Patrol’s end.
refactortactical:

RE Factor Tactical

"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers."


[Interesting how an image like this can be such a powerful object lesson in the importance of context — and the stereotypical assumptions that threaten to drown the combat veterans as they struggle to reintegrate into civilian life. Here’s the actual caption, drafted by the photographer, that accompanies this award-winning photograph:
Lance Cpl. Anthony Espinoza, Bravo Co. 1/5, wipes the salt and sweat out of his eyes which drips down out of his helmet at the end of a day long patrol out of Patrol Base Fires in Sangin District, Helmand province, Afghanistan on May 4, 2011. The 100 plus degree temperatures combined with the humidity of the flooded farm fields make walking and patrolling in the area a daily battle.
This photo was awarded first place in the category of Portrait/Personality for Still Photography in the White House News Photographer Association Eyes of History 2012 contest. Photo courtesy of: David Gilkey. 

Always check your sources before drawing assumptions. Art is powerful, but so often the authentic truth is more powerful than anything one can fashion from the shadows. -R] High-res

Patrol’s end.

refactortactical:

RE Factor Tactical

"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers."

[Interesting how an image like this can be such a powerful object lesson in the importance of context — and the stereotypical assumptions that threaten to drown the combat veterans as they struggle to reintegrate into civilian life. Here’s the actual caption, drafted by the photographer, that accompanies this award-winning photograph:

Lance Cpl. Anthony Espinoza, Bravo Co. 1/5, wipes the salt and sweat out of his eyes which drips down out of his helmet at the end of a day long patrol out of Patrol Base Fires in Sangin District, Helmand province, Afghanistan on May 4, 2011. The 100 plus degree temperatures combined with the humidity of the flooded farm fields make walking and patrolling in the area a daily battle.
This photo was awarded first place in the category of Portrait/Personality for Still Photography in the White House News Photographer Association Eyes of History 2012 contest. Photo courtesy of: David Gilkey

Always check your sources before drawing assumptions. Art is powerful, but so often the authentic truth is more powerful than anything one can fashion from the shadows. -R]

(via turtletot43)

A new breed of operator.
Marine Special Operations Officers (SOOs) graduating MARSOC’s ITC will be assigned a new Primary Military Occupational Specialty, clearing the way for retention and promotion in a professional career path.
Previously, only enlisted Marines designated as Critical Skills Operators (CSOs) were awarded a PMOS of 0372, while SOOs were awarded an Additional Military Occupational Specialty of 0370. The decision now allows SOOs to hold 0370 as a PMOS, and be managed with a development strategy that facilitates talent management of Special Operations Forces skills, standardized training, retention, promotions, command, professional military education and career progression, according to Maj. Gen Clark, the MARSOC commander.“Approval of the PMOS allows the Marine Corps the ability to develop Marine Special Operations Officers (SOOs), over a course of a career, as both fully proficient special operations professionals and well-rounded Marine Corps Air-Ground Task Force officers,” said Clark. High-res

A new breed of operator.

Marine Special Operations Officers (SOOs) graduating MARSOC’s ITC will be assigned a new Primary Military Occupational Specialty, clearing the way for retention and promotion in a professional career path.

Previously, only enlisted Marines designated as Critical Skills Operators (CSOs) were awarded a PMOS of 0372, while SOOs were awarded an Additional Military Occupational Specialty of 0370. The decision now allows SOOs to hold 0370 as a PMOS, and be managed with a development strategy that facilitates talent management of Special Operations Forces skills, standardized training, retention, promotions, command, professional military education and career progression, according to Maj. Gen Clark, the MARSOC commander.“Approval of the PMOS allows the Marine Corps the ability to develop Marine Special Operations Officers (SOOs), over a course of a career, as both fully proficient special operations professionals and well-rounded Marine Corps Air-Ground Task Force officers,” said Clark.

US Army Private First Class Donnell A. Hamilton Jr. 24 JUL 2014.

Died at Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, from an illness sustained in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. Hamilton was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas.

US Army Private First Class Keith M. Williams. 24 JUL 2014.

Died in Mirugol Kalay, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device. Williams was assigned 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colorado.

US Army Staff Sergeant Benjamin G. Prange. 24 JUL 2014.

