American Sniper opens in movie theaters everywhere this Friday. Director Clint Eastwood delivers heart-stopping action in the Iraq battle scenes, but he’s just as interested in Chris Kyle’s marriage to wife Taya (played by Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, respectively).
If Fury fantasies have dominated your dreams since you saw the movie (available now on Digital HD and out on Blu-ray and DVD 1/27), Drive a Tank in Kasota, MN (about 70 miles SW of Minneapolis) now has a Sherman M4A2E8 (a/k/a the “Easy 8) available in one of its tank experience packages. +Continue Reading
2014 was an intense year in Military news, and it brought to Under the Radar a number of moving pieces about our beloved veterans and a few that were zany, ridiculous, and strange. Here we like to broadcast and comment on everything from movies to not-so-fond military memories, and we were able to dig those up droves. Showing a bit of the off-beat side of the military, here are the top 10 Under the Radar stories from 2014.
The U.S. Army 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus from Fort Bragg visited Huntsville, AL earlier this month and performed for Redstone Arsenal and the Huntsville City Schools. Get in the holiday spirit with this performance of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” filmed during that trip.
The U.S. Air Force’s Wings of Blue parachute team dressed as Santa and his elves and jumped into the 98th Flying Training Squadron’s annual Christmas party for military kids at the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has been tracking Santa’s route since 1955, when a Sears advertisement encouraging kids to call Santa Claus accidentally published a top-secret military phone number at the Continental Air Defense Command in Colorado.
Col. Harry Shoup had his men answer the phone as Santa, someone drew a sleigh on the tracking board as a joke and that joke inspired Shoup to call a local radio station to report an unidentified flying object that looked like a sleigh. Listeners loved the joke and Santa sightings became a popular tradition on the rip-and-read wire news reports every holiday season. Then, we got the Internet. +Continue Reading
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
Despite having the world’s second largest military budget, the Chinese armed forces are far behind the U.S. in taking care of their troops. An article on Yahoo claims that the total value of a Chinese service member’s gear is roughly equivalent to the cost of two iPods whereas the U.S. spends approximately the price of a mid-level car on each service member. This means that not only do U.S. troops generally enjoy greater comfort and security, but that the Chinese are putting their military dollars into other projects.
The lack of spending on troop gear has not gone unnoticed by Chinese troops. According to a PLA political officer, “If we provide him with advanced protective equipment he will feel very assured, and as a result he will have more confidence to win the war.” +Continue Reading
Two weeks ago we featured ten weak excuses for not joining the military heard by soldiers on Reddit, and our Under the Radar audience replied with their own. The range of excuses civilians come up with for not joining seems to be endless. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with never serving; there are plenty of valid reasons for staying out of the military. But sometimes it’s better to be honest about your reasons instead of supplying a flimsy excuse.
Here are ten more weak excuses for not joining the military heard by our very own Under the Radar readers: +Continue Reading
Anyone who signed up because “it’s not just a job, it’s an adventure” has probably suffered a few moments that were a little too heavy on the “adventure” and thought, “I don’t get paid enough to do this.” It might have been a harrowing maneuver around a Chinook or shoveling a thick layer of sheep poop, but the feeling of disdain and frustration is the same. Check out what a few soldiers from the /r/Army subreddit say was the moment they realized they didn’t get paid enough for what they put up with. +Continue Reading