Enduring-Freedom

For those of you who write military fics

If you have never been in, or aren’t around people who’ve been in, I would dearly love to give you a few pointers.

Let me preface this: I love it when people write military fics (be they AU or canon-fic). I love the characterizations, the story arcs you create, and the love with which you create the stories.

But I’d like to help you make the actions of military personnel as accurate as possible, so someone who’s actually in doesn’t start to read your fic and roll their eyes at some of the things you unknowingly write.


-First off, you do not salute in civilian clothes. It’s actually unauthorized. There are only two exceptions to this rule: the President is allowed to salute in civvies, and if the national anthem is playing outdoors, combat veterans are now allowed to salute. (That came about in 2010, for accurate reference.)

-Do not salute indoors, unless during a formation (but I doubt people who don’t have intimate knowledge of drill and ceremony would bother writing about a formation, so that point is mostly just thrown in for shits and giggles). 

-The army and air force do not say, “sir, yes sir”. That’s a marine thing (I’m not sure about the navy, since I’m not in the navy, but I’m sure someone else could help out if there’s a question about it).

-Saying “black ops” isn’t really something we do. For the army, you’ve got SF (which is how we refer to special forces–the guys you’re probably thinking about (”green beret” is an old term for them that’s not really used anymore)) and Rangers for the two big special operations forces. SEALS are the navy force, and I apologize, but I don’t know the other branches’ special forces. Again, ask someone who’s served in that branch.

-People don’t usually refer to themselves (or others) by their ranks. Exceptions are usually made if hanging out with people from your unit speaking about a superior, such as “Yeah, LT and I were talking the other day and …”. 

-Sergeants are not referred to as “sarge”. You have no idea how many people got the shit smoked out of them in basic for that error.

-Army goes through Basic Training (or Basic Combat Training now; BCT for short), and marines go through Boot Camp. Yes, there is definitely a difference in terms. Army people tend to refer to their initial training as simply “basic”. I don’t know about marines or other branches.

-Calling someone “Soldier” is really something only done on TV/film. It’s usually mocked by people who are in.

-In the army, it is against regulation to just stick your hands in your pockets. We mockingly call them “Air Force gloves”, though I don’t know if they typically put their hands in their pockets. There is also a big stigma against wearing “snivel gear”: the poly pro cold-weather protection gear worn underneath your uniform.

-The everyday Army uniforms are called ACUs (Army Combat Uniform). They are never called anything else, but especially not fatigues. If you’re going back to 2003 or earlier, the uniform was BDUs, or the Battle Dress Uniform. The tan uniforms worn during the Gulf War and first few years of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF; Afghanistan) were called first chocolate chips (gulf war-era) and then DCUs (Desert Combat Uniform). 

-The dress uniform is called something different depending on what time period you’re going for. Saying “dress uniform” is usually a good bet, because you’ve also got Class A’s, Class B’s, ASUs, Dress Blues, Khakis, etc. 

-Typically when meeting someone else who’s in, the first things you ask are, “What’s your MOS (military occupational specialty–your job)? Where were you stationed?” Giving out rank and deployment backgrounds out of the blue don’t usually happen. 

-Time spent in the military is usually referred to as simply being “in”. “How long were you in for?” is heard way more often than “how long did you serve for?” That question is usually asked by civilians. 

-There are enlisted, and there are officers. Enlisted are those who start out as privates, work their way up through the NCO, or non-commissioned officer ranks: sergeant (called “buck sergeant” in a derogatory term for someone who has been freshly promoted), staff sergeant, sergeant first class, and eventually get to first sergeants and sergeants major after fifteen to thirty years in. Officers also usually start out as privates and specialists, then graduate from college and commission as second lieutenants (the derogatory term is “butter bar” and is usually used in reference to said officer’s lack of experience and knowledge) before working up to first lieutenant, captain, major, lieutenant colonel (”light colonel”), and colonel (”full bird”). The general timeline is making captain (”getting your railroad tracks”) after about 5-8 years for competent officers, and spending 5-10 years as a captain. 

-We do not stand at parade rest unless forced. Ever.

-Or at attention.

-When talking to an NCO, a lower enlisted will stand at parade rest. When talking to an officer, an enlisted will stand at attention.

-The highest ranking NCO is lower ranking than the lowest ranking officer. 

-If you want to throw in some humor, if there is a lower enlisted (E-4 (specialist) or below) joking with an NCO, and the lower enlisted says something, the NCO can snark back with, “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you because you weren’t standing at the position of parade rest.” It’s a dick move usually to call people out for that, but it happens often enough that if you put that in a fic, someone who’s in will likely laugh at that for a few minutes.

-There is a term for a slacker in the army called POG (pronounced “pohg” with a long o). It stands for Personnel Other than Grunt, meaning everyone who’s not infantry. The term has transformed to mean anyone who shirks their duty or is kind of a shitbag and should be kicked out. 

