The U.S. Southern Command is currently utilizing one of the most powerful military ‘weapons’ ever invented. It is virtually unstoppable and can neutralize threats over vast regions at very low cost. It not only eliminates current threats, but prevents future threats. This weapon reduces risk to soldiers while simultaneously improving their mental, emotional, and physical health. There is little to no risk of PTSD resulting from the use of this weapon. If used in full force, with our current defense budget and global military presence, this weapon could actually neutralize all global threats.

What is the weapon? It is the use of military infrastructure, resources, and personnel for acts of kindness, compassion, cooperation, and humanitarian aid. The photos below are examples provided courtesy of the U.S. SOUTHCOM website with descriptions.

The mindset and philosophy required to utilize this approach can be summarized succinctly… In the winter of 2009, a member of the elite United States Special Operations Command  (USSOCOM) located at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida gave the following words as marching orders for those in military service as well as civilians [source]:

  • Maximize family time if at all possible
  • Renew old friendships
  • Do fewer things, but do them thoughtfully
  • Avoid the tyranny of the ‘hustle & bustle’
  • Look back to the history of our great national celebrations
  • Teach the children
  • Rethink and Rediscover the truly valuable things of life
  • Try to recognize and accept family members as friends, just as they are
  • Be intentional in ‘random acts of kindness’
  • Choose to love, accept and forgive
  • Read the scripture
  • Pray for your military, your community, and your country

This is an example of the kind of mindset required for the modern solder. Learn more by exploring the photos and descriptions below. For further reading, refer to the 2009 articles:

Photos

Colombia – A landing craft utility (LCU) attached to Beachmaster Unit 2 prepares to land on the beach in Cartagena, Colombia for a humanitarian assistance training exercise on 8 Sep 2018 during UNITAS 2018. UNITAS is an annual international exercise in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility where partner nations participate in multinational exchanges to enhance interoperability, increase regional stability, and build and maintain regional relationships with countries throughout the region through joint, multinational and interagency exchanges and cooperation. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Colbey Livingston)

 

Colombia – Chief Gunner’s Mate Merle Albright, assigned to U.S. 4th Fleet, prepares to help a student at Gimnasio Cristiano de Bocachica children’s school open his lunch during a community relations event on 3 Sep 2018 as part of the annual exercise UNITAS LIX. The annual international maritime exercise focuses on strengthening regional partnerships and encourages establishing new relationships through the exchange of maritime mission-focused knowledge and expertise during multinational training operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Hendricks/Released)

 

Guatemala – Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales speaks with U.S. Marines while touring a shelter site in Escuintla, Guatemala, built by U.S. Marines and members of the Guatemalan Army Corps of Engineers for families left without homes following the eruption of Volcan de Fuego, July 30, 2018. Morales shook the hand of every Marine and sailor with Marine Detachment – Southern Partnership Station, attached to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Southern Command, after thanking them for their support, and highlighting that the Marines worked side by side with the Guatemalans, hammering every nail and cutting every piece of wood together. The site was built as part of a U.S. Southern Command humanitarian assistance project coordinated with the government of Guatemala. The Marines and sailors of SPMAGTF-SC are conducting security cooperation training and engineering projects alongside partner nation military forces in Central and South America. The unit is also on standby to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the event of a hurricane or other emergency in the region. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Frans Labranche)

 

El Salvador – A Salvadoran girl gets dental care during a medical readiness training exercise June 24, 2018, at Centro Escolar Canton La Esperanza de Olocuilta, El Salvador. The MEDRET is part of U.S. Army South-led Beyond the Horizon exercise lasting May 12 through August 4. The exercise involves about 1,800 Soldiers of all components, part of Combined Joint Task Force Hope and includes MEDRETS and construction of schools and a clinic addition.

 

El Salvador – Medical staff from Combined Joint Task Force Hope check in local nationals during a Medical Readiness Training Exercise in Canton Espino Abajo as part of Beyond the Horizon 2018 May 28. Beyond the Horizon 2018 is a combined readiness exercise between U.S. Southern Command and El Salvador which provides medical campaigns and construction projects for several communities throughout the La Paz Department in the Central American country.

