NASA and the Next Generation of Astronauts – SEALS

[su_heading size=”30″]The “men with green faces” have come a long way from the jungles of Vietnam and the enemy-held beaches of the Pacific.[/su_heading]

[Originally published on Opslens]

This month, NASA’s group of 12 candidates begin their two-year training program to become the nation’s next generation of astronauts. Among them is Jonny Kim, a physician and former special operator with the Navy SEALs.

Kim (above image) enlisted in the Navy in 2002 and entered the Naval Special Warfare Training Center in Coronado, California. After graduation, he was assigned to SEAL Team Three in San Diego, where he served as a combat medic, sniper, navigator, and point man on 100 combat missions during his two tours of the Middle East. Kim was awarded both the Silver Star and the Bronze Star with the Combat “V” device for valor, as well as the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with the Combat “V.”

Kim’s astronaut training focuses on “International Space Station systems, robotics, Russian language, flying T-38 training jets, and spacewalk training,” Brandi Dean of NASA’s public affairs office informs OpsLens.

“In addition, they’ll have activities that build what we call expeditionary skills – things like leadership, follower ship, team care, and communication,” Dean adds.

Kim undoubtedly excelled at these traits as a member of Naval Special Warfare.

Once he completes his two-year training program, Kim will be considered a “full astronaut” and is eligible for mission assignment. The possibly of a trip to Mars is not out of the question.

However, Kim will not be the first, or even the second, SEAL that NASA found to have “the right stuff.”

Two weeks after the 9/11 attacks, Chris Cassidy deployed to Afghanistan — he was one of the officer’s two combat deployments to the region. The top graduate of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Class 192 earned two Bronze Stars with the Combat “V” during his ten-year tenure with the SEALs.

The platoon commander served under numerous assignments in the special warfare community, including two tours in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf. Cassidy’s force was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for a nine-day operation clearing a cave complex on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in the opening days of Operation “Enduring Freedom.”

Cassidy was selected to join NASA’s astronaut training program in 2004. After graduation he went on to perform two missions in space: one on the Space Shuttle and another joint United States—Russia mission on the Soyuz space station. In 2015, NASA selected Cassidy to be its “Chief Astronaut,” overseeing crew assignments and advising the administrator on training and operations.

But the title of first frogman in space belongs to William Shepherd. After graduating BUD/S in 1972, Shepherd served with SEAL Teams One and Two, as well as Underwater Demolition Team Eleven and Special Boat Unit Twenty.

In 1984, Shepherd became the first non-aviator ever selected for astronaut school. He participated in recovery operations for the ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986, before blasting off to space on three shuttle missions. And in 1999, he was selected to command the first crew on the International Space Station. He is one of 28 astronauts awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor – NASA’s highest award.

Prior to sending SEALs into space, NASA utilized the elite sailors and airmen (PJ’s) to perform the daunting task of recovering space capsules once they landed in the ocean.

When the Apollo 11 command module landed in the Pacific Ocean after astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon, it was SEALs that were assigned to recover their craft. “Sea King” helicopters from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet carried a handpicked team of four SEALs, wearing special isolation suits to protect them from possible lunar pathogens, to wrestle the “bucking bronco” from the ocean.

Wes Chesser, Clancy Hatleberg, John Wolfram, and Mike Mallory jumped into the water, fighting 12 foot waves and 28 MPH winds to perform the daunting task of attaching a 200-lb. inflatable raft to the 12,000-lb. Apollo capsule as it pitched up and down with the ocean swell. Failure could have resulted in the astronauts and their capsule sinking to the bottom of the sea.

SEAL stands for Sea, Air, and Land – the various environments in which our nation’s elite naval commandos operate. The “men with green faces” have come a long way from the jungles of Vietnam and the enemy-held beaches of the Pacific. Now they can add space to their résumé. We wish Dr. Kim the best as he conducts his training and adds to the already rich history of SEALs in space.

Sources: OpsLens, Chris Carter, NASA

86 Year Old WWII Vet Makes the 1000 Yard Hit

This retired sniper is about to make a shot that you wouldn’t believe without seeing it.

Veteran Ted Gundy served as a sniper in the U.S. Army during the Second World War. He saw action during some of the war’s most brutal offensive campaigns, including the Battle of the Bulge.

