There is no denying the importance of the American Navy, defending the United States since the dawn of its creation. Here are some of facts about the Navy that have recently been released.
Not For Fashionistas
Like every other aspect of its operation, the Navy is meticulous when comes to what kind of hairstyles that female soldiers can have. Hairstyles are required to be of a conventional style and it is “not authorized” to have pigtails or ponytails. If you consider yourself stylish, stay away from the Navy.
NCIS Is Real
One of the most common misconceptions surrounding NCIS is that it is purely a fictional TV show. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The show takes much inspiration from the real-life Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence are just a couple of issues that are tackled in this quality representation of Naval Investigation. The show was originally titled Navy NCIS, but the word “Navy” was later dropped as, understandably so, it was considered redundant.
Banned From Submarines
The amount of movies that have been made about submarines is absolutely staggering. This water vehicle has been associated with the Navy since the 1800’s, before being truly utilized at the turn of the 20th century. Amazingly, women were banned from using submarines up until 2010. Nowadays, there are many females who operate submarines, with a total of 80 female officers at this moment in time. After previous issues, the Navy is now ensuring that women have sufficient level of privacy.
Secret Life Of A Marine
Shannon Ihrke joined the Navy when she was 19 years of age. For four years, she was part of the Navy’s armed forces and during her time serving, she believes she grew tremendously. She claims that she “pushed [her] body harder than [she] could have ever imagined.” Although the connection wasn’t clear at the time, it would prove to be a huge stepping stone for her entry into a modeling career. As of now, Ihrke has 72,000 followers on Twitter.
Pull-ups are a standard fitness exercise in the Marine Corps. Initially, every single Marine, whether you were a man or a woman, was required to do them. The only difference was that women did a lower number of pull-ups. But stats showed that over 50% of women were unable to complete the training they were given. As a result, changes were made, providing different levels of exercise for men and women. Women are still encouraged to do pull-ups, but it’s not compulsory.
Pregnancies in the Navy are treated in a sensitive manner. Any woman, no matter how big or small their role is, is sent home for a certain time period. After reaching 20 weeks of pregnancy, female Marines are taken off the ships. After developing a bump, women are unable to fit comfortably into their shirts. As a result, the Navy has created maternity friendly uniforms. They are officially approved by the Navy and are designed to be comfortable for pregnant Marines.
The military tries to be as patient and as accommodating as possible when it comes to soldiers having babies. Like any other organization, they give maternity and paternity leave as well as giving pregnant soldiers uniforms which are more comfortable, but this has come at a cost. Pregnant women are more costly due to medical care and appropriate transportation that they need. In addition, maternity leave means that someone leaving the military for a period of time and their job must be filled in.
Unlike the movies, the reality of being on a Navy ship is much more manageable than expected. Rather than being at sea for years on end without seeing friends or family or touching land, boats will dock in major cities for Fleet Week. During this time, servicemen and women are given a chance to explore and take some time for themselves. In addition, the Navy are given 30 vacation days which rollover from year to year, allowing them to have well earned time off.
Training Is Torture
There were many exposes on torture imposed by the United States on terrorists in an attempt to drive classified information out of them. The controversial technique was condemned in many societies and in some extreme cases, it can kill the suspect. However, it might come as a surprise that elite military personnel are expected to undergo this method as a part of tough training. In recent years, it was reported that the Navy SEALs had to phase it out over time.
The Real Top Gun
The United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program is more commonly known as Topgun and has a genuine reason why it was put in place. During the Vietnam War, the communist forces were maneuvering their way out of air-to-air missile attacks shot by the US pilots. One of the reasons why they were successfully avoiding them was potentially down to inaccuracy and to avoid this for the future, they introduced Topgun. You can thank Tom Cruise for bringing it to attention in his blockbuster movie.
What’s In A Name
Ever since the early 19th century, there is a specific way that Navy vessels are named. The Secretary of the Navy is partially responsible for this but there is also a procedure which is undertaken. Every ship must start with USS (United States Ship) and then everyone is allowed input for significant names who have contributed something monumental to US history. When the person’s name is approved, their oldest female descendent is given the honors of christening the ship.
Not all recruits in the Navy SEALs are required to have the same skill set. One important team is comprised of elite trained dogs which accompany the SEALs on missions, even the skydiving ones. The specific breed chosen is the Malinois, also known as the Belgian Shepherd dog. These dogs have a reputation of being incredibly intelligent and obedient, making them increasingly useful to sniff out explosives and toxic materials. In many cases, the dogs will be sent in on a mission first, prior to the soldiers.