Died in Mirugol Kalay, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device. Prange was assigned 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colorado.

Hildisvíni sings the song of its people.

107th Fighter Squadron A-10’s fly close air support training missions at the Grayling Air Gunnery Range in northern Michigan.

(Video by Tech Sergeant Rachel Barton, 12 APR 2014.)

We rock the body, rock the body…
U.S. Marines, with India Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, practice clearing rooms with multiple entrances at Range 8C’s “Shoot House” during the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014. RIMPAC trains and improves leadership at all levels, including individual proficiency, and sharpens command and control skills while challenging participants to adapt to changing conditions as part of a joint or combined force.
(Photo by Lance Corporal Wesley Timm, 22 JUL 2014. Title lyrics from "Bodyrock" by Moby.) High-res

We rock the body, rock the body…

U.S. Marines, with India Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, practice clearing rooms with multiple entrances at Range 8C’s “Shoot House” during the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014. RIMPAC trains and improves leadership at all levels, including individual proficiency, and sharpens command and control skills while challenging participants to adapt to changing conditions as part of a joint or combined force.

(Photo by Lance Corporal Wesley Timm, 22 JUL 2014. Title lyrics from "Bodyrock" by Moby.)

Life and Death in the Korengal.

Baker Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division in the Korengal Valley, Kunar Province, Afghanistan, August 2009.

(Photos and article by Sergeant Matthew Moeller, 22 AUG 2009.)

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan — As bullets started to rain down on Baker Company’s position, a Soldier sighed, and said, annoyingly, “Well here we go.”

Over the next twenty minutes the service members fired everything from bullets to curse words at the invisible enemy attacking from the surrounding hills.

"Just once I’d like to come out here and not get shot at," said an exasperated U.S. Army Sgt. Graham Mullins, of Columbia, Mo., using a four-foot stone wall for cover. "Just once."

Near the end, two F-15 fighter jets pummeled the insurgent forces with 500-pound bombs, and an eerie silence fell across the battlefield. For the U.S. service members, it was just another morning in the notorious Korengal Valley. 

Nicknamed “The Valley of Death,” the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Soldiers have called the isolated valley, in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, home, since arriving in June.

"This place is definitely its own monster; there are a lot of other dangerous places in Afghanistan, but I would say this place lives up to the hype," said U.S. Army Capt. Mark Moretti, Co. B. commander, and New Windsor, N.Y., native.

"It’s all just a waiting game," said a Co. B Soldier, during a ‘routine’ patrol. "We come out here, and wait for them to open fire on us."

Seeing some of the toughest fighting in Afghanistan on a daily basis, many Baker Co. Soldiers find humor in the idea that many of their fellow Soldiers are envious of their assignment, who often refer to the almost constant battle as the ‘infantryman’s dream.’

"I would tell them to seriously reconsider their thinking positions," U.S. Army Spc. Guadalupe Gardenias, a B Co. Soldier, said, laughing.

Living in conditions that rival the third-world villages they patrol, the tiny U.S outposts dotting the valley walls are in stark contrast to other American mega-bases in Afghanistan, such as Bagram Airfield, which offers everything from personal internet to American fast food restaurants. 

Here, if a resupply helicopter gets cancelled, Soldiers miss not only letters from home, but risk having to ration their food.

At the Korengal Outpost, Soldiers use outhouses and hope to shower once a week to conserve water. At nearby Restrepo Outpost, Soldiers lack any running water, and eat field rations for every meal.

"The conditions out here are tough, and it’s a tough fight," said Moretti. "But given the chance, I don’t think anyone would want to leave."

Despite daily gun battles, poor hygiene and tortuous terrain, the men of Baker Co. seem content living their life in the “Valley of Death.” When asked if they would take an easier assignment, the answer was always the same. “Not unless everyone else came with me.” 

To these Soldiers the debate back home about the war in Afghanistan means little. To them, it’s the brotherhood, born in combat, keeping these Soldiers motivated to stand shoulder to shoulder.

"Before I came into the Army a lot of people would talk about brothers in arms, and I thought it was kind of cheesy, but being out here, I can definitely say that it brings us a lot closer," said Gardanias. "Cause no matter what we say, or what we do, nobody besides us is going to know what we went through, and what it was like."

