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Posts made in: 'History' (19) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 19

May 31, 2013 at 10:29am

What's better than a rock for the Flameless Ration Heater?

Lauren Oleksyk of the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center's Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate, holds a Flameless Ration Heater and a Meal, Ready-to-Eat. This is the 20th anniversary of the heater's introduction. Phot

According to the U.S. Army, and it would know, the Flameless Ration Heater celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The mark has brough the term, "rock or something," back to water cooler discussions. For those who are new, we refer to this excerpt from a story today on the Army's website:

If you're familiar with the phrase "rock or something," then you've probably used a Flameless Ration Heater to warm up a Meal, Ready-to-Eat.

To this day, the phrase remains part of a pictogram on the package of the heater, known as the FRH, which was developed at Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center's Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate and is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2013. It refers to directions that advise warfighters to place the FRH at an angle when heating up a Meal, Ready-to-Eat, commonly known as an MRE.

"The term ‘rock or something' has now reached cult status," said Lauren Oleksyk, team leader of the Food Processing, Engineering and Technology Team at Combat Feeding. "It's just taken on a life of its own."

Oleksyk was there at the beginning with colleagues Bob Trottier and now-retired Don Pickard when the FRH and that memorable phrase were born in 1993.

"We were designing the FRH directions and wanted to show an object to rest the heater on," Oleksyk recalled. "(Don) said, ‘I don't know. Let's make it a rock or something. So we wrote ‘rock or something' on the object, kind of as a joke."

The scenario got us thinking ... What if Pickard said something different. What if he looked around his 1993 lab and said ...

  • "I don't know. Let's make it a Panasonic 3DO Multiplayer or something"?
  • "I don't know. Let's make it a cassette of Smashing Pumpkin's Siamese Dream or something"?
  • "I don't know. Let's make it Irvine Welsh's book Trainspotting or something"?

Of course, the most popular slogan from 1993 could have been Army-tized, "Got FRH?"

Read the full feature on the FRH here.

Filed under: Army News, History,

May 17, 2013 at 7:33am

Morning Report: Air Rodeo 2014 update, Taliban arrest, war money, best spy novels and more ...

Army Col. Herbert Brown, former 854th Aviation Battalion commander, built North Field, Guam in April, 1945. Almost 60 years later, his grandson took made the airstrip better, now known as Northwest Field. Courtesy photo

AIR MOBILITY RODEO: Air Mobility Command says it's very unlikely Air Mobility Rodeo 2014 will happen at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

AFGHANISTAN: Combined force arrests Taliban leader in Baghlan Province.

WAR MONEY: The Pentagon will ask Congress to approve $80 billion for combat operations, the least since 2005, as U.S. troops withdraw from Afghanistan.

WORD: end the culture of silence about sexual assaults in the military.

DOD CLOUD: The Defense Department is taking bold steps to provide sound information and proper analysis as it fortifies its cloud computing.

COOL WAR: Could the United States really go to war with China?

HISTORY IS FUN: In late 1944, a U.S. Army commander and his troops ventured to Guam for an airstrip construction mission, enabling a B-29 Superfortress to launch air raids on mainland Japan. Almost 60 years later, the commander's grandson, Army Capt. Jeffrey Beeman, 523rd Engineer Company commander, made the same airstrip better.

LIST: 10 of the greatest Cold War spy novels.

Oh hell yes!

May 8, 2013 at 7:07am

Morning Report: Taliban leader arrested, Air Force fires 17 officers and more ...

May 8 marks the day of victory for Allies in World War II. Thanks to the Greatest Generation!

DOD SAYS: Combines force arrests Taliban leader in Kandahar province.

IRAQ: At least eight people were killed and nearly 40 were wounded in separate attacks across Iraq on Wednesday.

WWII SCANDAL: Japan has acknowledged that it conducted only a limited investigation before claiming there was no official evidence that its imperial troops coerced Asian women into sexual slavery before and during World War II.

MISSLE FIRINGS: Air Force strips 17 officers of authority to control and launch nuclear missiles.

ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF ODIERNO: Readiness issues pose risk to U.S. security.

LEAVE BAD ENOUGH ALONE: The United States should forget about intervening in Syria and concentrate on Asia.

LOOKING AT A WALL: The border between the U.S. and Mexico stretches nearly 2,000 miles. And there are several methods of guarding, blocking, and monitoring that border along the way. InFocus takes a cool, photographic look at life along the border - including a volleyball game being played over one segment of the border fence.

END NOTE: Studies from two countries have found that women are more attracted to man when he is holding a guitar.

And then there's this ...

May 6, 2013 at 7:21am

Morning Report: Taliban arrest, weekend in Syria, KC-135 crash, 360-degree evaluations and more ...

Afghanistan: An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a senior Taliban leader and one other insurgent during an operation in Khugyani district, Nangarhar province, today.

Syria: A Syrian activist group says Israel's weekend airstrike on a sprawling military complex near the Syrian capital Damascus has killed at least 42 Syrian soldiers.

