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Unisex dorms in the Norwegian military

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 - 38 comments

Forgotten soldiers

Veterans Administration hospitals performed lobotomies on more than 2,000 mentally ill soldiers during and after World War II. Today, the Wall Street Journal published the first part of a story extensively documenting the lives of the men who underwent this procedure, and those who performed it.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 11, 2013 - 23 comments

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

They fought like demons

Women soldiers fought, bled and died in the Civil War, then were forgotten
posted by maggieb on May 27, 2013 - 11 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 the hymn says, you can lay your burden down."

The Things They Leave Behind. "When the Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened 30 years ago, something unexpected happened: People started leaving things at the wall. One veteran has spent decades cataloging the letters, mementos, and other artifacts of loss — all 400,000 of them." (Via.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 15, 2013 - 26 comments

"We Just Witnessed a War Crime"

The first thing we learned about war re-enactment is that it's fucking terrifying having guns fired at you, even ones loaded with blanks. The second thing we learned is a common re-enactor's dilemma called "The G.I. Effect", which is basically that people playing Americans don't like to die. So sometimes they just don't.
It's Like Vietnam All Over Again, pt 1. Part 2
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jan 4, 2013 - 61 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

They always did tend towards having the snappiest uniforms

American military planners are fascinated with German/Prussian military history. Busts of Von Clauswitz adorn American military academies where On War is taught, often with the misperception that Von Clauswitz viewed war as a controllable science. Shock & Awe is just the idea of Blitzkrieg with better weapons. Endless exhortations about unit cohesion (a complex, multi-layered idea with no military definition that is nonetheless used to keep gay soldiers from openly serving) comes from admiration for the Wehrmacht, their discipline and courage on the battlefield. So too the idea of a military culture separate and more honorable than the civilians they protect, advancing the professional warrior model at the expense of the citizen-soldier model. But to quote author military/adventure author Tom Clancy, “Why do people have a fixation with the German military when they haven’t won a war since 1871?Previously
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 2, 2010 - 128 comments

They serve their country in the closet

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is an exhibit of photographs by Jeff Sheng that is currently on tour in the US. A sharp contrast to his previous work: Fearless, which highlighted young Canadian and US athletes who openly identify as gay, lesbian or transgendered, this new exhibition shows gay American servicemen who cannot, so they have been photographed in uniform with their faces hidden or outside the photo's frame to protect their anonymity. Flash Galleries: DADT 1, DADT 2. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 15, 2010 - 17 comments

A Year At War

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 - 28 comments

Trying to "out-terrorize the terrorists"

Soldiers involved in the "Collateral Murder" video have come forward to tell their story. [more inside]
posted by jjoye on Aug 3, 2010 - 30 comments

all wars should be fought as dance-offs.

This is what soldiers get up to when they get bored.
posted by divabat on Apr 29, 2010 - 46 comments

A Russian army recruit's scrap book

Selections from a handmade military discharge scrap book and comic made by a USSR army recruit, 1984-1986.
posted by Rumple on Jan 22, 2010 - 5 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

RIP Travis N. Twiggs, USMC PTSD Sufferer

PTSD: The War Within. A Marine writes about his PTSD experience. This article from the January issue of the Marine Corps Gazette was written by USMC Staff Sergeant Travis N. Twiggs. Twiggs killed himself and his brother after a long police chase in Arizona earlier this week.
posted by homunculus on May 17, 2008 - 66 comments

Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan. "Like Vietnam vets did decades ago, a group of soldiers are poised to speak out about atrocities they say the U.S. committed in Iraq and Afghanistan."
posted by homunculus on Mar 13, 2008 - 45 comments

Child Soldiers in Burma

Sold to Be Soldiers: The Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers in Burma. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 30, 2007 - 6 comments

No web for you, Army Boy!

Soldiers may no longer use MySpace to communicate with family. The Defense Department will begin "worldwide" blocking access, as of today, to YouTube, Metacafe, IFilm, StupidVideos, FileCabi, MySpace, BlackPlanet, Hi5, Pandora, MTV, 1.fm, live365, and Photobucket on its computers and networks, according to a memo sent Friday by Gen. B.B. Bell, the U.S. Forces Korea commander. Note that most soldiers deployed in war zones don't have access to any network outside of the military network.
posted by dejah420 on May 14, 2007 - 76 comments

"Of 10 governments worldwide implicated in the recruitment or use of children as soldiers, nine receive US military assistance."

"Of 10 governments worldwide implicated in the recruitment or use of children as soldiers, nine receive US military assistance."
posted by chunking express on Apr 27, 2007 - 24 comments

http://www.h-pep.com/icepaw.html

I'm Coming Home (video/sound warning)
posted by spock on Aug 23, 2006 - 27 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

The journal of an American soldier.

