6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas - We Are The Mighty
Humor

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

One of the highlights of any military career is getting sent overseas to a new duty station. It’s a fantastic way for troops to engage a foreign culture, take in the sights, and work one-on-one with our great nation’s allies.


The thing is, no matter how many AFN commercials tell us to blend in with the host nation, Americans will always be Americans. There isn’t a damn thing wrong with that — but, sometimes, we overdo it.

1. Dressing casually

Troops will always dress like they did when they were back home. Even if a cloudy day on some tropical paradise is a bit too chilly for the locals, American troops from the northern states will still be out there drinking in jeans and a t-shirt.

American brand-name clothes are pricey overseas. So, if you see a local wearing blue jeans, they’re probably knock-offs. The nice pair of Levi’s troops picked up at Wal-Mart would cost an arm and a leg in Europe or Asia.

 

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
You can try to fit in all you like, but your buzz cut or high-fade will give you away. (Photo by Pfc. Levi Schultz)

 

2. Speaking English overseas… loudly

Americans have a leg up on much of the world since, in many countries, it’s customary to learn English as a second language. This is especially true for the younger generations. Because of this, there’s much less of a drive to learn a local language fluently; troops usually just hope the locals speak English.

If someone takes the time to learn the local language outside of a handful of useful sayings, kudos. A large majority of troops don’t bother.

 

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

3. Driving instead of taking public transportation

American public transportation isn’t the best in the world. So, many of us rely on driving everywhere we need to go. When Americans are stationed overseas, they often take their car with them instead of relying on local railways or bus systems.

It’s a convenience most Americans grew accustomed to that they’re not willing to give up, even if most things are within walking distance. A troop will either bring their own vehicle or buy one off of a service member rotating back to the States.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
And there are always vehicles in the resale lot. They’re pieces of junk…but they’re there. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Larissa Greatwood)

4. Flirting with confidence

American troops often talk to locals in nightclubs like they’re expecting a response of, “oh, you’re an American? How exotic!

Maybe the person they’re interested in likes the cocky American persona. Maybe they’re into shy bookworms they meet at coffee shops. Whatever the case, American troops will always confidently try to figure it out.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

5. Only taking in American pop culture

Every country around the world has their own distinct, modern pop culture — their own music, their own cinema, their own arts, etc. They also have American pop culture, which might outshine their own.

You can usually count on locals having seen the latest Marvel movie, heard the Billboard Top 40, and binge-watched everything on Netflix. American troops will probably skip local pop culture. Mostly because it’s probably not in English and subtitles aren’t for everyone.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Expect them to know what Star Wars is. Everyone has seen Star Wars. (Photo by Senior Airman Christopher Muncy)

 

6. Drinking towns overseas dry

There has been only one time in recorded history that a major city has had all of their alcohol stores run completely dry because of everyone drinking (it was Moscow after WWII). But goddamn do troops come close every first and the fifteenth.

Every nation likes to pretend they hold the title of the “world’s heaviest drinkers.” They obviously haven’t seen what it’s like when an entire unit comes back from Iraq or Afghanistan.

 

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
We can clear out an entire bar and still make it to PT the next morning. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Hull)

Humor

4 hilarious tips for pulling the ‘veteran card’ in school

Going to college is a huge step in every veteran’s life after they get out of the military. You just finished serving your country, now you can go to school full time and get it completely paid for – and get paid while you’re doing it.


We earned a pretty epic deal.

But the benefits of being a veteran don’t have to stop there. If you play your cards right, you can flex your “veteran” title and receive some less-than-official bonuses.

Related: Here’s the best time and place to pull the ‘veteran card’

Check out these insightful ways to pull the veteran card in your school – but please use these tips for good and not evil.

1. Getting accepted

Colleges around the country tend to have a strict application process which weed out many student hopefuls. Having the government willing to pay your full tuition is a huge benefit in the school’s eyes — everyone likes to get paid.

It’s a fact.

It’s important that you fill out all the necessary paperwork in a timely order or risk sitting at home for a whole semester.

Please stop clapping like that — its only community college. (Image via Giphy)

2. Receiving extra time for homework and other projects

The majority of colleges have procedures in place for veterans who have “focus issues,” which is great. As long as you let your teachers and the school’s administration know you may have this issue because of your deployments, the more lee way you’re bound to get.

