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Your scores in four critical areas -- Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Mathematics Knowledge (see below) -- count towards your Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) score. The AFQT score determines whether you're qualified to enlist in the U.S. military. Your scores in the other areas of the ASVAB determine how qualified you are for certain military specialties. Score high, and your chances of getting the specialty/job you want increase.
The ASVAB features eight individual subtests:
Subtest Minutes Questions Description
General Science 11 25 Measures knowledge of physical and biological sciences
Arithmetic Reasoning 36 30 Measures ability to solve arithmetic word problems
Word Knowledge 11 35 Measures ability to select the correct meaning of words presented in context, and identify synonyms
Paragraph Comprehension 13 15 Measures ability to obtain information from written material
Auto and Shop Information 11 25 Measures knowledge of automobiles, tools, and shop terminology and practices
Mathematics Knowledge 24 25 Measures knowledge of high school mathematics principles
Mechanical Comprehension 19 25 Measures knowledge of mechanical and physical principles, and ability to visualize how illustrated objects work
Electronics Information 9 20 Tests knowledge of electricity and electronics
Total number of items: 200
Test Time: 134 minutes
Administrative Time: 46 minutes
Total Test Time: 180 minutes
Note: Until recently, "Numerical Operations" and "Coding Speed" were also administered on ASVAB, but have been dropped.
Scoring high on the ASVAB will require study and concentration. Don't skimp on preparing for this test -- read about what you should prepare for, and take our practice test, which gives you an idea of how well you'll score, identifies areas that need improvement and suggests resources you can use.
The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a test that covers basic knowledge such as math and verbal skills, writing skills, and vocabulary. It is a required test for entrance into the military, but it can also be an indicator for general aptitude skills for other purposes. For those looking to go into military service, the ASVAB score is a crucial indicator of prospective job placement, so it is very important to take this test seriously and to focus on your strengths when taking the exam. Higher test scores often mean better jobs, higher salary, and more opportunities for advancement in the military.
Three different versions of the ASVAB exam are available: The CAT-ASVAB (computer adaptive test), the MET-site ASVAB, and the Student ASVAB. These different versions are designed to suit different needs, so it is important to understand the basics of each test before sitting for an exam.
The CAT-ASVAB is a computer-based exam that is only provided at Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) for enlistment purposes. The test is customized based on the takers answers, so if one question is answered correctly, the next one will be more difficult. This exam is timed, although users have the option of pacing themselves throughout the exam. However, it is not possible to go back through the test and check answers or change responses after they have been submitted. The CAT-ASVAB is broken down into 10 subparts, including basics such as arithmetic and verbal skills as well as auto information, electronics, shop, and mechanical knowledge
The MET (Mobile Examination Test) Site ASVAB is only for those who have been referred by a recruiter to take the exam because it is only for enlistment into one of the branches of the military. This exam is broken up into 8 parts and is very similar to the CAT-ASVAB. The primary difference here is that the MET Site ASVAB is conducted with a pencil and paper rather than on the computer. This means that the answers to the MET ASVAB can be changed, but the test is still timed, so it is a good idea to keep track of the time while testing. Also, test takers for the MET ASVAB are not penalized for wrong answers, so always guess and respond to all of the questions in order to maximize your chances for scoring well on the exam.
The Student ASVAB is the most flexible of the exams. It is typically provided to high school students to help them assess their skills, job prospects, potential military positions, or college majors. The ASVAB for students is essentially the same as the MET ASVAB exam, only students are not necessarily testing for positions within the military. The students school counselors examine their scores and help them decide on what to do after graduating from high school. This test is still an important component of a students education because it can help them identify their strengths and weaknesses and help set them on the right track for their future career goals.
Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Military Vocational action
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Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery
https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/ASVAB Question: 410
The wound was necrotic when examined. Necrotic means...
B. Dying tissue.
D. Infinite. Answer: B Question: 411
The defendant exhibited a peevish appearance. Peevish means...
C. Not guilty.
D. Irritable. Answer: D Question: 412
The band director was an expert at playing the piccolo. Piccolo means...
A. Small flute.
B. Large flute.
C. Small drum.
D. Small triangle. Answer: A Question: 413
The renter was remiss about the rent. Remiss means...
D. Impoverished. Answer: B Question: 414
The old man was known for being sapient. Sapient means...
B. Possessing wisdom.
D. Limited. Answer: B Question: 415
The inventor created several specious ideas to solve the problem. Specious means...
D. Falsely plausible. Answer: D Question: 416
The tolerant attitude of the audience was appreciated. Tolerant means...
D. Laborious. Answer: C Question: 417
The verbose language used by the English teacher was tiresome to the class. Verbose means...
D. Punitive. Answer: A Question: 418
Susan's abhorrence of darkness prevents her from leaving her house at night. Abhorrence
D. Belief. Answer: B Question: 419
The girl displayed distraught behavior when she found out her puppy was injured. Distraught
D. Unreasonable. Answer: C Question: 420
The somber crowd mourned the loss of their leader. Somber means...
