Bowe Freaking Bergdahl:

Washington (CNN)  U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will face a military court on charges of desertion and endangering fellow soldiers, the U.S. Army announced Monday.

Gen. Robert Abrams, the commander of U.S. Army Forces Command, ordered the court-martial on Monday, breaking with the U.S. military officer overseeing Bergdahl’s preliminary hearing who recommended that Bergdahl be referred to a special court-martial and face no jail time.

Abrams on Monday ordered Bergdahl’s case to a general court-martial, which means Bergdahl could face life imprisonment if convicted of “misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit or place.”

Bergdahl disappeared from his base in Afghanistan in June 2009 and was held in captivity by the Taliban until the U.S. released five Taliban detainees in a controversial exchange for Bergdahl in May 2014. Six U.S. troops allegedly died in the months following Bergdahl’s disappearance during missions partly aimed at finding and rescuing him, though this contention has been disputed, with one U.S. official saying last year there was “no evidence” to back up the claim.

I have to hand it to the military. I was POSITIVE, especially after reading the comments after the preliminary hearing, that they weren’t going to court-martial Bergdahl at all. I was pleasantly surprised to hear this week that, in full defiance of White House wishes, the military re-discovered their manhood in time to do the right thing. Note that there are two separate charges. The first one, desertion, is bad enough. That’s enough to get you a dishonorable discharge and five years in the pen. But it’s the second one, the rarely-seen “Misbehavior before the enemy,” that could get him life in prison.

Normally, I’m not in the business of making predictions. (Actually, not true.. I make them all the time.) BUT:  I’m pretty sure that this episode is the first and LAST time a press conference is held in the Rose Garden of the White House celebrating a deserter. I still can’t believe the POTUS allowed himself to be talked into that one. I bet the stupid aide who set that up is getting the old Captain Stillman treatment to this day. Who can forget Bergdahl’s weirdo father and his Islamic prayers?

And let’s not forget this gem!:

The fact that this woman is still employed blows my mind. Remember back when you were in school, or the military, and there was always that one guy who would be willing to do absolutely anything to curry favor with the superiors? Yeah, that’s Susan Rice. I can picture Obama saying, “Look, I need someone to munch on a particularly runny Shit Sandwich,” and see her in the front row frantically waving her hand. First the Benghazi youtube video horseshit, then this? She’s a sociopath. Only a true sociopath could be willing to go on national television and lie through their teeth to the entire nation. Out of the many, many, stinking turds in Washington D.C., she is the goddamn queen; the Queen Turd. And she’s the National Security Advisor!

But back to the subject. Bowe Freaking Bergdahl is finally going to see the inside of a court room with a no-shit court-martial. We here at the Sofrep news roundup are very pleased, having taken an intense interest in this case, carefully following every twist. I would say that the very reason I brought the idea of a news roundup to the editors here was because of the ongoing saga of Bergdahl and where it was going. Indeed, old Bowe was the subject of the very first one I did, back in March, and we’ve been covering him ever since.

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We’ve covered it because this is important. I know it sometimes seems that the military has been watering down all of those stupid, old-fashioned ideals that used to make it great, but some things still matter. Things like honor, and integrity. Things like courage, and standing shoulder to shoulder with your fellow soldiers in the spirit of the fighting brotherhood that has made the U.S. military the most fearsome in the world.

Bowe Bergdahl is not worthy of that brotherhood. Frankly, I find that getting bogged down in the details of whether he DIRECTLY caused the death of 6 other soldiers almost irrelevant. That will be almost impossible to prove in black and white. But what is NOT in dispute is that he weakened the chain; he weakened the thin line that soldiers have formed in war zones since wars have been fought. And in doing so, he certainly contributed to those six soldiers dying, whether directly or not.

It’s been said many times. At the end of the day, the soldier does not fight for a foreign policy or some political agenda. He does not fight for money, or fame. He does not fight to bring glory to his superiors. He fights simply because his brothers in arms on either side of him are fighting, and he dares not let them down. Bowe Bergdahl let them down, disgraced the uniform, and it’s time for him to face the consequences.

I Slept Through It; Did I Miss Anything?:

Decorated Vet/VA Employee Fired; Accused of Domestic Terrorism:

When Nathan McClure went to work on the morning of April 17, 2014, he never thought he’d leave as an accused domestic terrorist…

…McClure worked for the Robert J. Dole Veterans Affairs Medical Center for eight months. He’d been assigned to a project that gave him access to a lot of different areas of the hospital and put him in contact with important people.

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McClure alleges that while working at the Dole V.A., he discovered proof of waste, fraud and negligence on the part of the veterans’ agency. He said that when he started asking questions and filing reports, people told him to shut up. When he refused, the V.A. labeled him a threat and showed him the door.

