The Marines have a proud history of heroism and leadership within the ranks. Take this quiz and find out which legend you are most like:
OC qualifying is one of the most dreaded requirements in the military. Occasionally, you’ll run into some people who will try to act tough by saying that OC qualifying isn’t so bad but they’re lying. It is that bad.
Certain ranks in the military require that the troop first experience the pain of oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray. For the same reasons one might opt to experience the pain of a taser, the aim here is for the person carrying such a tool to understand how it feels so they think twice before using it.
Getting kicked in the family jewels
This is extremely painful for any man to experience — but it’s still not as bad as getting pepper sprayed and then subsequently having to fight people and do workouts afterward.
Getting a toenail removed without lidocaine
Granted, any type of procedure is going to be painful without a sedative, but no matter how painful that procedure is, it’s still not as bad as taking pepper spray to the face.
CS gas qualification
This is probably the worst part of boot camp — getting put into a bunker filled with tear gas then being forced to pull the mask off your face. If you’ve got lungs of steel, no problem, just hold your breath. But, if you take the smallest breath, your entire respiratory system is going to be on fire. Even still, pepper spray is much worse.
This one will likely stir some debate, but let’s be real: At the end of a MARSOC screener, even if you don’t get picked, there’s the gratification of having completed some of the most grueling preliminary testing the military has to offer. At the end of OC qualification, you’re just in pain.
People who have done both taser and OC qualification will debate this all day. You’ll hear some may say they’d rather get tasered ten times than be sprayed once and vice versa. The truth, however, is that with tasers, the pain ends when the trigger is released. With OC, the pain lingers long after you complete training.
Training for a helicopter crash in water is fun for some, but a lot of people hate it. For those who don’t know, what happens is you get strapped into a simulated helicopter, which then gets dropped in a pool, submerged, and flipped upside down.
Your goal is to escape the grips of death and resurface. Once you get out of the helicopter, you’re done — that’s it.
The most commonly despised word across the military is “reenlistment.” While the option to reenlist is not exciting, some might even choose it over getting pepper-sprayed again.
Feature image: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mariette M. Adams
There is a time and place in your career where being recognized as smart is advantageous. Yet there are troops out there who straight up refuse to do any administrative work. Whether it is because you’re comfortable with your current job or you’re getting out soon and do not want additional responsibility, we do not judge. If you’re a brand-new troop do not fly too high, Icarus, the brass are always on the prowl for talent.
1. Avoid filling out paperwork too quickly
To be organized is a military trait that is instilled in us since basic training. However, organized room inspections are different than keeping the platoon organized. Do it too well and you’ll be drafted to desk. If you hate paperwork, then take your time doing it. Still, get it done when it counts but when the colonel needs a new gatekeeper, show that you’re I R Grunt. It’s that or else you’ll have to get used to talking to people way above your pay grade on a daily basis.
2. Never volunteer to intellectually challenging tasks
Whenever there is a technical problem let one of the boots (new troops) handle it. Once you fix a few too many computer problems, you become the go-to person every time the most mundane problem happens.
3. Never be seen teaching a class
Training the next generation is continuous. If you want to avoid being the guide to present the annual training courses to thousands of people, do not get caught teaching. Of course, train your troops but don’t let people see you do it. You want to appear to be a sh*t bag, not actually be one.
4. You’ve never heard of powerpoint
Do not believe for a second that a colonel or above makes his or her own powerpoint presentations. If you let people know that you know a thing or two about Microsoft Office, you’re going to have a bad time. It’s not enough that you have to make the weekly command and staff meetings as an enlisted NCO, but they will also hover over you the whole time. ‘Why don’t you do it?’ is unfortunately not a desirable option to say.
5. Don’t ask too many questions
The easiest way to get picked to answer a question nobody asked is if you asked it before. If you’re constantly asking questions and getting answers then you’re going to know more than most. If it is something important then, ask away. Throw in some dumba** questions in there too — for flavor.
Do not be surprised when you always get picked to explain something in layman’s terms. Suddenly you’re the training NCO at S-3 operations because you know everything about training.
