All posts by refactor

The Best Veteran Owned Coffee Company

Choosing the best veteran owned coffee company can be a difficult task and of course it’s extremely subjective.  However, we did some research to try and find the best Veteran Owned Coffee companies currently out today.

Coffee is one of those things that just about everyone drinks.  This is a daily spend that if you like, can support the veteran community.  When looking for the best veteran owned coffee company we decided to look for a few key items.  The first is how does that coffee company support the veteran community and give back?  This is based on the company giving veteran jobs, donating to veteran charities and representing the veteran community in a positive light.  Second, we looked at the quality of the coffee.  Are these companies simply re-bagging someone else’s coffee with their label or are they actually pushing for a quality product.  Finally we looked at price.  At the end of the day this is a daily spend that can break the bank if you’re not careful.  So you of course want your go to Veteran Coffee Company to be a good price.  So without further adieu, here are our top rated veteran owned coffee companies.

  1. Black Riffle Coffee

This probably wont come as a surprise, but Black Rifle Coffee is our top rated veteran owned coffee company.  Now, we know we may seem like we are just drinking the kool-aid because they are the cool kids on the block right now, but hear us out.  First, we know BRCC’s owner Evan Hafer on a personal level after working with him long before he started the company.  Evan is one of those guys that people always seem to like and he is as honest as the day is long.  Also, as Special Forces Veteran, he’s done more his country than most and has sacrificed himself time and time again for the good of our nation.  Evan has built the company with a strong dedication to the Veteran community.  Evan and BRCC seek out vets when hiring and they have an incredibly strong staff of veterans from all walks of life.  One thing Black Rifle also excels on is their quality.  BRCC roasts all of their beans in house, overseen by master roasters.   These guys have a serious dedication to coffee and taste and are constantly seeking new ways to make their coffee better.  Finally, BRCC offers their coffee at a very reasonable price.  In fact, they are priced almost the same as most major brands on the market.  If you’re looking to spend money on coffee, consider BRCC, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

2. De Esspresso Liber

De Esspresso Liber is a Special Forces Owned coffee with a strong dedication to donating back to the veteran community.  They have partnered with one of our favorite charities, the Green Beret Foundation, to offer a full range of products that help give back to the Special Forces community.  They also have their Gold Star Blends which represent individuals who have been killed in combat.  Any Gold Start Blend purchase donates 10% to the charity of choice of the that product’s Gold Star family.  In short, these guys do a great job of giving back.  Like Black Rifle Coffee, De Esspresso Liber roasts their coffee in house which allows for a much better product.  We’ve personally ordered and drank this coffee while deployed and can say they make some amazing coffee.  Finally De Esspresso Liber coffee prices out very competitively and will definitely not break the bank.  These guys are certainly an awesome option when considering who to go with when choosing your go-to coffee company.

3. Military Java Group

Why do we like the military Java Group?  Well for starters they “donate 50% of all profits to the Semper Fi Fund”.  For any business to donate 50% of their profits to anything is actually a big deal.  So the fact that these guys are willing to donate 50% of their profits to a charity is a big deal to us.  This long standing coffee company was started by Matt Phillips in 1979 which means they’ve had plenty of time to develop their brew.  Matt, the son of a WWII veteran, decided to focus his brand on giving back to the veteran community.  In addition the military java group has some very competitive pricing, especially if you’re willing to buy in bulk.  They sell a case (12 bags of coffee) for $91 which comes out to around $7.60/bag.  That’s a lot less than what you can find a bag of coffee for in most stores.  We will admit we haven’t personally tried their coffee but they do get some great reviews.  All in all, a great company to consider!

 

Top Shooting Range: Nashville

Shooting is definitely one of the best sports in the world—maybe we’re a little bias, but it is true—and what better way of practicing such an awesome sport than at one of our top shooting ranges in Nashville, TN. Don’t worry; if you don’t live there, maybe we’ll feature your city next. Or, maybe you’re planning a vacation, why not head to Nashville and get a little range time in while you’re there.

Top 5 Shooting Ranges in Nashville, TN

1. Nashville Gun Club

The Nashville Gun Club might be one of the better-known ranges in the Nashville area, and for a good reason. That’s why it’s made our top shooting range list. One, you don’t have to be a member to shoot at this particular range. So, unlike many ranges, you don’t have to sit on a waiting list for months before you can actually shoot something. This range is also an outdoor range, meaning you can shoot your shotgun all day long, or at least until somebody gets struck by lightning.

2. Royal Range

This range is all about safety, and while they only offer an indoor range, they’ve still earned a spot on our top 5 in Nashville. They offer rifle, pistol, tactical and simulated shooting. Also, this is another range you don’t have to be a member at first in order to shoot at. Instead, it’s on a first come, first serve basis. So, why not test tactical shooting skills and go learn how to shoot from inside a vehicle, because yes, they offer that.

3. Nashville Armory

The Nashville Armory is definitely one of the more pricy options out there, but it’s also one of the most “healthy” ranges too. Now, we know that’s not typically something gun ranges advertise, but they’re pretty proud of the “clean, crisp air”, meaning you won’t be breathing all that nasty stuff in—if you weren’t worried about that. They also offer extra sound deafening on the range compared to a lot of indoor ranges, meaning you don’t have to worry as much about your hearing loss. Finally, they offer a live fire simulator, which you also don’t see at a lot of ranges. So go check them out if you’re in town. 

4. Guns and Leather Shooting Academy

Guns and Leather Shooting Academy offers three computer controlled ranges, which have some state of the art ventilation—again, that concern with your breathing and lungs thing. For real though, they have a HEPA filtration system, which is said to hold up to rifles and handguns.

This particular range is also family owned, and we love supporting local, family owned business. They also have a 25 meter range, which while that may be small compared to the fancier ranges out there, we still think they deserve a spot on this list. If that’s not enough for you, try out one of their classes—it might just make you a better shooter.

5. nRange 

If you’ve never been to a professional shooting range before—because you’d rather do it in your backyard—nRange is a good place to get your feet wet. They offer 12 indoor firing lanes, which you can use for personal practice or with an instructor. They also offer carry permits, armed and unarmed guard, instructor certification, and self-protection training cources.