The journal of an American soldier. Although it's typically my policy not to reveal the identity of people I know in Iraq, I am making an exception in this case. The journal above belongs to Michael Smith, a LiveJournal friend of mine who died in Iraq on Tuesday when an RPG hit his Humvee. Mike was 24 years old and leaves behind family, friends, and a newlywed wife, who he married in Korea shortly before he deployed to Iraq. As is tradition on LiveJournal, his last journal entry has become a memorial of sorts.
posted by insomnia_lj on Jan 13, 2005 - 75 comments

Through the eyes of the soldiers

What do the soldiers see? We've been saturated with images from Iraq - from the media and from other sources. Under Mars has images from a different perspective - they were all taken by soldiers in Iraq. Some are wistful, some are painful, and some are just plain great photographs. There are a few that are kind of funny, too.
posted by bedhead on Dec 15, 2004 - 25 comments

MTV Meets Military History Channel

You got your Outkast in my Sun Tzu Weaponry, military, and war footage set to music. Although the author believes Enya did the song Adiemus, the target practice video is kind of interesting. I couldn't find any videos set to Peace Train, however.
posted by joaquim on Dec 1, 2004 - 13 comments

Roadmap for the Prosecution

Terrorising free speech. Al Lorentz is a reserve Non-Commissioned Officer currently serving in Iraq. His blazingly clear, succinct article on Iraq, titled "Why we cannot win", has raged over the wires (also at MeFi) since it was published on LewRockwell.com. Now, the military chain of command is considering charging Al with violation of Article 134 for making a statement with the intent to promote disloyalty or disaffection toward the U.S. by any member of the Armed forces. The military is also considering charging Al with violation of 1344.10, the conduct of partisan political activity, and violation of Standards of Conduct for unauthorized use of Government assets to create and email stories.
posted by acrobat on Sep 29, 2004 - 30 comments

Pen Pal Soldiers

A group of pre-schoolers in Maryland got to meet their Army Reserve pen pal. Fourth graders in New York met their Army pen pal. Sixth graders in Mississippi mourn their National Guard pen pal.
posted by whatever on Sep 2, 2004 - 16 comments

Thousandth U.S. soldier dies in War on Terror.

Over a thousand U.S. soldiers have died in the War on Terror. As of today, 872 soldiers have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and 129 in Operation Enduring Freedom. Time for a moment of silence, perhaps, before sharing your reflections on the subject.
posted by insomnia_lj on Jul 7, 2004 - 51 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

Support the troops!

Gmail 4 Troops! The idea of matching U.S. troops in need of a low-cost way to communicate with their friends, family, and other loved ones back home with those who have spare Gmail invitations is the brainchild of Wil Wheaton and Drew Olanoff. Gmail4Troops is their project, as a result of their inspiration. The sponsors here, including Whizardries and ISIPP, are here to help further and support Drew and Wil's project, and are honoured to be able to assist Wil and Drew, and to serve our troops serving overseas, and their loved ones back home, in this manner .
posted by konolia on Jun 22, 2004 - 41 comments

servicemen Iraq

One year later "It's easy to send soldiers off to war. It's a lot harder to face them when they come home"
posted by thedailygrowl on Mar 20, 2004 - 49 comments

An American in Mongolia

An American in Mongolia. A new breed of American soldier—call him the soldier-diplomat—has come into being since the end of the Cold War. Meet the colonel who was our man in Mongolia, an officer who probably wielded more local influence than many Mongol rulers of yore.
posted by kablam on Feb 20, 2004 - 7 comments

ticker tape

500+ The U.S. military death toll in Iraq surpassed 500 this weekend, roughly matching the number of U.S. military personnel who died in the first four years of the U.S. military engagement in Vietnam.
posted by the fire you left me on Jan 18, 2004 - 50 comments

Stop Loss Orders: It's not your President's National Guard...

Army Stops Many Soldiers From Quitting According to their contracts, expectations and desires, all three soldiers should have been civilians by now. But Fontaine and Costas are currently serving in Iraq, and Eagle has just been deployed. On their Army paychecks, the expiration date of their military service is now listed sometime after 2030 -- the payroll computer's way of saying, "Who knows?" The three are among thousands of soldiers forbidden to leave military service under the Army's "stop-loss" orders, intended to stanch the seepage of troops, through retirement and discharge, from a military stretched thin by its burgeoning overseas missions. As Helena Cobham notes, They don't want to call it a draft but it sure ain't your father's "all-volunteer military" any more... Marine's Girl, Cobham's cause celebre of some time ago, writes about stop-loss here and here. See also Army reservists choosing to be citizens, not soldiers.
posted by y2karl on Dec 30, 2003 - 37 comments

Labor Day's forgotten ones.

