Watch Stephen Colbert's hilarious stint in Army basic training - We Are The Mighty
MIGHTY HUMOR

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

Remember that time Stephen Colbert tried going through Army basic training?


The comedian and star of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” ended awhile ago, so we figured it was a good time to look back at one of his more memorable segments: “Stephen Strong – Army of Me.”

Also Read: Trust For Brian Williams Has Completely Crashed

“No special treatment, just like any other recruit,” Colbert says in the hilarious clip, hopping out of a limo and sporting a red tracksuit. He is, of course, greeted by a drill sergeant who starts screaming at him and takes him through various physical exercises.

There were plenty of wonderful questions from the private-for-a-day:

— “I’m here for the Army. Is this the Army?”

— “I have a question about tanks. Do they have bathrooms in there, or do you just pee out the barrel?”

— “Permission to go AWOL?”

Watch the clip:

NOW: Watch Jay Leno Give A Wounded Soldier A Brand New Car

OR WATCH: 5 Times When Jon Stewart Made A Difference For America’s Veterans  

MIGHTY HUMOR

For April Fools’ Day, this World War II veteran brought an Alaska volcano to life

Oliver J. “Porky” Bickar rolled out of bed on April Fools’ Day, 1974, looked out his window to a white-topped mountain outside Sitka, Alaska, and told his wife, Patty, “I have to do it today.” She replied with age-old words of wisdom: “Don’t make an ass of yourself.”

Bickar, then 50, had lived in Sitka for 15 years. He was a logger by trade and no stranger to the local editors of the small town Daily Sitka Sentinel newspaper. The showman and serial prankster routinely entertained onlookers with a stunt that involved felling a large tree to smash a target, typically a hard hat, on the ground. 

As April had arrived in each of the previous three years, Bickar had postponed a stunt for which he needed perfect weather conditions. But April 1974 provided a clear blue sky with visibility for miles. His mind raced as his elaborate plan went into motion.

He immediately phoned his conspirators. Harry Sulser, Ken Stedman, and Larry Nelson were close friends, and the group referred to themselves as the “Dirty Dozen.” They all regularly met for coffee at Revard’s Restaurant. The group met at a hangar at the local airport where Bickar had 70 old and discarded tires waiting. He had been collecting them for years for this project. Now they needed air support. Two helicopter pilots refused to join the plan, but Earl Walker from nearby Petersburg accepted.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training
Oliver J. “Porky” Bickar was just 19 when he participated in the D-Day invasion. When he came home, he was a changed young man, but he kept his sense of humor and became a legendary prankster in his community. Photo courtesy of Billion Graves.

The pranksters took all 70 tires, piled them into two large canvas bags with 150-foot rope slings, and attached them to the bottom of the helicopter. They also brought along black smoke bombs, several gallons of kerosene, some rags, and cans of black spray paint. The hooligans scrambled into the chopper and took off toward Mount Edgecumbe.

Mount Edgecumbe sits on Kruzof Island, separated from Sitka and the mainland by about 10 miles of water. While Sitka, a fishing village, sits at sea level, Edgecumbe rises to 3,000 feet, dominating ocean views from the town, which today is a favorite for visiting cruise ships and other tourists. But in the 1970s, the town was an out-of-the-way fishing village and Edgecumbe a volcano that had been dormant for 50 years.

But Bickar’s plan was to convince the town that Edgecumbe had awoken by setting the tires ablaze on the mountain’s peak.

As outlandish as Bickar’s plan seemed, he knew he had seen crazier. The jokester had enlisted in the US Army in 1942 and worked in a unit that waterproofed vehicles such as tanks and trucks in anticipation for the saltwater immersion of the D-Day invasion. 

Bickar arrived in Normandy three days after D-Day. “It was all a dream,” he said in 2002, a year before he died, at a ceremony honoring veterans with the Jubilee of Liberty Medal, an award the French government created for participants in the invasion. “A big dream. I was seasick and so scared and mixed up. After I hit the beach, and got my feet settled, I came out of it — and became the man, the soldier, I could be.”

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training
Porky Bickar submitted his April Fools’ prank to the Alaskan Brag Contest in 1975 and, somehow, lost. The winner described surviving a bear attack. Photo courtesy of Anchorage Daily News document cloud.

Bickar also served with Lt. Gen. George Patton’s 3rd Army and participated in its march through France, Belgium, and across the Rhine River. He told the Daily Sitka Sentinel in 1984 about a harrowing experience in which he and another soldier overpowered and killed a German soldier who was marching them to a POW camp.

When the chopper landed on Mount Edgecumbe, Bickar used black spray paint to draw a message in 50-foot letters for those he knew would soon come to investigate. And the other men doused the tires in kerosene and lit them. By the time they reached Sitka to complete their getaway, an air-traffic controller reportedly told them, “The son of a gun looks fantastic.”

To prevent an overreaction, Bickar had let police, fire department, and airport officials know what he had planned. But he forgot to tell the Coast Guard, which sent a helicopter to investigate and found Bickar’s message in the snow: APRIL FOOLS.

