When I saw that the renowned aviation reporter Tyler Rogoway had unearthed a 1985 pre-release interview with the Top Gun cast by the media crew aboard the USS Enterprise, my heart raced faster than a Kenny Loggins jam. But after watching that slice of retro cinema, I mostly felt pity for the poor Navy petty officer who managed to somehow antagonize Tom Cruise during a contractually-obligated interview.

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MMA and Army veteran Timothy Johnson is a 6’ 3”, 280-lb. force of pure, unadulterated sweetness. The southern Minnesota native, who has been residing in Fargo, North Dakota, since he went up there to wrestle and play college football 11 years ago, epitomizes the term “Minnesota nice.”

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U.S Marine Corps/Cpl. Tayler P. Schwamb

Say you’re at a dinner party. Sitting next to you is a petrochemical engineer. When you ask what she does for her day-to-day job, she overwhelms you with names of substances you haven’t heard since high school chemistry, uses cryptic acronyms, and drones on and on. After about a minute, you’ve tuned her out and you’re thinking about dessert.

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U.S. Army/Visual Information Specialist Pierre-Etienne Courtejoie

The concept of “coffee meetings” and the phrase “informational meeting” was foreign when I was in the Army. My unit’s “open door policy,” designed to encourage young soldiers to seek mentorship or report issues not addressed by line supervisors, in reality equated to avoiding senior leaders at all costs. It was just unthinkable for me, in the Army, to ask someone to meet with me so I could learn about his or her career. For one thing, no one had the time for that, and two, it just wasn’t done.

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U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mikki L. Sprenkle

For Ryan Pitts, the Medal of Honor is a reminder of the sacrifices made by the 48 American soldiers he fought alongside during the Battle of Wanat.

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