Soldiers with the 4th Brigade Combat Team "Currahee", 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), participating in the Soldier, NCO of the quarter and Audie Murphy board, begin the run portion of the Army Physical Fitness Test, at forward operating base Salerno, Afghanistan, July 14, 2013. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Justin A. Moeller)
The standard-issue Army reflective belt, formally known as "Belt, High Visibility," is one of the most enduring symbols of the Global War on Terror. It is also the most indisputably reviled piece of gear in any U.S. service member's kit. Don't let Russian spies or Urban Outfitters convince you otherwise: the reflective belt might be the aesthetic version of a "Kick Me" sign.
Let me know if this sounds familiar: An Army soldier deployed overseas as part of the United States' global fight against terrorism up and decides to abandon his post. Attempts to recover him result in the permanent injury of at least one other U.S. service member. Back home, the circumstances surrounding his decision to go AWOL become highly-publicized and controversial, and some even see him as a traitor.
This description encapsulates the saga of Army Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl — but it could easily describe Capt. Steve Rogers, the former Army O-3 who broke from the U.S. government before assembling an elite squad of international fugitives to wage an insurgency against a batshit crazy purple tyrant.
Yes, I know what you're thinking, but just hear me out.
The Chinese military has sent a clear message for the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea: Your FONOPs will not be fun ops. Now, it appears likely that China's aggressive naval ambitions may spread beyond its artificial islands to the country's nascent military presence in Africa.
The U.S. armed forces have engineered all manner of weapons to defeat enemies from afar, from the Brown Bess muzzle-loading smoothbore musket of the Revolutionary War to the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (the "Mother Of All Bombs") we dropped on Afghanistan in 2017.
But sometimes, when you're out of ammo and out of options, war gets up close and personal — and sometimes, the simplest ways of fighting are best.