This range offers two membership options

Indoor Shooting Ranges

Indoor ranges are great year-round, especially during the colder months. So, if you’re worried about your shooting finger falling off this winter, indoors might be the best option for you. And luckily, no matter what state you’re in, you’ll generally find an indoor range. Depending on where you’re located, indoor ranges are typically easier to find. Here are a few, around the middle TN area.

1. Shooter’s Guns, Ammo and Range

Shooter’s Guns, Ammo and Range is a great indoor range, especially if you’re concerned about being new shooter. Reviews upon reviews show new shooters claiming to feel comfortable and safe at this range. Patrons say everyone there is extreamly nice and helpful when it comes to explaining everything there is to know about shooting.

2. Gun City USA

Gun City USA not only offers you a place to shoot, they offer it in a safe and weather controled, indoor environment. They also offer TN handgun carry permit classes. So, if you were wanting to be a responsible citizen and be the next person to stop an active shooter, then you should check this range out, and take one of their carry permit courses.

3. On Target

On Target is a great indoor shooting range option if you don’t own a gun. They will let you shoot before you buy, and that includes class III options. If you’re wanting to explore the world of shooting, or you love shooting on a dialy basis, you can do it here.

They also offer personal shooting lessons, so if you aren’t comfortable learning how to shoot in a big classroom, then they offer an option just for you. You no longer have to feel the anxiety of performing in front of a big group, and you can get that one-on-one attention you want and need.

Outdoor Shooting Ranges

For those of you who like shooting the way God intended—in the great outdoors—there are several outdoor ranges you can look to join as a member or visit whenever the need to shoot some paper arises. Fortunately, if you live in the middle TN area, finding an outdoor range isn’t too difficult. We’ve taken the liberty of only listing a few, some of the top ones recommended by the locals. There were just too many to list them all.

1. Strategic Edge

Startegic Edge outdoor shooting range has locals raving about it. You can shoot handguns, carbine, rim-fire and center-fire rifles on this range, some of which aren’t allowed at various ranges. You also have plenty of distance, with an option of tactical shooting, benchrest, sihouett and long-range precision rifle shooting from up to 1,250 yards.

This range is also veteran friendly, and will give you a $50 discount on an annual membership. If you live more than 75 miles away, you’ll also save some money. The only downside, you have to be a member to shoot here, and they do have a waiting list.

2. OK Corral Shooting Range

OKC Shooting Range pretty much offers it all. Do you need a pistol range, rifle range, how about an archery range, yeah, they have that too. They also offer gun permit classes, a shoot house, and a trap field.

Oh, their permit classes, they offer them daily, so that doesn’t mean you have to wait an entire month before the next class comes up. Simply shoot them your name and email address and you can get started today.

3. Stone’s River Hunter Education Center

Stone’s River Hunter Education Center is more than hunter’s education. They offer three different ranges, one at a 50-foot range, a 100-yard range, and two, 6 target sight-in archery ranges. Their 50-foot and 100-yard ranges are also wheelchair accessible, so anyone can shoot. Of course, if you’re interested, they do offer hunter education courses throughout the year.

What Makes a good Shooting Range

What makes a good shooting range? The one you enjoy going to. There are a variety of ranges out there. Indoor, outdoor, shotgun only, rifle only, pistol only. So the best one is the one that works for you. If you only own a shotgun, then a range like the Nasville Gun Club would be perfect for you.

However, finding a range that allows your firearm isn’t all that you should look for. Safety is going to be your number one concern. Are there range officials on the line? Are the range officials actually stepping in if any range violations or safety issues come about? Are the range officials willing to help you if you’re having issues with your weapon? If you can answer yes to all these questions, as far as safety goes, it’s definitly a good range.

What about ventilation? More and more ranges are poping up, advertising their hightech ventilation systems. This is a great perk, and if you’re worried about your lungs, this might be something you want to take a look at.

Other perks that might make or break a deal for some range goers are the option to rent and buy weapons. If you’re looking to buy a handgun for instance, but you don’t want to buy before testing it out, there are ranges that will give you the option to try before you buy. Not all ranges do this, but it’s nice when they do.

Finally, most ranges provide their own targets. Some will let you bring your own, while others make you buy from them. Make sure you look into this. Having the option to either buy from the range or bring your own can definitly improve the quality of your range vist, especially if you want to bring one of our targets.

 

RE Factor Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Finding a gift for the guy who loves tactical gear can be difficult, but here are some ideas of some presents that are sure to make them happy Christmas Morning.  These items were selected by our staff as some top picks.  We promise what we are selecting here are the most sough after items in the tactical gear industry and not some low end stuff they wouldn’t want!

  1. Winkler Knives II Field Knife Maple

    Winkler Knives produce some of the best knives in the industry and they have made a name for themselves as the go to knife for many Special Operations Units.  The Field Knife is a great knife for any avid hunter, camper or gunfighter.  Winkler’s steel is guaranteed to maintain it’s edge and be reliable knife for years to come.  While this knife comes in at $374, it’s well worth the money and definitely one of our top picks.

    2. DJI Spark Drone

    You may be wondering why we are including a drone on this gift guide.  The bottom line is chances are no guy out there would ever turn down a drone.  The DJI Spark is a small, affordable and reliable drone that you can use for anything from photography to scouting hunting locations.  The drone weighs in at just 1.45 pounds so it can easily be stored in a backpack or vehicle.  At $299 this is one of the most affordable drones on the market that will still offer high quality imagery and performance.

    3.  SureFire x300

    If you’re looking for something for that guy who loves guns consider the SureFire x300.  Chances are that the guy who has a gun will want a light for it… trust us.  The SureFire X300 is one of the most powerful lights in the industry and is issued to just about every US Special Operations Unit.  The light has 600 lumens which is enough for them to use it as a self defense item or to simply light up the back yard when they are looking for your dog.  At $214 this is a bit more affordable and is guaranteed to get your loved one to light up on Christmas Morning… Pun intended.

    4. SIRT Pistol

    The SIRT Pistol is one of the best training aids we’ve ever used.  The brainiacs over at SIRT pistol created a training aid that weighs the same as a pistol, molds as a pistol, contains the trigger pull of a traditional pistol and even ejects magazines like a pistol… the only thing it doesn’t do is shoot the actual bullets.  Instead, SIRT pistols shoot a visible laser that marks your impact.  This can be paired with the LASR app to give the shooter real time feedback on where their “shots” are actually impacting.