 

El Salvador – Volunteers, students, and U.S. service members clean up trash and debris as part of Friendship Day at a Beyond the Horizon 2018 school construction site in the area of Zacatecoluca, El Salvador, June 15, 2018. The original school building was cluttered with debris such as scrap metal, wood and trash (Army photo by Sgt. Walter H. Lowell)

 

El Salvador – U.S. Ambassador in El Salvador Jean Elizabeth Manes meets with a Salvadoran student during Friendship Day at a Beyond the Horizon 2018 school construction site in the area of Zacatecoluca, El Salvador, June 15, 2018. The original school building was cluttered with debris such as scrap metal, wood and trash. The 15th of June is the day that is officially recognized by both governments as the day of U.S. and Salvadoran friendship. (Army photo by Sgt. Walter H. Lowell)

 

Panama – U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Lance Cpl. Dakota Hospelhorn, 346th Air Expeditionary Group combat engineer who is deployed from the 6th Engineer Support Battalion, Peoria, Illinois, paints a structure May 29, 2018, in Meteti, Panama. The Marines worked alongside U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 820th Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and support Airmen from all over the United States during Exercise New Horizons 2018. The exercise will assist communities throughout Panama by providing medical assistance and building facilities such as schools, a youth community center and a women’s health ward. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen/Released)

 

El Salvador – Virginia National Guard Airmen pose for a group photo with nearby school children and members of the Salvadoran military during May 2018 in La Paz, El Salvador. The Airmen participated in Operation Beyond the Horizon 2018. The operation is a partnership building effort that U.S. Southern Command hosts in various locations throughout Central and South America each year with participation from U.S. Army and Air Force active, Guard, Reserve, Salvadoran military and civic agencies. (Courtesy Photo)

 

Panama – U.S. Air Force Capt. Anthony Williams, 346th Air Expeditionary Group Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer member who is deployed from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., assembles a roof May 21, 2018 at a construction site in Meteti, Panama. Williams is participating in Exercise New Horizons 2018, which is a joint training exercise where U.S. military members conduct training in civil engineer, medical, and support services while benefiting the local community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen/Released)

 

Panama – A member of the Panamanian National Border Service, known as SENAFRONT, paints the face of a child during the opening ceremony of Exercise New Horizons 2018, April 11, 2018, in Meteti, Panama. Exercise New Horizons is a joint-service training exercise, focused on enhancing relations with partner nations and providing aid to local communities while providing training U.S. military members. During the exercise, U.S. military members will build three schools, one community center and a women’s health ward in the Meteti area. They will also work closely with Panamanian health providers bringing medical aid to people in the Darien, Coclé, and Veraguas Provinces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen/Released)

 

Panama – U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Lavettte Atkins, 346th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron aerospace medical technician who is deployed from Joint Base Charleston, S.C., gives a woman a shot during Exercise New Horizons 2018 May 14, 2018, in the Coclé province of Panama. Atkins is participating in Exercise New Horizons 2018, which will assist communities throughout Panama by providing medical assistance and building facilities such as schools, a youth community center and a women’s health ward. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen/Released)

 

Panama – U.S. Army Capt. Samantha Shipley, 346th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron dentist who is deployed from the 143rd Dental Unit in Denver, Colo., Checks the teeth a local boy during Exercise New Horizons 2018 May 14, 2018, in the Coclé province of Panama. Shipley is participating in Exercise New Horizons 2018, which will assist communities throughout Panama by providing medical assistance and building facilities such as schools, a youth community center and a women’s health ward. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen/Released)

 

Panama – U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Selma Stinson, 346th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron dental technician who is deployed from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., works on a patients teeth during Exercise New Horizons 2018 May 14, 2018, in the Coclé province of Panama. The medical team is participating in Exercise New Horizons 2018, which is a joint training exercise focused on civil engineer, medical, and support service personnel’s ability to prepare, deploy, operate, and redeploy outside the United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen/Released)

 

Panama – U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Claudia Bryant, 346th Air Expeditionary Group security forces member, deployed from Tucson, Arizona, paints the face of a guest during the opening ceremony of Exercise New Horizons 2018, April 11, 2018 in Meteti, Panama. Exercise New Horizons is a joint training exercise where all branches of the U.S. military conduct training in civil engineer, medical and support services while benefiting the local community. During the exercise, U.S. military members will build three schools, one community center and a women’s health ward in the Meteti area. They will also work closely with Panamanian health providers bringing medical aid to people in the Darien, Coclé, and Veraguas Provinces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen/Released)

 