D. Excited. Answer: C Question: 421
At age 65, the CEO of the company was retiring. He felt he had reached the acme of his
profession. Acne means...
A. Highest point.
D. Entrance. Answer: A Question: 422
The genteel southern girl was known for her behavior. Genteel means...
D. Loathsome. Answer: A Question: 423
The mother attempted to mollify her son with toys. Mollify means...
D. Distract. Answer: C Question: 424
Some people accused John of thinking too much. He would sometimes ponder on a subject for
months at a time. Ponder means...
D. Fret. Answer: A Question: 425
The young artist had an unbridled passion for watercolors. Unbridled means...
D. Distressed. Answer: A Question: 426
The zephyr kept the students cool while they sat outside studying. Zephyr means...
D. Wind. Answer: D Question: 427
The pianist played his rendition of a sonata. Sonata means...
A. Instrumental composition.
D. Vocal score. Answer: A
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Military Vocational action - BingNews
Search resultsMilitary Vocational action - BingNews
https://killexams.com/exam_list/MilitaryVeteran Readiness and Vocational Rehabilitation
If you are a veteran who has a VA disability rating and an employment handicap, you may be entitled to Veteran Readiness and Employment (previously known as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment) services under Chapter 31 of the GI Bill (VR&E). These services include - but are not limited to - counseling, training, education and job placement assistance.
The following services may be provided through the VR&E program:
Comprehensive rehabilitation evaluation to determine abilities, skills, interests, and needs.
Vocational counseling and rehabilitation planning.
Employment services such as job-seeking skills, resume development, and other work readiness assistance.
Assistance finding and keeping a job, including the use of special employer incentives.
On the Job Training (OJT), apprenticeships, and non-paid work experiences.
Financial assistance for post-secondary training at a college, vocational, technical or business school.
Supportive rehabilitation services including case management, counseling, and referral.
Independent living services for for Veterans unable to work due to the severity of their disabilities.
Eligibility and entitlement for VR&E are two different things. You may meet eligibility criteria, yet not be entitled to services. The first step in the VR&E process is to be evaluated to determine if you qualify for services. To receive an evaluation for VR&E services, you must have received a discharge that is other than dishonorable and have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10% - or a memorandum rating of 20% or more from the VA.
Period of Eligibility - Like many VA benefits VR&E has a limited period of eligibility. The basic period of eligibility in which VR&E services may be used is 12 years from the date of separation from active military service, or the date the veteran was first notified by VA of a service-connected disability rating, which comes later.
The basic period of eligibility may be extended if VA determines that a veteran has a Serious Employment Handicap.
VR&E Program/Process Overview
If you are eligible for an evaluation under the Veterans Readiness program, you must complete an application and meet with a Veterans Readiness Counselor (VRC). If the VRC determines that an employment handicap exists as a result of a service-connected disability, you will be entitled to services. You and the VRC will then continue counseling to select a track of services and jointly develop a plan to address your rehabilitation and employment needs.
You and your Veterans Readiness Counselor will work together to:
Determine your transferable skills, aptitudes, and interests.
Identify viable employment and / or independent living services options.
Explore labor market and wage information.
Identify physical demands and other job characteristics.
Narrow vocational options to identify a suitable employment goal.
Select a VR&E VetSuccess program track leading to an employment or independent living goal.
Investigate training requirements.
Identify resources needed to achieve rehabilitation.
Develop an individualized rehabilitation plan to achieve the identified employment and / or independent living goals.
The rehabilitation plan will specify an employment or independent living goal, identify intermediate goals, outline services and resources needed to achieve these goals. You and the VRC will work together to implement the plan and achieve successful rehabilitation.
If the VRC determines that you are not entitled to services, her or she will help you locate other resources to address any rehabilitation and employment needs identified during the evaluation. Referral to other resources may include state vocational rehabilitation programs, Department of Labor employment programs for disabled veterans, state, federal or local agencies providing services for employment or small business development, internet-based resources for rehabilitation and employment, and information about applying for financial aid.
Additional VR&E Benefits and Definitions.
Subsistence Allowance - In addition to receiving a monthly payment while attending training through VR&E, you may also qualify for a monthly subsistence allowance. This is paid each month during training and is based on the rate of attendance (full-time or part-time), the number of dependents, and the type of training. For example a full-time attendee with two dependents could receive up to $955.92 a month. View the current VR&E Subsistence Allowance Rates.
If you're eligible for both Veterans Readiness and Employment benefits and Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits you can choose the Post-9/11 GI Bill’s monthly housing allowance instead of the VR&E subsistence allowance.
Employment Handicap - An Employment Handicap is defined as an impairment of the veteran's ability to prepare for, obtain or retain employment consistent with his or her abilities, aptitudes, and interests. The impairment must result in large part from a service-connected disability. For veterans rated at 20% or more, a finding of employment handicap results in a finding of "entitled."
Serious Employment Handicap (SEH) - A Serious Employment Handicap is defined as a significant impairment of a veteran's ability to prepare for, obtain, or retain employment consistent with his or her abilities, aptitudes and interests. The SEH must result in the most part from a service-connected disability.
