Special Forces soldiers are the snake-eaters, known for slipping into enemy territory, living off the land, and then killing all the enemies of America they find. They trace their unit lineage back to the Office of Strategic Services in World War II, served with distinction as both warriors and spies in the Cold War, and snuck into Afghanistan to hunt the Taliban before anyone else.
But for all most people think they know about Special Forces, there’s a lot they don’t. Here are 7 things that might surprise you.
1. They have a reputation for “creature comforts.”
The New York Times published a investigative report this week about West Point’s longstanding requirement that cadets take boxing as a class for academic credit, a requirement shared by the Naval Academy and Air Force Academy. Military officials believe there’s no better way to toughen up cadets and midshipmen and give them the grit required for combat. +Continue Reading
The Pocket Shot is an improved and commercially-manufactured version of those homemade slingshots at least some of us used to make with latex gloves and bottle caps. It’s a simple design: a rubber sleeve is held in place in a plastic screw camp that’s curved on the side for an easy grip. The Pocket Shot promises to shoot ammo at up to 350 feet per second.
The basic model costs $25 and it provides a lot more firepower than anything you’re going to find at that price. It’s definitely not a toy but it’s also not going to give serious hunters the kind of accuracy they demand. It’s awesome for backyard target practice, though. Check out the video below:
You can use your own pellets or buy more from the company’s website. Replacement sleeves are reasonably priced (best deal: 8 regular for $20/8 blue pro sleeves for $25). The Pocket shot is also available with a $25 Whisker Biscuit adapter caps that allows you to shoot arrows.
You definitely don’t want to let a group of middle school kids use this unsupervised, but the Pocket Shot is a blast for backyard target practice (if your neighbors don’t live too close by) or for hunting/scaring off wild varmints who are getting into your garden.
Last month at a Brookings Institution event, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke called out the military for not doing more to prepare its men and women to succeed in a market economy.
To quote Mr. Bernanke: “If you go into the military at age 18—versus an identical person who stays in the private sector and takes a private sector job—10 years later, if you leave the military, your skills and wages are probably not going to be as quite as high on average as the private-sector person.”+Continue Reading
Hotel Transylvania 2, the sequel to director Genndy Tartakovsky’s 2012 animated hit, opens in theaters this weekend. We talked to the film’s Visual Effects Supervisor Karl Herbst about rapid technological changes in the movies and how hard it is for animation studios to find employees with the right technical training (which should be a hint for some of you veterans). +Continue Reading
All jobs in the military carry real risks, but some jobs are much riskier than others. Here are 10 of the most dangerous:
Photo: US Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Scott Taylor
Pararescue jumpers are basically the world’s best ambulance service. They fly, climb, and march to battlefields, catastrophic weather areas, and disaster zones to save wounded and isolated people during firefights or other emergencies.+Continue Reading