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EDUCATION

What Specific Military Medals Represent

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What Specific Military Medals Represent

If you aren’t particularly familiar with many aspects of the military, you may not know much about specific medals and honors that come with serving in the military. Some medals are awarded to specific branches of the military, and some, like the Medal of Honor, span multiple branches with multiple people awarded. Medals can signify many different things, but all of them are awarded to those who go above and beyond the call of duty.

If you’d like to know a bit more about what some of these military medals mean, and what the qualifications are to be awarded them.

Medals of Honor

This is probably one of the most well-known medals, so many of us have heard of this one. But we may not necessarily know what it means. Being awarded a Medal of Honor by the US Government is the highest honor that one can achieve in the Armed Forces. 

These medals have three variations: one for the Army, one for the Air Force, and one for the Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Navy. 

They are only awarded to those in the Armed Forces that show consistently that they are willing to go above and beyond what is required, even at the cost of risking their own lives.

The medal itself features a gold star that has different versions for each branch that it is awarded to, and it is attached to a blue ribbon that is embellished with stars as well.

Distinguished Service Cross

The Distinguished Service Cross is the second-highest medal awarded to service members enlisted in the Army. This medal is awarded only to members of the Army who have shown outstanding valor, as it is second only to the Medal of Honor. 

This particular medal is a gold cross with an eagle on it, attached to a dark blue ribbon with red trim.

Aside from the army, there are also Distinguished Service Crosses for all other branches of the military.

Navy Cross 

The second-highest honor in the Navy, this cross is given to marines and sailors who show exceptional heroism in the Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard when it is operating under the Navy. 

When the Coast Guard is not operating under Navy Command, its members can receive a Coast Guard Cross, which is the equivalent of both the Navy and Distinguished Service Cross.

Air Force Cross

Much like both the Distinguished Service Cross for the Army and the Navy and COast Guard Crosses, the Air Force Cross is awarded to those serving in the Air Force for exceptional valor.

Distinguished Service Medal

As the fourth-highest honor for those in the Army, this medal is awarded to members who serve in both combat and non-combat positions. This medal denotes commendable performance in a significant position in the army.

Much like the Crosses awarded, there are equivalent Distinguished Service Medals also awarded to each other branch of the military, with medals for those serving in the Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.

Soldier’s Medal

Unlike the previously-mentioned medals, the Soldier’s Medal is reserved solely for non-combat service members who have risked their lives on behalf of citizens or fellow military members.

Purple Heart

One of the more well-known medals, a Purple Heart comes with significant weight. It is only awarded to those who have been injured in the line of duty, or posthumously to the brave men and women who have given their lives in battle, either on a peacekeeping force or in the instance of a terrorist attack.

This medal is the oldest medal, created first in 1782 by George Washington.

Though there are many other medals not mentioned, these are some of the most prestigious medals awarded in the military to those who have exemplified extraordinary courage and bravery while serving.

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EDUCATION

What Are Conifers?

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What Are Conifers

Conifers are a group of seed plants (taxonomically an order, subclass, class, or division), all of which are descended from a common ancestor in the late Paleozoic, more than 300 million years ago, that they do not share with any of the other four living groups of seed plants. The nearly 550 species of conifers are found all around the world (although in differential abundance and prominence), on every continent (except Antarctica), and on many islands. Many conifers are familiar plants, especially those belonging to the most widespread genera: pines (Pinus), firs (Abies), spruces (Picea), and junipers (Juniperus) in the northern hemisphere (Plate 1), and yellowwoods (Podocarpus) in the southern. Taken together, these five genera contain about 300 species, more than half the living conifer species, and occur in almost all the places where any conifers are found.
All but about 15 species of conifers are evergreen, even in temperate and colder climates. Most flowering plants are also evergreen (especially those of the tropics and warm temperate regions) but typically are referred to as broad-leaved evergreens to distinguish them from the needle- and scale-leaved conifers. While the majority of conifers have needle-, scale-, or clawlike leaves, a few species have broader leaves that are a far cry from pine needles or juniper scales. Despite some variations, however, their distinctive leaf forms are among the most obvious characteristics uniting the conifers, since most of these forms are shared across the different families.
The name conifer means cone-bearer, but this characteristic, inclusive of the seeds in pine cone, is neither found in all conifers nor confined to them. Still, the particular structure of the seed cones, when present, is unique to conifers. This structure basically involves seed scales in the axils (and often more or less united with) bracts, with both kinds of organs attached to the axis of the cone. This is a compound cone because it is a highly condensed, branched, reproductive shoot consisting of cone axis clothed with modified leaves (the bracts), each bearing a small branch in its axil (the seed scale). Seed scales do not look like branches, but their equivalence to shoots has been demonstrated by studies of the development of modern conifer seed cones and of the structures of ancient fossil conifers.

