The FNG goes to get that thing from one place. Say “sorry, kid, check with Sergeant Smith over there.” Now they have a name to face on Sergeant Smith and hopefully what they do. They keep getting bounced around until the salty supply dude gets fed up and scolds the poor kid.
They learned a lesson and enjoyed some face time with the team, and you get a good laugh. That, and they’re far more entertaining than those checklists you get at reception.
#1: Headlight Fluid
Motorpool Monday again. Since most boots can’t figure out how to turn on the headlights on a Humvee, let them know that it’s probably because they’re out of fluid.
#2: Exhaust Samples
While you’re still at the Motorpool, tell them that in order for dispatch to truly know how well the vehicle is running, they need an exhaust sample.
#3: Chem-light batteries
Chances are the rookie has little understanding of chemiluminescence and probably won’t pull “but it’s a chemical reaction caused by the mixing of two solutions being exposed together.”
If they do, they should probably get a pass until lunch.
#4: Box of Grid Squares
You’re about to go to the Land Navigation field and you are in “some serious need” for some grid squares.
I mean, technically, they could just give you a paper map and they wouldn’t be wrong.
#5: Prop/Rotor Wash
Didn’t think Aviation would get a pass on the 242nd Annual F*ck-F*ck Games, did you?
For the uninformed, Prop/Rotor Wash is back draft of air that the aircraft generates to create lift. It’s also the worst part about Air Assault FRIES jumps.
#6: Flight Line
New kid not leaving you alone while you maintain a multi-million dollar piece of equipment? Tell them you have to connect some flight line to the whatever. And while they’re at it, tell them to grab the left-handed monkey wrench.
#7: Pad Eye Remover
For obvious reasons, it’s best to remove the chains from the aircraft and not the ship. But the FNG doesn’t get obvious.
#8: The switch to lower the mast
Oh no! The ship is about to go underneath a bridge that other ships have gone under thousands of times over! Looks like it’s time to lower the mast!
Civilians are getting all worked up about the military having a huge parade in Washington. Meanwhile, on the green side, we’re getting worried about having to set up our dress uniforms in time and hoping Private Carl in the back won’t lock his knees in the middle of the whole thing.
If it’s set for Nov. 11, the 100th anniversary of the signing of the WWI Armistice, the Army might even have their new Pinks and Greens by then. That’ll show the rest of the world!
Anyways, here’re some funny memes.
13. It’s just so… beautiful.
12. Well, if we can manage to keep them longer than an enlistment…
11. Kept my head on a swivel and still never found that damn ball.
Marines carry a lot of gear while on a combat deployment: body armor, weapons, and communication equipment — just to name a few.
With all that weight tallying up quickly and a lack of storage space to contain it all, Marines have to be picky about what they’re willing to haul around on those long missions.
At times, they’ll even negotiate with one another who carries what, but check out this list of what Marines have no problem taking with them regardless of how much it weights.
1. Energy drinks
Although water is the healthier choice — there’s nothing like a delicious energy drink to make that 12-hour mission seem more enjoyable and speed up time.
2. Extra ammo
“I have too many bullets to shoot, Sergeant,” said no Marine ever.
Ammo is heavy, but the look on a grunt’s face when he’s unloading a full magazine at the ISIS: priceless.
Even if you didn’t indulge in tobacco products stateside, you’re probably going to light up a cigarette or pack your lip full of dip while on an extended patrol.
4. Things that make other things go boom
The weight of a few Claymores, grenades, and mortars can add up if you’re carrying a few extras in your mole pouches, but one thing Marines love and are proud of is their outstanding ability to blow sh*t up.
To that, we tip our hats.
5. Crystal lite packets
Because drinking water can get boring — really boring. Although it’s a healthier option than number #1.
6. Pogey bait
Many have never heard of this term.
Pogey bait is an assortment of cakes, candies, and nonmilitary foods.
7. Digital camera
Because recording those special little moments of bombing the hell out of ISIS are unique ones.
