Top 5 DoDLive Blogs of 2017

By Katie Lange
Defense Media Activity

We only have a few days left of 2017, which makes this time of year “countdown central.” We would be remiss if we didn’t include DoDLive blogs in that fun tradition!

So without further ado, here are the Top 5 blogs you folks enjoyed most this year.

Mattis chats with soldiers during a re-enlistment ceremony. Army photo by Spc. Daniel Yeadon

Shortly after James N. Mattis was sworn in as the 26th Secretary of Defense in January, we posted some details about him. Many of you were curious to know more about the retired Marine Corps general who was taking over leadership of the department, so this might have helped your curious minds!

Graphic: TRICARE logo

Starting Jan. 1, 2018, the Military Health System is making some changes to TRICARE benefits, which means there are some things you need to know to make sure you remain covered in the New Year.

Challenge coins collected from active and retired service members on Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif. Photo by Marine Corps Pfc. Samuel Ranney

After looking at display after display of co-workers’ challenge coins, we started to wonder – where did this tradition start? So we did some research, and it turns out the answer to that question is still a little murky. But there are several theories and myths!

A U.S. Army soldier embraces her daughter during a homecoming ceremony on Pope Army Airfield Green Ramp. Army photo by Sgt. William Begley

Hearing the term “military brat” over and over once again got us thinking – where did that saying come from? So again, we did some research. While everyone has their thoughts on the origin of the term – from “British Regiment Attached Traveler” to the saying “born rough and tough” – once again, the answer wasn’t clear-cut!

DoD photo

The No. 1 DoDLive blog of 2017 wasn’t about a person or a legend – it was about a rule that many of you might not have known. If anyone’s every asked you for a copy of your identification, it’s actually against the law for them to do that with your common access card or military identification card.


The Unlikely Hero Behind ‘Hacksaw Ridge’

Army Pvt. Desmond Doss. DoD/National Archives photo

This blog came out around the Academy Awards, for which the World War II film “Hacksaw Ridge” was nominated in several categories. Its main character, Army Pfc. Desmond Doss, was a pacifist. Despite his refusal to use a gun and the ridicule he suffered because of it, Doss went on to save nearly 100 men during one of the last major battles in the Pacific. His heroics changed the minds of those who ridiculed him early in his career, and they also earned him the Medal of Honor.

20 Rarely Seen Photos of the Events of Sept. 11, 2001

Burned and melted items sit atop an office desk inside the fifth floor of the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Larry A. Simmons

Sept. 11, 2001, was a day that no living American will soon forget. When terrorists attacked the World Trade Centers in New York and the Pentagon, thousands of military members sprang into action to help. While we’ve all seen iconic photos from that day, these were a few lesser-known gems.

READ MORE: Top 5 DoDLive Blogs of 2015

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Top 5 DoDLive Blogs of 2017