Articles written by:

visit my website

Forget the Boat, I’m on a LAV!

imonalav2

A Canadian Army LAV3 crew had a little time on its hands and decided to turn the clock back to 2009, when T-Pain was a big star and Andy Samberg was still on Saturday Night Live. Samberg’s Lonely Island comedy crew recruited T-Pain for “I’m on a Boat” and had a big hit.

You may have forgotten “I’m on a Boat,” but these guys have been thinking about it for five years and they’ve busted out with “I’m on a LAV,” a parody video filmed at Canadian Forces Base Wainwright. +Continue Reading

American Sniper Gets It Right for Veterans: Why That Matters

0355152.tiff

By Chris Marvin

Managing Director, Got Your 6

There’s something unique about American Sniper. If this were just another modern war movie, Chris Kyle might be portrayed as a replica of the hollowed out versions of the soldiers we often see splashed across the big screen. Their faces smeared with sand and eyes void of emotion. Their only value derived from acts of courage during a heated battle scene. But this movie goes deeper and delivers an important lesson.

American Sniper — directed by Clint Eastwood and opening in limited theaters on Dec. 25 — is based on the true story of U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, portrayed impressively by Bradley Cooper. The film shares the story of a man who, even as a boy, saw himself as someone bound to protect those around him. Kyle lived by a simple code that drove his dedication to the men he served alongside, a sentiment that binds together many of us who have served. Kyle’s infectious passion to accomplish a mission took him through four tours in Iraq and 160 confirmed kills, earning him the nickname “Legend.”

Over the past decade, many, through cinema, have experienced the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through explosions and gunfire. Yet, there is no realization of the lives that our service members and veterans live in between the battlefield and the home front. American Sniper takes the audience through the complexities of war and the families who have lived through it. There are noble struggles for hardened souls and the quest to find a sense of normalcy, which Eastwood and Cooper have found a way to accurately portray.

Kyle, with pinpoint precision, quells the threat of enemies hiding in alleys waiting to ambush American convoys. His dedication to the mission causes the sounds of war to echo at home as he contemplates the lives he could have saved. In the same manner, the responsibilities of life and family are ever present for him on the battlefield. It’s through this journey that we see the depth of the man, once the uniform comes off. In the movie, a SEAL says, “You can’t shoot what you can’t see,” yet somehow Eastwood has managed to capture the dichotomy of traveling home from the battlefield and back again like no director has before.

When Eastwood and Cooper move beyond the reputation of Kyle, we begin to understand the true value of a battle-tested veteran. As Kyle helps his fellow veterans cope with loss of limbs and reintegration challenges, he is able to exorcise his own demons. “Why do you do it?” a veteran asks Kyle as they shoot at a range. His response: “We take care of each other, right?”

I have spoken with many veterans who have screened American Sniper, and they all say the same thing: this movie gets it right. American Sniper is in a new breed of Hollywood war films. It is an inspiration for how to properly and thoughtfully showcase veterans and the reintegration process — a model the entertainment industry should adopt more often.

American Sniper is also the quintessential example of the types of portrayals of veterans that Got Your 6 — a coalition of 30 veteran-focused nonprofits — is promoting in film and television as a way to demonstrate the nuance of the veteran experience. As Hollywood continues to tell the stories of those who have served, deployed, and returned home, depictions like these help bridge the civilian-military divide. American Sniper is the story of a man who ultimately succeeded on the battlefield and at home –and we all have responsibility to recount it.

Chris Marvin is a retired Army Black Hawk helicopter pilot, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, and the managing director of the Got Your 6 campaign.

Follow Chris Marvin on Twitter: www​.twitter​.com/​C​h​r​i​s​M​M​a​r​vin

This article originally was originally published by The Huffington Post.

Scenes From Navy’s Win over Army in 115th Army-Navy Game

Army-Navy-Touchdown-1200x800

By Michael Hoffman

The Naval Academy beat their academy rivals, West Point, by a score of 17–10 in the 115th Army-Navy Game held Dec. 13 in Baltimore, Maryland. The day started with ESPN’s Gameday show live from the Baltimore Harbor next to the site of this year’s game. The traditional fly-overs, parachute jumps and other events preceded the game. Army put up a fight against Navy who has recently dominated the series. However, Navy pulled away in the second half and beat Army 17–10 for the Midshipmen’s 13th straight victory.

