As a former tanker myself, I found this quite entertaining.
A few of the blogs I read have mentioned this epic smackdown, in which an actual SF soldier smacks down a wannabe.
Why is it that all the wannabes always claim to be Special Forces, Rangers, Marine Recon, snipers, or some other “elite” subset of the military? They’re never humvee mechanics, radio repairmen, or the like.
Sure, I was in the military. I drove tanks. I needed a break from the hum-drum life of fixing computers and twiddling around in college without knowing what I wanted to do with life, and tanks seemed to be sufficiently different to interest me. I accomplished exactly zero acts of valor in my service, and managed to avoid any dishonorable deeds. I did my job, kept my head down, and stayed out of trouble. When my unit was training up to deploy to Iraq, a medical issue developed1 that prevented me from deploying. The army and I agreed that, due to this medical issue, it wasn’t in our mutual best interests for me to stay in, and I was discharged2.
After I got out, I went back to college, got my degree, got a job, got married, and am looking to go to grad school (after which I’ll probably end up in a lab for the rest of my life, which is just fine with me). Not terribly exciting, which is why I suppose most of these poseurs never claim to be a lowly PFC who drove tanks around for a few years.
Evidently a small band of Afghan insurgents decided to attack Kandahar Airfield, a military base of about 20,000 people. The Vancouver Sun has more details.
Their dastardly plot consisted of having one of their team sneak behind a nearby tractor, then dart towards the perimeter fence. Upon reaching the fence, he blew himself up, destroying “about $70 worth of fence”, according to Maj. Josh Major1 of the Canadian military.
The other insurgents ran through the gap in the fence, and were killed “immediately” by 25mm autocannon2 fire. None survived.
Even if they had managed to get inside the perimeter fence, they were merely a small group of 8-10, in a base of 20,000+ soldiers with a whole lot of whoopass on tap. That would have ended poorly.
Honestly, what were they thinking? Who thinks that attacking a major military airbase with a ragtag band of irregulars is a good idea?
I’ve got mixed feelings on Wikileaks, particularly when it comes to ongoing military action.
On one hand, Wikileaks seeks to bring unethical behavior by governments and corporations to light. I respect and support this.
On the other hand, there’s some information that should not be published, such as information detailing or identifying sources, as it can put people at great risk. I think that such information should have been redacted to protect the innocent. In addition, there’s the ethical issue of the whistleblower breaking an oath to reveal classified information to the public. Where does one draw the line?
Hopefully he made the right choice, and innocent people are not harmed as a result. I can only hope that I never face such a dilemma.
It seems like every gun-related product is “the preferred choice of US Special Forces” or “used by US Special Forces”, but never have any citations for those claims. Many of the claims seem to be mutually exclusive (e.g. Company A advertises that their product is preferred by SF, while Company B makes the same claim about their product).
I wonder where one could actually find quantitative data listing precisely what products are indeed used by Special Forces and, out of those used by SF, which are preferred.
The USS Constitution is the nation’s oldest commissioned warship that’s still afloat.
While admittedly a bit of a tourist magnet, the ship is soaked in history (and whatever else happens to be floating around).
One of those bits of history is that the ship fires a cannon at 8am and at sunset.
Now, some of the nearby neighbors are complaining, and want to either have the firing stopped or the charges reduced. While I can see their point1, the ship has been there for longer than they have, and while they can ask that the ship accommodate their wishes (free speech and all), they have no real standing; the ship was there first.
As a commenter on Fark said, “Perhaps they should stop firing blanks.”
- My apartment complex has gardeners come by with gas-powered leaf blowers every weekend at 7am and they love to sit outside my window with the motors running. [↩]
As many of you may know, Google Voice is available on an invite-only basis. Unfortunately, it can take some time to receive one’s invite after one signs up.
For military members1, however, Google Voice is available within a day of requesting an invite. This is fantastic for deployed soldiers, as people can leave voicemails and texts for the soldier, something that’s a bit difficult with the existing phone systems on base. As a US number, callers to one’s Google Voice number only have to pay normal domestic phone rates.
While voicemails and text messages are no substitute for a live phone call (which, in turn, is no substitute for face-to-face interactions), it’s better than nothing.
My hearty compliments to Google for recognizing this need and doing something about it.
- Verified by means of one’s .mil address. [↩]