The phones at police, fire, and radio stations rang off the wall from concerned citizens. The story even made national news on The Associated Press news wire. Jimmy Johnson, the vice president of Alaska Airlines, instructed departing planes to fly over the mountain to give all the passengers onboard a laugh.

The following year, Alaska Airlines sponsored the Alaska Brag Contest. Bickar sent in this entry: “On April Fools’ Day, I hired a chopper and flew 70 old, kerosene-soaked tires on top of the dormant volcano, Mt. Edgecumbe, that looms over Sitka. I set the tires on fire, and the billowing black smoke created one hell of a commotion in Sitka. I dare you to top that April Fools’ joke.”

Surprisingly, someone did. The contest winner was a story about a bear attack.

This article originally appeared on Coffee or Die. Follow @CoffeeOrDieMag on Twitter.

MIGHTY HUMOR

These are the 50 best COVID-19 memes for the week of April 20

You’ve done the crafts, you’ve read the entire internet and you’ve finished Netflix. All there’s left to do is cry, eat and laugh. We’ll help you out with the last one. Hope you and yours are staying safe, healthy and somewhat sane.

These are your top 50 memes and tweets for the week of April 20:


Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

1. Everything is fine

At least he’s maintaining social distancing.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

2. The word of the mom

Amen, sister.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

3. Conference calls 

Zoom backgrounds make it better.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

4. Laughter IS the best medicine

Oh Dad. So smart.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

5. Happy little tree

I want peopleeeeeee.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

6. Atta boy

Nothing to see here, nothing to see.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

7. True transformation 

I’m not proud of how hard I laughed at that one!!

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

8. The boombox

We’ve trained our whole life for this.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

9. So loud

What are you eating, BONES?

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

10. M.J. knew

Now if we could just heal the world…

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

11. More vodka, please!

These are good life skills.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

12. Reality tv

No wonder my kids like to watch other kids playing with toys on YouTube. We do the same thing with HGTV.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

13. No pants 

I can’t imagine having to wear shoes to a meeting again…

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

14. Hand washing

So many temptations to touch your face.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

15. Catch me outside 

How bout dat?

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

16. Shady pines

Might have to binge watch Golden Girls.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

17. So much truth

If you having tortilla chips for breakfast means I don’t have to cook…

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

18. Iguana private office 

Something about you getting on the phone screams, “COME TALK TO ME.”

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

19. SPF 15

At least you’re getting your vitamin D.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

20. Dreams do come true

You bought it “for the pandemic.”

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

21. Pro tip 

It’s like working out, but easier.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

22. Sunshine 

The sun is not impressed.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

23. Chopped

Every parent ever.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

24. Barbie 

The sweatshirt is a nice touch. I bet her Barbie dream house is covered in crafts and regret.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

25. Jax beach 

Oh Florida.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

26. What happens in Vegas… 

Quarantine needs to stay in April 2020.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

27. SO much truth

And most of them look tired.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

28. Pajama shorts

Trick question. You don’t have to wear pants.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

29. Good PR

Mmm ice cream.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

30. Singing in the rain

Vomit. Ha!

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

31. Sick car

Taped together and barely holding on — a working title of everyone’s 2020 memoir.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

32. Get it girl 

No but seriously, why did I eat all my snacks?

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

33. Dun-dun. Dun-dun. Dun-dun. 

To be fair, everyone didn’t die.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

34. Lightning speed

Well played, fastest man in the world.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

35. All by myself 

We feel you, Ernie.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

36. Quaran-times

The isolation has turned to boredom.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

37. Womp 

We heard there’s a DUI checkpoint in the hallway though, so be careful.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

38. Last nerves

Every. Little. Thing.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

39. Grooming at home

All of our DIY haircuts and grooming.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

40. Apologies, ya’ll 

Lots of self-awareness happening.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

41. Tarjay

It does, Kermie. It does.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

42. Mind over matter 

Beware my special powers.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

43. Dogs know the truth

Stop judging me.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

44. You can’t have both

This is why we can’t have nice days.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

45. Pretending 

Deep thoughts by Dad.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

46. Zoom stand in

I think people would pay for this.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

47. You did it!

At least you didn’t quit.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

48. Pinky promise

Just boxed wine. Not the ‘rona.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

49. You know that’s right

Maybe you’ll get a “spa day” in the bathroom by yourself.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

50. Get it, girl! 

The perks of age!

Stay safe, keep laughing and have a great week!

popular

7 pictures you won’t see in a recruiting brochure

Military brochures are colorful and glossy, full of awesome pictures showing service members doing some really cool stuff. These pictures usually feature troops flying in helicopters, firing weapons, riding in amphibious assault vehicles, jumping from aircraft, and traveling the world.


There is no question a military career can be very exciting. However, just like any other profession, there can be some mundane tasks that seem unusual and flat-out odd. This is especially true in the military. Here are 7 pictures you won’t see in a military recruiting brochure.

