In 2011, Chris Jeon was a 21-year old UCLA student from an affluent Orange County neighborhood. A brilliant student and dedicated mathematics major, Chris had his eyes set on a lucrative summer internship at the largest asset management firm in the world – a position that would catapult him into the career in finance that he had always dreamed of. But by the end of the summer, Chris would find himself not sitting in a cubicle, but fighting alongside Libyan rebels in their revolution against Muammar Gaddafi.
This is the story of one of the most epic and unlikely summer breaks ever.
For those who have never been involved in sending a close friend or relative off to war, it is hard to imagine the myriad of emotions experienced on a daily basis – a mixture of pride and anguish that will never leave a parent, sibiling, or spouse until their warrior comes home. As a reservist myself, I cringe to think of the effect that a deployment would have on my parents. Fortunately, the culture surrounding military families provides for the single greatest support system that could exist around such a massive organization.
But on this day, we remember those who never came home as well as the families they left behind.
(If you don’t get the title reference…get cultured.)
Missile launchers near the borders. American warships chugging towards the Korean Peninsula. A cartoonish North Korean guy threatening to wipe everyone else off the map. Once again, it seems like we are closer than ever to a second Korean War. Actually, it would technically be the same war since a peace treaty was never signed to end the first one, but I digress. To someone who is only moderately familiar with the situation, things look bad: North Korea, or Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as it is formally known, almost certainly has nuclear technology as well as rockets to deliver it with; they have the largest army by number of personnel in the world; and they have a young leader with something to prove. But are things really as bad as they think? Let’s face it; diplomatically, things with the DPRK are always screwed up to one degree or another. So let me offer a few considerations from a military perspective that will hopefully let you breathe a sigh of relief.
Even though newer models are now being used, much of the world is still armed with weapons designed over 50 years ago.
In the summer of 1999, western countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization were in the final stages of negotiating a peaceful end to the Kosovo War. For much of the 90’s, conflicts had erupted between ethnic Serbs and Albanians over the Kosovo region of Southeast Europe, an area occupied by both ethnic groups. NATO eventually intervened in 1998 by initiating an air-bombing campaign that was covered extensively in the media. By June of 1999, a ceasefire had been called and a peace agreement was reached, which included a NATO-led occupation of Kosovo in a peacekeeping role. But it was in the crucial moment between the ceasefire and the peace that probably one of the biggest international incidents ever was avoided.
This article originally appeared as an *AT* contribution on All That is Interesting. If you like what we write about here, take some time and check out their site!
On September 2nd, 1945, less than one month after the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, representatives from the Empire of Japan signed the unconditional surrender of their country to the Allies. This event, which officially marked the end of World War II, took place on the deck of the USS Missouri anchored in Tokyo Bay. Unfortunately for many, the war would go on for decades.
One of the lesser-known trademarks of Abraham Lincoln is how deeply involved he was in the Civil War that was occurring during his time in office. Every President must attend to the politics and economics behind a war effort, but few have ever been so committed to the actual execution of the war as President Lincoln. One of the most famous anecdotes about his administration was that he would spend many hours of every day in the telegraph room at the War Department, working in seclusion while waiting for news from the battlefield. This series, Abe’s War Room, pays tribute to those efforts.
If there is one thing about military weapons that has become clear over the last 100 years, it is that bigger is better. And while conventional military thought has moved in the direction of lethality and efficiency, this has not stopped the major military powers of the world from building absurdly large vehicles and weapons pretty much because they can. Follow the break to read about the largest warship ever.