 -There’s also a bit of a stereotype that infantry are made up of dumb guys, because you don’t need a high GT score to get that MOS. Their nomenclature for their MOS is 11B (eleven bravo), which is often referred to as an “eleven bang-bang” when trying to insult them. 

-If someone is making someone else do push-ups, they do not say “drop and give me x number”. They’ll tell them either to push, or tell them to get in the front-leaning rest. The front-leaning rest position is the starting position for the push-up. 

-Usually referring to basic training and AIT (advanced individual training, where you learn your military occupational specialty), you get “smoked” on a regular basis. This refers to PT (physical training), usually in the form of push-ups, flutter kicks, and sprints. It’s not fun. One of the least favorite phrases to hear in basic is, “Platoon, attention! Half-left face! Front leaning rest position, move. In cadence! Exercise!” Because that is the full command for getting people to do push-ups. There is literally no other reason for the half-left face movement. It honestly exists only for push-ups.

-It is awkward as fuck to be told “thank you for your service”. It’s wonderful that people want to show their support, but it is very difficult to respond to that without sounding like a douche.

I know I said a lot about basic training in there, but that’s because I tend to read a lot of fics that are either about basic or about deployments. I can give some pretty firm answers on basic, but everyone’s deployment is different, and I also could be violating a shit-ton of OPSEC (operation security) by telling you guys specific details about deployments. Everything I’ve told you is information you can look up on your own on the internet, but this is a bit more insider’s culture for you to help make your stuff more accurate.

And if you ever find yourself writing a military fic and have questions, by all means, inbox me. I’ve been in for almost nine years and I do have one deployment under my belt, so I can give you accurate army info. I’ve never served in any other branch, though, but I can probably give you a little bit more accurate info than what the movies do if you’ve got general questions.

Also, if you’ve got questions about PTSD, I can help with that. It’s not the cake walk that a good deal of fics portray it as, and it doesn’t always involve nightmares and aversion to touch. It can present as depression, intense anger issues, pulling away from loved ones, driving in the middle of the road, freaking out over pops, bangs, crashes and other unexpected noises, being easily startled by things other than noises, hypervigilance, the inability to sit with one’s back to the room, sudden bouts of anger, depression, tears, silence, or mood swings, among many others.

-Also, please, please, if you’re going to write about someone with a disability, or something that gave them a medical discharge, talk to me about the VA first, unless you’ve got a lot of knowledge about them. Not only am I in, but I’ve also worked professionally for the VA, some of that time in enrollment and eligibility, so I know a lot about disability pensions, who would qualify, what type of benefits they would qualify for, etc. I also know the ways that people can accidentally get screwed over from the VA. (It’s actually one of my long-term professional goals to change some of those things, so I am very passionate and very knowledgeable about it.)



TL;DR: I know shit about the military and the VA. Ask me if you have accuracy questions.

acomaf characters as zodiac signs

— based on what I know and personal opinion

Aries: Cassian
A firecracker literally.
Rebellious and doesn’t give a shit sometimes but it’s alright because deep down they really and truly care and will do anything to save the ones they love. Typically fast paced people and rush to do things. Tend to be great sarcastic friends that you hate but you can’t stay away from them because you love them. Yup I feel like cassian is an Aries.

Taurus: Lucien
THE LOYALTY. Taureans are typically very loyal signs, and would be considered followers. Taureans are stubborn, yet put family first. I feel like a Taurus would be luciens zodiac sign. May be soft out the outside but strong and good willed on the inside. Hit them in the right spot and their feelings will get hurt. Sometimes they are conflicted between choices and are scared of change and what others may think of them.

Gemini: hybern + queens + ianthe + Jurian
sarcastic assholes and two faced bitches. who the frickity frackity cares they can die in a hole (I actually love gemini’s irl but these are the only gemini’s I hate-all based on stereotypes though sorry)

Cancer: Alis
Caring and shy. Empathetic and sentimental. Very loyal and Alis would definitely be a cancer.

Leo: Mor
A leader and a person who has passion and follows their heart. Leo’s are generally generous and loving with the people they love. They are risk takers and strong willed people. Mor is definitely a Leo for she has a heart of gold.

Virgo: Tamlin
Virgos can be a bipolar sign. Although they are down to earth, they have laws in order to keep order. Virgos are very organized with what they do, and categorize people in their lives most of the time, much how like tamlin only sees feyre as a trophy wife, not a fighter, or a women capable of herself. Or how he uses Lucien for emissary business but doesn’t entirely see him as a friend. Virgos can be very opinionated, but on the bright side, deep down, virgos just want the best for the ones they love.

