7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy - We Are The Mighty
Humor

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy

Allotments are a good way for troops to schedule a payment directly through Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), the service directly responsible for paying servicemembers. An allotment sets aside a portion of future paychecks and automatically sends the money elsewhere. If used properly, it can schedule payments on necessities or move funds to savings accounts. An allotment can be cancelled when the debt is paid or the savings goal is reached and troops can enjoy their full pay check again.


But young boots don’t see it that way. They may see it as an easy “IOU” and let Uncle Sam worry about the rest. They waste their money on useless crap and end up paying much more in the end — especially if they forget to cancel the allotment. Without research, they fall victim to very unsexy interest rates.

That’s not to say that vendors of everything on this list are hunting down dumb E-1’s in predatory manner. Some things on this list are beneficial and are encouraged, if taken care of properly. But you know, boots will be dumb and waste their when given the chance — are here’s the proof:

1. Tattoos

Not only do boots get the dumbest tattoos ever, but they often forget that good tattoos cost money, so instead of doing some research, they walk into the sketchy tattoo parlor outside the main gate.

Instead of paying the $500 even if the quality of the tattoo should have only cost $250 for an EGA tattoo, boots will set up a five month allotment giving the tattoo parlor $150 each month (if you’re not into math in public, that’s $750).

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
Remember the tattoo forever, not the payment. (U.S. Navy photo by MCS 3rd Class Sean Elliott)

2. Gaming computers

The boot finally got out of momma’s basement and finally ready to become the bad ass they always played in video games!

Living in the barracks rent-free and using a meal card for food means boots have discretionary income for the first time ever…which they put right into an overpriced gaming computer that will be obsolete by the time they finish paying it off.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy

3. TVs

Kind of similar to the gaming computers, but when someone sets up an allotment for a TV it’s usually more costly and takes up their entire barracks room.

If you need a giant ass TV so you can view every last pixel of whatever you’re watching, cool; but if you’re still straining your eyes while sitting at the other end of your barracks room, you kind of wasted your money.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
If you do have a huge TV, you better be hosting every party at your place! (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. James Avery)

4. Weapons

Everyone should be able to own a weapon. It’s their right. The problem comes when someone pays for a beautiful hunting rifle and then they learn they can’t keep it in the barracks.

Nearly every military installation has a policy on firearms being stored in lower enlisted housing. So to comply with the policy, firearms are to be held in the unit’s arms room. Think of how much of a pain in the ass it is getting your designated firearm out of the arms room on training days when the armorer is actually there — it’s even worse when you want to go to the range on their day off.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
Good luck trying to get that dude there on a weekend. (Photo by Sgt. Emily Greene)

5. “Pay Day” loans

If you need money fast, there are countless other ways of going about it. Each branch has variations on an emergency relief funds to aid their troops in need of quick cash. And yes, your commander does need to sign off on it. And yes, it is still a loan you need to eventually pay back.

The problem with “Pay Day” loans is with the afore-mentioned interest rates.

Let’s say you borrow $100. If you go through the headache of getting your commander’s signature and the approval for the money, it’s interest free. You just slowly pay the $100 back. If you go through a “Pay Day” loan office off-base, they’ll charge interest, so now you’ve got to pay that loan off as soon as you can or you end up paying nearly quadruple the original amount.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy

6. Star Cards

This falls into the “good if done properly” category. Military Star Cards are essentially credit cards that you can only use on military installations. They can be a great way for a young E-1 to help build credit to balance out the “credit inexperience” that shows up on everyone’s credit score early on. They can also be a great “Oh sh*t!” account if you need something that you can buy on-base. As a bonus, the rates are usually less aggressive than most credit card companies.

