The 10 best military-themed sketches from 'Saturday Night Live' - We Are The Mighty
Lists

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’


Topical humor has always been a big part of Saturday Night Live history and there have been plenty of military stories in the news to inspire its writers over the last four decades. As the show celebrated its 40th anniversary with a three-hour special that aired on Sunday, February 15th, we’ve combed through the SNL archives and selected the 10 best military-themed sketches.

1. Bruce Willis wants to bring some John McClane-style Die Hard heroics to a Black Ops mission in Afghanistan.

2. General David Petraeus (Will Forte) testifies to Congress about the progress of the surge in Iraq.

3. It’s time to build a coalition to fight Iraq’s nuclear capabilities, but General Colin Powell (Kenan Thompson) seems to have turned into Fred Sanford since his retirement.

4. A TV pitchman (Harry Shearer) explains why you need to spend $50,000 on a Pentagon-approved MacDouglass Drummond wrench.

5. An Air Force fighter pilot (NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon) wins elementary school Career Day over carpet salesman Seth Meyers.

6. Weekend Update’s Seth Meyers examines the Winners Losers in the General David Petraeus/Paula Broadwell/Jill Kelley/General John Allen scandal.

7. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (Darrell Hammond) updates the media on progress after the United States invades Afghanistan.

8. Tired of the Congressional debate about whether to invade Iraq, Vice President Dick Cheney (Darrell Hammond) goes all Doctor Strangelove and rides a missile to Baghdad.

9. Test Pilot Mustang Calhoun (Dennis Quaid) is just plain crazy.

10. Two dumb Marines (Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey) bring spies to the US Embassy in Moscow.

These just skim the surface. There are dozens of military-themed sketches from SNL. Tell us your favorites in the comments below.

More from Military.com:

Lists

The best military camouflage patterns

Camouflage is used the world over by man and beast, to hunt, to hide, to be seen. While many animals have specialized their camouflage to the local environment, military needs are more varied. More often than not military applications must be useful in multiple locations and in varying conditions. What is the most effective camo pattern, past or present, could be argued until the cows come home and new patterns are being prototyped every day. What we’re concerned with here is the popular opinion on production prints.


Whether serviceman, serving or retired, pattern aficionado, paintball or airsoft warrior, or simply like to voice your opinion on the best looking cloth -here is the place to vote.

The best military camouflage patterns is an open list, please add any missing patterns and respect the criteria.

 

The Best Military Camouflage Patterns

More from Ranker:

This article originally appeared at Ranker. Copyright 2015. Like Ranker on Facebook.

Articles

The 11 most dangerous jobs in the US military

All jobs in the military carry real risks, but some jobs are much riskier than others. Here are 10 of the most dangerous:


1. Pararescue

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: US Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Scott Taylor

Pararescue jumpers are basically the world’s best ambulance service. They fly, climb, and march to battlefields, catastrophic weather areas and disaster zones to save wounded and isolated people during firefights or other emergencies.

2. Special operations

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: US Navy Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam Henderson

While this is lumping a few separate jobs together, troops such as Navy SEALs, Army green berets, Air Force combat controllers and others conduct particularly risky missions. They train allied forces, hunt enemy leaders, and go on direct action missions against the worst of America’s adversaries. They get additional training and better equipment than other units, but the challenging nature of their mission results in a lot of casualties.

3. Explosive ordnance disposal

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: US Navy Photographers Mate 1st Class Ted Banks

The bomb squad for the military, explosive ordnance disposal technicians used to spend the bulk of their time clearing minefields or dealing with dud munitions that didn’t go off. Those missions were dangerous enough, but the rise of improvised explosive devices changed all that and increased the risk for these service members.

4. Infantry

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’

Not exactly shocking that infantry is one of the most dangerous jobs on the battlefield. These troops search out and destroy the enemy and respond to calls for help when other units stumble into danger. They are the primary force called on to take and hold territory from enemy forces.

5. Cavalry

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: US Army Sgt. William Tanner

The cavalry conducts reconnaissance and security missions and, if there is a shortage of infantry soldiers, is often called to take and hold territory against enemy formations. Their recon mission sometimes results in them fighting while vastly outnumbered.

