Catalina Island Travel Guide

Catalina Island is located 26 miles off the coast of Long Beach and it’s a great place for a day trip or a weekend adventure. This guide just includes the island’s attractions but you can always just spend the entire day at the beach if you want to as well.

Catalina Express

Start your day by going to the Catalina Express in Long Beach and book the 950 tour there and the 350 tour returning. There are lots of seats on the boats; you can sit inside or outside on one of the two decks. You can choose the top deck because it has the best views on the way over. Going out of the Long Beach Harbor is especially fun because you get to see the lighthouse and the Queen Mary on the way out. Once you hit the open water, the boat starts going fast though and it only takes about an hour to get across to Catalina. The first thing you will note about Catalina is that there are not a lot of cars. Most people use golf carts, the bus, or walk to get around.

Casino Tour

If you like history, we highly recommend taking this tour. They offer it twice per day and it lets you go all throughout the casino which is not a casino in a gambling sense but includes the theater and a ballroom. Being able to enter the theater is an amazing experience as they will play a movie for you and let you see the stars that twinkle in the ceiling above. From there, the tour heads to the ballroom which has a 180 foot diameter dance floor and is the largest circular ballroom in the world. Also, you will get to peek out to the balcony and see some amazing views of Catalina before ending the tour. Note that if you stay overnight they usually have a movie playing at nighttime so you can always see a movie to experience the theater as well.

The Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Gardens

This area is named after William Wrigley Jr. of chewing gum and Chicago Cubs Fame as he was one of the people who helped bring tourism to the island in the early 1900s. The garden is over 38 acres and focuses mostly on California plants that are found on the Channel Islands. At the top of the garden, there’s also a memorial for William Wrigley Jr. and it’s definitely a great spot to walk up and check out. As you climb up the memorial, there’s some great views over Catalina but do note that there’s no shade and it gets pretty hot.

Catalina Island Museum

This museum is not for everyone but if you like history definitely check it out as it has some great exhibits on William Wrigley Jr, the Cubs, the island, and some of the famous people that have visited it. If you are into shopping, there are lots of fun shops in the downtown area and there are more eateries and bars you can check out. The best way to end the day is to make a stop at the Scoops. It is a homemade ice cream spot that has both ice cream and gelato.

The War-Tanks Used by the United States Military

In most battles, war tanks are essential. There are various war-tanks utilized by the US. Military, the following are a few of them. They include;

  • Ford 3-Ton M1918 Tank: This is regarded as the first of its kind, very light, and produced by the United States. The properties were a one-gun tank, small two-man, known for a maximum speed rate of 8 mph and armed with an M1919 Browning machine gun. In the year 1918, the design meant for the 3-ton tank commenced. This was initiated in order that another tank apart from the Renault FT can be used. It was designed to support the 3-Ton, two-man tank. The two model T-ford engines are operated from the driver’s side and in front, alongside the gunner which used a .30/06 machine gun, which is an M-1917-Marlin or M-1919-Marlin on a restricted mounted traverse.

Although there was a budget to supply 15,000 of those vehicles, the United States Tanks Corps were not pleased with the features. Only fifteen of these original vehicles were produced after the contract ended due to the occurrence of the Armistice.

  • Abrams Tank: The MI has been the number one war tank for the Army since 1980.It can operate in any weather condition and has delivered excellent firepower against heavily armed enemies. The M1A1and the M1A2 adds advanced thermal sensors, powerful upgrading techniques and nuclear, biological and chemical survival chances.

  • M2/M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV): This powerful tank acts as a transportation means for the troops and can also protect and act as a cover during firearm exchange. The Bradley fighting vehicle protects from enemy attacks, helicopters, and heavily armed vehicles. The M2 Infantry version serves as the firepower and coordinated movement for the army. The M3 Cavalry tank was created for combat intelligence and missions dealing with the security of the country.
  • Cougar: The Armored Vehicle General Purpose (AVGP) is also referred to as the Cougar. This is used for tactical support and for armored protection.
  • Stryker: This tank is strong and fast. It is known to spread a lot of soldiers, provide cover during an attack from enemies and operate quickly in close urban landscapes. The Stryker is known to perform different functions like the engineering squad transport, Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) launchers, and the medical evacuation.
  • M1117 Guardian: This device tank is majorly used as a security armored vehicle for transporting soldiers back to safety. This M1117 comprises of different sides of armor to cover firearms, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and Shrapnel. It can also contain the M2HB Browning machine gun and the MK 19 Green Launcher.

  • M-ATV: The M-ATV is used to solve different problems. Examples are providing light, surveillance, transportation and defense mechanisms.
  • RG-31 Nyala: This tank can be used as a resistant to a blast equivalent to two TM-57 mines for non-tanks. Also, the Nyala is designed to meet different needs as a mine-resistant ambush protected armored war tank.

