Military ‘Top Dog’ Lucca Gets Her Own Book

Top Dog 02

We’ve got a slideshow of images from Maria Goodavage’s new book Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca. The book tells the story of Lucca, a German Shepherd mix trained to sniff out IEDS, and her legendary exploits alongside handlers Marine Staff Sergeant Chris Willingham and Corporal Juan Rodriguez . Top Dog is a sequel to Goodavage’s 2012 bestseller Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America’s Canine Heroes.

The book follows Lucca’s sometimes-difficult training and her maturation into one of the most accomplished bomb-sniffing dogs in the U.S. military, with hundreds of missions outside the wire with Willingham during two combat deployments in Iraq.  +Continue Reading

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

5 Chinese Military Uniform Fails

Pacific visit

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

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

Bing Crosby’s WWII Legacy

800_white_christmas_blu-ray_subs copy

During World War II (and for several years after), Bing Crosby was just about the biggest popular entertainer the USA has ever known: he was the #1 actor at the movie box office, the #1 recording artist in the world and the hosted the top-rated radio show in America. It’s like he was peak Tom Cruise, peak Michael Jackson and peak Johnny Carson all at the same time.

A big reason for that success was the song “White Christmas,” a throwaway tune from the 1942 movie Holiday Inn that became the biggest record of all time and a poignant reminder of home for millions of troops stationed overseas during World War II. People remember Bing’s movie partner Bob Hope for his tours to entertain the troops, but no one did more than Crosby to promote the war effort in the Forties.

There are a flood of new releases that might help revive Crosby’s reputation, including American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered, a new documentary airing this week on PBS and available on DVD and White Christmas: Diamond Anniversary Edition, an elaborate Blu-ray/DVD reissue of the 1954 movie inspired by the song’s popularity with the troops. +Continue Reading

Review: ZVOX SoundBase.670

x600-268 copy

The ZVOX SoundBase line is a great alternative to a soundbar for anyone who can’t get away with installing a proper 5.1 speaker system in their TV room. The company has launched an updated series that boasts more power, adds Bluetooth streaming capability and can support even larger flat-screen televisions.

There are three new models. The 570 ($399.99) supports 45″-60″ sets, the 670 ($499.99) supports 50″-70″ sets and the 770 ($699.99) can support massive 50″-85″ sets, although if you’re allowed to have an 85″ TV in your living room, it’s hard to imagine you can’t get away with a full speaker installation as well. +Continue Reading

10 More Weak Excuses for Not Joining the Military

enlistmentlead copy

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

‘Star Wars’ & the Trauma of Lightsaber Evolution

la-et-mn-star-wars-the-force-awakens-trailer-20141128-2

The first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (a/k/a Star Wars Episode VII) highjacked the Internet on Friday and nothing about the new footage freaked out the fanboys more than the new crosspiece on the lightsaber.

Changes to the arsenal can be traumatic in any military setting, but it’s hard to figure out what director J.J. Abrams is going for here. If a lightsaber is supposed to effortlessly slice through anything it touches, why add a crossguard made out of the same magic to the hilt? Wouldn’t a Jedi be risking life and limb if his crossguard accidentally brushed the warrior during battle? +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.