Note: For veterans rated at 10% disability and for veterans whose 12-year period of basic eligibility has passed, the finding of an SEH is necessary to establish "entitlement."
Suitable Employment - Work that is within a veteran's physical and emotional capabilities and is consistent with his or her pattern of abilities, aptitudes, and interests.
Non-Paid Work Experience (NPWE) program - NPWE provides eligible veterans and service members the opportunity to obtain training and practical job experience concurrently. This program is ideal for veterans or service members who have a clearly established career goal, and who learn easily in a hands-on environment. This program is also well suited to veterans or service members who are having difficulties obtaining employment due to lack of work experience. NPWE programs may be established in federal, state, or local (e.g. city, town, school district) government agencies only. The employer may hire the veteran or service member at any point during the NPWE.
Whether you need a guide on how to use your GI Bill, want to take advantage of tuition assistance and scholarships, or get the lowdown on education benefits available for your family, Military.com can help. Subscribe to Military.com to have education tips and benefits updates delivered directly to your inbox.
Wed, 29 Nov 2017 14:43:00 -0600entext/htmlhttps://www.military.com/education/gi-bill/vocational-rehabilitationVA Telecounseling Service for Vocational Rehab
Veterans nationwide have access to more than 1,000 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRC) via 'telecounseling,' or virtual communication, thanks to a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program (VR&E) upgrade. Telecounseling is accessible on any device with a webcam and microphone. Telecounseling allows Veterans to meet with VRCs virtually through VA Video Connect. Veterans participating in most VR&E rehabilitation plans of service may use Telecounseling and are encouraged to speak with their VRCs about it. Participation is voluntary and not required. For more information about VR&E, visit the VR&E webpage.
Mon, 10 Dec 2018 04:51:00 -0600entext/htmlhttps://www.military.com/military-report/va-telecounseling-service-vocational-rehab.htmlVeterans Vocational Rehabilitation & Education Program
Educational and vocational counseling is provided for eligible service members and veterans. The outcome of this counseling is assistance in the selection of an educational or vocational goal and/or assistance in the selection of training institutions where this goal may be pursued. To receive an evaluation for VR&E services, a veteran must:
have received or will receive a discharge that is other than dishonorable,
have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10 percent, and
submit a completed application for VR&E services.
The basic period of eligibility in which VR&E services may be used is 12 years from the latter of the following:
date of separation from active military service, or
date the veteran was first notified by VA of a service-connected disability rating.
VA counselor will issue an Authorization Form (VA Form 28-1905) each term.
Authorization usually covers tuition, fees, bookstore purchases.
Forms can be faxed to 978-934-4076.
Students should contact VBC each term when they have registered for classes.
Each term VBC will pull students schedules and certify student for number of credits the student is registered for and send certification to VA counselor.
UMass Lowell will then send a bill to Voch Rehab for each term student is registered.
Thu, 16 Jul 2015 05:01:00 -0500entext/htmlhttps://www.uml.edu/student-services/Veterans/Benefits-Tuition/Vets-Vocational-Rehab-Edu-Pgm.aspxUS Military Academy at West Point can continue to consider race in admissions, judge rulesNo result found, try new keyword!The U.S. Military Academy at West Point can continue to consider race for now when evaluating who to admit to the elite military school, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday, rejecting a bid by the ...Wed, 03 Jan 2024 12:22:43 -0600en-ustext/htmlhttps://www.msn.com/Parliamentary Approval For Military Action
(MENAFN- EIN Presswire) Media reports suggest that Britain's military is preparing to join with allies to launch air strikes against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in the Red Sea. With Parliament on recess until 8 January 2024 there has been no opportunity for MPs to debate and vote on the planned deployment.
Can the government take military action without parliamentary approval?
Technically, yes. As we have clarified previously ,“The power to commit troops in armed conflict is one of the remaining Royal Prerogatives – that is powers that are derived from the Crown rather than conferred on them by Parliament.” This means that the PM has a constitutional right to decide when to authorise military action.
But politically this question is less clear cut. In 2011, the government said it would observe the convention that the Commons should have an opportunity to debate military action except in an emergency, and this principle was subsequently included in the Cabinet Manual .
What is the process for securing parliamentary approval?
As mentioned above, there is no codified requirement for the government to seek approval before taking military action. However, in accurate years, votes on military action have involved what are known as 'substantive motions': votes which express an opinion or take a decision, but have not necessarily explicitly sought to authorise military action. For example, the 2013 motion on Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons included a statement that a subsequent vote would be required to authorise military action.
What kind of military action now requires a parliamentary debate?
As with any convention, this all depends on how the government wants to interpret past precedent.