6. Combat Engineers

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Bryan Nygaard

Combat engineers do dangerous construction work with the added hazard of combat operations going on all around them. When the infantry is bogged down in enemy obstacles, it’s highly-trained engineers known as Sappers who go forward and clear the way. The engineers also conduct a lot of the route clearance missions to find and destroy enemy IEDs and mines.

7. Artillery

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: US Army

Artillery soldiers send massive rounds against enemy forces. Because artillery destroys enemy formations and demoralizes the survivors, it’s a target for enemy airstrikes and artillery barrages. Also, the artillery may be called on to assume infantry and cavalry missions that they’ve received little training on.

8. Medical

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: US Army Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod

Medics go forward with friendly forces to render aid under fire. While medics are protected under the Geneva Convention, this only helps when the enemy honors the conventions. Even then, artillery barrages and bombing runs can’t tell which troops are noncombatants.

9. Vehicle transportation

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: US Army

Truck driving is another job that became markedly more dangerous in the most recent wars. While driving vehicles in large supply convoys or moving forward with advancing troops was always risky, the rise of the IED threat multiplied the danger for these soldiers. This was complicated by how long it took the military to get up-armored vehicles to all units in Iraq and Afghanistan.

10. Aviation

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: US Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Daniel McClinton

Aircraft provide a lot of capabilites on the battlefield, but that makes them, their crews, and their pilots targets of enemy fire.

11. Artillery observers

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: US Air Force Staff Sgt. DeNoris A. Mickle

Like medics, these soldiers go forward with maneuver forces. They find enemy positions and call down artillery strikes to destroy them. The enemy knows to take them out as quickly as possible since they are usually carrying radios.

Articles

39 Awesome photos of life in the US Marine Corps infantry

YouTube, We Are The Mighty


From fighting pirates in the First Barbary War of 1801 to seizing the Kandahar International Airport in 2001 and beyond, Marine Corps infantrymen have been fighting and winning our nation’s battles for more than 200 years.

Known as “grunts,” infantrymen receive specialized training in weapons, tactics, and communications that make them effective in combat. And while many things have changed for grunts over time, they continue to carry on the legacy that was forged from the “small wars” to the “Frozen Chosin” to the jungles of Vietnam.

After more than a decade of war following the 9/11 attacks, many grunts have deployed to combat …

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

… In Iraq, where they earned their place in history at Nasiriyah, Najaf, and Fallujah (shown here), and many others.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

While others deployed to Afghanistan, into the deadly Korengal Valley …

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Darren Allen

 … Or more recently to Marjah, in Helmand Province.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

But before infantrymen join their units, they need to complete initial training. For enlisted Marines, that means going to the School of Infantry, either at Camp Pendleton, California or Camp Geiger, North Carolina.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

For officers, their training at Infantry Officer Course in Quantico, Va. involves both tactics and weapons, along with a more intense focus on how to lead an infantry platoon.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

While most enlisted grunts become 0311 riflemen, others receive more specialized training, like 0331 machine-gunners, which learn the M240 machine gun (shown here), the MK19 grenade launcher, and the M2 .50 cal.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

0341 Mortarmen learn how to operate the 60 mm (shown below) and 81 mm mortar systems, which help riflemen with indirect fire support when they need a little bit more firepower.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

0351 Assaultmen learn basic demolitions, breaching, and become experts in destroying bad guys with the SMAW rocket system. The Shoulder-launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon (SMAW) is shown below.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

Packing even more punch that’s usually vehicle-mounted, 0352 Anti-tank missilemen learn their primary M41 SABER (below) heavy anti-tank weapon and the Javelin, a medium anti-tank weapon.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Some more experienced infantrymen go into specialized fields, such as Reconnaissance or snipers (below).

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Zac Mercoli

Always present is a focus on mission accomplishment, and to “keep their honor clean” — to preserve the legacy of the Corps …

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Library of Congress

… That grunts are proud of. Always remembering heroics from the Chosin Reservoir Marines in Korea …

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

… To those who fought in Vietnam jungles, or the storied battles of Hue and Khe Sanh.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

Since Vietnam, grunts have been repeatedly been called upon for minor and major engagements, such as Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and Operation United Shield in Somalia in 1995 (below).