But if you’re a dumb boot who doesn’t understand that credit cards are not free money, well, the Star Card is a program of The Exchange and they’re far more knowledgeable in the military’s finance system than you.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
Ever since they allowed the Star Card to be used at the Commissary, it’s even more valuable. But still, you shouldn’t max it out on beer unless you plan on paying it off at the end of the month. (Photo by Julie Mitchell)

7. Used cars

Two general rules of thumb when buying a used car outside a military installation: Bring a mechanic from your unit’s motor pool with you to help negotiate the price (for a case of beer and they’ll be a show-of-force to intimidate predatory car salesmen), and never ever EVER buy from a place that advertises “E-1 and above approved!” more than the actual cars.

Respectable car lots will sell you a car based on it’s Kelley Blue Book price and an interest rate befitting of your credit score, regardless of your pay grade or whether you’re in the military or not. Since your military service is an excellent “proof of income,” you shouldn’t have a hard time getting approved at a respectable car lot. So yes, setting up an allotment to them for your vehicle is a good example of how to properly set up an allotment.

But watch out for the sharks at places that give all used car salesmen their bad reputation. They prey on an E-1’s doubts about getting a beautiful Ford Mustang from anywhere else. They’ll say something like “If you set up an allotment, it’ll be fine!” They know the system and they’ll use it against you.

So congratulations! You may have driven off with that Mustang, but you’re going to be paying for it at a 31% interest rate for the next six years for 800% more than what Kelley Blue Book says it’s worth.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
Third rule: If they ever say something like “For you, my friend,” don’t listen — they’re about to f*ck you…and not in the good way. (Photo by Emilio Labrador)

Humor

6 worst parts about leaving a deployment

All good things must come to an end — including deployments. While getting out-of-country is the only goal, troops have a checklist of tasks that must be completed before they’re finally allowed to reunite with their families back home.


No one likes doing any of these tasks, especially when they’re already checked-out mentally.

6. Training up your replacements.

Meeting the new unit that comes in-country is the first sign that your deployment is almost over.

Getting people who are busy preparing for departure to teach the newbies that are completely lost is never an easy task, but hey, that’s the military.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
Yeah, some guys like us and some guys don’t. Good like finding out which is which. We were here 12 months and couldn’t figure it out either. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Dustin D. March)

5. Cleaning gear

In the Ancient Greek legend of Sisyphus, the protagonist is cursed with the never-ending task of rolling a boulder up a mountain just for it to roll down the hill when he nears the top.

This is much like the never-ending struggle of troops trying to sweep all of the dirt out of the motor pool in the desert. Sweep as you might, it’ll never end. It’ll get just good enough for inspection until it’s time to finally get out of country.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy

4. Sending gear back stateside

All of the troubles of selecting what you need and don’t need happens all over again — but in reverse. You’ll be putting gear away that you won’t see for a few months. It’s a fine idea for the extra parts of your sleeping system, but people who bring or buy video game consoles while deployed now have to worry about bringing it back home.

Of course, if you really wanted to make things easier (and you have the money for it), you could always use the postal service to send a tough box or two with your useful stuff.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
All you have is one duffle bag, one assault bag, your weapon, and the clothes on your back. (U.S. Army Photo by Capt. William Brink, Task Force Patriot PAO)

3. Customs

Traveling through customs in the civilian world is a cinch. Flash your passport, fill out a form, and don’t bring anything that’ll set off any alarms.

Did you know that gunpowder residue trips U.S. Customs’ sensors? Damn near every combat arms troop does, too — all of our gear is covered in gunpowder residue. Even though we’re carrying our weapons with us, they’ll still look at you funny for that gunpowder residue.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
And they never let you keep all of your bootleg DVDs either. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Katherine Spessa)

2. The flight

It’s like being a kid on Christmas Eve again. Just a few more hours and you get what you want. You know you should probably catch some sleep on the plane but your blood is pumping too much.

All of the “whatever amount of days and a wake-up” are now in hours. Minutes. Seconds. You watch the GPS tracker on the plane more than the actual in-flight movies. The anxiety builds; landing can’t come soon enough.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
That, and sleeping on a C-130 is only possible for troops who just really don’t care. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Richard Wrigley)

1. That. Last. Formation. Before. Freedom.

Quick show of hands: Out of the countless times commanders have given a passionate speech to the friends and families of returning troops, how many are remembered by the troops?

