You can always count on John Oliver's Last Week Tonight to provide a thoughtful breakdown of any particular week's goings-on, and last week was no different, with the biggest story, of course, being Trump authorizing an air strike against a military target in Syria in response to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his own people. Check out Part One of the segment above, and Part Two below.Read More
It seem that the U.S. government is looking to punish Chelsea Manning for her suicide attempt from back in June.Read More
Now that women are allowed to serve in all combat positions in the US military, it makes sense that each branch would start making their language, I dunno, gender neutral. Especially considering that even before women were serving in these position, one's job in the military was never being a man it was using a rifle, or driving a tank. Well, the US Marines are finally doing just that...and it's not making everyone entirely happy. But it's like, totally not a big deal.Read More
A news story about a Taiwanese McDonald's branch wearing Taiwanese military uniforms as part of a new years campaign (other branches has Minion themes, zombie themes, etc.) made national news a few weeks ago.Read More
The US military has been testing the use of this pack mule robot by Boston Dynamics, presumably with the hope that it would help share the load of all the heavy equipment that our armed forces carry with them in the field. Unfortunately, these robots are way too loud to use.Read More
In case you forgot that in 2015, we still don't even necessarily have legal gender equality let alone social, United States Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter has announced that all U.S. military combat positions will finally open to women.Read More
Apparently, being in prison isn't enough of a punishment. Nor is the threat of solitary confinement. Now, the military has denied Chelsea Manning's request to follow feminine grooming standards in military prison in what seems to be another attempt to humiliate Manning and disregard her transgender identity.Read More
Following close on the heels of the announcement that two women just passed US Army Ranger training, the US NAVY Seal program announced that they'll now allow women a shot at making the grade as well.Read More
An estimated 15,000 transgender people are currently serving in the military. There's no current information on how many transgender personnel have been discharged for being trans.Read More
[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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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) Read More
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.Read More