Ep 16.5 – US military recruiting tactics and a far right Supreme Court

It’s been sixteen years since I sat in a recruiter’s office.  I remember visiting there many times (even after I was signed up to join) and asked all kinds of questions.  What was basic training like? How was the food? Did they like their non-recruiter MOS? Did I have to make that MANY trips to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station – Super boring)?  I heard a lot about Army values, doing PT (physical training) until you puke, being yelled at by drill sergeants, and a tid bit about deployments, but looking back on my six years in service, the recruiters shared very little real information.  I didn’t hear about deaths in training accidents, moving heavy equipment by hand from one place to another OVER AND OVER AND OVER, blowing out your knees from heavy running, getting odd diseases that are both rare and debilitating, and sharing an 80 sq ft room with another guy who seems to have soap aversion issues.

Recruiters are the car salesmen of the US military and by their very nature, they water down much of the downsides in what they’re selling.  But when a teenager is trying to decide whether to enlist or a parent is asking questions about their child’s future, should this be one of those times to have some actual ‘truth in advertising?’     

00:37 – Danny’s breakdown of ‘12 Strong’

10:21 – Tactics and methods of US military recruiters

30:41 – Nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for US Supreme Court

Should we end military recruiting as a matter of child protection and public health – Amy Hagopian / Kathy Barker – American Journal of Public Health


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

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A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh and Will Ahrens!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you both so much!!!

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Ep 16.0 – America the beautiful…and ugly

Even with the usual drowning of military news topics in circulation today, this last week has raised the bar considerably on how much horrible news can be crammed in such a small amount of time.  Yemen, already awash in the humanitarian disasters caused by the Saudi / UAE / US campaign to remove the Houthis, found a new low this week as Yemeni citizens fled the new drive to retake the both the port and airport in Hodeidah.  The Supreme Court demonstrates its very pointed lack of democratic principles as it voted down cases on both labor rights and President Trump’s Muslim ban, to only name a few. And poor Reality Winner receives her sentence for whistleblowing, to the tune of 63 months in federal prison and 3 years supervised release.

Grab a pillow case or a paper bag to scream into, because I think you’ll need it.


5:16 – UAE backed militia forces fight to retake Hodeidah port in Yemen from the Houthis

15:11 – Supreme Court gives 5-4 vote in favor of the Muslim ban

26:50 – Reality Winner makes plea deal, sentenced to 63 months in federal prison

37:54 – Maintaining two full brigades as a ‘deterrent’ to Russia


Henri appearance on Fault Lines Radio – June 25, 2018

UAE SAYS IT CAN’T CONTROL YEMENI FORCES — EVEN AS IT HANDS THEM BAGS OF CASH – Iona Craig – The Intercept

SHE NAMED HER CHILD “ENOUGH” – A Rare Look at Yemen’s War, Where Children Starve and Hospitals Are on Life-Support – Alex Potter – The Intercept

“IT TOOK US OVER A WEEK TO FIND ALL THE BODY PARTS” – Alex Potter – The Intercept

Reality Winner, Accused Of Leaking Classified Documents, Pleads Guilty – Camila Domonoske – NPR


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh and Will Ahrens!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you both so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Ep 14.0 – Interview with Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch – Part 2

Danny and I are very excited to bring you the second half of our sit down with Tom Engelhardt, editor-in-chief and founder of TomDispatch, where he brings us amazing long form journalism from a huge group of writers about our national security apparatus and especially America’s endless addiction to militarism.  Please go and pick up Tom’s new book, “A Nation Unmade By War“, an amazing collection of essays on how the US has been forever altered by almost two decades in endless war.  Enjoy!!!

00:40 – Sitdown with Tom Engelhardt – Part 1


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh and Will Ahrens!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you both so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Ep 13.5 – Interview with Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch – Part 1

Danny and I are very excited to bring you the first half of our sit down with Tom Engelhardt, editor-in-chief and founder of TomDispatch, where he brings us amazing long form journalism from a huge group of writers about our national security apparatus and especially America’s endless addiction to militarism.  Here, we discuss Tom’s new book, “A Nation Unmade By War“, along with his journey in creating TomDispatch, being a lifelong New Yorker who was NYC on 9/11, and how people like Donald Rumsfeld used the events of 9/11 to start and maintain the Global War on Terror.  Enjoy!!!

00:40 – Sitdown with Tom Engelhardt – Part 1


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh and Will Ahrens!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you both so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Ep 12.5 – Military intelligence indeed! – the intelligence community

America has many three letter agencies that perform a variety of tasks.  Law enforcement, tax collection, firearms investigations, customs and border security, and so forth.  Today, Danny and I discuss our intelligence community, and when we say ‘intelligence community, we mean the SEVENTEEN intelligence agencies that perform intelligence missions of all sorts.  Somehow, we have seventeen of them.  But what does the public know about their ongoing mission?  How does their presence on college campuses and film sets impact the views of the military for the average American?  What role has torture played in the intelligence community and how does it affect the intelligence we receive, seventeen years after 9/11?  With this is mind, Danny and I present our breakdown of the intelligence community.  Enjoy!!!