    All in all this is one of the best training aids you can buy.  While the $300 price tag may seem a little high keep in mind the amount of money your loved one will save on ammo and range fees.  Plus, it’s a lot cheaper than just buying them a real gun.

    5.  WooBud Pocket Cannon

    The WooBud pocket canon is a canon that sits on your desk and actually functions like a real canon.  That’s right, this canon allows the user to stuff bbs (aka canon balls), with a propellent and then light a fuse that then shoots the canon ball out of the canon.  Let me say that again…. This actually shoots canon balls the same way the old fashion ones do, just in the palm of your hand.  There is literally not a guy on earth that wouldn’t want an actual working canon on their desk.  Prove me wrong… I’ll wait.  The best part of it is that it comes in at just $40 so it won’t break the bank.

    6. Garmin Fenix 5 Watch

    When Garmin decided to make their Fenix 5 they chose to leave out literally nothing.  This watch is one of the best GPS watches on the market and a perfect gift for any guy.  The watch comes with a one touch GPS that accurately displays your current position along with a multitude of other functions to include an interactive map, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, heart monitor, step counter and more.  The watch also has a third party app down load which allows the user to add on a number of other apps to help record their activities.  These apps cover everything from jumping out of an airplane to going golfing.  While all of these things are great, one of the best features of this wrist computer is it’s durability and ability to withstand the elements.  In fact the watch can go down to depths of 300′ which is probably a lot deeper than anyone would want to take it.  All in all this thing is an absolute beast.

    7. Magpul Sunglasses

    This year Magpul, makers of everything awesome, decided to shift focus and make some sunglasses.  Now Magpul being Magpul decided to not half-ass it and absolutely crushed the eye wear game with a great set of glasses that are perfect for anything from shooting to cruising around town.  Magpul mage the glasses with a Z871.1 Ballistic lens which is strong enough to withstand some pretty high speed objects.  These glasses also look stylish enough to wear everyday making them a winning combination.

The Second Shot: Tulsa Man Shoots and Kills Home Invader

If you’ve ever wondered why you should practice your shooting skills, maybe Mr. Charles Sweeny can give you a little insight.

This man, out of Tulsa, OK had an individual break into his home. He told fox news he felt like his life was in danger. Well, apparently the only life in danger was the intruder’s since Sweeny’s shot was deadly.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time Sweeny encountered such a situation. Just a little over five years ago, the same thing happened, only that intruder was lucky his life wasn’t taken.

Now, imagine if Sweeny hadn’t been properly prepared. He might have ended up being the one who lost his life, an innocent man, simply trying to live his life in his own property.

Everyone should have a right to live in peace, without the fear of someone breaking into his or her home. Unfortunately, that’s not a thing these days, as we’ve seen with Mr. Sweeny. So, what better way to prepare yourself to protect the ones you love than with a little target practice.

Here’s a list of our top three targets to help you prepare for such a situation:

1. A-Zone Splatter Target

The A-Zone splatter target is great for practicing your home defense. It shows you where you’ve hit on the target and attempts to make you shoot for that A-zone, the chest. This is also a great option for novice shooters, who most likely won’t be making headshots.

2. Steiner CQB Target

The Steiner CQB Target is great as a realistic practice target. First, you have the picture of a real man on a target. Then, you also have that whole CQB thing, Close Quarter Battle, which is great, considering if you have an intruder in your home you’re most likely going to be in close quarters with one another.

3. Blue Man Target

Finally, we have the Blue Man Target. This is a great option for citizens wanting to practice home protection. The Blue Man Target is the silhouette of a man, so you’ll be practicing on something that at least resembles what you’d be shooting at if someone broke into your home and tried to harm you or your family. It also has various zones marked on it so you can practice those moneymaking shots and understand the importance of shot placement.

A Guide to VA Land Loans

Lately, we’ve been talking about VA home loans a lot, and that’s because we know you still have a lot of questions and it’s important. We’ll continue this conversation with details on buying land through a VA loan in our Guide to VA Land Loans. Keep reading to find out what kind and how much land you can buy if you’re utilizing a VA loan and the rumors to look out for in the process.

VA Land Loans

So what is this VA “land loan” we’re speaking of? Well, if you didn’t know, the VA will let you buy land if you plan to build a home on it, put certain modular homes—must meet the size standard—or you plan to use it as farmland, where your primary residence will be on the property.

Land Limits

Unfortunately, as all things go with the VA, it’s never an easy thing and with that being said, it’s left a lot of room for rumors or hearsay on what is and isn’t allowed with any type of VA Loan. For instance, a lot of people believe the VA has an acreage limit. Fortunately, this is not true.

We can’t stress this enough, the VA does not set a limit on the amount of acreage you can purchase with your VA loan. There are some websites claiming you can’t purchase more than 20 acres or even more than 5. However, coming directly from the VA, they do not set any land limits, here’s a link to that in case you’re skeptical about our claim.

Also, considering you can purchase a farm with a VA Loan, it’s hard to believe they’d put a limit of 5 acres on your purchase.

Top VA Home Loan Lenders

  1. Veteran’s United
  2. JG Wentworth
  3. Quicken Loans
  4. Lending Tree 
  5. NASB
  6. Cross Country
  7. Rocket Mortgage

Land Improvement

VA home improvement loans, which you can read more about here, and land improvement are two different things in the eyes of the VA. Meaning, there are different policies governing it and more can and can’ts to go along with it. So, another thing you can’t do with a VA loan as far as land goes, you can’t buy land you plan to improve later. This simply means, if you want to buy land, you need to have immediate plans to move onto that property. If you’re building your home on the property, you need immediate plans first. You can’t buy the land and “promise” the VA you’ll eventually build a house.

You need to be ready to move into your home within 60 days after the purchase of your new home. However, there are circumstances in which the VA will extend your maximum move in date. For instance, if you’re within 12 months of retirement, you can purchase your home through the VA loan process and move in once you have officially retired, even though it’s more than 60 days. If your military duty or employment is preventing you from moving into your new home within those 60 days, you may also be eligible to extend your move-in date requirement. Simply talk with your VA loan lender for the details revolving around your specific situation.

So, with all that being said, no you cannot buy land with an intention of buying land only. If you want to buy land just for hunting purposes that’s a negative ghost rider. If you want to buy land for camping purposes only, again, that’s a firm no. If you want to buy land just to say you have land, yeah, that won’t fly with the VA either. But, if you want to do any of those things and live on it, in a primary residence, then that will work.