1. Area Beautification (Operation Clean Sweep)

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training
Sgt. Bridgett Gomez, Headquarters and Headquarters Company and Pvt. Joshua Barker, Company D, 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, rake through the remaining sand of the volleyball court outside their barracks after removing large clumps of grass in preparation of new sand, March 16. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. April D. de Armas, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

This detail is very common throughout U.S. military bases around the world. One of the most well-known area beatification events happens in the home of the U.S. Army Airborne and Special Operations at Fort Bragg, N.C. Each May, thousands of personnel take part in “Operation Clean Sweep,” an extravagant term simply meaning a post-wide clean-up effort in preparation for the 82nd’s Airborne All-American Week, a week-long celebration of the famed division.

During Clean Sweep, Soldiers don their PT belts, grab their rakes, and gas up the lawn mowers to bring the “fight” to overgrown weeds, nasty cigarette butts, spit bottles and other items that would make your grandma blush. You can see why these images don’t make for exciting marketing products.

2. Cleaning the Barracks (GI Party)

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training
Marines with Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing pick up trash during a station-wide cleanup aboard MCAS Miramar, California, April 20. They also conducted a cleanup alongside major roadways bordering the air station.

This is one party you don’t want to be invited to. Service members living in the barracks are used to hearing the expression “G.I. party,” a term originally used during World War II to clean up the living quarters.

This detail has service members cleaning the hell out of the barracks in preparation for an inspection. So grab the buffer, gather the Simple Green, and get the trash bags, it’s party time!

3. Painting Things

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training
1st Lt. Edwin Roman paints steps in barracks 4295 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., Nov. 25, 2014. Staff noncommissioned officers and officers of Marine Air Control Group 28 cleaned and renovated the barracks in an effort to give back to the Marines during the holiday season. The Marines worked on various projects including, painting, landscaping and fixing furniture. Roman is a communications officer with Marine Air Support Squadron 1.

Put a paint brush in the hands of a military member and they will paint anything. Whether it is painting rocks, trees, the walls at the barracks, or curbs on the road, military commands always have tons of paint cans around, keeping the good folks at DuPont very happy.

4. Chute Shake

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training
U.S. Army paratroopers from Bravo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division clear debris from used parachutes before hanging them at Fort Bragg, N.C., Oct. 23, 2008. The parachutes were used the night prior during a joint forcible entry exercise (JFEX), a joint airdrop designed to enhance service cohesiveness between Army and Air Force personnel by training to execute large-scale heavy equipment and troop movements. (DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock)

Remember all the fun you had as a child, shaking the rainbow colored parachute during gym class. While this is not that kind of parachute shake, “shaking chutes” is one of the worst details in the Airborne community. It can sometimes take an entire night, where personnel spend their time in a tower hanging hundreds of chutes, untangling lines that are in massive knots, and taking out weeds and debris caught on the parachute after dragging a Paratrooper across the drop zone. This detail makes you appreciate your childhood.

5. Swabbing the Deck

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training
Sailors scrub the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan following a countermeasure wash down while the ship is operating off the coast of Japan. The Ronald Reagan is operating off the coast of Japan providing humanitarian assistance as directed in support of Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo)

Arrr matey! This detail is straight up old-school going back hundreds of years. This is probably not what new Sailors had in mind when they were told the Navy would “accelerate their life.”

6. Kitchen Patrol or KP

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training
Food service specialists and kitchen police from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and supporting units unload fresh fruit into a walk-in freezer at the intermediate staging base at Fort Polk, La., Sept. 25, 2015. (U.S. Army photo)

KP duty at the mess hall or galley consists of duties such as food preparation, dish washing, sweeping and mopping floors, wiping tables, serving food on the chow line, or anything else that needs to get done.

Just make it get done or the mess sergeant will go all Gordon Ramsay on you!

7. Burning sh*t

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

This was definitely not in the brochure.

MIGHTY HUMOR

These are the hilarious rules of the Air Force’s formal ‘Dining-In’

The Dining-In is a military custom that predates the Air Force, the military, even the United States. There are many versions of it, whether that branch calls it Mess Night, Regimental Dinner, or something else. Though other branches hold these, this is one of the oldest traditions of the youngest branch of service.


The Dining-In is held at any unit level – Wing, Group, or Squadron. This is the most traditional form of Air Force unit social events, where dress uniforms are expected and rules and ceremony are to be followed. A proper Dining-In will include hails and farewells, as well as recognition for achievement. The function is supposed to be a morale-building event, after all.

The Dining-In is one of very few events in official Air Force culture where drinking a lot in front of your unit is encouraged and being an overachiever won’t get you sent to ADAPT. Just have a designated driver (or four) on stand-by. The rules are strict and many will be sent to the Grog Bowl (more on that later).

 

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

Chief Master Sgt. William Wade, the superintendent of the 59th Clinical Support Group, samples the grog at the 2nd Annual Joint Dining-In. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robbin Cresswell)

The Air Force iteration is said to have started in the 1930s with the Army Air Corps’ General H. “Hap” Arnold’s “wing dings.” Many of its original traditions are still very much alive. While the customs of the Dining-In holds formality above all else, it’s important to remember the point of this is to have fun and build morale.

