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BRRRT vs. BRRAPP: How Americans describe the glorious sound of the A-10 firing, in 2 maps
In January, we posed a relatively obvious question to our broad community of service members, veterans, and civilians: How do you spell the sound that an A-10 Warthog's GAU-8/A Avenger 30mm autocannon makes?
Here's what we found.
Out of the thousands of people who follow our work on Facebook and Twitter, 673 readers from across the United States took the time to respond to our survey — not a terrible sample size, as far as online surveys go.
The results were nearly unanimous: Out of those 673 respondents, 76.8% of them (or 516 people) agreed that it's spelled BRRRT.
Here's what that looks like in map form:
But what about those other 157 respondents who offered up spellings (and, we imagine, pronunciations) that depart from the BRRRT standard our readers have set? Where are they from, and how do they spell the sound an A-10 makes?
The second most popular spellings included VVRRT, (42 respondents, or 6.2%) BRRAPP (39 respondents, or 5.8%), BRBRTT (28 respondents, or 4.2%) and VVVTTT (13 respondents, or 1.9%).
Here's another map with BRRRT excluded that shows the second-most popular spelling in each state, with the exception of states whose respondents unanimously decreed BRRRT was the correct spelling:
Hey, everyone has their own spelling of the A-10's beloved battle cry. Retired Air Force General Chuck Horner, who coordinated the air campaign in Desert Storm (where the A-10 first earned its reputation as a tank killer), told Task & Purpose he spells it "AWHOON," and who's to tell a four-star he's wrong?
After all, the most important thing about the A-10 isn't how the aircraft sounds when it does its job, only that the job is done well. And that, we can all agree, is a task at which the A-10 excels.
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Reidenbach was a 22-year-old sergeant with the 4th Marine Division from Rochester, New York, and recalls that it was cold that day. The Marines were issued sweaters, heavy socks and 2.5 ounces of brandy to steel them for the task ahead: dislodging 21,000 Japanese soldiers from heavily fortified bunkers and tunnels. Reidenbach wasn't a drinker but didn't have trouble finding someone to take his brandy.
"I passed it on to somebody who liked it better than me," he said.
Though the Army has yet to actually set an official recruiting goal for this year, leaders are confident they're going to bring in more soldiers than last year.
Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, head of Army Recruiting Command, told reporters on Wednesday that the Army was currently 2,226 contracts ahead of where it was in 2019.
"I will just tell you that this time last year we were in the red, and now we're in the green which is — the momentum's there and we see it continuing throughout the end of the year," Muth said, adding that the service hit recruiting numbers in February that haven't been hit during that month since 2014.
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Active-duty service members, Reservists and National Guard members often serve side-by-side performing highly skilled and dangerous jobs, such as parachuting, explosives demolition and flight deck operations.
Reservists and Guard members are required to undergo the same training as specialized active-duty troops, and they face the same risks. Yet the extra incentive pay they receive for their work — called hazardous duty incentive pay — is merely a fraction of what their active-duty counterparts receive for performing the same job.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers, led by U.S. Rep. Andy Kim, D-3 of Moorestown, are partnering on legislation to correct the inequity. Known as the Guard and Reserve Hazard Duty Pay Equity Act, the bill seeks to standardize payment of hazardous duty incentive pay for all members of the armed services, including Reserve and National Guard components.
Another Marine was hit with jail time and a bad-conduct discharge in connection with a slew of arrests made last summer over suspicions that members of a California-based infantry battalion were transporting people who'd crossed into the U.S. illegally.