We live in an exciting era that’s driven by change and innovation — and our military is anything but an exception.
Many changes and events have happened over the course of this year — including changes in leadership, advancements in technology and upgrades in our troops’ uniforms.
In this article, we will summarize some of the memorable highlights 2019 has brought to our military.
The military has seen a lot of technological advancement this past year, but one of the most useful has been the growing use of virtual reality. The military has been using virtual reality for quite some time, but it has never been used to the extent it is now.
Virtual reality is used by the military in a variety of ways, but its primary use is to create less-expensive, realistic training scenarios.
Soldiers can now use virtual reality to simulate:
- Infantry carriers
- Mortar vehicles
These simulations help Soldiers learn in a safe environment with minimal consequences.
This year our military made plans to accelerate the development of the latest laser defense technology — and it’s definitely worth getting excited about now.
This weapon would travel at the speed of light while quietly releasing 50-kilowatts of fury to strike down fast-moving missiles, drones, and helicopters.
The military plans to be using these lasers by 2022 and will install them on Stryker vehicles.
Operational Camouflage Pattern
A few years ago, both the Army and the Air Force announced that they would replace their previous uniforms with a new Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP).
This year, the Army’s UCP ACU uniform officially reached its wear-out date on September 30th, and the new OCP uniform became mandatory the following day.
Air Force trainees were issued the new OCP uniform in October of this year, but the Air Force is allowing its troops to wear the previous Digital Tiger Stripe ABU uniform until March 31st, 2021.
Integrated Head Protection System
In early 2019, the United States Army also released an upgraded helmet known as the Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS). The IHPS is much lighter than the previous helmet and offers a 100% increase in protection against blunt impact.
The IHPS only has one hole in the shell of its helmet for increased ballistic protection — the previous helmet had a total of five holes.
Shifts in Leadership
2019 saw a lot of significant changes in the leadership of our military.
In fact, during the course of this year, new leaders have assumed five of the highest positions of authority in the United States Military.
These new roles include:
- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff assumed by Mark A. Milley
- Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff assumed by John E. Hyten
- Chief of Staff of the United States Army assumed by James C. McConville
- Chief of Naval Operations assumed by Michael M. Gilday
- Commandant of the Marine Corps assumed by David H. Berger
All of the individuals that have taken on these roles were appointed by the President, and are dedicated to doing their absolute best for our country.
The President awarded three United States Soldiers with the Medal of Honor this year.
These soldiers include:
All three of these soldiers were rightfully given the highest award in the United States military. Bellavia and Williams risked everything — Atkins gave everything — to fight for our country’s freedom.
We are forever grateful for their service and humbled to see the recognition they received this year.
In order to better display the United States Military, The President orchestrated a parade called “Salute to America” on this year’s 4th of July.
This parade took place on the National Mall in Washington D.C. and featured military vehicles, military aircrafts, a firework display, and a speech from the President.
It showed off the power and strength of our Military, and was themed with patriotism.
Overall, our military has done a lot over this past year. We’ve seen new celebrations, significant upgrades, and familiar traditions.
We can look forward to this new year — and this new decade — with confidence and excitement that our military will continue advancing.