8. Baby wipes
You never know when you have to take a G.I. shower…or a field dump.
Just in case your 2nd Lieutenant can’t get you to the second checkpoint.
Remember when Somali pirates made headlines for seizing an oil tanker? That batch of Somali pirates was pretty smart. Others have managed to be very dumb. How dumb were they? Well, some pirates tried to hijack a pair of U.S. Navy warships.
According to a United States Navy release, on March 18, 2006, the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) were patrolling off the coast of Somalia as part of Task Force 150 to deter piracy. During their patrol, they were approached by a vessel towing a number of skiffs.
A boarding party from the Gonzalez was sent to investigate, but noticed a number of people were brandishing rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
The pirates on board the skiffs then opened fire on the Cape St. George, inflicting minor damage.
The Cape St. George and the Gonzalez, as well as the boarding party, proceeded to return fire, using what a contemporary CNN.com report described as “small arms.” The main pirate vessel was set afire and sank. Two smaller skiffs were captured, along with 12 pirates and one body. A Somali pirate group would claim that 27 “coast guardsmen” had been sent out.
The Virginian-Pilot reported that the wounded were first taken to the amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4) for treatment. The pirates who survived this near-catastrophic failure in their victim-selection process were eventually released and repatriated back to Somalia.
Four years later, the guided-missile frigate USS Nicholas (FFG 47) also came under attack, according to a CBS News report. The BBC reported that five captured pirates were given life sentences for piracy.
Hollywood war movies are usually comprised of strong and versatile trope elements like the wise seasoned soldier, the good decision makers, and the flawed protagonist who needs a solid character arch before the credits roll.
There’s also the cast of characters that are considered the weaker links, or they’re just so naïve audiences sigh with relief when they die off.
So here’s our list of newbie boots we wouldn’t want taking point on patrol with us.
1. Conrad Vig (“3 Kings”)
He’s the funny, goofy guy who also talks too much and no one takes him seriously until you get annoyed by his presence.
Great movie, but bad karate kick. (Image via Giphy)
2. Corporal Upham (“Saving Private Ryan”)
He stops himself from saving a fellow brother because his fear got the best of him, but to add insult to injury, he gave up an easy kill shot and let the German soldier off the hook. Unacceptable!
Unfreaking believable. You had him, Upham! (Image via Giphy)
3. Gardner (“Platoon”)
We knew this over-weight character was going to perish sooner rather than later — no way his stature meets physical regs. No squad wants the guy who can’t hold his own weight — literally — on their team.
The thing veterans miss most about deployment life is the camaraderie. Your brothers- and sisters-in-arms become as much a family as those related by blood. While every troops’ mission is different, ranging from the operator-AF SpecOps guy to the admin clerk who’s doing their part, there will always be beautiful moments of shared downtime where everyone just chats.
These idle hangouts happen most often in the smoke pit — even if a troop doesn’t smoke — because it’s where everyone relaxes.
There’s only so much you can talk about with your buddies. Quickly, you’ll learn where they’re from, what they’re like, and if they prefer blondes, brunettes, or redheads. Basic questions like this might sound lame, but they can actually tell you a lot about a person — and take your mind off war.
These are the ones that always seem to be brought up in the smoke pit (we apologize to our mothers):
5. What are your plans after you get out?
The answers vary depending on how far along you are in your deployment. They start out reasonable: “Oh, I’m thinking about going to work at my dad’s butcher shop.” Eventually, however, they turn into: “I’m going to start a band that will rival Five Finger Death Punch!”
The bands never work out. And for some reason, it’s never the guy who brings a guitar (and knows how to play it) who comes up with the idea.
4. Who’s your favorite pop star to sing along to?
Even the most macho gym rat gets in on this conversation — and you get some weird results. Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, or Amy Winehouse are the usual go-to choices, but every now and then a Justin Bieber gets thrown in there by a brave soul.