Dress is considered “Black Tie.” Officers will be in mess dress, Enlisted will wear mess dress or semi-formal dress uniforms. Some events will have a military band present, and as such, the diners may be ordered to march to their seats.

And there are other orders.

The Rules of the Mess

  1. Thou shalt arrive within 10 minutes of the appointed hour.
  2. Thou shalt make every effort to meet all guests.
  3. Thou shalt move to the mess when thee hears the chimes and remain standing until seated by the President.
  4. Thou shalt not bring cocktails or lighted smoking material into the mess.
  5. Thou shalt smoke only when the smoking lamp is lit.
  6. Thou shalt not leave the mess whilst convened. Military protocol overrides all calls of nature.
  7. Thou shalt participate in all toasts unless thyself or thy group is honored with a toast.
  8. Thou shalt ensure that thy glass is always charged when toasting.
  9. Thou shalt keep toasts and comments within the limits of good taste and mutual respect. Degrading or insulting remarks will be frowned upon by the membership. However, good-natured needling is encouraged.
  10. Thou shalt not murder the Queen’s English.
  11. Thou shalt not open the hangar doors. (talk about work)
  12. Thou shalt always use the proper toasting procedures.
  13. Thou shalt fall into disrepute with thy peers if the pleats of thy cummerbund are not properly faced.
  14. Thou shalt also be painfully regarded if the clip-on bow tie rides at an obvious list. Thou shalt be forgiven, however, if thee also ride at a comparable list.
  15. Thou shalt consume thy meal in a manner becoming gentlepersons.
  16. Thou shalt not laugh at ridiculously funny comments unless the President first shows approval by laughing.
  17. Thou shalt express thy approval by tapping thy spoon on the table. Clapping of thy hands will not be tolerated.
  18. Thou shalt not question the decisions of the President.
  19. When the mess adjourns, thou shalt rise and wait for the President and head table guests to leave.
  20. Thou shalt enjoy thyself to thy fullest.

Violations of Etiquette

Failures to comply with the rules of the mess are “punished,” generally with fines or a trip to the Grog. The Grog, held in a Grog Bowl (usually an unused toilet), consists of multiple types and flavors of alcoholic drinks blended together, and may even contain other things, like Tootsie Rolls or oysters. It is a punishment, after all.

 

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

Any member of the mess can call out violations warranting a trip to the grog bowl at any time. Members bring infractions to the attention of the President by addressing the mess and raising a point of order. If the validity of the charge is questioned, members vote by tapping their spoons on the table.

When the President sentences a violator to the grog bowl, the person proceeds to the bowl promptly, remembering to march and perform all proper facing movements. The bowl is usually located on or near the Vice’s table. Upon arriving at the grog bowl, the violator does the following:

  • An about face and salutes the President
  • An about face to the bowl and fills the cup
  • An about face and toasts the mess: “To the Mess”
  • Drink the cup completely then inverted over their head to ensure it is empty.
  • Does an about face, replaces the cup, about faces again, salutes the President, and returns to their seat.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training
To completion.

Except for the toast, the violator is not permitted to speak at all.

The Players

President – the central figure of the event and primary planner, usually the ranking commander of the organization. The President will oversee the Dining-In and appoint subordinate officers:

  • Vice-President
  • Arrangements Officer
  • Mess Officer
  • Escort Officer
  • Protocol Officer

The President also ensures the Dining-In has a speaker and a chaplain for the Invocation. He or she will greet all the guests before dinner is served and will open and close the mess.

Vice-President – The chief assistant to the President, usually the most junior-ranking officer (but the President may choose anyone to serve in this role). The VP sits alone in the back of the room, facing the President, observing the proceedings and making not of violations of the Rules of the Mess and breaches of etiquette.

While usually the VP is a comfortable position, here the VP is the MC – the toastmaster – the success of the event depends on the Dining-In VP’s wit, levity, and ability to keep the show going. The Veep is also responsible for opening the lounge, sounding the dinner chimes, and preparing toasts as directed by the President. He or she must compose poems and jokes (in good taste) at the expense or tribute only to those persons and organizations who are present. The VP is the last person to leave the party.

Arrangements Officer – Responsible to the President for handling the details involved with planning the evening’s events, but is not to make any final decisions without the advice and consent of the President.

The AO will set the seating arrangements and ensure each seat is marked with the proper name and organization, will ensure proper flags and awards are in place, set up suitable microphone and lectern systems for the speaker and chaplain, ensure the VP has the necessary dinner chimes, arrange the photographer, publish a proper agenda for the evening as well as a guest list, and hire the hat and coat check team.

The day after, the AO will prepare letters of appreciation for the President to sign and send to guests of honor and others who helped with the evening.

Mess Officer – The Mess Officer will handle all responsibilities related to the actual food preparation.

