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Think women can’t be on the front lines? Think again.
We tagged along with the world’s only co-ed infantry battalion in Israel.
We got to ride along with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division during training — and now you can too!
Whoa. This new virtual battlefield simulator, which lets U.S. soldiers train and fight in a digital video-game-like world, looks like something straight out of science fiction.
Real-world body movements control digital avatars, allowing squads of soldiers to tackle virtual battle scenarios anywhere in the world. While pilots and tank drivers have been using virtual trainers for years, this is the first system in which soldiers wear the simulators themselves.
By next year, more than 30 bases will house a DSTS “suite,” but for now, only a handful are up and running. The Daily recently spent the day with members of the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, N.C., as they entered the virtual world for the first time.
The suite includes kits for up to nine soldiers including a head-mounted display, microphone and headphones, an imitation M4 carbine, a 15-pound computer backpack and sensors that strap to a soldier’s arms, legs and hands.
It’s Veterans Day, and we’re saluting the 22 million brave men and women who’ve represented the U.S. in uniform.
More troops than ever are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to Pentagon statistics provided to The Daily. But military officials say the spike is an encouraging sign that more soldiers are getting help.
“We’ve seen great efforts from the Army to encourage soldiers to really step up and come forward with their problems,” Dr. Chris Warner, the Army’s psychiatric consultant to the surgeon general, told The Daily…
Army personnel saw the most diagnoses, with almost 2,500. Marines, at 510, had the second most. “It’s the soldiers and the Marines who are on the ground, doing the patrols,” Warner said. “They’re out on the streets, so they’re at much greater risk for exposure.”
As the suicide rate among soldiers climbs to the highest levels in history, the Army is hoping Americans might one day treat their mental health woes with a single sniff — using an anti-suicide nasal spray.
The Army has just handed a $3 million grant to researchers at the University of Indiana’s School of Medicine for the creation of an anti-suicide nasal spray. The project, to be led by Dr. Michael Kubek, an associate professor of neurobiology, is arguably one of the more unusual military efforts to thwart a record number of suicides among active-duty personnel and veterans.
“Suicide is the toughest enemy I have faced in my 37 years in the Army,” Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the Army’s vice chief of staff, said this week in announcing new suicide numbers. Austin is spearheading his service’s efforts to find ways to halt the surge in suicides.
“That said, I do believe suicide is preventable,” Austin added. “To combat it effectively will require sophisticated solutions aimed at helping individuals to build resiliency and strengthen their life coping skills.”
According to Kubek and his colleagues, a snort of their suicide-stopping neurochemical — a naturally occurring compound called thyrotropin-releasing hormone, or TRH — could be the solution.
The Navy is on track to fire a record number of commanders this year after a plague of sex and booze scandals, The Daily has learned. One commander just got his walking papers on Sunday for getting a girl pregnant and having a buddy tell her he died in combat.
In the past, commanders lost their jobs when their ships ran aground, collided with other ships or a pier — sometimes even a buoy. They didn’t get the boot for tying one on or having an affair or being mean, like they do now.
“The Navy’s acceptance of certain behavior is a lot more strict than when I was younger,” said retired Rear Adm. Hamlin Tallent.
Booze is a prime example, the former fighter pilot pointed out.
Getting hammered used to be “more or less standard behavior” during port visits, Tallent said. Sailors would “drink and be crazy and be sloppy in public. Today that’s just not accepted.”
The Defense Department spent $45 billion on a fleet of heavily armored super-trucks that were supposed to keep soldiers safe from roadside bombs. Except, they don’t.
Economics professors Chris Rohlfs and Ryan Sullivan studied restricted internal Pentagon data on roadside bomb deaths and found the $600,000 trucks worked no better than up-armored Humvees that cost a third of the price…
“We found that the heavily protected vehicles were no more effective at reducing casualties than the medium-armored vehicles,” the researchers wrote in the journal Foreign Affairs, where they published their findings. “While the heavier vehicles are safer in principle, they are bulky and lack maneuverability, and they were introduced at a relatively calm time in the conflict, when there were few deaths for them to prevent.”
Why do weekend reservists get paid more than troops in combat? According to a new study by the Pentagon, an officer in the reserves or the Guard could get $407 per day of weekend duty, but get $269 per day on active duty, or $318 per day deployed to Afghanistan.
Thomas Bush, director of the new survey, said he realizes reserve members will probably not like the report’s recommendation that their compensation be lowered to active duty pay. “But,” he added, “if we need to add extra incentives” to encourage people to sign up with reserve units, “we can do that,” he said.
Bush noted that when troops — including Guard and Reserve members — go to war on active duty they get additional hostile fire pay and their salaries are tax free. But even considering those additional benefits, he said, “a day on weekend training is more money.”
Military wives are baring all to get their husbands treatment for PTSD.
The “Battling Bare” campaign was begun by Ashley Wise, a Tennessee woman who says her husband didn’t get the support he needed after coming home from Iraq suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
This past April, frustrated, Wise posted a picture of herself in the nude holding her husband’s M4, with a message on her back that she hoped would not be ignored: “Broken by battle, wounded by war, I love you forever, to you this I swore,” the words written on Wise’s back read. “I will quiet your silent screams, help heal your shattered soul, until once again, my love, you are whole.”
The tender message seemed to resonate: Scores of other military wives and girlfriends have bared their backs to make the same pledge, and by yesterday afternoon, the “Battling Bare” Facebook page had more than 10,000 “likes” from supporters.