World War II had the “Greatest Generation” and they created a ton of slang for themselves during the war. Each troop, war, and so on has their own culture, but the biggest war had it’s own set of slang. Some of the terms are defined in the photos below, but it’s just a small sample of the impressive collection put together by The Art of Manliness.
It’s not often you can have a conversation and say hey did you hear an NFL cheerleader joined the US Military? Actually don’t think it has ever happened before this. Rachel Washburn is a former Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader who, after three years with the team, decided to join the US Military.
Following her second second tour in Afghanistan USA Today did a fascinating profile on the 25-year-old cheerleader turned soldier which you can read below.
Mech suits may be part of real world sooner than we think. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is solving the problem of weight. Soldiers have to carry heavy loads of equipment and the Warrior Web looks to make that burden easier for soldiers. The Warrior web uses a sort of mechanical exoskeleton to augment the soldier’s strength.
MOIRE (Membrane Optic Imager Real-Time Exploitation)
MOIRE is a project that looks to make spying on enemies much cheaper and more extensive. DARPA is attempting to give US Intelligence and military agencies opportunities to be everywhere. Think NSA but on crack…so everyone will lose more privacy.
MOIRE is working on a thing called optical membrane. These membranes will work like a camera lens but will be lighter and cheaper therefore they can launch more of them to monitor everything. The membranes will unfold in space to make 66-foot wide lenses capable of seeing an object three feet across from 22,000 miles away.
LS3 (Legged Squad Support System)
We’ve all seen the LS3 all over the internet it’s a robot like horse that can carry things around. The Aim with this project is to allow this robot to delivery necessary items to soldiers on the field without putting other soldiers at risk to deliver the items.
DARPA Robotics Challenge
Looks like they’re trying to also phase out humans on the battlefield. Can anyone say Terminator Judgement Day? Any way, DARPA is looking to make a number of technological breakthroughs in the area of autonomous robotics such as increases in the strength, dexterity, and endurance possible for mechanical beings.
IVN (In Vivo Nanoplatforms)
IVN is a program that is working on nanoparticles that will swim around in the bodies of soldiers which will analyze their health. But that’s just not the only thing, they are also working on nanoparticles that will be able to “fix” or “heal” a soldier if they encounter a disease or some sort of ailment.
When a soldier gets sick on the battlefield it can be rather inconvenient to get him or her to a doctor to find out what’s wrong. That’s why DARPA is working on microscopic nanoparticles that swim around in the bodies of warfighters analyzing their health. The IVN program is also working on nanoparticles that can actively fight disease or injury. Who’s ready for their injection?
ACTUV (Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vehicle)
During the Cold War, the problem of keeping track of Soviet submarines was enough to give the Secretaries of Defense and Navy night sweats. Since the end of the USSR, that threat has somewhat diminished, but that hasn’t stopped DARPA from trying to squash it entirely. ACTUV is intended to be an autonomous submarine-tracking vessel roaming the world’s oceans, looking for enemy subs, following them around, and reporting their positions. It could also potentially take them out, if necessary. The ACTUV would motor around in the water for months at a time without any of the restrictions that come with having humans on board. Think of it as a sort of drone for the sea.
Remember when Darth Vader chopped Luke Skywalker’s hand off with a light saber and he got it replaced with a robot one? Well, DARPA has a program for that. It’s called Revolutionizing Prosthetics and its goal is to produce robotic arm and hand replacements that restore most (if not all) original functions with control coming directly from the amputee’s brain. The highly dexterous limbs produced are also being fitted to robots.
ALASA (Airborne Launch Assist Space Access)
Rockets are expensive and launching satellites into space so that you can watch DirecTV can get very costly. The goal of ALASA is to find a way to launch a 100-pound satellite into low earth orbit (LEO) for less than a million dollars. To do so, the launch rocket will hitch a ride on an Air Force fighter plane like the F-15.
Of course, DARPA isn’t really concerned about people watching Game of Thrones or finding places with their GPS. It turns out that the military and various government agencies are always jockeying for position at the few rocket launch sites across the country. If they can find a way to launch a satellite from any old runway, though, it would solve a whole bunch of problems for the Department of Defense.