6. When all else fails, eat some crayons
If you seriously are that opposed to working in an office setting or gaining more responsibility; then you can always resort to saying ‘I don’t know’. I can’t tell you how many times the situation presented itself when someone simply stated ‘I’m dumb as sh*t, staff sergeant,’ and it worked! It works best for techy kind of working parties. We knew, he knew, and the NCOIC (Non commissioned officer in charge) damn well knew it too but he moved on and picked someone else. Hearing the words is enough to convince people you actually chew crayons.
You can’t walk the walk unless you can talk the talk. How well do you know your military slang?
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For a test you know all the answers to that never changes, the Physical Fitness Test is always a mixed bag of results. Let’s admit it, the only people who worry about the PFT are those that only work out so they can pass the PFT.
The boys at Terminal Boots made this hilarious video about the typical Marine PFT and nailed the experience for all the troops in all service branches. Sure, requirements vary from service branch to service branch but the human element is practically the same.
Case in point comes from Deacon who’s puking his guts out at the beginning of the video. Like Deacon, there’s always that person who’s hungover or drunk from the night before because they had extra time off — probably because leadership let them off early so they can be rested prior to the PFT.
Watch (Humorous PFT profanity warning):
Super Bowl LIII was the stuff of… well, not legends, exactly — even though the Patriots did become only the second team in NFL history to win six Super Bowls. Whether you were rooting for Brady to cement his GOAT status or hoping the Rams could headbutt him into history, fans from both sides were a little disappointed by the early action in the game.
Here are some of the best memes to come out of the wait, the 4th-quarter fireworks, and the Super Bowl ads:
They’re not exactly wrong:
For anyone who missed the game and hasn’t seen yet: The defenses played amazingly and the coaches did well, but there weren’t many Hail Mary passes or stunning breakouts by running backs.
So, yeah, if you were into offensive plays:
Defense wins championships — not hearts.
The unforced errors were also disappointing, to say the least.
If everyone could just play like conference champions, that would be great.We Are The Mighty
But then the 4th quarter happened.
But then, finally, the Patriots got into the Red Zone. And then they scored. And Rams fans … Well, their world was crushed.
And the victory memes debuted basically immediately.
Good work, Patriots. Congrats on number six.We Are The Mighty
There were some good ads, though.
On the ad side, Bud Light had a few great ones, Stella Artois had an awesome one with Jeff Bridges as The Dude, Harrison Ford and his dog taught everyone about failed Alexa prototypes, and Microsoft showed off their adaptive controllers.
Kia’s ad debuted their swimming SUV, for some reason.
To be clear, no, Kia isn’t releasing a swimming SUV. But their ad about the Kia Telluride showed the small town in Georgia that makes the car and then showed someone driving the car into a river like they didn’t want it anymore (and, yes, it more likely be the Coast Guard than Navy).
The infantry squad leader is a billet that demands leadership and integrity. There is an unofficial rite of passage that every squad must endure. I’m not talking about the first order issued or the trials of combat. No–it’s when your squad leader sings his favorite, stereotypically “girly” songs. Maybe it’s boredom or his brain has turned to soup because of all the stupid he has to put up with.
In Afghanistan, our squad leader lost a bet to our Staff NCO and had to do a patrol debrief wearing spandex short shorts. What we saw was not meant for mortal eyes. The constant stretching and Ke$ha songs, however, were not mandatory. If he had to pay the price, so did all of us. If your squad leader doesn’t sing ridiculous songs at some point, is he even a real leader?
Ke$ha – Tik Tok
Vietnam Veterans had Jimi Hendrix and Creedence Clearwater Revival – meanwhile, we have this. Out of all the things that can give someone PTSD, I can’t listen to this song without remembering the horrors of that day. Was it worth it Staff Sergeant?
Pinkfong – Baby Shark
If you have had kids this song has given you PTSD. Naturally, drill instructors sunk their teeth into it immediately at the height of it’s popularity.
Katy Perry – Firework
For a long time, Katy Perry was the darling of the Marine Corps. She has done numerous shows for the troops on USO tours and even made a tribute music video. She has partnered with UNICEF and Generosity Water to help children around the world. Her humanitarian resume stretches decades into the past making it less inhibiting to be a fan in uniform. If your squad leader didn’t at least hum this during a tactical halt, sweating and losing his marbles – yet happy, then it wasn’t a real deployment.