Historically – during the First and Second World Wars, for example – conflicts saw parliamentary debate normally only once military action was already underway. Over time, motions have been increasingly debated prior to military action, and have therefore become considered politically necessary in order to commit troops. During the conflict in Kosovo throughout the late 1990s, concern was expressed about the government's reluctance to hold a debate on a substantive motion in Parliament. In relation to Afghanistan, there were a number of statements and debates on the deployment of British troops, but there was no government-tabled motion allowing the House to express its view. However, the subsequent Iraq conflict in 2003 saw not only a specific motion authorising British action, but also the political precedent that the PM had indicated he could not commit troops without that support.
Since that time, while the majority of military deployments have been subject to prior parliamentary approval, some have not. In 2013, military assets were deployed in Mali without prior parliamentary approval. The government justified this saying it was in response to an emergency request, in support of a UN Security Council Resolution, and British forces were not deployed in a combat role. In April 2018, military action was taken against Syrian chemical weapons facilities without a vote in Parliament, which the government justified on humanitarian grounds. The then prime minister, Theresa May, subsequently made a statement to the House but there was no retrospective vote on the matter.
The House of Commons Library suggests that on the basis of accurate military operations, prior approval is now required when military action is taken“in an offensive capacity” and/or“is premeditated”. Retrospective approval is required when military action is taken to“prevent a humanitarian catastrophe” and/or“to protect a critical national interest". But these are by no means clear cut thresholds – the range of possible military actions varies widely and the circumstances in which emergency action might be taken to secure 'critical national interests' without prior approval could be broadly interpreted.
This lack of clarity has led some observers to argue that the convention should be codified by resolution or legislation – something which the then foreign secretary, William Hague, committed to do in 2011. But the proposal was subsequently dropped. As with all the grey areas of our Constitution, there are many complexities (explained in detail here ) that would make codification difficult.
Is there any precedent about whether votes on military commitments are free or whipped?
The parliamentary convention on free votes has been that they are appropriate when MPs are voting on matters of conscience rather than party policy. On matters of policy, a whipped vote would be completely normal. The 2013 vote on Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons, which the government unexpectedly lost by 13 votes had been whipped. But there is a question as to whether a decision to commit armed forces – whether sending in bombs, drones or troops – ought to be a matter of conscience or a matter of policy.
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Sun, 31 Dec 2023 18:17:00 -0600Datetext/htmlhttps://menafn.com/1107673881/Parliamentary-Approval-For-Military-ActionBlack women’s group defends affirmative action at military academies
The National Association of Black Military Women and left-leaning legal organizations have weighed in on the lawsuits against the U.S. Military Academy and the Naval Academy, filing briefs in defense of the academies’ use of race as a factor in admissions decisions, often known as affirmative action.
The footnote left the door open for litigation seeking to ban affirmative action in those military institutions.
A group opposed to affirmative action has walked through that door, suing two service academies for considering race as an admissions factor, arguing the policy is unfair and illegal. The National Association of Black Military Women’s accurate briefs defend the policy, making the case that racism still exists in the military and racially diverse leaders can ameliorate it.
“For people to think that there is no racism in the military, that’s a false narrative,” retired Army Col. Irma Cooper, the association’s vice president for operations, said on Friday.
In the fall, Students for Fair Admissions, the same anti-affirmative-action advocacy group that successfully challenged affirmative action in civilian universities, turned its attention to the service academies. It filed lawsuits against the Army’s U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, and the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, for what it characterized as unlawful racial discrimination.
The National Association of Black Military Women, the American Civil Liberties Union, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund argued in a friend-of-the court brief filed Nov. 29 that affirmative action at the U.S. Military Academy, which educates future Army officers, was “critical to the success of Black women in the military and to the military’s success.”
Friend-of-the-court briefs, also known as amicus briefs, are filed by entities that aren’t directly involved in a case but share their insight or expertise.
Nearly the same set of groups, with the difference being the addition of the ACLU Foundation of Maryland and the subtraction of the New York Civil Liberties Union, on Dec. 6 filed a similar brief in the case against the Naval Academy. That academy educates future officers for the Navy and Marine Corps.
The use of race in admissions
In arguing that affirmative action is necessary, the amicus briefs point to the low number of Black and Hispanic officers relative to Black and Hispanic enlisted troops.
The briefs quote service members of color recounting instances of racism they say they experienced, including offensive language and apparently disparate treatment in the military justice system.
Retired Army Col. Annette Tucker Osborne, president of the National Association of Black Military Women, says in the briefs that when her new commander on a deployment to Kuwait met her for the first time, he looked at her and back at her resume, over and over and over. In Tucker Osborne’s view, the commander was “unable to equate a Black woman with the well-polished and extremely qualified person on paper.”
“I was asked three times, ‘Did you complete Army War College?” she said in a Friday interview with Military Times. “I told you the first time. You didn’t have to ask me three times in front of the whole group of military personnel.”
On that six-month deployment, young white soldiers often wouldn’t salute Tucker Osborne, a full-bird colonel, she said.
Founded in 1976, the National Association of Black Military Women is an organization “dedicated to giving voice to Black military women across the nation.”
The association’s briefs argue racially diverse leaders can foster a better culture for more junior service members of color.