Those months kind of fly by, but the last speech — you know, the one that starts with, “these fine gentlemen before you…” — goes in one ear and out the other. The only thing troops are focusing on is if they can find their loved ones in the crowd.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy

Articles

20 stupid questions about the Coast Guard


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It’s common for the four major military branches — the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Army — to work together, but seldom do we share missions with the Coast Guard.

But it wasn’t always this way. While the Coast Guard falls under the Department of Homeland Security, there have been instances when it fell under the Department of Defense. In actuality, the U.S. Coast Guard gets passed around a lot. In addition to the DoD, it has also fallen under the Department of Treasury, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of the Interior.

Related: 7 things you probably didn’t know about the US Coast Guard

So, it isn’t hard to imagine why some service members get confused when it comes to the Coast Guard. For this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, we invited fellow coastie and We Are The Mighty contributor Mary-Elizabeth Pratt to answer questions about the Coast Guard we’ve always wanted answers to but were too afraid to ask for fear of looking stupid.

Hosted by:

Guest:

  • Mary-Elizabeth Pratt: Coast Guard service member and historian

    Mary-Elizabeth Pratt is a DC-based freelance writer and non-profit employee. She combines her degrees in English and Military History with her experience as a Coast Guard Maritime Enforcement Specialist to teach others about the importance of the military’s smallest branch. Currently working with the Fisher House Foundation in operations, Mary-Elizabeth has spent time with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, and several small museums as a civilian.

    More articles about the Coast Guard by Mary-Elizabeth Pratt

Selected links and show notes from the episode:

Related: 13 thoughts I had during Coast Guard boot camp graduation

  • [05:03] What was it like to work on a major movie about the U.S. Coast Guard?
  • [06:25] Which movie do coasties embrace the most, The Finest Hours or The Guardian?
  • [08:45] Why did you want to write the hater’s guide to the Coast Guard?
  • [09:55] Why do people picture the TSA instead of the Coast Guard whenever the Department of Homeland Security is mentioned?
  • [11:00] Are coasties subject to the UCMJ or something else?

Related: The 5 military laws that nearly everyone breaks

  • [12:45] Do all the coasties go on drug busts?
  • [14:55] What’s the quickest way to get a rise out of a coastie?
  • [16:00] Why is Sinbad the dog so beloved by Coast Guard?
  • [17:38] Why should anyone hate the Coast Guard?
  • [19:50] What does maritime law enforcement consist of?
  • [20:00] What’s a B.U.I., is that like driving under the influence (D.U.I.)?
  • [20:23] What are some of the worst and best Coast Guard duty stations?
  • [23:00] What do coasties hate being called more: puddle pirates or shallow water sailors?
  • [23:55] Is it harder to get into the Coast Guard than it is to the main military service branches?
  • [24:50] Why should we love the Coast Guard?
  • [26:00] What are the differences and similarities between the Navy and the Coast Guard?
  • [28:45] What’s it like to be around members of the other service branches?
  • [32:00] What are some popular coastie hangout spots?
  • [33:05] What’s a Coast Guard deployment like?

Music licensing by Jingle Punks:

  • Goal Line
  • Heavy Drivers
Humor

6 reasons why a military-issued giant robot would actually suck

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.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
“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.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
Don’t get me started on the paperwork involved if a robot malfunctions or gains sentience and attacks its fleshy overlords. (Image from Orion Pictures’ RoboCop)

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.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy

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.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
Something tells me that the alarms would probably be right behind your ear… (Image from 20th Century Fox’s Avatar)

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.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
God forbid you take your Titan for a test drive without a ground guide. (Image from Electronic Arts’ Titanfall 2)

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.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
But a man can dream, right? (Image from Piranha Games’ MechWarrior Online)

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.