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Darren Allen

But it’s not all combat.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Darren Allen

Marine grunts are constantly training, whether it’s practicing amphibious landings …

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

… Or learning the skills needed to survive and thrive in a jungle environment.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

Sometimes they take a break to catch up on their reading.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Michael Sinclair

And when they’re not training, they are trying to have fun.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Josh Boston

Sometimes … maybe too much fun.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Donnie Hickman

While technology has made today’s infantrymen even deadlier, the life of the grunt has always been spartan.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

Grunts often work in rough conditions, and they need to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Nate Hall

And quite often, they need to be self-sufficient. At remote patrol bases, that means everything from burning their trash and other waste …

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Paul Martin

To fixing their morning coffee in any way they can.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Daniel Evans

Grunts learn to appreciate the little things, like care packages from home …

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Matt McElhinney

… Any privacy they can get …

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Daniel Evans

… Or a “FOB Pup” to play around with in between missions.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Daniel Evans

When they get into a fight with the enemy, they battle back just as their predecessors did.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Zac Mercoli

And with solid training and leadership, they can easily transition, as Gen. Mattis says, from no worse enemy to no better friend.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Nate Hall

When things don’t go exactly as planned …

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Josh Boston

… Grunts can usually shake it off with a smile.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: JC Eliott

Especially in a combat zone, humor helps a unit through tough times.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Zac Mercoli

And there are plenty of opportunities for laughs.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Marc Anthony Madding

Whether it’s graffiti on a barrier …

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: JC Eliott

 Or taunting the Taliban with a Phillies t-shirt.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Zac Mercoli

But the bottom line is that grunts are the Marine Corps’ professional war-fighters.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Nate Hall

They forge brotherhoods that last for a lifetime.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo Credit: Nate Hall

And they never forget those who didn’t make it home.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Memorial ceremony for Sgt. Thomas Spitzer. (Photo Credit: US Marine Corps)

Lists

4 reasons why football is the best pastime in the military

Troops come from every walk of life before they serve in the military. Rarely will you find any kind of unifying thread among them like a shared love of American Football. And it’s a service-wide love. Whether the troop was a hardcore fan of their team before they enlisted or it’s just a hobby that they picked up to be part of the conversation, troops love football in all forms.


These are the 4 top reasons why football is the best military pastime.

4. Football as PT

Coming up with an in-depth PT schedule is tricky. You need to balance what makes for a great, full-body workout while also keeping morale up. This is where sports PT comes in.

You’ll see troops who went on a “no ruck march” profile from the doctor earlier in the week be miraculously healed when they hear it’s football day.

How NCOs look trying to catch people breaking profile. (Image via GIPHY)

3. Playing Madden with the boys

After work is done and the lower enlisted go back to the barracks, one of the most common games they’ll pop in the Xbox or Playstation is that year’s edition of Madden.

It’s all fun and games until someone loses and a controller goes through the TV.

But hey! It’s the only way a Cleveland Browns fan can go to the Super Bowl. (Image via GIPHY)

2. Fantasy Football leagues

Every now and then, one of the nerdier troops brings up playing Dungeons and Dragons. They’ll probably get mocked for even suggesting the idea.

But if you change the fantasy setting to “Football” and then add a cash prize and a cheap $20 trophy… all of the sudden, everyone knows every player on every team.

Calvin Johnson gave everyone a reason to watch a Detroit Lions game. (Image via GIPHY)

1. Watching the actual game

While deployed, it doesn’t matter what time it is: If your team is playing, you’re finding a way to watch the game on AFN.

At the end of the day, no matter who you cheer for or whether you watch NFL or NCAA, troops will latch on to their home team and use them as an anchor to their friends and family back home. For a few hours each week, it bonds troops who cheer together and poke fun at fans of the other team — even if they’re sitting right there.



All for the love of the game. (Image via GIPHY)

Lists

These 7 photos show how the Marines take a beach

If the US had to assault a beach today, the assault would have to be conducted from over the horizon in order to avoid being targets for anti-ship missiles launched from several miles inland. This would push amphibious ships back approximately 15-20 nautical miles, stretching the range of current AAV range, which would work in conjunction with assault aircraft and helo’s. Factors to consider are sea state, enemy defenses, maneuverability of nearby enemy armies, range of landing craft, potential casualty rate, availability of logistical support upon landing etc. All of these factors come into play when launching an amphibious assault, and each and every factor has an acceptable “failure rate”, which may or may not become a limiting factor with respect to launching the assault.


