Russian President Vladimir Putin (The Kremlin)

Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

A recent report from the Vietnam Veterans of America says that American vets are targeted by Russians and other adversarial governments online. Specifically, there are many Facebook pages and other social media catering to vets that are really operated by foreign entities.

Some may ask, so what? If the pages are fun, why does it matter who runs them? The intelligence officer in Moscow isn't running a Facebook page for American veterans because he has an intense interest in motivational t-shirts and YouTube rants in pickup trucks.

He's doing it to undermine the political and social fabric of the United States.

Read More

Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

A recent RAND study on military compensation has recently garnered some attention, with the main takeaway of many being that "US Troops May Be Overpaid, New Study Finds." As even a cursory look at the comments section of this and other coverage of the study reveals, most veterans don't like hearing that.

Of course, RAND didn't actually say, "Get off your ass, you lazy bums! We're paying you way too much to sit around!" Those who bothered to actually read the study found it a rather well-argued and nuanced report that doesn't focus on the idea that the military is "overpaid." It proposes that if the goal of a compensation plan is to recruit and retain the right people, the military is not using its total compensation budget in the most effective manner.

Read More
Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe (Photo illustration by Aaron Provost)

Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared in 2018

Three. That's how many times Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe entered the burning carcass of his Bradley Fighting Vehicle after it struck an improvised explosive device in the Iraqi province of Salahuddin on Oct. 17, 2005. Cashe, a 35-year-old Gulf War vet on his second combat deployment to Iraq since the 2003 invasion, had been in the gun turret when the IED went off below the vehicle, immediately killing the squad's translator and rupturing the fuel cell. By the time the Bradley rolled to a stop, it was fully engulfed in flames. The crackle of incoming gunfire followed. It was a complex ambush.

Read More

Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

Television host Mike Rowe had a lot of great things to say about the military on Fox and Friends recently, but one thing he mentioned during the Veterans Day segment requires a rebuttal.

Rowe, most famous for being the host of "Dirty Jobs," rightfully saluted the courage of a wounded veteran, but then made a common mistake of civilians when they try to honor military service. He ascribed an abstract mythic greatness to a group that's filled with a wide variety of people with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences.

"Is there a greater meritocracy in the world? Is there a better example of true diversity? The thing that I'm most proud about when I go to bases when I visit with people, they are utterly colorblind. There's no conversation about 'trigger words.' There's no safe space. The military is not a safe space," Rowe said.

But is that true?

Read More
A Soldier shakes the hand of a young boy while patrolling to support Operation Inherent Resolve in Mosul, Iraq, July 4, 2017. (U.S. Army/Cpl. Rachel Diehm)

Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

My cell phone rang on a sweltering Baghdad summer night in 2006. My best friend and West Point classmate, Maj. Bill Taylor was on the other end.

"It's bad," he said. "We need to get these guys to an American military hospital, ASAP."

"These guys" were captured suspected al-Qaeda insurgents, and Bill, one lone American soldier, was now the only thing standing between them and several hundred Iraqi soldiers bent on tearing them apart.

Read More
A bunch of hot air (Screenshots)

Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

Americans are more politically divided now than at any time in living memory.

It seems that the old adage about opinions and assholes has finally been proven without a doubt. And perhaps the most prominent people with both are America's retired general and flag officers.

Read More
© 2018 Hirepurpose. All rights reserved. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service.