Panama – U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Kelly Gambino-Shirley, 346th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron public health officer who is deployed from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, checks the vital signs of a monkey June 6, 2018, in Meteti, Panama. Gambino-Shirley was participating in an Emerging Infectious Diseases Training Event, in which she received informational lectures from Panamanian infectious disease experts and field studies of possible virus carrying wildlife and insects. The event took place during Exercise New Horizons 2018, which is a joint training exercise where U.S. military members conduct training in civil engineer, medical, and support services while benefiting the local community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen/Released)

 

Panama – U.S. Air Force Maj. Christopher Segura, 346th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron pediatrician, speaks to a family May 11, 2018 in the Coclé Province of Panama. So far, in 2-weeks’ worth of Medical Readiness Training Exercises the teams, working in conjunction with the Panamanian Ministry of Health, have seen nearly 4,700 patients and 502 animals. The medical team is participating in Exercise New Horizons 2018, which is a joint training exercise focused on civil engineer, medical, and support service personnel’s ability to prepare, deploy, operate, and redeploy outside the United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen/Released)

 

Panama – U.S. Army Specialist Caitlin Hinds, 346th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron animal care specialist, administers vaccinations to a horse May 11, 2018 in the Coclé Province of Panama. So far, in 2-weeks’ worth of Medical Readiness Training Exercises the teams, working in conjunction with the Panamanian Ministry of Health, have seen nearly 4,700 patients and 502 animals. The medical team is participating in Exercise New Horizons 2018, which is a joint training exercise focused on civil engineer, medical, and support service personnel’s ability to prepare, deploy, operate, and redeploy outside the United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen/Released)

 

Panama – U.S. Air Force Capt. Charles Hutchings, 346th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron pediatrician, explains info to a local woman near Meteti, Panama, April 17, 2018. Hutchings was part of an Embedded Health Engagement Team, which gave him a unique learning experience by submerging him into local clinics. The team was participating in Exercise New Horizons 2018, which will assist communities throughout Panama by providing medical assistance and building facilities such as schools, a youth community center and a women’s health ward. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen/Released)

 

Guatemala – U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Andrew Flint, 21st Airlift Squadron loadmaster, directs a firetruck off of a C-17 Globemaster III at La Aurora International Airport, Guatemala City, Guatemala, April 20, 2018 during a Denton Program mission. The Denton Program is a Department of Defense transportation program that moves humanitarian cargo, donated by U.S. based Non-Governmental Organizations to developing nations to ease human suffering. The emergency vehicles were donated by the Mission of Love Foundation, they are the largest user of the Denton Program, having delivered medical, relief and humanitarian supplies to needy communities throughout the world. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Joey Swafford)

 

Puerto Rico – The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort arrives in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Comfort is providing medical services to people affected by Hurricane Maria, with supply support from DLA.

 

Guatemala –  Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Lee, of Phoenix, Arizona, performs an ultrasound for a pregnant Guatemalan woman in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala on 17 Apr 2018 during Continuing Promise 2018. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet has deployed a force to execute Continuing Promise to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian assistance, training engagements, and medical, dental, and veterinary support in an effort to show U.S. support and commitment to Central and South America. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kayla Cosby/ Released)

 

Guatemala – Lt. Cmdr. Clarence Tang assesses a 4-year old Guatemalan boy on 9 Apr 2018 for suitability for cleft palate surgery at the expeditionary medical unit in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala during Continuing Promise 2018. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet has deployed a force to execute Continuing Promise to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian assistance, training engagements, and medical, dental, and veterinary support in an effort to show U.S. support and commitment to Central and South America. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mike DiMestico / Released)

 

Nicaragua – U.S. Army Sgt. Jason Nisperos, Joint Task Force-Bravo Medical Element Preventive Medicine, provides a health class with assistance from a local nurse during a medical exercise at Waspam, North Caribbean Autonomous Region of Nicaragua, March 20, 2018. The preventive health class is given to citizens prior to receiving basic health care services from a team of U.S. and Nicaraguan army medics. (U.S. photo illustration by Maria Pinel)

 

Nicaragua – A U.S. Army medical provider gives a medical consultation to a Nicaraguan citizen during a medical exercise at Waspam, North Caribbean Autonomous Region of Nicaragua, March 20, 2018. The team of medical personnel from the Joint Task Force-Bravo Medical Elementa and Nicaraguan Army and Ministry of Health provided care for more than 1,000 citizens.