Protocol Officer – The Protocol Officer Ensures everyone receives a formal invitation at least four weeks in advance of the event and will take RSVPs and will get biographical information on special guests for the other officers. The PO will ensure transportation and billeting arrangements are made and will make the seating arrangements for the Head Table. The PO briefs the Escort Officers on protocol requirements related to the guests, handles parking arrangements, and advises on flag arrangements.

Escort Officers – One escort officer should be appointed for each official and personal guest. The EO will contact their assigned guest in advance to discuss dress, location, meeting point, and composition of the audience. If the guests are from out of town, the EO will meet them at their initial arrival point and arrange for transportation and accommodations during their stay. It is essential the EO brief the guest on the customs, courtesies, rules, and procedures of the Mess.

Make sure the guest is properly introduced to as many members of the mess as possible. They will ensure their guest is always in the company of several members of the mess, yet take care that no individual or group monopolizes the guest. Upon their guest’s departure, the EO will escort the guest to the point of departure and bid farewell on behalf of all members of the Mess.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

This is how a dentist loads the Grog. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robin Cresswell)

Addressing the Mess

A member may want to raise a point of order, propose a toast, or identify infractions to the Rules of the Mess. The proper way is as follows:

  1. Rise and state “Mr./Ms. Vice-President, a point of order”
  2. When recognized by the VP, identify yourself and state your business.
  3. It is required to speak in rhyme when addressing the Mess. The President may waive this and all other requirements as he or she sees fit. The penalty is being sent to the Grog.

Sequence of Events

The event starts with a cocktail hour. At the end of that hour, the VP will chime the mess to dinner. Members of the Head Table will remain in the cocktail lounge. Once the guests are in the dining area and standing at their assigned seats, whether marched or not, Head Table members file into the room in order and walk to the Head Table. After ruffles and flourishes are played, the President then calls the mess to order with a gavel and will propose the first toast. The first two are always the same and should be given as such:

Toast: “To the Commander-in-Chief”

Response: “To the President”

Toast: “To the Chief of Staff, United States Air Force”

Response: “To the Chief of Staff”

The proper response to further toasts is “Hear, Hear”.

Improper toasting procedures will be punished by a trip to the Grog. Serving staff should be prepared with a few bottles for each table – Often many toasts are given by the President, including to the heads of state of foreign visitors, the colors, other services, and more. When the President is done, the floor is open to any further toasts from the guests throughout the remainder of the evening.

Toasting Procedures:

  1. Stand and identify yourself
  2. Address the VP by saying, “Mr. Vice-President, I want to propose a toast”.
  3. The VP informs the President and receives approval.
  4. Everyone stands and the toast is given.

After toasting, the President will explain the POW/MIA table, make opening remarks and introduce the guests of honor – then dinner will be served. After dinner, the President will rap the gavel three times and call the house to Recess. During Recess, diners are excused to the lounge for cocktails while dinner is cleared and dessert is served. The VP will sound the chimes again to reconvene the diners (do not bring cigarettes or cocktails into the dining room).

As coffee and tea are served, the guest of honor will speak. After the guest speaks, the VP will propose a toast to him or her and the President will close the Mess, thanking the planners and retiring the colors. Between the posting of the colors and the retirement of the colors, other events are allowed, including handing out awards, and multiple guest speakers.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training
To the Grog!

The Combat Dining-In

The newest of these traditions (and probably the most fun), these are very similar in function to the rules and tradition of the Dining-In, except they are far less formal. The rules are similar – but the differences are important to know. There aren’t any hard or fast ones because they vary by unit.

The sky is the limit – you may be forced to eat with your mess kit… or maybe they’re only serving MREs. You may not even get to eat because you’ll be throwing your dinner on another reveler. There are many variations to the rules of the combat version of this tradition.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training
You may need water balloons.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training
The Grog is much less inviting, and if you didn’t think it possible, you’d be wrong.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training
Sometimes getting to the grog (or to the event itself) requires a low-crawl obstacle course.

NOW: Back in 2000, the CIA made 8 predictions on what life would be like in 2015

OR: This Marine nails what it’s like to get out of the military ?

MIGHTY HUMOR

Watch this man teach you how to reload in the worst possible way

So, you’re in a firefight. Rounds are coming at you as you return fire, but you are so stressed you have lost fine motor skills and can’t even use your fingers to drop the magazine. It’s obviously a huge problem, but luckily YouTuber “Phuc Long” is here to show you how to use your gross motor skills to reload. Sort of.


 On his channel Firepower United, Long demos an actual decent magazine change.

Which he says is “noooo problemmmmm.” Then he goes to the gross motor skills, which is just… Well, you have to see it. 

As a commenter says on another one of his videos, “Is that your real accent or are you just hard core trolling? Either way, I am a fan.”

That said, if you actually need to learn to reload a weapon, maybe look elsewhere…

Watch:

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5 tips for coming up with a good nickname for your fellow troops

Nicknames and the military are a tradition as old as war itself. Many military legends have nicknames such as General “Mad Dog” Mattis because of his fearlessness. Others such as Lt. General Lewis “Chesty” Puller had his nickname because of his posture and large chest. Nicknames can be cool or they can be aggravating to the bestowed. Regardless, they’re a tradition that isn’t going anywhere. So, one may as well come up with good ones. Here are some tips for coming up with good nicknames for your fellow troops.