We know you do! (Image via Giphy)

3. Booking classes

Sometimes classes just fill up too quickly, and a veteran can’t register for one of the spots in time — we know it sucks.

Here’s what you do — tell whoever is in charge of booking the classes that you won’t get your monthly VA benefits unless you can get in, followed by the sweetest smile you can muster.

It so freakin’ worked. (Images via Giphy)

Also Read: 7 phrases old school veterans can’t stop saying

4. Missing classes

Sometimes you don’t want to go to school on certain days — you’re just not feeling it.

Here’s what you do if you’re willing to put in a little leg work. After you get in good with the teachers, email them saying you’re stuck at the VA waiting for your appointment.

If they ask for a doctor’s note, you need to show some proof like a dated appointment card for another day. Schools tend to work around the veteran’s schedule because we’ve earned it.

Don’t abuse this perk because if they lose faith in your integrity, you could screw other vets over.

That’s what you get. (Images via Giphy)Can you think of any others? Comment below.

Articles

This is why officers should just stay in the office

Army Sgt. David Logan Nye just wanted to do his job during his first combat deployment.


But that’s not how the military works.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Who needs a metal detector when you have hopes and dreams? (Go90 No Sh*t There I Was Screenshot)

Also read: This is why the military shouldn’t completely outlaw hazing

In this episode of No Sh*t There I Was, Nye sets off on a fools-errand with a bunch of high brass and a very stressed out guy charged with detecting IEDs. When they hear a call on the radio that a potential insurgent is fleeing a checkpoint, they take off running to intercept — leaving the metal detector behind.

“Pass the guy protecting us from IEDs…because there are too many probable IEDs on the ground…?” Nye’s inner monologue reflects that of everyone who has ever had to deal with an overly-enthusiastic boss.

Luckily, the rag-tag group of heroes didn’t encounter any IEDs that day, but they did stumble upon something else much more…groovy? Check out the video at the top to see what it was.

Oh, and to my fellow officers out there, let’s try to get in the way of the experts a little less, shall we?

Watch more No Sh*t There I Was:

Why it sucks to report to the ‘Good Idea Fairy’

A Ranger describes what being a ‘towed jumper’ is actually like

Why you should never run through smoke you didn’t throw

Smooth talking your way through gear turn-in is a stinky proposition

Articles

A Ranger describes what being a ‘towed jumper’ is actually like

Airborne soldiers have some particular fears that most other troops don’t have to worry about. Total malfunctions of the parachute like a “cigarette roll” can cause them to hurtle into the earth at terminal velocity while mid-air entanglements can leave them with broken bones or worse.


One of their most unique fears is that of becoming a “towed jumper,” something that happens when their chute fails to separate from their static line and they are literally towed behind the plane like the pet dog from “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Brian Hanson, a U.S. Army Ranger, bounces against the skin of a C-17 over the skies of Fort Benning, Georgia. (Go90 No Sh*t There I Was screenshot)

(Younger readers should not Google that reference. Instead, just imagine the worst possible version of parasailing.)

For Army Ranger Spc. Brian Hanson, the nightmare became a reality during a training jump under the stars of Fort Benning, Georgia. He and the rest of his company were under strict orders to conduct the perfect nighttime jump, to include not losing any gear.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Brian Hanson, a U.S. Army Ranger, tries to keep his gear together while flapping in the wind like a dog’s jowls. (Go90 No Sh*t There I Was screenshot)

But Hanson’s chute failed to separate and he became a towed jumper.

This left Hanson flying through the night sky as he fervently tried to keep all of his gear as close as possible despite the wind rushing over him while he dangled 1,200 feet above the surface of Benning. Watch the video above to learn how he made peace with these developments as well as the moment when he realized he was truly screwed.

Watch more No Sh*t There I Was:

Why it sucks to report to the ‘Good Idea Fairy’

This is why the military shouldn’t completely outlaw hazing

That time Linda Hamilton asked a Marine to the ball

This is a perfect example of how ridiculous boot camp is

Humor

This is how to avoid the dreaded ‘blanket party’ in basic training

Besides getting physically trained to the bone by a demanding drill instructor, recruits in boot camp have another element that is feared and rarely talked about outside of the military — the “blanket party.”


