6 things the military does that are way better in moderation

Lifestyle
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Quentin M. Todd/Released)

We all know service members like to push it to the extremes. Biggest, baddest, fastest; we like to do everything to the absolute -est. It's what we're known for: doing more with less, going places others can't go, first in, last out, you know, all those things. But sometimes in life, moderation is key.

Here are 6 things you see in the military where less really is more.


1. MREs

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Erick Requad

You know Meals Ready to Eat were developed to keep you alive, right? Those little packs of 1,250 mostly bland calories developed by the Defense Department in the 1970s were intended to be a combat ration, not a snack.

We all know "that guy" who swears that the cheese tortellini is just like his mom used to make. Newsflash bro: eating three of those a day when you're working a desk is a cool 3,750 calories.

That PT belt is getting tighter for a reason: Math.

2. CrossFit

U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck

We love a good burpee just as much as the next guy, and we know CrossFit is a little like Fight Club, except the first rule of CrossFit is that you have to talk about CrossFit. We are here for your WOD and your Rx and your clean and jerks and your doubleunders all day, but when you start to have muscle atrophy, maybe take a rest day. Or three.

Just don't pair your rest days with triple MRE days. Nah, we know those aren't Paleo.

3. Rip It

Photo courtesy of Rip It Energy Fuel

We've all been there. You pulled night duty again and all you need in your life is a nap, no matter if it's while you're sitting up. The fastest way to more night duty is to fall asleep on your current shift, so there's nothing like a Rip It to pick you up. No harm in that. Rip It is the perfect pick me up for those long nights.

But if you drink eight of those bad boys in one sitting, not only will you look like a squirrel on speed, you're going to feel it too. The Mayo Clinic advises not to exceed 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. Less is more.

4. Advertising your service

Fine for work. Not fine for bar.

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman First Class Eugene Oliver

You know them: The few, the proud, the decal on my car, rucksack wearing, billboard of a human that advertises their military affiliation, just begging for a "Thank you for your service."

There's nothing like seeing a new soldier wear his assault pack into an Applebees (true story, this happened). While we appreciate you keeping everyone's neighborhood bar and grill a little safer, the only real threat is that your BBQ Brisket Tacos have more calories than one MRE. While we're on the subject, dog tags should always be worn under your uniform.

You're not Goose. There will always only ever be one Goose. And Maverick looked ridiculous wearing jeans on the beach, and shirtless. Nobody plays sand volleyball in jeans. Not even in the 80s.

5. Selfies

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Amadi/Released

We're excited about your new tattoo, too. And that it's leg day, again. And that you go on runs with your camelback. And that you're outside. And that you have a dog. And that you went hiking. Look at that, you're inside, too. While the background might change, that smug, attempted smoldering look during your selfie is as predictable as your PT score.

You're not a Kardashian. A selfie a day keeps the dates away. Stick to one a month.

6. Jargon

U.S. Marine Corps photo by LCpl. Bryann K. Whitley

We don't want to give you an Alpha Charlie just for the way you talk, but BOHICA, it's CFB it's getting out of hand. Fine if you're talking about your TDY; we know you're excited to get out of the five-sided puzzle palace. But when you post on Facebook that it's "ENDEX" to announce your first born is finally here, that's when you need to call it. Don't be the FNG, just KISS.

Whether it's toning down your MRE intake, your selfie game or broadcasting to the world that you're active duty, moderation is key. We want you to drink a Rip It, get your WOD on and sure, even snap a selfie from time to time. Just don't overdo it… unless it's binge watching Netflix.

That's something we can all get behind. Bravo Zulu.

This article was sponsored by Rip It Energy Fuel. Click here to learn more.

Your Fort Hood Area Guide

PCS

Welcome to The Great Place! You have orders to Fort Hood, Texas, one of the largest military installations in the country. Fort Hood lives up to the saying, "Everything is bigger in Texas." You will see this with the vast spaces, houses, CAV patches, as well as great traditions you will come to love.

What do you need to know before you purchase those cowboy boots and head to the Lone Star state? See below for a list of pertinent information, unique customs, and a list of local points of interest all within your reach, then head over to PCSgrades.com to start your housing research or get connected with an A-graded REALTOR!

WHERE IS FORT HOOD?

First things first, Fort Hood is centrally located in Texas about an hour north of Austin and 3 hours south of Dallas. The base is enormous and spans 3 cities when including the training areas, but the central city that houses Fort Hood is Killeen. Harker Heights is to the east and Copperas Cove is to the west, rounding out the other parts of the post. The training and cantonment area combined to cover a whopping 340 square miles, rivaling most of America's larger cities. Fort Hood is also the largest single-site employer in the entire state of Texas with an estimated 45,414 assigned service members and 8,909 civilian employees. That means lots of people, lots of traffic, all converging in one area every day.