EXACTO (Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordinance)
Hey, wouldn’t it be great if bullets could steer themselves? Well that’s the premise behind EXACTO. According to DARPA, this project aims to dramatically increase the accuracy and speed with which snipers can dispatch their targets. EXACTO is a .50 caliber bullet that is capable of changing direction in flight. But DARPA’s not about to tell you how it works. The official image doesn’t show any kind of fins that could steer the bullet, so how it turns is anyone’s guess. EXACTO has been live fire-tested and was able to hit targets over a mile away that the gun wasn’t even aimed at.
In the forests surrounding the Neva Bridgehead area in Russia the trees carry a deep scar of history. All through the forests are the remnants of war. Quite literally, the trees in this forest grew around in the war. From 1941 to 1944 the nearby city of Leningrad was under siege and the Neva Bridgehead was the staging ground for many of the assaults on the city. leaving behind weapons, bombs, and equipment from both sides.
Dippin’ Dots, anyone? The technology that’s now used to make freeze-dried ice cream was first used widely during World War II as a way of preserving medical supplies that otherwise required refrigeration.
Canning, as a means of food preservation, can be traced back to Napoleon times, and was used by both the military and civilians. But canned foods became essential items in the Civil War and World War I, as they were efficient in feeding soldiers. Canning became important for civilians in World War II due to food rationing. Canned goods still line the aisles of today’s supermarkets, although many health experts warn they don’t offer nutritional benefits due to the salt content.
Many believe that King Camp Gillette was the originator of the so-called “razor and blades” business model (sometimes expressed as “give ‘em the razor, sell ‘em the blades”) as a fundamental part of the disposable “safety” razor concept he had developed in 1903. In fact, Gillette screwed up his launch, pricing blade refills much higher than the public was willing to pay for, and when his patents lapsed copycat companies adopted the sold nearly identical designs at much cheaper rates—a lower profit margin but a steady source of income.
Gillette regrouped and started pricing his stuff smarter, but he really hit it big when he snared the contract to supply every American soldier in WWI with a Gillette shaving kit. Practically overnight, the safety razor became an indispensable part of a man’s grooming kit, assuring the success of the Gillette brand up to this day.
TAMPONS AND PADS
In 1914, papermill and lumber company Kimberly-Clark hit upon an interesting new application for wood pulp (well, as interesting as wood pulp is likely to get, anyway). Carefully mixed and formed, it could be made into a fluffy material with five times the absorption power of cotton. Kimberly-Clark began selling their new “cellulocotton” to the military at cost, providing the soldiers of WWI with an excellent new material to use for bandaging and sealing wounds.
After the war, Kimberly-Clark found itself in possession of a number of huge factories dedicated to producing cellulocotton, but not nearly as much demand from civilian doctors and surgeons. It looked like a lot of plants would have to close, at the cost of hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars, when one Kimberly-Clark executive came across an odd rumor concerning the Army nurses that had served at or near the front lines of the war.
At the time, women’s menstrual pads were cumbersome cloth flaps that had to be washed and re-worn. Many women felt embarrassed by these “sanitary napkins,” partly because it was considered outstandingly rude to talk about anything period-related in public and partly because these early pads were more similar to diapers than the little numbers of today.
The war nurses, being practical women, soon ditched their pads (which were a nightmare to keep clean in battlefield conditions) and cut themselves snips of cellulocotton, allowing them greater freedom of movement and comfort. When K-C found this out, they immediately launched the “Cellunap” sanitary napkin and eventually the Kotex (for “cotton textile”) women’s hygiene brand. Kotex ads were unusually upfront about the taboo subject of periods, and often made mention of the product’s military roots and close connection to the military nurses.
Meanwhile, cellulocotton has typically been replaced in both field dressings and tampons by newer synthetics like Curlex, although medics today have been known to plunder the female hygiene sections of PXes and supply cars when they’re running short of purpose-designed bandages.