A blanket party is a form of (mob) discipline that usually takes place in a military barracks setting, typically in an open bay.

The image below for “Full Metal Jacket” is a perfect example of a blanket party.

Soap wrapped in a towel is a common tool to use during a blanket party. (Image via Giphy)We don’t condone taking part in blanket parties, but the idea is to coerce a shitty recruit back on the right track. Usually it brings a massive shitstorm of legal problems — no one wants that.

But before you step into the squad bay for the first time and subject yourself to the collective judgement of the team, here are some things to avoid so you’re never in a blanket party’s sights.

Snitching

Recruits go through some tough times during their stay in basic training and alliances tend to form. Recruits always get in trouble in one way or another.

When a single person reports wrongdoing on a group of people or an individual, they might get payback in the form of a blanket party.

For not being a team player

One of the purposes of boot camp is to learn the power of teamwork. Rarely has a single person ever completed a mission by themselves. So when a recruit doesn’t pull his own weight, that can easily screw over the whole team.

If that person continually screws over everyone, that individual might get some unwanted attention after “Taps” gets played.

Being a consistent f*ck up.

In boot camp, when someone in the squad screws up, everyone gets punished. The drill instructors usually punish the whole squad bay for an individual’s mistake to teach the importance of teamwork.

It takes multiple times before someone earns a party, but after making several mistakes that affect everybody — without a glimpse of positive production — recruits tend to take matters into their own hands.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Remember the epic jelly donut scene? Always lock your foot locker people. (Source: WB)

Also Read: 7 military regs service members violate every day

Being the guy that no one likes

Like we said before, alliances tend to develop in boot camp. Most of the time they form around where your bunks are located. Getting along with others is essential in any industry. In the military, troops have commonly sacrificed their lives to save their brothers. You rarely commit your life to someone you don’t respect.

So in a world where recruits are trained to defend themselves and our country as a team, the guy that can’t make friends tends to suffer.

Again, we can’t stress this enough, We Are The Mighty absolutely does not condone blanket parties…but in the past they have sometimes been a huge “wake-up call” for someone on the receiving end.

Humor

The 6 most OFP jobs in the military

For the uninitiated, OFP is a military initialism that means, “own f*cking program.” The term is commonly used by one service member in reference to another that seems to be immune from formations, uniform inspections, working parties, and the general tomf*ckery that goes along with being a part of the world’s most elite fighting forces.


This is not to say these individuals do not work hard or are not important to the fight. In fact, in most situations, the reason they are OFP is because of the vital tasks they perform — sometimes at odd hours.

Let’s explore the duties and responsibilities of the individuals the military allows to be on their own f*cking program.

Related: The origin of the ‘best’ rank in the Marines (Lance Corporal)

6. Military Working Dog Handler – all services

Military Working Dog handlers are responsible for the care and training of his or her service dog, which contributes to combat operations abroad and installation security at home by providing targeted odor detection (explosive/drug).

Service dogs, generally seen as a non-lethal option for neutralizing a threat, also serve as a psychological deterrent during law enforcement operations.

In other words, these badasses are expected to play with their dogs — it’s their job and no one can tell them not to.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

5. Ammunition Technicians – all services (various titles)

Ammo techs do everything that needs to be done regarding ammunition, including receipt, storage, issue, and handling of ammunition and toxic chemicals.

They often spend hours driving around to various ranges ensuring compliance with standards regarding ammo. They often have their own office and a parking spot at the S-shops — all as an E-4.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

4. Enlisted Aide for Generals/Admirals – all services

Speaking of OFP, enlisted aides are responsible for… well, I’ll let the official enlisted aide guidebook do the talking:

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

The good news is your only boss is a general and he/she is usually very busy.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Serving more than the country. (Photo by Tony Lopez)

3. CBRN Defense Specialist – all services (various titles)

These are the sadists adorned in gas masks and HAZMAT suits, making their military brothers and sisters cry with CS gas (commonly called “tear gas” by Eagles fans).

