Showing 1268 posts tagged US Army

The definition of insanity.
A machine gunner in 1st Platoon, 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, deployed from Fort Lewis, Washington, patrols through the village of Hibhib, Diyala province, Iraq. Operation Black Reaper patrols were designed to clear the Iron Triangle, an area of three villages, Hibhib, Al Hudayd and Khalis, known as the “Iron Triangle.” The operation included the Concerned Local Citizens program, an Iraqi police emergency reaction force and three companies of Iraqi army working with 2-1 Cavalry, 1-38 Infantry and Special Forces elements. Objectives were to clear the Iron Triangle of AQI presence, weapons caches, and improvised explosive devices, and leave the Iraqi police and the Concerned Local Citizens program in control of the area. 
(Photo by John Crosby, 15 DEC 2007.)
[Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. -R] High-res

The definition of insanity.

A machine gunner in 1st Platoon, 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, deployed from Fort Lewis, Washington, patrols through the village of Hibhib, Diyala province, Iraq. Operation Black Reaper patrols were designed to clear the Iron Triangle, an area of three villages, Hibhib, Al Hudayd and Khalis, known as the “Iron Triangle.” The operation included the Concerned Local Citizens program, an Iraqi police emergency reaction force and three companies of Iraqi army working with 2-1 Cavalry, 1-38 Infantry and Special Forces elements. Objectives were to clear the Iron Triangle of AQI presence, weapons caches, and improvised explosive devices, and leave the Iraqi police and the Concerned Local Citizens program in control of the area. 

(Photo by John Crosby, 15 DEC 2007.)

[Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. -R]

United Assistance. We’re all in this together.

U.S. Army Africa, Joint Public Affairs Support Element, Joint Services Communications Element and 101st Airborne personnel supported by the 724th Air Mobility Squadron prepare to move people and equipment in support of Operation United Assistance near Pisa, Italy. The U.S. military is in support of USAID operations in response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The U.S. Agency for International Development is the lead U.S. Government organization for Operation United Assistance. U.S. Africa Command is supporting the effort by providing command and control, logistics, training and engineering assets to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West African nations.

(U.S. Army Africa photos by Lt. Col. Michael Indovina, 4 OCT 2014.)

US Army Sergeant First Class Andrew T. Weathers. 30 SEP 2014.

Died at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, of wounds sustained from small arms fire in combat action on 28 SEP in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Weathers was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), out of Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

Shrapnel, dirt and stone transformed.

U.S. Marine Cpl. Ryan Hamman, a vehicle commander with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 2d Marine Regiment, provides security for Marines as they return from loading an injured linguist onto a DUSTOFF UH-60 Black Hawk for medevac during a security patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Patrols are conducted to disrupt enemy operations against the Bastion-Leatherneck Complex.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. John A. Martinez Jr, 24 AUG 2014.)

The sky wasn’t big enough for them all.
An AH-64 Apache from 4th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, fires simulation missiles during an aerial gunnery range on Fort Carson, Colorado.
(Photo by Sergeant Jonathan Thibault, 9 SEP 2014. Title lyrics from "Dirty Paws" by Of Monsters and Men.) High-res

The sky wasn’t big enough for them all.

An AH-64 Apache from 4th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, fires simulation missiles during an aerial gunnery range on Fort Carson, Colorado.

(Photo by Sergeant Jonathan Thibault, 9 SEP 2014. Title lyrics from "Dirty Paws" by Of Monsters and Men.)

SOLDIER STORIES: You Don’t Have To Be Blood To Be Family.

operationzeus:

When asked why they might go back into the military most veterans of a combat arms unit will say the same thing: camaraderie.  During this series we have, and will, talk a lot about loss.  This segment however, will focus on something gained.  The family that is forged in the military is not something that can be easily explained by words or shown through films, to those who have never experienced it.  Throughout history many people have tried to put to words the bonds that are formed when the experiences of war are shared, by brothers in arms.  To understand the family you have to go back to the beginning, to the very first day, that moment when you get off the bus.  