Ban On Combat
For centuries, women were completely banned from taking to the front line and fight for their country. This position was reserved for men only and it wasn’t until 2015 that a lobby pushed through the decision to allow women to go into combat. Defense Secretary Ash Carter was responsible for giving it the green light but the decision also warranted condemnation and disapproval from other high ranking officials. Nevertheless, Carter insisted that it must happen “right away,” despite the controversial nature.
With a total of 1.4 million soldiers on active duty in the United States military, only 15% of those are women. The Navy has 53,000 women, and the Marine Corps has 14,000. In regards to those who have achieved top of the rank status, there is one lone female general in the Marine Corps and 21 female Admirals in the Navy. The Navy does have many female officers, of whom just under half are involved in in the medical professions.
Since the ban on women in combat positions was lifted, many women have flooded in to enlist in the Army. One woman signed up to be part of the SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection Program, even though the Navy SEALS is one of the hardest units in the Army. As one of the toughest programs, where only the physically and mentally fittest in the world can handle, the woman had to drop out of the course after a few weeks.
The Navy uses blocky squares for their uniform as a form of pixelated camouflage and, although it looks quite strange, it is considered to be the best camouflage developed so far. This is because, compared to the old camouflage, solid lines are easily picked up by the human brain, and the new design has none of that. Although the design has been working well and is the best so far, the plan is for the Navy to switch the color to green by 2019.
Most Aircraft Carriers
Aircraft carriers are some of the most impressive machines which can somehow float on the ocean, while also having the ability to allow for take-off and landing of fighter planes. The United States Navy has the best modern form of marvel engineering, and the American is the biggest in the world with 81 aircraft carriers. This is followed by Britain with 54, and France with 15, with the rest of the list falling steeply. There are only 20 in service in the world, and 11 of those are American.
When it comes to security on aircraft carriers, it seems that it is not as great as one would expect. This was proven in 1957 after 10 Australian college students managed to board the USS Bennington which was docked in Sydney. The students were dressed as pirates, and the pranksters somehow managed to make it to the bridge where they announced the ship had been “captured” by pirates. It seems the Navy was in need of some humor and found it funny, so no legal action was taken.
Connection To Budweiser
In an unexpected turn of events, there is a connection between the Navy and Budweiser beer. The Navy SEALS uniform can be found to have a pin on it called the “Special Warfare Insignia,” and this SEAL is also known colloquially as the “Budweiser.” The reason is because the training course to become is a SEAL is called the “BUD/S,” and secondly, the insignia looks like the Anheuser-Busch logo with its wings, which is the company that makes the beer.
Fraud Of Seal Team Six
Richard Marcinko is the man who first led Seal Team Six, the group renowned for taking out the terrorist behind the 9/11 attacks. Marcinko also founded Red Cell, the organization which finds the holes in security systems of the military. Meanwhile, he found himself in trouble when it was found that he had misused funds when it came to buying supplies and was convicted of defrauding the government. Although considered as a SEAL Team Six legend in the military, he was sentenced to 21 months in Federal prison.
War Will End Us
H. G. Wells put it best: “If we do not end war, war will end us.” And indeed, it’s hard to consider any side a winning one when counting the fatalities both sides endured. It is always favorable to be in a state of peace, but unfortunately, the past taught us there’s a need for a strong sovereign not only to avoid social chaos but also so someone with strength, bravery, and maturity to make tough decisions. Knowing this, is it really that surprising the Navy produced six presidents?
Talk The Talk
Professional Navy jargon, much like lingo used in other fields, consists of terms that others are not familiar with. The Navy specifically uses coded words that originate from old maritime terms, and are combined with military acronyms. For example, if someone says ‘the mess deck’, they are referring to the cafeteria. Meanwhile, windows are called ‘portholes’, and even simple terms like right and left are no in common use. Instead of the well-known words we use to this day, the two are replaced with port and starboard.
Leathernecks is a term commonly used when referring to Marines. The colloquial term was chosen seeing as how Marines are so tough. Notwithstanding with the former fact, this does not go to show that Marines are heartless. In fact, they are known for being dog lovers – the Marine Corps mascot is a bulldog, and Marines are nicknamed “Devil Dogs.” The nickname comes from an old tale that originated in World War I – apparently, German soldiers cursed the Marines, saying “Teufel Hunde,” which translates into devil dogs.
Kicking And Screaming
As an entity on its own, the Marine Corps wanted to develop its fighting method. Martial arts master Bruce Lee did so as well, and called it Jeet Kune Do. Come 2001, the Marine Corps made it official and named their technique the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. The technique involves a blend of different fighting styles, including boxing, kung fu, and krav maga. They too have a belt that symbolizes the stage of training the person is at, but unlike others that start at white, their first belt is tan.