Speaking Of Syria: In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Sen. John McCain pointed to Israel’s airstrikes as evidence the United States would have little trouble penetrating Syria’s air defense systems.

Sad: The DoD released the names of the three airmen killed in the crash of a KC-135 aircraft near Chon-Aryk, Kyrgyzstan. The airmen were assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron at Fairchild Air Force Base.

More Sadness: Seven U.S. servicemembers were killed on Saturday in one of the deadliest days for Americans in Afghanistan in recent months, as the Taliban continued attacks against foreign troops as part of their spring offensive.

G'day Sailors: The Australian Navy frigate HMAS Sydney joined the USS George Washington Carrier Strike Group in Yokosuka’s naval harbor to help keep an eye on nut job North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, who has threatening ballistic missile strikes on Japan, South Korea and the United States.

Review A General: Military Times digs Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey’s proposal to formalize "360-degree evaluations" for all unit commanders.

Do You Care?: Air Force "Top Cop" Brig. Gen. Allen Jameson wants to scrap the traditional Security Forces shield and adopt a more Barney Fife-looking version. Tell him what you think on Facebook.

Old Stuff Rules: 200 letters written by World War II soldiers to their parents discovered in hatbox.

Filed under: Morning Report, Army News, History,

January 26, 2011 at 11:24am

Obama cites military successes in State of Union address

WASHINGTON - In a State of the Union address here marked by a call for renewed American innovation and cooperation, President Barack Obama pointed to the nation's military as an example to follow.

"Look to Iraq, where nearly 100,000 of our brave men and women have left with their heads held high; American combat patrols have ended; violence is down; and a new government has been formed," the commander in chief said.

In Afghanistan, U.S. troops have taken Taliban strongholds and trained Afghan Security Forces, and will continue to deny al Qaeda the safe-haven that served as a launching pad for 9/11, he said.

"Thanks to our heroic troops and civilians, fewer Afghans are under the control of the insurgency," Obama said. "There will be tough fighting ahead, and the Afghan government will need to deliver better governance."

But U.S. and coalition efforts are strengthening Afghan capacity and building an enduring partnership with the Afghan people, he said.

"This year, we will work with nearly 50 countries to begin a transition to an Afghan lead. And this July, we will begin to bring our troops home," the president said.

The nation has sent a message to all parts of the globe, Obama said: "We will not relent, we will not waver, and we will defeat you."

Obama credited American leadership, especially in the New Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, for curbing the global nuclear threat.

Thanks to the treaty, he said, far fewer nuclear weapons and launchers will be deployed.

"Because we rallied the world, nuclear materials are being locked down on every continent so they never fall into the hands of terrorists," he said.

America leads the world in the quest for freedom and security, the president said, and the nation must always remember "that the Americans who have borne the greatest burden in this struggle are the men and women who serve our country."

For more on the story, click here.

Filed under: Defense News, History, News To Us,

January 24, 2011 at 12:12pm

3rd Stryker Brigade rededicates unit memorial

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - The 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, will rededicate the Arrowhead Brigade Memorial on Wednesday, January 26, at 3 p.m., during a ceremony that will be conducted adjacent to the brigade headquarters.

The names of eight Soldiers who died during the brigade's 2009-20010 deployment to Iraq will be added to the memorial during the ceremony.

The Arrowhead Brigade Memorial is a 6-foot tall bronze statue of a Soldier in full battle gear, and the statue stands atop a granite base with panels etched with the names of fallen Soldiers. The memorial honors Arrowhead Brigade Soldiers who have fallen since the brigade's inception.

During the October 2007 ceremony at which the memorial was first unveiled, the names of 88 Soldiers assigned to the brigade who died in combat or training, as well as those from other units who died while they were under the brigade's operational control were read.

The Arrowhead Brigade Memorial project began during the 3rd Stryker Brigade's first deployment to Iraq and the memorial was dedicated following the brigade's second Iraq deployment.  3rd Stryker Brigade has deployed to Iraq three times (Nov 03-Sept 04; June 06-Sept 07; Aug 09-Aug 10).

The memorial was designed by Olympia-area sculptor Gareth Curtiss.

Filed under: Army News, Arts, Ceremony, History, Strykers,

January 24, 2011 at 10:38am

Yakima Training Center says farewell to UH-1 Huey

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - The United States Army Air Ambulance Detachment (USAAAD) at the Yakima Training Center will say farewell to a legendary aircraft, the UH-1 Huey, with a final flight ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday. 

A special guest for the ceremony is former UH-1 Huey pilot and Medal of Honor recipient Col. Bruce P. Crandall (U.S. Army retired), and the guest speaker is Master Aviator and former 9th Aviation Battalion commander Col. Philip E. Courts (U.S. Army retired). Following the ceremony Crandall and Courts will accompany a UH-1 flight crew and the USAAAD command team on a final flight around the YTC range.

The UH-1 Helicopter, known to most simply as the Huey, was first manufactured in 1956. The Army began receiving them by 1959. Its distinctive nickname came from the pronunciation of its first Army designation of HU-1- for helicopter, utility - and later models featured the word Huey emblazoned on the pilot's foot pedals.

