Who’s The Jerk Who Hit US Troops In South Korea With A Fake Evac Order?

U.S. Army photo by SFC Sean K. Harp

U.S. military personnel and their families were directed to to evacuate South Korea last week in what turned out to be a hoax, according to the Washington Post.

A string of phone and social media messages sent Sept. 21 under the guise of a Noncombatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) alert directed “all DoD family members and non-emergency essential DoD civilians” to evacuate the volatile peninsula.

The hoax began making the rounds to a handful of troops and their families, who quickly alerted their chain of command, according to Stars and Stripes. Within the hour, U.S. Forces Korea announced on Facebook that it “did NOT send this message,” and advised that troops, government employees, and their families living in South Korea to confirm with their chain of command that calls to evacuate were legitimate prior to pulling up stakes and heading for the hills.

“The good news here is: informed, savvy family members plus an engaged chain of command means no panic or over-reaction,” U.S. Forces Korea spokesman Col. Chad Carroll told Stars and Stripes. “We had no reports of anyone acting on message other than notifying the appropriate authorities.”

The U.S. military hasn’t said who they think sent the hoax evacuation order, and it’s still unclear whether any military networks were compromised, reports Stars and Stripes, but an Army advisory did urge recipients to pass those messages along to the service’s counterintelligence unit.

Related: North Korea Threatens To Shoot Down US Bombers After Trump’s ‘Declaration Of War’ »

American military forces in the Korean peninsula — roughly 28,500 troops, in addition to thousands of family members — rehearse these kinds of evacuations twice a year, according to the Washington Post, but the hoax comes at a precarious time. On Sept. 19, President Donald Trump threatened to destroy North Korea and dubbed dictator Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man” on the floor of the UN General Assembly before announcing another round of economic sanctions that week. In response, on Pyongyang threatened to explode a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean in response to “dotard” Trump’s provocations.

In the event of a real evacuation the military’s official plan cautions American servicemembers and civilians to pack light, prioritizing irreplaceable documents, first-aid kits, extra clothing, flashlights, and sleeping bags. It also recommends families prep ahead of a time, with a go bag containing all necessary legal documents, a few days rations, medicine, and a handheld radio. For the latter, it might be a good idea to think of a callsign ahead of time — maybe “Wolverines”?


The eight-foot floodwaters from the Missouri River put a third of Offutt Air Force Base underwater and severely damaged at least 30 buildings, according to the Air Force (Facebook/55th Wing Commander)

As floodwaters from the raging Missouri River began to engulf buildings and runways at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska in March, one retired officer was racing through the headquarters of the 55th Wing on a unique rescue mission: to save as much as the Wing's history as he could.

Read More Show Less

The Army has reopened an investigation into the 2007 death of Spc. Kamisha Block, which was originally blamed on friendly fire but has since come under heavy scrutiny.

Read More Show Less
A U.S. Soldier assigned to 2nd Battalion, 198th Armored Regiment, 155th Brigade Combat Team, Mississippi Army National Guard, takes a moment to rest during Decisive Action Rotation 17-07 at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., May 30, 2017. (U.S. Army photo)

(Reuters Health) - Voice analysis software can help detect post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans based on their speech, a study suggests.

Doctors have long understood that people with psychiatric disorders may speak differently than individuals who do not have mental health problems, researchers note in Depression and Anxiety. While some previous research points to the potential for distinct speech patterns among people with PTSD, it's been unclear whether depression that often accompanies PTSD might explain the unique voice characteristics.

In the current study, voice analysis software detected which veterans had PTSD and which ones did not with 89 percent accuracy.

Read More Show Less
Team American Freedom with the historic C-47 Tico Bell in the background. (Q Concepts via Military.com)

Editor's Note: This article by Sean Mclain Brown originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

With the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion into Normandy, France coming June 5, a group of veterans are planning a reenactment jump as part of the celebration.

But they'll be jumping with an item not on the packing list of World War II U.S. soldiers — or at least not the official one: bourbon.

Read More Show Less

Marine veteran Rep. Seth Moulton has officially jumped into the 2020 presidential race, promising to speak extensively about patriotism, service, and national security as part of his message.

Mouton, who deployed to Iraq four times, is currently a congressman from Massachusetts. He told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on Monday that he has long valued service to the country.

"That's why I joined the Marines," Moulton told Stephanopoulos. "It's why I ran for Congress to try to prevent what I saw got us into Iraq from happening again, and it's why I'm running to take on the most divisive president in American history."

Read More Show Less