00:40 – The intelligence community

Ranks of Notorious Hate Group Include Active-Duty Military – Propublica

SPY UNIVERSITY: HOW INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES RECRUIT THEIR NEXT GENERATION – Radio WhoWhatWhy – Interview with Daniel Golden

The most militarized universities in America – Vice News

ClandesTime 032 – Iron Man and The Rocketeer

Covert operations: How the CIA works with Hollywood – The Listening Post – Al-Jazeera

As “Black Hawk Down” Director Ridley Scott Is Nominated for An Oscar, An Actor in the Film speaks Out Against Its Pro-War Message – Democracy Now

The Killing of Osama bin Laden – Seymour M. Hersh – London Review of Books


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh, Will Ahrens, and Gage Counts!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you all so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

Twitter – Fortress On A Hill

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

New episode on blast pressure caused by crew served weapons! Upcoming – Tom Engelhardt and our second live stream!!

Our new episode covers a new report which connects use of crew served weapons (50 Cal’s, mortars, and the like) to blast pressure damage to troops’ brains, much in the same way NFL players do from routine hits.  For a generation at perpetual war and already to the gills with traumatic brain injuries, how do we deal with everyday damage caused by our own equipment?!

Brand new from Danny at Anti-war.com“Unwarranted Hysteria: The Iranian Threat Is Inflated and Regional War Would Be a Disaster”  I think the title speaks for itself.

Next Friday, I jump head first into recent turmoil at the VA, still without a secretary after seven weeks while Danny discusses recent developments in North Korea and Iraq, where Muqtada Al Sadr has returned with a political vengeance.

I will probably make a live video in the next 48 on Robert Wilkie’s choice to sign a new $10b contract with Cerner for VA’s new computer system.  More contractors get taxpayer money and veterans get the short end of the deal again!!

Tom Engelhardt, founder and editor of TomDispatch will be joining us to discuss his new book, “A Nation Unmade By War.”

And last, but certainly not least, we’re hosting our second live stream on Facebook!!  Here is a link to the event.  Please join us, ask questions, call in and chat with us, and share your thoughts about the podcast and our nation’s addiction to war.

For $5+ Patreon contributors, both new episodes will be available in the next 24 hours!  No waiting!! $5+ Patreon contributors get all this and more for helping us keep podcasting.  Please consider becoming a contributor and help us keep making the content you love!!! FOH on Patreon

Oh, and the quote ‘Only the dead have seen the end of war’ wasn’t Plato, as I was told.  It was George Santayana. Not so flashy now.

Have a great week guys!!

Henri


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh, Will Ahrens, and Gage Counts!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you all so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

Twitter – Fortress On A Hill

Soundcloud – Fortress On A Hill

FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL
Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Ep 12.0 – Veterans ‘under pressure’ – Blast pressure, water contamination, and Afghanistan

I’ve fired around a half dozen belt fed weapons systems during my time in service; some bigger and louder than others, and all of them a kick ass way to spend an afternoon.  Well, that is until you realize the effects of firing them over a longer period of time. It’s not just loud noise or dangerous, hot metal. I remember spending an entire day working as a lane safety for a .50 cal machine gun range.  I stood less than three feet from a firing heavy machine gun all day, burning my hands as I changed the barrels when they became too hot despite using a specially designed heat mitten. At a certain point of temperature, it doesn’t matter anymore.  Glove or not, you’re getting burned. I remember I set a hot barrel a bit too close to the side of my foot while it was cooling and the damn barrel burned my foot through my boot.

This is part and parcel the Army’s (and I’m assuming the Marine Corps as well) main area of training.  We’d spent hundred of hours a year on a variety of ranges and not just when we were the ones firing.  It takes dozens of people to run most ranges, so in the lovely mist that is Fort Lewis in the winter and spring, your entire platoon would be spend whole days at the range, near these loud and dangerous devices.  But what if that was enough to hurt you? I was already told as long as we had proper eye and ear protection, we were golden. The truth is much darker.