More than 15,000 of the aircraft were produced with about half that number having been flown during the Vietnam conflict.

The U.S. Army National Guard retired the UH-1 Huey from service in a ceremony at Fort Myers,Va. Oct. 2, 2009. The USAAAD Yakima Training Center will transition to the UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter.    

January 19, 2011 at 12:34pm

Commission to recommend lifting ban on women in combat

WASHINGTON - A commission of current and retired officers, senior noncommissioned officers and civilians charged with evaluating Defense Department policies to ensure they promote equal opportunity plans to recommend lifting the ban on women in combat.

The nonpartisan Military Leadership Diversity Commission will make 20 recommendations to President Barack Obama and Congress to increase diversity and inclusiveness and develop "a demographically diverse leadership that reflects the forces it leads and the public it services," according to a pre-decisional draft document posted on the commission's website.

The final report is expected in March.

Calling the military a leader in providing opportunities to all service members, regardless of their racial and ethnic background, the group concluded that it's now time to eliminate barriers based on gender.

Current U.S. military policy prohibits women from serving in combat units below the brigade level. And although women make up 14.6 percent of the military, they and minority members still are underrepresented in leadership posts, the commission noted.

"Increasing the racial, ethnic and gender diversity of senior leadership requires eliminating barriers that disproportionately affect the advancement of women and minorities," the draft report said.

This can be done on two levels, the commissioners said, beginning with the education and mentoring required to ensure all service members are equally prepared to manage their career progression.

"Second, DOD and the services must remove institutional barriers to open traditionally closed doors, especially those related to assignments," the draft report continues. "An important step in this direction, recommended by the commission, is to remove the restrictions that prevent women from engaging in direct ground combat."

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Julius W. Becton, Jr., a commission member, announced last week at a military professionalism conference that the group had agreed to recommend that women be allowed to serve in combat.

"What we are saying is that women may be assigned to any job they are qualified for," Becton said at the National Defense University's conference on "Introspection and Reflection on Basic Tenets and the Way Ahead" on Jan. 11.

"We are making a recommendation," he said. "We are saying, ‘Let's remove barriers.' And I think people are very qualified to do certain jobs, but because of their gender, they are not given the opportunity to do them."

To read more, click here.

Filed under: Defense News, History, News To Us,

January 12, 2011 at 12:30pm

Chairman examines 'growing chasm between the American people and the military'

WASHINGTON (AFPS) -- As the military enjoys tremendous support from the American people, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said now is the time to step back, assess the impact of 10 years of war and ensure the institution remains on course.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, opening a leadership conference Jan. 10 at the National Defense University at Fort McNair here, called for a proactive self-examination --institutionally and by individual leaders -- and appropriate course corrections, as needed.

The chairman called today's all-day conference -- titled "Military Professionalism: Introspection and Reflection on Basic Tenets and the Way Ahead" -- "an opportunity to begin a conversation and debate about who we are, what we have become, and how that matches up to who we should be."

"For something like this, which is at the heart of who we are, we can't do enough self-examination," he told the attendees, key leaders of the military education and training community.

"This is not self-flagellation," he added. "This is examination to make sure we understand it and that we keep feeding it back to raise those who will lead, in the not-too-distant future, our military and, in fact, our country."

Echoing a message Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates sent during a speech at Duke University in September, Admiral Mullen cited a growing chasm between the American people and the military that depends on their support for its very survival.

Secretary Gates noted during that speech that less than 1 percent of the U.S. population has shouldered the national security burden, and he expressed concern that Americans are losing contact with those who make up its military.

Today, Admiral Mullen said that although most Americans have tremendous goodwill toward their men and women in uniform, by and large they have little true connection to who they are or what they represent.

That's a dangerous situation for the military, which can't survive without public support, Admiral Mullen said.

"Our underpinning, our authorities, everything we are, everything we do comes from the American people," he said. "And we cannot afford to be out of touch with them. ... To the degree we are out of touch, I think is a very dangerous course."

The chairman cited changes in the American public's perception of the military during the span of his own career.  

For more on the story, click here

Filed under: Defense News, History, News To Us,

January 7, 2011 at 12:15pm

Gates outlines ‘Don’t Ask’ repeal process

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2011 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates yesterday described the Pentagon's three-step process for preparing to allow gays to serve openly in the military services.    

At a Pentagon news conference with Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gates updated reporters on the department's plan for implementing repeal of the so-called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, which has been in effect since 1993 and remains in effect until the process is complete.

"Our goal here is to move as quickly, but as responsibly, as possible," Gates said. "I see this as a three-step process. The first is to finalize changes in regulations [and] policies [and] get clearer definition on benefits."

The second phase is to prepare training materials for use by personnel specialists, chaplains, commanders and other leaders, and those who are in daily contact with service members, he said.

The third phase, the secretary explained, is the actual training for service members.

"We're trying to get the first two phases of that process done as quickly as possible," he said. "My hope is that it can be done within a matter of a very few weeks, so that we can then move on to what is the real challenge, which is providing training to 2.2 million people."

To read the complete story, click here.

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