Funny enough, you can actually find out more about your comrade if they’re cornered into picking just one. If they deny having one, they’re lying. If they complain, “Why just one?” you really get to mock them.
3. Marry, f*ck, kill.
For this game, you pick three celebrities and decide which one you would wed, bed, and want dead.
For some reason, troops will never pick challenging choices, like “Emma Watson, Emma Stone, or Emma Roberts” or “Chris Pratt, Chris Hemsworth, or Chris Evans.” It’ll always be obvious choices that kill the game immediately.
2. Would you rather ___ or ___?
This one also takes a turn for the weird the further into the deployment you are. Someone comes up with an unrealistic scenario and you pick between two unpleasant things (or two awesome things).
They usually start out as basic as “no internet or no sex” and eventually become, “would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or one hundred duck-sized horses?”
I mean, the duck-sized horses seem like the easy option because you could just kick them aside, but they can definitely over-run you. (Image via Digital Trends)
1. “Not even for $1M?”
In this hypothetical situation, a troop is offered an absurd amount of money to perform certain “acts.” This can get very inventive and it is always deranged, but people will really commit some emotions to their answers.
It’s completely hypothetical, of course — the logistics alone wouldn’t make much sense, but it’s entertaining to make your friend squirm.
The fighter squadron has long been a staple of the military in the real world – as well as in fiction. When you think “Star Wars,” you think Red Squadron making the trench run. “Robotech” had Skull Squadron. “Baa Baa Black Sheep” had a very fictionalized version of VMF-214, the “Black Sheep.”
There are real squadrons with legendary track records as well. VMF-211 is the famous “Wake Island Avengers,” there are the “Jolly Rogers” from the U.S. Navy, as well as the “Black Aces” of VF-41. The Air Force has the 555th Fighter Squadron (the “Triple Nickel”), as well as the “Juvats” from the 80th Fighter Squadron.
Fighter squadrons can have anywhere from 12 to 24 planes. In this case, we will go with four flights of four planes each. We’ll also add the CO, XO, and Ops Officer slots as well in what we will call All-Star Squadron.
Commanding Officer – Greg “Pappy” Boyington from “Baa Baa Black Sheep”
The real Pappy Boyington was the top Marine Corps ace – and he had a good run as the commander of VMF-214. The fictionalized version played by Robert Conrad was a superb tactician – cooking up a version of “Operation Bolo” in the pilot of the series, then pulling off several other operations. Also, his experience riding herd on the motley crew of VMF-214 will help with this unit as well.
Executive Officer – Wilma Deering from “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”
A good pilot in her own right, Wilma also can backstop Boyington’s weaknesses. Notably the paperwork and all the other mundane details that Boyington either got bored with, or may be too hung over to deal with.
Operations Officer – Chappy Sinclair from “Iron Eagle”
Chappy Sinclair is here as a superb operational planner. In all four “Iron Eagle” movies, he is a mover and shaker — often able to accomplish missions despite long odds and being outnumbered and outgunned. Who else could you pick as the Ops O?
All-Star One-One – Jeffrey Sinclair from “Babylon 5”
With a long family tradition of fighter pilots, Sinclair was no slouch himself, being one of the few survivors from the Battle of the Line. However, in more even fights, he held his own.
All-Star One-Two – Luke Skywalker from “Star Wars”
This farm kid has been lucky and has a few kills, but he is clearly a raw talent who could learn from being on the wing of a more experienced fighter pilot. This kid will get his own squadron – someday.
All-Star One-Three – David Campbell from “The Longest Day”
One of “The Few” who had fought off the Nazis in the Battle of Britain, he can be an excellent element lead. Tends to be up for a sortie – unless he’s drinking a beer.
All Star One-Four – Christopher Blair from “Wing Commander”
He is fresh out of flight training but clearly has some natural ability. Like Skywalker, he is best suited as a wingman for now, but has the ability to rise through the ranks.
All-Star Two-One – Roy Fokker from “Robotech”
He has seen a lot of combat, and has been a father figure to younger pilots. Given his extensive combat experience, he can lead a flight, no problem.