Basically, it comes down to vacant land not being allowed under the regulations of the VA. The VA won’t support your loan if you cannot immediately move into a safe and sanitary dwelling upon purchase. You’ll need running water, electricity, safe conditions and that means everything has to be up to code—oh you’ll also need a  driveway, in case you were wondering.

VA Construction Loan

Let’s say, however, you already have land—that did not involve a VA loan—you could use the VA to place a modular, pre-fabricated or build your home on that land. Just because you didn’t utilize the VA loan to get started does not mean you can’t use it in the future, so long as the property is safe, and by the time it’s done, both livable and up to code.

Maybe building or buying a house isn’t for you. That’s okay too, you can always go the renter’s route—unless you were planning on living in your mommy’s basement forever—start with our Renter’s Guide for Service Members.

To make things simple for you, this is a short list of what you can’t do with a VA loan in regards to property:

  • Buy property as an investment
  • Buy property for a business
  • Buy farmland you can’t reside on

Of course, this isn’t an extensive list, we’d be here all day if that was the case, and nobody wants that.

If you’re interested in building your own home with a VA Construction Loan, you can read more about the process in this awesome article we put together for you explaining all the details.

Minimum Credit Score for a VA Loan

Unfortunately simply being a veteran or current service member does not qualify you for a VA loan. If you don’t have a qualifying credit score or the income to pay your monthly mortgage, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone willing to give you a VA loan, let alone any other type of loan. It’s just not wise to lend money to someone who can’t afford to pay it back.

However, when it comes to credit score, things aren’t quite as strict. Generally speaking, the VA does not have a minimum credit score in order to go through the loan process. However you’re not getting a loan through the VA, so it’s the lenders that will set your minimum. That minimum is somewhere around 620, but this will vary from lender to lender. This doesn’t mean if you have a 610 you won’t get the loan, it just means your chances aren’t as high. If you’ve been paying your bills on time for the past 12 months, you’re showing your lenders even with a bad credit score you have the ability to pay your loan off on time.

Debt to Income Ratio

Lenders don’t just look at your credit score—though it is important—they also look at your debt to income ratio (DTI) and include all your current bills along with your potential new mortgage payment. Lenders want to see you have money flowing in even after your bills are paid, so the amount of income you have is important as well. Meaning, having a less than stellar credit score isn’t the end-all-be-all, there’s still hope. Even if you have a history of bankruptcy you can get a VA loan. You’ll just have to work on a few things and meet your lender’s standards. Because of this, make sure you speak with a local lender who’s well versed in the VA process. Of course, make sure you do your own research as well. I’ve definitely experienced loan representatives that don’t know about some of the basic details of the VA loan process, which makes you wonder what else they might be missing—like the VA funding fee exemption for qualifying veterans—costing you extra money.

Top 5 Rumors about VA Loans

Finally, before starting your VA loan application, we’d like to address a few rumors you might hear when you’re researching information an any VA loan process, whether that be for land, a house, building a home or home improvement.

We’ve already addressed the land limit rumor—no the VA has not issued a limit on how many acres you can have—so here’s a few more you shouldn’t fall victim to believing.

Rumor 2: You can only use your VA home loan once. This isn’t true at all, I can personally attest to this. It simply comes down to your entitlements. If you have enough entitlements remaining, you can work on selling one home while moving into another home, if both were and will be used through the VA loan process.

Rumor 3: Once you run out of entitlements, that’s it. If you’re the person in rumor 2, you might have used up all your entitlements or exceeded your loan limit somewhere between your first and second home.—you can actually use these up during your first home if the cost of the home exceeds your county’s limit—This simply means you might have to make a down payment of some sort. However, once you’ve sold your home and your original VA loan is paid off, if you’re looking for another home, your VA entitlements have been fully restored. This means you can buy and sell as many homes as you like under the VA loan process, so long as you meet the qualifications and the home will be your primary residence.

Rumor 4: There are so few VA Construction Loan lenders out there, it’s not even worth the effort of building a home. Unfortunately, this used to be true. There was a time when it was hard to find a lender willing to do a 100% no money down VA Construction Loan. However, times are changing and the housing market is going up, meaning it’s becoming easier to find willing lenders. Of course, this means there are still lenders not willing to offer this type of loan, but that doesn’t mean once the home is built you can’t roll your costs into a VA loan—several lenders offer this option.

Rumor 5: There aren’t any fees that come with using a VA Home Loan. This is false; every VA loan comes with a funding fee. This simply ensures hard-working taxpayers won’t have to reach a little deeper into their pockets to help keep the program running. Which means, it will be available for future generations. However, there are certain groups of veterans and spouses who qualify for a funding fee exemption, which you can read more about here.

How to Start your VA Land Loan Application

Once you’re past all the rumors and you’re ready to purchase land to build your new home on, you’ll need to know and understand the VA application process when it comes to buying a piece of land. It’s actually very simple and it’s similar to the VA Home Loan process as if you were purchasing a pre-constructed home on a piece of land. Where it might get tricky will depend on what you’ll be doing with the land.

If you’re planning to build your own home, you’ll need to find a VA approved buildernot hard, they just need to apply for approval if they aren’t on the VA’s list yet—have blueprints drawn up, have a list of how long each step will take, the cost of each step, the cost of labor, and the cost of the materials being usedprovided by your builder.

But, let’s say you want that farmhouse and plenty of acres to go with it. You basically want the Little House on the Prairie lifestyle—props to you—then your process might be a little different if you intend to use the property as farmland. If this is the case, yes, as stated before, you need to dwell on the property. If, you plan on using the farm as your primary means of income, however, you have to prove to the VA that you are capable and have the skillset to run your own farm. If you do not want to list your future farm as primary income, then you don’t have to worry about this step and you can simply purchase the property—and home—as a regular VA Home Loan, so long as you meet all the other qualifying factors.

If you’re ready to start your VA home loan process, start with our VA Loan Guide to help you answer some of your most pressing questions.

Top 5 Tactical Cyber Monday Deals

Everyone loves a good deal. But what’s better than a good deal, a good deal on tactical stuff. So, here’s our top 5 tactical Cyber Monday deals. Check them out while they last, they won’t be here tomorrow.