They are tasked with monitoring, detecting, training for, and advising anything that has to do with Chemical, Biological, Radiological, or Nuclear threats.

CBRN personnel are often ridiculed for their abundant “spare time.”

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Yes, YES! It’s perfect! (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Brendan King)

2. Religious Program Specialist/Chaplain Assistant (“Chap-Ass”) – all services except the Marines

These motivators are tasked with supporting chaplains in any area that does not require ordination or pastoral counseling.

The title explains most of the job, however, these guys have one boss and he or she is generally the most understanding, kind, and generally happy person in uniform.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Let us pray. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Specialist Sabrina Fine)

Also Read: 7 things you didn’t know about the Marine Jungle Warfare Training Center

1. Marine Corps Infantry Weapons Specialist – aka “GUNNER”

A “Marine Gunner” is qualified to train Marines on the proper employment of all weapons systems organic to the infantry.  That includes, but is not limited to, pistols, rifles, machine-guns, rockets, mortars, missiles, explosives, and their associated accessories.

To qualify for selection as a “Marine Gunner,” you must be a Gunnery Sergeant with 16 years active duty in the infantry and have served as an Infantry Platoon Sergeant. Upon selection, Marines are promoted to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 2, but a “Marine Gunner” is always referred to as “Gunner,” never CWO.

There are about 102 Gunners total in the Corps.

After a tour with an infantry battalion, they move on to billets as regimental and divisional Gunners, range OICs, and various other positions where Gunners continue to teach infantry skills to Marines.

And nobody… nobody, tells a Gunner to do sh*t.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
The Legendary Gunner Wade. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alan Adison)

Humor

5 things boot Marines buy with their first paycheck

Basic Training is done, you’ve gotten back from leave where you showcased your fancy new uniforms, an emaciated body, and that wicked farmer’s tan. Now, you’re checking in to SOI/ITB and have, for the first time in your life, money in the bank.


What is a young devil dog to do? Invest in a diversified stock portfolio and get a healthy head-start on a lifetime of financial security?

No, no!

Spend those liquid assets fast, before they can multiply. One may visit either coast’s Infantry Training Battalion and witness the shockingly consistent fruits of boot labor.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

Related: 8 reasons Marines hate on the Army

5. The Day Pack

If the Marine Corps wanted you to have one, they would’ve issued it to you — and they did.

So, buy another one and everyone at the Oceanside movie theater will assume you’re a Marine. Besides, how else will you carry all those items you and your mandatory-for-off-base-liberty battle buddy need to see movies and buy ice cream?

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
(Photo from Soldier Systems)

4. Motivational Water Bottle

Listen, sergeant said that hydration is continuous and dammit, that’s exactly what you are gonna do after purchasing this sweet Nalgene.

Every available square inch of its surface area needs to saturated with pure motivation, complete with a tagline. Both “Mess with the best, die like the rest” and “No better friend, no worse enemy” are acceptable entries. Just be sure to get the twenty-ounce bottle — the thirty-two doesn’t fit into your day pack’s designated bottle holster.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
(Image via Marine Shop)

3. Challenge Coins

You’ve managed to get “out in town” safely, stayed hydrated, and then you see a local bar, “Goody’s.” There are only Marine patrons angrily lined up to swallow that sweet nectar.

How are you going to break the ice with some of these long-time warriors? If only there was a physical manifestation of all the military trials you’ve experienced. Something you could hand to another leatherneck to create an instant connection and maybe even cause him to buy you a drink. Good news, your mother bought you just the thing in the MCRD San Diego gift shop.

Slam it on the table, big boy. This is your moment.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Got to get em all!

2. Motivational Graffiti Tee

Okay, so no one bought you a drink, but at least everyone in the bar laughed with you until you left. Those guys really appreciated your presence, but none of the ladies out here are showing you much attention.

They must not know you are a Marine, despite the pack, bottle, and sweet high and tight. How can you simultaneously be humble, but still let everyone know you’re an American badass, all while enjoying style and comfort?