The Self Defense Test Ship is an innovation like no other, as it enables the Navy to test the weaponry on board when attacks are made on the ship without any crew members having to be on board. This way, the Navy can test the ship’s self-protecting and external attacking capabilities without causing any harm to sailors. Usually, a ship this size would require approximately 200 sailors to man the controls, which is what makes this innovation all the more amazing.
Take Your Time
The Air Force, Navy, Army, and Marines all need to handle and work with different sorts of fields of medicine. For example, Air Force doctors must have a fluent comprehension of atmospheric oxygen levels. Navy doctors must also understand the consequences of water pressure and dissolved oxygen since one of the most significant problems is the bends, which is also referred to as decompression sickness. This occurs when divers rise too quickly to the surface and consequently get sick, as often happens when under attack.
On each USS boat, a special flagpole called the jackstaff can be found. The jackstaff was added to US Navy vessels sometime during the 1800’s. While the boat is docked, the jackstaff crosses to the First Navy Jack. This special flag has thirteen stripes, which represents the original 13 colonies. Additionally, it has an American rattlesnake on that reads “DONT TREAD ON ME.” The snake was inspired by the Gadsden flag – a flag designed by the American revolutionary and patriot, Christopher Gadsden.
The Navy has a new ship sailing the seas that looks like it’s straight out of a science fiction movie. The USS Zumwalt, also known as the DDg1000 was designed specifically so that it would be nearly undetectable on radar. The ship is also shaped in such a way to optimize it’s journey through the water. Even funnier, this futuristic floating fortress is captained by James Kirk, who shares his name with the famed Star Trek captain.
Fights With Pirates
America first commissioned its Navy during the Revolutionary War, when it had to contend with the British, who commanded the biggest and most powerful navy in the world at the time. Following the war, however, the Navy was disbanded, though that didn’t last very long. Only 20 years later, America realized they needed their navy back, but not to fight the British (yet). The Navy was recommissioned in order to protect American merchant ships from Barbary pirates, though they quietly built a few warships as well.
Inspired by her uncles’ stories from their time in the Navy, Barbara Ives want to experience that same thrill of adventure. She enrolled in the United States Naval Academy as one of the women in the first female class to attend in the Academy’s history. Barbara was one of the women who had to contend with the Navy’s lack of preparedness for accepting women, as there weren’t proper uniforms, in addition to rampant discrimination. Regardless, she was committed to the Navy and served a total 26 years.
Top Secret Operations
Many people have heard of the Navy’s special forces, known as the SEALs, which stands for “SEa, Air, Land”. The elite unit has one of the most difficult physical tests in any branch of the American military. Basic training for the SEALs is also one of the longest training bootcamps, lasting a total of seven months, and many don’t make it to the finish line. If you want to see their bootcamp for yourself, head to Imperial Beach in California, but the rest of their operations are top secret.
A number of celebrities have served time in the Navy, including Humphrey Bogart, the star of the classic film Casablanca. Bogart served in the 1920s on two separate ships. MC Hammer is another Navy veteran, though he was better known as Stanley Burrel at that time. One of the most well known people to have spent time in the Navy, however, was Neil Armstrong himself. Before he went to the moon, he flew planes for the Navy and took a hit during the Korean War.
It can be hard to truly comprehend the intensity of the Navy SEAL training, but one model, Lauren Berlingeri, wanted to take it on herself. As part of a YouTube series, she titled “Women Versus Workout” she attempted a number of different exercise routines, including a particularly difficult SEALs regimen. The episode had to be split into three parts because the routine took 24 hours to complete. Despite their doubts, the men were surprised when Berlingeri managed to keep up.
First Female Infantry Officer
It may have taken some time, but since women’s introduction into the naval forces, there had never been a female infantry officer, until recently. The number of men who have completed the 13 week Marine Corps Infantry Course are practically countless. Commandant General Robert Neller shared his pride for this ground breaking woman. She has asked to remain anonymous to the public, but hopefully her dedication and hard work will inspire many more to follow in her footsteps.
Many of us are fortunate enough to have a place we call home. However, many people find themselves down on their luck and forced to live on the streets. The number of homeless people around the world today is unclear, but their presence is felt in every city. Wanting to learn more about the homeless community, a British veteran decided to live on the streets for 60 days, leaving behind everything he owned. With only a sleeping bag and set of clothes, he went on a mission to see what the homeless life was like. In a shocking turn of events, this experience caused him to never want to help beggars again.