The actual assault would have a long timeline, and would look something like the following:

0100: Begin aerial and missile bombardment

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: US Air Force

0200: Launch amphibious landing craft (AAV’s)

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: US Navy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Katerine Noll

0415: Launch helo assault and gunships e.g., V22 Ospreys, Super Stallions and Cobra’s.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Michael L. Haas

0455: AAV arrival at surf zone outside of target objective, halt missile and aerial bombardment.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: US Navy Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Julianne F. Metzger

0500: AAV’ assault beach and begin suppressing fire on target where necessary with accompanying infantry.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: US Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Leo A . Salinas

0505: V22 and Super Stallions drop reinforcing infantry battalion.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: US Air Force Tech. Sgt. DeNoris Mickle

0600: Beach secure, begin landing heavy armor and logistical support.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: US Navy Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Laura A. Moore
Lists

5 useless border walls that barely slowed down the enemy

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then giant border walls must be made of the same material. For the cost, these fixed national fortifications did little good in keeping out those meant to stay on the other side.


The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Even the Night’s Watch didn’t see it coming.

Historically, most barrier fortifications fall well short of its designer’s expectations and these were no different: they were just the most famous ones.

1. The Great Wall of China

This series of walls and forts was actually contructed over many centuries, beginning in the third century, BCE. The Chinese originally wanted to keep out roving barbarians from the North while protecting that border from invasion. It did neither.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
And Superman wasn’t around to rebuild it with his Wall Rebuilding… Vision. (Yes, someone put this in a movie.)

Originally conceived to be 3,000 miles long and anywhere from 15 to 50 high, it was the largest construction project by any civilization ever. Eventually, the Chinese expanded well beyond the wall. And even when they had to retreat, they were still overrun by the Liao and Jin people…and later, by the Great Khan.

2. The Theodosian Walls of Constantinople

These walls were also a series of fortifications built around the furthest extent of Constantinople (now Istanbul) by Emperor Theodosius II between 412-414 CE. While the three miles long, 40-foot walls were effective at keeping out medieval attackers, they weren’t so good against the new cannon technology.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
And once inside… well… you know.

The walls of the city fell in 1453, breached by the Ottoman Turks after only 53 days. The Byzantine defenders knew about the technology but spurned the inventor of the siege cannon because they couldn’t afford it. He then turned around and sold it to the Ottoman Sultan.

3. The Siegfried Line

This monster fortification featured concrete walls and ceilings anywhere from 20 inches to five feet thick. It had thousands of bunkers and tens of thousands of pillboxes and tank traps. Much of the 390 mile stretch of wall, concrete, razor wire, and mines must have been a very formidable sight, after its construction between 1938 and 1940.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’

What slowed down American tanks at this “West Wall” in September 1944 was a lack of gasoline, not the line itself. The truth is that after years of neglect, the wall was overgrown by vegetation. The Germans didn’t have the manpower to man the wall and it wasn’t designed to fight the newest tanks built for the war. The Americans penetrated the wall within weeks.

4. The Maginot Line

The French did not actually believe their 940-mile network of bunkers, rail lines, concrete and steel would permanently keep out invaders, they just wanted something that would allow them to mobilize an effort to repel anyone who attacks them. So they built the Maginot Line between 1929 an 1936.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
This was impressive, but clearly not built in Belgium.

In the end, it didn’t even do that. The Germans attacked through Belgium, just as they did during the previous World War. And when the Nazis did advance on the Northernmost sections of the line, they took the fortifications in four days.

5. The Bar Lev Line

The Israelis built a $300 million fortification along the Suez Canal. They also knew it wouldn’t hold the Egyptians off forever if they were attacked suddenly. The Bar Lev Line was expected to hold them off for at least 24-48 hours while the IDF mounted a counter attack. You can probably guess how well it worked.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
That’s why we don’t use earthworks so much anymore.

Armed with 100 water cannons, the Egyptians broke through the $300 million fortification in about two hours. The water cannons swept away the earthworks and a 53-minute artillery barrage breached other, reinforced areas of the wall.