They can’t like it

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Story time: When I was a junior Marine and hit the fleet, one of my seniors was sitting around waiting for our turn to shoot on the range. He said “We need to give you a nickname,” and in true Marine Corps fashion, everyone threw in their two cents. “Mexi-Cano” (I’m not Mexican) and some variations of the first part of my last name were tossed around. They didn’t quite fit.

Then he simply asked how to say “The Kid” in Spanish. I replied, “Niño” without thinking, and I could see it click on everyone’s face.

No, please, not that one.

“That’s the one. Niño.” I hated it at first and they could tell, which is why it stuck. I knew if they knew how much it really bothered me it would definitely be my name for my entire career. Everyone liked it but me, so, there was nothing I could do. I was the “Niño.”

Fast forward two deployments and a workup later, I was the Niño no more. New unit, new me. It was bittersweet because I knew I finally shook it off but the ones who called me that were no longer around. Some got out, some others passed away. Once in a blue moon, I’ll talk to my old platoon and I’ll hear my old moniker. In hindsight, I ended up liking it because it was like being called “Billy the Kid,” the most famous outlaw to have lived.

Not “Alphabet”

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Some people have long last names. Although the pronunciation may be simple, some people just can’t deal. At some point when someone reaches E6, they just stop trying. The nickname ‘Alphabet’ is one that is thrown out there for those with a long last name. When dealing with a large list of people, let’s say the rifle range, you are bound to run into many people’s last names that will be hard to say. So, steer clear from this one because it will get confusing and no one is going to respond to it anyway.

We had a troop named Rzonca, pretty simple to say. However, for reasons unbeknownst to me, E6s and above couldn’t say it. He was nicknamed ‘Bazooka’ instead. Which turned out to be a cool name since he also had an M203 grenade launcher on his issued weapon. Anything is better than calling someone “alphabet.”

Shorten their name with a twist

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Marzbanian, my former machine gunner on my first deployment, ended up with nickname “Mars.” The letter Z must be SNCO repellent because they would always pull some sort of nickname for people with one. Then there was Humphreys who had “Hump” or “J Hump.” Shortening a troop’s name is the quick get of jail card because everyone will know who you’re talking about. It’s not much but it’s a good place holder until you come up with something else.

They can be built upon

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training

That’s not a free pass to start calling people NJP-able nicknames. Part of the joke with mine is that I am short and Latino, thus “el Niño.” It’s right on the line without crossing it. It’s racial without being racist, it’s fun to say, and most importantly, it pissed me off. To be on the safe side, avoid race-based names. Peacetime is a lot more politically correct than during the Surge. Once on post duty in Afghanistan, the Corporal of the Guard was looking for someone and asked for specifics on the radio. “Second tent on the left when you’re looking at the generators. His rack is five Niños up on the right hand side.” Apparently, I had also become a unit of measurement. It also became an inside joke for our platoon — until the lieutenant used it… and killed it.

Lieutenants are not in on the joke

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Nicknames are for the guys, not the leadership. That is until that leader has earned everyone’s trust. It just sounds weird to have superiors and subordinates referring to each other by their nicknames when they’re not even on a first name basis yet. It’s a two way street, and no matter what direction the traffic is going, it’s going to sound unprofessional.

A year a half later, we had a new lieutenant who, as is usually the case for a butter bar, was disliked. He called me by my nickname once and everybody gave him a “Dude… no,” look. I didn’t know it at the moment, but it really touched a nerve with a lot people. When I asked why it bothered them more than it did me, my friends and seniors replied, “He’s not one of us. Only we f*** with us.” If you want to kill a nickname have your leadership use it. It’s a like a boomer saying “woke.” Gross.

Feature image:  U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class China M. Shock

MIGHTY HUMOR

7 banned children’s toys that will train kids for war

Toys today are much safer than those our parents had – and that’s a good thing. Even though so many bemoan the “everyone gets a trophy” mindset, let’s face it, some of the toys of yesteryear may have seemed like fun to the adults designing them, but they weren’t the best idea in the hands of children. These banned children’s toys might actually have “fun” purposes, but we think they’re really best for training kids for war. 


Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training
Pointy metal fun.

The toys of yesteryear had so much going for them. These fun features allowed kids to main, poison, spear, and otherwise seriously injure their playmates. All in the name of good fun! This list of banned toys might no longer be around, but they’re still alive in our hearts. If you’re too young to have enjoyed these wild toys, just ask anyone born before 1900. Chances are they not only remember them but have the scars to prove it. 

1. Lawn Darts

Also called “Jarts,” anyone who grew up in the 90s remembers these banned darks. What a random idea for a toy! Lawn darts are pointed steel stakes with plastic stabilizer fins, weighted to always come down point first. The idea was to stand far from a marked target area, then toss the darts high in the air, so they come down within the area. 