According to McClure, he had uncovered evidence of unsanitary surgical equipment, unmonitored equipment, inappropriate behavior by surgeons in the operating room, a secret wait list for veterans needing surgery or access to specialists and sloppy accounting.

McClure says that after he went to his supervisors with his findings, they retaliated — by firing him and labeling him a threat.

Outstanding reporting from the people at PopularMilitary.com. Get over there and read the whole thing; it’s an eye-opener. I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised it McClure did go off on someone. Military men from combat MOSs are not known for their ability to suffer fools gladly, and if there is one place where there is an abundance of fools, it’s in the leviathan belly of the VA.

Jesus, the goddamned VA. This is never going to end, is it? I’m going to be reading about secret wait lists and veterans dying while waiting for care for the rest of my life. Apparently, when it’s impossible to fire anyone, (other than decorated veterans who whistle blow, that is,) nothing ever changes. Be sure and check out the NUMEROUS other times we’ve blasted the VA, including here and here.

ISIS Better Hunker Down:

In what could be considered a great publicity stunt, Tracking Point’s CEO, John McHale, has said that they will give 10 free M600 or M800 Rifles to any U.S. organization that can legally bring them to the Middle East for the fight against terrorism.

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To all the special operators that can hand pick their service weapons, this is your call to action.

This announcement follows up another large publicity stunt by the Austin, Texas based firearm company. Last weekend, TrackingPoint hosted the “American Sniper Shootout” where the late Chris Kyle’s wife, Taya Kyle defeated the NRA World Shooting Champion Bruce Piatt by using a Tracking Point rifle.

If you aren’t familiar with Tracking Point, it is not hyperbole to say that they represent the future of warfare. Their weapons use advanced tracking software to calculate ballistics, range, and movement in order to bring advanced shooting techniques to the novice. It should be noted that Chris Kyle’s wife, Tanya, was a a novice shooter when she defeated Bruce Piatt, who was using a non-PGF (precision-guided firearm) rifle. Even cooler, you can live stream the entire shot to your buddies back in America. Hell, you don’t even have to be looking at the target:

Amazing. Of course, we’ll always need snipers to learn things the old way. We all still have to learn how to use the old map-and-compass drudgery even with GPS systems the size of a wristwatch, and we’re bringing back ancient practices of navigation on the seas. Because electronics break, and electronics fail, and electronics get hacked, and batteries run dry, and all kinds of other problems. Still, this WILL become widespread in the U.S. military. It’s only a matter of time. If you had the ability to turn even the fat guy in the motor pool into a deadly sniper who could turn a terrorist into pink mist 600 meters out, you’re going to use it.

Chattanooga Shooting Victims To Receive Purple Hearts:

Five Marines and one sailor shot in an attack on a Naval reserve center will receive Purple Hearts, the Navy announced Wednesday.

All but one of the victims died in the July 16 shooting, in which Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, a Kuwait-born naturalized U.S. citizen, rammed his car through the Chattanooga, Tennessee, center’s gate and opened fire. The siege ended with police officers killing him.

Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire D. ‘Skip’ Wells and Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith all died. Sgt. DeMonte Cheeley was injured.

Investigators’ determination that the attack was inspired by a foreign terrorist group was the final criteria needed for the victims to qualify for the Purple Heart, the Navy said.

Glad this didn’t take years, and multiple lawsuits, like the Ford Hood shooting victims did.

Air Force Gets Ready For Tidal Wave of Female PJs, Combat Controllers:

The interest from potential female recruits in six combat jobs newly open to them is running high, the Air Force Recruiting Service said.

“Our chat lines [both phones and online] are already lighting up right now, so the interest is definitely out there,” Chief Master Sgt. Charles Lamer, AFRS command chief, told Air Force Times a week after Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s Dec. 3 announcement lifting the ban on women serving in combat.

“It’s exciting to know that the feedback is extremely positive,” Lamer said…

Feedback from who, exactly? Because the actual GUYS in the career field that I’ve talked to are approximately 100% against it. And it’s sort of cliche, but true: The private sector would never, ever let a woman play in the NHL or NFL, because she’d get shattered into a million pieces in like 30 seconds. Yet the U.S. Government is perfectly willing to drop them into the ocean of America’s elite special operations forces, for the sake of some bizarre religious Grrrrrl Power belief? Yeah, yeah… I know it isn’t a perfect analogy, so be quiet. I order you to be quiet.

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I know some excitement is expected, but I can’t quite bring myself to believe that there are enormous amounts of women just chomping at the bit to roll around in the dirt, drown, and sustain a serious ass-kicking for ten weeks. And that’s just pararescue selection. You still get treated like shit during the rest of the pipeline.

