Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter shocked the military last summer when he called for boosting the military’s high-tech force by finding civilians who already have those vital skills like cyber security and offer them “lateral entry” into the military — a chance to skip boot camp and put on a uniform as a mid-career rank from Day One.
In effect, he suggested having a Marine Corps that included “Marines,” pinned with a staff sergeant’s rocker, who had never been to boot camp and spent no time in the junior ranks.
Marines scattered across the force who had little knowledge of Marine culture and whose colleagues quietly questioned their status as a “real Marine.” Nobody in the military was more skeptical than the Marines.
The idea of lateral entry remains under discussion among Marine Corps planners. It would not be the first time: When the Corps recruits top musicians for the “Presidents’ Own” band in Washington, it finds top musicians, gives them a pass on boot camp and starts them out as staff sergeants.
 But the Marine Corps leaders are treading lightly on the idea of expanding that for skills like cyber. The Corps is more skeptical than the other services about many aspects of Carter’s “Force of the Future” reforms. The Marines truly believe their motto of “Every Marine is a rifleman,” and believe that has been the service’s unique strength throughout its storied history.

He’s the same as he ever was:

He saved a lot of lives:

Adolph Kiefer, the oldest living U.S. Olympic champion in any sport, whose dominance in the backstroke was unrivaled in the 1930s and 1940s and who was the Navy’s chief swimming instructor during World War II, died May 5 at his home in Wadsworth, Ill. He was 98.

Mr. Kiefer broke his first world record as a 16-year-old Chicago schoolboy in 1935 and easily won the 100-meter backstroke at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Swimming in an outdoor pool under a driving rain while wearing a full-body wool swimsuit, he set an Olympic record that would not be broken for 20 years…

(Chicago Tribune archive photo/Acme photo)

…From 1934 until his retirement from competitive swimming in 1946, Mr. Kiefer would lose only two times in more than 2,000 races. He was the first person to swim the 100-yard backstroke in less than 1 minute.

He set at least 17 world records at distances ranging from 100 yards to 1,500 meters and was a national champion no fewer than 28 times, including in freestyle and individual medley events…

During World War II, Mr. Kiefer enlisted in the Navy. He was shocked to learn that many naval officers didn’t know how to swim and that troops on ships were more likely to die by drowning than from enemy attack.

Mr. Kiefer was put in charge of a Navy-wide swimming safety program, training thousands of instructors, who in turn taught water survival techniques to millions of sailors. He devised the “victory backstroke,” which was credited with saving thousands of lives after shipwrecks and naval battles.

Even after neuropathy caused him to lose the feeling in his feet, he continued to swim every day until shortly before his death.

Space stuff!:

The record-shattering mission of the U.S. Air Force’s robotic X-37B space plane is finally over.

After circling Earth for an unprecedented 718 days, the X-37B touched down Sunday (May 7) at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida — the first landing at the SLF since the final space shuttle mission came back to Earth in July 2011.

“Today marks an incredibly exciting day for the 45th Space Wing as we continue to break barriers,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, the 45th SW commander, said in a statement. “Our team has been preparing for this event for several years, and I am extremely proud to see our hard work and dedication culminate in today’s safe and successful landing of the X-37B.”

The just-ended mission, known as OTV-4 (Orbital Test Vehicle-4), was the fourth for the X-37B program. All four launched from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and the first three landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. But Air Force officials have said they want to consolidate X-37B launch and touchdown operations on Florida’s Space Coast, so today’s landing might be the first of many at the SLF.

I bet a lot of them keep these feelings on the DL:

Inspections have been ordered at every German army barracks, after Nazi-era memorabilia was found at two of them.

All barracks will be searched for material linked to the Wehrmacht, the army which served Adolf Hitler.

The move follows a growing scandal over far-right extremism within the army, with an officer accused of plotting an attack disguised as a Syrian refugee.

The army lieutenant, who had expressed far-right views, was arrested in late April.

Prosecutors in Frankfurt said the 28-year-old suspect had a “xenophobic background”.

Germany’s Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen cancelled a planned trip to the US and travelled to his garrison in Illkirch, northeastern France.

Officials found Wehrmacht memorabilia openly displayed there in the common room, despite a ban on Nazi symbols.

A second barracks, Fürstenberg in Donaueschingen, southwest Germany, was then sucked into the scandal on Saturday after a display cabinet was found containing Nazi-era helmets.

Spiegel online reported that pictures of Wehrmacht soldiers were found on a wall, along with Nazi pistols, more helmets and military decorations.

A Defence Ministry spokesman told Reuters the items found in Donaueschingen did not include Nazi objects punishable under German law, such as swastikas.

However, Ms Von der Leyen said last Wednesday that she would not tolerate the veneration of the Wehrmacht in today’s army.

She said the latest scandals were no longer isolated cases, adding that “a misunderstood esprit de corps” had led senior officers to “look the other way”.

The minister later apologised for the tone of her criticism, after political opponents accused her of smearing the whole army.

Brutal picture:

Army Specialist Hilda Clayton was killed by a mortar explosion in 2013, but the military only just recently released a chilling image she captured in the final moments of her life. The 22-year-old combat photographer was working with members of the Afghanistan National Army when the mortar accidentally exploded.

