Archive for the ‘Offbeat’ Category

Definitive Guide to US Special Ops



You’ve heard about the men who come in the night, the badasses, the snake eaters. These are the rough and tumble soldiers who spill out of helicopters and kick in doors, neutralizing a high value target and egressing before locals get a clue. These are the gritty recon Marines who stalk through the underbrush before taking down a terrorist camp.

But special ops isn’t one thing; it’s a bunch of different things. Operators from different units conduct missions in very different ways.

Check out this handy WATM guide that covers the basics of special ops: +Continue Reading

9 Lies Soldiers Tell Their Loved Ones While in Combat

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Sure, in theory it would be nice to tell loved ones the truth, but there are plenty of times when it’s probably a bad idea. Or maybe the truth doesn’t live up to loved ones’ expectations. Either way, here are 9 lies that usually do the trick: +Continue Reading

The SecDef “Replies” to Senator Ted


Over at the Huffington Post, Jason Stanford posted an article called “The Pentagon’s Response to Ted Cruz Regarding Jade Helm 15″ that purports to be a letter from Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter to the Texas senator. It’s not. It’s a joke. But it’s a pretty funny joke. +Continue Reading

37 Been-There-Done-That Nicknames for Military Gear

U.S. Army soldiers stare at each other's glasses during field training at Fort Jackson, S.C., on June 15, 2006.

U.S. Army soldiers stare at each other’s glasses during field training at Fort Jackson, S.C., on June 15, 2006.


At the pointy end of the spear (and in the rear with the gear) there are official nomenclatures that you’ll find on procurement documents and supply forms and then there are the names that troops really use to identify something. Here are 37 terms that fleet players use to refer to the some of the stuff they use every day: +Continue Reading

Warsaw: A True Survivor of World War II

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Warsaw, Poland’s Old Town

May 8th marks the 70th anniversary of World War II’s VE Day. Most Americans consider Victory in Europe as being the logical end result of the June 1944’s D-Day Invasion and don’t think much about the battles on the Eastern Front. That probably has a lot to do with the Cold War and the forty years we spent thinking about the Soviet Bloc as one solid block.

I got a new perspective when I spent a day touring WWII landmarks in Poland’s capital during my visit to Warsaw for the World of Tanks Grand Finals last month. Warsaw endured almost unparalleled devastation during the conflict and dealt with that destruction in a most surprising way. +Continue Reading

11 Things First Sergeants Say That Make Troops Lose Their Minds

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Army and Marine first sergeants have to talk a lot, considering their duties as company-level senior enlisted leaders. While they primarily act as advisors to company commanders and deal with administrative issues, they sometimes say things that drive troops crazy. +Continue Reading

Army Vet Finds New Mission Fighting Poachers in East Africa


Kinessa Johnson served four years in the Army as a weapons instructor and mechanic and did one tour of duty in Afghanistan. When she got out and needed a job, she found an unexpected new mission, protecting animals in East Africa and fighting poachers with VETPAWS. +Continue Reading

9 Military Terms That Will Make You Sound Crazy Around Civilians



The military has its own language of insider phrases and slang terms, and if you use these unique phrases when you are out, civilians around you are probably not going to know what you are talking about.

It can be challenging to transition from the military to civilian life, but you should probably leave these phrases behind when you leave the military. Otherwise, you’re going to get some crazy looks and eye rolls. +Continue Reading

Sound Off: Should We Ditch Veteran Preference and Military Discounts?

Airmen at restaurant.

A recent piece in the Washington Post asserts that, when military folks ask for discounts, they’re damaging civilian-veteran relations. The author, retired Army lieutenant colonel Dave Duffy, argues that military service, or being a member of the same family as someone who served, should not warrant special treatment in the civilian world. Our own SpouseBuzz editor Amy Bushatz weighed in with a counter to Duffy: most veteran and military discounts are usually offered for business reasons, not entirely as a benevolent gesture. She suggests that a simple, polite inquiry about veteran discounts is okay. +Continue Reading

23 Terms Only US Marines Will Understand

2nd Bn., 2nd Marines sight in on core infantry skills

Photo: Cpl. Kirstin Merrimarahajara/USMC


Marines speak a slightly-different language than the rest of the United States.

While everyone in the Corps speaks and uses English most of the time, there’s another layer of terminology added on top which is uniquely Marine. If you are around Marines long enough, you’ll hear someone being called a “boot” or dozens of them screaming out “yut.”

This is what it all means. +Continue Reading