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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:
It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.
It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.
"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.
ROCKFORD — Delta Force sniper Sgt. First Class James P. McMahon's face was so badly battered and cut, "he looked like he was wearing a fright mask" as he stood atop a downed Black Hawk helicopter and pulled free the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.
That's the first description of McMahon in the book by journalist Mark Bowden called "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War." It is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. It claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers.
Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will retire as a chief petty officer now that President Donald Trump has restored his rank.
"Before the prosecution of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher, he had been selected for promotion to Senior Chief, awarded a Bronze Star with a "V" for valor, and assigned to an important position in the Navy as an instructor," a White House statement said.
"Though ultimately acquitted on all of the most serious charges, he was stripped of these honors as he awaited his trial and its outcome. Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified."
The announcement that Gallagher is once again an E-7 effectively nullifies the Navy's entire effort to prosecute Gallagher for allegedly committing war crimes. It is also the culmination of Trump's support for the SEAL throughout the legal process.
On July 2, military jurors found Gallagher not guilty of premeditated murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter to death and opening fire at an old man and a young girl on separate occasions during his 2017 deployment to Iraq.