 

image

2nd Platoon, A Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment before deploying to Sadr City, Iraq
Camp Buehring, Kuwait
©Andrew W. Nunn

It all starts as indoctrination, a way of teaching young soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen that in order to survive the daily rigors of combat, you must rely on each other completely.  They strip you of everything you own and place you in an unfamiliar environment with chaos, both organized and disorganized, exploding all around you and everything has to be done as a team.  The first thing you do is look to your left and your right for the s When asked why they might go back into the military most veterans of a combat arms unit will say the same thing: camaraderie.  During this series we have, and will, talk a lot about loss.  This segment however, will focus on something gained.  The family that is forged in the military is not something that can be easily explained by words or shown through films, to those who have never experienced it.  Throughout history many people have tried to put to words the bonds that are formed when the experiences of war are shared, by brothers in arms.  To understand the family you have to go back to the beginning, to the very first day, that moment when you get off the bus.    

 

While the chaos and hardship of basic training can often lead to some lasting friendships, it takes the adversity of a deployment to build a brotherhood and form a family.  You don’t just live with these guys, as in roommates, you live off these guys through everything the military, and life, has to throw at you.  During a deployment everything comes with added weight especially personal issues, and these guys are the ones who help take that load off your back.  Like a normal family, you eat, sleep and live together; however, not like a normal family, you share in some of the worst possible conditions and situations known to man. War is hell: to what degree of hell all depends on where you happen to end up.  These conditions are what strengthen the brotherhood to an unbreakable chain that lasts a lifetime.  When you bring a group of veterans together, they often talk about situations and try to have a pissing contest over who had worst conditions or a longer deployment.  When you bring a group of brothers together they talk about their brothers, and their actions in those situations. 

 

image

2nd Platoon, A Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment after 13 months in Sadr City, Iraq
FOB Falcon, Iraq
©Andrew W. Nunn

 

When I said that this segment wasn’t about loss, I wasn’t being entirely truthful.  Eventually everyone must go home, back to the place where they will return to civilian life.  There is no easy way to put this; it just sucks.  The experiences that brought you together will never be forgotten and you never forget the guys you spent all the time with.  And that in itself is a loss that carries its own weight and one that I see veterans struggle with often.  How do you go from being around your brothers 24/7 to possibly never seeing them again, overnight?   Satisfaction of knowing that you’re not alone.  You look to complete strangers for the most basic of human needs when you need it most, and this plays the biggest part on learning not just the military way of doing things but how to rely on one another.    

image

Veterans of A Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment
Gathered for the funeral of Scott Zaur in Naperville, Illinois.
©Andrew W. Nunn

Words: Nathan D. Moldenhauer
Images: Andrew W. Nunn

(via soldierporn)

US Army Major Michael J. Donahue. 16 SEP 2014.

Died in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered in a vehicle-born IED (VBIED) attack. Donahue was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, XVIII Airborne Corps out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Also killed in the attack was DOD civilian contractor Stephen Byus of the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime in Columbus, Ohio, working as a supply specialist assigned to the Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan.

