Category Archives: Military Entertainment

Men of Honor


The story ultimately revolves around two “men of honor”; their relationship, their individual and joint failures and triumphs. Carl Brashear is determined to be the first African American Navy Diver in a time where racism is strife. Leslie Sunday is his embittered trainer, determined to see him fail. Fate, challenges and circumstances eventually draw these two men together in a tale of turbulance and ultimately triumph.

Carl Brashear leaves his native Kentucky and the life of a sharecropper in 1948 by joining the United States Navy. As a crew member of the salvage ship USS Hoist, where he is assigned to the galley, he is inspired by the bravery of one of the divers, Master Chief Petty Officer Leslie William “Billy” Sunday. He is determined to overcome racism and become the first black American Navy diver, even proclaiming that he will become a master diver. He eventually is selected to attend Diving and Salvage School in Bayonne, New Jersey, where he arrives as a boatswain’s mate second class. He finds that Master Chief Sunday is the leading chief petty officer and head instructor, who is under orders from the school’s eccentric, bigoted commanding officer to ensure that Brashear fails.

Brashear struggles to overcome his educational shortcomings, a result of his leaving school in the grade 7 in order to work on his family’s failing farm. He receives educational assistance from his future wife, a medical student who works part-time in the New York Public Library in Harlem. Brashear proves himself as a diver by rescuing a fellow student whose dive buddy abandons him during a salvage evaluation. Unfortunately, due to the racism of the commanding officer, the student who fled in the face of danger is awarded a medal for Brashear’s heroic actions. Likewise, during an underwater assembling task where each student has to assemble a flange underwater using a bag of tools, Brashear’s bag is cut open on purpose. Brashear nevertheless finishes the assembly and graduates from diving school, earning the quiet and suppressed admiration of Sunday and his fellow divers. Sunday is later demoted to senior chief by the commanding officer for standing up for Brashear and allowing him to pass.

The paths and careers of Brashear and Sunday diverge. Brashear rises quickly through the ranks, even becoming a national hero in the 1966 Palomares incident for recovering a missing atomic bomb and for saving the life of Navy crew. Sunday continually loses his composure around officers who disrespect his accomplishments, until he is finally demoted to chief petty officer and relegated to menial duties. He becomes a brooding alcoholic displeased with his lowered rank.

The two eventually meet again after Brashear’s left leg was so mangled in the Palomares incident that he feels that his only chance to return to active duty and a relatively normal life is for it to be amputated and replaced with a prosthesis. Until this time, no Navy man had ever returned to full active duty with a prosthetic limb. Sunday again trains Brashear and aids him in his fight against the Navy’s bureaucracy and an antagonistic Navy captain (Brashear’s and Sunday’s former Hoist executive officer) in order to return to full active duty and fulfill his dream of becoming a master diver. They succeed in getting Brashear reinstated. In the epilogue, it is noted that two years later Brashear becomes a master diver. It is added that he does not retire from the Navy for another nine years.

Men of Honor

Men of Honor

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Hurricane


Hurricane (Squadron 303) is the story of a group of brave Poles who fought in the skies over England in WW2, not just to keep Great Britain free from the Nazis, but also to keep alive the very idea of their own country, which had existed in its modern form for barely twenty years before it was crushed between the opposing jaws of Germany and Russia. Equipped with the almost-obsolete Hurricane and (with some initial reluctance) given RAF blue uniforms, while they fought, Poland lived. Starring Iwan Rheon (Game Of Thrones, Misfits, Inhumans), Milo Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Stephanie Martini (Crooked House, Prime Suspect 1973), Kristof Hadek (Under the Skin, Dark Blue World, 3 Seasons in Hell), Marcin Dorocinski (Roza, Jack Strong, Pitbull, Anthropoid). The story of the Polish fliers who found themselves fighting for the freedom of their own country in foreign skies. Seen through the eyes of Jan Zumbach, fighter ace and adventurer, it tells how the Poles, driven across Europe by the German war machine, finally made their last stand.