Probably the most visible product of military research is what you’re using to read this very article. The research, protocols, and basic hardware that became the foundation of the Internet were all developed by primarily military government agencies, beginning with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s 1962 mandate to connect the computers of the Pentagon, the Strategic Air Command, and the bombproof defense command centers buried deep below Cheyenne Mountain.
DARPA research teams came up with the fundamental technologies that made computer networking possible, and when the military computers were successfully linked, the government made the technology available to America’s college system, where it was further refined until it became the preferred distribution channel for all the world’s news, entertainment, and pornography.
World War I involved troops fighting in trench warfare, using more destructive weaponry such as machine guns. As recorded on the Smithsonian’s website, an American doctor who pioneered facial reconstructive surgery said men were often hit in the face after popping their heads up out of the trenches in an effort to see what the opposing forces were doing. Artists and doctors worked together to try to restore the facial features of injured veterans of the Great War.
The technology behind the microwave oven was developed during World War II. At the time, the U.S. and British militaries engineered the magnetron, which was the result of research conducted on radio transmission and radar detection. The magnetron produced much smaller radio waves, known as microwaves, and was small and powerful enough to be used in airplanes. Its detection capabilities helped solve the persistent problem of accurately bombing towns. Microwaves’ ability to heat food was discovered accidentally after the war in 1945. Percy Lebaron Spencer, who was employed at the time by the American defense contractor Raytheon Company, realized at work one day that radar waves had melted a candy bar in his pocket. Raytheon produced the first commercially available microwave oven in 1954. Today, microwaves are used in a variety of applications, including in detecting speed, sending telephone and television communications, curing plywood, treating muscle soreness and of course in microwave ovens.
GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM
Ground-based radio systems like LORAN had been a vital part of sea and air navigation since the Thirties, but the tumult of World War II had shown that a system dependent on terrestrial antennas and command centers was vulnerable to enemy attack. The United States Navy, in great need of an all-weather navigation system practically invulnerable from enemy action, commissioned the “Transit/NAVSTAR” satellite system in the Sixties as an aid to their Polaris-class nuclear missile subs, and the navigational system soon spread to the rest of the American military establishment.
Transit was so useful that NATO adopted and enlarged it to form a navigational network named “Navstar-GPS,” a system that the Reagan administration released to the public shortly after a Korean airliner strayed into Russian airspace and was shot down. Today, the technology is so ubiquitous that it’s hard to buy a cellphone that doesn’t have a GPS antenna built into it.
INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE
Since it’s hard to imagine how this ubiquitous, behind-the-scenes technology made a difference, imagine war without it. On land, we would have no tanks or supply trucks. In the air, we would have no airplanes, ballistic missiles, jets or helicopters. At sea, we would have no submarines. All of these vehicles require the power generated from burning fuel.
The internal combustion engine altered the speed and range of war, starting in World War I and continuing today. During World War I, machine gunners on the front lines had to wait for horse-drawn wagons to bring their ammunition from railheads, until supply trucks made the link . In World War II, the Germans famously drove tanks up to 60 miles (97 kilometers) a day to gain territory from the edge of Poland to Moscow in six months. One of the first ballistic missiles, the German V-2, sped up war even more since it could destroy a target 200 miles (322 kilometers) away in five minutes.
Without the internal combustion engine, steam engines could still power war. But these engines are only efficient enough to move ships or locomotives. War tactics would be stuck in the late 1800s if we still relied on steam.
Super Glue was inadvertently first created by Harry Coover and Fred Joyner, Tennessee-based employees of Eastman Kodak, in 1951. At the time, they were looking to find a substance that could be used as a heat-resistant coating for jet cockpits. But not until seven years later, in 1958, did Super Glue, which did not need heat or pressure for the adhesive to work, hit the market. The product never made its acknowledged inventor, Coover, wealthy. The product eventually had both medical and military uses — it could be used in medical procedures and was used to treat wounded troops during the Vietnam War.