FORT HOOD HOUSING

ON POST

Fort Hood housing is privatized and managed by Winn Companies. Homes range from townhomes to duplexes to single-family homes. West Fort Hood and a few other neighborhoods are considered "on base" but are located about 1-2 miles from the main base and can be easily accessed through multiple gates. Some of these neighborhoods are open to non-military families and not all have gate guards. To see updated photos and read reviews of the neighborhood your family would qualify for, click here. Fort Hood is located in Killeen and Copperas Cove, TX. On base housing is available for all ranks. However, not all neighborhoods fall within the main cantonment area with some communities being across the highway and not having gate guards. Check out photos of all the Ft Hood housing neighborhoods at PCSgrades.com.

OFF POST

The average cost per square foot in the Fort Hood area (Killeen, Harker Heights, Copperas Cove) is around $76, making it a very attractive place to buy a home. Many service members capitalize on the low mortgages and purchase to maximize their BAH. Another bonus…there are no state taxes for Texas! While it is not required to update your Home of Record, Texas has no state taxes, so making the switch will put some extra cash in your pocket! To read reviews from fellow military families on where to live off post, click here.

FORT HOOD WEATHER

You will experience two seasons at Fort Hood: hot and hotter. With mild winters and hot summers, it's rare you will experience all four seasons. With numerous water parks, pools, and lakes in the area to keep you cool, most people don't seem to mind the break from the cold weather. Stay hydrated and just get used to applying that sunscreen, even during Christmas break!

FORT HOOD AMENITIES

There are two large Commissaries and Exchanges located on each side of the main post, and the brand new Carl R. Darnell Army Medical Center opened in March 2016. Seven Elementary schools and two Middle Schools are located on post also. High Schools students living on post are zoned for Killeen High School or Shoemaker High School. Fort Hood also has many medical facilities, pharmacies, restaurants, parks, and pools on the post.

CULTURE AND CUSTOMS

FOOD AND BEVERAGE

One Texas landmark you will come to love is the grocery store H-E-B. Though it may be the only show in town, excluding Walmart and the Commissary, it will never disappoint. H-E-B sells every product you can imagine at low prices and houses a vast array of local Texas wines and beers. After experiencing it once, you will never want to shop anywhere else again.

As for local cuisine, Texas is home to some fantastic BBQ, all things Tex-Mex to include breakfast burritos, and Texas kolaches. What is a Texas kolache you might ask? It's a giant pastry stuffed with meat that you can get with cheese and jalapeños. If you are feeling thirsty after your local cuisine, head to one of the many drive-thru daiquiri bars. (Yep, you read that right… but as always, be responsible and don't drink and drive!) Each city in the Fort Hood area boasts a least one! If you would like something a little more elegant than the local "Brew Thru" you can head to any of the local wineries in the surrounding area. Did I mention Fort Hood loves its local wine and beer?

FORT HOOD TRADITIONS

Fort Hood has so many traditions that you find yourself quickly falling in love with the pomp. First, you have the Cavalry charges! Picture this scenario: cannon shoots, bugle sounds, horses running, guns firing in the air and everyone screaming "CHARGE" as the donkey-drawn wagon brings up the rear. You will feel like you are in an old western. Also, every Friday is "Stetson Friday" on base. That means that from Private on up, you remove your service cap and put on a giant Stetson (aka cowboy) hat. Complimenting that Stetson is either a gold or silver set of spurs, but don't go and buy them, those are earned either through a deployment or a Spur Ride. It's all very John Wayne and romantic.

The cities that make up the greater Fort Hood area are also very military friendly. The Independent School Districts (ISD), are sponsored by units on base and soldiers volunteer their time at those schools. Soldiers typically have late calls and can take their kids to school on the first day. Have a parent deploying or coming home on a school day? No problem! Schools treat this as an excused absence. You are not truly a local until you have a family bluebonnet photo. Bluebonnets are the cherished state flower of Texas and bloom for a few weeks each year. You will see photographers and families pulling off the side of the highway when they spot a "bluebonnet field" all to get that perfect shot.

ATTIRE

Texas casual is an actual dress code that will come on event invitations. What does it mean? Jeans and cowboy boots are not only acceptable but encouraged. When in Rome, right? In addition to the boots, you will also see lots of large belt buckles, spurs, and Texas ties.

Homecoming Mums. You are in for a treat if you have never seen or heard of this practice that seems only to take place in Texas. Students will wear giant "mums" attached to their clothes during homecoming week and the contraption consists of anything and everything. They vary from small to large and have ribbons hanging off of them (typically one ribbon per year in school) and can even be blinged out with lights. The sky is the limit with how you decorate your mum. Guys give them to their homecoming dates; girls give them to guys in garter form to wear on their arm, and parents can make a killing if they design and sell these!

