Saved Rounds: This Week’s Military News Roundup

Bullet Points

This week brought us some of the crude, the bad, and the ugly, with stories of corporate stolen valor, birth defects caused by contaminated base water supplies, and we look back at remembering the ultimate stunt pulled by a former service academy student. Here's your military news roundup.


  • Nike and apparel boutique Undefeated were accused of stolen valor after putting out a logo for a new collaboration that bore a striking resemblance to the U.S. Naval Academy coat of arms. Nike has not put out an official response to the controversy, but Naval Academy officials are sticking with claims of a clear trademark violation ahead of the apparel launch this weekend.
  • Lawmakers wrote a scathing letter regarding their concerns about service members drinking poisoned base water which has resulted in birth defects on 126 DoD installations. The $2 billion plan to sort out the situation involves replacing the bad pipes with the same exact danger causing pipes, just newer. 

And this week’s Military Flashback Friday

  • West Point Academy drop-out Caleb Stevens returned from fighting the ISIS with a Kurdish militia group by entering a Chicago ER with his mom back in February and announcing that he needed medical attention for a week-old gunshot wound. After disclosing that he'd be shot in Syria, local police showed up to his hospital room accusing him of being a terrorist. He's fine now, though!

The Colt Model 1911 .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol that John Browning dreamed up more than a century ago remains on of the most beloved sidearms in U.S. military history. Hell, there's a reason why Army Gen. Scott Miller, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, still rocks an M1911A1 on his hip despite the fact that the Army no longer issues them to soldiers.

But if scoring one of the Army's remaining M1911s through the Civilian Marksmanship Program isn't enough to satisfy your adoration for the classic sidearm, then Colt has something right up your alley: the Colt Model 1911 'Black Army' pistol.

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Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney takes questions during a news briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 17, 2019. (Reuters/Leah Millis)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's withholding of $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was linked to his request that the Ukrainians look into a claim — debunked as a conspiracy theory — about the 2016 U.S. election, a senior presidential aide said on Thursday, the first time the White House acknowledged such a connection.

Trump and administration officials had denied for weeks that they had demanded a "quid pro quo" - a Latin phrase meaning a favor for a favor - for delivering the U.S. aid, a key part of a controversy that has triggered an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives against the Republican president.

But Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, acknowledged in a briefing with reporters that the U.S. aid — already approved by Congress — was held up partly over Trump's concerns about a Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server alleged to be in Ukraine.

"I have news for everybody: Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy," Mulvaney said.

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Former Defense Secretary James Mattis decided to take on President Donald Trump's reported assertion that he is "overrated" at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York City on Thursday.

"I'm not just an overrated general, I am the greatest — the world's most — overrated," Mattis said at the event, which raises money for charity.

"I'm honored to be considered that by Donald Trump because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress," Mattis said. "So I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals ... and frankly that sounds pretty good to me. And you do have to admit that between me and Meryl, at least we've had some victories."

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The former Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs thinks that the VA needs to start researching medical marijuana. Not in a bit. Not soon. Right goddamn now.

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The United States and Turkey have agreed to a temporary cease fire to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a safe zone that Turkey is establishing along its border with Syria, Vice President Mike Pence announced on Thursday.

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