Permission To Speak Freely

Can You Spot The Sniper In This Photo… Holy Crap Is That A Snake?

sniper and snake
A photograph of an Army sniper remaining still as a snake slithers across his barrel has gone viral. During training at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. on Apr. 7, Alabama National Guard Pfc. William Snyder was caught on camera fully-camouflaged in a ghillie suit looking down the scope of his rifle as a Southern black … Read More

Afghanistan Is So Great That Its Military Officers Keep Going AWOL While Training In The US

Afghanistan is such a fantastic and magical place after U.S. involvement there for the past 17 years that its military officers keep disappearing when they are training here in the states. As of Feb. 2018, nine out of the 150 Afghans training in the U.S. are currently absent without leave, the Pentagon says. Although most … Read More

A Sailor Was Arrested For Allegedly Carrying Out The Dumbest Crime Possible

San Diego-based Navy destroyer uss pickney explosives stolen
Remember that old show World’s Dumbest Criminals? There’s a 31-year-old sailor apparently trying to impress the show’s casting director. Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Aaron Booker was arrested by Navy investigators in Great Lakes, Ill. on Tuesday on suspicion that he stole 20 concussion grenades from a ship he had been serving on in San Diego, … Read More

The Real Questions Worth Asking To Assess The Army’s War Record

war record
Gen. Frederick Kroesen commanded a rifle company in World War II, a battalion in Korea, and a brigade and a division in Vietnam. When he talks, I listen. But I think his column in the May issue of ARMY magazine is seriously off base. He sets out to assess the track record of Army generals … Read More

The Army Is Missing Recruiting Goals — And It’s Only Going To Get Worse

army recruiting
The Army won’t make its goal of 80,000 recruits this year. So far, six months into the recruiting year, it has brought in just 28,000. My guess is that this is just the first big sign of an impending recruiting crisis. People are tired of our wars, and the economy is doing well enough so that … Read More

‘Eat The Apple’ Is The Belligerent, Unflinchingly Honest Iraq War Memoir We Needed

eat the apple, matt young, iraq war memoir, iraq, marine corps, deployment, combat, war stories
Editor’s note: With self-lacerating wit, Eat The Apple is a new Iraq war memoir that spares nothing and no one, least of all its author, Marine Corps infantry veteran Matt Young. “You’ve chosen the United States Marine Corps infantry based on one thing,” Young says to himself in the memoir, which published Feb. 27, 2018. … Read More

The New Terminal Lance Book Is The Satire Marines Deserve

In 2010, when Maximilian Uriarte created Terminal Lance, the comic strip represented institutional heresy, utterly antithetical to the tailored public image of the Marine Corps. Marines were not portrayed as steely-eyed warriors in pitched firefights, heroically defending the American Way. Instead, Uriarte portrays the unfiltered satirical perspective of the average day enlisted Marine infantryman – … Read More

Cops And Veterans: The Real Problem May Be The ‘Pseudo-Militarization’ Of American Police

militarization veterans dislike police officers
I was not aware that veterans had particular animosity or resentment for police, but I can’t say it surprises me if that’s true. Anecdotally, I’ve heard and read comments by veterans that echo those in the T&P piece complaining about how American police treat the public and how it differs from how soldiers treat non-combatants in war … Read More