At age 86, Gundy received the Black Hat, one of the highest honors from the United States Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU). As part of the honor, Gundy was given a replica of the army-issue Springfield 1903 A4 he used during the war.

After receiving the replica rifle, Gundy used it to hit a 300-yard target dead on.

But that was just a warm up. Watch what happened when Gundy was given the opportunity to shoot a 1,000-yard target with an AMU custom Remington 700.

Ted Gundy smacked his it with three shots all within a 5 inch group in the facial area of the target. Gundy was dead on.

Once a sniper always a sniper!

Sources: Shooting USA, mowryric youtube, Wide Open Spaces

How would you React after a Bullet Narrowly Missing your Head?

This is what happened to this Kurdish female sniper.

This insane video footage shows how truly badass one Kurdish lady sniper is.
Would you find it funny if a bullet came within inches of ending your life? This female Kurdish sniper, a member of the Women’s Protection Units, laughs in the face of danger–and the astonishing act was all caught on tape. (And if that’s not crazy enough, she’s wearing pink socks and sandals to boot).

The incredible footage comes from Raqqa, in the north of Syria, and shows the awesome response a sharpshooter has to an incoming bullet fired by an ISIS militant. The Women’s Protection Units was formed to defend Kurdish people from IS and other terrorist threats.

Watch in amazement at this ridiculously close call:

Pretty insane, how do you think you’d respond if put in the same situation?

Hats off to all soldiers around the world, fighting in unison to defeat the evils of ISIS. Especially this one badass sniper.

Sources: Stuff Youtube, Justin Hoffman

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Here’s a proper Response after Receiving Fire

Hopefully, you will never have to experience or get into harms way as these men of the 101st Airborne did. But in every home/vehicle or active shooter defense scenario. If given a chance to foil an attack, you might want to do so in a similar fashion as these Airborne troopers.

But seriously for us private citizens just remember wherever you’re at either at the mall or in your car. Get out of the area and run (or drive)as fast as you can to safety then call for help.

Video Transcription
Taliban Takes Shots At US Soldiers And Gets A Proper Reply

Chris Fields: So I’ve got a little bit of movement in the little tertiary valley to the left.

Joel Vowell: There’s movement up there?

CF: There’s three dudes.

“They hit the vehicle.”

“Right. So good luck [indistinguishable]”


“That shot right through us sir, right here.”

Mike Boettcher: Is that what they just shot?

CF: Yeah, it’s a Dishka round.

MB: Still warm.

“Still warm.”

“Yeah we’ve got a bunch of these, and we were just shot at by the enemy by the hillside. This is a Dishka round, little over 12 milimeter diameter round. Very deadly when it hits you.”

Come on! Let’s go! Get it up and fire!


CF: Come on, Gunner. You’ve gotta be quicker than that! Get that bitch hot!

And then watch me, hey, I’ll either go up, left, right, or back.


Up higher. Fire away.


CF: Nice, good shot.

Enemy Radio Update: One person is injured now. To the legs.

“One person injured.”

ERU: He’s okay, but his leg is hurt.

“They’re reporting everything is okay right now”.

“It’s not gonna be okay. They don’t know what’s about to hit ’em.”

[Indistinguishable] “…And get ’em right above that flat rock face, over.”

JV: Roger that, I need you to get left of that, there’s a red trail up on the left side of that. Gimmee uh, three shots right there for right now, we’re gonna walk you right on up.

[Shots, jets, explosion]

Yeah, good hit.

JV: That’ll teach ’em to shoot at my soldiers.

“Hey let’s get another target worked up.”

[explosion] “Woah baby.”


“207 Dark Knight 42, good bombs, good bombs.”

“False bravado involved. They see us, they’ve been watching us for a while, they’re moving into position, they don’t think we can harm them, nah, they just haven’t fought us yet.”

[Some bicycles chime as they pass]

Cameraman: How close were those bullets coming to you? You were close enough to hear the BZZZZ go by, huh?

Soldier: Gunfire buzzes when it’s close enough to you, it sounds like a bee passing over your shoulder, and that’s when we knew that things were serious.

Sources: Battle Youtube, photo screen captured from Youtube