In World War II, Johnson & Johnson’s Revolite Permacell division developed the widely purposable tape most Americans recognize as duct, or “duck” tape. The tape’s ease of use, durability and water-resistance made it useful to seal containers and fix windows and equipment during the war. The basic components of the product is medical tape with polyethylene backing. When used in the army, it was typically green, but after the war, it was used in civilian applications such as construction and repair and became recognizable for its silver-gray color. Several companies now manufacture duct tape, including Scotch and Duck-brand.
ENIAC, the first electronic computer that was capable of being programmed to serve many different purposes, was designed for the U.S. military during WWII. The army paid for the computer to be built so they could use it in their Ballistic Research Laboratory.
EpiPens, the auto-injecting syringes that allow you to give yourself a quick shot of epinephrine to stave off an allergic reaction, sprung from a similar device designed to protect soldiers from nerve agents and chemical weapons.
You know those canisters you use in order to get gasoline to put in your lawnmower? They were initially developed for the German military in the 1930s.
British soldiers began sporting cargo pants in the 1930s because they offered a convenient way to carry vital military gear like ammunition. American troops adopted them just a few years later, and the general public began to wear them in the 1990s.
One tech associated with 21st-century warfare is the unmanned drone, although the concept dates back to the U.S. Navy in the early 20th century. It’s too early to tell what types of technology today’s wars would contribute toward civilian use in the future (some experts suggest there won’t be much), but with drones becoming increasingly popular for surveillance and photography in commercial and civilian use, it’s one for the history books.
Nylon is a durable synthetic material that was developed by DuPont as an alternative to natural fabrics that became scarce due to World War II (silk, for example, was reserved for use by the military as part of civilian wartime efforts). Today, it’s still one of the most heavily used polymers for clothing and other goods. Besides nylon, World War II also saw advancements in synthetic rubber and synthetic fuel.
Four-wheel-drive technology actually had been around since the turn of the 20th century. By the 1930s, the military needed a scout car that could have speed and versatility in addition to hauling power and all-terrain capacity. The problem was that these two features were mutually exclusive from an engineering standpoint. The first Jeep that made it to battle, the Willys-Overland MB, provided the answer as the perfect army scout vehicle. Its performance in the war was so outstanding that Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “America could not have won World War II without it.” With war hero status, the military buggy had no trouble transitioning into a civilian car, with Americans appreciating the new light utility vehicles. Now, the Jeep brand continues to market itself on military toughness, going as far as joining with the Call of Duty video game franchise to promote its vehicles.
Silly Putty was born out of desperation during World War II. Japanese forces had invaded rubber producing nations, limiting American access to the material. As a result, the U.S. military requested the private sector to create an alternative for the rubber used in boots and tires. In 1943, James Wright, an engineer with General Electric, developed the putty from boric acid and silicone oil. While the material had no practical uses, it caught-on very quickly as a novelty. Silly Putty became particularly popular after Peter Hodgson, who had first marketed the putty for a store in New Haven, recognized that people liked the goo for its unique properties — it stretches and bounces but can be easily snapped into pieces. Hodgson began targeting children in the Silly Putty ads and selling it in the now-famous egg-shaped container. He eventually died a wealthy man.
The fashion world also owes the invention of the timeless trench coat to the military. Thomas Burberry invented the water-repellent material trench coats were originally made of, which the British military issued to its officers. The trench coat literally came by its name since it was used by United States soldiers in the trenches during World War I. The loops on the shoulders of the trench coat held the rank insignias of the person wearing the coat. Trench coats were lightweight, allowing the wearer to stay warm while moving more freely as compared to heavier coats that soldiers used in the past. Later in the 20th Century civilians started to wear trench coats
Penicillin was first isolated in a usable anti-bacterial agent in 1928 by Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming, but its medical usefulness wasn’t apparent until the beginning of the Second World War. The rots and infectious diseases that plagued the wounded soldiers of World War One were largely eliminated by early antibiotic treatments like sulfonamide and benzylpenicillin. After the war, these antibiotics became a common part of Western medicine, so much so that the overuse of these medicines is now a major health problem.
A refinement of the traditional process of carting away the dead and dying to someplace where they would stink less, the ambulance first made an appearance in the Spanish army of the late 15th century. The “ambulancias” more properly referred to the portable military hospitals that followed the troops around, but came to be attached to the wagons and litters that would remove the wounded from the battlefield after the fight had been won.