The US Military: Major Facts You Should Know

America is populated with a large number of people. Many of the citizens are unaware that the US Military and the Department of defense has been of great help to the people and the government. They also use up a large number of the country’s finance.

The following are also some of the interesting facts to note about the U.S military. They include;

  • In a ratio of 1-4 persons in America, only about 28% of the citizens or less are well-experienced in the field of the military service.
  • Many of American presidents have initially served in the army. Major examples are President Eisenhower and President Washington, who ranked as five-star Generals and President Theodore Roosevelt, who deserved the Medal of Honor as presented to him. During the time of war, twenty-four presidents of the US served in the army and out of the forty-six presidents, thirty served in the US military in total.
  • In the Department of Defense, more individuals are actually employed on regular basis. It has about 1.8 million staffs on call. Their employment rate outweighs large companies like Mobil, Ford, Mobil, Exxon etc.
  • In a day, the Department of Defense consumes about 12,600,000 US gallons and also about 4,600,000,000 US gallons in a year. In the world rank of oil users, the Department of Defense ranks 34th and can compete with other top oil producing countries like Sweden and Iraq.
  • In October 1944, a major incident happened that remains top secret. The US and the USSR military confrontation occurred. The number of people affected by this incident still remains unidentified.
  • In the US military, the most influential gangs in the United States are present amongst them. For example, the Bloods, the gangster disciples, 18th street, Vice lords, Aryan Nations, African Nations, Nortenos, Surenos, Crips, and Aryan Brotherhood etc.
  • In 1971, Diego Garcia which is an island nation was entirely consumed by the British but was exiled to live in the slums of Mauritania, because the US wanted to build their base on the former.
  • Just like the silent type of Velcro, the US military has a secret that can reduce over 95% of the splitting sounds.
  • Pennies are not accepted as currency in US military stores around the world. This is because for the ship, they are cost- consuming and burdensome.
  • Without prior information and approval, in the 60’s, poor neighborhoods like St. Louis, suffered from the spraying of experimental chemicals such as Cadmium and Zinc, just to see the reaction of the radioactive substances on thousands of these residents.
  • For one hour, several shots were fired with the 1400 anti-air artillery and a large number of .50 caliber were shot at a hovering object.  The US military ordered for a complete black out of Los Angeles on the 24th of February 1942, to carry out this act.


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The Military Weapons of the United States Army

There is a large number of weapons used by the Department of Defense. These weapons are being explained, beginning with a few of the weapons and devices mainly used by the Special Operations Unit and the Infantry.

Some of these weapons include;

  • The M-4 Carbine

In 1997, the M-4 defense assault rifle was introduced in the US Army. Alongside a collapsible stock and the shortened barrel, the M-4 can be referred to as the main weapon for a quick attack, in the process of quick action and light weight. This weapon weighs 5.6lbs., and also a standard 5.56mm round shape. It is also the standard rifle operated by few of the Army units like the Army Rangers, Special Operations Unit and the 82nd Airborne Division.

  • The M110 Sniper Rifle


In April 2007, Army soldiers fighting in Afghanistan used the M11O sniper rifle to combat against their enemies. The first soldiers to use the rifle in a war zone were those in the Task Force Fury.

  • TheM40A5/6/7 Sniper Rifle

The United States Marine Corps prefer to use this rifle.

It has match grade ammunition that contains a heavy barrel, magazine fed7.62mm for speed and accuracy and for bolt action. The Remington 700 model was used as a guide for making the M40A5 sniper rifle.

  • M-240 Machine Gun

The major characteristics of this M-240 weapon are the approval with a number of configured weapons and also, the forces of other nations. It was introduced into the Marine Corps and the Army in 1997. One major function is the ability to fire a 7.62mm NATO round.

  • Hand Grenades

The hand grenades are referred to as “small bombs”. They contain bad chemicals and explosives that are discharged by rigged booby traps and hand.

The United States military uses the M67 fragmentation grenade. This is the standard grenade of the US Army. The front cover of this grenade is designed with a wire coil that is serrated. The composition B uses a detonating notion of the fuse and is filled with 6.5 ounces of explosive. The body is shaped like a ball and it is not only smooth but has a sheet-metal body.

  • FIM-9 Stinger Missile

To defeat the high-speed, low-level ground aircraft attack, the Stinger missile had to be introduced. This is very useful for unmanned aerial vehicles, transport aircraft, observation and against helicopters. It is composed of a 34.5 pounds man-portable, supersonic and shoulder-fired weapon.

  • TheAT4 Anti-Armor Weapon

The M136 AT4 is devoid of coils and the rifle is mainly applied by Infantry force for the defeat and the combat of a light armor. This light anti-tank weapon is majorly used by the Marine Corps and the United States Army.

