Best Of 2016: The Stories From Task & Purpose You'll Want To Read Again


2016 was a big year for our team and our readers. We started a podcast about Bowe Bergdahl, brought on some incredible writing talent, and covered stories that no one else was talking about from the military and veterans’ perspective. From Standing Rock to the election, here’s our list of Task & Purpose’s best stories from 2016.

PTSD Is The War Families Fight At Home

By Sarah Sicard

We profiled a family who’s experiencing firsthand the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder and its lasting effects on life at home.

COMIC: The Navy SEAL Who Was Shot 27 Times And Kept Fighting 

By Matt Battaglia

In April 2007, Chief Petty Officer Douglas “Mike” Day was shot 27 times in a raid on high-level al Qaeda militants in Iraq. This original comic presented Day’s incredible story of survival.

7 Guys You Meet In Every Infantry Platoon 

By Adam Linehan and Matt Battaglia

From the left-leaning idealist who dreams of writing the next great war novel to the patriotic computer nerd, we created an illustrated guide to the modern infantry platoon.

Sebastian Junger: Over-Valorizing Vets Does More Harm Than Good 

By Adam Linehan

Sebastian Junger spoke to us about the allure of combat, the civilian-military divide, and why over valorizing veterans only does more harm than good.

This Is Your Brain On War

By Adam Linehan and Matt Battaglia

We teamed up with former West Point psychology professor and author Lt. Col. Dave Grossman to produce this visual guide to what happens to the mind and body before, during, and after combat.

Keeping Our Covenant With America’s Veterans

By President Barack Obama

President Obama published an exclusive op-ed on Task & Purpose about America’s sacred covenant with veterans. The president reflected on the modern generation of veterans, the work he’s done on veterans affairs over the past eight years, and the work that lies ahead.

How I Earned My Ranger Tab

By Lisa Jaster

Maj. Lisa Jaster explains how she physically and mentally prepared for the Army’s elite Ranger School, and what it meant to be one of the first women to ever earn the Tab.

6 Types Of Vets Dominating Your Social Media This Election

By Adam Linehan and Matt Battaglia

Every election season, America’s veterans get on the internet to fight over how the country they swore to defend from enemies foreign and domestic should be run. We illustrated this year’s top six contenders.

Here’s Where Clinton And Trump Stand On Veterans Issues

By Sarah Sicard

We developed a comprehensive package of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's plans during the campaign for veterans, service members, and their families if elected president.

Watch: 15 Years Of War In Afghanistan, A Timeline 

By Task & Purpose

On the 15th anniversary of Operation Enduring Freedom, we released an original eight-minute video detailing the war in Afghanistan President George W. Bush launched in 2001.

Why ‘The Walking Dead’ Is Full Of Useless Idiots, According To A USMC Sgt Maj 

By Mike Burke

The characters of AMC’s popular post-apocalyptic drama struggle against all sorts of obstacles, from zombies to food security, to other groups of survivors. A Marine explained why they fail time after time after time.

Mark Wahlberg Thinks Celebrities Need to Shut Up About Politics

By Aaron Gell

The star of the new terrorism drama “Patriots Day” spoke to us about how out of touch Hollywood is with the average American.

The Tragic And Ignored History Of Black Veterans

By James Clark

Between the end of the Civil War and World War II, many black veterans who fought for their country abroad became victims of violent racism at home. We took a look at lynchings of black veterans in America between 1877 and 1950.

Why They Went: The Inside Story Of The Standing Rock Veterans

By Adam Linehan

In early December, staff writer Adam Linehan spent five days on the ground with an estimated 4,000 veterans descended on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota and helped put an end to a once seemingly hopeless struggle.

Maj. Jason Michael Musgrove (Lincoln County Sheriff's Office)

A major serving at U.S. Army Cyber Command has been charged with distributing child pornography, according to the Justice Department.

Maj. Jason Michael Musgrove, who is based at Fort Gordon, Georgia, has been remanded to the U.S. Marshals service, a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia says.

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Sailors from USS George Washington (CVN 73) wear-test the I-Boot 5 at Naval Station Norfolk. (U.S. Navy photo by Courtney Williams)

Navy senior leaders could decide whether or not to approve the new I-Boot 5 early in 2020, said Rob Carroll, director of the uniform matters office at the Chief of Naval Personnel's office.

"The I-Boot 5 is currently wrapping up its actual wear test, its evaluation," Carroll told Task & Purpose on Monday. "We're hoping that within the first quarter of calendar year 2020 that we'll be able to present leadership with the information that they need to make an informed decision."

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Senator Jim Inhofe speaks with local reporters at a press conference held at the 138th Fighter Wing August 2, 2018. (U.S. National Guard/Staff Sgt. Rebecca R. Imwalle)

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn leveled harsh criticism last week at the contractor accused of negligence and fraudulent activity while operating private housing at Tinker Air Force Base and other military installations.

Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, referred to Balfour Beatty Communities as "notorious." Horn, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told a company executive she was "incredibly disappointed you have failed to live up to your responsibility for taking care of the people that are living in these houses."

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U.S. Senator Rick Scott speaks during a press conference at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, April 29, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Monica Roybal)

The Saudi national who killed three students on a U.S. Naval Air station in Pensacola was in the United States on a training exchange program.

On Sunday, Sen. Rick Scott said the United States should suspend that program, which brings foreign nationals to America for military training, pending a "full review."

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Tech. Sgt. Ryan Cooper, 151st Security Forces Squadron, leads a team of security forces members as they clear a building during a simulated active shooter event October 15, 2019 at Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base, Utah. (U.S. Air National Guard/Tech. Sgt. John Winn)

Security measures at U.S. military bases will be increased in the wake of the deadly shootings at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii and Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.

In a message posted to Twitter, U.S. Northern Command, known as Northcom, said it has directed its installations to "immediately assess force protection measures and implement increased random security measures for their facilities."

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