The “flying ambulance” of Napoleon’s army is closer to our modern conception of the ambulance—a two or four-wheeled carriage that would venture out into enemy fire to rescue the wounded and provide basic first aid until the patient reached the hospital camp.
The ambulance cart became standard issue for Union troops during the Civil War, and in 1869 former Army surgeon Edward Dalton introduced the first large-scale ambulance service to the Commercial Hospital of Cincinnati. By the end of the following year, the service had answered 1401 emergency calls.
The characteristically dark shades of the aviator sunglasses were at one time necessary for test pilots pushing the limits of the airplane. At high altitudes, a pilot’s eyes could either be severely damaged by the extremely bright light in the upper atmosphere, or they could freeze in temperatures approaching -80 degrees Fahrenheit. In such conditions, goggles with dark lenses and a tear-drop shape were ideal. A design that prevented as much sunlight as possible from reaching the eye led to Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses, which became standard gear for men enlisted in the military during World War II. Since the war, Ray-Bans have made prominent appearances in movies such as Taxi Driver and Top Gun, and were famously worn by celebrities such as Michael Jackson.
Major governments have launched sophisticated spy satellites with super-high-resolution cameras into orbit since the late fifties in order to sneak a peek on each others’ troop concentrations and industrial developments. While the photos from these satellites were priceless in intelligence terms, there was one major technical snag that made relying on them a pain in the ass: the only way to get at these pictures was to grab the undeveloped film canisters that the satellite would periodically poop out, a complicated operation that involved a mid-air snagging of the canister’s tiny parachute as it drifted through the atmosphere.
Almost a third of the results of America’s otherwise successful “Keyhole” spy satellite program were lost due to this tricky retrieval program, but the NASA/USAF KH-11 “Kennan” satellite of 1976 put an end to the problem with the use of a revolutionary electro-optical camera that transmitted images in encoded digital format. The fundamentals of the technology are still in use in modern digital cameras, and the updated form of the KH-11 is still a major part of American surveillance technology.
Air travel may be much maligned these days, but it could have been worse if it wasn’t for the invention of the jet engine. Although research started in the 1920s, it didn’t get put into use until the Second World War by both the Allies and the Axis powers (the German Messerschmitt ME 262 is considered the world’s first jet-powered fighter). Because air warfare played a huge role in World War II, it also accelerated the development and advancement of things such as pressurized cabins (planes were beginning to fly higher) and air traffic control – things that play a key role in modern-day air travel.
All across the world there have been military facilities that have been built and abandoned. Some of them are pretty damn cool and others look like something out of a sci-fi movie. Here are a few of those abandoned places.
Designed as a pyramid for an unknown reason, the Mickelsen Safeguard Complex near Nekoma, N.D., was a radar system intended to find and destroy missiles launched at the U.S. Inside the complex, along with radar, were 30 Spartan antiballistic missiles and 16 Sprint missiles.
Titan I Missile Complex
Devil’s Slide Bunkers
Saint Nazaire Locks
Beelitz Heilstatten Military Hospital
Maunsell Sea Forts
Balaklava Submarine Base
You don’t always know about a celebrities past, but there are more then enough of them that have served in the military or had some sort of encounter with the military. It’s pretty awesome check it out.
Montel Williams served in the U.S. Navy Reserve for 22 years.
Ice-T served in the Army for four years after selling drugs on the streets of L.A.
Mel Brooks defused land mines while serving in World War II.
After being expelled from college, Mr. T excelled while serving in the U.S. Army.
A young Elvis Presley was already a rock star by the time he was drafted in 1957.
Arnold Schwarzenegger had to spend time in military prison.
As a young weight trainer, Schwarzenegger snuck out of camp for a week so he could take part in the Junior Mr. Europe contest. Though he won the competition’s title, he was punished for leaving camp and had to spend a few days in military prison.
Bea Arthur was a typist and truck driver in the Marines.
Bill Cosby worked with seriously injured Korean War soldiers while in the Navy.