The PX has all your dreams hanging on the rack next to the PT gear, now pull out that Pacific Marine card and make it rain Teufel Hunden.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

Also Read: 5 ways Marines are like ancient Spartans

1. Oakley Sunglasses

It’s sunny and sergeant has already given a class on eye pro, so what’s the problem? The ones they issued you aren’t what Hoot wore in Black Hawk Down. He had Oakleys on and so will you, but not just any pair will do. There is a military-only edition at the MCX on “main side;” accept no substitutes.

Now that you are the epitome of awesomeness and everyone knows you’re directly providing them with freedom and security, you can finally rest in your squad bay. Order some Domino’s pizza, gather around that one guy who bought a laptop, and enjoy Starship Troopers for the thirteenth time.

You earned it, Marine!

Did we leave anything out? Have you noticed a trend among young Marines? Let me know in the comments below.

Humor

That time JFK promised to save Santa from the Soviets

A young girl in Marine City, Mich. overheard her parents talking about Soviet aggression in the Arctic. She didn’t entirely understand what they were talking about, but her parents saying the Russians might test nuclear bombs at the North Pole was cause for concern.


What could she do, except warn the President of the United States?

It was 1961, the height of the Cold War. The very next year would prove to be the biggest test of then-President John F. Kennedy’s mettle against his Soviet adversaries — the Cuban Missile Crisis, but that was months away.

At that moment, however, 8-year-old Michelle Rochon was worried about Santa Claus and his workshop. And she wanted to make certain President Kennedy would do something about the Soviet aggression toward the world’s jolliest elf.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Even if he had to go handle it personally.

“I knew nuclear bombs were bad. And if they were testing them at the North Pole, what was Santa going to do?” said Michelle in a phone interview with CBC News. “I just automatically thought I have to write [the President] and maybe he can do something about it.”

Her letter read:

Dear Mr. Kennedy,

 

Please stop the Russians from bombing the North Pole because they will kill Santa Claus.

I am 8 years old. I am in the third grade at Holy Cross School.

 

Yours truly,

Michelle Rochon.

She put the letter in the mailbox, addressed only to “President Kennedy, Washington, D.C.”

To her surprise, the President not only received the letter, but published a photo of him reading it. Her letter became nationwide news. And then, a few weeks later, a letter on White House stationery came in the mail for young Michelle.

(JFK Library | YouTube)

In case you don’t want to watch the video, this was the President’s reply:

Dear Michelle,

 

I was glad to get your letter about trying to stop the Russians from bombing the North Pole and risking the life of Santa Claus.

I share your concern about the atmospheric testing of the Soviet Union, not only for the North Pole but for countries throughout the world; not only for Santa Claus but for people throughout the world.

However, you must not worry about Santa Claus. I talked with him yesterday and he is fine. He will be making his rounds again this Christmas.

 

Sincerely,

John Kennedy

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Getting a reply from the President made her national news again.

Little Michelle was elated.

“All I understood was that he talked to Santa Claus and he was fine and he’d be coming around this Christmas,” she said. “President Kennedy said so. So, everything was good.”

Humor

10 of the funniest ‘Top Gun’ memes ever created

When Tony Scott’s Top Gun landed in cinemas, it was an instant blockbuster, pulling in over $350 million worldwide.


Filled with adrenaline-packed scenes, Top Gun made audience members of all ages want to be the next woman-chasing, hotshot pilot.

Little did everyone know, years down the line, the iconic movie would give rise to some pretty hilarious memes.

Related: 11 memes that will make any infantryman laugh for hours

1. Just when you thought you couldn’t find anyone to go to the bar and pick up chicks with, Maverick saves the day!

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
However, if she turns out to be a flight instructor, you better help him sing her a song.

2. As writers, we just want to entertain our audience the best we can.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Well, we’ll try better on the next meme.

3. When a shirtless game of volleyball gets too real

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Please, no more missiles or guns.

4. “Sky dick” jokes will never get old… at least we hope not.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

Also Read: The 13 funniest military memes for the week of March 16th

5. It’s okay when Maverick does it, but for everyone else, it’s considered a bad thing.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

6. We hope every boring training instructor reads this before heading into a class.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Nope. The powerpoint will still be boring. F*ck… we failed at getting the word out.

7. Top Gun 2 will come out… one day.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Tom Cruise will still want to do his own stunts.