All-Star Two-Two – Lieutenant Starbuck from the original “Battlestar Galactica”
A sharp pilot who can sometimes get himself in too deep (he’s crashed his fighter a number of times), Starbuck is not quite yet flight or element lead material.
All-Star Two-Three – Wedge Antilles from “Star Wars”
This guy has plenty of experience, and he has managed to survive two Death Star runs. That said, his units have taken heavy casualties in the past. Good enough to command an element, but flight lead may be a stretch for now.
All-Star Two-Four – Doug Masters from “Iron Eagle”
Another natural stick with a high kill count. Still, there is a distinct need for more seasoning. Though Masters does seem to enjoy playing tunes while flying.
All-Star Three-One – Tyrus Cassius McQueen from “Space: Above and Beyond”
He’s taken on an enemy ace and lived, plus he has a track record of being a mentor to younger pilots. McQueen’ll be able to handle the other pilots in this flight.
All-Star Three-Two – Steven Hiller from “Independence Day”
He’s a good pilot – scoring a maneuver kill against an enemy that had a means to neutralize other weapons. Then he readily adapted to flying an alien craft. While he may get his own squadron some day, right now, he needs someone more experienced to get him to settle down and get over his obsession with the Fat Lady.
All-Star Three-Three – Cameron Mitchell from “Stargate: SG-1”
He’s had combat experience on Earth and against the Gou’ald, as well as some small-unit leadership experience. Mitchell also received the Medal of Honor for heroism.
All-Star Three-Four – Pete Mitchell from “Top Gun”
No relation to Cameron Mitchell, Pete is a very good pilot with three kills in one engagement over the Indian Ocean. That said, some view his unorthodox style as “dangerous,” and he has made high-speed passes on various towers.
All-Star Four-One – Brad Little from “Fire Birds”
Okay, he mostly flew rotary-wing aircraft, but he has extensive experience as an instructor, and did score a kill on a fighter with an Apache.
All-Star Four-Two – Harmon Rabb, Jr. from “JAG”
Rabb’s shown some skill, but had a lengthy layoff due to his assignment to the Judge Advocate General corps for an extended period. He’ll catch on quick, but let’s season him under Little.
All-Star Four-Three – Blaine Rawlings from “Flyboys”
The combat experience Rawlings has is substantial, and he did down a pair of German aces. He was also awarded the Croix de Guerre for a daring rescue.
All-Star Four-Four – Tom Kazanski from “Top Gun”
The man flies by the book, and has very rarely made a mistake (over the Indian Ocean, he got target-fixated and a MiG-28 damaged his bird). We figure he’s best suited to flying as someone’s wingman until he can loosen up a little.
Who do you think we should add? Let us know in the comments below.
Take your pick: Gundam, Pacific Rim, Godzilla, RoboCop, MechWarrior, whatever. When it comes to giant robots in pop culture, they’re almost always in the hands of the military, sent to fight against some equally giant threat.
In film and television, it makes for a great, over-the-top action sequence. In reality, if troops were given a giant robot to battle, they wouldn’t be focused on the awesomeness our childhood selves imagined, but rather on all the annoying chores associated with a real, giant, fighting robot.
6. Maintenance would be a pain in the ass
Think about how troops handle Motor Pool Mondays today. Kicking a tire, turning it on, and sitting in the A/C doesn’t count as an actual maintenance check of a vehicle.
Imagine if you had to PMCS a vehicle the size of a building. Nobody would check every inch of that robot to make sure it works.
“That’s a 10-level problem.” (Image from Sunrise’s Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team)
5. The rules of engagement on deploying one
Whenever anything is deployed into a combat scenario, risk assessment forms are done out the ass just to make sure that using a certain piece of equipment is worth the risk it poses to its surroundings. This is why the big guns of the Apache’s Hellfire missiles aren’t tossed around like candy.