Divergent interpretations of the specifics of each of these lines of evidence have not changed the basic concept that the seed scales of conifer seed cones consist of a number of ancestrally separate seed-bearing structures (and often non-seed-bearing ones as well) of an axillary dwarf shoot that became united phylogenetically and developmentally into a single structure. None of the other seed plant groups has seed-bearing organs with this structure. Gnetophytes are the most similar because they too have compound seed cones, but theirs lack seed scales and instead have reproductive dwarf shoots in the axils of the bracts that consist of separate rather than united parts. Most of the other seed plant groups have simple seed cones or none at all.
Besides the compound seed cones and needles (or scale) leaves, conifers also have distinctive wood that differs from the wood of cycads in being more compact, and from that of Gnetophytes and most flowering plants in having water-conducting tissue consisting solely of tracheids, without the larger-diameter vessels that have greater water-conduction capacity. Similar wood is, however, found in Ginkgo, which differs from conifers in its fan-shaped leaf from and seed-bearing structures: large seeds are paired at the tips of slender stalks and lack any associated bracts or scales.
Another feature that loosely unites the conifers and separates them from the other seed plants is the structure of pollen grains. Conifers mostly have one of two basic types of pollen grains. The most distinctive forms, at least among living seed plants, are the ones with two or three air bladders, the forms found in most Pinaceae, including the common pines, firs, and spruces, and in most Podocarpaceae, including the widespread yellowwoods. The other predominant from is nearly spherical, with a bumpy to smooth surface but few other obvious features. Both forms have more than the two or three included nuclei found in flowering plant pollen grains. The latter also have different, more complicated wall structures as well as myriad variations in shape, germination regions, and sculpturing of the surface. Cycads and Ginkgo have more or less boat-shaped grains, while many Gnetophytes have pollen grains with longitudinal furrows.
Thus even though there is no single feature that unites all conifers and sets them apart from the other groups of living seed plants, there is ample evidence for their unity and distinctness. This unity reflects their common heritage from an ancestral conifer that is uniquely their ancestor. At the same time, their obvious similarities to the other seed plants reflect an even more ancient common ancestor, shared by all the seed plants, that lived more than 350 million years ago.

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EDUCATION

Abby the Pup Preschool Printables and Worksheets

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Abby the Pup Preschool Printables and Worksheets

Abby the Pup (www.abbythepup.com) is a new website that provides free preschool printables and worksheets to teachers and parents to help educate their children. There are over 1,000 pages of content that may be easily downloaded, printed and freely distributed. It is a charitable project that believes educating young children throughout the world is an important and worthy cause.

The Problem

There are thousands of websites that provide printables and worksheets for preschool children. Many of them are excellent. But most of them have limitations that are somewhat burdensome for users.

Many of the popular ones require you to register and charge fees for the content. Though the content is typically good, many people either cannot afford to or are unwilling to pay for it. Also, their marketing and outreach are focused on users who are willing to pay for services.

Other websites may provide free content, but they require users to register and login. Frequently, these sites are supported by advertising revenues. This is understandable, since they need the advertising revenues to support the cost of creating the content and operating the website. Unfortunately, these sites tend to be somewhat difficult to navigate, offer their content a page at a time, and have lots of ads. They are designed to maximize views and clicks.

There are hundreds of websites of organizations and businesses that offer limited free preschool content as a means to attract users to their website for another reason. They may be promoting a local preschool, selling educational materials or merchandise or providing information about their organization or business. These sites tend to have less content, and their website is really focused on promoting their organization or business.

And lastly, there are thousands of individuals, through their blogs and websites, who provide preschool content. It is a mix of fee or free. Typically, they are doing it in their spare time. These sites tend to have less content, and in many instances, are less polished than the professional ones.

What is Different about Abby the Pup?

Abby the Pup’s purpose is different than the other preschool printable and worksheet websites. Its mission is to help teachers and parents educate their children throughout the world as a charitable project. To do this, it was designed from the very beginning to be global, free and extremely easy to use.   

Free

All content is provided absolutely free. Anyone with access to the internet may download, print and freely distribute the content.

No Registration, No Login

The website requires no registration or login to access the content. We wanted people to feel comfortable using the site without providing any personal information. Our mission is to help as many teachers, parents and children throughout the world. So we do not want to add any barriers to use the website.

Safe and Commercial Free

The website is safe and commercial free. There are no fees or advertisements. It is funded by the generosity of people who want to educate and create a better world for our children.

