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Glorious Amateurs: The Legendary OSS of World War II

Medal of Honor recipient and OSS director William J. Donovan wanted “Ph.D.s who could win a bar figh...

White House Plumbers
Killing JFK, Rat Stew, WrestleMania: The Real ‘White House Plumbers’

“White House Plumbers,” HBO’s new series about the orchestrators of the Watergate scandal, barely scratches the surface. The real-life “plumbers” were even crazier.

military tattoos
For Ink and Country: Military Tattoos Past, Present, Future

Military tattoos have been a rite of passage around the world for thousands of years. As the US military tries to modernize, updating tattoo rules is an easy way to appeal to young recruits.

Hamburger Hill
What Really Happened at Vietnam’s Hamburger Hill?

The Battle of Hamburger Hill became the subject of congressional debate during the Vietnam War and was later immortalized with a film following the events that transpired.

50 BMG
How the 50 Cal Changed Marksmanship Forever

Shooting massive projectiles at extremely long distances is a marksman’s favorite pastime. Since Wor...

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Armed Services Integration Act: Honoring Women in Service

In recognition of the women who have served and continue to serve in the Armed Forces, BRCC is releasing Service Roast. The bag design highlights our WASPs, WACs, WAVES, and SPARs.

Flashbangs: Less Lethal But Still Dangerous

Flashbangs are useful for assault teams during hostage rescue missions and high-risk arrests. Yet sometimes they pose more risk than reward.

Under the Sea: The Wild History of Submarines

Submarines have rammed enemy warships, sailed below icebergs (just to see if it was possible), and transported more than half of America’s nuclear arsenal — all while submerged underwater.

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‘We’re Not Here’: What’s Hiding on BRCC’s Latest Vietnam-Related Coffee Bag?

Hidden in the "We're Not Here" bag’s design are several nods to Richard Nixon’s policies and controversies, but the discerning ECS subscriber might also notice some familiar characters.

uss texas
USS Texas: A Battleship of Firsts

The last-remaining dreadnought and only American battleship to fight in both World Wars, the USS Texas boasts a colorful history that’s still on display today.

Kabar: The Best Knife for a Gunfight

Known for its reliability as both a combat weapon and a utility knife, the Kabar has been a favorite blade among American warfighters since World War II.

Old Ironsides
Old Ironsides: How a Poem Saved America’s Favorite Warship

Two centuries ago, Old Ironsides was saved from certain death by an unlikely hero. Today, she survives as the world’s oldest floating ship.

Chesty Puller
Chesty Puller: The Corps’ Most Decorated Marine

With decades of combat experience and a stack of medals to his name, Chesty Puller remains the most accomplished leatherneck in Marine Corps history.

Dirty Boat Guys: An Expansive History of Navy SWCC

A GAU-17/A (minigun) mounted on a SOC-R, which is being operated by a SWCC during a training exercise. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jayme Pastoric.

Red Tails
Red Tails — The Legendary Tuskegee Airmen of WWII

The Tuskegee Airmen flew bomber escort missions during World War II and earned a reputation for excellence that shattered racial barriers within the U.S. military.

AC-130 gunship
Cargo Jet, Hurricane Hunter, Gunship: Evolution of the C-130

Developed in the 1950s, the highly versatile and modifiable C-130 has since proven to be one of the most significant military innovations of the modern era.

10th Mountain Division
‘Climb to Glory’ — A History of the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division

From the mountains of Italy to the mountains of Afghanistan, the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division built its legendary reputation by fighting in some of the most inhospitable places in the world.

M16A2 and M16A4: The OG Black Rifles

Before their time at the top of the rifle food chain finally ended, both the M16A2 and the M16A4 proved to be among the most reliable and lethal weapons ever built.

Tommy Gun
Gangsters, G-Men, and Green Berets: A Look at the Tommy Gun

For the better part of the 20th Century, the Tommy Gun was the weapon of choice for federal agents, organized crime, and American commandos.

Navy Cross
Heroism & Guts — What It Takes To Earn the Navy Cross

The Navy Cross — the branch’s second-highest award for valor in combat — isn’t handed out to just anybody. It’s earned.