Remembering Doc Restrepo, today, and always.
US Army Private First Class Juan S. “Doc” Restrepo. KIA 22 JUL 2007. Korengal Valley, Kunar Province, Afghanistan.
High-res

Remembering Doc Restrepo, today, and always.

US Army Private First Class Juan S. “Doc” Restrepo. KIA 22 JUL 2007. Korengal Valley, Kunar Province, Afghanistan.

itsramez:

toocatsoriginals:

Ever Wonder Why U.S.Army Helicopters Have Native American Names (Mostly…)?
From Army Aviation Digest - March 1977 - Contest to Name the UH-60, Which Would Become the Blackhawk:
AR 70-28, dated 18 June 1976, specifies that Army aircraft should be given the names of American Indian tribes or chiefs or terms. The name should appeal to the imagination without sacrifice of dignity, and should suggest an aggressive spirit and confidence in the capabilities of the aircraft. The name also should suggest mobility, agility, flexibility, firepower and endurance.For brevity, it is suggested the name consist of only one word. The names given Army aircraft are primarily for use in public releases and other documents as a ready reference but have proven popular among Army personnel. In the past some Army aircraft, such as the 0-1 Bird Dog and OH-23 Ravenwere not given Indian names. In most cases, such aircraft were given their names before the present policy went into effect. These names have not been changed. The last aircraft introduced into the Army without an Indian name is the AH-1G HueyCobra. This aircraft, an outgrowth of the UH-1 Iroquois (Huey), was named by its maker before it was purchased by the Army. When the Army started buying the helicopter the name quickly was shortened by common usage to ” Cobra,” which is descriptive of its impressive fighting ability. The names of fixed and rotary wing Army aircraft are listed below.
ROTARY WINGAH-1 HueyCobraOH-13 SiouxCH-21 ShawneeOH-23 RavenCH-34 ChoctawOH-58 KiowaCH-37 MojaveTH-55 OsageCH-47 ChinookUH-1 IroquoisCH-54 TarheUH-19 ChickasawOH-6 CayuseAH-56 Cheyene
Now you know… and knowing is half the battle.
via The Aviationist

OH-58 Kiowa thats all, they are Angels down range

[List is missing the newest sibling of the bunch: UH-72 Lakota.]

itsramez:

toocatsoriginals:

Ever Wonder Why U.S.Army Helicopters Have Native American Names (Mostly…)?

From Army Aviation Digest - March 1977 - Contest to Name the UH-60, Which Would Become the Blackhawk:

AR 70-28, dated 18 June 1976, specifies that Army aircraft should be given the names of American Indian tribes or chiefs or terms. The name should appeal to the imagination without sacrifice of dignity, and should suggest an aggressive spirit and confidence in the capabilities of the aircraft. The name also should suggest mobility, agility, flexibility, firepower and endurance.For brevity, it is suggested the name consist of only one word. The names given Army aircraft are primarily for use in public releases and other documents as a ready reference but have proven popular among Army personnel. In the past some Army aircraft, such as the 0-1 Bird Dog and OH-23 Ravenwere not given Indian names. In most cases, such aircraft were given their names before the present policy went into effect. These names have not been changed. The last aircraft introduced into the Army without an Indian name is the AH-1G HueyCobra. This aircraft, an outgrowth of the UH-1 Iroquois (Huey), was named by its maker before it was purchased by the Army. When the Army started buying the helicopter the name quickly was shortened by common usage to ” Cobra,” which is descriptive of its impressive fighting ability. The names of fixed and rotary wing Army aircraft are listed below.

ROTARY WING
AH-1 HueyCobra
OH-13 Sioux
CH-21 Shawnee
OH-23 Raven
CH-34 Choctaw
OH-58 Kiowa
CH-37 Mojave
TH-55 Osage
CH-47 Chinook
UH-1 Iroquois
CH-54 Tarhe
UH-19 Chickasaw
OH-6 Cayuse
AH-56 Cheyene

Now you know… and knowing is half the battle.

via The Aviationist

OH-58 Kiowa thats all, they are Angels down range

[List is missing the newest sibling of the bunch: UH-72 Lakota.]