What really happened, as you might expect, is the darts never hit their targets and hit eyeballs, elbows, and everywhere else instead. 

2. The CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit

Prayers everywhere were answered when the CSI Fingerprint Kit hit the shelves. Or at least, the prayers of 10 year olds, that is.  Finally, pre-teens everywhere could solve mysteries and drop one-liners as they put on their sunglasses. The kit also helped kids learn how to operate in a chemical warfare environment since the dust used to lift the fingerprints contained tremolite, a deadly form of carcinogenic asbestos. This banned toy was pulled from the shelves shortly after its arrival, but we’re not totally sure why. 

3. The Atomic Energy Laboratory

Does your little one have the problem of being lumped into some kind of “Axis of Evil?”

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Second world problems.

Well, all you need to do now is go back in time and get your hands on the Gilbert Atomic Energy Laboratory. The U-238 Lab (yes, that was its name) came complete with radioactive materials to get the little Marshal and the glorious people’s democratic revolutionary nuclear program up and running before he meets the same fate as Saddam. Wait, in case you didn’t read that all the way through – the U-238 Lab came with radioactive materials. There are so many obvious reasons why this is on the banned toy list. Can you imagine giving nuclear materials to a 10 year old? 

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training
Nuclear Programs: U.S. troop repellant.

4. Kite Tube

Ever wanted to practice some Navy SEAL skills in a CRRC when you were a kid? Not being a SEAL and not having a CRRC  should have stopped no one. In fact, young kids could have had CRCC skills training and airborne training – at the same time.  Enter the Kite Tube. This banned toy is actually as dangerous or worse than any military live-fire exercise. And it’s probably killed more people than ISIS.

5. Splash Off Water Rockets

They aren’t from North Korea, they just act like they are. The idea behind the Splash Off Water Rocket is that the main compartment would fill up with water pressure until it had enough pressure to slip the surly bonds of Earth.

Unfortunately for kids, instead of breaking Earth’s bond, it shattered the compartment, launching plastic shrapnel in 360-degrees at water rocket velocity. So while this could teach kids to accept failure like the North Korean missile program, it could also teach them to dodge mortar and grenade shrapnel.

Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training
Pictured: Backyard Summer Fun.

6. Mattel’s Sonic M Blaster

I’m not actually certain this was ever banned, but if it hadn’t premiered in the 1950s, it would have been. Nothing beats letting your kids fire a compressed air gun that not only fired the burst of air but also was loud enough to rupture an eardrum at close range. It was a weapon meant for a young Snake Plissken.

In case you were wondering, yes, that’s a young Kurt Russell taking out his neighbor’s property. They won’t do anything about it, because hopefully, they know better than to mess with a kid that’s learning to aim and fire a bazooka.

7. Austin Magic Pistol

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You know it’s a weapon when the size of the round in the toy is on the cover of the box. This 1940s-era muzzle-loaded “toy” used an explosive mix of calcium carbide (aka “Magic Crystals”) and water to fire a ping-pong ball at high velocity.

Related: Check out this list of safe activities for kids that COVID hasn’t ruined. 

MIGHTY HUMOR

12 of our favorite Army jokes online

Who doesn’t love a good laugh at their employer’s expense? It’s all the stuff that you have to deal with, day in and day out. Only this time, it’s poking fun at the bear. It’s not you on the chopping block, it’s someone else. That means it’s time to let loose and relax — all while getting in a solid chuckle.  There’s no exception for Army jokes. In fact, we laugh that much harder, knowing there are so many solid jokes at the expense of Uncle Sam. Take a read and join us in chuckling over the expense of the institution that is the U.S. Army. 

  1. Acronyms at their best:

ARMY — a recruiter misled you

2. This low-blow at boots on the ground:

What do you call kids in the military?

Infantry.

army soldiers training
U.S. Army Soldiers attending the Special Forces Qualification Course conduct tactical combat skills training at Fort Bragg, N.C. The U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School conduct the SFQC year-round. (Released) They clearly could use some Army jokes to lighten the mood.

3. Getting cheesy:

What do you call a soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray?

A seasoned veteran.

4. When backtalk is still funny:

As a group of soldiers stood in formation at an Army Base, the Drill Sergeant said, “All right! All you idiots fall out.”

As the rest of the squad wandered away, one soldier remained at attention. The Drill Instructor walked over until he was eye-to-eye with him. The soldier smiled and said, “Sure were a lot of ’em, huh, sir?”

5. Past careers come to light:

Did you hear about the karate master who joined the military?

He saluted and nearly chopped off his own head.

6. Training done right:

A drill sergeant grumbles at his fresh young trainee, “I didn’t see you at camouflage training this morning, Private.”

“Thank you very much, Sir,” replies the soldier.

7. The laws of nature: 

If God had meant for us to be in the Army, we would have been born with baggy green skin.

Army soldiers with green paint on. Army jokes suggest soldiers should have green skin
U.S. Army soldiers of the 3rd Bn., 87th Inf., 4th. Div., armed with M-16A1 rifles, guard the perimeter of the Red Devil drop zone during an engine running offload (ERO) exercise with members of the U.S. Air Force reserve. A C-130 Hercules aircraft is taxiing on an unimproved runway in the background.

