These 21 American Forces Network commercials are entertaining for all the wrong reasons

The American Forces Network (AFN) is the brand name used by the U.S. Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS). It’s a worldwide network designed to be entertaining and informational for U.S. troops and their families while deployed or stationed overseas (aka OCONUS), or for Navy ships at sea. Broadcasting from Fort George G. Meade in Maryland, the network shows American programming from all major U.S. networks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VbxpyxrQI4

Since AFN is a nonprofit enterprise owned by the U.S. government, it does not and cannot air commercials during its programs, to avoid the image of endorsement by or sponsorship of the Department of Defense. In their place, AFN runs public service announcements from the Ad Council, charities, and — most interestingly — informational spots created by military members working in AFRTS. These spots can be “command information” or address a number of issues facing military members and their families. They vary in production value and efficacy and can be unintentionally ridiculous… few are as entertaining as AFN Afghanistan’s Bagram Batman.

1. Recycle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpOb_qSggGE

Always be yourself, even on Okinawa.

2. Maintain Operations Security

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHwz5Ebfz2Q

“Cats cannot be trusted.” – OPSEC Officer Squeakers

3. Don’t be an a-hole in Europe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDV3BGRKmyc

Because Europeans never talk smack about sporting events or play loud music.

4. Shop at the Commissary!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moKegRqHtAs

This is really an avant-garde art film.

5. Prevent theft by slapping your friends around

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=284PNO8Zy6I

It’s always a good idea to slap people at the base gym locker room.

6. Don’t forget your CAC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC4yBMCKWww

7. Don’t just give anyone general power of attorney

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mghxZzWVO7A

This entire PSA is an excuse for a pun.

8. Your new foreign-born wife will probably need a passport

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bNrrQ7xhyQ

Worst. Proposal. Ever.

8. What to know about legal residency, presented by Cowboys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Vr9XfBHaOw

No PSA is more memorable than one about legal residency.

9. Creepy strangers can overhear your travel plans

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mML_RQE4q5E

Cargo shorts, flip-flops, and wraparound sunglasses complete the creeper uniform.

10. The perfect neighbor doesn’t exist

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXsGW9IWj9w

If you want the perfect neighbor, build one from leftover body parts.

11. Having a baby is the end of the world

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2X3Le2uWIg

“Who wants to pay child support in high school?” WHO WANTS TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT EVER?

12. Get to know your skin sores

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdB-fPRVVew

Listening to this gave me ear cancer.

13. This guy needs a shower

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txXBYF6Hlj0

No concern about the invisible voice in your bathroom?

14. Don’t be an a-hole in Europe, part II

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33Q-eTJWt_I

“You’ve brought great joy to this old Italian stereotype.”

15. Don’t be an a-hole in your dorm room

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhxldRsF7y4

Who is the real a-hole in this PSA?

16. This guy needs a time management PSA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=883Uz_qHFtI

Maybe don’t wait until right before formation to run by the post office.

17. An identity crisis can hit you at any time

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngUU6Tz_9RQ

Does Stars and Stripes have a self-help section?

18. Eating lunch alone leads to disaster

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IYq-bOQoH4

Where the hell is this lunchroom anyway?

19. “Something about jurisdiction”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYUJCReFAKU

Call those legal people at the legal place when you have a run-in with the police-y people while doing your boozy stuff.

20. Smokers are Blue Falcons

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owooQzzjDlE

Maybe we should talk about the guy putting out cigarettes on his co-workers’ faces?

21. Bird Flu is comical

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EyZ6z9dTQg

Try sneezing in a Marine’s face. Go on, I’ll wait.

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