The most unintentionally hilarious Rumsfeld 'snowflake' memos

On Jan. 24, the first portion of the roughly 59,000 pages' worth of Donald Rumsfeld's memos were released after an almost seven-year-long legal battle under the Freedom of Information Act. The first 913 pages cover part of his time as the Secretary of Defense during 2001.

They were nicknamed "snowflakes" by his aides, as the pieces of paper would often have just a few sentences written them and would cover the Pentagon like a blizzard. It is completely understandable that former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was a busy man pre- and post-9/11, but his memos make him seem less like the Chief Executive Officer of the Armed Forces and more like Bill Lumbergh from Office Space.

While all 913 pages (well, 912 — page 262 is blank) of the snowflakes can be found here, we've taken the liberty to poke fun at what was sure to have given Pentagon staffers a headache.

He wanted a single piece of paper describing all the aircraft and ranking them by cost and "lethality"

Obviously the BRRRRRRRT is number one. (Memo courtesy of the National Security Archive)

He thinks "Homeland Defense" sounds too German.

Homeland. Vaterland. Same thing, right? (Memo courtesy of the National Security Archive)

He probably understood how sh*t of a campaign "Army of One" actually was

It really was a sh*t slogan. (Memo courtesy of the National Security Archive)

He wanted "food buttons" and was told they're already in the works by the Sergeant Major of the Army

Lucky... I want a food button... (Memo courtesy of the National Security Archive)

He asked if the military had a policy on gambling. The article he was referencing is here.

If the boss doesn't know about the rule, does that mean we get a pass to gamble?(Memo courtesy of the National Security Archive)

He mentioned bringing up a test for soldiers to wear the black beret that was Army-wide on June 14th, 2001.

There was one. They were called Ranger School or SF Selection. (Memo courtesy of the National Security Archive)

He wondered why the DoD protected the endangered wildlife native to military installations

You dare insult the 29 Palms Tortoise!?! Those creatures are... yeah. They're pretty f*cking useless. (Memo courtesy of the National Security Archive)

He hates initials, acronyms, and words he doesn't understand.

"I hate initials... so please initial that you understand this..."(Memo courtesy of the National Security Archive)

He wondered why the Navy trains.

Yeah, Navy! What do you even do? ...Oh? Lots? Oh, okay. (Memo courtesy of the National Security Archive)

He wanted an eye open for oil.

Well, conspiracy theorists, have fun with this one... (Memo courtesy of the National Security Archive)

He couldn't get the conference call to work properly.

Blame S-6. Everyone else does. (Memo courtesy of the National Security Archive)

He doesn't like standing for interviews. He wants to lean forward.

Looks like somebody researched body language. BZ. (Memo courtesy of the National Security Archive)

He got really ticked off when one of his Generals showed up late.

I guess the "if you're on time, you're late" thing applies to all ranks. (Memo courtesy of the National Security Archive)

He wanted a list of good things and bad things. No context. Just lists.

Slow your roll, Petyr Baelish. (Memo courtesy of the National Security Archive)

He doesn't have time to figure out time zones.

12:55. But I mean, Google was only a thing for a few years at this point. (Memo courtesy of the National Security Archive)

He really wanted that dental appointment.

At this point, he kind of seems like a passive-aggressive roommate. (Memo courtesy of the National Security Archive)

He had high hopes that the war on terrorism would end soon.

That's not even a bridge they'll have to cross over 16 years and one month later. (Memo courtesy of the National Security Archive)


This pilot shot down an enemy fighter at Pearl Harbor in his pajamas

Comfort is important when doing a hard job. If it's hot on the work site, it's important to stay cool. If it's hazardous, proper protection needs to be worn. And comfort is apparently key when the Japanese sneak attack the Navy. Just ask Lt. Phil Rasmussen, who was one of four pilots who managed to get off the ground to fight the Japanese in the air.

Rasmussen, like many other American GIs in Hawaii that day, was still asleep when the Japanese launched the attack at 0755. The Army Air Forces 2nd Lieutenant was still groggy and in his pajamas when the attacking wave of enemy fighters swarmed Wheeler Field and destroyed many of the Army's aircraft on the ground.

Damaged aircraft on Hickam Field, Hawaii, after the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

There were still a number of outdated Curtiss P-36A Hawk fighters that were relatively untouched by the attack. Lieutenant Rasmussen strapped on a .45 pistol and ran out to the flightline, still in his pajamas, determined to meet the sucker-punching Japanese onslaught.

By the time the attack ended, Wheeler and Hickam Fields were both devastated. Bellows Field also took a lot of damage, its living quarters, mess halls, and chapels strafed by Japanese Zeros. American troops threw back everything they could muster – from anti-aircraft guns to their sidearms. But Rasmussen and a handful of other daring American pilots managed to get in the air, ready to take the fight right back to Japan in the Hawks if they had to. They took off under fire, but were still airborne.

Pearl Harbor pilots Harry Brown, Phil Rasmussen, Ken Taylor, George Welch, and Lewis Sanders.

They made it as far as Kaneohe Bay.

