChef
on Apr 24, 2008 -
has had two tours in Iraq," Jerome Lee said. "He's been through a lot, and we just want to get Lex home to our family
and let him have a happy life." It is the first time a working dog has been granted retirement to live with a handler's family. [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster
on Dec 21, 2007 -
The private war of women soldiers.
"Last year, Col. Janis Karpinski caused a stir by publicly reporting that in 2003, three female soldiers had died of dehydration in Iraq, which can get up to 126 degrees in the summer, because they refused to drink liquids late in the day. They were afraid of being raped by male soldiers if they walked to the latrines after dark."
posted by Sticherbeast
on Mar 8, 2007 -
While there have been many posts on Mefi of blogs written by those affected by the Iraq War, I have not seen this one posted. No matter your stance on the war, your opinion of American soldiers, or the amount of other Iraq war blogs you've read, all I ask is that you at least read these few entries
. I've used too many words already, when the journal does more than enough to speak for itself. A Soldier's Thoughts. (via) [more inside]
posted by wander
on Feb 7, 2007 -
Brotherly Love. "When a young Fort Lewis soldier returned from Iraq paralyzed from the upper chest down, it was his teenage brother who assumed the role of roommate and primary caretaker."
The Seattle Times tells the story of Brandon and Blaine Powell.
Be sure to check out the audio slideshow
, which features Brandon speaking over photographer Alan Berner
posted by jeffmshaw
on Mar 27, 2006 -
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 -
Double Plus Ungood
--so there's this soldier in Iraq with a blog, All The King's Horses
. He usually complains a little, tells readers about what he does, talks about the stop-loss thing that's keeping him in Iraq, etc. So, the Operation Truth site posts something by him,
and the next thing you know, the blog is dead, and an unwilling public apology and retraction and statement of support for Bush and his leadership is posted. ... it breaks my heart to say that this will be my last post on this blog. I wish I could just stop there, but I can not. The following also needs to be said:
For the record, I am officially a supporter of the administration and of her policies. ...
posted by amberglow
on Oct 23, 2005 -
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 -
"I think my beliefs had changed once we were on the ground. Within days we had seized all of the oil fields
in northern Iraq and our primary mission was to protect them. Bush had said this war wasn't about oil
, but there I was defending oil fields
at all costs in the middle of Iraq. A lot of the piping and workings of the fields had been destroyed by the fleeing army and before we even started
to help the people by fixing the power or water supplies, they had construction crews trying to get everything up and running on the oil fields."
⇒An interview with Zechariah, 25, of Lynnwood, Washington.
He enlisted in the Army when he was 21, and was deployed to Iraq from March 2003 to January 2004 with the 173rd Airborne Brigade as a medic.
posted by The Jesse Helms
on Aug 9, 2005 -
One soldier's opinion. "If you voted for Bush, didn't vote, or voted no on gay marriage, I hope you get drafted.
I hope they stick you in my unit, and you go with me to Iraq when my unit goes back in September. I will laugh when you see what soldiers in that country face on a daily basis. I hope you work with gay soldiers too. I did. One of them saved my life. Think he shouldn't have the right to get married? Fuck you. He fought just as hard as I did and on most days, did his job better than me. Don't tell me gays don't have the same rights you do. Think the war in Iraq is a good thing? I'll donate my M-16 to you and you can go in my place."
posted by insomnia_lj
on Nov 5, 2004 -
Harry Potter: RIP
Private Harry Potter from the Worcestershire Regiment was killed in action at Hebron on 22/7/1939 aged 19 years, 10 months old.
This is a genuine photo of the grave of a British soldier that died during the time of the “Arab Rebellion” and is buried in the British military cemetery in Ramla Israel.
posted by Postroad
on Mar 3, 2004 -
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 -
And then the fallen.
"I want President Bush to get a good look at this, really good look here," his father, Michael, said, holding up a picture of the dead marine. "This is the only son I had, only son." More
posted by The Jesse Helms
on Mar 21, 2003 -
Front-line troops disproportionately white, not black.
While blacks are 20% of the military -- compared with 12% of the U.S. population -- they make up a far smaller percentage of troops in combat jobs on the front line. In a host of high-risk slots -- from Army commandos to Navy and Air Force fighter pilots -- blacks constitute less than 5% of the force, statistics show. Blacks, especially in the enlisted ranks, tend to be disproportionately drawn to non-combat fields such as unit administration and communications. ''If anybody should be complaining about battlefield deaths, it is poor, rural whites,'' says Charles Moskos, a military sociologist at Northwestern University in Illinois.
posted by dagny
on Jan 22, 2003 -