Libra: Rhysand
First off the compatibility of Sagittarius and Libra is very high ;) secondly libra is the sign of harmony and relationship and strives for balance (somewhat like rhys) and are known for their good taste and charm (rhys!!!) Libras are diplomatic signs—they are concerned with the issues of social justice and simply want to ensure fairness. They make also struggle in making firm decisions (rhys debating whether to tell feyre she’s his mate lol)
Libras are the type of people you want to be around to have fun, to have space and libras will sacrifice in order to serve their duty.

Scorpio: Azriel + Amren
Both are mysterious but Azriel is quiet unlike the rest of the inner circle. Scorpios are headstrong, and may seem intimidating and unapproachable, and observes situations rather than get involved. With amren, she is more of a powerful and cunning Scorpio, with a dry sense of humour. Azriel is more serious and compelled to himself more but admires others from a distance. Scorpios are not mean or scary but their personality and friendship is a trait to be cherished.

Sagittarius: Feyre
Her birthday is also on the longest night of the year which falls under Sagittarius + this sign is very adventurous, righteous, and energetic. Sagittarius’ hate when they are concealed or brought down to do things. They simply endure freedom and expression within themselves without being restricted. They know what’s best for them and are fierce leaders. Basically describes feyre!

Capricorn: Nesta
Nesta — cold, ambitious, cunning. A Capricorn usually wants people to see their ‘outside’ image to portray themselves as something they want people to see or to protect themselves. Personally I feel that Nesta is that type of person to act mean but inside she is caring and loving. Capricorns tend to hide their inner feelings and don’t like to share much.

Aquarius: Tarquin + varian + cressiada (I forgot how to spell her name I’m making this 2:45 am)
Rebellious and young. Carefree but has morals to follow. Branch out their opportunities and simply want more for the good of others or their own. Idealistic, independent and faithful.

Pisces: Elain
A true good willed person, kind and forgiving. Pisces are dreamers and inventors and will do anything if it means goodness and prosperity. Although they seem like a good two shoes most of the time, Pisces can easily become mean and vengeful and unkind. A true deceiver. I’m not implying that Elain is mean, but in acowar I hope to see her become more open and in control of her decisions, become more strong willed and a little bit daring.

The Battle of Takur Ghar by Keith Rocco

As part of Enduring Freedom, in March 2002 a joint military operation named “Anaconda” was mounted in Paktia province to surround and defeat Taliban forces hiding in the area. On the third day of Operation Anaconda an Army MH-47E Chinook helicopter was fired upon as it attempted to land on a ridge on Takur Ghar mountain. Taking heavy fire, the helicopter lurched and attempted to take-off to extricate itself from the field of fire. When the Chinook lurched, one of the Navy SEALs on board, Petty Officer First Class Neil C. Roberts, fell from the rear ramp. Too damaged to return for Petty Officer Roberts, the Chinook landed further down the mountain.

“A second MH-47E attempted to land and rescue Roberts, but it too was fired upon and forced to leave the immediate area. The third MH-47E to attempt a landing on what became known as Roberts’ Ridge was hit with automatic weapons fire and rocket-propelled grenades while still 20 feet in the air. The helicopter, containing an Army Ranger Team and Technical Sergeant Keary Miller, a Combat Search and Rescue Team Leader from the 123d Special Tactics Squadron, Kentucky Air National Guard, hit the ground hard. Within seconds, one helicopter crewman, the right door gunner, was killed, as were three Army Rangers. The 17-hour ordeal that followed would result in the loss of seven American lives, including Petty Officer Roberts.

“Technical Sergeant Miller not only managed to drag the wounded helicopter pilot to safety, but also orchestrated the establishment of multiple casualty collection points. In between treating the wounded, Miller set up the distribution of ammunition for the Army Rangers who were taking the fight to the enemy. For his extraordinary life-saving efforts while putting himself in extreme danger under enemy fire, Technical Sergeant Miller was awarded the Silver Star by the U.S. Navy, one of the few members of the Air National Guard to be so honored.”

The entire operation is detailed in “Not a Good Day to Die” by Sean Naylor, one of the best accounts of military non-fiction I’ve read.

(National Guard)

10

Iconic photos/illustrations from major conflicts fought by the United States.


1) Revolutionary War

2) Civil War

3) WWI

4) WWII

5) Korean War

6) Vietnam War

7) Operation Desert Storm

8) Battle of Mogadishu

9) Operation Iraqi Freedom

10) Operation Enduring Freedom

3

Firearms training.

If one carries a pistol it is their responsability to allways seek continuing training, outside of common target practice, in weapons retention and law.

