Stephen Carlson

Stephen Carlson

Stephen Carlson is a Task & Purpose contributor. He served two tours in Afghanistan as an infantryman with the 10th Mountain Division. He lives in Austin, Texas.

Recent articles from Stephen Carlson

General William Tecumseh Sherman, 1865.
History
151 Years Ago, General Sherman Gave America Its Best Definition Of War
Read Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's response to the mayor of Atlanta and several city councilmen begging mercy for the city during the Civil War.
Rioters attacking a building during the New York anti-draft riots of 1863
History
How Mandatory Military Service Started In The Civil War
On July 7, 1863, the first draft took effect in the North during the Civil War. It was a disaster.
A team mans a Bazooka at the Battle of Osan.
History
How The Korean War Started 65 Years Ago
It has often been labeled the “Forgotten War,” but over 36,000 Americans and millions of Koreans and Chinese died in a conflict noted for its utter brutality.
Light armored vehicle crewmen with Task Force 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 8 fill their LAV with bottled water supplied by motor transportation Marines during a logpack on July 11, 2009, in Iraq's Ninewa province.
News
What Changed And What Stayed The Same: How 2014 Impacted The Veterans Community
2014 was a year that brought many veterans issues into the spotlight after more than a decade of war.
U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn speaks during a town hall meeting at Oklahoma City Community College's Visual and Performing Arts Center in Oklahoma City, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014.
News
The Man Who Killed The Bill To Combat Veterans Suicide
The long-delayed Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act failed to pass in the Senate, and departing Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn is the man to blame. Veterans are not likely to forget it.
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Community
‘Let The Damn Army Clean Up The Mess:’ An (Almost) Story Of Suicide
I nearly died by suicide in 2009. I don’t know how you can fight something like that, and maybe you can’t.
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History
The Japanese Attack On Pearl Harbor Was About Oil
The attack on Pearl Harbor, which took place on Dec. 7, 1941, was a terrible shock to the United States. But it was United States’ economic sanctions that led the Japanese to start a war they could not win.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter talks with officers describing the area as he is given an aerial tour aboard a Sikorsky H-60 during a visit to Camp Lemonnier, Dijbouti, May 11, 2013. DoD Photo By Glenn Fawcett
News
Who Is Ash Carter And Why Does He Make Sense As Defense Secretary?
In these days of international turmoil and budget woes, Ash Carter may be exactly what the Department of Defense needs.
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History
The Story Behind The First Submarine To Sink A Warship
The Civil War resulted in many naval innovations, from sea mines to ironclads, but the first successful use of a submarine to sink a warship may have been the most revolutionary of them all.
From left, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and the committee's ranking member, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., listen as Army Chief of Staff Gen Raymond Odierno, lower left, and Army Secretary John M. McHugh, update the committee about the deadly shooting rampage by a soldier yesterday at Fort Hood in Texas, Thursday, April 3, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington. An Iraq War veteran being treated for mental illness was the gunman who opened fire at Fort Hood, killing three people and wounding 16 others before committing suicide, in an attack on the same Texas military base where more than a dozen people were slain in 2009.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
News
The Committees That Oversee Military And Veterans Affairs Will See Big Changes
Here is a rundown of the likely changes to come with the 114th Congress.
Photograph of a U.S. developed M-388 Davy Crockett nuclear weapon mounted to a recoilless rifle on a tripod, shown here at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland in March 1961. It used the smallest nuclear warhead ever developed by the United States.
Gear & Tech
The Man-Portable Rocket Launcher That Could Destroy A City Block
During the height of the Cold War, the U.S. Army deployed a nuclear-tipped rocket launcher that could be carried by a fire team.
Robert A. McDonald
Robert A. McDonald Confirmation Hearing before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, Washington DC, America - 22 Jul 2014
Robert A. McDonald, nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs, is sworn-in to testify during his confirmation hearing before the United States Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs
 (Rex Features via AP Images)
News
So Far, The Big VA Reforms Have A Failing Grade
Has new VA Secretary Bob McDonald followed through with his promises of change? Here’s his report card.
U.S. Sen.-elect Joni Ernst speaks to supporters during an election night rally, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Ernst defeated U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, in the race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
News
Meet The 8 Post-9/11 Veterans Just Elected To Congress
These 8 veterans will be heating things up in Congress next year.
Recruits from Papa Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, practice rear hand punches at the battalion’s physical training field July 21.
News
Is The Pentagon’s New Survey On Sexual Assault Too Graphic?
A new sexual assault survey is raising concerns over the explicit nature of some of its questions, but the need for accurate data clashes with those complaints.
This Tuesday Aug. 12, 2014 photo provided by the U.S. Navy shows an Four unmanned remotely operated high-speed maneuvering surface targets as they  move to their blocking positions during an Office of Naval Research demonstration of autonomous swarmboat technology  on the James River in Newport News, Va. During the demonstration as many as 13 Navy boats, using an ONR-sponsored system operated autonomously or by remote control during escort, intercept and engage scenarios. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, John Paul Kotara)
News
Automated Swarm Boats Are Next Up In Drone Warfare
The Navy has demonstrated a new system for securing its warships and facilities, and it is unlike anything that has been put to sea before.
U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno is briefed about the newest invitations from a Exelis Corporation representative at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Convention and exposition show in Washington, D.C., Oct. 14, 2014.  (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mikki L. Sprenkle/Released)
News
Despite DoD Budget Cuts, The Military-Industrial Complex Is Alive And Well
The military may be in the process of tightening its belt, but there are still billions of dollars to be made from the Department of Defense, and the Association of the United States Army’s annual three-day exposition proves it.
FILE - In this undated image posted on Monday, June 30, 2014, by the Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, fighters from the Islamic State group parade in Raqqa, north Syria. The Syrian foreign ministry said Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014 that Washington informed Damascus' envoy to the United Nations before launching airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria, attacks that activists said inflicted casualties among jihadi fighters and civilians on the ground.(AP Photo/Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, File)
News
The Psychology Of Why People Join Terror Movements
ISIS recruits come from all over the world, in both nationality and class — what draws them to such a radicalized and violent cause?
Beginning Jan. 1, Marines, sailors and civilian personnel will no longer be allowed to use tobacco products while on the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital grounds or any other naval medical care facility aboard the Combat Center. The policy will also go into effect aboard Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Bridgeport, Calif., and Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif.
News
Lawmakers Battle Over Tobacco Use In The Military
“Leave us the hell alone — we’re out here fighting for your freedom, and you’re taking away ours.”
The suns sets on another day in southeastern Baghdad as Spc. Joshua MacQuarrie, an infantryman from Copperas Cove, Texas, assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, scans the horizon for enemy activity from a guard tower at Joint Security Station Cleary, Aug. 17.
Community
My Love For The M240 Goes Way, Way Back
Task & Purpose's Washington correspondent shares his love-hate relationship with the M240B machine gun.