It’s been an empowering summer for women all over the world. A generous mom donating 5,000 pints of breastmilk and OB-Gyn delivering another woman’s baby before her own are proving than women are, in fact, super. At the cherry on top of a closing September is an anonymous lieutenant who became the first woman to pass the Marine Corps infantry training.
“Female troops are invaluable for searching houses and communicating with local women, gaining access to spaces and information that, because of local custom, male troops cannot get,”
The woman, set to lead a 40-strong platoon, passed a 13-week course along with 87 others. Of 1.4 million active troops in the United States, only 15% are female, making the feat doubly impressive.
The Corps says it educates would-be officers in “the leadership, infantry skills, and character required to serve as infantry platoon commanders”.
The everyday Wonder Woman will be stationed at Camp Pendleton, California for her first assignment. It looks like girl power is certainly on the rise!
As we all know, the joys of tree-planting exist beyond activist groups. Anyone can join in on the fun — from entire villages to drones. Even your not-so-usual suspects can be pretty eager to give back. Such is the case with 60,000 Chinese troops, all of whom are reforesting 84,000 square kilometers of land.
The armed police force has a specially designated forestry branch to patrol and exercise jurisdiction in forested areas such as the northeastern Greater Khingan mountain range – dubbed ‘China’s green lungs’ – in Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia provinces.
China’s current forest coverage lies at a measly 21%, which the People’s Liberation Army hopes to bump up to 23 by 2020. In this year alone, the Chinese government aims to overlay an ambitious 6.66 million hectares of land.
Heavily polluted Hebei province, which encircles Beijing, has pledged to raise its total forest coverage to 35% by the end of 2020, and the bulk of the troops pulled back from the frontlines will be dispatched there.
China is notorious for its dense amounts of smog and futile efforts to combat them with jars of air. Perhaps this route, along with other air purification methods, may be the best one to take.
For the technological world’s forward-thinkers, “fast and furious” is a mantra to live by. Take it from China’s brand new railway, hightailing at 350 km per hour, and America’s first bullet train. While both have graced earthly grounds with their impeccable speed, Boeing is taking it to the skies. Valkyrie II is a groundbreaking hypersonic aircraft that can circle the globe in just 1 – 3 hours, aimed for launch in 10 – 20 years.
“This particular concept is for a military application that would be targeted for an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, and strike capabilities.” … said Kevin Bowcutt, Senior Technical Fellow of hypersonics.
The strike jet uses shockwaves to increase lift and run quicker than pretty much any moving object on the planet. To put things into perspective, Valkyrie II is 2.5 times the speed of an actual bullet.
“It’s more than twice as fast as the Concorde. So basically you can get anywhere in the world in one hour across the Atlantic, two hours across the Pacific – pretty much anywhere between two points in one-to-three hours.”
Sure, the airliner won’t launch commercially, but there’s no harm in hoping it will. I wouldn’t mind jetting off to Guam for a weekend.
In rare instances, people put their lives on hold for others. For troops, it’s an everyday thing. Where military parents have prolonged time away from their children, military couples have postponed weddings. Many have since figured it’s time to give back. Mother to U.S. troops Michael and David Scott, LeAnn Boudwine began sending care packages to her sons and their comrades. Since 2007, Support the Troops WI has mailed 10,000 bags to deployed soldiers all over the world.
“Every box is different,” [Boudwine] says. “I always tell people when we are putting them together, make them neat and make it a ‘gift’ from you … around the holidays this may be the only box they receive, make it special.”
Support the Troops WI is run entirely by volunteers and shipping is covered by donations. Boudwine shops according to a wish list, giving packages a personal touch.
[Boudwine] goes on to say, “I really can’t believe that we have come this far. I never take for granted the donations … no one could do this alone, it takes a village. Or in my case a caring, giving, compassionate community.”
The group’s slogan is “They’re Still There, We Still Care” — a mantra that volunteers clearly, religiously live by.