The U.S. Military Academy maintained in a court filing that affirmative action, by increasing racial diversity in the officer corps, also prevents internal racial tensions, boosts recruitment and retention, and builds the military’s legitimacy in the eyes of the nation and the globe.
Students for Fair Admissions has argued the opposite: that considering race in admissions undermines the internal and external trust in the military and amounts to racial stereotyping.
“America’s enemies do not fight differently based on the race of the commanding officer opposing them, soldiers must follow orders without regard to the skin color of those giving them, and battlefield realities apply equally to all soldiers regardless of race, ethnicity, or national origin,” the group wrote in a September filing.
And because race helps some applicants, race necessarily hurts other applicants, Students for Fair Admissions argued.
“That’s illegal,” the group wrote.
The service academies’ admissions officers insisted in court filings that race isn’t the determinative factor in deciding whether to admit or deny students.
To get accepted to the academies, applicants must not only meet the academic and physical standards but also receive official nominations, often from members of Congress.
Race can help students get letters of assurance, early conditional acceptances for “outstanding” applicants, according to the admissions officers. It could play a role in the academy’s decision to provide its handful of direct nominations, though those are typically reserved for standout athletes. And it can be a “plus factor” in final admissions decisions.
Students for Fair Admissions wrote that the academies should pursue race-neutral alternatives to affirmative action. The group described affirmative action as “racial box-checking” and “racial pseudoscience” because it relies on broad racial classifications like “Hispanic” and “Asian” that encompass a huge variety of ethnic backgrounds.
Nearly 19% of the military’s active duty officers are service academy grads, but that percentage falls to approximately 13% for Black officers, according to Pentagon data from 2019. ROTC programs at civilian universities are the leading source of officers’ commissions overall.
Students for Fair Admissions is seeking preliminary injunctions that would order the Army’s and Navy’s service academies to cease using race as a factor in admissions immediately.
For that to happen, Judge Philip Halpern in New York and Judge Richard Bennett in Maryland would have to decide that Students for Fair Admissions’ arguments should win on the merits, and that waiting for the typical legal process to run its course would create harm that couldn’t be repaired.
Students for Fair Admissions, which is representing two anonymous white high schoolers who would like to apply to West Point, has said the judges need to act now. One of those students is applying in this admissions cycle and might miss out on a spot that he would have gotten if he weren’t white, the group argued in the complaint.
“Unless West Point is ordered to stop using race as a factor in admissions, [his] race will prevent him from competing for admission on an equal footing,” Students for Fair Admissions wrote.
Lawyers for Students for Fair Admissions didn’t respond to a Military Times request for an interview.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Justice Department’s Civil Division are representing the academies. Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for the New York office, declined to comment. The Civil Division didn’t respond by time of publication to a Military Times request for comment.
Whether or not the judges decide to end affirmative action in the academies immediately, it’s likely those decisions will get appealed, Sarah Hinger, an ACLU attorney who worked on the amicus briefs, told Military Times on Thursday.
The cases likely will one day end up before the Supreme Court, in Hinger’s view.
Although six of the nine Supreme Court justices voted in June to scrap affirmative action in civilian universities, the service academy cases would force them to balance a desire to enforce equal protection consistently with the norm of courts deferring to the military, Noah Feldman, a Harvard Law School professor, wrote in Bloomberg in September.
“It’s likely to be a close call, but consider: If there had been five firm votes on the court for striking down the military’s use of affirmative action, there would have been no need for Roberts to exclude the academies from June’s decision,” Feldman wrote.
The case in the Southern District of New York is Students for Fair Admissions v. United States Military Academy at West Point et al (7:23-cv-08262).
The case in the District of Maryland is Students for Fair Admissions v. The United States Naval Academy et al (1:23-cv-02699).
Irene Loewenson is a staff reporter for Marine Corps Times. She joined Military Times as an editorial fellow in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.
Wed, 13 Dec 2023 10:01:00 -0600entext/htmlhttps://www.marinecorpstimes.com/education-transition/2023/12/14/black-womens-group-defends-affirmative-action-at-military-academies/Six military Christmas movies to watch this holiday season
It’s Christmas time and that means holiday treats, gift giving and maybe some themed movies or music. But for many in the military, Christmas means still being on base or on duty. But there’s always time for some entertainment. And that means some Christmas movies. But instead of watching classics like Miracle on 34th St. or How the Grinch Stole Christmas, this year try something a bit more action-oriented.
There are also several Hallmark Christmas movies about veterans or active-duty troops, but for this list Task & Purpose is focusing on the more action-oriented films. For the sake of dealing with the red-nosed reindeer in the room, Die Hard is not going to be on this list. It’s a great movie, but let’s not have that discussion again. Here are half a dozen other, non-Die Hard Christmas action and thriller films.