Now, take that risk and multiply it by every step the robot takes, every laser that it shoots, and every time it punches a giant monster into a building.
4. You probably wouldn’t be the pilot
If you consider how many people share the dream of being a pilot in the real world versus how many pilots there actually are, you’ll understand your chances are slim.
In fiction, it always seems like a young and spunky kid is given the reins on a multi-billion dollar fighting robot and everything works out. If the military hardly trusts its troops with something that costs a few thousand dollars, good luck getting behind the reins of a 10-figure fighting machine.
3. If you WERE the pilot, you’d be uncomfortable as hell
Go ahead and ask a tanker, pilot, or literally anyone who spends their career operating heavy military vehicles if they were physically comfortable in their vehicle. Unless they’re a fighter pilot with seats designed to withstand the G-Force, they’ll laugh at you for asking such a ridiculous question.
Every last dime would go into giving it the ability to dispense more firepower and take more hits. Uncle Sam doesn’t care if your legs get a little bit sleepy.
2. All of the safety classes…
Still enthused on the giant robot idea? Well, consider that the military would likely make a million and one different classes on the importance of proper robot safety. You’ll zone out and start hating the robot the well before you’re through with half of the forty required robot safety courses.
1. It’d just suck in battle
And then cold, hard reality sinks in. Giant fighting robots just aren’t that effective in battle.
If they’re designed to walk on two legs, it could trip easily because of how top heavy it is. If it had hands, the controls to match the precise movements of a human hand would be mindblowing. If it was as massive as a building, it would be such an easy target. If it was piloted by a human, the human better hope the metal casing is sophisticated enough to him or her.
If you manage to do mental gymnastics to justify a giant robot in the face of all these issues, congratulations! You’re basically describing a modern day tank — and that already exists.
Spending the better part of a year on a deployment 3,000 miles away from home is hard for anyone and can feel like an eternity.
On the ride home, many vets think about the first thing they’re going to do when they return, like biting into a perfectly-grilled cheeseburger, getting a good night’s sleep in their own bed or taking a long hot shower.
Aside from those iconic ones, here are a few things you could do to welcome back your spouse and make his or her homecoming a glorious affair.
1. Bring unexpected family members
Consider bringing man’s best friend along — the one who walks on four legs and thinks his returning buddy is king. There’s nothing better than the welcoming face of a faithful pup after a long time apart. Returning home is an emotional time for everybody, so why not bring everyone?
2. Bring tobacco
Puffing a fresh cigarette or packing your lip with a fresh pinch of dip can make a world of difference for someone who spent that last 13 hours on a plane and is itching for a hit of nicotine.
Sure, this isn’t the healthiest gift. But it could make your loved one do a celebration dance when they’re packing a freshie.
3. Bring a cold beer (or beers)
General Order #1A prohibits service members from drinking alcohol while deployed — and it’s rarely lifted.
It’s a known fact when you want something bad and can’t have it, you want it even more. Heineken, Corona, or PBR are just some of the popular choices sold at the local base PX.
Letting your spouse toast a few with his or her buddies for a job well done is a great and inexpensive way to close out a stressful deployment.
4. Have an escape plan checklist
Unfortunately, it’s not always a situation where your loved one can just walk off the plane and go straight home — there’s always a list of “to-dos” before he can pull chocks. So make sure your spouse has a get-home-quick plan so those logistics hurdles don’t get in the way of a quick trip to the casa.
Find the family, hug it out and take a quick photo.
Mark your seabag and other baggage so the kids can spot and retrieve it while you drop off your weapon at the armory.
Meet at the car and load up.
Find the nearest exit gate with the least outgoing traffic.
5. Have a clean house
Being cramped into a small bunk on a ship or sleeping on a narrow cot in a dusty tent takes its toll. Entering a cleaned up and tidy house — even a modest one — can feel like you just walked into a newly designed multi-million dollar mansion.
6. Make a home-cooked meal
Some military installations have better chow halls than others. And a lot of deployed personnel had to make due with eating MREs or C-rations three times a day, which are tough to stomach over a long deployment.