Not trying to be biased here, but I think it will be a lot easier for women to get into TAC-P, Special operations weather, and Combat Control than it will be for PJ/Combat Rescue officer (CRO). Those first two really don’t have a formal selection process, as far as I know. Combat controllers and Special Tactics Officers (STOs) USED to go through the same 10 week selection course as Pararescue/CRO, but sometime in the late ’90s/early ’00s they abandoned that. Now, they still do get a two week orientation course that pretty much sucks ass, but it’s not a formal selection. In fairness, I know they get their asses handed to them later in Combat Control School, but that’s after they’ve already had a lot of money put into them.

In the PJ selection course, you have hard PT targets to hit. It’s not really a grey area, like patrolling in Ranger School, where there can be subjective interpretation of the patrol. Like, one instructor may say it’s a “go” and another may give “no-go.” (NOT a dig on Ranger school or the difficulty.) It’s different when it’s a black and white PT mark. I mean, you have either done the required amount of pull-ups, or you haven’t. When I went though, it was 13 dead-hang pulls, and they were NAZIS about form. They had to be perfect. None of that kipping bullshit. Even the slightest swing would make one not count. How many females do you know that can do 13 pull-ups? I don’t know too many GUYS that can do that many. The same went for pushups and sit-ups. Then you had the 6 mile run and 4000 meter fin swim.

Now, maybe they’ve changed that. I’ve reached out to people who would know, and am waiting to hear something concrete. (A source tells me that, as of a few few weeks ago, this has not changed.) But that’s what all of that “gender-neutral” bullshit was about earlier this year, when the brass was demanding to know if a PJ actually NEEDED to be able to do pull-ups. (!!!)

The Air Force has been struggling with “significantly high” and “unsustainable” washout rates for recruits into special operations and combat support career fields, Lamer said. To help make sure the Air Force is bringing in recruits who are going to make it through the grueling training process for those jobs, the recruiting service has launched a program called the Scout/Recruiter/Developer Model.

And those washout rates are for men! I seriously doubt that you’re going to discover this magical crop of untouched female badasses who can rip out 80 perfect pushups, 13 pull-ups, run 6 miles in under 42 minutes, and all of the other PT benchmarks that the PJ/CRO candidate needs to hit before they graduate selection. Not to mention all of the dirt, grime, and drowning unpleasantness. Maybe one female in ten thousand. That’s why I believe they’ll probably just dramatically change those PT numbers. We’ll see.

Another thought came to me as I was writing this. Pretty much every guy I know who served in Infantry/SOF units has had long term musculoskeletal issues after they’ve gotten out. Long term, chronic problems like back pain, joint pain, surgeries, etc. All of those parachute equipment jumps, the humps through the mountains carrying 60 pounds of crap, the constant PT… you feel it bad when you leave the service. And these are giant, tough dudes. What’s it going to be like for some 120 pound female who has bones with the density of duck feathers? I just don’t see it.

Big Bucks For Drone Operators:

The US Air Force is aiming high to retain drone pilots — offering them $125,000 bonuses to keep flying five more years.

Pilots with six years of service after completing their undergraduate remotely piloted aircraft, or RPA, training — meaning their obligation is expiring — may receive five annual installments of $25,000, the Air Force Times reported.

They also may receive 50 percent of the bonus up front, the Air Force said in a release.

Under the program, the officers must be active-duty lieutenant colonels or below, must be receiving RPA aviation incentive pay and they cannot complete 25 years of active duty before the five-year bonus period ends…

…Predator and Reaper drone pilots also have complained about long hours and a demoralizing stigma after being labeled “Chair Force” joystick jockeys, the paper reported.

Some pilots said they were forced to work six days a week for an average of 900 hours a year — while fighter pilots fly an average of 250 hours a year, the paper reported.

Still Looking For Those AWOL Afghan Pilots:

Their identities from left to right are Mirwais Kohistaniand and Shirzad Rohullah. Both men were part of 23 Afghanis who have been at the Valdosta base since February.

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Federal officials hope by releasing their names, the public can help track them down. Officials at the base have said, “The students have trained alongside American counterparts for the entirety of 2015 and do not pose any apparent threat.”

Assurances have been made that all of the Afghanis were thoroughly screened upon their arrival near the beginning of the year.

It’s been several weeks now, and they still can’t find these guys? It’s that easy for two guys from Afghanistan to avoid capture in Georgia? Hard to believe. Or has the deep south been so “fundamentally transformed” by immigration that it’s pretty easy to blend in? Keep an eye out for these clowns if you’re down there. I’m betting they’re holed up in a strip club somewhere getting some of that forbidden infidel nookie. The bad part is that Obama has already promised them full amnesty and is allowing them to stay in the United States.

I’m just kidding about that last part. But doesn’t that sound like something he’d do?

Buzz Killingtons Recall Weed-Laced Lip Balm:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Dec. 18 (UPI) — A United States Air Force base in Alaska was forced to recall hundreds of tubes of lip balm after they were found to contain trace amounts of THC.