Flying Hurricanes for the RAF over Britain, they became a key component in the legend of ‘The Few’. Up against the might of the Luftwaffe they hoped that, by saving Great Britain from Nazi invasion, they were keeping the dream of a free Poland alive. In the lethal melee above England in that summer of 1940, they fought with a tenacity and skill that earned them the admiration of the whole British nation. The dogfights against superior planes cost some of the men their lives. The constant strain of gladiatorial combat took away the sanity of others. But, as Zumbach discovers as the war stutters to a close, becoming the best in the RAF is a hollow victory for the Poles. Hurricane shows how, even in a man’s finest hour, cynical political manoeuvrings can destroy his hopes, strip away his dignity and lead him to a very dark place indeed.

Hurricane

Hurricane


No. 303 (Kościuszko) Polish Fighter Squadron (303 Dywizjon Myśliwski “Warszawski im. Tadeusza Kościuszki”) was one of 16 Polish squadrons in the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Second World War. It was not just the highest scoring of the Hurricane squadrons during the Battle of Britain, but it had the highest ratio of enemy aircraft destroyed to their own lost (safest). The squadron was named after the Polish and United States hero General Tadeusz Kościuszko, and the eponymous Polish 7th Air Escadrille founded by Merian C. Cooper, that served Poland in the 1919–1921 Polish-Soviet War. No. 303 was formed in July 1940 in Blackpool, England[4] before deployment to RAF Northolt on 2 August as part of an agreement between the Polish Government in Exile and the United Kingdom. It had a distinguished combat record and was disbanded in December 1946.

No. 303 Squadron was the most effective Polish RAF squadron during the Second World War. Some sources state that its pilots were invited to the London Victory Parade of 1946, The Daily Telegraph says that it was the only representative of the Polish Armed Forces in the West. The invitation was refused because no other Polish units were invited. However, according to other sources No. 303 Squadron was not invited and so could not have refused the invitation. After the end of the war, squadron morale decreased due to the treatment of Poland by the Allies (Western betrayal of Poland), and the squadron was eventually disbanded in December 1946.

Hurricane

Hurricane

Inside Veteran TV’s Dark and Controversial Humor


Welcome to VET Tv: a comedy website started by an ex-Marine named Donny O’Malley who believes his brand of dark and twisted humor is the thing that some post-9/11 military veterans have been dying to see. Completely unapologetic and at times controversial, VET Tv doesn’t shy away from much of anything.
But, according to Donny, the content is specifically made for front line infantry men to help them laugh about hard times. So, if you’re a civilian or even a fellow veteran, VET Tv will most likely call into question what you personally consider comedy versus what inexcusably crosses the line.
VICE’s Erica Matson went to visit the set of VET Tv and talk to Donny about his latest show.

Inside Veteran TV's Dark and Controversial Humor

Inside Veteran TV’s Dark and Controversial Humor

Leclerc vs. Saint-Chamond


Speed race between restored World War I Saint-Chamond heavy tank and a French Army Leclerc Main Battle Tank.
The Saint-Chamond, named after the commune of Saint-Chamond, was the second French heavy tank of the First World War, with 400 manufactured from April 1917 to July 1918. Although not a tank by the present-day definition, it is generally accepted and described as such in accounts of early tank development. Born of the commercial rivalry existing with the makers of the Schneider CA1 tank, the Saint-Chamond was an underpowered and fundamentally inadequate design. Its principal weakness was the Holt “caterpillar” tracks. They were much too short in relation to the vehicle’s length and heavy weight (23 tons). Later models attempted to rectify some of the tank’s original flaws by installing wider and stronger track shoes, thicker frontal armour and the more effective 75mm Mle 1897 field gun. Altogether 400 Saint-Chamond tanks were built including 48 unarmed caisson tanks. The Saint-Chamond tanks remained engaged in various actions until October 1918, belatedly becoming more effective since combat had moved out of the trenches and onto open ground. Eventually the Saint-Chamond tanks were scheduled to be entirely replaced by imported British heavy tanks.
The Char Leclerc is a main battle tank (MBT) built by GIAT, now Nexter of France. It was named in honour of General Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, who led the French element of the drive towards Paris while in command of the Free French 2nd Armoured Division (2e DB) in World War II.
The Leclerc is in service with the French Army and the army of the United Arab Emirates. In production since 1991, the Leclerc entered French service in 1992, replacing the AMX 30 as the country’s main armoured platform. With production now complete, the French Army has 406 Leclerc and the United Arab Emirates Army has 388. The price in 2011 was €9.3 million, which made it the most expensive tank in history at the time.

