A U.S. Army Soldier assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, consoles a fellow Soldier after sleeping on the ground in a designated sleeping area on another cold evening, between training exercises during NTC 17-03, National Training Center, Ft. Irwin, CA., Jan. 15, 2017. (U.S. Army/Spc. Tracy McKithern)
The Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) is the largest official database of U.S. military media available for public consumption. It is also an occasional source of unexpected laughs, like this gem from a live fire exercise that a public affairs officer simply tagged 'Fire mortar boom.' In the world of droll data entry and too many acronyms, sometimes little jokes are their own little form of rebellion, right?
But some DVIDS uploads, however, come with captions and titles that cut right to the core, perfectly capturing the essence of life in the U.S. military in a way that makes you sigh, facepalm, and utter a mournful, 'too real.'
On April 24, 1946, Adm. Chester W. Nimitz ordered the creation of a Navy flight exhibition team to boost morale and engender good civil-military relations. The legendary Navy chief turned to a war ace, Lt. Cdr. Roy Marlin “Butch” Voris, to whip up a team of F6F Hellcat pilots to do crazy and daring stuff for gawking crowds. The men trained secretly, practicing dicey maneuvers in the empty Florida Everglades so that “if anything happened, just the alligators would know,” as Voris put it.