For Sean G. McCool, the Marine Corps is synonymous with family. Not only did he enlist and gain a platoon of brothers, he joined his father, brother, and a bunch of other kin to become the seventh person in the McCool family to have proudly served the Corps, dating all the way back to 1925.
McCool “took charge and did everything in his power to assist those around him who needed help,” Jacob writes. “His initiative would not go unnoticed by his superiors, and he was designated as guide of Platoon 2044.”
From the second he arrived on the white bus as a recruit to the day he walked off the parade deck toward his cheering family in the stands, he knew he was meant to be a Marine.
"I have always been around Marines since I was little," McCool said. “The two things they taught me that got me ready for this was to respect authority and never accept my current limits."
McCool’s senior drill instructor, Staff Sgt. Devon A. Luevano, told Jacob that when pressed by the DIs during training to dish on his squadmates for their repeated failures, McCool “blamed only himself.”
Luevano said he had never seen a recruit take personal responsibility for the group’s failures so directly. But as platoon guide, McCool felt it was only right.
"That was the honest answer I always wanted to hear from a recruit,” Luevano said.
Read more about McCool’s well-trod journey to becoming a Marine here.
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."