Humor

9 ISIS weapon fails that you have to see to believe

Take care of your gear and your gear will take care of you. Sounds simple, right?


Apparently not for terrorists. Most of them don’t thoroughly study their weapon systems before employing that power on the battlefield.

There are also the bad guys just want record themselves laying rounds down range for honor?social media purposes.

We’re glad they did because they have some epic weapon fails that we now get to laugh at.

Related: The military is going to put laser attack weapons on fighters

9. The terrorist who just can’t seem to keep his balance.

Can we get this guy a seat belt or something? (Images via Giphy)

8. This isn’t technically a weapons fail, but seeing the bad guys get smashed by a truck — we couldn’t pass that up.

Oopsie. (Images via Giphy)

7. You gotta love a funny ISIS negligent discharge every once in a while.

We guess he’s not used to touching something sensitive. (Images via Giphy)

Also Check Out: 9 weapon fails that will make you shake your head

6. Somebody didn’t properly lube their rifle before the ambush.

This is why terrorists can’t have nice things. (Images via Giphy)

5. There’s never a trained mortarman around when you need one.

Someone call the EOD techs. (Images via Giphy)

4. When you lie on your resume to get the tank driver position…but you get the job anyways.

Your left or my left? (Images via Giphy)

3. Just when you think you found a brilliant new way to fire that rocket you stole.

It looked good on paper. (Images via Giphy)

2. When you’re too focused lining up that perfect shot, but an American sniper ruins it.

Even the camera knew to get down. (Images via Giphy)

Also Read: This is who would win a shoot off between a ‘Ma Deuce’ and a Minigun

1. When your rocket just doesn’t have enough juice.

Maybe next time. (Images via Giphy)

Articles

6 things you didn’t know about sick call

“Hydrate, take Motrin and change your socks.”


Chances are you’ve heard this advice at one time or another. Service members visit sick call with issues ranging from upper respiratory infections to needing to have a toenail removed. With over 130 military installations located throughout the world, every soldier, airman, sailor or Marine has medical care readily accessible. 

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy

If the troop in question needs to go to medical that day without an appointment, he or she is going to end up in an urgent care center commonly known as “Sick Call.” Here are six things you probably didn’t know about sick troops and the care they need to get back to work.

1. Thermometers 

You’re sitting on a patient table when a medical technician tells you to say “AHHHHHHH” before sticking a blue-handled thermometer under your tongue. But did you ever wonder why it was color coded?

The military purchases dual-function thermometers which are typically red and blue. The blue one is assigned to take your oral temp, where the red draws the short end of the stick and gets shoved up where the sun doesn’t shine. Not to fear, rectal temperature checks are primarily used on heat causalities.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
(Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Christopher L. Clark)

Better hope the nurse isn’t color blind because … that would suck. The photo above shows a member of the medical staff using the right color. A+.

2.  The “Feared Medical Condition Not Demonstrated”

Believe it or not, this is a real medical diagnosis. If you were to open your medical record right now and saw this term printed one or more times, chances are you were a “sick call commando.”  This isn’t the commando label you want to have.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy

“Feared Medical Condition Not Demonstrated” is a polite way to inform other medical professionals they didn’t find anything wrong with you physically. You can try and tear out the paper from your record, but unless it was hand written, it’s in the computer system. For-ev-er.

3. “One Chief Complaint Only”

For those who don’t know, a “chief complaint” is the term used for the reason you showed up to medical. “I have a headache and I think I broke my foot.” From my direct experience working alongside seasoned doctors, some stated to the patient they weren’t allowed to treat more than one medical condition at each encounter. It’s also bull.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy

This is regularly used as an excuse to get rid of you. You would likely have come back the next day for the second issue or visit the ER. Good thing Tricare covers both.