8. Pulling rank:

During training exercises, the Lieutenant who was driving down a muddy back road encountered another car stuck in the mud with a red-faced Colonel at the wheel.

“Your car stuck, sir?” asked the Lieutenant as he pulled alongside. “Nope,” replied the colonel, coming over and handing him the keys. “Yours is.”

9. A macabre play on words:

Overheard at the VFW, “When I was in the Army, I got both my arms shot off.”

“I shouldered on, anyway.”

10. A trip down memory lane:

Son: Dad, what was your favorite day as a soldier?

Dad: The first time I sent some private to find batteries for the chem lights.

11. A difference in opinions:

The company commander and the sergeant were in the field. As they go to bed for the night, the first sergeant said: “Sir, look up into the sky and tell me what you see?”

The commander said: “I see millions of stars.”

Sgt: “And what does that tell you, sir?”

“Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Theologically, it tells me that God is great and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it tells me that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you, Top?”

Sgt: “Well sir, it tells me that somebody stole our tent.”

12. Getting punny:

What do you get when you drop a piano on an Army officer?

A flat major.

These jokes poke fun at the largest military branch to date, we can all slap our knees at its expense. Whether you’ve served or just enjoy a quick chuckle, these jokes are bound to brighten your day.

Have some great Army jokes to share? Tell us below. 

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3 of the stupidest wars ever fought in world history

There are a lot of good reasons humans have gone to war in the past few centuries, believe it or not. Halting or preventing genocides, declaring independence to give oppressed people a homeland, and of course, defending ones homeland from an invader would all be good reasons to take up arms against another country.

These wars were none of those things, and are presented in no particular order.


Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious stint in Army basic training
It is, admittedly, a nice bucket. (Screen capture from YouTube)

The War of the Oaken Bucket

While the War of the Oaken Bucket sounds more like a college gameday rivalry, it was really a 1325 war between two Italian states, Bologna and Modena, that killed 2,000 people. It was really a proxy war between supporters of the Holy Roman Empire and the Papacy and, before I get too far into the details here, what you really need to know is that it was started because some Modenese soldiers took the bucket from Bologna’s town well.

Even dumber is the lopsided victory the Modenese won in defending that bucket. At the Battle of Zappolino, some 32,000 Bolognese marched on 7,000 Modenese – and were chased from the battlefield.

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Surprisingly unrelated to the ongoing debate over Canadian bacon being real bacon.

 

The Pig War

This is a war that could have devolved into a much larger conflict, which makes it even stupider than it sounds. On San Juan Island, between the mainland United States and Canada’s Vancouver Island, was shared by both American settlers and British employees of the Hudson Bay Company. While the island was “shared” in practice, both countries had a claim to the northwestern island and it created a lot of tensions in the region. Those tensions boiled over in June 1859 when an American farmer shot a British boar for tearing up his potato crop. Arguments ensued and the farmer was almost arrested by the British.

The U.S. Army got wind of the situation and sent Capt. George Pickett (later of Pickett’s Charge fame) with a company of soldiers, who promptly declared the island American property. Of course the British responded by sending in its trump card, the Royal Navy. For weeks, it appeared the standoff would spark a greater war between the two powers, but cooler heads prevailed and the sides took joint custody of the island.

War of the Stray Dog

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Ad-war-able… (Image by birgl from Pixabay)

Another war that is exactly what it sounds like, except this one really did cause a number of deaths, as well as a 1925 fight that saw 20,000 Greeks meet 10,000 Bulgarians on the battlefield. The catalyst was a dog that had gotten away from a Greek soldier. The soldier chased after the dog, even though it ran across the Greek border with Bulgaria. Bulgarian border guards, seeing a Greek soldier running through their territory, of course shot him.

The Greeks then began an invasion of Bulgaria, occupying border towns and preparing to shell and take the city off Petrich before the League of Nations intervened, negotiating a cease fire.


Feature image: Wikimedia Commons

Articles

4 pieces of military gear that no one uses (but you can’t throw out)

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

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Don’t forget the drip pan and tool kit (U.S. Army)

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.

2. PASGT

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The first combat use of PASGT was in Grenada…GRENADA (U.S. Air Force)

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

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The KOI-18 exhibit at the National Cryptologic Museum. Yes, it literally belongs in a museum (Wikimedia Commons)

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

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Make sure you practice good cyber awareness on your ancient laptop or Jeff will be very disappointed (DoD)

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

Articles

8 girly songs only a real squad leader sings

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.

MIGHTY HUMOR

These ‘Old Army’ vets don’t get your first aid kit

Today’s soldiers hear a lot about the “Old Army,” when men were men and privates weren’t allowed to speak.


Soldiers Magazine got veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm together to check out modern first aid kits. The old-timers were impressed by how much gear was in the kit but were confused by some items.

Check out their reactions in the video below:

 

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