8. See! We told you Sky Dick jokes will never die!

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
It literally won’t ever get old. Our careers at WATM are counting on it.

Don’t Forget: 11 hilarious Marine memes that are freaking spot on

9. Proof Brian Williams was a veteran.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
We were way off!

10. Write this down in case you forget.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Did you write it down? Because we don’t think you did.

Humor

8 reasons why peacetime training is just advanced LARPing

Live-action roleplaying is popular among nerds the world over. But what they don’t realize is that the military hosts their own LARPing events to prepare for war.

While training for real-life combat, it’s important that the military runs simulations that get as close to the real thing as possible. But, when you start to really break it down, it becomes clear that the government is spending tons of money on opportunities for advanced LARPing — as they should be.


6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

Here, we have a group of infantry LARPers attacking an enemy town.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Rachel K. Porter)

You’re just pretending you’re at war

Make no mistake, there’s plenty of purpose behind it but, at the end of the day, your life is in very little real danger. A lot of times, you’re shooting pretend bullets at pretend targets in a pretend country.

Even when you get real bullets, you’re still fighting a made-up military in a made-up country.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

Here, we have a berserker class clearing the way for the warriors.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Rachel K. Porter)

You dress up as your selected class

Whether you chose to be a berserker (machine gunner), a warrior (rifleman), or a mage (mortarman), you get to dress up as your character and carry real equipment.

The bonus here is that the government spends tons of money training you in your selected class.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

You get to fire real rockets!

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Aaron Henson)

You use real weapons

This is actually pretty cool considering that most LARPers don’t get to use real weapons. The government will spend lots of money for you to get a real weapon to use in your roleplay events, like Integrated Training Exercise (ITX). Meanwhile, not every LARPer is into live steel.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

They’re there to create the most authentic of experiences.

(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Hubert D. Delany III)

Real props

You get to ride in helicopters to make the scenarios even more realistic. Sometimes, you’ll even get support from jets and tanks to truly sell an authentic experience.

Okay, so these props might be a tad cooler than getting to drink your own, real-life “health potion” that is probably just Sprite and grenadine…

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

They’re out there to help you… or hurt you.

(U.S Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan A. Soto-Delgado)

Other roleplayers are involved

When you go to ITX, they’ll bring in a bunch of people to act as townspeople and enemies. This makes the experience a lot more authentic, which makes it a lot more interesting and fun.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

You can talk with these NPCs for extra experience.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alexis C. Schneider, 2d MARDIV Combat Camera)

There are non-player characters

The roleplayers that get brought in for the purpose of acting as the townspeople are very interactive NPCs. You’ll go on a patrol through the town and they’ll offer information or things to buy. Be careful, though, some might be working with the enemy!

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

The Coyotes even wear special items to specify they’re game masters.

(Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Levi Schultz)

There’s usually a game master

In a lot of cases, there will be someone acting as the GM, there to make sure people aren’t cheating and everyone dies when they’re supposed to. They might come in the form of your company Gunny (or a Coyote in the case of ITX). They keep things fair and they’ll evaluate your performance after the event is over.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

Here, we have two LARPers from different countries interacting in a dialogue.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Tiffany Edwards)

You get to roleplay with other countries

On a peacetime deployment, you basically go to other countries to train with their military if your unit is trustworthy enough for that responsibility. This means that you travel and meet with other LARPers as you share an event together.

Humor

5 reasons why the AT-AT from Star Wars would be terrible in the real world

The Star Wars franchise is all about placing fantastical elements within in a sci-fi setting. In order to truly enjoy the films, you have to suspend your disbelief a little bit — otherwise it’ll look a lot like cosmic samurai fighting a faceless evil empire across a galaxy filled with people who magically speak the same language and function just fine without a space suit wherever they end up.


Putting a bit more thought into it, the Imperial Stormtroopers seem to get the short end of the stick nearly every single time. With the soon-to-be-released Solo: A Star Wars Story on the horizon, it’s fun to remember why they probably wouldn’t make the most intimidating enemy — especially not with highly-overused AT-AT walkers.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
But they probably sold a lot of toys, so anyu00a0argument against them is void.
(Photo by Tim Moreillon)

To all seven of you out there who haven’t seen Star Wars, the AT-AT is a gigantic, robotic troop transport used by the antagonists that’s sort-of a futuristic callback to Hannibal’s elephants. They’re fairly intimidating in the films until you realize just how dumb of a design they really are.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

At least they acknowledged that painting its weak spot bright orange was an objectively bad idea.