US Army Ranger School seeks female candidates.
A ranger instructor explains to company of rangers the technical instructions of rappelling from the 50 ft rock to his left in Dahlonega, Georgia. There are three phases in ranger training which include the Benning Phase in Fort Benning Georgia, Mountain Phase in Dahlonega, Georgia, and the Florida Phase at Camp James E. Rudder. (Photo by Master Sergeant Cecilio Ricardo, 12 APR 2009.)
(Article by Adam Ashton, 15 SEP 2014, via Yakima Herald.)
TACOMA, Wash. — After 32 rejections, Lt. Della Smith-Del Rosario might finally get permission to attend the Army’s grueling Ranger School.
She’s been trying to get into the school — one of the military’s most intense proving grounds — for years, but she’s been blocked by a policy barring women from attending the two-month Ranger training course at Georgia’s Fort Benning.
Friday, the Army announced that it’s seeking female candidates for the spring 2015 Ranger School course. By January, the Army will announce whether it will admit female soldiers to the program.
It’s a milestone in the Army’s integration of women into more front-line combat positions that some hope will lead to female soldiers gaining more opportunities to serve in elite Special Operations units, such as the Army Rangers.
“I want the opportunity to bring what I have to offer to the Rangers,” said Smith-Del Rosario, a military intelligence officer on assignment in Kuwait.
Friday’s announcement follows a January 2013 decision to open traditionally all-male military positions to women unless officials present a compelling reason to prohibit female troops from a particular assignment.
Since then, the Army has opened six career specialties and 55,000 positions to women, according to an Army “stand to” message to troops about the pending Ranger School decision. Infantry and front-line positions in Special Operations remain all male, for the time being.
The Army is gauging interest in combat postings among its female solders through a survey carried out last year by its Training and Doctrine Command.
About 20 percent of female respondents indicated moderate or high interest in serving in combat assignments, such as infantry or special operations. About 8 percent reported having a high interest in those fields.
“The Army’s goal is to better (manage) the talent, competence and performance of all soldiers, ensuring they have the opportunities to maximize their potential, capabilities and contributions,” the “stand to” message said.
But the possibility of assigning women to Special Operations teams has been one of the most hotly debated aspects of the Pentagon’s gender-integration plan even as female soldiers have been taking on new responsibilities in combat units.
Most often, critics voice concerns that female troops will not be able to meet the physical demands of prolonged combat with Special Forces teams. The most physically demanding military training course open to women is the Marine Infantry Officer Candidate School. As of March, 14 women had attempted the course since the fall of 2012, but none had passed, according to The Washington Post.
“In my opinion, it is a waste of time and my money to send women to Ranger School,” said LeRoy Graw, a retired lieutenant colonel who served during the Gulf War. Graw of Lakewood completed Ranger School in 1964 after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy. He does not believe women belong in the infantry, especially not as officers, and so he thinks Ranger School would be a waste of the Army’s resources.
Others cite fears that gender integration could disrupt the unity of small 12-soldier teams in dangerous places if restrictions are lifted on women serving in Special Operations teams.
Supporters counter that a woman soldier one day will break the mold, and she should not be held back.
“As of today, no one has been able to produce convincing, or even thought-provoking hard evidence that would ban soldiers and Marines with two X chromosomes from the infantry,” wrote Shelly Goode-Burgoyne, a former Army officer, in a Sept. 10 blog post. She’s eager to see a woman succeed at Ranger School.
Ranger School is a mandatory precursor to postings in the Army’s prestigious 75th Ranger Regiment. It’s also springboard to promotions in other units. It peaks with an extended mission in Florida swampland in which candidates work together in small combat operations while veteran Rangers stress them.
Soldiers who pass the demanding program are considered “Ranger qualified.” They wear a Ranger tab on their uniforms, which stands out as a symbol of having accomplished one of the Army most severe training courses.
If a woman soldier is selected, she’ll have to take a pregnancy test, according to the Army order inviting female candidates to apply for the school. She’ll also have to demonstrate that she can do 49 pushups, 59 sit-ups, six chin-ups and complete a five-mile run in 40 minutes. She’ll also have to finish a 12-mile march in less than three hours.
“If a female thinks she’s physically strong enough to get through the school to get the tab, she should be able to go,” said Staff Sgt. Marscha Boydston, a supply specialist in Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s I Corps.
Boydston, 39, is married to a Special Operations soldier. She said she wouldn’t pursue a Ranger tab, but she’d think highly of woman who was willing to attempt the course.
In recent years, women have been gaining new footholds in the military’s Special Operations community. Thousands of women serve in units that support and supply Special Operations teams.
Many more have served alongside Special Operations teams in Afghanistan on so-called female engagement teams. They accompany all-male teams of special operators and work to gather intelligence that men could not by obtain by speaking with women in a traditional Muslim society.
“I jumped on the opportunity because empowerment for women is a big deal for every woman,” said Smith-Del Rosario, who served on a female engagement team in Afghanistan four years ago. “There’s a special place in hell for women that don’t help other women.”
Several female soldiers have been killed in action while serving on those dangerous missions with special operators.
One was Lt. Ashley White, who was killed with two Rangers from JBLM, on a mission in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province on Oct. 22, 2011. Another was Capt. Jennifer Moreno, a nurse from Madigan Army Medical Center, who died with three solders on another Ranger-led mission in Kandahar on Oct. 5, 2013.
Smith-Del Rosario, who joined the Army in 1999 as an enlisted soldier from Overland Park, Kan., said she submits an application to Ranger School every month. She gets letters of support from her commanders, including a colonel who led a brigade.
Inevitably, her requests come back denied.
“They were like, ‘Oh, you’re a female.’”
She’s in Kuwait on a joint-forces team monitoring events in Iraq. She’s on track to attend an Army leadership course and then move on to a posting in South Korea.
She’d gladly take a detour to prove herself at Ranger School.
“In any team, everyone must earn their way; I will earn my tab if given the opportunity,” she said.
High-res