Creative Commons Public Domain

All Abby the Pup content is under the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0), which means that the content creators have given up their copyright and put their works into the worldwide public domain. CC0 allows re-users to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, with no conditions.

Extremely Easy to Use

The website has been designed to be extremely easy to use. There is 1 click access to all the content from the home page.

Fun and Interesting

The content is fun, colorful and interesting to encourage young children to learn. The feedback has been tremendous. Teachers and parents have commented that their children really enjoy learning from these printables and worksheets.

Teachers and Parents Choose

The website purposefully has a wide variety of content to explore and use. We really wanted to provide teachers and parents enough content to decide what works for their children. They know what is best for each individual child.

Global Outreach

The website is available to everyone globally. We are proud of our outreach to teachers, parents and children in developing countries. They typically have limited financial and educational resources, especially for preschoolers. So free, accessible and easy to use are important to them.

Social Good

Abby the Pup believes that quality preschool educational materials should be freely available to all children. Education helps lift children out of poverty, addresses social inequalities and provides a path to a better life. 

The Content

Abby the Pup has over 1,000 pages of free preschool printables and worksheets. The content is organized into four categories of PDF documents which may be easily downloaded, printed and shared:

Literature – Alphabet Identification, Alphabet Trace and Write, Alphabet Worksheets, Alphabet Activities, Match Letters, Sight Words, Word Recognition, Rhyming Words, Word Families, Missing Letters.

Math – Number Identification, Number Trace and Write, Number Worksheets, Number Activities, Match Numbers, Counting, Addition, Subtraction, Comparing, Ten Frame Cards, Patterns.

General Knowledge and Skills – Colors, Shapes, Color Cute Animals, Coloring for Fun, Tracing, Matching Worksheets, Matching Cards, Positions, Sizes, Dot to Dot, Cut and Paste, Draw in Frame, Puzzles and Mazes.

Classroom – Preschool Assessment, Awards, Calendar, Name Cards, Center Signs, Nursery Rhymes, Posters, The Week, Reward Cards, Science Activity Plans, Finger Puppets.

Please Visit and Share

Abby the Pup encourages the distribution and sharing of this content to help educate and improve the lives of young children all over the world.

Please visit www.abbythepup.com and share.

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EDUCATION

What is the Phonetic or Military Alphabet, how to learn, and how its work

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What is the Phonetic or Military Alphabet, how to learn, and how its work

Learning the phonetic military alphabet is quite simple for anyone, just have a little willpower and willingness. The founders of the International Phonetic Association – AFI -, when they created the phonetic alphabet, thought of making a learning system accessible to many people. The interest in knowing how to pronounce the words of a certain language is the main point to start learning the international phonetic alphabet.

What is the phonetic alphabet (Military Alphabet)?

The phonetic alphabet is a set of codes, composed of symbols and letters, used everywhere in the world, so it is called international. Your goal is to know how to pronounce the words of any foreign language correctly. It can also be said that the phonetic alphabet is a system that phonetically represents written words. Therefore, to learn the international phonetic alphabet, it is enough to know which sound should be emitted in each symbol or letter. Those who do not remember having seen this alphabet can think of the letters and symbols, in square brackets, which appear right after the entries in the foreign language dictionaries. Precisely this set of symbols and letters, which seems to form a code, is the phonetic alphabet. Once you understand where this tool is used,

How to learn

As this alphabet uses letters that are known in the Portuguese language, the person who wants to use it will have to know how it sounds only from the other letters and symbols that they do not know. This information is, in general, found on the first pages of foreign language dictionaries, where an index will describe the sounds of each part of the code. In addition to the sound emitted by each letter, the phonetic alphabet makes use of symbols that define some characteristics of the word, such as intonation, for understand the military alphabet to use it will have to know just over 40 sounds, including to this number those of the Portuguese language that they should already know. In reality, the international phonetic alphabet has 107 symbols and letters to define all the sounds of the existing languages. However, in general, dictionaries use only 44 of them to make the necessary combinations. In addition, this tool has mostly symbols from the Roman alphabet or from a language originating from it. There are also, to a lesser extent, letters of the Greek alphabet and other symbols that do not necessarily belong to an alphabet. Although anyone is able to learn and use the international phonetic alphabet, for some professionals their knowledge is essential, as is the case of those who work in the areas of linguistics, speech therapy, translation and language teaching. Actors, singers and students of foreign languages are not obliged to know the alphabet. However, they can make great use of it, when they come into contact with new languages they are familiar with and, especially, if they have to pronounce words of that previously unknown language.