(Lucasfilm)

Its weaknesses are extremely obvious

The most glaring mistake of the AT-AT is that they’re so easy to destroy. In The Empire Strikes Back, our heroes turn the tide during a battle on the icy planet of Hoth when they decide to trip the lumbering armor. Really? Why did it take some rural moisture farmer to make that mental breakthrough?

Not only that, but Luke Skywalker also destroyed one by throwing a single grenade, which, somehow, blows up the head. They’re even more easily destroyed in Rogue One, when a single rocket to the walker’s “neck” is enough to take it down.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

This is about the field of fire of an AT-AT. Avoid this and you’re fine.

(LucasArts)

Its only weapons are front-facing

If you’re facing the front of an AT-AT, you’re probably screwed. If you’re literally anywhere outside of its 30-degree field of facing, you’re completely safe.

Without any kind of air support, like what happened to them in The Empire Strikes Back, the opportunity to flank them is wide open. If you’re thinking that it could just turn around, that brings us to our next point.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

This is it TRYING to turn.

(LucasArts Ltd.)

It can barely turn

To be fair, the AT-AT can turn a little bit in Episode V and some of the obscure novels (which are no longer canon) say that they have an additional joint under the plating to help it turn. But, even if we’re generous, they can turn maybe fifteen degrees with each slow, lumbering step.

This is happens in a time when, according to the logic that has been established by the franchise, intergalactic travel and troop transport is done with spaceships. But, instead of carrying troops via something that fly, they chose something that can barely change course.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

It can’t really leave this small clearing so, for any reason other than creating drama, this makes no sense.

(Lucasfilm Ltd.)

It wouldn’t be able to maneuver anywhere

Let’s bring things back to the real world for a moment and discuss why tank treads work in almost every environment while horses don’t: Legs get caught in things. They get tangled in snares and sink into sand, snow, and mud. Tank treads, conversely, just roll through it all.

Now magnify that four-legged beast to the size of an AT-AT. All of those same problems still exist, but now you can cross cities and forests off that list, too.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas

Poor little AT-AT… At least you tried.

(Lucasfilm Ltd.)

It’s a terrible design for a troop transport

Let’s bring it back to the fact that they rely on what are essentially robot camels when they have countless other options at their disposal. A spaceship can warp in and push out every Stormtrooper in a blink of an eye. The AT-AT, on the other hand, needs to bend down, load troops into the vehicle, carry them all somewhere, bend back down, and, finally, unload them.

All of that just to get some troops forward in an easily destructible, undefended deathtrap that can barely get around. Sure, they’re intimidating, but don’t you have Death Stars and Star Destroyers for that?

Humor

5 reasons why ‘Saving Private Ryan’ should have been about Pvt. Ryan

In 1998, Steven Spielberg put forth what’s considered one of the best war movies of all time, Saving Private Ryan. The filmmaker brings audiences inside the life of an infantry squad as they maneuver through the bloody battlefields of World War II.


Saving Private Ryan follows a squad of Army Rangers whose sole mission is to locate one soldier and bring him home after his brothers were discovered to be killed in battle.

Despite the film’s title, the movie doesn’t center around the eponymous Pvt. Ryan, but rather the men who bear the struggles of war to find him.

Related: This is what the pilots from ‘Top Gun’ are doing today

So, check out five reasons why we think Saving Private Ryan should have been about Pvt. Ryan.

5. The Ryan brothers getting separated

After the audience learns that 3 of the 4 Ryan brothers have died in battle, General Marshall is informed that they were all separated due to the Sullivan Act.

Watching the Ryan brothers as they get split up, knowing it might be the last time they would ever see one another, would’ve been an exceptionally powerful scene.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
These Army officers discuss the news of Pvt. Ryan’s dilemma and formulate a plan to get him out. (Image from DreamWorks Studios)

4. The paratrooper’s perspective

At one point in the film, Capt. Miller learns about all of the mis-drops that affected airborne soldiers, including Pvt. Ryan. How awesome would the footage have looked with Spielberg behind the camera, capturing the paratroopers’ perspectives on inaccurate drops?

