In the business world, promotions and raises are important motivators, but in the military, rank and pay go hand-in-hand. Since military supervisors don’t have a direct influence on employee promotions or compensation, incentivizing these team members requires some out-of-the-box thinking. Our buddy, MSgt Kyle Green, is a subject matter expert on employee performance incentives and helps explore this topic, with a little digression, of course.
The back-and-forth that inspired the show. Chris takes a winter vacation to Florida where he and Jody do some boating on the St Johns River; search for a crashed airplane; compare car-crash stories; debate irritating Prius drivers; intubate a stunt man who broke his pelvis leaping off a moving motorcycle; discover there’s more than one kind of frequent-flyer; and finally discuss the mechanics behind the powerful magnets in MRI machines.
This is the story of Chris, who takes a job hauling a mobile long-range acoustic device from Florida to San Diego which results in a spiraling digression into the hilarious deficiencies of the giant voice system at Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea, with a few stops along the way prompted by a snake, a couple of blown tires, and the Radiator Springs-like hardtop of the southwest. This show is our tribute to USAF Command Post Communication.
What happens to the bodies after a battle? This is an aspect of military life that often goes unnoticed because we’re more focused on the living. Still, we can’t just ignore those killed on the battlefield. And thanks to the Grave Registration Service (what is now Mortuary Affairs), they’re not forgotten. These professionals ensure those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice are treated with dignity, reverence, and respect.
And they do! Just ask Kevin Bacon!
Halloween is fast approaching and what better topic for this month’s podcast than The Top 10 Most Haunted Military Sites? Our military serves to project power around the globe and the men and women who serve are often thrust into dangerous and violent situations. Needless to say, the stress endured by these soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines can be tremendous. Who knows how this stress coupled with the violent nature military work affects a soul that is stripped from its earthly vessel? Would the retention of these souls on the grounds and within the buildings of these military sites be such a far-fetched idea? Of course it would! C’mon, there’s no such thing as ghosts, but that doesn’t mean ghost stories aren’t a lot of fun…and extremely funny!
Everyday folks probably aren’t too familiar with Bill “Pits” Pitsenbarger, but now, tens of listeners of this podcast will know him and the heroic act that earned him the Air Force Cross and eventually, after a push from some old Viet Nam vets, the Medal of Honor. And for those who don’t listen to our podcast, there’s a movie coming out on October 25 that will tell Pitts’ story, but we’re gonna tell it first!
So, who was Bill Pitsenbarger?
On February 20, 1947, the Kee Bird, a US Army Air Forces B-29 Superfortress, lifted off the runway and into the sky above Ladd Field near Fairbanks, Alaska. It’s Cold War mission was Top Secret, would take them to the North Pole and back, and involved photo-reconnaissance and mapping of the Arctic areas as part of a Strategic Air Command effort to monitor for Soviet activity and develop attack routes over the North Pole. This was the Kee Bird’s seventh mission and it was to be it’s last, as the pilot, Lt Vern Arnett, grew disoriented in a storm over the polar ice pack and turning to the south eventually made an emergency landing on a small frozen lake in northern Greenland. Although Lt Arnett put the B-29 down successfully and with no injuries to his 11-man crew, the plane was badly damaged and would not fly. So, they settled down for what would be a three-day wait for rescue.
The Digression Podcast Guys were 6 and 2 when Neil Armstrong stepped down from the ladder of the Lunar Module, “Eagle”, onto the surface of the moon. In fact, it’s very likely, they were asleep at the very moment the United States won the space race. In retrospect, that really sucks, but what the hell, no one can experience every major event that occurs within their lifetimes. Hell, we often understand the significance of a historical event only in retrospect (like the Battle of Coral Sea, for example). Still, it’s great to be alive now to remember the day when the underdog United States came from behind to kick some Russian ass 240,000 miles from the planet Earth:July 20, 1969, the Eagle landed! Suck it, Ivan!
Each year, the Darwin Awards pay tribute to those individuals who “improve our gene pool–by removing themselves from it in the most spectacular way possible.” Named after Charles Darwin, the English biologist and the father of evolution theory, these awards are a testament to the dumb shit people do to precipitate their premature demise (or that of an appendage…or two). The Darwin Awards are certainly not lost on the military. I mean, what do you expect? You have the inherent danger of live munitions and operational machinery combined with a “hurry-up-and-wait” mindset that results in a population of bored GIs on some God-forsaken piece of real estate who have nothing better to do than turn to their buddy and say, “hey, watch this shit.” And, KABOOM!
The year 1944 dawned over a vast panorama of invasion preparations in England. Huge quantities of materials were readied in dozens of depots throughout England. The air forces stepped up their assaults on objectives in the German defense wall. After weeks of arial preparations, the greatest war armada ever mustered on earth crossed the narrow seas between England and the European continent, preceded by showers of parachute troops at key points. The Allied High Command under Eisenhower had selected Normandy as the point of invasion, and there, thousands of troops landed on June 6, D-Day, in the face of heavy opposition.