Britney Spears – Baby one more time
A classic. A must have on the list. Generally the older SNCOs sing this because of their aversion to pop culture, although ironically, this is pop culture – but old.
Christina Aguilera – Genie in a Bottle
Same as above.
Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
When I was a devil pup embarking on my first deployment, this song hit the air waves. Unfortunately for us, since we were without internet, it was one of the only songs people would sing. Mother Monster is beautiful and a great singer. However, when her lyrics come out of the mouth of the leadership, you start reevaluating your life choices.
The Navy’s theme song
As is tradition.
Aqua – Barbie Girl
We’ve all sung this one. Laugh it up because then we’re going in a fun run when its over. Even the Russians are doing it!
Feature image: Screen capture from YouTube.
From the outside, the U.S. military is the finest fighting force on earth. For those who have served in its ranks, the reality behind the scenes is a bit different. In fact, most units have tons of gear that is either too old or too dangerous to use these days. But, you can’t throw them out because they’re still sensitive items in someone’s property book. Here are some of the most common.
1. Reagan-era vehicles and their associated items
Maybe it’s the keys to a CUCV that was turned in decades ago but never signed over. Or perhaps it’s a maintenance manual for the M880 Dodge that’s now being driven by a local who works as a contractor on post (still don’t know how he ended up with the keys). Better yet, a starter motor for a deuce and a half that keeps getting signed over from NCO to NCO because no one wants to get rid of something so valuable. This kind of stuff seems to be hanging around in every motor pool across the military. Just hope you don’t have one of the actual vehicles still hanging around. If you do, make sure your SGLI is up to date before getting in it.
Technically, this stuff is still used by the Navy. Even so, it’s mainly the old K-pot that’s officially in use aboard ships. Yet, somehow, these old vests and helmets in M81 U.S. Woodland camo still hang around supply rooms like an annoying party guest that you just can’t get rid of. Naturally, they’re still on the property book and can’t be DX’d either. Introduced in 1983, the Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops was a huge step forward in protective gear from the old M1 steel helmet and flak jacket. However, armor has come a long way since then. The only folks in uniform who should be wearing this stuff is ROTC cadets and that’s only so they can build character.
3. KOI-18 Tape Reader
If you’ve had to account for one of these and didn’t know what it was, you’re in good company. If you’ve ever actually used one, you’re a unicorn. The KOI-18 is a hand-held paper tape reader developed by the NSA. It’s a fill device for loading cryptographic keys into security devices like encryption systems. These days, NCOs just instruct on the history and operation of the KOI-18, but never actually use it. If you did have to use it, and thus burn the tape, you have our sympathies. The tape is thin, prone to jamming, and surprisingly difficult to burn. Most units still have them because of MTOE requirements, so don’t you dare lose track of it.
4. Old laptops
Let’s be honest here. These things can barely run your annual cyber awareness training. The only reason they’re still signed to someone is that S6 can’t (or won’t) take them back. These things are sitting in a drawer somewhere and only come out for property inspections or when someone new arrives and you really want to mess with them. Yes, that is a floppy disk drive. No, you can’t get a new computer.
Feature image: U.S. Army
The divide between the military’s enlisted and officer ranks has long been a source of humor for American service members, especially when it comes to the “luxuries” that officers get.
A Royal Marine recently took the banter a step further by creating a hilarious video that shows just how easy he thinks his officers have it when it comes to their meals, which — according to him — involves a candlelit dinner complete with silverware, baguette and newspaper. Very British indeed.
Check out the video below to see this Marine’s hilariously British take on officer eats:
This video was released by the Royal Marines Reserve Meyerside, a reserve military organization based in Liverpool, England.
WATCH: Vet On The Street
For around 30 years, the food court at the center of the Pentagon’s courtyard was an easy source of mid-afternoon calories for the hungry planners of a potential World War III with the Eastern Bloc. There was just one problem, and it wasn’t the food.
It was said the Soviet Union had at least two nuclear missiles pointed at it at all times.
The hot dog stand, replaced in the early 2000s with another, presumably less hot dog-oriented food stand, was the center of life for a lot of the Cold War lunches had by the staff at the nation’s most important military building. It was said that the Soviet Union watched the comings and goings of top U.S. military brass in and out of the tiny structure in the middle of the courtyard every day.