RE Factor Tactical

This Cyber Monday, RE Factor Tactical is pleased to offer you some sweet deals, especially on targets. If you use the code “CyberMonday” at checkout, you’ll save 25%. Of course, this applies to more than our targets. But just to give you an idea, you’ll save almost $10 on the Sharpshooter Target Pack alone, simply use the coupon code.

Tactical Distributors

We love tactical stuff just as much as the next guy. That’s why we think Tactical Distributors deserves a spot on our top 5. This Cyber Monday, not only can you save 20% off sitewide, you can get free shipping too on things like this BlackPoint Tactical Leather Wing Holster, simply use the code “Leglamp20” at checkout. They also have clearance items, up to 90% off, 25% off Arc’teryx LEAF, and 25% off Salomon Forces Footwear, which can’t be combined with the “Leglamp20” discount.

SKD Tactical

SKD Tactical already offers some pretty great deals, considering their year-round low prices. However, this Cyber Monday, they’re giving you a chance to save just a little more. With an automatic discount at checkout, you’ll save 16% on your purchase. All you have to do is put something in your cart and you’ll see the discount added under the original price. For instance, SKD Tactical sells some really nice PIG Full Dexterity Tactical Alpha gloves. You can save nearly $7, this Cyber Monday only.

Proven Outfitters

Proven Outfitters is another great company offering some tactical gear discounts on Cyber Monday. If you’re looking to build a rifle, for instance, you could save almost 40% off the retail price, which isn’t half bad.

Steamlight

During Cyber Monday, you can save 26% on flashlights, like this Streamlight 88065 Pro Tac HL-X on Amazon, and you don’t even have to be an Amazon Prime member to take advantage of this deal.

Range Estimation

Whether you’re in the military, an avid hunter, or preparing for the zombie apocalypse, knowing and understanding range estimation is paramount. That’s why we’ve decided to put this handy-dandy article together just for you. Trust us, once you’re done, you’ll not only know what range estimation is, you’ll know how to find it—at least using the Mil-dots.

Range Estimation

Range estimation is pretty much what it sounds like.  It’s an estimated distance between you and the target. There are several techniques to estimating range, such as the 100-meter-unit-of-measure method, appearance-of-object method, bracketing method, range card method and of course a combination method. However, for the purpose of this article, we’re going to stick stricktly to the use of Mil-dots.

But, before we begin to cover how to estimate range using this method, it’s important to know the various types of problems you may encounter, especially if you were using one of the methods requiring a lot of guestimation. These problems can throw off your calculations and in turn, you’re round placement.

Nature of Target

The nature of the target refers to its appearance, meaning its outline, contrast, and exposure. We will start with the outline first. Pretend you’re attempting to estimate the distance you are from a deer and you see a regular outline, that deer will seem closer than a deer with an irregular outline, who’s standing in front of a bunch of bushes or trees instead of being out in an open field.

The outline of your target can give you different illusions as to how far your target is. It’s like those dumb puzzles your friends keep tagging you in on Facebook “Only 5% can get this answer right. How many blocks do you see?” When you look at the picture from one angle, you might see 3 blocks, but wait, you tilt your head a little and now there are 4! Or the famous, “Which line is taller?” Let us help you; IT’S AN ILLUSION! THEY’RE ALL THE SAME SIZE!!!

This same thing could happen to you during range estimation, so beware of the outline.

Next, you have to worry about contrast. If the target you’re looking at contrasts with its background, it’s going to appear closer than it actually is. And just the opposite, if a target is partially exposed to you, it’s going to seem further away than it actually is.

Nature of Terrain

Just as the nature of your target affects appearance, so does the nature of your terrain. For instance, does your terrain appear more contoured, because that will make your target seem further away from you. Whereas, if you’re looking over smooth terrain your target will seem closer.

Then, of course, you have to worry about hills. If you’re looking uphill, the target will seem closer and if you’re looking downhill, the target will seem further.

Light Conditions

Finally, you have to consider light conditions when estimating range distance. If the sun is behind you, the target will seem closer, but if the sun is behind the target, it will appear further away.

Laser Rangefinders

Once you get over all the uncontrollable, environmental factors affecting the visual estimation of your target, you may decide it’s best to just go ahead and purchase one of those fancy laser rangefinders. Laser rangefinders are great. They can be very accurate, but unfortunately, they don’t teach you the basic skills of milling your target. Which can come in handy, because technology always fails, eventually, and usually when you need it most.

It’s like learning how to drive a stick shift. If you don’t learn that first, it makes it harder to go back and learn it later. You get lazy and you get comfortable, but when you need the skill, you won’t have it. And that could be a problem if you don’t have any other option—I guess you’ll be walking. Or, in the case of milling your target, I guess you won’t be getting that headshot.

There are actually a couple reasons you don’t want to rely solely on a laser rangefinder or GPS system. The first being the most obvious, which we’ve pointed out, technology breaks. But, also they might not always be available to you. Finally, you can’t be certain they’re accurate, especially if you’re on some crazy terrain. Yes, if you’re on a flat surface with no objects to get in the way, a laser or GPS system might give you a perfect reading. But, the chances of a perfect environment aren’t likely, especially if you aren’t on a professionally manmade range.

Range reticles, however, are more reliable because you don’t have to worry about them giving out when you need them most. Of course, if you’re a novice, it may take you longer and you might not be as accurate, but that’s why it’s important to practice.

What’s a mil dot?

For those of you not taking the easy way out, you might want to know what a Mil-dot is. A Mil-dot is usually found inside your rifle scope or set of binoculars. If you’re looking down a standard crosshair reticle, you might see four small .25 mil dots along those crosshairs. Each of those dots represents 36” or 1 yard if you’re 1000 yards away from your target. If you’re 100 yards away from your target, it equals 3.6”.

So, what’s range estimation have to do with Mil-dots, or more importantly, how do we estimate the range between the target and us? Don’t worry, it’s actually not that hard. Yes, there is a little math involved—don’t worry, it’s not too difficult—we’ll cover it below.

Reading your Reticle

If you’re the novice we’re speaking of, becoming an expert at range estimation via a ranging reticle isn’t impossible, but it really does take a lot of practice. From start to finish, it might take an expert 10-second to determine how far away the target is. This includes getting steady and plugging in the formula. If you aren’t an expert, it could take much longer. The average time is about 10-30 seconds, but could take up to a minute depending on the environment you’re in. This is why it’s so important to practice. It may not seem like it, but 30 seconds is too much time, especially if you’re faced with an adversary. You better hope you’re quicker and more accurate than he is.

