Jul201404

If the United States Marine Corps knows how to celebrate any holiday well, it would be July 4th – both the original holiday celebrating our independence from British rule, as well as the more recent victory against the alien invasion which Capt Hiller (Will Smith) and David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) so thankfully repelled.  So to honor this stellar beer-drinking, sunburning three day holiday weekend, why don’t we start it off with what we Marines do best: blow stuff up.

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May201425

You know, I would have to think that when one joins up with a rebel militia or local insurgency, that said recruit will most likely not receive all that much proper military training.  Sure, I would wager a substantial amount of the rebel force in Syria already had military experience on their resumes, but I would also bet that the gentlemen in this video – the one with the creative, Frankenstein-rises firing position – came in with zero.  Lesson 1: what’s the difference between cover and concealment?  Answer, and more face palm analysis from this crazy Syrian War firefight after the jump.

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Week In Review
May201417

Week In Review1

Posted like a champ in Laugh, Listen, Live, Play, Watch

You’re quickly learning that Slightly Qualified likes all things pop culture. Throw in military videos and gaming panache, and we’re probably one of the more eclectic websites you’ve had the pleasure of viewing. We’re a diversified portfolio of interweb goodness.

Raffman posted about a crossfit chap who did 106 – scratch that – zero pull ups at once. He also talks about a 500 lb bomb that almost hit the wrong soldiers. Raffman also discusses a few iOS games like Knifehand and Wayward Souls. And to keep us in touch with our memes, he collected all kinds of fun ginger and Canada pics for your perusing enjoyment. Make sure you don’t miss out on Bill Murray impersonating Harry Caray either.

I had fun writing about some Pandora stations you probably should be listening to. We’re still quoting from these five movies and cannot, for the life of us, stop it. Technically, these were from last week, but make sure you pick up the new Black Keys album Turn Blue and three minutes of your life is a small price for watching Eric Bana in the Deliver Us From Evil trailer.

Our friends at Linkiest are covering everything from athletes to unicorns. LFGdating remains the only dating site for the gamer/geek/nerd in you. And Clumsy Crooks catalogues all things insanely stupid about criminals and their inability to do their job well.

May201417

Just like that danger close 500 lb bomb video I posted yesterday, this controlled det video from Afghanistan will make you check your pacemaker.  Although some folks over in the magical land of YouTube are calling this footage out as fake, I’ve replayed it a few times over and it looks/sounds real enough to me.  I’ve had Afghan rocks rain down on my kevlar after a 50 lb IED went off in Helmand, so it’s not like I don’t know what I’m talking about (no, I wasn’t EOD either, so I guess that kinda validates the reason why we called this kick ass website “slightly qualified”, eh?).  But enough talk – you need to watch the video and decide for yourself.  More after the jump!

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May201407

Last summer Anna Coren and her CNN team embedded with a US Special Forces unit in a district called Nejrab, which is located about 120 miles or so north of Afghanistan’s capital city Kabul.  While this likely wasn’t the first firefight she has experienced in her front line reporting travels, it most likely was one of the most intense with rounds impacting what appeared to be just feet around her.  This is yet another awesome combat footage video folks, and this time it comes fully wrapped in beautiful HD – do not miss this one!  More after the jump!

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May201406

Now this Helmand combat video is a must-see!  As you likely have already read in my previous Marine Corps-tagged posts and videos here at SQ, I’m a former Marine who deployed to Afghanistan – or more specifically Helmand Province – as an embedded advisor with the Afghan National Army, or “ANA”.  These videos really bring me back to 2010/2011 when I was there – not for the combat, as I didn’t see much outside of a few IEDs and small-arms fire, but for the Helmand landscape and watching the ANA operate. You have to understand that they are not Marines, or in all honesty anything remotely close to what most Americans would consider professional soldiers; they are the pride of Afghanistan, and I will tell you that these guys can flat out fight.  Sure they have their shortcomings, but fighting – at least the unit that I worked with – is not one of them.  That being said, the 1:07 minute mark in this video made me just about choke on my coffee from laughter – more details after the jump!