They surmised it must be an important planning center or command and control bunker. So, obviously, when the war broke out, it would have to be one of the first things to go. Two ICBMs should take care of it.
“Rumor has it that during the Cold War the Russians never had any less than two missiles aimed at this hot dog stand,” Brett Eaton, an information and communications officer for Washington Headquarters Services, told DoD News. “They thought this was the Pentagon’s most top-secret meeting room, and the entire Pentagon was a large fortress built around this hot dog stand.”
No one in Russia has ever confirmed this rumor, but the stand still earned the moniker “Cafe Ground Zero.” In reality, substantiated or not, the hot dog stand was smack dab in the middle of the United States’ most important military building. Since the blast radius of the Soviet Union’s best and biggest nuclear missile was big enough to wipe out New York City along with parts of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, it stands to reason that destroying the hot dog stand at the center of the Pentagon would just be a win for clogged arteries.
Feature image: DoD photo
The chances of you falling on your face are very good. But why?
More and more TikTok trends seem like they’re designed to embarrass men. The so-called chair challenge is a prime example of men failing hilariously where women succeed (Go ahead, try it.). In the latest TikTok trend, dubbed the “center of gravity challenge,” women dominate the battle of the sexes. Men, on the other hand, end up face-planting.
The results are the stuff made for TikTok: Women crush the challenge without breaking a sweat. When men try the same, they can’t hold their bodies up. Their torsos collapse and they faceplant into the ground. Everyone has a laugh and a challenge goes viral.
Editor’s Note: We know you’re going to try this challenge, especially the men in the audience. If you’re trying, you should probably make your attempt over a nice, cushy pillow. If you feel the need to do it over concrete on video without practicing — well, that’s the internet fame that you choose.
But why exactly is this another challenge where women reign and men fall (hard). The reason women don’t have trouble with the challenge is, according to the most prominent theory, that they have a lower center of gravity. On average, a woman’s center of gravity is 8- to 15-percent lower than a man’s, according to an article in the academic journal Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling. It’s speculated that women’s lower center of gravity evolved not for the purpose of making fools out of men on the Internet, but to help them stay stable while walking during pregnancy.
It’s logical reasoning, but also reason that some sexes defy the odds. Not everyone is built the same. Some men may have a lower center of gravity than others. Some women won’t be able to win the center of gravity challenge, and some men will victoriously hover without faceplanting.
Not many though. There’s only one way to find out.
What started out as a joke between friends sent me down one of the most hilarious rabbit holes I have traveled through to date.
It was late one evening, while on a video call with two of my closest friends, when we began discussing the difficulties of deployment. During this conversation, we started looking up terms on The Urban Dictionary that accurately described deployment or long times of separation.
I laughed so hard that my eyes watered profusely and, at one point, I believe I stopped breathing. My nasals were flaring and no sound could escape from my mouth, followed sharply by belly laughs that sounded terribly similar to squawking. We had entered into the type of hallowed cackling that would alarm most people who were of sound mind. Not people like us, who were steeped in sleepless nights and unending laundry piles.
Being that I am in the throes of a year long separation from my husband, who was tasked with a 365-short tour (mere months after returning from another deployment), I have found that humor often lightens the load of stress and anguish. This particular conversation was so undeniably funny that it deserves to be shared.
Here’s to you, you solid few, who are in desperate need of a chuckle as you navigate the landmines of daily living apart from a spouse.
What is it like to go through a deployment? Here is an answer in terms defined by The Urban Dictionary.
The first few weeks could be described as being filled with “Tweaker Peekin’.” If this doesn’t describe the keen sense of paranoia during the first few weeks of sleeping alone, I don’t know what does.
According to Urban Dictionary, Tweaker Peekin’ is “the act of peeking out of blinds or curtains in a rapid and deliberately inconspicuous fashion, consistent with the effects of methamphetamine, under duress of extreme paranoia that one is being surveilled. In extreme cases this phenomenon can last days on end, and typically worsens with increasing sleep deprivation.”