4. On The Job Training

Medical clinics commonly use the ideology of “show one, do one, teach one.” The doctor shows a new medic/corpsman/tech how to perform a procedure, they repeat it on another patient in front of the doctor, then go off and show someone else how to perform it. Sounds like a pretty good plan right? It was pretty darn helpful and a confidence builder for the lower enlisted.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy

This type of training isn’t that rare, even in the civilian sector. What is rare is how many different procedures junior enlisted were allowed to perform “under doctor supervision” – who were usually warming up their afternoon coffee.

5. Service Connections

When the VA gathers its data to process your compensation claim, it may seem hard to believe, but they don’t hire a team of private detectives and Harvard-trained doctors to conduct an extensive investigation to ensure that you get the top rating you deserve.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
Mind. Blown.

After submitting your claim, the VA board wants proof your condition was a result of your time on active duty. Missing sick call and other medical documents can cause a massive delay in reaching your service connection settlement. Cover your six and make copies of your copies.

6. Legal

You may remember the day when you walked into the Military Entrance Processing Command and signed your service contract. A proud day.

What you made not have realized is that those papers you signed included The Feres Doctrine.

The Feres Doctrine is a 1950s-era rule that protects the federal government from its employees collecting damages for personal injuries experienced in the performance of their duties. So if a military doctor screws up on you, you can’t sue the government, but they can charge you with an Article 108 (destruction of government property) for getting a new tattoo or a sunburn.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy

You’re Welcome, America!

Humor

5 terribly hilarious gifts to scuff up a basic trainee

One of the great mysteries of the civilian world is the need for people to send care packages to new troops going through Basic Training or Boot Camp.


It’s not only counter-productive (the idea of isolated training is to transition a civilian into the military by specifically denying basic comforts and stimulating stressful environments such as combat), but it could also get them smoked — their Drill Sergeants or Instructors will go through every piece of mail.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
This is what motivation looks like. (U.S Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Reece Lodder)

Even if they are sent say, a stick of gum, their asses will be ridiculed and then sore from the insane amount of PT they’re about to do. If you really want to show that you love and care, wait until they’ve finished training and send it while they’re deployed.

But this list isn’t for the sweet and caring types. No. This is for the a-holes that warned them it wouldn’t be easy. This is for the a-holes that told them repeatedly to join another branch.

Why not show that you truly care about your young recruit by also helping their trainers mess with them? Get in on the fun! Be creative. Get in on the fun! Be creative. Just be sure to show up their graduation and have a laugh at their expense with their Drill Sergeant/Instructor.

1. Gear from another branch

Want to instill loyalty to the branch of service they enlisted in? Send a USMC t-shirt to the Army private. An Air Force hoodie to the Marine recruit.

Bonus points if they even joined the same branch as you. They’ll love their branch through Stockholm Syndrome.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy

2. Cute childhood things

Want to make sure their nickname in Basic is ‘Princess’? Send them a cheap Disney blanket from Wal-Mart.

Who knows? They might actually be forced to keep it instead of the Olive Drab green blanket for maximum hilarity.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy

3. Snivel gear

Basically, if they aren’t issued something. They can’t have it.

Mess with them by sending a scarf and a hand written note saying “Stay warm! 3”

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy

4. Baked Goods

Quickest way to make sure they get their sweat stains the floor? Send them some homemade treats.

Oh. They won’t get to touch a single one. Drill Sergeant will more than likely eat them in front of their face and tell them how they tasted.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy

5. Anything, uh, “Not Safe For Work”

There’s an article on MarriedtotheArmy.com where they give actual, thoughtful, smoke-free care packages. In it, they have a story about a girl sending used panties, which were promptly displayed to embarrass the young soldier.

Same goes for sex toys. Just imagine the look on the Drill Sergeants face when they find that…

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy

There are a million different ways to mess with someone going through Basic Training or Boot Camp. Please let us know your favorites in the comment section!

Articles

Officers and enlistees confess the best and worst about each other


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Historically, the military has relied on clearly defined boundaries of acceptable interaction between the officer and enlisted ranks to maintain good order and discipline.

It is a long-standing custom that dates back hundreds of years and has proven itself effective time after time. But not everyone feels it’s a custom worth holding on to.