Articles

The US military took these incredible photos this week

The military has very talented photographers in its ranks, and they constantly attempt to capture what life as a service member is like during training and at war. This is the best of what they shot this week:


AIR FORCE:

A sunset is seen through the nose of a B-25 Mitchell during a military tattoo held at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, Sept. 16, 2015. The “warbird flight” consisted of two B-25 Mitchells, two P-40 Warhawks and a P-51 Mustang.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo by Airman 1st Class Ryan J. Sonnier/USAF

A P-51 Mustang flies over Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, during a military tattoo Sept. 16, 2015.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo by Airman 1st Class Philip Bryant/USAF

ARMY:

Soldiers in Basic Combat Training low crawl through the final obstacle during the Fit to Win endurance course at Fort Jackson, S.C., Oct. 1, 2015.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton/US Army

A soldier, sets up a claymore mine during the JMRC’s Expert Infantryman Badge Competition at the Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Sept. 29, 2015.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo by Visual Information Specialist Markus Rauchenberger/US Army

NAVY:

IWO TO, Japan (Sept. 29, 2015) Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5 conduct a special patrol insertion/extraction exercise aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Ronald Reagan and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Paolo Bayas/USN

PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 28, 2015) An AV-8B Harrier II assigned to the Black Sheep of Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 214 lands on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) during flight operations. Boxer is underway off the coast of Southern California conducting routine training exercises and maintenance in preparation for its upcoming deployment.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael T. Eckelbecker/USN

MARINE CORPS:

11th Marine Regiment works through the debris and fog in order to fire rounds during Supporting Arms Coordination Center Exercise on San Clemente Island, California, Sept. 25, 2015. The exercise is the first time these Marines and sailors will work together at sea in preparation for deployment.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo by Lance Cpl. Alvin Pujols/USMC

A AH-1Z Cobra with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force lands aboard the USS New Orleans during the PHIBRON-MEU Integration exercise off the coast of San Clemente, California, Sept. 27, 2015. This marks the first at-sea exercise for the PHIBRON-MEU Marines and Sailors as they work together in preparation for deployment to the Pacific and Central Command areas of responsibility in early 2016.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo by Sgt. Tyler C. Gregory/USMC

COAST GUARD:

USCG Cutter Healy uses spotlights while navigating through ice Sept. 20, 2015. The lights allow the helmsman to see pressure ridges and other obstacles, aiding in the completion of a safe night passage through the Arctic Ocean.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Cory J. Mendenhall/USCG

Time for some ice training USCG Cutter Healy crewmembers conduct ice rescue training Sept. 4, 2015, while underway in the Arctic Ocean. Qualified crewmembers stand ice rescue watch any time scientists or others are working on the ice.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Cory J. Mendenhall

NOW: More incredible photos

OR: This sub sank because its commander couldn’t flush his toilet

Articles

The 9 fastest piloted planes in the world

The world’s fastest manned planes are nothing short of engineering marvels.


Capable of flitting through the air at multiple times the speed of sound, these planes take the pilot to the fringe of science fiction.

Although a number of these aircraft have since been retired, they continue to be the fastest manned aircraft in history.

The designs and advances achieved with these planes have also left an immense impact upon the development of the planes that succeeded them.

Here’s a look at the world’s nine fastest manned aircraft ever flown.

F-4 Phantom II

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: Wikimedia

Maximum speed: 1,472 mph

Maximum range:1,615 miles

First flight: May 27, 1958

The supersonic F-4 Phantom II jet was originally developed just for the US Navy and officially entered into service in 1960. In the mid-1960s, the interceptor was adopted by the US Marine Corps and the US Air Force.

The F-4 carries more than 18,000 pounds of weapons, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, and various bombs. The primary fighter jet during the Vietnam War, the Phantom II was gradually replaced by the F-15 and the F-18 Hornet.

Convair F-106 Delta Dart

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: Wikimedia

Maximum speed: 1,525 mph

Maximum range:1,800 miles

First flight: December 25, 1956

First introduced into service in 1959, the Convair F-106 was designed to intercept and destroy Soviet bombers during the Cold War. The Delta Dart carried sophisticated radar, infrared missiles, and a nuclear-tipped rocket, according to the Aerospace Museum of California.

The F-106 still holds the world record as the fastest single-engine fighter at 1,525 mph. The F-106 is considered one of the most challenging fighter jets to operate because of its heavy cockpit workload.

