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 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"
posted by andoatnp
on Jun 2, 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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
Soldiers may no longer use MySpace to communicate with family.
The Defense Department will begin "worldwide" blocking access, as of today, to YouTube
, Hi5, Pandora
, 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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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
. See also Army reservists choosing to be citizens, not soldiers
posted by y2karl
on Dec 30, 2003 -
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 -
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
posted by jdroth
on Jul 25, 2003 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -