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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.

Forty years ago today, Apocalypse Now was released. As they say, it was kind of a big deal at the time, and actually it still is. Unlike some other movies about Vietnam released soon after the war, Apocalypse Now still largely stands up, unlike, say, The Deer Hunter, which is damn near unwatchable today. I know. I tried. Even Christopher Walken can't make two hours in rural Pennsylvania exciting.

Apocalypse Now might be the first example of people in the military turning a movie meant to highlight the horrors of war into a motivational video about killing the enemy.

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In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea, wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Associated Press/Yonhap/Kim Jun-bum)

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.

Marines haven't exactly shaken their reputation as crayon-eating meatheads in recent years. Just look to the many scandals over cultural issues like misogynistic Facebook pages and Marines United.

But the Corps recently got a new Commandant, Gen. David Berger. Berger has jumped into the fire with both feet. Only a few days on the job, he has put out a series of initiatives in his Commandant's Planning Guidance (CPG) that point to a period of great change for the Corps.

Through its 243 years, the Corps has had to reinvent itself countless times.

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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.

The commander of the US Navy Special Operations Command, Rear Admiral Collin Green, issued a letter to his subordinates last week telling them that there is a problem with discipline within the SEALs that must be addressed immediately. It's been obvious for awhile that there is something dysfunctional within special operations generally, and naval special warfare in particular.

Special operations forces are famously afforded latitude in certain regulations not given to conventional forces. Those are supposed to be for legitimate operational reasons, such as modified grooming and uniform standards for working with indigenous forces. They aren't supposed to be a reward for being "special."

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(Paramount Pictures)

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.

The new trailer for Top Gun: Maverick was everything an aviator or wannabe aviator could hope for. I'm a sucker for a good military action movie as much as the next guy, so of course I'll go see it. Even a longtime helicopter and tiltrotor pilot like me can appreciate that a Low Altitude Tactics (LAT) flight at 500 knots is pretty badass — and yes, even acknowledge that an F/A-18E Rhino might be almost as sexy as a V-22.

In 1986, Top Gun (or TOPGUN for purists) changed civilians' whole perception of the military in general, and the Navy and naval aviation in particular. Applications for Annapolis skyrocketed. So did enlistments, along with buyer's remorse when thousands of sailors realized the only need for speed they'd feel would be manning their brooms a little quicker during "sweepers."

Top Gun: Maverick will probably be a very entertaining movie. While the Navy definitely would have shit-canned Mav years ago, Xenu has come through for him big time. Tom Cruise will be at his Cruisiest. But while popcorn sales will be through the roof in 2020, recruitment numbers won't skyrocket like they did in 1986. In fact, I'd bet they won't even budge.

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A Soldier holds an American flag prior to the start of an oath of citizenship ceremony in the General George Patton Museum's Abrams Auditorium at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Sept. 19, 2018. (U.S. Army/ Eric Pilgrim)

Looking at many veterans' attitudes, especially online, you see a lot of complaining about the many failings of civilians. Most of those complaints come under the aegis of "slimy" or "nasty."

The best version of this is, "I worked so much harder than everyone else they fired me for making everyone else look bad."

Let's clarify. No one has ever been fired for doing too good of a job. You were fired for being an insufferable asshole to your coworkers, not because of your groundbreaking excellence in the world of pest control.

Sometimes it's civilians causing the "civil-military divide." But let's be honest, often, or even usually, it's veterans belittling civilians. You never hear a civilian saying,"I can't stand all these freaking nasty veterans around here!"

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Recruits take the oath of enlistment before a NFL game in Arizona, November 2018. Photo: Alun Thomas/U.S. Army Recruiting

Jacob Wohl, noted conspiracy theorist, internet fraudster, and contender for the youngest person ever to operate a bogus hedge fund, recently promised via Twitter that he would join the military. That is, he'll join the military, "probably the Army," if President Trump attacks Iran. He even specified that he would enlist within ten days.

The ten day timeframe would itself be laughable if it weren't for the fact that children born on September 11, 2001 are now eligible to enlist and possibly go to Afghanistan. So, if Wohl actually did follow through on his promise, he would conceivably still get to fight after spending a few months in poolee status, boot camp, MOS training, etc.

That said, Wohl will never enlist, war with Iran or no war with Iran. Is the hypothetical war with Iran somehow more worthy than the ones we've been fighting against the Taliban, Iraq, ISIS, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al Qaeda in Iraq, or Al Qaeda original flavor for nearly two decades, i.e. nearly the whole time Wohl has been alive?

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