Top 8 Photos From West Point’s Army-Navy Pentagon Pep Rally

Army-Pep1-1200x800

By Michael Hoffman

Army’s top two officials led a pep rally on Friday in the Pentagon courtyard for the U.S. Military Academy ahead of Saturday’s annual Army-Navy football game, which will be played in Baltimore, Maryland. Army Secretary John McHugh rode in on a Humvee armed with a t-shirt cannon. Meanwhile, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, a West Point grad himself, promised that this would be the year Army would end its 12-game winning streak. West Point’s band and cheerleaders joined in on the festivities.

 

Top 10 Photos From Naval Academy’s Army-Navy Pentagon Pep Rally

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel takes a photo with Naval Academy cheerleaders outside his office after getting off the phone with President Obama on Thursday. (Military.com/Michael Hoffman)

By Michael Hoffman

Midshipmen and the Naval Academy’s superintendent descended on the Pentagon Thursday for the Navy’s annual Army-Navy pep rally before Saturday’s game in Baltimore, Maryland. The Mids met with Chief Naval Officer Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during the rally. The Naval Academy and U.S. Military Academy’s football teams have been playing football since 1890. Navy currently has a 12 game winning streak. Check out our exclusive slideshow:

 

 

Top 11 Army-Navy Football Spirit Videos

armynavy2013

The Army-Navy game is one of America’s greatest football rivalries and the series continues this Saturday at 3pm at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium. Weather is predicted to be much improved over last year’s snowstorm, where Navy rolled Army 34–7 to extend its winning streak to a dozen games. The result also cost Army coach Rich Ellerson his job. New coach Jeff Monken knows his the success or failure of his first season is riding on this game.

Alabama-Auburn, Harvard-Yale, Michigan-Ohio State and Oklahoma-Texas may be the only rivalries that compare to Army-Navy, but none of those teams have generated the kind of elaborate spirit videos that now constitute a modern tradition. Check out some of the best ones below and taunt the other side in the comments: +Continue Reading

Poking the North Korean Bear

Seth Rogen;James Franco

James Franco and Seth Rogen’s upcoming movie The Interview may have inspired a North Korean cyber-attack on the Sony Pictures computer network, which really shouldn’t surprise anyone since the movie is about a U.S. government plot to use a Ryan Seacrest-like TV host to assassinate Kim Jong-Un during an interview. +Continue Reading

Louis Zamperini Tells His Story With Some Help From Angelina

joliezamperini copy

Unbroken, director Angelina Jolie’s movie about World War II hero Louis Zamperini, opens on Christmas Day and the studio has released a short documentary clip to introduce his incredible story to moviegoers who don’t know Lauren Hillenbrand’s bestselling book about Zamperini’s life and his success as an Olympic athlete at the 1936 Berlin games and his brave WWII service.

Of course, Military​.com readers already know at least the outline of that story, but this clip has some great footage of Jolie interacting with Zamperini during the preparation for the film. Louis died at 94 earlier this year and didn’t have a chance to see the finished film, but his message about perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds will finally make it to theaters this month. Check out the clip below. +Continue Reading

Thanksgiving Greetings from Around the Military

happythankgsiving copy

As you sit down for dinner tomorrow, give thanks for the men and women stationed around the globe who are defending their country and preserving the liberty of all Americans back home in the States. They can’t be with their loved ones on this holiday but, in the video below, several of them send Thanksgiving greetings to the folks back home. Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers and all the men and women who serve.

A Special Forces Classic Gets an Update

Survival-Skills-with-Lofty-Wiseman copy

Since its first publication in 1986, the SAS Survival Handbook has sold millions of copies and become a worldwide classic. Sort of a special forces version of a Boy Scout manual, the book was written by John “Lofty” Wiseman, who served in the British Special Air Service as Chief Survival Instructor at the SAS Training School in Hereford, England.  Brits well tell you that the SAS boys are tougher than Navy SEALS. While that may not be exactly true, it’s safe to agree that the SAS are one of the most elite fighting units in the world. +Continue Reading