Stationed at Fort Hood? Pay it forward with a neighborhood review!

AREA ATTRACTIONS NEAR FORT HOOD

Since Fort Hood is located in Central Texas, you have access to some amazing surrounding cities all within a few hours drive.

GEORGETOWN (45-MINUTE TRIP)

Georgetown is a quaint town you will pass on your way to Austin. It has a beautiful city square with local shops, antiques, and excellent restaurants. Not in the mood to shop? Head to the local winery and relax with a wine tasting.

AUSTIN (1-HOUR TRIP)

Austin is not only the Capitol of Texas but known as the music capital of the world. There is so much to do in Austin that you will need to make more than one trip. You can attend a music festival, watch the bats fly off the Congress Avenue Bridge, visit the Lyndon B Johnson Presidential Library, swim in Barton Springs Pool, pose in front of the famous "I love you so much" wall, or catch a University of Texas football game. The options are endless in Austin.

DALLAS (2.5-HOUR TRIP)

Dallas is a large city that deserves more than one trip to accomplish the checklist of events that the town has to offer. The most notable attractions include the JFK History Tour that ends in Dealey Plaza, the George W. Bush Presidential Library, the Dallas World Aquarium, Cowboys football games, Rangers baseball games, the Dallas Zoo and many more parks and museums.

SAN ANTONIO (2.5-HOUR TRIP)

What a fun place to visit! Military families love to take a weekend trip to San Antonio and visit the local attractions. The Riverwalk, lined with colorful umbrellas, restaurants, boat tours, and much more. Or head to Sea World and check out the aquatic life (they even have a great military discount program!). Probably the most visited site in San Antonio would be the Alamo. Just don't ask to see the basement.

HOUSTON (3-HOUR TRIP)

Houston is also home to the (NASA) Space Center Houston, Houston Zoo, Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Astros baseball team, the Downtown Aquarium, and the Children's Museum… just to name a few. Or take a boat tour and participate in one of the many crawfish boils the city hosts.

GALVESTON (4-HOUR TRIP)

Galveston is also where many families like to escape and enjoy a nice beach vacation. You can simply enjoy Island Time in a beach chair or shop around, tour the Moody Gardens, or head to the Lone Star Flight Museum and check out the historical air crafts and artifacts. Galveston is also a major port of call to hop on a cruise ship and take an extended vacation!

This post sponsored by PCSgrades.

(U.S. Air Force via Air Force amn/nco/snco)

At least one Air Force base is on the lookout for a sinister new threat: angry men who can't get laid.

Personnel at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland were recently treated to a threat brief regarding an "increase in nationwide activity" by self-described "incels," members of an online subculture of "involuntary celibacy" who adopt an ideology of misogyny, mistrust of women, and violence in response to their failed attempts at romantic relationships.

The brief was first made public via a screenshot posted to the popular Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page on Tuesday. An Air Force spokesman confirmed the authenticity of the screenshot to Task & Purpose.

"The screenshot was taken from a Joint Base Andrews Intel brief created following basic threat analysis on an increase in nationwide activity by the group," 11th Wing spokesman Aletha Frost told Task & Purpose in an email.

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(U.S. Air Force/MSgt. Brian Kimball)

From Long Beach to Huntington Beach, residents were greeted Saturday, June 15, at precisely 8 a.m. with "The Star-Spangled Banner." Then 12 hours later, the "Retreat" bugle call bellowed throughout Seal Beach and beyond.

At first, people wondered if the booming sound paid tribute to Flag Day, June 14. Seal Beach neighbors bordering Los Alamitos assumed the music was coming from the nearby Joint Forces Training Base.

But then it happened again Sunday. And Monday. Folks took to the Nextdoor social media app seeking an answer to the mystery.

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(Courtesy photo)

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The main thing to remember about Navy SEAL Chief Craig Miller's testimony on Wednesday is that he didn't seem to remember a lot.

Miller, considered a key witness in the trial of Chief Eddie Gallagher, testified that he saw his former platoon chief stab the wounded ISIS fighter but was unable to recall a number of details surrounding that event. Gallagher is accused of murdering the wounded fighter and separately firing on innocent civilians during a deployment to Mosul, Iraq in 2017. He has pleaded not guilty.

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NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — An enlisted Navy SEAL sniper testified on Wednesday that Chief Eddie Gallagher told his platoon prior to their deployment that if they ever captured a wounded fighter, their medics knew "what to do to nurse them to death."

In early morning testimony, former Special Operator 1st Class Dylan Dille told a packed courtroom that he had heard the phrase during unit training before the men of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon deployed to Mosul, Iraq in 2017.

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