Her photograph captures an Afghan soldier reacting to the blast during a live-fire training exercise. Four Afghan soldiers were killed in the blast.

Spc. Hilda Clayton / U.S. Army via EPA

The Army defended its decision to release the image, saying “these photographs illustrate the dangers our military men and women face both in training and in combat.” Another photo released by the Army shows the same explosion from the vantage point of an Afghan National Army photographer, also killed in the blast. Clayton was training him when the accident occurred.

Clayton’s family and unit approved of the release of the photos, an official from the Army University Press told Military.com.

That is a good word: 

The .50 Cal-wielding robot army will kill us all: 

Few images of war are as iconic as the 1944 storming of the beach at Normandy, but due to new military technologies, tomorrow’s version of D-Day will undoubtedly look much different. Weaponized drones will likely fill the air, and instead of soldiers streaming out of the water, we could see amphibious hovercrafts that move as quickly across the land as they do the sea. Aboard those craft might be the latest high-tech military tool, the Multi-Utility Tactical Transport (MUTT).

Each MUTT is roughly the size of an ATV and is operated remotely using a joystick and tablet. General Dynamics designed the vehicles to transport food, water, and other supplies, and the Marines recently tested MUTTs with a far more powerful piece of cargo on board: a .50-caliber machine gun.

…The idea of an autonomous system armed with a machine gun having its “weapons systems malfunction” will no doubt worry Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and the thousands of others who signed an open letter calling for a ban on autonomous weapons. They assert that we need to draw a distinct line between a robot directly controlled by a human — like these current MUTTs — and ones that operate autonomously.

“Autonomous weapons are ideal for tasks such as assassinations, destabilizing nations, subduing populations, and selectively killing a particular ethnic group. We therefore believe that a military AI arms race would not be beneficial for humanity,” the letter reads. “There are many ways in which AI can make battlefields safer for humans, especially civilians, without creating new tools for killing people.”

Those darn Russians strike again:

A non-existent pilot has been paid more than 2 billion Ugandan shillings (over $500,000) in salaries since 2005 for being on the Ugandan army payroll.

Until June 2016 when the scam was detected after a probe, it was determined that Russian air force pilot, Valerie Detrick who was contracted to work as a training instructor for Mi-17 and Mi-24 military helicopter pilots was non-existent.

A senior military officer and two civilian defense ministry staff have been charged with the crime on Friday while over 16 military and civilian officials implicated in the crime are at large, local media Daily Monitor reported.

The accused, Major Kapalaga Lubega, his wife Evas Lubega Twinomujuni and colleague at the ministry Carolyn Kyakabale were before a military court in Kampala on Friday where they were charged and remanded.

The non-existent pilot was entered into a two-year renewable contract in 2005 and paid $4,306 per month through a local bank account.

The contract was renewed in 2008 and salary increased to $5,350 per month and maintained through three contract renewals till 2015 when it was reduced to $5,150, the report added.

Pool, pond… pond’d be good for you: 

What the heck is going on in Belize?: 

Authorities in Belize have named 54-year-old John Deshaies of Canada as the prime suspect in the death of a U.S. Marine veteran from Atlanta and his Canadian girlfriend.

Drew DeVoursney, 36, and his girlfriend, Francesca Matus, 52, were last seen leaving Scotty’s Bar and Grill in Corozal in the Central American country on the night of April 25, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

However, a friend of Deshaies said police have the wrong man in custody and the Canadian construction company owner would never harm Matus.

“It’s a terrible misunderstanding,” the friend told the Toronto Sun. “Francesca was his best friend. He’s a really good guy.”

SOURCE: FRANCESCA MATUS/FACEBOOK; GOFUNDME

The friend, who did not want to be identified, said officers targeted Deshaies because he disappeared shortly after the couple went missing.

“Belize is a very corrupt country,” the friend told the Toronto Sun. “I think they’re actually keeping him in jail for his own safety. They want it to seem like it’s a Canadian or American problem rather than a Belizean one.”

…”It just baffles me because Drew was 6’6″ and very strong, very athletic guy. For somebody to strangle him, I just don’t think it could’ve been one person,” Char DeVoursney told Atlanta station WGCL.

But strangling was, indeed, the cause cited in both deaths. The bodies were found approximately five days after they were dumped in a field with duct tape around their wrists.

HARD pass on seeing how fucked up it is:

BIZARRE footage shows a woman brazenly striding through an airport NAKED before bending over in front of stunned onlookers.

The lady evidently had nothing to declare as she walked around Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta in her birthday suit.

Filmed on Friday afternoon, the shocking clip shows the woman shouting at fellow travellers before bending down and proudly showing off her rear end, reports 11alive.com.

While grabbing her backside, she can be heard saying: “Everybody, look at how f***** up my p**** is and I don’t give a f***.”

She then repeatedly yells: “I don’t give a f***.”

Cops confirmed the lady had bought a ticket with cold, hard cash before stripping off in Terminal B of the respectable travel hub.

More commentary next week. Ops Tempo is crazy. @BKactual