If you want a fantastic drama and thriller about veterans adjusting to coming home, First Blood is for you. Fun fact, it’s also a Christmas movie. Special Forces veteran and former POW John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone at his most depressed) gets harassed by local cops during the Christmas season, after finding out an old wartime buddy is dead. All John wanted for Christmas was a hot meal and to see a friend. Instead he’s out in the cold using his military training to take on a small army. His situation is so bad that Rambo wishes he was back at then-Fort Bragg (now Fort Liberty). It’s a compelling, well-acted film with great suspense. All of that being said, unlike later Rambo films, First Blood is without mirth and pretty dour. Be prepared for a serious film.
As we have established, Santa is not a soldier or veteran. But he’s military-adjacent at this point. And sometimes the premise of Santa Claus versus heavily armed henchmen in modern times is too good to pass up. Tommy Wirkola (the same director of the delightfully gory Nazi zombie movie Dead Snow) lets Santa (David Harbour) go to town on these assault rifle-wielding goons, kicking their butts with hammers, fists and other implements. Old St. Nick was out delivering presents when he has to rescue a family from robbers. There’s plenty of good fun here, but we do have to wonder — Santa versus henchmen in a mansion feels like a squandering of the premise. Why not have the North Pole invaded, and Santa having to go on a Die Hard-type mission inside his own workshop? Either way, Violent Night excels at Santa fighting people.
Despite a fantastic, instantly engaging title, this fails to deliver as an action film. No, the 1964 campy sci-fi movie does not feature Santa leading a commando raid on Mars, but rather teaching Martians the spirit of Christmas after they try to kidnap him. Yes, really. In fact, Santa’s kidnapping is so important various nations even mobilize their armies to try and rescue them, even if the film’s low budget means audiences don’t get a massive set piece showing a battle. That said, if you and your fellow soldiers are looking for a Christmas film to laugh at together, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is a solid choice. Better yet, watch the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode about it.
Writer Shane Black loves Christmas. It’s the setting of nearly every one of his films, from Last Kiss Goodnight to The Nice Guys to even Iron Man 3. Black loves mixing Christmas with buddy comedy action even more. But Lethal Weapon is his most troop-focused film. Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover)’s new partner Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) is a trauma-ridden special operations veteran, while the drug smuggling ring they uncover ends up being run by former soldiers from the Vietnam War using their skills for crime. There’s action, there’s comedy, there’s a final fight that happens surrounded by Christmas decorations. What’s not to like?
Another crime film? Another noir? Yes. And it’s a modern classic. The film follows various detectives, almost all of them recently demobilized service members who fought in World War II. The three plotlines interweave perfectly, following the veterans-turned-cops as they try to solve a brutal winter murder and how it ties into Hollywood, Mickey Cohen and the LAPD itself. L.A. Confidential sets its dark tone right at the start, in a lengthy Christmas-time scene as cops party and deal with holiday-related crime. Bud White (Russell Crowe) even rips down a Santa’s sleigh decoration while protecting a woman from an abusive husband, wishing her a “merry Christmas.” The film alone achieves a Christmas-worthy miracle of taking James Ellroy’s trademark byzantine plot lines and condensing them into a taut, coherent film.
Maybe this one is a stretch, but stay with us. The title comes from the Christmas carol, quoted aloud by the less than bright Conrad Vig (Spike Jonze). It’s got refugees, the desert and even gold, but no frankincense or myrrh. Although the movie is technically set in early 1991, after Christmas (for a proper Gulf War-set Christmas scene, watch Jarhead), the story of one Green Beret and a bunch of reservists trying to steal Kuwaiti gold from Saddam Hussein is extremely entertaining. The film does a pretty good job of capturing what it’s like being an enlisted soldier, from boredom to grumpy officers and even the silly arguments between troops. More importantly, it’s about the soldiers doing what they can to help people flee oppression and find safety. And honestly, isn’t that spirit of giving the true spirit of the holidays?
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Sun, 24 Dec 2023 07:50:00 -0600Nicholas Slaytonen-UStext/htmlhttps://taskandpurpose.com/culture/christmas-movies-military-action-violent-night-rambo-three-kings/Israel Can’t Win With Military Action
Straight up, let it be said, Israel can’t win over Hamas through military action, and can only solve the issue through a political settlement. The fallacy of the thought that there are military solutions to what are essentially political issues has a name. It is called militarism. Not just in Israel, but throughout the world, the curse of militarism is stalking us, and could well end civilization, even eradicate complex life on Planet Earth.
Let’s start with the logic of Gaza. First, Israel has inflicted a level of damage on Gaza equivalent to some to the worst bombings of World War II. Dresden, Hamburg, Hiroshima, Nagasaki. By now bombs at least equal to two Hiroshima blasts have leveled much of Gaza. An estimated 1.9 million people, 85% of Gaza’s population, has been displaced, while 50% of dwellings have been destroyed or damaged, BBC reports. Tens of thousands are dead. More tens of thousands are wounded.
Yet Hamas fights on, continuing to inflict significant damage on Israeli forces. It uses the rubble as a shield, and emerges from its tunnels with one of the great equalizers in modern warfare, the rocket-propelled grenade launcher, to take out armored vehicles. Israel confronts the reality of guerilla war, much as the U.S. did in Iraq and Vietnam, and both the U.S. and the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Vastly superior military forces find it almost impossible to eliminate guerilla armies that have a significant base of popular support, as Hamas does.