US Army Ranger School seeks female candidates.

A ranger instructor explains to company of rangers the technical instructions of rappelling from the 50 ft rock to his left in Dahlonega, Georgia. There are three phases in ranger training which include the Benning Phase in Fort Benning Georgia, Mountain Phase in Dahlonega, Georgia, and the Florida Phase at Camp James E. Rudder. (Photo by Master Sergeant Cecilio Ricardo, 12 APR 2009.)

(Article by Adam Ashton, 15 SEP 2014, via Yakima Herald.)

TACOMA, Wash. — After 32 rejections, Lt. Della Smith-Del Rosario might finally get permission to attend the Army’s grueling Ranger School.

She’s been trying to get into the school — one of the military’s most intense proving grounds — for years, but she’s been blocked by a policy barring women from attending the two-month Ranger training course at Georgia’s Fort Benning.

Friday, the Army announced that it’s seeking female candidates for the spring 2015 Ranger School course. By January, the Army will announce whether it will admit female soldiers to the program.

It’s a milestone in the Army’s integration of women into more front-line combat positions that some hope will lead to female soldiers gaining more opportunities to serve in elite Special Operations units, such as the Army Rangers.

“I want the opportunity to bring what I have to offer to the Rangers,” said Smith-Del Rosario, a military intelligence officer on assignment in Kuwait.

Friday’s announcement follows a January 2013 decision to open traditionally all-male military positions to women unless officials present a compelling reason to prohibit female troops from a particular assignment.

Since then, the Army has opened six career specialties and 55,000 positions to women, according to an Army “stand to” message to troops about the pending Ranger School decision. Infantry and front-line positions in Special Operations remain all male, for the time being.

The Army is gauging interest in combat postings among its female solders through a survey carried out last year by its Training and Doctrine Command.

About 20 percent of female respondents indicated moderate or high interest in serving in combat assignments, such as infantry or special operations. About 8 percent reported having a high interest in those fields.

“The Army’s goal is to better (manage) the talent, competence and performance of all soldiers, ensuring they have the opportunities to maximize their potential, capabilities and contributions,” the “stand to” message said.

But the possibility of assigning women to Special Operations teams has been one of the most hotly debated aspects of the Pentagon’s gender-integration plan even as female soldiers have been taking on new responsibilities in combat units.

Most often, critics voice concerns that female troops will not be able to meet the physical demands of prolonged combat with Special Forces teams. The most physically demanding military training course open to women is the Marine Infantry Officer Candidate School. As of March, 14 women had attempted the course since the fall of 2012, but none had passed, according to The Washington Post.