Mikoyan MiG-31 Foxhound

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: Wikimedia

Maximum speed: 1,860 mph

Maximum range:2,050 miles

First flight: September 16, 1975

First introduced into service on May 6, 1981, the Soviet MiG-31 remains one of the fastest combat jets ever designed. Built as an interceptor aircraft, the Foxhound continues to serve in the Russian and Kazakh air forces.

Despite its age, Russia plans to keep the aircraft in service until 2030.

Mikoyan Ye-152

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: Wikimedia

Maximum speed: 1,883 mph

Maximum range: 913 miles

First flight: July 10, 1959

The Ye-152 was first introduced in 1959 and was an operational interceptor derived from the Mikoyan Ye-150. The Ye-152 is best known for paving the way for the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 Foxbat.

XB-70 Valkyrie

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: NASA

Maximum speed: 2,056 mph

Maximum range: 4,288 miles

First flight: September 21, 1964

The XB-70 was a prototype of the never-completed US B-70 nuclear-capable strategic bomber. The bomber was intended to bomb targets while traveling at over Mach 3 at high altitudes.

Soviet missile defenses and the expansion of the role of intercontinental ballistic missile systems ultimately led to the abandonment of the B-70 program. The only two completed XB-70 prototypes were then used as test vehicles for high-speed flight.

Bell X-2 “Starbuster”

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: USAF

Maximum speed: 2,094 mph

First flight: September 18, 1955

The Bell X-2, which only flew for a brief span between November 1955 and September 1956, was a research aircraft jointly constructed by the Bell Aircraft Corporation, the US Air Force, and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. The plane was developed to test flight between Mach 2 and 3.

On September 27, 1956, the X-2 reached its recorded maximum speed of 2,094 mph. During the flight, however, test pilot Milburn G. Apt died. He was the first man to break Mach 3.

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 Foxbat

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo by Dmitriy Pichugin (Wikimedia)

Maximum speed: 2,170 mph

Maximum range: 1,599 miles

First flight: March 6, 1964

The Soviet MiG-25, which was first introduced in 1970, was built as a supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft. Due to the aircraft’s large wings, the US assumed it was a highly maneuverable fighter. Instead, the Foxbat needed the large wings due to its weight.

The MiG-25’s maximum speed of Mach 3.2 is not sustainable without causing engine damage. Its top sustainable speed is 1,920 mph (Mach 2.83).

SR-71 Blackbird

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: YouTube screengrab

Maximum speed: 2,200 mph

Maximum range:3,682 miles

First flight: December 22, 1964

The SR-71, designed by Lockheed Martin, was a marvel of a plane. It flew at altitudes of over 80,000 feet at speeds greater than 2,000 mph. The plane, engineered for surveillance, flew for more than 30 years and was capable of outrunning antiaircraft missiles lobbed at it.

For perspective, on its retirement flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., the SR-71 flew coast to coast in only 67 minutes.

X-15

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: NASA

Maximum speed: 4,520 mph

First flight: June 8, 1959

The world’s fastest manned aircraft is the rocket-powered X-15. The X-15 flew for the first time on June 8, 1959, after successfully deployed at 45,000 feet from another aircraft. A few years later, on October 3, 1967, the X-15 pulverized all flight-speed records with a stunning 4,520 mph, or Mach 6.72, speed.

Three X-15s were made and flew a total of 199 flights before the $300 million program was retired.

More from Business Insider:

This article originally appeared at Business Insider Defense. Copyright 2015. Follow BI Defense on Twitter.

Articles

The US military took these incredible photos in just one week-long period

The military has very talented photographers in the ranks, and they constantly attempt to capture what life as a service member is like during training and at war. Here is the best of what they shot this week:


AIR FORCE

Tech. Sgt. Timothy Cotterall, an Air National Guard emergency manager, is decontaminated following attempts to identify multiple biological contaminants in a simulated lab during a Global Dragon training event on March 18, 2015. Held at the Guardian Centers of Georgia, Global Dragon Deployment For Training provides a refresher course for Airmen, allowing them to put their skills to use to identify live chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents and materials. 