At age 43, Ed Stafford was used to his normal, domestic life. However, this didn’t stop the veteran from going outside his comfort zone and trying to understand the daily life of a homeless person.
His mission last 60 days and he went to the British cities of Glasgow, Manchester, and London. Instead of reaffirming his sympathy for the homeless, the experience completely changed his views.
Up For Anything
Being a seasoned army veteran, Stafford thought 60 days on the streets wouldn’t be so hard. Although he’s not Bear Grylls, Stafford isn’t far off.
A British army captain, he also holds the Guinness world record for walking the entire length of the Amazon River back in 2012. As difficult as that challenge was for him, Ed would soon find out that the British streets can be just as tough as the jungle.
Living The Dream
Stafford works hard and has a good work ethic, which is how he got through his life. He was becoming well-known and made regular appearances on TV.
He had also started building a family with the love of his life. Together, they lived in a beautiful home, owned a couple of dogs, and went on regular walks in nature. However, Ed decided to put his amazing life on hold and turn to the streets for two months.
Leaving It All Behind
To document his experience for himself and others, Ed decided to make a documentary of his days living on the streets. He aptly named it 60 Days on the Streets.
Leaving his family and his home, he only took three things with him – a sleeping bag, clothes, and his trusty camera crew. He even took off with no money in his pocket, making sure he would have an authentic experience. He briefly became the newest member of Great Britain’s homeless community.
Take A Sad Situation and Make It Sadder
A whopping 320,000 people in the UK are homeless, according to statistics. Unfortunately, this equals one in 200 British people living without a home.
To Ed, this hit him personally because so many of these people are also veterans, just like him. Among his new peers on the streets, he was shocked by the horrific scenes he witnessed. People were constantly getting into fights and selling or using illegal substances. These challenges shocked Ed.
Ed’s first night on the streets was by far the most difficult. When he first took out his sleeping bag and tucked in for the night, all he wanted was to rest. T
he city of Manchester, England is known for having sporadic rain that appears out of nowhere. Luckily, that night was dry. Maybe the good weather is what led to some strange people coming out to meet him…
Find The Money
When he first learned how much a homeless person can make on the streets, he was shocked. A man named Mark, who he met in Manchester, was able to do quite well for himself.
Despite living on the streets, he made q good amount of money each day. He wound up on the streets seven years earlier after his marriage ended. He used to be a painter, but no more. There were many ways to make money on the streets…
Hunting The Streets
When people look at homeless people going through the garbage left on the streets, they usually think they’re trying to find food.
Ed experienced this for himself when he found a beautiful salad sitting in the trash one day. However, he saw a piece of gum in it so decided against having it for lunch. It soon became very clear to Ed that there were other ways to get food besides dumpster diving.
Not The Best Diet
Shockingly, Ed put on weight on the streets, rather than losing it. Over his 60 days, he gained a whole 11 pounds! He couldn’t believe how much food was simply handed to him. Never in his entire life had he eaten so many pastries, burgers, and sandwiches.
One time, on the streets of Glasgow, Ed witnessed a huge team of volunteers who gave out free food to a couple homeless men. Once he finished his documentary, his doctor told him that if he continued to eat this way he would have been at high risk for heart disease.
When it was time to find somewhere to rest his head, Ed knew he had to get creative. After meeting a young woman named Diana one day, he had an interesting sleeping experience.
She was a mother of six who used to be a model but ended up on the streets of Manchester. She had a cardboard shelter that she shared with Ed one night. She said she would give anything to be able to live with her kids again. However, unfortunately, she had grown used to this life.
The longer Ed was living on the streets, the more he began to see how the other homeless people were involved in illegal activities. He saw it in the most unexpected of time and places.
The morning he left Diana’s cardboard shelter, he saw that she was desperate to get her hands on some illicit substances just to help her get through the day. Ed learned quickly how the city’s people dealt with this issue…
Facing The Police
In his documentary, Ed explained how the Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, is trying hard to crack down on the city’s homeless community.
The reality of the situation hit home for Ed when a group of cops approached him to question him one day. One of them was especially hard on Ed, and said that collecting food or money from people in a piublic space was a criminal offense. He gave Ed a final warning.
Not So Fresh And Clean
Staying clean and hygienic on the streets became a huge issue for Ed. It was a daily struggle to even do the basics like washing his face since he didn’t have a bathroom or running water.
To try to stay clean, Ed went to desperate measure. The itching of his re-worn clothes became unbearable so he used toilet water to clean himself. In public restrooms, he would change and wash his clothes.
Not Too Shabby
Slowly but surely, Ed was growing accustomed to living on the streets. He toughened up when he realized he needed street smarts to survive. He was actually very surprised by how liberating it felt to be homeless.
