The U.S. military dangles cash bonuses and post-military college money to entice recruits into the service. Meanwhile, the Canadian military has beards and weed.
As Chad Garland of Stars & Stripes reports, a new rule took effect on Tuesday allowing all members of the Canadian military to rock a beard as long as they can grow more than just peach fuzz. "A member will ... shave off unsuccessful attempts to grow a beard," the policy says.
The policy also says Canadian soldiers with beard-growing genes will need to have a mustache as well, keep their fur neatly trimmed, and not let it "exceed two centimeters in bulk." Sadly, that last requirement means that although beards are okay, soldiers will not be able to attempt Chad Garland-esque levels of beard-growing.
It also allows commanders to restrict facial hair if operations require it.
While the policy says its intent is to strengthen morale and team cohesion, it comes on the heels of another change that undoubtedly strengthens morale (and the munchies): the allowance of marijuana use.
Last month, Canada's military outlined new rules regarding marijuana consumption following the national legalization of the substance for recreational use that will take effect on Oct. 17.
Canadian service members can consume pot as long as it is eight hours before duty, 24 hours before the operation of weapons or vehicles, or 28 days before high altitude skydives, military flights, or operations in a hyperbaric environment. It will still be banned from international operations, according to Reuters.
So stock up on your beard oil and weed brownies, our allies to the north. You earned it.
It's been 30 years since an explosion inside the number two gun turret on the USS Iowa killed 47 American sailors, but for Mike Carr, it still feels like yesterday.
"I knew all 47 guys inside that turret because as part of the ship's policy we had rotated between all three turrets," Carr, who served as a gunner's mate in the Iowa's aft 16-inch turret, told Task & Purpose. "We all knew each other rather intimately."
On April 19, 1989, the day of the blast, the ship was preparing for live-fire training at Vieques, Puerto Rico Naval Training Range.
Carr was wearing headphones that allowed him to hear what the crews in the other turrets were saying.
"At 10 minutes to 10 a.m., somebody came over the phones and said, 'We're having a problem, Turret 2, center gun,'" Carr recalled. "Then approximately two minutes later, I recognized Senior Chief [Reginald] Ziegler, who was the chief in charge of Turret 2, yell into the phones: 'Fire, fire, fire! Fire in center gun, turret 2. Trying to contain it.'"
Then came the blast, which was so strong that it ripped the headphones right off Carr's head.
As a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a newly minted second lieutenant, I felt well-prepared to tackle the challenges facing a junior field artillery officer in the U.S. Army. When the time came to leave the Army, however, I was much less prepared to make the transition into the yet-unknown civilian sector.
One of the primary issues facing veterans after we transition is that we lack the same sense of purpose and mission that we had with our military careers. Today, more than ever, our service members volunteer to put themselves in harm's way. They are defending our freedom across the globe and should be recognized as our country's true heroes. It's critical that employers educate veterans and provide viable options so we can make informed decisions about the rest of our lives.
The two-star general in charge of the roughly 15,000-strong 2nd Marine Division has turned micromanagement into an art form with a new policy letter ordering his Marines and sailors to cut their hair, shave their faces, and adhere to a daily schedule that he has prescribed.
In his "Policy Letter 5-19," Maj. Gen. David Furness lamented that he has noticed "a significant decline in the basic discipline" of troops he's come in contact with in the division area, which has led him to "FIX IT immediately," instead of relying on the thousands of commissioned and non-commissioned officers below him to carry out his orders.
Top U.S. and Japanese defense officials are downplaying the possibility that the Chinese military could recover the wreckage of a Japanese F-35A that crashed on April 9 in the Pacific Ocean.
The Joint Strike Fighter disappeared from radar about 85 miles east of Honshu, Japan's main island. Although ships and aircraft have spotted some debris in the area where the plane is believed to have crashed, both the wreckage and pilot remain missing.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during the 4th Plenary Meeting of the 7th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang in this April 10, 2019 photo released on April 11, 2019 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA via REUTERS/File Photo
MOSCOW (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will travel to Russia this month for talks with President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Thursday, announcing the first Russia-North Korea summit since Kim came to power in 2011.
The announcement coincided with a moment of discord in efforts by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration to reach a deal with Kim to end nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula.