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An Army vet turned Florida congressman wished the Navy a happy birthday with a photo of a Russian battlecruiser
Mistakes happen, especially on the Internet, but a recent flub from the office of Florida congressman is especially heinous.
On Sunday, the official Twitter account of Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), a decorated Army staff sergeant and freshman congressman from Florida's 18th district, posted what was probably intended as a simple birthday message to the U.S. Navy featuring an imposing warship contrasted against a vanilla sky.
Unfortunately, the unlucky staffer who likely produced the image clearly doesn't know their hulls well, because the warship included in the photo isn't a Navy vessel. No, that's the Russian battlecruiser Pyotr Velikiy, the Kirov-class battlecruiser originally named for Yuri Andropov, the former General Secretary of the Community Party during the late Soviet Union.
Brian Mast, you dumb bastard(Twitter)
It's unclear where the error originated, but it was likely a hasty image choice given the fact that the untitled image of the Pyotr Velikiy is the first thing that comes up for 'warship' in Shutterstock. And while someone on Mast's staff quickly realized the error and deleted the tweet in question, the image now lives on in social media infamy.
It's worth noting, though, that this isn't the first time that Russian warships have made an appearance during a political tribute to the U.S. Navy. During the closing days of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, ships from the Russian Federation Navy sailed across a massive screen above former Fleet Forces Command chief Adm. John Nathman (Ret.) during his remarks on U.S. service members and veterans.
Russian warships invade the 2012 Democratic National Convention(Associated Press via Military Times)
While mistakes like the DNC and Mast flubs are usually a function of an untrained eye slapping together some patriotic-looking images without attention to detail, experts believe that Russia's naval modernization efforts might actually give rise to subsequent confusion among photo editors and congressional staffers everywhere.
"Admittedly, since the start of the Russian military modernization some 11 years ago, their technology is looking more modern and Western-looking, especially their naval vessels, ground equipment and even Special Forces uniforms and weapons," Samuel Bendett, a researcher with the Center for Naval Analyses' International Affairs Group, told Task & Purpose. "So if one is doing a hasty image grab, there is a much higher chance of grabbing a Russian military pic than, say, 6-7 years ago."
"Just wait until we get to members of Congress tweeting about military robotics," Bendett added, "Do you know how many cool-looking Russian pics are out there featuring unmanned military systems like robotic tanks?"
In other news, the Army is reportedly planning on recapitalizing on its watercraft fleet after years of discussions around ditching it entirely. So maybe Mast is just super excited? Either way, his follow-up tweet was much, much better:
The U.S. Space Force has a name tape for uniforms now. Get excited people.
In a tweet from its official account, the Space Force said its uniform name tapes have "touched down in the Pentagon," sharing a photo of it on the chest of Gen. John W. Raymond, the newly-minted Chief of Space Operations for the new service branch nested in the Department of the Air Force.
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With his typical dramatic flourish, Trump recounted the scene as he monitored the strikes from the White House Situation Room when Soleimani was killed.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.
Two immigrants, a pastor and an Army sergeant have been convicted of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud as part of an illegal immigration scheme, according to federal prosecutors.
Rajesh Ramcharan, 45; Diann Ramcharan, 37; Sgt. Galima Murry, 31; and the Rev. Ken Harvell, 60, were found guilty Thursday after a nine-day jury trial, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office in Colorado.
The conspiracy involved obtaining immigration benefits for Rajesh Ramcharan, Diann Ramcharan, and one of their minor children, the release said. A married couple in 2007 came to the U.S. from Trinidad and Tobago on visitor visas. They overstayed the visas and settled in Colorado.
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Iran's Tasnim news agency also reported the authorities were prepared for experts from France, Canada and the United States to examine information from the data and voice recorders of the Ukraine International Airlines plane that came down on Jan. 8.
The plane disaster, in which all 176 aboard were killed, has added to international pressure on Iran as it grapples with a long running row with the United States over its nuclear program that briefly erupted into open conflict this month.