Jimmy Carter
From the Silent Service to the Presidency: The Life of Jimmy Carter

Before and after his presidency were some of the greatest contributions Jimmy Carter made to the world we know today.

Eddie Rickenbacker
Eddie Rickenbacker: America’s Most Decorated World War I Ace

Eddie Rickenbacker, the “ace of aces,” may have broken the record for aerial victories in World War I, but that was hardly the most remarkable part of his extraordinary life.

Why the Canteen Persevered in the Age of the CamelBak

The reason some hydration devices — like the hand-held canteen — have staying power is because of their simple versatility.

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These 10 US Presidents Were Military Heroes Before Politics

More than half of US presidents served in the military, but only a handful have impressive service records.

The Pentagon
A Mystery Bunker, Secret Rooms, and a Ghost: Myths of the Pentagon

The Pentagon, with its five huge office rings and hot dog stand “bunker,” has myths and secrets running through its massive halls.

M4 Sherman tank
The M4 Sherman: The Tank That Won World War II

Like its famous namesake, the M4 Sherman tank proved that the quickest path to battlefield victory is through sheer, American-made firepower.

Robin Olds
Legendary Fighter Pilot Robin Olds Was an Ace in Two Wars

Only five pilots have ever become triple aces. Only one did it with two different airplanes.

Dear John letter
‘Dear John Letters’ — A History of Wartime Breakups

The dreaded Dear John: the wartime breakup notice that took weeks to arrive in the mail.

Honey Trap Valentine's Day
Romeos, Red Sparrows, and the Art of the ‘Honey Trap’

Valentine’s Day is amateur hour. In the world of espionage, spies lure, lie, and love to steal secrets.

military writers
10 Great American ‘Military Writers’ and How They Served

American literature is full of writers who either served in the military or really wanted to but got rejected by the draft board. Here are 10 great "military writers" and the stories of their service.

Ernest Hemingway  final.jpg
Ernest Hemingway: The Highly Decorated Soldier Who Never Served

Ernest Hemingway, the American author so closely associated with the ethos of soldiering, may not have served in the military, but that didn’t keep him from winning medals in both world wars.

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USS The Sullivans: The Tragic Story Behind the Name

The USS The Sullivans, named for five brothers killed in the Pacific, was the first American warship designated in honor of more than one person.

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Edgar Allan Poe Was a Sergeant Major in the US Army

Before he was a literary superstar, Edgar Allan Poe was a high-ranking cannon cocker who really hated life in the United States Army.

USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park Exhibit
‘The Mighty A’ — Reliving History Aboard the USS Alabama

How a battleship called the USS Alabama survived World War II to become a symbol of pride and patriotism for Alabamians.

Bay of Pigs invasion, Roberto Pichardo
Exiled From Cuba, He Was Recruited by the CIA To Invade the Bay of Pigs

The M203 Grenade Launcher: Farewell to Infantry’s ‘Little Friend’

The M203 has bailed US forces out of sticky situations for over half a century. Now, it’s time to say goodbye to the old grenade launcher and usher in a new era of indirect fire.

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Ernest Hemingway and the KGB: A Secret Life of Espionage and Covert Ops

Though often described as a political conservative, Hemingway openly supported socialist luminaries like Fidel Castro and Eugene Debs, a founder of the American Socialist Party.

Phantom Soldiers, Haunted Ships, and Spooky Old Forts: A Ghost Hunter’s Guide to the US Military

From the American Civil War to present day, the US military has produced its fair share of supposedly haunted locales.

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The Real Mercenary Behind Sleepy Hollow’s Headless Horseman

Two centuries ago, during the American Revolution, a German soldier lost his head to a cannonball, and the legend of the headless horseman was born.

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How the V-1 Missile Became Hitler’s ‘Revenge Weapon’ and His Last Hope of Winning the War

Developed to protect Nazi pilots and inflict mass civilian casualties, the V-1 rocket ushered in a new era of long-range warfare.

Heroic Beauty Omaha Beach WWII
Behind the Photo: The ‘Heroic Beauty’ on Omaha Beach

On D-Day+1, a US Army photographer captured an image on Omaha Beach that he would later describe as “the picture of heroic beauty.”

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