The Arms of the United States Military

The Meaning of Military?

The first answer that comes to the mind is a person who is in charge. However, we are focusing on the United States Armed Forces. They consist of five armed service factions, who are: the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and the Coast Guard. Also, there are three universal groups in the military namely; the veterans and retirees who are the past members of the military, the active duty also regarded as full-time soldiers and sailors, and the reserve & guard forces that usually are involved in a civilian job, but can be called to full-time military duty. The main focus of this article is to expose you to the basics in the hierarchy of the US military.

Firstly, the position of the Commander-In-Chief is solely held by the President of the United States. He is in charge of final decisions to be made in the country. The Department of Defense is controlled by the Secretary and has control over the military office. It is only Department of Homeland security that has supreme power over the Coast Guard branch. Every other branch is controlled by the Department of Defense. The Department of Defense can be rated the world’s largest company, because it has a staff size of over two million employees, both in the military and civilian.

The general mission of all the branches of the military in the US is to maintain security and peace. These military branches are explained below:

  • Air Force and Air Force Reserve

The prominent goal of the UASF is to fly satellites, planes, and Helicopters. This branch is also known as the nation’s root for space power and air.

  • Air National Guard

This is a different faction of the Air Force military group in the United States.

  • Army and Army Reserve

This can be referred to as the supreme power over the land. It also protects properties throughout the world and various United States installations. For instance, the Army comes to a location, protects the area and imparts value and order before leaving.

  • Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve

They are regarded as the first boots on the ground. The Marine Corps are well-tactical in fighting on land and sea. They are known as very violent and furious in wars. The United States also refer to them as their rapid-reaction force/unit.

  • Navy and Navy Reserve

One of the main aims of the Navy and the Navy reserve is to protect and guard the seas/ oceans around the world, to establish smooth trading and travel and also to maintain stability and peace in the country. Their major operation is not limited to the sea, but also to the land and the air.

  • Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve

This branch of the military is mainly involved in drug prevention, enforcing the law, clearing waterways and rescue operations. Their major aim is in clearing domestic waterways.

  • Army National Guard

They are also referred to the elite group of warriors, who uses less of their time in serving the country. In the United States constitution, each state must have an Army National Guard. This is the only branch of the US military that is necessary for the constitution.

Where are all these Military men and women stationed?

The United States carries out their operations in more than hundred countries. These countries include Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Australia, Afghanistan, Italy, Iraq, Bahrain, etc.

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Brief History of the US Military

The political, economic and institutional issues of America’s history, also portrays the history of the American military. The recurring themes of the history of the US military are very wide and complicated. This is as a result of the philosophy of the military institutions, commitment to the civilian control, the dual force of professionals and citizen- soldiers. In the year 2007, the Department of Defense, “the military” as it was regarded generally comprises of the Air force, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard and the Army. The president of the United States is regarded as the Commander-In-Chief and has the right to control the National Guard units or the individual state militia. The world’s military power is presently held by America, even though the power was not initially with them.

In 1775, the Army of the United States was formed. This has led the US Army to be one of the prominent land defense team in the armed forces of the United States. Their major occupation is to defend and protect the military occupation and fight land battles.  In the United States, the Corps of Engineers controlled the river side. In order to defeat the British Army, the Continental Army had to be formed. This helped the need for well-experienced soldiers in the revolution of America. In 1940, during the peacetime, the number in the Army decreased. The Air force gained their independence from the Army Air forces in 1947. In 1947, the US Army ceased to be under the control of the war department and the Department of Defense. Credit is given to the US Army for engaging in these various battles: The War of 1812 (1812-15), American Civil War (1861-65), Spanish-American War (1898), World War I (1917-18), World War II (1941-45), Korean War (1950-53) and Vietnam War (1965-71).

In 1991, the cold war came to a halt. They were involved in the Gulf war of 1991, the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq. The US Army also concentrated on Western Asia at that time.

The National Army was founded with a united effort in 1917 to combat the World War1. This effort came from the United States War Department. The army of the United States took over from the National Army in World War II. The cold war began during the end of the World War II, which brought about the opposing discord. Due to the Korean War, the defense of the Western Europe was under threat, therefore NATO was formed. Korea and Vietnam, who were the communist forces of the Americans and their allies, were attacked by them during the cold war. There was a change in the reorganization structure in the 1980s. Also, there was the emphasis on technology and training by the American Army. The Cold War marked its ending in the year 1989.

The United States Army decided to reduce their staff.  The US and NATO forces reacted against the war of terror that occurred in the September 11 attacks. As a result of this, they intruded against the Afghanistan in the year 2001 and overthrew the government of the Taliban. The United States Army was major contributors in the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies.