Here at Task & Purpose, we keep track of all the important news feeds: downrange news, service news, Shaggy news. So we were all over this morning’s Marine Corps Times announcement that Shaggy, he of the late-’90s dank ragga beats, is taking his international tour to three U.S. installations in Japan later this month.
The headline for their story: “Singer and Marine vet Shaggy to perform for troops in Japan.”
Somehow, in the two decades since his music got me to second base on a Virginia Beach dance floor during weekend liberty, I failed to learn that Shaggy was a fucking Marine.
This dancehall legend — whose hits include “It Wasn’t Me” and “Go Fuck Yourself” and who believes the way to defeat ISIS is to “bag some Jamaican weed and distribute it” to the evildoers — was, in fact, an artilleryman with the 5th Battalion, 10th Marines out of Lejeune, and he deployed to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield and Storm in 1991.
Not quite the model Marine — he was busted down in rank twice — he was better known for his colorful cadence calling and already had hit a single before he left active duty.
"The highest rank I got was lance corporal. My big problem was being AWOL. I was driving up to New York every weekend to do music," he told Military Times in a 2011 feature story. "Sometimes I got back late. And I'm a guy with a big mouth, and I mouthed off a lot. So, you know, things like that will get you busted."
Anyway, if you’re on Hansen, Atsugi, or Iwakuni later this month and want to catch Mr. Lover Lover singing about all the things Master Sar’nt says you oughtn’t do, check out the details 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."