Before we get much further, it’s important to know, not all reticles are the same. For the purpose of this article, we’re going to stick with the Mil-dot. However, some are mil scaled, without the dot. Therefore, it’s important to know your reticle and how to read it. Sometimes, the reticles will look different, but they act the same. However, in some cases, things may look a little wonky, compared to what we’re talking about here. This is why it’s important to look up your reticle’s scale and how to read it properly.

Using Mil-Dots

Finally, we can get to the fun stuff. How to actually use the Mil-dots method. If you want to calculate how far you are from your target, you’ll first need to know the dimensions of your target—this is why it’s important to get out there and track your data before it’s time to make the shot. Of course, you can always use Mil-dots or MOA to find your target’s size, but that takes time you might not have while in the field. Either way, once you know the target’s size, there are a few ways to calculate the distance, depending on how you want to read your measurements.

You can work your Mil-relations formula to give you a distance in yards, like you see below or in meters. The only difference is, you’ll plug in 25.4 instead of 27.77.

Once you’ve plugged in the information, you can easily work the formula and find the distance from you to the target without a fancy rangefinder. It’s that simple.

Error of Probability

Despite how simple the formula is, there’s still a lot of room for error. Let’s say you’re an expert at this stuff—you’re probably not reading this article, but that’s cool—you might be able to get down to 1 mil. Meaning, you can estimate out to about 700 yards without a problem. But, if you’re a novice, you might only be able to get within .25 mils, meaning your accuracy becomes seriously flawed for anything beyond 500 yards.

Your error of probability is how much you’re off on your mill reading. Let’s say you’re looking at a target 40” high. If looking through your scope and you’re off by .1 mil, then your error of probability is .1 mil. In most cases, if your error of probability is .1 mil, then you’re probably an expert. However, we aren’t all experts, and a novice may be more likely to have an error of probability at .25 mils.

Ranging Error of Probability

What’s it look like if you aren’t very accurate? For starters, and this could probably go without saying—but we’re going to say it anyway—your ranging error of probability goes up the further away you are from your target. The lower your skill level is, the higher your ranging error probability is as well. It’s like being new at anything. The less experience you have, the greater the chances are of you sucking at it.

You might be asking, what happens if I’m off by .1 or .25 mils? While .1 and .25 may not seem far off, down range it will make a huge difference. In fact, the further your target is, the further off you’ll be from the target. Let’s say you’re that .1 mil off shooter. If you’re 500m away from your 40” target, you have a ranging error of probability of .24m—we’ll cover what this means in more detail below.

Danger space

If you’re still sitting at 500m and your target is 40” high, about the size of the average man’s torso, then you’ll have a danger zone of 77m. These 77m means, you have that distance before you’ll start to see some real problems, meaning you’re missing your target.

Now, let’s put it all together. At 500m, shooting at a 40” target, a person who’s off by .1mil will have a danger space of 77m. Since your error of probability is only .1mil, then your ranging error of probability is only 24m. Since .24m is less than 77m, you shouldn’t have a problem.

But, what happens if you’re not the expert shooter, but you have the same target at the same distance. Let’s say your error of probability is .25. Again, this may not seem like a lot, until you get further away. At 500m, a novice shooter would have a danger space of 77m as well, only they’ll have a ranging error of probability of 56m. That’s more than double the error you’d see an expert shooting. But, even with this error, the novice shooter is still safe because it falls under the danger space of 77m.

However, what happens when you move that same target out to 700m? Well, it’s further away, so your danger space decreases and your ranging error of probability increases. If you’re off by .1 mill, your ranging error of probability would be 44m and your danger space has decreased to 48m. As you can see, 44m isn’t far off from 48m, meaning being off by .1m is about all the room for error you have. If you’re off by .25m at that same distance, your ranging error of probability is 102m with a danger space of 48m, which means you missed the target.

Again, the further out you are from your target and the less experience you have, the harder it is going to be to hit your target because your room for error decreases.

Limitations

Let’s talk about limitations. We’ve already told you why it’s important that the mil-dot system be your primary source for range estimation, as far as tools go. But, that doesn’t mean it won’t come with its share of limitations.

Must know target dimensions

Knowing the dimensions of your target is a must. I mean, it is part of the formula, so if you don’t know your target’s dimensions, you might have a hard time with accuracy. Of course, you could always guess, but unless you’re really good at it, it’s not the ideal thing to do. Again, this is where we tell you, practice, practice, practice. You want to find out the dimensions or approximate dimensions of your targets before you’re in a real situation. We say ‘approximate’ because no target—unless it’s manmade—will be identical. Yes, the average man is xx inches tall, but that’s average. Yes, the average buck is xx inches tall, but that’s the average buck. For every average, there’s that exact same target which falls outside of that range, either being shorter or taller. Skinnier or a little more on the plump side.

So, what do we do to counteract this? We practice by finding the dimensions of any target you would plan on shooting at from a far distance. Once you know this, you will be able to easily plug it into your formula and get the job done that much quicker.

The object must be visible and perpendicular to you

It’s pretty obvious the object or your target must be visible. That’s just part of standard weapon’s safety; if you can’t see your target, then who knows what you’re actually shooting at. Of course, it can also throw off your measurement, which is the main point in reference to ranging your target with a reticle.

But what about the perpendicular part? Why is it necessary that your target be perpendicular to you? Because, if the object isn’t perpendicular to you, there’s going to be a tilt, and the object will seem smaller than it actually is. Because of this tilt, you’re going to have to do more math—triganomatry style math—to account for the angle, and why make things harder on yourself than they have to be?

Need an extremely steady position

For those of you who haven’t done this, we’re going to give you another example. Have you ever played a video game as a first-person shooter? If you’re the sniper when you look through your scope, what happens? You can’t seem to get the crosshairs on target, and you see this figure eight pattern. If you were running first and got your heart rate up, it moves even more. And the further away you are from your target, yes, you guessed it, the more movement you have when you look down your scope.