“I think there should not be a difference between officer and enlisted ranks,” said former Air Force officer Shannon Corbeil. “I believe we should all reach rank based on experience and accomplishment.”

On the other hand, Chase Millsap — another former officer — believes the military should maintain its course because officers bring leadership experience accomplished through higher learning and training.

Also read: 7 tips for getting away with fraternization

However, Blake Stilwell and Tim Kirkpatrick — two former enlistees — argue that the stupid partying and immatureness is what officers experienced during college.

In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, two former officers and enlistees confess the best and worst about dealing with each other while in active service.

Hosted By:

Blake Stilwell: Air Force veteran and managing editor

Tim Kirkpatrick: Navy veteran and Editorial Coordinator

Orvelin Valle (AKA O.V.): Navy veteran and Podcast Producer

Guests:

Chase Millsap: Army and Marine Corps infantry veteran turned Director of Impact Strategy at We Are The Mighty

Shannon Corbeil: Former Air Force intelligence officer and We Are The Mighty editor

Music licensing by Jingle Punks:

  • Goal Line
  • Heavy Drivers
Humor

6 different types of machine-gunners you’ll meet in the infantry

After spending two to three months in boot camp, young troops who are looking to serve in the infantry must move onto additional grunt training at other various grounds.


Once they graduate from that, some head off to their first units, where they’ll encounter some interesting personalities.

Some of these exciting personalities exist in the diverse troops who carry the “big guns” — aka, the machine-gunners.

Related: 6 types of enlisted ‘docs’ you’ll meet at sick call

1. The “Marksman”

An infantryman works and trains hard to one day deploy their weapon system and score an accurate kill shot. For machine-gunners, scoring a precise kill from a distance is highly unlikely.

This isn’t because the shooter is incapable; that weapon system wasn’t designed to nail an enemy combatant square between the eyes but, rather, to take their head clean off.

However, some gunners still strive to make that perfect shot with their heavy-ass weapon.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
Lance Cpl. Eric Lewis (left) shouts out commands to machine gunners during a platoon-size live fire range as part of Exercise Desert Scimitar 2014 aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Luis A. Vega)

2. The “Napoleon”

This one refers to the French military leader, Napoleon Bonaparte, because of his height. This gunner gets looked at differently because of the contrast between their smaller body and the massive size of the M240 they’re holding.

However, they always manage to carry it and fire the weapon like a seasoned pro.

3. The “Screamer”

Machine-gunners are trained to whisper the words “die motherf*cker, die” while firing their weapon. In the time it takes to finish saying the words to themselves, they’ve shot roughly between four to six rounds. The “screamer” chooses to shout that sh*t out loud.

This repeated mantra is designed to prevent the gunner from overheating their barrel and causes them regularly adjust their fire for more accuracy.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
U.S. Marine machine gunners provide cover during a live-fire and maneuver exercise as part of sustainment training at D’Arta Plage, Djibouti. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Rome M. Lazarus)

4. The “Barrel-burner”

As previously stated, machine-gunners are trained to only discharge four to six rounds at a time to avoid overheating their barrels. The “barrel-burner” tends to forget the shooting cycle and fires more than intended — which can cause the barrel to warp.

7 things boots will set up an allotment to buy
Army infantrymen change barrels on an M240 Bravo machine gun during a live-fire exercise at Fort Stewart, Ga. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Jordan Anderson)

5. The “Freeloader”

This gunner tends to ask other members of his squad to carry his extra ammo so that they can haul more Rip-Its. What’s hilarious about this type of gunner is the nice way they go about asking you.

It makes you feel good about yourself for helping out a brother.

Also Read: 5 of the sneakiest ways people try to fool the front gate MPs

6.  The “Animal Mother”

If you’ve ever served in the infantry, you probably had one or two “Animal Mothers” in your company. Just like in the movie, Full Metal Jacket, he’s the trigger-happy badass who is more than thrilled to shoot into an enemy compound and then ask questions later.