Creation

The phonetic alphabet appeared in Paris, in 1886 when teachers from the country and England came together in a movement that sought to facilitate the learning of foreign languages for students of regular education. For them, this knowledge would mainly make students speak other languages more naturally and would also help students who were taking their first steps in the knowledge of a new language. To this end, the group developed the phonetic alphabet. After a few years, these teachers, pioneers in the development of the phonetic alphabet, formalized their group, founding the International Phonetic Association – AFI. The entity has, until today, a series of activities and studies that it promotes. However, the phonetic alphabet is its greatest asset. Sometimes, in the history of AFI, there were revisions of the phonetic alphabet, which added or subtracted symbols and letters, always with the objective of improving the tool, and in 2005 the last revision took place. In fact, at the beginning of the work of this group of French and English teachers, there was not just one alphabet, but one for each language. In a short time, linguists realized that a uniform alphabet would be much more efficient and, thus, develop a single alphabet for all languages.

The History of the Military Alphabet

The history of the military phonetic alphabet is intertwined with the history of the first spelling alphabets, in reality, the latter seem to have their origin in the first. Experts on the subject say that, before the Second World War, there was no common phonetic alphabet for civil use, that is, only the military alphabet existed.. However, at that time, each service, such as the army, navy and aeronautics, had its own phonetic alphabet. As you can imagine, this lack of standardization caused great problems, due to the confusion that occurred when the groups communicated with each other, allied to this were the problems of interference and noise in the transmission of messages. In 1941, however, when the United States entered the war, the military realized the urgency of creating a standardized military phonetic alphabet, so that all groups could communicate with their allies in order to be successful in their goal . Even this first military alphabet, although not yet ideal, was very useful for military communications. Among some problems of this alphabet, were the difficulties of understanding several letters.

Consolidation

Parallel to this, ICAO – International Commercial Aviation Organization, which also needed a phonetic alphabet to supply its need for communication for the emerging aeronautical industry, managed to create its own phonetic alphabet. In this way, the phonetic alphabet that today is used by many civilians, but mainly by the military services, was created by ICAO and, later, adapted by ITU – International Telecommunications Organization -, responsible for the international regulations of Radiocommunications.  Since its creation and consolidation, therefore, this alphabet has been used on numerous occasions and is an essential tool for the success of today’s military and civilian transmissions. To get an idea of its importance, it is worth noting that even the communications made in FM – Modulated Frequency -, in which the audio quality is usually much superior to the others, the use of the phonetic alphabet is necessary for a better understanding of the message transmissions.

How it works

The operation of the phonetic alphabet, however, is quite simple, since it is based on words that refer to each letter of the alphabet. Thus, at the time of transmission, instead of the person responsible speaking a letter, he says the word that is attributed to the letter. The only difficulty was to find the best words to be used, as they cannot have similar sounds so that they do not confuse the recipient of the message. The military phonetic alphabet is also what is called the radiotelephone or spelling alphabet. In addition, the words he uses are practically the same as in NATO’s phonetic alphabet, which is currently the most used among all spelling alphabets. However, the numbers of the military alphabet are said in English, and some of the sounds of the numbers have similarities that can confuse, there is a need to choose ways that eliminate ambiguity. A very clear example is in relation to numbers 5 and 9, which in English are “five” and “nine”. Thus, in the military alphabet, 9 received a variation, being pronounced “niner”. The same also occurs with some letters, such as “m” and “n”. For this reason, for “m” we have the word “mike” and for “n” the word “november”. For numbers, the alphabet gives a sequence of words, the pronunciation of which is as follows: 1 – wun, 2 – too, 3 – tree, 4 – fower, 5 – fife, 6 – six, 7 – seven, 8 – ait, 9 – niner and 0 – zero. like “m” and “n”. For this reason, for “m” we have the word “mike” and for “n” the word “november”. For numbers, the alphabet gives a sequence of words, the pronunciation of which is as follows: 1 – wun, 2 – too, 3 – tree, 4 – fower, 5 – fife, 6 – six, 7 – seven, 8 – ait, 9 – niner and 0 – zero. like “m” and “n”. For this reason, for “m” we have the word “mike” and for “n” the word “november”. For numbers, the alphabet gives a sequence of words, the pronunciation of which is as follows: 1 – wun, 2 – too, 3 – tree, 4 – fower, 5 – fife, 6 – six, 7 – seven, 8 – ait, 9 – niner and 0 – zero.

When to use

Despite having its origin in the military services and, even today, it continues to be of normal use by the armed forces, nothing prevents anyone from using the phonetic alphabet when they think it necessary. Just like a telegram, the spelling alphabet will be useful when someone needs to send a short message, since the letters are not spelled, but the words are spelled. In a normal telephone conversation, the use of this alphabet can be totally useless. However, in a distress call, for example, it can save lives.

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