Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Dan Bilzerian Celebrates His Armenian Citizenship By Blowing Sh*t Up With A Bazooka
Dan Bilzerian, the social media star/aspiring operator/dude-told-to-fuck-off-by-a-Las-Vegas-cop, just became a citizen of Armenia and celebrated by blowing shit up with a bazooka and firing off some machine guns with the country's military.
The so-called "King of Instagram" said he flew to Armenia on Aug. 25, where the Tampa, Florida native was naturalized as a citizen of the former Soviet Republic. He "enthusiastically" received a copy of the country's constitution and was photographed with officials after the ceremony, according to Mnatsakan Bichakhchyan, head of the passport and visa department of the Armenian Police.
On Instagram, where he has nearly 24 million followers, Bilzerian later posted a photograph of himself firing a rocket-propelled grenade, with the caption, "First day as an Armenian citizen."
In videos posted on his account, Bilzerian was also seen flying in a Mil Mi-17 helicopter before landing at a firing range where he fired machine-guns, grenade launchers, an RPG, and what appeared to be a 30mm cannon on a Russian-made BMP.
Various members of the Armenian military could be seen around him.
The Daily Mail and others have speculated that Bilzerian will be conscripted into the country's military since the country requires all citizens 18 to 27 to serve at least two years. But that rule doesn't apply to Bilzerian, however, as dual citizens are exempt if they served in another country's military for at least one year (Bilzerian served in the Navy for just over a year, with three unsuccessful attempts to pass Navy SEAL training).
A memo circulating over the weekend warning of a "possible imminent attack" against U.S. soldiers in Germany was investigated by Army officials, who found there to not be a serious threat after all.
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.
Comedian Jon Stewart has joined forces with veterans groups to make sure service members who have been sickened by toxins from burn pits get the medical care they need, according to the Military Officers Association of America.
"Quite frankly, this is not just about burn pits — it's about the way we go to war as a country," Stewart said during his Jan. 17 visit to Washington, D.C. "We always have money to make war. We need to always have money to take care of what happens to people who are selfless enough, patriotic enough, to wage those wars on our behalf."
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Editor's Note: A version of this article originally appeared on the blog of Angry Staff Officer
This morning, the Virginia state capitol in Richmond saw dozens of armed men gathering to demonstrate their support for the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution – the right to bear arms. These men were not merely bearing arms, however; they were fully accoutered in the trappings of what one would call a paramilitary group: helmets, vests, ammunition pouches, camouflage clothing, and other "tactical" necessities, the majority of which are neither tactical nor necessary. Their weapons, too, are bedecked with all sorts of accessories, and are also in the paramilitary lane. Rather than carry rifles or shotguns that one would use for hunting, they instead carry semi-automatic "military grade" weapons, to merely prove that they can.
This is not an uncommon sight in America. Nor has it ever been. Armed groups of angry men have a long and uncomfortable history in the United States. On very rare occasions, these irregulars have done some good against corrupt, power-hungry, and abusive county governments. For the most part, however, they bode no good.
How We Found Out explores recent reporting from Task & Purpose, answering questions about how we sourced our stories, what challenges we faced, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at how we cover issues impacting the military and veterans community.
Following a string of news reports on private Facebook group called Marines United, where current and former Marines shared nude photos of their fellow service members, the Corps launched an internal investigation to determine if the incident was indicative of a larger problem facing the military's smallest branch.
In December 2019, Task & Purpose published a feature story written by our editor in chief, Paul Szoldra, which drew from the internal review. In the article, Szoldra detailed the findings of that investigation, which included first-hand accounts from male and female Marines.
Task & Purpose spoke with Szoldra to discuss how he got his hands on the investigation, how he made sense of the more than 100 pages of anecdotes and personal testimony, and asked what, if anything, the Marine Corps may do to correct the problem.
This is the fourth installment in the recurring column How We Found Out.