Unfortunately, this happens in real life too. And trying to find your distance from the target without a steady position is that much harder when you’re using a mil scale, especially one without the dots. The more you shake, the more movement you get, and the harder it is to get accurate measurements. This is why it’s important to get as steady as possible. Just your breathing alone can cause a lot of movement; now factor in wind and body position. You need to make sure you’re eliminating as much movement as possible. No, you can’t stop the wind, but you can position yourself so you don’t shake as much. You can use techniques to slow your heart rate down. Every little bit counts when it comes to steadying yourself and making an accurate shot.

The Importance of Range Estimation

Now that we’ve covered all that, what’s range estimation have to do with anything? Maybe this is something you’re asking yourself right now—or maybe not—but it is important to know, so, like all things worth knowing, we’ll cover it.

Short answer: it’s important to know so you can estimate for bullet drop. The further away you are from your target, the more your bullet will drop. Of course, the environmental factors—which we wrote about in detail here— play their role. But, ballistics also play a part. We’ll get into ballistics calculators and whatnots in another article. Until then, just know it’s important—and keep a lookout for our next post!

What is a Protected Veteran?

There was a time when veterans weren’t appreciated. Instead of coming home to a warm welcome and plenty of “thank you for your service” statements, they got spit on. There wasn’t a lot of people jumping at the chance to care for and hire veterans. Thankfully, a lot’s changed since the Vietnam War, but that doesn’t mean some veterans aren’t having a hard time reintegrating themselves back into civilian life and employment. Fortunately, federal regulations have been put in place to help, and many veterans are classified as protected. Keep reading to find out what a protected veteran is, and if you fall into that category.

VEVRAA

Leaving the military can be one of the hardest choices military members make. Some are forced out medically, some reach higher tenure, some retire, and others just don’t want that lifestyle anymore. Whatever the case may be, unless you’ve been kicked out under dishonorable conditions, you’re a veteran, you’ve served your time and now it’s time to look for employment in the civilian world.

Unfortunately, despite the background, education, experience, and discipline veterans have, it feels like it isn’t enough to land a job of equivalent value and purpose outside of the military—especially if you’re a disabled veteran—Your scars may show on the outside, or they may be held deep within, either way, they still cause a heavy load when it comes to finding employment.

Luckily, there are federal laws put into action protecting veterans from being discriminated base on those scares, visible or not. This protection is found under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 or VEVRAA. It requires companies working with the federal government not only to hire protected veterans but to proactively recruit, retain, and promote anyone who falls into this category.

So you ask, who falls under the list of protected veterans?

The title of VEVRAA kind of gives part of the answer away. Protection is given to Vietnam era veterans, serving on active duty for more than 180 days between Aug 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975. The protection also covers disabled veterans receiving compensation from the VA, those who have at least 30% or more disability, or 10-20 percent if it causes a serious employment handicap, and those who were discharged as a result of their service-connected disability. Recently separated veterans are also protected, for three years after leaving the service. You also qualify as a protected veteran if you served on active duty during a war—Indian wars, Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, the Korean conflict, etc.— campaign or expedition and received a campaign badge or received an Armed Forces Service Medal. In all cases, the veteran must be discharged under anything other than dishonorable to be considered a protected veteran.

You may be questioning the VEVRAA currently, because recruiting, hiring and promoting protected veterans doesn’t really sound like a lot of protection. Luckily, there’s more to it than that. The act also covers anti-discrimination protection.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Veterans sometimes get a bad rap, that’s why Disabled Veterans Affirmative Action Plans (DVAAP) exist—more on that later. There are plenty of people who’ve never served running around thinking we all have PTSD and will fly off the wall at any given time. We’re all terrified of loud noises, will freak out if we see a middle easterner, can’t stand large crowds, have night terrors, and if something sets us off, we’ll go around shooting everyone in the head. Fortunately, this isn’t true. Unfortunately, it can cause employers to be apprehensive about employing a veteran, even if we’re better qualified than the other candidates.

Protected veterans have protection from this type of discrimination. Now, we aren’t saying, discrimination doesn’t happen just because some law exists saying it’s not allowed. If that were the case, criminals wouldn’t own guns and they wouldn’t go shooting up schools. What we’re saying is, the government is attempting to help veterans make it outside of the military, and when things aren’t going according to law, we can take action.

Employers who don’t hire disabled veterans need to have an excuse other than, well, they have PTSD or well, they’re too broken to do this job. They have to make reasonable accommodations for that veteran so they can work like everyone else.

Equal Opportunity Employer Statement

Per, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, below is what’s covered under the laws of discrimination

  • Unfair treatment because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
  • Harassment by managers, co-workers, or others in the workplace, because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
  • Denial of a reasonable workplace accommodation that the employee needs because of religious beliefs or disability.
  • Retaliation because the employee complained about job discrimination, or assisted with a job discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

Keep in mind, however, every job is different, some companies aren’t governed by the above depending on what type of employer they are and the number of employees they have.

Affirmative Action Plan

For the protection of veterans, most Federal Government agencies are required to have some type of Affirmative Action Plan or a DVAAP in place, which means they have a plan to recruit, hire and advance disabled veterans. This plan is required to be updated annually to show the agencies accomplishments and efforts in employing and advancing job opportunities for protected veterans.

5 Point Preference

If you are a qualifying veteran, when you apply for a job, you get a 5-point preference. This 5-point preference gives you points toward a federal job, which could be the difference between you being hired or some kid, just because they have “education”.

10 Point Preference

If you’re a qualifying disabled veteran, you get a 10-point preference. Just be prepared, you’ll need more proof than just your DD-214. In most cases, you’ll have to provide a Schedule A Appointing Authority letter and an SF-15.

SF-15

SF-15 is a form used when a veteran is applying for a 10-point veteran preference. If you’re applying for a federal job on sites such as USA Jobs, there will be a place to upload documents such as this. It’s a very simple form—army proof— self-explanatory and only two pages long. You can find the document here.

Schedule A Letter

Schedule A letter, or as officially called, the Schedule A Appointing Authority is proof you have over 30% disability, giving you a 10-point veteran preference. It’s a very easy process; I’ve done it myself. You simply give the representative your SSN, they run your information to find your percentage, and then write you a fancy letter confirming you do in fact have at least a 30% disability rating through the VA. Generally, you can upload this onto federal hiring sites, like USA Jobs, without any issues.

