The dreaded ‘Reply All’ has struck over 13,000 soldiers
Work email can be a pain. Specifically, no one likes it when that one coworker hits the "Reply All" button, whether on accident or on purpose, and starts blowing up inboxes unnecessarily. This is made even worse in the military when distribution lists includes thousands of people. In 2021, the Navy suffered a "Reply All" debacle when an email went out to the entire Bureau of Medicine and Surgery and one sailor "Replied All" asking to be removed from the distribution. In 2023, it's the Army's turn.
Admittedly, the Navy's "Reply All" episode was larger, affecting over 40,000 active duty and civilian personnel. Still, the Army's "Reply All" debacle is affecting over 13,000 soldiers, all captains and majors. The distribution list in question is Fort Belvoir's Army Modeling & Simulation Office, FA57 (Simulation Operations) Voluntary Transfer Incentive Program. While it's meant to contact eligible Army officers who may be interested in entering this field, the distribution list has turned into an Army-wide controversy. Naturally, chaos has ensued.
Many soldiers have responded to the email chain asking to be removed, making it worse. Others have made jokes regarding the iconic DoD Cyber Awareness Challenge. However, there have been helpful soldiers who have chimed in to provide instructions on how to remove yourself from the distribution list and compartmentalize your inbox to prevent having to sift through FA57 emails. Of course, the highlights of the email thread are the creative responses like memes and poems.
While it's difficult to say how long the "Reply Alls" will continue for, there are soldiers who have atomic "Out of office" replies that double-up every email sent in the thread. Moreover, the r/Army subreddit has become an online campfire chat about the FA57 emails, with some Redditors asking how long they can keep the chain going.