Chuck Norris was introduced to martial arts during his military stint in South Korea.
Tom Selleck’s National Guard unit was activated during Los Angeles’ Watts Riots.
A young Elvis Presley was already a rock star by the time he was drafted in 1957.
Hugh Hefner got his start in publishing while in the U.S. Army.
Jimi Hendrix’s guitar-playing often distracted him from his Army duties.
Though Hendrix had some success — he was awarded the Screaming Eagles patch after completing paratrooper training — his constant guitar-playing often kept him from his duties and drew criticism from fellow soldiers.
Hendrix was later discharged from the Army due to a ankle injury sustained in a parachute jump.
Johnny Carson entertained fellow troops with his magic acts during World War II.
Carson briefly continued his military career as a communications officer in charge of decoding encrypted messages.
Pat Sajak was a disc jockey for armed forces radio.
Sean Connery was discharged from the Royal Navy because of health concerns.
After three years of service, Connery was discharged because a stomach ulcer was threatening his health.
Clint Eastwood escaped from a sinking aircraft while serving in the Army.
One night in October of 1951, Eastwood was on a Douglas AD-1 military aircraft that had departed from Seattle and was heading to Sacramento.
The plane’s intercommunications system failed, forcing the aircraft to crash into the Pacific Ocean, two miles off Port Reyes. Though he had to swim to shore, Eastwood escaped serious injury.
Comedian Drew Carey started performing stand-up comedy during his six years in the Marines.
Chuck Liddell was visiting U.S. Army Base at Fort Campbell and was asked by a U.S. Soldier to kick him in the chest. Seems like a good idea right? Sure Chuck Liddell might be retired, but you still don’t want to get the wind knocked out of you by one of his spinning kicks.
Cavalry Scout Matt Pundyk is the kind of guy you think of when you picture an American hero. He was wounded in Afghanistan after being deployed only three weeks, resulting in the loss of his left foot and part of his leg.
Recovery has been difficult for Matt, who has always been active and a huge fan of the outdoors, but he has been able to make a lot of progress through hard work and the support of his family and friends. Almost 18 months after the injury he is still in recovery, but has been getting back to the things he loves to do. Most recently he went on a fishing trip, but he has also been able to go wake boarding and snowboarding.
If you were wondering what Matt was currently doing, he is still serving our country. At the moment he’s volunteering at the military working dog hospital. Matt works at the hospital four days a week for eight hours at a time. Matt helps the vets with surgery and rehabilitates the recovering dogs.
Matt is an amazing person. Even with his injury, he says he “would do it all again in a heartbeat.”
If you or a friend has been injured or is currently going through recovery please let us know and we’ll send you a t-shirt along with publishing a small blurb about you if you would like us to. Those of you who have been injured you are not forgotten and we thank you for everything you have sacrificed.
US vs. Canada ready fight!
We couldn’t be doing what we do right now without the service of all the men and women in the US Military. They sacrifice a lot everyday to protect our nation and others in need. If you know someone that has served or is currently serving thank them and their family for their sacrifices. And just because they’re in the military doesn’t mean they can’t have a little fun! We got some great photos hope you enjoy them all and thank you for sending them in!
One amazing supportive wife has a message for her husband:
“I miss you guy & I’m so proud of you!! Keep kicking ass!!”
We were born 4 months apart and have known each other our entire lives. We grew up together and ended up enlisting at different times. He took an RPG to the head over in Iraq back in 2011 (note the indent in his skull) and made a full recovery. He has received 3 purple hearts and an honorable discharge. I’m not nearly as badass.
Sgt Josh Dwyer:
“Let Memorial Day be, a day of remembrance of brothers and sisters in arms who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice”
Crew of AC-130H Spectre Gunship
Alex, who is featured in all of these photos just wanted to let all of you know that military chicks can be sexy too. They can kick ass and make you dream of them. She also wanted to let you know she’s a MILF yup she gets hotter. She was in the Navy and now is studying to be a doctor while taking care of her 2 year old Lilly. We’re stoked on Alex and maybe she’ll send us more photos for everyone to enjoy 😛