So there’s nothing like sitting down at the table with your family over a perfectly cooked steak with all the fixings.
7. Bring a change of clothes
After months of doing laundry in a bucket, having some fresh clean clothes that don’t have a last name stitched above the pocket is a step in the right direction when trying to return to normal.
Alcohol and parties are commonplace in the military. Only troops can throw a raging party on a Thursday that destroys the barracks, instigate a platoon versus platoon fist fight, and involve the Colonel’s hot 22-year-old daughter all while avoiding MPs being called and everyone making it to the 12-mile ruck in the morning. When those same troops get out and use their GI Bill, not a single one of them will be impressed when a classmate says, “Dude! This party is gonna be just like the film, Project X!”
Spoiler alert: It won’t. Not until a college kid rips down a door just to use it as a beer pong table will it even come close. Only a veteran with a DD-214 still warm from the printer can get that party going.
Here are 7 ways barracks parties get you ready for college life.
7. You can actually get the party started!
Veteran students are often seen as the most charismatic bunch. It’s not because we’re the most social people, we just don’t give a damn what people think of us.
This can lead others to follow us — especially to parties. Veterans won’t ever let those college kids down.
6. You can entertain everyone, from every walk of life
Part of military life is meeting everyone from every corner of the country (in some cases, the world) and getting them drunk. If you want to see a beautiful photo of every race, ethnicity, religion, gender, economic status, and overall place in life, just check out the barracks on any given payday weekend. They’ll all be wasted and probably a few will have their shirts off.
College campuses usually have that same makeup, but veterans can bridge that gap… with copious amounts of alcohol.
Well, Wayne Gretzky did say, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” (Image via GIPHY)
5. You’ll actually know how to talk to the person you’re interested in
On or around military installations, to put it frankly, there aren’t that many beautiful women. If there is one, troops will literally fight each other for the chance to talk to her.
Take that same veteran, who needed to perfect the art of talking to the other sex, give them a strong personality and a good looking body, and let them loose.
We don’t even need to use BAH as a pick-up line anymore! (Image via GIPHY)
4. You’ll know how to hold your liquor
It takes a lot to get troops drunk. The general rule of thumb is to bring as much as you plan on drinking and then some extra. This results in troops coming to parties with bottles upons bottle of booze. All that, and they’ll still probably be just at the upper limit of tipsy or at least can pretend well enough that they aren’t sh*tfaced.
Don’t be surprised when a veteran downs an entire bottle of whiskey, straight, no chaser, and then asks who’s down for shots.
Civilians think they can drink. That’s cute. (Image via GIPHY)
3. You’ll know how to babysit
Troops always look after one another at barracks parties. We needed to make sure that no one got in trouble and that no one chokes on their own puke. When a situation arises, troops can snap back to sobriety well enough to handle it.
Being the only ones who can hold their liquor also means they’ll be sober enough to deal with everyone else’s problems when they’re drunk. And it’s never a fun problem like, “we need to hide the colonel’s hot 22-year old daughter! Dad’s on his way!” It’s always boring, civilian problems.
Vets will always carry you home. Mostly to flex for the ladies. (Image via GIPHY)
2. You’ll know how to make the next one even bigger
Troops have astounding drunken memory. They probably couldn’t tell you why they did what they did, but they can remember doing it.
Veterans will take mental notes as if they were a staff officer. They’ll check off what alcohol people actually drank, which music worked best, and who to invite (and not invite) next time.
A vet probably wouldn’t be joking though… (Image via GIPHY)
1. You can still make it to class the next day
Hangovers still exist. That’s just the way it is when you start adding more birthdays to your life. Troops just keep their mouths shut about it because they know they probably shouldn’t have drank an entire handle the night before an 0530 PT test.
When the only stressor is being able to make it to a 9 a.m. class to listen to a math lecture, veterans will probably still make it there fifteen minutes early.