00:45 – Blast pressure report on heavy use of crew served weapons

11:40 – Afghanistan update from recent SIGAR report

22:32 – Water contamination at 126 DOD sites

In Vets, Even Mild Case of TBI Linked to Increased Risk of Dementia – Karen Kaplan – Los Angeles Times

Gunners Using Shoulder-Borne Heavy Weapons at Risk for Brain Damage – Stars and Stripes – Wyatt Olson

Update to last week’s post on suicide and combat guilt – Matthew Hoh

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) quarterly report to Congress – 4-30-18

DoD: At least 126 bases report water contaminants linked to cancer, birth defects – Military Times – Tara Copp

Ranks of Notorious Hate Group Include Active-Duty Military – Propublica


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh, Will Ahrens, and Gage Counts!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you all so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

Twitter – Fortress On A Hill

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL
Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Ep 11.5 – Africa on fire and too many military brats

As a prolific news junkie, there are some stories that I’m tired of reading about and the Niger investigation has become one of those stories.  Not because the news about Niger is especially horrible or specifically newsworthy, or because we’re seeing more and more expansion by AFRICOM into new corners of Africa; obviously, both those things are true.  My frustration with this is because of the fallout people connected to this news must live through.

The families of these soldiers deserve to fully understand how their loved ones died and what reason the US government says is the prevailing rationality for these soldiers to be in Africa at all.  But the lies and subterfuge continue, most recently in attempting to largely lay the blame of the ambush on the soldiers who died. And I expect more from our military leadership; I shouldn’t, but I do.  These men died being told they were serving their country, but all I see here is lies and propaganda.

Here, Danny and I break down recent headlines out of Africa and discusses the immense number of military members who have family that served.  You wouldn’t think that would be a problem, but for diversity of thought and experience, it’s really important.

00:50 – Danger pay for areas in AFRICOM, new base in Somalia and updates on the Niger ambush

18:06 – Vice chief comments on the US military becoming a caste onto itself through multi generation service

DoD approves danger pay for Niger, Mali, Cameroon – Tara Copp – Military Times

EXCLUSIVE: MASSIVE MILITARY BASE BUILDUP SUGGESTS THE U.S. SHADOW WAR IN SOMALIA IS ONLY GETTING BIGGER – Christina Goldbaum – Vice News

Military Leaders Sent Them On A Hasty, Ill-Planned Mission — And Are Now Blaming Them – Paul Szoldra – Task and Purpose


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh, Will Ahrens, Ron Unger, Gage Counts, and Bashir!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you all so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL
Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Ep 10.5 – Whistleblowers

Whistleblowers are a divided and dense topic.  Bringing up Edward Snowden or Chelsea Manning generally invites conflict, especially for those who work in national security.  However, our government has worked hard to keep secrets while its citizens are kept in the dark.  So, often times, whistleblowers are the only remedy to bring these facts into the light.

Barack Obama was supposed to be the most transparent president in our history, but instead became the exact opposite: a president who set the record for most people charged under the Espionage Act.  With these ideas in mind, Danny and I present our breakdown on whistleblowers.

00:40 – Whistleblowers


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh, Will Ahrens, Ron Unger, and Gage Counts!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you all so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

Twitter – Fortress On A Hill

Soundcloud – Fortress On A Hill

FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL
Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Ep 10.0 – John Bolton and deported veterans

Wow, these last few weeks have had so much news for Danny and I to comb through.  The gas attack in Douma and our government’s response, John Bolton becoming national security adviser, the killing of Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip, and a whole host of other major stories.  Here’s the Fortress breakdown of recent events.  Our whistleblower episode aires a week from today on the 20th, so keep an eye out for that.

00:40 – Danny’s quick takes on tons of shit – John Bolton, Trump says leave Syria, killing protestors in Gaza

10:15 – Hector Barajas and the Deported veterans support house

18:35 – Pentagon raises budget more than the entire military budget of Russia

24:36 – Imprisoned veterans in Kuwait

Ep 5.0 – Gold Star Families be damned (has story on the return of Marco Chavez from Mexico following his pardon from Gov. Jerry Brown)

Ep 8.0 – Africa under the microscope (has story on the closing of USCIS offices near Army basic training locations, making it much more difficult for military recruits to become naturalized.)

ACLU Report details how the US failed deported veterans

Twice-Deployed Afghan War Vet Denied Citizenship Due To Felony Drug Conviction – MANYA BRACHEAR PASHMAN – CHICAGO TRIBUNE

11,800 active military members have a relative in fear of deportation – Lara Copp – Military Times

The Army Is Testing A Mechanical ‘Third Arm’ Right Out Of ‘Aliens’ – Jared Keller – Task and Purpose

She fought in Desert Storm, now the Kuwaitis are torturing her son and the US won’t intervene – Adam Linehan – Task and Purpose

Killeen woman fights to free fiance from Kuwait prison sentence – Josh Sullivan – Killeen Daily Journal

The Pentagon’s spending increase is more than Russia’s entire military budget – Vice News – David Gilbert


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh, Will Ahrens, Ron Unger, and Gage Counts!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you all so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

Twitter – Fortress On A Hill

Soundcloud – Fortress On A Hill

FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL
Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.