The four brave pilots were led by radio to Kaneohe, where they engaged 11 enemy fighters in a vicious dogfight. Even in his obsolete old fighter, Rasmussen proved that technology is no match for good ol' martial skills and courage under fire. He managed to shoot down one of the 11, but was double-teamed by two attacking Zeros.

Gunfire and 20mm shells shattered his canopy, destroyed his radio, and took out his hydraulic lines and rudder cables. He was forced out of the fighting, escaping into nearby clouds and making his way back to Wheeler Field. When he landed, he did it without brakes, a rudder, or a tailwheel.

There were 500 bullet holes in the P-36A's fuselage.


Lieutenant Rasmussen earned the Silver Star for his boldness and would survive the war, getting his second kill in 1943. He retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1965, but will live on in the Museum of the United States Air Force, forever immortalized as he hops into an outdated aircraft in his pajamas.

(U.S. Air Force photo)


This Microsoft training fast tracks veterans into sweet tech careers

Solaire Brown (formerly Sanderson) was a happy, gung-ho Marine sergeant deployed in Afghanistan when she realized her military career was about to change. She was tasked with finding the right fit for her post-military life – and she knew she wanted to be prepared.

Injuries sustained during mine-resistant vehicle training had led to surgeries and functional recovery and it became clear Brown would no longer be able to operate at the level she expected of herself as a Marine.

Like many of the 200,000 service members exiting the military each year, Brown knew her military training could make her a valuable asset as an employee, but she was unsure of how her skills might specifically translate to employment in the civilian world.

Enter Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA), a program Microsoft started in 2013 to provide transitioning service members and veterans with critical career skills required for today's growing technology industry.

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Dave Smith

This video of a drone with a flamethrower will haunt your dreams

Watch the video in the tweet below. Are you experiencing both amazement and fear? You're not alone.

This video has been making the rounds on Twitter recently, but it was actually filmed a little over a year ago. According to Gizmodo, an electric-power maintenance company in Xiangyang, China, had been using these flame-throwing drones to burn off garbage and debris from electrical wires.

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This band hires vets — especially when they go on tour

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5 of the dumbest reasons people went to war

"War is a male activity. Organized fighting and killing by groups of women against other groups of women has simply not existed at any point in human history."

That's a powerful observation from evolutionary social psychologist Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D., whose writings on the psychology of going to war propose that men evolved to be more aggressive in order to compete for female mates.

The story of Helen's face launching a thousand ships comes to mind.

helen of troyShe made her choice. Get over it.


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How to get your own free 'Space Force' ringtone

If you're in the military or are a veteran and haven't heard about the Space Force yet, it's time to climb out from under that rock you've been living in. There's a sixth branch of the U.S. military now, and it's going to be a department of the Air Force.

The men's department.

Although the Air Force has released very limited guidance on what the new branch will do, how it will roll out, or basically anything at all except that it's called the 'Space Force' and will exist one day, the excitement the idea of a space force brings the military community is palpable.

Judged solely by the sheer volume of Space Force memes.

Also Read: 5 boring details a Space Force private will get stuck on

So if you're excited to do your part, you can fully engulf yourself in the burgeoning Space Force culture, you can now enjoy the first Space Force song, sure to be shouted at the top of many a Spaceman's lungs every morning during Space-ic Training.

This songified version of President Trump's Space Force announcement was created by The Gregory Brothers, whose YouTube page is packed with pop culture songification. Due to the popular demand for the song to be made into a ringtone via the popular Air Force Facebook page Air Force amn/nco/snco, the Gregory Brothers responded immediately.

Thanks Air Force amn/nco/snco.

Check out: Why the name of the space-based branch should be Space Corps

Good luck getting this song out of your head now that it goes off every time your mom or dad calls you. You can get your free Space Force ringtone from The Gregory Brothers at their Patreon page.

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The fire team is the most important unit of the Marine Corps' infantry. The Corps is always looking for new ways to make its fire teams more effective on the battlefield. From equipment upgrades to weapon replacements, there's always room for improvement. But one thing they have yet to figure out is what Marines at the lowest levels can do during their free time. Well, why not reserve some time at the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer?

At the bottom of the Marine Corps task organization is the four-person fire team and they are, by far, the most critical asset in the entire hierarchy. The more lethal each individual team, the more lethal the unit as a whole and the ISMIT gives troops the opportunity to practice their shooting skills without firing real bullets on a live range. It's like playing Nintendo Duck Hunt with military guns and honestly, it puts a lot of current virtual reality gaming to shame with its fun factor.

But beneath that, there's a deeper level of training value that can make a unit much more effective and especially more lethal, given the right prompt and simulation.

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6 operators from Rainbow Six that would be awesome in real life

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege is one of the most entertaining games online for the military community. It takes a much more grounded approach to game-play that isn't seen in most games. Players must actually think about the objective and every way to approach it in order to win.

Each match pits a group of five players against another team of five to either defend or attack a position. Unlike most online shooters, you choose an operator to play that comes with their own special ability that either aids the team or hinders the enemy.

Some operators have a very real (but kinda lame) ability like having a regular old thermal scope or just having a sledgehammer. Other abilities were kind of made solely for the game and would be kinda pointless in actual combat, like a loud flying drone. But looking at their load-out, some operators would do a hell of a job in an actual scenario.

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