Staff Sgt. Randall Forsythe, a Scott Air Force Base firefighter, will have his 15 minutes of fame when the NBC program American Ninja Warrior broadcasts a special all-military edition at 7 p.m. Monday night on KSDK-Channel 5.
Forsythe, 29, along with more than 70 other active-duty troops and former military members, as well as National Guard troops, took part in the show’s taping in the Los Angeles port town of San Pedro last month. A non-disclosure agreement has obligated him to keep mum about how well he did.
American Ninja Warrior is a sports entertainment competition television show in which competitors try to complete a series of fiendishly difficult stages that comprise what is billed as the world’s most difficult obstacle course. The show tests constestants’ upper body strength, leaping ability, stamina and daring. The top 15 qualifiers in each of five city finals competitions win the chance to compete in the championship round, to be held in September in Las Vegas. So far no one has won the grand prize, which this year totals $1 million.
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The Defense Department's Office of Inspector General plans to look into whether service members were improperly forced out of the military since 2009 due to mental health issues after reporting sexual assaults, according to a story in the MiltaryTimes.
Although the Pentagon has opened up many combat-related career fields to women, America’s female troops are not clamoring to join the infantry and other so-called combat arms specialties, despite Pentagon orders to allow them to enter the fields next year, according to USA Today.
“Overall we find that generally the propensity is low,” Gen. David Perkins, commander of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command, said Tuesday. “There aren't a lot that want to do it.”
An extensive U.S. Army study is underway to determine the physical requirements for the combat arms fields, which includes infantry, armor and other ground combat jobs that until now have been closed to women.
The study will allow the Army to establish tests to screen men and women who want to enter such positions. The Army also surveyed women in the military and potential recruits to gauge their level of interest.
Vanity Fair magazine, in its June issue, tells the story of the Night Witches, the 40 Russian women pilots assigned to the all-female 588th Night Bomber Regiment. Beginning in 1941, women were recruited to three air squadrons, whose pilots, mechanics, and commanders were all women. They were led by Col. Marina Raskova, a Soviet pilot who was known as the “Russian Amelia Earhart” and who died in 1943 in a training accident. One of the unit’s most famous pilots was Nadezhda Popova, one of its first volunteers. Popova, who died two years ago, flew 852 missions in one-time crop-dusters with room for two bombs and no parachutes.
When they approached enemy targets, the pilots cut their engines and swooped low, dropping their bombs and sowing terror among spooked German soldiers, who soon called them “Die Nachthexen,” or Night Witches, because the whooshing sound their plywood and canvas planes made reminded them of a witch’s broomstick.
— Mike Fitzgerald, BND military writer