After overcoming the intense need to surveil one’s front and back yard subsides, phase two of the deployment timeline commences with several “snaccidents.” I currently keep an entire stash of Twix Ice Cream candy bars inside a frozen broccoli bag for such an encounter.
Once all of the ice cream in my house has been consumed, its time for the tail end of phase two to take place – insomnia. For whatever reason, sleep deprivation takes over in the first few months and stays around until my subconscious can accept that I’m in it for the long haul and can no longer tolerate long-term sleeplessness. In the meantime, my state of mind could accurately be described as completely “sleep thirsty.”
Phase three of the deployment experience is full of being “fakeawake.” By the third month of deployment, I am so physically tired that it brings me into a state of being “fakeawake,” when “you’re soooooo tired, having lack of sleep and you have to act awake, motivated, or energized.” I, personally, have spent months in the “fakeawake” stage, feigning coherency and capacity.
It isn’t until the middle to the end of the deployment cycle where I feel like I am able to get my proverbial poop in a group. My schedule levels out, my sleeping patterns improve, and I get my kids back on track. It is the “high octane” phase. According to Urban Dictionary, being high octane means to be forceful, powerful, or energetic.
After running hard, and reaching the finish line, I am totally “jacked.” Homecoming presents immense feelings of excitement and giddiness. Even now, I am extremely excited about the upcoming return of my spouse.
Last, but not least… the most accurate Urban Dictionary term for reintegration is “stressure,” or the immense amount of stress produced from high pressure. That’s right. Reintegration is a perfect mixture of high pressure to mold two lives back into one and stress from blowing a completely perfected routine into smithereens.
By the time one makes it all the way through the cycle, it is time for a brief rest and to do it all again. So, suit up folks and keep on keeping on. Make sure to laugh and stay on the bright side as you cycle through! We’re all in this together.
Tang, the orange-flavored drink mix that intrepid American astronauts took into space, wasn’t selling so well until it famously went into orbit. And there’s at least one astronaut who wishes it never left the ground.
Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, the second person to step foot on the moon, told the audience of the 2013 Spike TV Guys Choice awards that “Tang sucks.”
For those unfamiliar with Tang, it’s the orange-flavored breakfast drink that has somehow managed to stick around grocery store shelves for the past 60-plus years, as if there wasn’t already an orange beverage closely associated with mornings. Except the only thing Tang has in common with oranges is its color.
Aldrin, the famous West Point graduate and Air Force astronaut, was not only the second man on the moon, he was a combat pilot in the Korean War. After notching two MiG kills in 66 combat missions, he earned a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and joined NASA. So if Buzz Aldrin says Tang sucks, he’s probably right.
Much of the Twitterverse agreed with him. An informal poll conducted by NPR following his controversial statement found that more than 57.1% of respondents agreed. Another 29.43% disagreed and 13.47% didn’t know what Tang is — and their lives are better off for it.
If you disagree with Aldrin, that’s fine. Just keep in mind that old-school astronauts don’t take guff from laymen. The one time someone tried getting into his face about how the moon landing was faked ended with Aldrin punching that person in the face.
Because NASA took this orange-like beverage on space flights, sales of the drink took off, too. It was so closely linked with the United States’ space program that people came to believe NASA developed the powdered beverage especially for astronauts. That built-in marketing gave it the lift it needed to stay on shelves ever since.
For this American hero’s sake, let’s be clear about Tang. If orange-scented furniture polish tasted exactly how it smelled, it would taste like Tang. The closest Tang powder ever gets to an orange is the picture of an orange on the label. Although it provides 100% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C, that’s about all the benefit you’ll get from it.
Tang also contains two artificial yellow dyes, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, which studies by the Center for Science in the Public Interest say can cause allergic reactions, contain possible carcinogens and may cause hyperactivity in children. It also contains BHA, which the label says is used to “protect flavor,” as if that was something we wanted. Meanwhile, the National Institutes of Health says BHA “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.“
Two good reasons to ditch BHA altogether.
For real food, NASA created dehydrated edibles for the astronauts to consume while in space, including scrambled eggs, curried chicken and raisin rice pudding, all packed in sealed plastic bags.
It’s no wonder U.S. Navy astronaut John Young smuggled a corned beef sandwich aboard a Gemini mission.
Feature image courtesy of NASA.