Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
It looks like we're getting 'M*A*S*H' in Afghanistan with '68 Whiskey'
An upcoming television show about Army medics in Afghanistan is being billed as a comedic drama with an action flick's budget, but to me it just looks a lot like a post-9/11 version of M*A*S*H.
Titled 68 Whiskey, the television series is produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer and follows a small team of medics during their deployment to an austere outpost dubbed "The Orphanage."
Based on the trailer, the show does seem likely to offer some laughs and a few good action sequences. There's a boot private who gets lost and embarks on an odyssey to find his unit with a goat as his battle buddy, a random fight night at the camp (instead of, you know, movie night), a soldier gets caught smuggling Persian rugs in a body bag. And this is to say nothing of the copious explosions on what appears to be a massive set.
Brings new meaning to the phrase "Goat Rope."(68 Whiskey)
Then there's the matter of the principal characters. In the behind-the-scenes teaser, Sam Keeley, who plays Sgt. Cooper Roback, describes him as "a guy who breaks the rules and he's a bit of a badass, but he has a big heart," which is the most generic description for "Hot Guy in military show," I've ever heard.
Alongside Roback is Sgt. Rosa Alvarez (Cristina Rodlo), an immigrant who's family is being deported while she's deployed, and Staff Sgt. Melkhi Davis (Jeremy Tardy), who seems to be running some kind of side hustle with Afghan drug dealers that involves a sea-bag stuffed with what looks like bricks of hashish.
"I didn't come all the way here from the south side of Chicago to get ripped off by drug dealers," Davis says in the trailer. "I coulda stayed in the hood for that."
"'68 Whiskey' is an honest realistic look at a U.S. medical team in Afghanistan," producer Ron Howard says in the show's behind-the-scenes teaser. Then two minutes later a pair of U.S. soldiers try to do a drug deal with a bunch of Afghans.(68 Whiskey)
And here's where I start to have doubts about the show: All too often, procedural military shows overdo it when it comes to characters' personal baggage (and drama in general).
It's worth noting that not everyone has this rough of a go of it on deployment. For a show that's framing itself as a "realistic look at a U.S. medical team in Afghanistan," as Howard puts it in the teaser, it makes me wonder: Where is the guy who just really wants to collect some tax-free money and then get out so he can cash in on those G.I. Bill benefits? That seems like a much more common (and believable) story than the plan to pull some Three Kings-meets-Scarface shit in Afghanistan.
But I guess it makes sense: You've gotta spice up war somehow, otherwise where's the drama?
Still, this is just a teaser, so maybe when the show premieres on Jan. 15, 2020, it'll turn out better than CBS' The Code, which was basically GWOT JAG but somehow even less accurate.
The Air Force's top general says one of the designers of the ride-sharing app Uber is helping the branch build a new data-sharing network that the Air Force hopes will help service branches work together to detect and destroy targets.
The network, which the Air Force is calling the advanced battle management system (ABMS), would function a bit like the artificial intelligence construct Cortana from Halo, who identifies enemy ships and the nearest assets to destroy them at machine speed, so all the fleshy humans need to do is give a nod of approval before resuming their pipe-smoking.
An F-15 is rocking a WWII paint job to honor a B-17 pilot who gave his life to save a wounded crewman
An F-15C Eagle is sporting a badass World War II-era paint job in honor of a fallen bomber pilot who gave everything to ensure his men survived a deadly battle.
A U.S. E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft crashed on Monday on Afghanistan, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has confirmed.
Beloved basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday. Two days earlier, Army Spc. Antonio I. Moore was killed during a vehicle rollover accident while conducting route clearing operations in Syria.
Which one more deserves your grief and mourning? According to Maj. Gen. John R. Evans, commander of the U.S. Army Cadet Command, you only have enough energy for one.
After 70 years, service members are finally filing medical malpractice claims against the US military
Jessica Purcell, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, was pregnant with her first child when she noticed a swollen lymph node in her left underarm.
Health-care providers at a MacDill Air Force Base clinic told her it was likely an infection or something related to pregnancy hormones. The following year they determined the issue had resolved itself.
It hadn't. A doctor off base found a large mass in her underarm and gave her a shocking diagnosis: stage 2 breast cancer.
Purcell was pregnant again. Her daughter had just turned 1. She was 35. And she had no right to sue for malpractice.
A 1950 Supreme Court ruling known as the Feres doctrine prohibits military members like Purcell from filing a lawsuit against the federal government for any injuries suffered while on active duty. That includes injury in combat, but also rape and medical malpractice, such as missing a cancer diagnosis.
Thanks in part to Tampa lawyer Natalie Khawam, a provision in this year's national defense budget allows those in active duty to file medical malpractice claims against the government for the first time since the Feres case.
With the Department of Defense overseeing the new claims process, the question now is how fairly and timely complaints will be judged. And whether, in the long run, this new move will help growing efforts to overturn the ruling and allow active duty members to sue like everyone else.