The logic is that the only way to eliminate Hamas is to eliminate the population of Gaza, which to many observers seems exactly what Israel is attempting. Even if Israel succeeded in that, it would be a pyrrhic victory. For Israel will never be safe from attacks originating in Palestinian communities which have been dispersed to other countries. That places Israel in endless conflict with surrounding nations, potentially including ones with which it has had peace including Jordan and Egypt. Meanwhile, the many who have lost family members to the Israeli campaign will be new recruits for Hamas. Violence begets violence. The cycle is unending. If Israel did succeed in shattering that organization, itself unlikely, another more extreme grouping would succeed it.
Meanwhile, the loss of support for Israel around the world, already a stark fact, would only intensify. Its path to normalization of relations with Saudi Arabia is already cut off. And support in western nations that has been vital to Israel’s survival, most notably the United States, will erode to the breaking point. The collapse of support for Israel among younger generations, including young Jews, is visibly evident on the streets. It is already having political implications for the 2024 elections. And everything Israel is doing in Gaza is accelerating that collapse.
All this is playing into Hamas’ hands. From past disproportionate responses to attacks, how could Hamas have expected anything less? It seems patently obvious that Hamas anticipated a brutal assault that would eviscerate political support for Israel on the world stage. In its political calculus, Hamas made a choice to sacrifice their own people, regarding it as martyrdom. For whatever any one of us thinks of that, Hamas has already achieved a strategic political victory, as the accurate UN ceasefire vote of 153 for and 10 against indicates. Israel’s supporters were limited to the U.S., Austria, Czechia, Guatemala, Liberia, Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea and Paraguay. The Security Council ceasefire vote that preceded it was even more stark, with 13 in favor and the U.S. alone against, blocking the resolution with its veto power.
When Gazans attempted a peaceful protest in the 2018-19 Great March of Return to the fence line, they were killed and maimed en masse by Israeli snipers. What Hamas did on October 7 – and it remains unclear how many of the 800 civilians who died were killed by Hamas versus how many IDF killedin its response to the attack – was the desperate action of a desperate people. When you drive people into desperation, they will hit back.
It is clear there are no military solutions for this issue. Militarism has failed, and has placed Israel in an untenable situation. The only answer is a political solution that provides justice for the Palestinians, either a two-state solution or creation of a unified, secular state with equal rights for all. As independent Israeli observers such as Gideon Levy have observed, the current internal politics of Israel make it virtually impossible for such a solution to emerge internally. Israel, much as a troubled relative that refuses to address life-threatening problems, requires a radical intervention from without.
And that means by Israel’s prime supporter, the United States. Thus no people in the world are doing more important work that the protestors in the streets of the U.S. And there are no more important participants in those protests than the Jewish activists represented by organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace and Not In Our Name, underscoring that a large part of the world’s largest Jewish community outside of Israel can no longer support that nation’s actions.
In a broader sense, Gaza underscores the futility of trying to solve problems with military force. The costs are unacceptably high. In the other big war going on in the world, in Ukraine, whoever comes out on top of that seemingly interminable conflict, it will come at the cost of hundreds of thousands of deaths, hundreds of thousands more physically and psychologically maimed for life, and many destroyed cities and towns.
The greatest cost of all, obviously, would be from nuclear warfare that, even if limited, would cause vast destruction and dispersal of radiation which poisons people and the land for generations. At its greatest extent, nuclear war would result in the immediate killing of tens or hundreds of millions, and the famine death of billions over a course of years caused by the shroud of smokes covering the Earth causing nuclear winter and crashing food production. Some even postulate that a full nuclear exchange would cause the collapse of complex life on this planet.
Yet nations build up their nuclear arsenals seemingly blithe to the danger. The U.S., Russia and China are all engaged in nuclear “modernization,” deploying new missiles, bombers and submarines. In the immediate conflict, Israel has its own arsenal of 80-200 nuclear weapons deliverable by missile, plane or submarine. An existential threat to Israel’s existence would almost certainly cause their use. Seymour Hersh called his classic work on the Israeli nuclear arsenal the The Samson Option because as Samson brought down the temple on his head, Israel would bring down at least its region. The first bomb, reports Hersh, was inscribed in Hebrew and English with the words “Never again.”
As I have written before, the world should have changed after July 16, 1945, the day of the first nuclear explosion at Alamogordo, New Mexico, when humanity first realized the power to destroy itself. It was already clear that the devastating fission bomb made possible the apocalyptic fusion bomb, many times more destructive. The hydrogen bomb, which should never have been developed, was created because of a great power competition which should have been seen as obsolescent. But President Harry Truman reasoned that because the Soviet Union already had the fission bomb, it could develop the H-bomb. So the U.S. had to build its own. He gave that order in 1950, setting off a process that would see the first bomb explode in 1952. The Soviets followed with their own in 1953, and the world has lived under the terror of mutual annihilation ever since.