Leclerc vs. Saint-Chamond

Speed race between restored World War I Saint-Chamond heavy tank and a French Army Leclerc Main Battle Tank

Act of Valor – SWCC Boat Insertion


The SWCC Boat scene from Act of Valor might be the best military insertion scene from a war movie ever. Special boat teams use the MEATS insertion and extraction delivery system. MEATS allows an Army CH-47D helicopter to hover over a Special Operations Craft – Riverine (SOC-R) craft used by SWCC to be rigged to the underbelly of the helicopters with slings. The combatant-craft crewman will then ascend a ladder dropped down from the helicopter into the craft. Once all the SWCC are on board, the CH47D will extract the craft from the water.
Special Operations Craft – Riverine (SOC-R) craft perform short-range insertion and extraction of special operations forces in river and near-shore environments.
Each craft is manned by a crew of four Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) and can carry eight personnel. Members of Special Boat Team 22 (SBT-22), based in Stennis, MS, who make up a tiny fraction of the total SWCCs, are the only ones who operate the SOC-R. These river crews conduct mainly clandestine combat missions, often operating at night with little or no air support.
The SOC-R speed and tight turn radius are facilitated by the hull design. The slope of the SOC-R’s V-shape belly essentially allows the boat to skate along the surface, with relatively little drag on the hull. Thanks to the waterjet propulsion, there is no hanging rudder or propeller blades to snag on submerged roots and rocks.
The SOC-R’s five weapon mounts provide a 360-degree field of fire. The aft-mounted .50 cal covers the boat crew as they leave the shore after an extraction.
The Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC or”Swick”) is a United States Naval Special Warfare Command team that operates and maintains an inventory of small craft used to conduct special operations missions, particularly those of the U.S. Navy SEALs. Individually, SEALs and SWCC go through separate specialized training programs that emphasize special operations in the maritime environment. SWCC are trained extensively in craft and weapons tactics, techniques, and procedures. Focusing on clandestine infiltration and exfiltration of SEALs and other special operations forces, SWCC provide dedicated, rapid mobility in shallow water areas where large ships cannot operate.
Act of Valor is a 2012 American action film produced and directed by Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh, and written by Kurt Johnstad. It stars Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sánchez, Nestor Serrano and Emilio Rivera, as well as active duty U.S. Navy SEALs and U.S. Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen. The film was released by Relativity Media on February 24, 2012.
The film grossed $81 million worldwide and was nominated at the 70th Golden Globe Awards for Best Original Song.

Act of Valor - SWCC Boat Insertion

Act of Valor – SWCC Boat Insertion

Out of Control: Ukraine’s Rogue Militias


In 2014, Ukraine was under siege and the military was unprepared. Desperate, the government urged anyone to get to the front and fight the Russian-backed separatists. As the war drags on, Ukraine claims their military is now in control and the volunteers have all been disbanded. But we tracked down some rogue volunteers still out there fighting, not prepared to hand over their weapons anytime soon.

Out of Control: Ukraine's Rogue Militias

Out of Control: Ukraine’s Rogue Militias