This Is ‘Code Red News with Paul Szoldra’

Code Red News
Paul Szoldra is a former Marine infantryman with past bylines at Business Insider and We Are The Mighty.
Paul Szoldra

Welcome to Code Red News, my new column here at Task & Purpose.


So first things first, who the hell am I? My name is Paul Szoldra (good luck pronouncing it), and I’ve been a national security reporter for places like Business Insider and We Are The Mighty for about five or so years. During that time I also founded and continue to run Duffel Blog, the popular military satire site.

Before that, I was a U.S. Marine infantryman with service in such exotic locales as Afghanistan, Japan, Korea, and North Carolina. And a little bit further back, I was an 18-year-old kid who got fired from a gas station.

So that’s my story. But I’m much more interested in telling yours.

My little slice of Task & Purpose probably won’t be like the rest. I plan on making Code Red News a reported column, which means I will, like every other columnist, offer my opinion on things, and I will also use my journalism background to find and report on interesting topics, potentially show you documents I’ve wrestled away from the Pentagon, and interview people I find fascinating.

But I would also like to offer you a warning.

If you’re looking for fluffy news stories about the new whiz-bang gizmo the Pentagon is showing off to everyone, it won’t be here. Instead, I’m going to be the guy asking the questions like, “Can we even afford this thing?” or “How does this help the E-3 on the ground?” I’m also in favor of calling out hypocrisy and lies with blunt language instead of hedging with words like “misspoke” and calling some subjects “controversial.”

In short, Code Red News will offer news and analysis on the defense world with brevity, humor, and above all, plenty of skepticism.

So I’ll call it like I see it. We may not always agree, but you’ll always know where I stand.

Thanks for reading. I’m excited to be here.

U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Brian Kimball

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

Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.

In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Air National Guard/Staff Sgt. Michelle Y. Alvarez-Rea

Frances and Efrain Santiago, natives of Puerto Rico, wanted to show their support last month for protesters back home seeking to oust the island's governor.

The couple flew the flag of Puerto Rico on the garage of their Kissimmee home. It ticked off the homeowners association.

Someone from the Rolling Hills Estates Homeowners Association left a letter at their home, citing a "flag violation" and warning: "Please rectify the listed violation or you may incur a fine."

Frances Santiago, 38, an Army veteran, demanded to know why.

Read More Show Less
Todd Rosenberg/AP

A West Point graduate received a waiver from the U.S. Army to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, and play in the NFL while serving as an active-duty soldier.

The waiver for 2nd Lt. Brett Toth was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, who said that Toth signed a three-year deal with the Eagles. Toth graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 2018.

Read More Show Less
Indiana National Guard

The Indiana National Guard soldier who was killed on Thursday in a training accident at Fort Hood has been identified as 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Andrew Michael St. John, of Greenwood, Indiana.

Read More Show Less

QUETTA, Pakistan/KABUL (Reuters) - The brother of the leader of the Afghan Taliban was among at least four people killed in a bomb blast at a mosque in Pakistan on Friday, two Taliban sources told Reuters, an attack that could affect efforts to end the Afghan war.

Read More Show Less