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May201406

Did you see the Taliban in this pretty intense helmet cam combat video?  No?  Yeah, that’s how they prefer to operate – I would wager the Recon Marines that were ambushed as they crossed that danger area didn’t see them either.  Whether it’s by firing through murder holes in the iron-strength mud walls, or initiating an ambush just at the right time when the sun is setting behind them (you know, so when you turn towards the ambush it’s nothing but blinding sun and 7.62 coming at you), that’s their gameplan: quick ambush, move and attempt a quick flank/envelop, and then get the hell out of Dodge as soon as American air power gets on station.  Don’t miss the video – as always more after the jump!

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May201403

While I got to do some really cool stuff as a Marine – lead a scout sniper platoon, deploy to Afghanistan, and shoot just about every weapon in our ground arsenal – I honestly have wanted to be a pilot since I was a little kid.  While both of my grandfathers were officers in WW2 – one was an infantry officer in the Army, while the other was a bomber pilot in the Army Air Corps (now the Air Force) – it was the fact that I never got to meet the latter that really influenced my decision to become an officer.  While my horrendous eyesight kept me out of flight school, by the time I was a few years out of college my desire had shifted heavily in favor of infantry/ground intelligence with the Marine Corps.  I wanted the honor of leading an infantry platoon, and it was an incredible, unforgettable experience – that being said, and especially after watching this video, the life of a fighter pilot looks just absolutely awesome!  I cannot stress the following words enough: must-watch video!

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May201401

How can you not like a good airstrike video?  As a former Marine, I can’t tell you the mental comfort you receive when you’re on a foot patrol in Afghanistan and you’ve got air support in the area.  While I have never been up north in the vaunted Korengal Valley (my regiment kicked ass there before the surge brought the Marine Corps to Helmand; I joined the unit just after they got back), I have been to Helmand, which in places is equal parts nasty (just don’t listen to Maxim Magazine on that).  The above moto airstrike video comes to you courtesy of the US Army Paratroopers from 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, as well as the A-10 Warthog who just completely levels an enemy stronghold somewhere deep within the Korengal.  Awesome video – hit the link below for more!

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May201401

One of the neatest things about joining the military is that you have a tremendous amount of opportunities to work, train and fight alongside dozens of foreign militaries.  While I touched on this topic in my recent Black Sea Rotational Force Moto Video post a few days ago, my time spent in Afghanistan working as an embedded infantry advisor in the heart of Helmand Province is something that I will never forget.  Sure it was ridiculously frustrating, but it was an incredible experience, and one that has really shaped who I am today.  The video above comes from the Royal Tongan Marines, who just wrapped up Operation Herrick in Afghanistan, as they have been providing security in the at Camp Bastion (huge British base) since November 2010 (which just happens to be when I started my deployment there).  Pretty cool video – more info on the Tongan Marines below!

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Apr201429

With the Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom) behind us, and Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom) all but over as we approach the 2014 deadline, Marines today will get more opportunities to do some really cool deployments, whether it’s more MEU’s or more chances to jump on deployments to Australia or what you’ll see in the video above – the Black Sea Rotational Force which features infantry battalions from 8th Marine Regiment.  While I never got to do a MEU out of 3d Marine Regiment, I did get a chance to deploy to Afghanistan during the surge, but seriously considered sticking around to be a part of the Corps’ first rotational deployment to Australia.  Heading the other direction to the Black Sea to work and train with the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian militaries would also have been cool, and with the Ukraine/Russia conflict getting hotter by the day, the training relevance there is growing exponentially.  Whether you’re an active duty Marine, a part-timer, a former Marine like myself, or just a civilian who likes to watch things blow up, this video will surely get you motivated.  Enjoy the video of 3/8 kicking ass in Eastern Europe, and as always hit the link below for more!

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