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: Tech. Sgt. Timothy Cotterall/US Air Force

The lights along the flightline at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, shine under the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights March 18, 2015. Eielson is home to RED FLAG-Alaska, a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. forces, provides joint offensive counter-air, interdiction, close air support, and large force employment training in a simulated combat environment.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel/US Air Force

NAVY

WATERS NEAR GUAM (March 26, 2015) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), right, comes alongside the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Pecos (T-AO 197) for a replenishment-at-sea during Multi-Sail 2015.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Patrick Dionne/US Navy

WATERS NEAR GUAM (March 27, 2015) U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships are underway in formation during Multi-Sail 2015. Multi-Sail is an annual Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 exercise designed to assess combat systems, improve teamwork and increase warfighting capabilities in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force is participating in Multi-Sail for the first time.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel M. Young/US Navy

ARMY

The sun sets on Soldiers assigned to 2d Cavalry Regiment, after conducting a tactical road march from Mihail Kogalniceanu Airbase to Smardan Training Area, Romania, March 24, 2015. The Soldiers are preparing to partner with Soldiers assigned to 173rd Airborne Brigade and Romanian forces for a multinational training event in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: Sgt. William A. Tanner/US Army

Paratroopers assigned to 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, conduct an after action review after completing a night live-fire, on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.during U.S. Army Alaska’s Exercise Spartan Valkyrie, March 23, 2015.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: Staff Sgt. Daniel Love/US Army

MARINE CORPS

A Marine engages targets from a UH-1Y Venom with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, during Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) above San Clemente Island, California, March 20, 2015. COMPTUEX gives the Marines of VMM-161 the opportunity to practice real-world scenarios and hone their skill sets.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: Sgt. Jamean Berry/US Marine Corps

A Marine with Combat Logistics Battalion 2, dives underwater to perform a self-rescue drill during a swim qualification course aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, March 18, 2015. The purpose of the course was to maintain proficiency, and enhance the Marines skills in water survival techniques.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: Lance Cpl. Andre Dakis/US Marine Corps

COAST GUARD

Coast Guard members from Coast Guard Sector Boston, Coast Guard Station Merrimack River and the First Coast Guard District conduct flare training on Plum Island, Mass., Dec. 15, 2014. The participants fired several different types of flares to gain familiarity with the operation and appearance for each type of flare.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class MyeongHi Clegg/US Coast Guard

As the sun sets, a crew member acts as lookout aboard Barque Eagle in the North Atlantic, April 2, 2014. Coast guard Cutter Eagle is the only active commissioned sailing vessel, and one of only two commissioned sailing vessels along with the USS Constitution, in American military service.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Photo: Petty Officer 2nd Class LaNola Stone/US Coast Guard

NOW: Why Vietnam vet and Hollywood legend Dale Dye thinks ending the draft was a ‘terrible mistake’

AND: 5 sports stars who saw heavy combat in the military

Articles

5 nuggets of wisdom in ‘Black Hawk Down’ you may have missed

In 1993, US forces consisting of Army Rangers and Delta Force commandos stormed into Mogadishu, Somalia, to capture warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid and key members of his militia.


During the raid, two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were shot down, 18 Americans were killed, and 73 were wounded.

Director Ridley Scott brought the heroic story to the big screen in 2001’s “Black Hawk Down” which portrays aspects of the power of human will and brotherly bonds between the soldiers in the fight.

Peel back the layers of the film and check out a few nuggets of wisdom you may have missed in the story.

Related: Here’s how Hollywood turns actors into military operators

1. Never underestimate the enemy

US forces tend to believe because a nation is poor, they don’t have any fight in them. Remember that the enemies we typically fight have home field advantage.

2. Don’t f*ck with Delta Force

Enough said — and probably the coolest line in the movie.

3. Understanding what you can’t control

It’s a common misconception that the ground troops know why they’re sent to a fight.

The truth is — there’s always a mission behind the mission. But that doesn’t matter, because it boils down in the end to surviving and taking care of your men. That’s real leadership.

4. Life doesn’t always make sense

After watching one of the hardest scenes in the film, a Ranger’s death, Sgt. Eversmann (played by Josh Hartnett) questions himself and over-analyzes his own leadership. Honestly, no matter how much you train, you can’t predict sh*t.

Also Read: 5 military myths that Hollywood has taught us to believe are true

5. Why we do it

It’s nice to be told “thank you for your service” by civilians every now and again, but truthfully we don’t like it. Hoot (played by Eric Bana) clears it up in one line — why grunts do what they do.