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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.

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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… 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Expect them to know what Star Wars is. Everyone has seen Star Wars. (Photo by Senior Airman Christopher Muncy)

6. Drinking towns 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.

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We can clear out an entire bar and still make it to PT the next morning. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Hull)

Articles

This is a perfect example of how ridiculous boot camp is

Drill sergeants say the funniest things.

“Now I don’t want anybody messin’ around. I don’t want you playin’ any grab ass.”

Grab ass? Who’s playing grab ass at boot camp? The whole idea of it is hilarious.

It’s a trap, though! Do not laugh. DO NOT LAUGH.

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Yeah, you’re screwed, little buddy. (Go90 No Sh*t There I Was screenshot)

In the first episode of We Are The Mighty’s “No Sh*t There I Was” for go90, Armin Babasoloukian, a veteran of the 82nd Airborne, shares his first day as a wide-eyed recruit in the middle of hot and sweaty Oklahoma.

Babasoloukian — aka “Babalou” — tells a story that illustrates how easy it is for trainees to fall into traps set by their drill sergeants…or just actually fall…even when they’re told specifically not to fall (common sense would suggest that you wouldn’t have to tell someone that but…boots amirite?)

A genius moment is when one of the enlistees doesn’t know the difference between an Armenian and a Kardashian.

Maybe genius isn’t the right word?

But hey, when it comes down to it, all military personnel are well aware that our great nation faces threats of all shapes and sizes, whether it’s ISIS, al Qaeda, or Kardashian.

So check out the video and let all those boot camp memories come rolling back.

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

That time Linda Hamilton asked a Marine to the ball

This is a perfect example of how ridiculous boot camp is

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.

Humor

6 ways to make money while living in the barracks

If there’s one common complaint among members of the United States Armed Forces (aka the best people in the world), it’s that the pay sucks. When getting paid less than minimum wage grows old (and it does, fast), a servicemember might be inclined to find a way to supplement their income.


So, we asked what a few veterans what they did to fill in the financial gap.

Related: 5 ways to skate in Marine Corps boot camp

6. Taking someone’s barracks duty

When the duty roster hits, there’s always a few people who get screwed out of something. Taking someone’s duty is a great service — one that others just might be willing to pay for. Given how unfavorable of a job it is, the competition is low. You could make a killing by taking someone else’s duty.

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The duty has no friends, though. (Image via Rod Keller YouTube)

5. Doing another servicemember’s taxes

There are plenty of people living in the barracks who feel like doing their taxes take up valuable drinking time — all you need to do is plug in their W-2 information and charge a few bones for your services.

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4. Fixing other troops’ cars

Given how much some local auto shops charge, it’s usually much cheaper and more convenient to consult with one of the many barracks grease monkeys.

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(Image via Marines.mil)

3. Becoming a tattoo artist

Military service and tattoos go hand-in-hand, like peanut butter and jelly or grunts and rain. If you’ve got the skill, equipment, and you don’t mind the carpal tunnel, this option may be for you.

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Hopefully, this isn’t the kind of tattoo you get (or give) at the barracks (Image via Warner Brother’s We’re the Millers)

2. Make some of that “good-good”

This one is a bit out there, but times can get tough and not everyone has the talent for pole dancing, so they might turn to becoming their barracks’ own Walter White or Tony Montana.

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When your normal military pay doesn’t cut it and you need to pay off that Mustang at 30% APR (Image from AMC’s Breaking Bad)

[Editor’s Note: We are absolutely not suggesting you actually open a drug lab. Come on. You’re smarter than that — we hope.]

Also Read: 5 reasons why Luke Skywalker was operator AF

1. Giving others barracks haircuts

This one is definitely the most popular and it’s not very hard to do. Just get a set of clippers, watch a YouTube tutorial, and, even with all the competition, this one is guaranteed to rake in the cash.

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(Image via Marines.mil)

What are some crazy businesses you’ve seen in the military?