An email, sent to members of the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage warning of the recall, was posted to an Air Force Facebook page.

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“It has come to our attention that approximately 400 “SAPR Lip Balm” promotional items which contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have been distributed throughout the installation,” the email read. “The Sexual Assault Response Coordinator office has ceased distribution of the lip balm items and requests that you dispose this product, if you received one of these items.”

This is every Alaskan Airman’s chance to go smoke the hell out of the stickiest of the icky. If you get drug tested, just blame it on the lip balm.

U.S. Hits Iraqi Troops In Friendly-Fire Incident:

An airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State hit an Iraqi army unit near Fallujah on Friday, killing or injuring 10 Iraqi soldiers, Iraq’s Defense Ministry said.

The ministry said the bombing occurred around noon near the city, which is held by Islamic State, hitting soldiers from the army’s 55th Brigade.

Col. Steve Warren, spokesman for the coalition in Iraq, said the ministry’s report was likely accurate, though he couldn’t provide details on the type of aircraft or munitions involved.

The confusing nature of live combat could have been a contributing factor, he added.

“It was a dynamic strike. It was a troops-in-contact situation,” he said, meaning the U.S. aircraft were likely scrambled to support Iraqi forces who were already engaged in a fight with Islamic State.

Drones That Can Operate In Land AND Sea Will Kill Us All:

When it comes to drones, some incidents in recent times have not had too positive an impact – including that of a toddler getting his eyeball cut in half by an out of control drone. Well, here is a new drone that might just increase its versatility, and that would be the Naviator. What makes the Naviator so special? For starters, this is one drone that will not only be able to fly just like any other drone out there, it is also able to swim – now how about that for versatility?

Homeless Guy Blends In Seamlessly:

A homeless man in North Carolina allegedly posed as an Army soldier and lived in a special forces barracks at Fort Bragg for eight months before being caught, according to a popular military Facebook page…

“For the last 8 months, a civilian with a fake [common access] card has been living in the [Special Forces Group] temp barracks claiming to be an [explosive ordinance disposal] tech,” the post says. “So embedded he was, that he had been dropping new privates off at in-processing.”

The fake soldier (whose name remains unknown) was apparently a popular man around the base. “[He] was instantly a friend to everyone,” was skilled at dominoes, and he “knew all the cool places in Fayetteville,” the post notes. It’s unclear whether other special forces members were aware the man was a fraud.

The man was caught driving under the influence Tuesday, and his story began to fall apart. Military police searched his room, reportedly discovering stolen army equipment (including rifle ammunition and a uniform), along with “a large cache of DVD porn.” The man even reportedly had a roster full of soldiers’ personal information.

Upon discovering the interloper, commanders at Fort Bragg were displeased, and allegedly responded by conducting an extremely thorough search of the special forces barracks, but only after giving soldiers a few hours to jettison any illegal materials of their own.

Sofrep’s own Jack Murphy was reached for comment:

“The story is pure awesome,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It is a case of almost valor, can’t even be mad at the dude. He was a good troop by all accounts.”

Absolutely. I mean, isn’t the entire mission of SF to live amongst the local population and earn their trust? This guy should be teaching classes there.

I Was Going To Go With Attractive Naked Yoga Chick But Nah:

A naked man observed masturbating in a city bus Monday night in Kansas City has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Police used a stun gun to subdue Roscoe D. Teagues III during the incident at 75th Street and Prospect Avenue, according to charges filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City.

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Teagues, 38, was sitting in the back of the bus when the driver finished her shift. She told him he had to leave, according to court documents.

He refused, pulled down his pants and began masturbating while making a lewd demand of her, she said.

Police officers reported that when they arrived on the scene, a naked Teagues was “actively masturbating.” A silver handgun was on the seat next to where he stood. The officers ordered Teagues to get on the floor and put his hands behind his back, according to the court documents.

When Teagues refused, police used the stun gun on him.

When questioned by police, Teagues admitted that the unloaded .357-caliber revolver was his. He denied being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, police said.

The revolver had been reported stolen in Texas, police said.

Court records show that Teagues has felony convictions in four states and cannot legally possess a firearm.

Sure, I could have talked about Nude YogaGirl, but what fun is that? I thought it would be a nice change of pace to point out some nudity we could all appreciate for a change, and  a 25 year old chick who gets around Instagram’s “no nudity” policy by taking tasteful black and whites of herself in various yoga poses seemed like just the ticket.

But then, at the last minute, I discovered Mr. Roscoe up there, and thought, “BK, the ladies of Sofrep DEPEND on you to bring them the very best in fine, nude gentlemen each and every week! You can’t let them down!”

So yeah. Armed, masturbating bus rider it is. Follow me on twitter @BKactual.