 

Honduras – Lt. j.g. Grace Romasko of Killeen, Texas laughs with a 4-year old Honduran girl while she waits for her hernia surgery in the expeditionary medical unit on 12 Mar 2018 in Puerto Cortes, Honduras during Continuing Promise 2018. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet has deployed a force to execute Continuing Promise to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian assistance, training engagements, and medical, dental, and veterinary support in an effort to show U.S. support and commitment to Central and South America. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mike DiMestico / Released)

 

Honduras – On 15 Mar 2018 Lt. Joe Guerin listens to a patient describe her ailments at the medical site in Puerto Cortes on the first day of treatment of Continuing Promise 2018’s Honduras visit. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet has deployed a force to execute CP-18 to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian assistance, training engagements, and medical, dental, and veterinary support in an effort to show U.S. support and commitment to Central and South America. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mike DiMestico / Released)

 

Honduras – On 17 Mar 2018 Sgt. Madelyn Guerrero provides care to a dog in Puerto Cortes, Honduras during Continuing Promise 2018. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet has deployed a force to execute Continuing Promise to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian assistance, training engagements, and medical, dental, and veterinary support in an effort to show U.S. support and commitment to Central and South America. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kayla Cosby/ Released)

 

Honduras – On 17 Mar 2018 Lt. Cmdr. Amy Rogers, assigned to Navy Environmental and Preventative Medicine Unit TWO, shows a Honduran child mosquitos caught by a BG-Sentinel mosquito trap outside the Franklin D. Roosevelt School in Puerto Cortes, Honduras during Continuing Promise 2018. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet has deployed a force to execute Continuing Promise to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian assistance, training engagements, and medical, dental, and veterinary support in an effort to show U.S. support and commitment to Central and South America. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brianna K. Green/ Released)

 

Honduras – On 16 Mar 2018 sailors organize medical prescriptions into individual bags at the Franklin D. Roosevelt School in Puerto Cortes, Honduras during Continuing Promise 2018. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet has deployed a force to execute Continuing Promise to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian assistance, training engagements, and medical, dental, and veterinary support in an effort to show U.S. support and commitment to Central and South America. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr Jason Souza/ Released)

 

Honduras – On 15 Mar 2018 musician 1st Class Winnie Dawkins, assigned to U.S. Navy Fleet Forces Band performs at the Puerto Cortes hospital during Continuing Promise 2018. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet has deployed a force to execute Continuing Promise to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian assistance, training engagements, and medical, dental, and veterinary support in an effort to show U.S. support and commitment to Central and South America. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kayla Cosby/Released)

 

Honduras – On 15 Mar 2018 the U.S. Navy Fleet Forces Band performs at the Puerto Cortes hospital during Continuing Promise 2018. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet has deployed a force to execute Continuing Promise to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian assistance, training engagements, and medical, dental, and veterinary support in an effort to show U.S. support and commitment to Central and South America. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kayla Cosby/Released)

 

Honduras – A woman from the Las Minitas village receives a bag of donated food and supplies form a Joint Task Force – Bravo service member during the Chapel Hike-75, Feb. 3, 2018. The Chapel Hike took place in Las Minitas, a village located in Ajuterique, Comayagua, Honduras where service members hiked three miles carrying bags of food on their backs to hand out to the local population.

 

Brazil – On 29 Nov 2017 Lt. Cmdr. Patricia Hogan, a U.S. Navy doctor, plays with two young girls in the waiting area aboard NAsH Soares de Meirelles on the Amazon River near the remote village of Santo Antonio do Beruri in Brazil. Hogan is a member of a team of five U.S. Navy doctors who are engaging in a month-long humanitarian mission up the Amazon River. The team is working with the Brazilian Navy to deliver healthcare to some of the most isolated people in the world. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew Brame/Released)

 

Brazil – On 22 Nov 2017 local villagers board NAsH Soares de Meirelles near a remote village along the Amazon River in Brazil. A team of five U.S. Navy doctors is engaging in a month-long humanitarian mission aboard NAsH Soares de Meirelles. The team is traveling up the Amazon river with the Brazilian Navy to deliver healthcare to some of the most isolated people in the world. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew Brame/Released)

 

Brazil – On 29 Nov 2017 Lt. Gregory Condos, a U.S. Navy doctor, lets a young boy from the remote village of Santo Antonio do Beruri wear his stethoscope aboard NAsH Soares de Meirelles on the Amazon River in Brazil. Condos is a member of a team of five U.S. Navy doctors who are engaging in a month-long humanitarian mission up the Amazon River. The team is working with the Brazilian Navy to deliver healthcare to some of the most isolated people in the world. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew Brame/Released)