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When they arrive at the Naval Academy, first-year midshipmen are given a pair of standard-issue dress shoes to shine, maintain, and wear almost every day for four years. That’s a lot of miles to walk in dress shoes — to classes, to parades, to meals. And while this is a problem for everyone, the impact has been most notable on the football field, according to The Washington Post.
Navy’s football team has been kicking ass and taking names for years, rising above just being a service academy team, and proving itself to be one of the fiercest programs in the country. But during the 2016-2017 season, the midshipmen lost their final three games — relinquishing their 14-year winning streak to their Army rivals in the process. The end of the season was marred by injuries, and the team’s staff started to notice that many of them were foot-related.
“We had a huge summit among the training staff, the weight room staff, equipment people,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo told the Post. “What could it be?”
The answer, they surmised, was the hard-soled uniform dress shoes.
“We recognized that a lot of these kids, their foot injuries could be caused by their uniform shoes,” Jim Berry, Navy’s assistant athletic director for sports medicine, told the Post. “We noticed some of the kids, their heels were starting to wear, kind of like dress shoes you might have had for a few years. Your back heel is kind of worn out.”
And these midshipmen wear the worn-out, hard-soled shoes for nearly 10 hours a day, the Post estimated. Although Niumatalolo and Berry couldn’t conclusively suggest that the footwear is the only problem, one orthopedist certainly believes there is a correlation.
“Certain types of injuries I would say it certainly increases the risk for,” sports orthopedist Thomas Sanders told the Post. “I would think stress fractures would absolutely be created in that setting because dress shoes tend to be tighter. They tend to not have as much support, especially if you’re doing a lot of standing.”
There is no shortage of scholarly research on lower-extremity injuries across the military. One 2011 study by the Defense Department estimated that foot and ankle injuries are among the leading causes of lost training and time in theater.
According to the report, between 2000 and 2006, “16% of soldiers were clinically seen at least once for an [ankle or foot injury].” And annually, 60% to 70% of all active duty soldiers who have issues with their feet or ankles reported excessive strain or sprains.
Shoes, as the military community knows, play a huge role in preventing injury. And stress fractures are one of the most common issues faced by the military, particularly in new recruits. In 2016, the Defense Health Agency suggested that 3% of male recruits and 9% of female recruits suffer from lower-extremity stress fractures.
In order to prevent the injuries, the agency suggests that service members “replace old or worn footwear” — something that midshipmen rarely do.
The midshipmen, who face off in their first game Sept. 1 against Florida Atlantic University, are taking precautions to ensure that this season doesn’t turn out like the last.
“All of us, myself, all of us have to learn better because people get hurt, but it can’t be because of our negligence,” Niumatalolo told the Post. “We’ve got to do the best we can and make sure that we look at everything, look under every stone.”
The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.
President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.
"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'
"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"
This 400-pound feral hog is one of more than 1,200 that have invaded a Texas Air Force base since 2016
At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.
A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.
In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."
A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.
In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.
Constant deployments broke the Air Force's B-1 fleet. Now the service is facing a major bomber shortfall
On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.
In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.
A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.
The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.