“In my opinion, it is a waste of time and my money to send women to Ranger School,” said LeRoy Graw, a retired lieutenant colonel who served during the Gulf War. Graw of Lakewood completed Ranger School in 1964 after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy. He does not believe women belong in the infantry, especially not as officers, and so he thinks Ranger School would be a waste of the Army’s resources.

Others cite fears that gender integration could disrupt the unity of small 12-soldier teams in dangerous places if restrictions are lifted on women serving in Special Operations teams.

Supporters counter that a woman soldier one day will break the mold, and she should not be held back.

“As of today, no one has been able to produce convincing, or even thought-provoking hard evidence that would ban soldiers and Marines with two X chromosomes from the infantry,” wrote Shelly Goode-Burgoyne, a former Army officer, in a Sept. 10 blog post. She’s eager to see a woman succeed at Ranger School.

Ranger School is a mandatory precursor to postings in the Army’s prestigious 75th Ranger Regiment. It’s also springboard to promotions in other units. It peaks with an extended mission in Florida swampland in which candidates work together in small combat operations while veteran Rangers stress them.

Soldiers who pass the demanding program are considered “Ranger qualified.” They wear a Ranger tab on their uniforms, which stands out as a symbol of having accomplished one of the Army most severe training courses.

If a woman soldier is selected, she’ll have to take a pregnancy test, according to the Army order inviting female candidates to apply for the school. She’ll also have to demonstrate that she can do 49 pushups, 59 sit-ups, six chin-ups and complete a five-mile run in 40 minutes. She’ll also have to finish a 12-mile march in less than three hours.

“If a female thinks she’s physically strong enough to get through the school to get the tab, she should be able to go,” said Staff Sgt. Marscha Boydston, a supply specialist in Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s I Corps.

Boydston, 39, is married to a Special Operations soldier. She said she wouldn’t pursue a Ranger tab, but she’d think highly of woman who was willing to attempt the course.

In recent years, women have been gaining new footholds in the military’s Special Operations community. Thousands of women serve in units that support and supply Special Operations teams.

Many more have served alongside Special Operations teams in Afghanistan on so-called female engagement teams. They accompany all-male teams of special operators and work to gather intelligence that men could not by obtain by speaking with women in a traditional Muslim society.

“I jumped on the opportunity because empowerment for women is a big deal for every woman,” said Smith-Del Rosario, who served on a female engagement team in Afghanistan four years ago. “There’s a special place in hell for women that don’t help other women.”

Several female soldiers have been killed in action while serving on those dangerous missions with special operators.

One was Lt. Ashley White, who was killed with two Rangers from JBLM, on a mission in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province on Oct. 22, 2011. Another was Capt. Jennifer Moreno, a nurse from Madigan Army Medical Center, who died with three solders on another Ranger-led mission in Kandahar on Oct. 5, 2013.

Smith-Del Rosario, who joined the Army in 1999 as an enlisted soldier from Overland Park, Kan., said she submits an application to Ranger School every month. She gets letters of support from her commanders, including a colonel who led a brigade.

Inevitably, her requests come back denied.

“They were like, ‘Oh, you’re a female.’”

She’s in Kuwait on a joint-forces team monitoring events in Iraq. She’s on track to attend an Army leadership course and then move on to a posting in South Korea.

She’d gladly take a detour to prove herself at Ranger School.

“In any team, everyone must earn their way; I will earn my tab if given the opportunity,” she said.

soldierporn:

Night jump.
U.S. Army paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division conduct parachute assault operations at Holland Drop Zone, Fort Bragg, N.C., during Joint Operations Access Exercise 12-02.
(Photo by Tech Sergeant Edward Gyokeres, 6 JUN 2012.)
High-res

soldierporn:

Night jump.

U.S. Army paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division conduct parachute assault operations at Holland Drop Zone, Fort Bragg, N.C., during Joint Operations Access Exercise 12-02.

(Photo by Tech Sergeant Edward Gyokeres, 6 JUN 2012.)