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Lt. Colonel Anderson informs Capt. Miller of his new and incredibly difficult mission — find one man in the whole damn war. (Image from DreamWorks Studios)

3. The first battle over the bridge

Cpl. Henderson debriefs Capt. Miller on their bloody encounters with the Germans while babysitting the bridge. Some of us would have rather seen that intense footage as opposed to watching one of our favorite medics pass away as a result of an avoidable firefight.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Cpl. Henderson debriefs the Rangers on their bloody encounters with the Germans. (Image from DreamWorks Studios)

2. Humanizing Pvt. Ryan

Let’s face it, Pvt. Ryan isn’t our favorite, but we understand why he didn’t want to leave the only brothers he had left. But, a few minutes before the Germans show up to fight, Pvt. Ryan tells Capt. Miller a funny story of the last night he and his brothers were together.

Actually seeing the Ryan brothers all together, causing a ruckus, would bring some comic relief to an otherwise dark film.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Ryan laughs as he remembers a funny story of the last time he was with his brothers. (Image from DreamWorks Studios)

Also Read: 5 things you didn’t know about Sgt. Elias’s death scene in ‘Platoon’

1. “Earn this”

Toward the end of the film, Capt. Miller brings Ryan in close and tells him to “earn this.” These simple words have a significant impact on Pvt. Ryan’s life moving forward. But, outside of bringing his family to Capt. Miller’s grave, we don’t know how Ryan lived out his days.

Centering the film around Pvt. Ryan and showing a montage his successful, post-war life could help give us closure.

6 ways troops act American AF while stationed overseas
Capt. Miller and Pvt. Ryan watch the P-51s fly through the battlespace right after a hectic firefight. (Image from DreamWorks Studios)

Humor

4 of the worst National Anthem performances ever

Performing the National Anthem is always a privilege. When famous performers take center-stage at the biggest venues, they pull out all the stops and dig deep into the depths their talent to make their country proud. Oftentimes, what follows is something truly amazing. If you look up some past performances from major sports leagues’ all-star and championship games, you’ll some absolutely fantastic displays of vocal acumen and musical mastery.


Unfortunately, the gravity of such a task can sometimes push performances to the opposite end of the spectrum. Whether it’s a good performer taking too many liberties or simply a plain ol’ bad singer doing the best they can, these are four of the worst National Anthem performances, ever!

Related: 7 of the best National Anthem performances in Super Bowl history

4. Fergie — 2018 NBA: All-Star Game

Fergie has spent the past few days apologizing for putting on one of the worst National Anthem performances in recent years. Today’s microwave culture make 2011 feels like ages ago, but that’s exactly how far back you’d have to go to find an anthem of this magnitude delivered this poorly.

Fergie is a decent singer, in most cases, but this was an absolute debacle. No excuses, Fergie. You’ve got to do better… much, much better.

(MLG Highlights | YouTube)

3. Christina Aguilera — Super Bowl XLV

Christina Aguilera has some of the best pipes in modern music, but she also has a well-earned reputation for going a little over the top.

Normally, her riffs and adlibs sprinkle the perfect amount of X-Tina flair on a recording, but here, almost none of it lands and the anthem ends up muddied and nearly unrecognizable.

(Christina Aguilera TV | YouTube)

2. Carl Lewis — 1993 NBA: Bulls v. Nets

Carl Lewis was once the fastest man in the world and a multi-discipline Olympic medalist. Being that awesome at something has to translate to other areas — just not singing.

Why he felt compelled to do something so far outside of his realm of expertise is beyond me. This is shower singing gone about as bad as you can go.

(santana3212 | YouTube)

Also Read: 5 reasons the USMC Blue Dress A is the greatest uniform of all time

1. Rosanne Barr — 1990 MLB: Padres v. Reds

This is, unquestionably, the Whitney Houston of bad National Anthem performances. To be honest, this one’s so bad that it’s almost good.

(ultimatejonasfans | YouTube)