Can you think of any others? Comment below.

popular

8 things civilians should know before dating someone in the military

Dating a service member is different than dating a civilian. But just how much different is it? Here are eight things to consider before jumping into a relationship with someone in uniform.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Bill Johnson-Miles

1. Service members are independent and you should be too.

Troops have to deploy, which means not having him or her around for important events like anniversaries, birthdays and weddings. If you’re a person that constantly needs their physical presence, dating a service member is probably the wrong choice.

2. Don’t be jealous.

Most of the U.S. military is integrated. They deploy to remote locations and work long hours with members of the opposite sex. You’ll have a hard time trusting your significant other if you’re naturally jealous.

3. Don’t overly display supportive military gear like you’re rooting for your favorite sports team.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Presumably not milspouses here, but similar energy to some (U.S. Army photo)

It’s okay to be proud of your boyfriend or girlfriend serving in the military, but you can take it a bit too far. Gear includes t-shirts, bumper stickers, jewelry and more. You may think it’s cute and supportive, but you’ve just painted a target on the back of your significant other as the butt of many jokes.

4. It’s not being mean, it’s tough love.

Service members are used to direct communication, so avoid that passive aggressive, vague, manipulative language that your mother-in-law likes to use. Direct communication is instilled from day one in the military. I can still remember my drill instructor yelling, “say what you mean, and mean what you say!”

5. There will be secrets.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
It could always be worse…

Depending on their specialty, service members are trained to be more guarded than others. This is especially true with members that require a clearance to do their job. You can poke and prod all you want, but it’s not going to happen. You’ll have to be okay with not knowing that part of their life.

6. You have to be willing to move.

If you’re looking for a life partner in the military, you’ve got to be willing to give up ties to a specific location. This could mean giving up your career and being away from family. Some service members move every three years. Are you willing to live like a nomad?

7. You have to be flexible.

Plans might change or be canceled at the last minute. One moment they’re free to go on a date night, the next day they’re pulling an all-nighter. Same goes for weekends. Just because they spend one weekend with you doesn’t mean that next weekend will be the same.

8. Learn to tolerate his buddies.

The 10 best military-themed sketches from ‘Saturday Night Live’
(U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)

The military is a brotherhood. Their lives depend on this special bond, so don’t think that they can just go out and get new friends. Learn to get along with friends, even the annoying immature one.


Feature image: U.S. Army

Humor

17 GIFs that will remind you of your first combat deployment

Deploying to war is an interesting time in a person’s life.


The experience will change how they see the world and they’ll never forget the milestones they encountered.

Related: 6 silly things troops bring into combat zones

Check out these GIFs that will remind you of your first combat deployment:

1. That feeling you got when your unit was informed they’re going on a year long deployment

You couldn’t wait to go. (Images via Giphy)

2. That patriotic moment when you boarded the bus to leave and looked back at your family

‘Merica! (Images via Giphy)

3. How awesome it felt to gear up for that first patrol

Oh, yeah! (Images via Giphy)

4. That time when your squad left the wire and were ready to f*ck sh*t up

We’re coming for you. (Images via Giphy)

 5. When you got bummed out because the enemy didn’t shoot at you

D*mn… (Images via Giphy)

6. When you have that first nightmare because you actually took the Doxycycline

I’m having a bad trip, guys. (Images via Giphy)

 7. How you initially reacted the first time you heard a massive explosion

Where’s it coming from? (Images via Giphy)

8. That special moment when you finally got to engage the enemy

Take that, ISIS. (Images via Giphy)

9. When your unit received its first care package shipment

Beef Jerky! Socks! (Images via Giphy)

10. The first time you tried to call home

“We’re breaking up!” “Wait, what?!” (Images via Giphy)

11. When the RR transport was loading up to leave

Thailand, here we go! (Images via Giphy)

12. When your motivation finally runs out

I’m done. (Images via Giphy)

13. Your dreams after you stopped taking your Doxycycline

So comforting. (Images via Giphy)

14. When the massive explosions didn’t bother you anymore

No big deal. (Images via Giphy)

15. What you did to someone that jokingly brought up the term “stop loss”

Tell me I have to stay one more time. (Images via Giphy)

17. When you’re finally told you’re rotating back home after a year deployment

Celebrate. (Images via Giphy)

Bonus: When you ate your first home-cooked meal back in the states.

Thanks, Mom! (Images via Giphy)

Can you think of any more? Comment below.

Do Not Sell My Personal Information