National Defense Service Medal

If you have a National Defense Service Medal, you’re a qualifying veteran. However, you need to make sure it’s reflected on your DD-214. Your DD-214 is like gold; if it’s not accurate, it’s value will depreciate. Which means if you’re about to be a veteran, when you submit your DD-214 Worksheet, make sure it’s right, and then make sure again. The last thing you want if for your dates of service or anything that will get you benefits to be wrong. It’s much easier to get it done right the first time than it is to try and go back and get it fixed after you’ve been out over a year.

Check out our top VA Home Loan Lenders

  1. Veteran’s United
  2. JG Wentworth
  3. Quicken Loans
  4. Lending Tree 
  5. NASB
  6. Cross Country
  7. Rocket Mortgage

Non-competitive vs Competitive

Yes, we get it, this is where things might get a little confusing because maybe, no one has told you the difference between non-competitive and competitive employment. Maybe the first time you’ve seen this phrase was when you went onto federal hiring site and it asked, “are you applying for noncompetitive employment” or “are you applying for competitive employment”. If this is you, we aren’t judging, we’ve been there too. And we can assure you, marking the right box could literally be the difference between you being hired or not.

Non-Competitive

What is noncompetitive employment? You could literally search the internet and find it in .58 seconds—yes, we tested it—but for those of you who didn’t, you can keep reading here. We value your most high readership more than the other guys anyway.

Back on topic, noncompetitive employment means you’re hired differently than the rest of the general public. Instead, you have something like a hiring authority—we mentioned that above—showing you have special circumstances, such as 30% disability or more. Generally, you don’t have to go through the entire hiring process, like those under competitive employment.

Competitive 

Now we’re left with the competitive side of things. This is basically exactly what it sounds like. You’re in full competition mode here. You’re competing just like everyone else, on the same court, with the same ball. Now add in the fact that there are 100s if not 1000s of people on that court, all after the same ball, standing out can be pretty difficult.

This is why, if you can, applying under noncompetitive is the better option. Unfortunately, if you don’t qualify, you’ll have to go the competitive route.

Veterans and Military Intern Programs

For veterans who need civilian work experience, the VA offers various types of employment opportunities. The opportunities fall under the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Programs or Veterans and Military Intern Programs.

Non-Paid Work Experience

Non-paid work experience or NPWE, is a service offered by the VA to help place veterans in government jobs. Non-paid does not translate to the veteran making zero money, it’s not like a non-paid college internship. Instead it refers to the fact that the employer has no obligation to pay the veteran, instead, the veteran receives a subsistence allowance from the VA.

Because there’s no “red tape” to hiring and firing, they don’t have to pay the veteran, and there’s a minimal amount of paperwork required from the agency, the employer is more likely to take on the veteran and give them the valuable work experience they need.

On-the-Job Training Program

OJT, something every military member knows about. Well, it’s not just something that exists only in the military, it’s on the outside too. And, the VA is prepared to give you the OJT you want and need in order to be successful in competitive employment.

Both the veteran and agency benefit from the VA’s OJT program. The employer gets a hard-working veteran, and the veteran gets the necessary tools, equipment, and uniforms provided to them via the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Again, like all these programs, reasonable accommodations should be made if needed so the veteran can receive the same opportunities as their fellow co-workers.

Compensated Work Therapy

Compensated Work Therapy or CWT is a great option for veterans who are having trouble getting started in civilian work because of their disability. The VA offers a variety of options, including some specifically for veterans with PTSD, TBI, and short or long-term employment barriers. If this is you, or you know someone struggling, read our article about CWT here for more information.

Disabled Veterans

Disabilities come in many forms. Some are visible, like a missing limb. Others, not so much. That could look like PTSD or any other form of pain in your body. People can’t see that your back hurts on a daily basis. They can’t see that lifting, squatting, even walking, puts you in a great deal of pain. Yet, you still have to work. How can you get a job if you have a disability, but no one will hire you because of that disability? You turn to the legal system. Since, protected veterans have the right to reasonable accommodation, point preference, etc., you need to let your employer know this.

However, if your disability won’t get in the way of employment, we don’t necessarily advise advertising such disabilities on your resume. No, employers can’t discriminate against you, but that doesn’t mean they won’t—even subconsciously.

Enforcement

What happens if you’re seeking employment or work for a company who’s not abiding by the federal regulations concerning military service? You report it to the U.S. Department of Labor. If you’re a Reservist or Guard member, below is the reporting procedures per the Department of Labor.

  • The U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) is authorized to investigate and resolve complaints of USERRA violations.
  • For assistance in filing a complaint, or for any other information on USERRA, contact VETS at 1-866-4-USA-DOL or visit its website at http://www.dol.gov/vets. An interactive online USERRA Advisor can be viewed at http://www.dol.gov/elaws/userra.htm.
  • If you file a complaint with VETS and VETS is unable to resolve it, you may request that your case be referred to the Department of Justice or the Office of Special Counsel, as applicable, for representation.
  • You may also bypass the VETS process and bring a civil action against an employer for violations of USERRA.

If you’re a veteran, you can file your complaint through the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Veterans’ Employment and Training Service of the Department of Labor, or Local Veterans’ Employment Representative (LVER).

Preliminary Hearing set for Navy SEALS and Marine Raiders After Death of Special Forces Soldier

Finding out one of our own has died, especially from the hands of our own; it evokes a great deal of anger. The kind of anger you can’t really put into words.

Four elite members of the military have been the cause of such anger over the past year. The two SEALs and two Marines facing charges in the death of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar are set to have their preliminary hearing on Dec. 10.

If you don’t recall hearing about the strangulation of Melgar, here’s a little back-story. A heads up, it changed a few times between then and now.

First, we heard the death was an accident, involving horseplay between Melgar and two SEAL members, which resulted in Melgar passing out and the SEALs unable to revive him. Then we heard there was hand-to-hand combat training when the incident occurred.

Another story included Melgar being intoxicated, and one member performing CPR and a tracheotomy before taking him to a medical facility. We later found out that two Marines were involved, and there had been a trip to the Marine barracks to get duct tape, then to Melgar’s living quarters, where they broke in and locked him in a chokehold.

The toxicology report, however, showed Melgar had neither alcohol nor drugs in his system. And his autopsy report showed his cause of death was “homicide by asphyxiation”.

Charges under the UCMJ include felony murder, involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, hazing and burglary, per the release from Navy Region Mid-Atlantic public affairs.