He liked spending hours on end people watching in the busy areas of the city. He had no responsibilities or societal rules to follow, and it was a freeing feeling. But he would soon meet another homeless person with a unique approach…
A Different Sort Of Man
One day, Ed met a man named Jeff in Manchester. Unlike most other homeless people, who were older and had been roughing it on the streets for years, Jeff had just become homeless a few months ago and was only 26 years old!
Despite having mental health issues, Jeff made a good impression on Ed. Despite his situation, he was determined to have a positive attitude and make the best of it.
Rolling In Cash
At first, Jeff impressed Ed with his seeming determination and drive to get off the streets and improve his life and himself.
He seemed to have a lot of talent but was down on his luck and needed a big break. One night, however, Jeff confessed his money-making strategy to Ed. He would sit outside of fancy hotels and ask the people coming in and out for money. This is when Ed realized he may have been wrong about Jeff…
It’s All Lies
It seemed that Jeff’s plan was genius as he managed to collect 26 dollars in just half an hour of standing outside a hotel entrance.
At first, Ed was actually impressed that this guy could make 50 bucks and hour with minimal effort. However, instead of saving the money for a good future, Jeff went off and bought illicit substances and used them right in front of Ed with no shame. Turns out he wasn’t so wholesome…
The Fake Life
Another man Ed met on the streets was named Darren, and he also was not exactly who he seemed. Ed found out that Darren wasn’t even homeless, but had realized he could make a better living from begging on the streets than working a real job.
From walking around asking for money from strangers, Darren said he could earn up to $800 dollars in just one night. Darren eventually invited Ed to his home, and Ed was in for a shock…
A More Than Humble Abode
Arriving at Darren’s home, Ed was in total shock. Not only was Darren not homeless, he had quite a nice, new, clean apartment with unlimited hot water and a very comfortable bed – thing Ed had been missing on his journey.
It was far from a basic living situation – Darren even owned video gaming consoles and an impressive sound system as well. IT turned out Darren was given government housing after being released from jail, but because of his criminal record, it was easier to beg than find a job.
On The Streets Of Glasgow
Ed had reached the final section of his documentary and headed up to Galsgow, Scotland. There, he noticed a big difference from the English cities.
Even though the city had a high rate of homelessness just like Manchester and London, the streets seemed to empty out at night. This is partially because it was much colder there, and partially because the streets have a reputation for being dangerous at night.
Seeking a Safe Place
Despite this scary fact, Scotland actually has some pretty impressive and progressive laws about homelessness. They took from Sweden’s HouseFirst policy from Sweden, Scotland put a system in place to try to prevent homelessness.
Before long, Ed had the comforts of warm meals and an actual mattress to sleep on at night. Ed then made a new friend who added another element to his homeless experience…
Wanting To Help
Ed met a man in Glasgow who had almost the exact opposite story from Jeff. His name was Knoxy and he wasn’t too much younger than Ed himself.
For 18 years he had lived on the streets of Glasgow. He came from a broken family and it caused him to end up on the wrong side of the law many times. Knoxy was a very friendly man who Ed could tell really wanted to make his situation better. But he wasn’t the only interesting person Ed met in Glasgow…
Lending A Hand
There was another man who Ed met during his time in Glasgow who had previously been living in temporary housing. However, he was then kicked out and forced to fend for himself on the streets.
He was in and out of jail for many years and was a part of a very closely-knit shelter community in Glasgow when he met Ed. Ed actually managed to help him get back on his feet and he was soon right back in the temporary housing he had left.
It’s Not About That Money
During his 60 days living on the British streets, Ed realized that there was actually something far more important than money that every single homeless person really needs – psychological support.
Without a strong network of friends and family to lend a hand and support them during the hardest of times, no amount of money will allow them to survive or thrive. Knoxy was lost for words at all the help Ed gave him.
Home At Last
Sixty long, hard days after Ed first left home, it was finally time for him to return to his normal life. He had survived the streets and had learned a lot. When he stepped through the door, his ecstatic wife embraced him. Finally, they could get back to their lives.
However, the way Ed views the homeless community will never be the same. Although he is saddened by the fact that there will always be people sleeping on the streets of his country, the question still remained – would he ever give to a beggar again?
Sharing Is Caring?
Finally, after 60 days of interacting with tons of rough sleepers and hearing all of their stories, Ed realized that not all homeless people were the same – and not even all of them are actually homeless!
Each person on the street needs to be treated according to their situation, although it’s hard to know what that is from the onset. Until Ed finds a way to tell what a person’s story is, he won’t be giving out anything to beggars anytime soon.