By the view of many expert observers, including the late Daniel Ellsberg and Peter Kuznick, director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University, current tensions between the U.S. and Russia have put the world in at least as great a danger of nuclear conflict as the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and perhaps greater. Meanwhile, tensions between the U.S. and China pose another set of threats. Retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as Colin Powell’s aide while the latter was Secretary of State, notes he has participated in many war games involving a U.S.-China conflict over Taiwan. They all end in a nuclear exchange, he says.
Meanwhile, the science-fiction nightmare of robotic killing machines depicted in the Terminator movies is becoming a reality. In Ukraine both militaries are deploying AI-guided drones programmed with pattern recognition software that allows them to identify and target enemy vehicles with no human direction. The age of the autonomous killing machine has already arrived. Humanity seems determined to create Terminator’s SkyNet.
For humanity, and perhaps for much of life on this planet, militarism is quite literally a dead end.
At the same time, the world spends increasing amounts of money on militaries, sucking resources desperately needed to address critical challenges such as climate disruption, poverty and diseases. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says military spending grew 3.7% in 2022 to reach a record high of $2.24 trillion. From 2013-2022 it increased by 19%, growing every year for the past 8. It is likely this is an underestimate. A new study puts actual U.S. military spending at $1.573 trillion, twice the official Pentagon budget. The cost of the U.S. nuclear “modernization” alone is put at $1.5 trillion over the next three decades. With the way arms costs tend to balloon, that figure is likely to grow significantly.
A man who well knew the ways of war as the commanding general of allied forces in Europe during World War II, Dwight Eisenhower, and who on leaving the presidency warned us of the military industrial complex, during his term stated the cost of militarism.“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
Humanity is being nailed to another cross, that of climate disruption which is already wreaking havoc across the planet. McKinsey in January 2022 estimated that reaching net-zero global warming pollution by 2050 (and even this is regarded by many as an insufficient goal) will cost $275 trillion over 30 years. That amounts to $9.2 trillion annually, or 7.5% of global GDP. In addition to around $2 trillion per year now spent on low emissions assets, this would require redirecting current spending on carbon-intensive assets and then adding $3.5 trillion annually in new spending. It’s pretty obvious that much of that money should come from reduced military expenditures.
Militarism is a cycle that feeds itself, violence begetting violence, vengeance begetting vengeance. In an age when humanity is developing increasingly sophisticated and effective tools to destroy ourselves, we must find a way to break this cycle if we want to survive as a species. Militarism will provide no solution in Gaza, only continue the cycle of violence, as is the clear logic of the case. And not only will it provide no solutions for the world; it stands in the way of the solutions we urgently need. It is time to end this obsolete way of thinking and move into a new peaceful world, as we must to survive.
Thu, 21 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600en-UStext/htmlhttps://www.counterpunch.org/2023/12/22/israel-cant-win-with-military-action/BTS RM and V Spotted During Military TrainingNo result found, try new keyword!BTS's RM (Kim Namjoon) and V (Kim Taehyung) have been photographed at a military training center. RM and V were captured in a sketch of cadets released by the Army on April ...Wed, 03 Jan 2024 20:31:00 -0600en-ustext/htmlhttps://www.msn.com/Inconsistency Of Military Academies Carve-Out In Affirmative Action Decision
Thirty-five former top military leaders — including four former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a friend of the court brief emphasized that the officer corps already is significantly less racially diverse than the enlisted troops. Increasing that gap, they warned, could diminish the military’s legitimacy in the eyes of some Americans, hinder engagement with foreign countries and threaten internal morale. “History has shown that placing a diverse Armed Forces under the command of homogenous leadership is a recipe for internal resentment, discord, and violence. By contrast, units that are diverse across all levels are more cohesive, collaborative, and effective.”
The arguments are no different when it comes to Harvard and the University of North Carolina, the two universities in this case. These universities are the training ground for many of the top executives in the U.S. and the need for them to have a diverse student body is critical if we are to work to level the playing field in our country’s leadership. The decision continues to allow colleges and universities to consider a variety of other student characteristics in their admissions decisions including whether the student’s parents had attended the institution (legacy status), athletic prowess, geography, etc. Why not race? As Justice Sotomayor wrote “At its core, today’s decision exacerbates segregation and diminishes the inclusivity of our Nation’s institutions in service of superficial neutrality that promotes indifference to inequality and ignores the reality of race.” And Justice Brown wrote “With let-them-eat-cake obliviousness, today, the majority pulls the ripcord and announces ‘colorblindness for all’ by legal fiat. But deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life.”
Brown continued “The Court has come to rest on the bottom-line conclusion that racial diversity in higher education is only worth potentially preserving insofar as it might be needed to prepare Black Americans and other underrepresented minorities for success in the bunker, not the boardroom (a particularly awkward place to land, in light of the history the majority opts to ignore)…The takeaway is that those who demand that no one think about race (a classic pink-elephant paradox) refuse to see, much less solve for, the elephant in the room— the race-linked disparities that continue to impede achievement of our great Nation’s full potential.”