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U.S. Military

  1. Rape Jokes in the Military? How About No?

    [Trigger Warning] Brian Adam Jones is the editor-in-chief of Task & Purpose. He also happens to be a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

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  2. Real Life Iron Man Armor Commissioned by US Military

    Because people don't already have enough trouble distinguishing reality and fiction.

    The US military has gotten it in their heads that the best way to support our troops would be to allow them to walk through a hail of bullets like Iron Man. We couldn't agree more.

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  3. Modern Warfare: New Medal Announced For Drone Pilots, Military Computer Wonks

    On Wednesday afternoon, outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced a new medal would be added to the roster of decorations for American soldiers -- the Distinguished Warfare Medal. Like most other medals, this one will be awarded to soldiers whose actions had a heroic impact on the battlefield. Unlike other medals, though, it won't require that the soldier have actually been on the battlefield, as the Distinguished Warfare Medal is meant to honor cyberwarriors, drone pilots, and others who serve their country remotely, sometimes without ever being involved in traditional combat. Learn more and get a look at the new medal below.

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  4. Soldiers to Get Bomb Resistant Camouflage Face Paint

    A new type of camouflage paint could protect soldiers in the field from the searing heat of bomb blasts. Developed by the University of Southern Mississippi at the direction of the Department of Defense, the paint replaces its traditional carbon base with silicone that is non-flammable and can absorb heat. The change means that just a thin layer of camouflage face paint could not only help soldiers escape detection, but prevent burn injuries and facial scarring from run-ins with explosives. The substance made its debut today at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia.

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  5. Giant Touchscreen Tablet Could Be Used By Military Commanders

    In an attempt to replace the stereotypical map-table with figurines and one of those little, miniature push-broom thingies, the company AAI has developed a giant touchscreen tablet that could allow commanders to give orders to troops on the ground the same way you pick the angle you want to launch your bomb bird.

    The tablet is two feet by three feet and uses collected surveillance information to show a map of the war-zone that is as accurate and up to date as possible, including simple stuff like terrain and structures, but also the location of friendly and enemy troops. The enemy troops part won't always be perfect, of course; the tablet does not allow you to disable the fog of war function.

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  6. Iraqi Militants Want You to Know They Have Robots Too

    During the campaign in Iraq, the U.S. Military has been using all kinds of high tech wizardry, including spy drones and bomb robots, as a nation like the U.S. tends to do. In response, Iraqi militants have released an unbelievably well-produced video to show that they're not just rubbing sticks together over there; they've got robots too.

    The video comes from the Ansar al-Islam extremist group and shows them working on all kinds of projects. The first half of the video shows men in kafiyas making silencers, drilling circuit boards while the latter half shows some impressive accomplishments: a Mythbusters-eqsue remote controlled car (like, an actual car) and a robotic machine gun tripod that aims and fires autonomously. With U.S. troops set to pull out for realz by December, taking their robots with them, this doesn't bode well for the state of affairs in Iraq, unless of course, you side with the militants.

    Video after the jump.

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  7. Marines Trying Out iPads Instead of Pounds Upon Pounds of Maps

    Not too long ago, United Airlines decided it would be prudent to equip its pilots with iPads. Now it seems that the Marines are following their lead. Currently, when marines call in for air-strikes, they radio coordinates to pilots who look them up. Sounds simple enough, but at the moment, these pilots usually have somewhere between 60 to 80 pounds of maps they have to go through. With the use of iPads in the field however, pilots can have less map-mass to deal with and troops on the ground can have much more map-data.

    The idea has been in the works for a while now. Initially pilot, Capt. Jim Carlson, unhappy with the state of map-affairs, started messing with his personal iPad and found out that connecting pilots with ground troops was exceedingly easy. At first, higher-ups were not entirely ready to trust intel to commercial devices -- despite the fact that the maps were not classified -- but considering the recent purchase of $20,000 of tablets and tablet accessories, they seemed to have come around.

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  8. U.S. Military to Create Fake Social Media Accounts En Masse

    The U.S. Military is about to get into the business of lurking on forums and hanging around social media sites in a big way. Central Command (Centcom) is teaming up with a company called Ntrepid on software that will allow military users to create and manage multiple fake-but-convincing social media accounts, "replete with background, history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographically consistent." The military says these sockpuppet accounts will support "classified blogging activities on foreign-language websites to enable Centcom to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US." The Huffington Post reports:

    These false online personas, also known as "sock puppets," would be equipped to seem like real people while entering online discussion through blogs, message boards, chats, and more. With a false persona, a user could discredit opponents, or create the semblance of consensus.
    The military claims that the software will not, however, be used on U.S.-based audiences or sites like Facebook and Twitter. (Huffington Post via TechDirt | Contract between Centcom and Ntrepid)

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  9. American Military Hoping Someone Will Harness the Power of Bioluminescence

    The US Military might not be looking to make veteran Marines glow with an eldritch green light, but they are looking into making other things glow by borrowing tricks from fireflies and plankton. And by "looking into" we mean funding university studies with grants. The big deal about bioluminescence is that it creates light without creating heat, making it invisible to infrared and other heat-seeking tech. Possible applications include "creating biodegradable landing zone markers that helicopters can spot even as wind from their rotors kicks up dirt," making "'friend vs. foe' identification markers and security systems, and methods to track weapons and supplies on the battlefield." And also being totally cool.

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  10. Meanwhile at DARPA: Nuclear Reactor Powered by Human Waste in the Works

    DARPA, the advanced military research unit within the U.S. government that's used its heavy funding to tinker with telepathic spies, cyborg moths, and immortal synthetic organisms -- and which, of course, played a big part in inventing the Internet -- is at it again: Now, they're working on developing portable nuclear reactors powered by human waste.

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