These Badass Vets Give Whole New Meaning To The Phrase ‘Shoot Like A Girl’

Photo courtesy of Tonya Greenwood

We all know what performing “like a girl” implies — to be feminine, ineffectual, and weak. But two veterans, Kinessa Johnson and Tonya Greenwood, prove that “shooting like a girl” means something else entirely.

The two shooters, veterans of the Army and the Navy respectively, are breaking down stereotypes about women who know their way around a shooting range. And let’s just say that after speaking with them, none of the writers at Task & Purpose want to end up on the wrong end of their guns — bare arms or armaments.

When did you first learn to shoot? Age six.

How often do you visit the range?  I try and go as much as possible but I haven't been able to go with work because I'm gone a lot.

Do you have a favorite gun? I would have to say I'm a huge Glock fan. I carry a 19 Gen 4 because I know that no matter what the likelihood of it having a malfunction is almost impossible. Could it happen? Yes, but it's proven in all kinds of elements and situations that it's dependable.

What’s one thing you wish people understood about guns? I wish people would stop blaming guns for things happening. It's not guns that are an issue; it's bad people who want to cause harm to people.

What’s one thing gun people get wrong about you? Maybe that I'm some kind of expert. I'm not: I like to think that it's a skill that you constantly thrive to make yourself better at. It's a skill that depreciates if you don't do it a lot.

What do you think it really means to “shoot like a girl?” I don't think a woman shoots any different than a man. One [isn’t] better than the other. I have never taken it seriously.

When did you first learn to shoot? Around 12 years old

How often do you visit the range now? A couple times a month

Do you have a favorite gun? My favorite gun is the first gun I ever built for hog hunting: a 300 blackout pistol. It has a 8.5" KAK industries barrel, Shockwave blade, Geissele trigger, and an Aimpoint CompM4 optic. I've taken a lot of game with it over the last couple of years, and it's been one of the most reliable firearms I own. I'm very proud of it.

What do you think of the phrase “gun bunny?” I think it's a derogatory phrase that's been commonly thrown around the industry to describe a woman whose affiliation with the firearm community is more likely for attention instead of actual interest in the sport. It's often a term used to dumb down the person’s knowledge as well, and it instantly resonates that they do not take the female seriously.

What’s one thing you wish non-gun people got right about guns? Terminology.

What’s one thing gun people get wrong about you?  I think many people think I must have a man behind me in the shadows helping me and guiding me through my journey, when in reality I do everything by myself. I run my business by myself and I build all my firearms by myself. When I do run into problems that completely stump me, I'm not too proud to reach out and ask for help or advice from lead industry affiliates, though.

What do you think it really means to “shoot like a girl?”  I think it means being a strong female and bringing some class and sass to the range or whatever shooting platform you represent.

An Austrian Jagdkommando K9 unit conducts training (Austrian Armed Forces photo)

An Austrian soldier was apparently killed by two military working dogs that he was charged with feeding, the Austrian Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday.

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Conflict photographer Lynsey Addario has seen a hell of a lot of combat over the past twenty years. She patrolled Afghanistan's Helmand Province with the Marines, accompanied the Army on night raids in Baghdad, took artillery fire with rebel fighters in Libya, and has taken photos in countless other wars and humanitarian disasters around the world.

Along the way, Addario captured images of plenty of women serving with pride in uniform, not only in the U.S. armed forces, but also on the battlefields of Syria, Colombia, South Sudan and Israel. Her photographs are the subject of a new article in the November 2019 special issue of National Geographic, "Women: A Century of Change," the magazine's first-ever edition written and photographed exclusively by women.

The photos showcase the wide range of goals and ideals for which these women took up arms. Addario's work includes captivating vignettes of a seasoned guerrilla fighter in the jungles of Colombia; a team of Israeli military police patrolling the streets of Jerusalem; and a unit of Kurdish women guarding ISIS refugees in Syria. Some fight to prove themselves, others seek to ignite social change in their home country, and others do it to liberate other women from the grip of ISIS.

Addario visited several active war zones for the piece, but she found herself shaken by something much closer to home: the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina.

Addario discussed her visit to boot camp and her other travels in an interview with Task & Purpose, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

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My brother earned the Medal of Honor for saving countless lives — but only after he was left for dead

"As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night."


Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

Air Force Master Sgt. John "Chappy" Chapman is my brother. As one of an elite group, Air Force Combat Control — the deadliest and most badass band of brothers to walk a battlefield — John gave his life on March 4, 2002 for brothers he never knew.

They were the brave men who comprised a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) that had been called in to rescue the SEAL Team 6 team (Mako-30) with whom he had been embedded, which left him behind on Takur Ghar, a desolate mountain in Afghanistan that topped out at over 10,000 feet.

As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night. After many delays, the mission should and could have been pushed one day, but Szymanski ordered the team to proceed as planned, and Britt "Slab" Slabinski, John's team leader, fell into step after another SEAL team refused the mission.

But the "plan" went even more south when they made the rookie move to insert directly atop the mountain — right into the hands of the bad guys they knew were there.

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Photo: ABC News/screenshot

Federal court judge Reggie Walton in Washington D.C. has ruled Hoda Muthana, a young woman who left her family in Hoover, Alabama, to join ISIS, is not a U.S. citizen, her attorneys told Thursday.

The ruling means the government does not recognize her a citizen of the United States, even though she was born in the U.S.

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Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. -- The Marine Corps could train as many as eight co-ed companies at boot camp each year, and the general overseeing the effort is hitting back against those complaining that the move is lowering training standards.

"Get over it," Maj. Gen. William Mullen, the head of Training and Education Command told on Thursday. "We're still making Marines like we used to. That has not changed."

Mullen, a career infantry officer who has led troops in combat — including in Fallujah, Iraq — said Marines have likely been complaining about falling standards since 1775.

"I'm assuming that the second Marine walking into Tun Tavern was like 'You know ... our standards have gone down. They're just not the same as it they used to be,'" Mullen said, referring to the service's famous birthplace. "That has always been going on in the history of the Marine Corps."

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