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Local Motors’ CEO Jay Rogers has the desert in his DNA. Not only is he the grandson of Ralph Rogers, owner of Indian Motorcycle Company, which built desert fighting motorcycles for the U.S. Army during World War II, he’s also a former Marine Corps infantry officer who spent some time in the Middle East.
“When you’re in Iraq, on deployment every day, and you know you could get killed from roadside bombs, insurgent attacks, many different things, you really get in touch with the idea of what you want to do with your life,” Rogers once told Maxim in an interview. “For me, I loved cars. I like a challenge. This is it.”
Now, Local Motors, Rogers’ Arizona-based company, which specializes in limited edition, open-sourced motor vehicle designs, has used ideas crowdsourced from its fanbase to create the Rally Fighter — a 430-horse, V8 Corvette-powered, off-road racer that carries a relatively modest price tag of $99,000.
The catch? You have to build it yourself.
It begins with a $5,000 deposit paid to the company at least 30 days in advance. Then you and up to two friends — if you’d rather not build the car by yourself — pay a visit to Local Motors’ “microfactory” in Phoenix and get to work. In one week, you’ll assemble your very own Rally Fighter, replete with customized color schemes and interior.
Despite looking like something out of the apocalypse, the Rally Fighter is street legal in 50 states. But, of course, this baby was born to run — and jump, and drift, and…well, you get the point. And don’t worry about putting it through hell: All of the information you need to repair and modify the Rally Fighter is available on the company’s website.
The Rally Fighter is limited to 2,000 editions. You can purchase one here. If you do, and you need someone to help you built it, you know who to call. You don’t? Okay, I’m talking about myself. Call me. Please.
MONS, Belgium (Reuters) - The United States will send 20,000 troops to Europe next April and May in its biggest military exercises on European soil since the Cold War to underscore Washington's commitment to NATO, a senior allied commander said on Tuesday.
Days after a NATO summit in London at which U.S. President Donald Trump called low-spending European allies "delinquent", U.S. Major General Barre Seguin said the exercises, centered on Germany, will be the largest of their kind in 25 years.
"This really demonstrates transatlantic unity and the U.S. commitment to NATO," Seguin, who oversees allied operations from NATO's military headquarters in Belgium, told Reuters.
Gold Star family members might finally see an end to the so-called "Widows Tax" thanks to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020.
The top Pentagon watchdog has announced it would be investigating all deaths of recruits during initial military training over the past five years, the agency said in a statement last week.
In a Dec. 4 memo, the DoD Inspector General said it was changing the scope of an investigation it had opened on Nov. 18 that was titled Evaluation of Medical Resources and Guidance to Trainers at Recruit Training Centers in the DoD. Its new title, the IG said, would be Evaluation of Medical Protocols and Deaths of Recruits in the DoD.
While its original objective of looking into the medical resources available to recruits would remain the same, the IG said it would now also review all deaths of recruits at military basic training facilities between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2019.
The move comes in the wake of several deaths at basic training facilities over the past year. In April, the Navy announced a safety review after two prospective sailors died at its recruit training facility in Great Lakes, Illinois. Seaman Recruit Kelsey Nobles died after a fitness test that month; Seaman Recruit Kierra Evans also died after the run portion of the fitness test.
In September, an 18-year-old soldier died following a "medical emergency" before a training drill at Fort Jackson, S.C.
Meanwhile, the Marine Corps has disciplined more than 20 Marines over misconduct at its San Diego boot camp since 2017, according to The Washington Post. The action came in the wake of a scandal involving the death of a 20-year-old Muslim recruit named Raheel Siddiqui, who fell 40 feet to his death at the Parris Island training facility, where he and other Muslims were targeted for abuse by their drill instructor (the instructor was later sentenced to 10 years in prison at court-martial).
According to the IG, Pentagon investigators will visit all DoD recruit training facilities and interview personnel from each service's education and training commands. They will also speak with personnel at military medical facilities, the Defense Health Agency, and those assigned at the Military Entrance Processing Command, which does the initial intake for civilians going into military service.
The number of substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct against senior Army officials increased this year, according to an Army Inspector General report recently presented to service leaders and obtained by Task & Purpose.
The document, which lays out broad details of IG investigations undertaken in fiscal year 2019, looks at investigations specific to senior Army officials, which includes "promotable colonels, general officers and senior executives," according to Army spokesman Lt. Col. Emanuel Ortiz.
Marine Corps senior leaders have begun to express cautious openness to the idea of making the service's boot camps fully co-ed. But if Congress has its way, the service may be pushed toward full integration sooner than expected.
The final conference version of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act includes a provision that would require the service to integrate both its East Coast and West Coast entry-level training facilities within the next eight years.