The Marines are looking for a few good recruits to bolster the ranks, and the Corps is willing to pay a little something extra for those looking to go infantry. Emphasis on little.
According to a Sept. 12 MARADMIN for fiscal year 2018, the service is willing to shell out $5,000 for would-be Marines who enlist to be grunts… with a six-year contract, rather than the usual four. The bonus amounts to roughly $833 extra each year and applies to the following infantry military occupational specialties: Marine rifleman (0311), machine gunner (0331), mortarman (0341), assaultman (0351), anti-tank guided missileman (0352), and light armored vehicle (LAV) crewman (0313).
The bonuses for the 2018 fiscal year mirror those in 2017 and 2016 for infantry Marines — five large, but with the caveat that you’ll have to wait an extra two years to get your hands on that DD214 and GI Bill money.
$5,000 may seem like a lot, but when it comes with an extra two years latched onto the contract... eh, not so much.
Active-duty Marine life isn’t all bad, but it doesn’t take long for even the most motivated and gung-ho devil dog to start yearning for their EAS. Doubly so when you think about the crap grunts have to put up with. Two extra years of ass-chewings, standing by to stand by, and waiting for hours to turn in rifles at the armory seems like it's worth a lot more than the extra $70 bucks you’ll have in your bank account each month.
And, let’s be honest, most boot Marines will blow that lump-sum bonus their first weekend out on the town at J-Vegas.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."