Labor Day's forgotten ones. "...there is one class of workers who are largely ignored during Labor Day celebrations, even as our country remains at war on multiple fronts: members of the U.S. armed forces."
posted by skallas on Sep 7, 2003 - 11 comments

hey mom and dad

"hey mom and dad"
a word from the front - i feel horrible for this guy and his family. why isn't he getting food, water and being rotated? where are all our taxpayer dollars going anyway?
posted by specialk420 on Jul 28, 2003 - 41 comments

Books Go To War

Books Go To War Between 1943 and 1947, the Council on Books in Wartime published 1322 small-format books (4 in. x 5.75 in. — designed to fit easily into the pockets of service uniforms) for distribution to United States service personnel. These books were unabridged volumes spanning a variety of topics: popular fiction, humor, classic literature, music, psychology, war stories, etc. Because the books were distributed only to overseas troops, and printed on cheap paper (intended to be read, passed around, and discarded), they've become hard-to-find, the subject of museum exhibits and, in the case of the rarer titles, the object of collectors' desire.
posted by jdroth on Jul 25, 2003 - 7 comments

The Cold War

Operation: Air Conditioner
It's about dropping our differences and getting together to support our troops and keep them cool.
Should I feel terribly guilty about giggling at some of the things on this web page? Like: "Together We Are: An Army of One" (Say what?) and "Here are some of the items that I buy and send besides air conditioners: Baby Wipes, Powder... Liquid Soap (I heard the bar melts)... Tiki Torches. Check out the Baghdad Weather Report near the bottom, and... wait a minute... "I’ve organized people to begin “Operation Christmas” and we need to start planning that in August." (So we aren't leaving anytime soon?)
And, while they seem to have enough power to run the A/C at the Army camp, electricity for the rest of Iraq is still gonna take some more money.
posted by wendell on Jul 17, 2003 - 30 comments

Operation Affordable Coitus

It's not exactly the same as being in heaven surrounded by virgins.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Jun 18, 2003 - 31 comments

Sending the pregnant to fight Saddam

Sending the pregnant to fight Saddam: The dramatic rescue of GI Jessica brings up the issue [preemptive post justification]. This article has a nice historical overview of women's role in the military, in the form of a time-travel dialogue between today's soldier and a Vietnam era grunt.
posted by hairyeyeball on Apr 3, 2003 - 22 comments

Books For Soldiers

Books For Soldiers If you don't know what to do with your old Clan of the Cave Bear paperbacks or want to take the boredom out of post-war deployment for those in uniform, send the soldiers a book! Soldiers can request a book or you can post the military address of a loved one and people send them their requests. I wonder if my selection would be well received?
posted by StormBear on Mar 21, 2003 - 8 comments

Front-line troops disproportionately white

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 - 48 comments

A Bullet-Proof Mind?

A Bullet-Proof Mind? "Too much, and you end up with a My Lai.... Too little, and your soldiers will be defeated and killed." A balanced look at the reasons for, and consequences of, the reflex-based killing techniques in which U.S. Special Forces soldiers are trained. (NYTimes Magazine).
posted by josh on Nov 13, 2002 - 33 comments

Actors hired to heckle US troops in mock Arab town

Actors hired to heckle US troops in mock Arab town The military is taking pains to prepare naive recruits for the reality of their dirty work, and at the same time diminish the regard for native populations. Oh, people whining about being attacked is so routine. Don't they know we're trying to liberate them?
posted by letterneversent on Nov 13, 2002 - 44 comments

US Soldiers' dogtags

US Soldiers' dogtags are sold on the streets of Vietnam. An American backpacker bought as many as she could find and is now trying to find their owners. Interesting story.
posted by tomplus2 on Nov 11, 2002 - 6 comments

That's "hearts and minds" to you, sunshine.

That's "hearts and minds" to you, sunshine. As a former PSYOPer my ownself, I found this Village Voice primer on the field reasonably accurate on the facts, if rather skewed as to their interpretation. But what's a nonviolently-inclined soldier to do? What other methods of "winning without fighting" might be acceptable to a leadership seemingly hell-bent on bloodshed?
posted by adamgreenfield on Oct 10, 2002 - 11 comments

A dangerous drug...

A dangerous drug... Is it possible that the anti-malaria drug Lariam contributed to the recent series of murders at Fort Bragg? Three of the soldiers involved were on the drug, which has been known to cause aggression, paranoia, hallucinations, and thoughts of suicide. After identifying the potential side-effects, why are we still prescribing this drug to our troops?
posted by greengrl on Aug 20, 2002 - 20 comments

Personal Testimony of an Israeli Refusenik

Personal Testimony of an Israeli Refusenik
"Asaf Oron, a Sergeant Major in the Giv'ati Brigade, is one of the original 53 Israeli soldiers who signed the 'Fighters' Letter' declaring that from now on they will refuse to serve in the Occupied territories. He is signer #8 and one of the first in the list to include a statement explaining his action."

Our parents' generation lets out a sigh: we've embarrassed them yet again. But isn't it all your fault? What did you raise us on? Universal ethics and universal justice, on the one hand, peace, liberty and equality to all. And on the other hand: "the Arabs want to throw us into the sea," "They are all crafty and primitive. You can't trust them."...I was raised on two value systems: one was the ethical code and the other the tribal code, and I naively believed that the two could coexist.
posted by mapalm on Feb 25, 2002 - 11 comments

According to witnesses, the US Army invaded a small nation in the Indian Ocean yesterday. Sources say the firefight is still raging, but it's becoming clear that it wasn't the US Army at all. At the nation's official website, you can see the flyer the soldiers passed out, written in French.
posted by ewagoner on Dec 20, 2001 - 21 comments

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