Being one of the nerdier, more bookish and generally less useful guys in my Army unit, I was assigned to be a member of my battalion’s OPFOR Recognition Team. About once every month or two, I’d be sent to a training room somewhere on post to spend a half-hour or so looking at fuzzy pictures of armor and airplanes, flashed onto a screen from a carousel slide projector. For each one, I’d hurriedly scribble down its model number or NATO code-name, and the country of origin. It wasn’t terribly exciting competition, but it got me out of the hanger for a few hours, and we won a lot, which made my superiors happy. To help me learn all those vehicular data points, I was given two sets of
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