WATM Editorial Post Types
The Laid-back Professor (WATM default)
Explains a topic to the audience. It should typically be 750 words or less (but can go longer for really big topics). The voice should be similar to an academic at a bar or a very laid back professor. It’s the infantry S3 explaining a tactic to an artillery S3 over chow. This is often used for historical pieces and new technology, but also occasionally for unknown tactics or units.
The laid back professor voice is the default voice for WATM. We should be smarter than the reader but not pushy or too cocky. Use active voice unless there is a specific reason to go passive. Don’t talk down to the reader. Don’t use a $20 word when a $5 will do.
- This 85-year-old Special Forces legend has one of the most badass military resumes we’ve ever seen
- These 4 Marines killed so many Germans, the Nazis thought they were an allied battalion
- 6 jobs in the military that require insane brainpower
Hero from History
Find a verifiable badass from history who did some really historic stuff and write an exciting rundown of what they did. Use action words, linger in moments when the hero was in extreme danger or acted as a total badass.
- Listen to a Green Beret tell the story of his Medal Of Honor
- The man who held off six enemy tanks and waves of infantry for an hour by firing on them while standing atop a burning tank
- This Army medic saved 14 lives with a broken leg while under fire
The Pep Rally
These are all about how awesome America or a specific military specialty is. They should be upbeat and laudatory, the highlight reel of a group of badasses. The voice is similar to a commander getting the troops pumped before a major operation or a principal pumping up the school before the big game (or them celebrating a recent victory). Try to find lots of photos/video.
- This is the French aircraft carrier headed to Syria for payback
- That time 4 Royal Marines strapped themselves to attack helicopters and rode into a Taliban stronghold
- British sniper blows the head off of ISIS executioner during beheading training session
The Fight Card
How would two awesome forces match up in a fight? It’s a play-by-play of a fictional battle. Cite sources and discuss what makes these units different from others. Whatever asset or capability sets the units apart has to be used in the post. Should be a little suspenseful and narrated using lots of action words.
- Here’s what would happen if modern Marines battled the Roman Empire
- Here’s who’d win if an Airborne brigade fought a MEU
- How long the US military would last in a war against the rest of the world
Someone did something cute and it made everyone feel happy, or someone made something profound that makes everyone feel proud/sad. These almost always need video/photo support. They aren’t always top performers, so be sure your subject is very endearing/heart-wrenching while still being connected to the military.
- Everyone should see these powerful images of wounded vets
- 25 photos showing why The Warrior Games is the world’s most inspiring competition
- Stricken 6 year-old ‘earns’ SEAL trident
Group items into a list and write a short bit about each, usually 50-100 words. Try not to use the “Top 5” or “Top 10.” You want to have 7, 11, 4, etc. entries to imply that the list is exactly as long as it needs to be, not lengthened or shortened to an arbitrary number.
Also, the list should be only as long as it needs to be. If an item feels like it almost fits, leave it out. If it definitely fits, add it in (even if it makes the post a bit long).
- 14 reasons Chuck Yeager may be the greatest military pilot of all time
- 11 things a military buddy would do that a civilian BFF probably won’t
- 11 legends of the US Marine Corps
These are tales of heroism to make people wave the American flag and eat apple pie. A badass did badass things that you should know about. Like pep rally stories, these are laudatory.
- American soldier killed in Iraq while rescuing more than 70 ISIS hostages
- This sniper scored 16 headshots in 30 seconds . . . at night
Something is infuriating and controversial, and here’s what’s happening with it. For controversies, WATM is always pro-military but presents both sides of the issue. These are used to ride waves of outrage or discussion, but should be written with a fairly detached voice. “Here are the facts: …”
- The Air Force will no longer fire three volley salutes at veteran funerals
- Congressman calls Navy secretary a greater threat to Marines than ISIS
- Report finds VA suicide hotline lets many crisis calls go to voicemail
Something happened and everyone should know about it right now. Check to see if Business Insider or another syndication partner already has a story about it. WATM news posts should cite 2-3 other articles or primary sources. Should be written quickly to capitalize on Facebook trend.