Some background on the instructor:

Doug Harmon has been a certified police officer for 10 years. He is currently employed by a large metropolitan law enforcement agency in Atlanta, Georgia. He has extensive experience with real-world violent incidents and deadly threats. In conjunction to his well-endowed knowledge of federal, state, and local laws he has started criminal investigations and begun the prosecution of convicted felons, fugitives, and organized crime radicals. He is presently assigned to a Special Operations Division S.W.A.T. Team. As a team leader he is tasked with the development, training, and quality of standard for all S.W.A.T Operators. He also creates, implements, and evaluates firearms and tactical training evolutions, which are written into the Standard Operations Procedure (SOP) by the S.W.A.T. Commander. Prior to his employment as a police officer, D.M. Harmon served his country in the United States Marines for 8 years. His primary job assignment was Field Radio Operation/ Security Forces. During the crisis of 9/11 in New York City, he was deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MARSOC) for two terms. He served honorably in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom which he received several unit ribbons, awards, and metals to include a Combat Action Ribbon. The award was approved in reference to actions taken during a firefight in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

can i stay here the night? — justin foley

prompt: justin spends the night at your house after his mother’s boyfriend kicks him out.

warnings: sad puppy justin kinda cute and a little bit fluffy.

justin’s mother wasn’t the best, she allowed her variety of boyfriends abuse justin and call him things that no boy should ever be called.

and justin was strong enough to fight it, but when he comes to your house with his cheeks matted with tears you know exactly what to do.

“yn, p-please can i stay here the night?” justin sobs, his letterman jacket the only thing that’s keeping him warm on a cold night like this.

your heart breaks, your parents loved justin but they didn’t approve of him sleeping over without constant supervision.

“your parents don’t have to know, i can climb up to your window.” justin’s bottom lip quivers as you shake your head.

“it’s okay, come on inside.” you took your boyfriends hand and lead him inside your house, your parents looked up as justin walked in the room.

please can justin stay here tonight? he won’t be any trouble, he just really needs somewhere to sleep.” you pleaded as your mother glanced at your father, they both exchanged disapproving looks before your mother sighed in defeat.

“fine, but keep the door open.” your mother pointed at you. “i’m only doing this because justin is part of the family now.” she smiles at your boyfriend who pulls down his sleeve to wipe away any excess tears as he flashes a bright smile to both of your parents.

“thank you mr & mrs y/l/n.” justin smiles widely as you dragged him upstairs and into your bedroom.

“please tell me what happened.” you spoke softly as justin sits down on your bed, he endures the temporary freedom that you have just given him.

“my moms boyfriend threatened me and said that if i come home again then he’ll literally kill me.” justin quoted as your heart sank.

“i can’t imagine how much that will hurt you.” you pouted as she shakes his head.

“i’m used to it, she seems to attract all of these druggies and terribly brought up men. i don’t know how she does it, honestly.” justin kicks his foot against the ground in boredom.

“well, let’s put that behind us and have a movie marathon. i can go and get some snacks from downstairs, and i even bought your favourites!” you giggled as he smiles delightfully at you.

“god, i love you.” he whispers, unaware that he just said that out loud.

“i love you too, justin.” you planted a gentle kiss onto his lips, it left a salty taste of tears but you didn’t care.

all you wanted was justin to be happy, and that is exactly what you gave him…

Watching in real time from the TOC as an MRAP is on fire, the platoon sergeant you just briefed hours earlier, and he’s stuck inside. Hearing his name come over the radio as KIA. His best friend a Sergeant First Class losing it and an E5 is getting him to keep his composure because we need fire missions..

Random memory of the day.

—  /u/KingofRaptors (2016)
Happy Black Music Month

African-American Music Appreciation Month is an annual celebration of African-American music in the United States. It was initiated as Black Music Month by President Jimmy Carter who, on June 7, 1979, decreed that June would be the month of black music. Similar presidential proclamations have been made annually since then.

In 2009, the commemoration was given its current name by President Barack Obama. In his 2016 proclamation, Obama noted that African-American music and musicians have helped the country “to dance, to express our faith through song, to march against injustice, and to defend our country’s enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all.”

source: Wikipedia

I have come to realize something that is still hard for me to understand to this day. The following may be a shock to some coming from an African American, but the mere fact that it may be shocking to some is prima facie evidence of the sad state of affairs that we are in as Humans.

I used to be so torn inside growing up. Here I am, a young African-American born and raised in Brooklyn, NY wanting to be a cop. I watched and lived through the crime that took place in the hood. My own black people killing others over nothing. Crack heads and heroin addicts lined the lobby of my building as I shuffled around them to make my way to our 1 bedroom apartment with 6 of us living inside. I used to be woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of gun fire, only to look outside and see that it was 2 African Americans shooting at each other.

It never sat right with me. I wanted to help my community and stop watching the blood of African Americans spilled on the street at the hands of a fellow black man. I became a cop because black lives in my community, along with ALL lives, mattered to me, and wanted to help stop the bloodshed.

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