WASHINGTON, D.C. - Military recruit training is known for changing the way servicemembers walk, talk, eat, and sleep, but all have not been equally enforced. Today however, the element of “talk” comes under increased scrutiny as the Department of Defense released new plans to set a military-wide language usage standard.
The guidance from the Pentagon is for all branches to form doctrines of language use within the next six months. They left room to maneuver for each service, but there was one thing they were dead set on being standard across the board: No usage of profanity.
Profanity has been against regulations under General Article 134 for some time already, but has rarely seen troops held to the standard. Today’s change means the penalty for using “indecent language” is mandatory reduction in rank — and possible termination from service.
“We have been moving our way to a kinder and more professional military for some time now. Making ourselves into a good role model for the kids of this nation and to the world. This just seems like the next logical step,” said General Arnold Fucke, head of the Chaplain Corps. “The use of curse words has no place in the military. We should aspire to be better all around as soldiers and as people. I don’t see any reason why you need to curse to get that done.”
Beyond the loss of words considered profane, the military is also taking steps to ensure greater understanding of “military speak”.
All branches will be required to issue troops a “smart book” of common acronyms they may hear during their time in service. The books will mean extensive research of the estimated 6.2 million acronyms across the force in common usage. Meant to demystify obscure terminology, the ambitious $2.4 billion research and development proposal will outline such phrases as CEXC [Combined Explosives Exploitation Cell] to MANCOC [Maneuver Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Course].
Most soldiers expressed disappointment over the profanity regulation.
“Are you fucking serious?” was a common refrain. Others were even more outraged.
“You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me,” says First Sergeant Richard Pounder. “I can’t fucking cuss? The rest of my fucking NCO’s can’t fucking cuss? I can’t even begin to fucking imagine a fucking NCO corps that tries not to fucking cuss.”
“How the hell are we going to get our fucking points across to PVT Kenny J. Suckadick or all the rest of his little fucktard buddies if we can’t cuss? How the hell else are they going to know that we’re fucking serious, or fucking mad, or want it done right fucking now? This is bullshit!….. Wait a minute. Did I just fucking make myself an E-1?”
Some have said that they may try to tell General Fucke off, stating that this is a violation of a constitutional right to freedom of speech.
When asked whether soldiers were being robbed of the very rights they were fighting for, General Fucke was annoyed.
“Go to hell goddammit. This interview is over.”
CAMP LEJEUNE, NC – Enlisted Marines everywhere were stunned this week after learning that the creator of enlisted-life comic strip Terminal Lance is actually former Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Carlton Kent.
The story broke after an alert data specialist at Camp Lejeune noticed that the IP address for the Terminal Lance website was actually the same one used by the retired Sergeant Major’s work computer.
Upon being questioned by a Duffel Blog investigative reporter, Sergeant Major Kent admitted that he had created the comic and was continuing to post weekly updates on the Terminal Lance website.
According to the Sergeant Major, he came up with the idea back in 2009 with then-Commandant General James Conway.
“We’d been getting a shitload of negative feedback over all the safety briefs we were subjecting our Marines to,” said Sergeant Major Kent. “I mean, you can only listen to so many of the fuckers before you just tune them out.”
“But you devil dogs wanna keep crashing your brand-new crotch rocket motorcycles that you just bought with 18% APR and then killing yourselves after your wife leaves you cause you’re 20 grand in the hole and eating dog food every night. So bottom line is we needed a new way to reach out.”
“I said to General Conway, ‘Man, it would be fucking great if we just had some comic that all the E-3′s read, and we could just insert our messages into that.’ Conway looks at me and says ‘Shit yeah, Sergeant Major, I think you’ve got something there’. And so the idea for Terminal Lance was born.”
According to Sergeant Major Kent, writing under a pen name was essential.
“No one’s gonna listen to dumb ole’ Sergeant Major, especially the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, but they will listen to a fellow Lance Corporal, so that’s who I had to pretend to be. ‘Maximilian Uriarte’ is actually an anagram for ‘Do Your Leading Marines MCI’. I’m amazed no one caught it earlier. Then we hired some combat camera guy as our front man and made a bunch of videos of him with his nuts hanging out.”
While most of the strips are routine ‘enlisted-life-sucks’, Sergeant Major Kent does point to some key issues.
“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was a big one,” he says. “We had all kinds of polling saying that Marines were dead-set against repeal, and that doesn’t make us look good. So we ran a strip saying the Marine Corps is already gay, so what’s the difference if it’s open? Then just before the repeal we put out a strip about how gay Marines wouldn’t be letting our boots dress so stupid, because everybody hates a stupid boot. End result: we’ve got gay Marines serving loud and proud and no one’s complaining!”
Sergeant Major Kent said he was currently working on the recent media scandals involving Marines.
“We’ve got one where we make fun of all the bullshit Nazi-wannabes, cause nothing changes behavior faster than public ridicule. We also did one after the pissing incident, where we just reminded Marines not to put shit on YouTube, because even I like to piss in a dead Taliban’s mouth once in a while.”
Sergeant Major Kent said future issues might branch out to other ranks.
“Let’s face it, we have a lot of stupid lieutenants out there. Maybe we can get Abe and Garcia a lieutenant who’s a total jack-off and teach our lieutenants proper command techniques through him.”
For all his success, Sergeant Major Kent was unsure about the long-term survival of Terminal Lance.
“I’ve been trying to get Sergeant Major Barrett into it, but he just doesn’t have the right mindset. He tried doing one the other day where Abe’s feeling suicidal and calls the DStress hotline. Come on, you know that shit wouldn’t happen.”
“Abe would call it because he’s drunk dialing and winds up hitting on the operator, and says he’s going to kill himself if she doesn’t come over and blow him. Fuck, anything that gets Marines to put that number in their phone, right?”
FAYETTEVILLE, NC — True love is often hard to find, but Staff Sgt. Thomas Blake doesn’t think so. Blake, a 27D Paralegal Specialist, recently met the “woman of his dreams” at a popular gentleman’s club and was married soon after.
The honeymoon ended abruptly however, and now Blake is committed to the Army indefinitely through the use of a General Power of Attorney.
While out celebrating a recent court room victory, Staff Sgt. Blake went into a drunken stupor at ‘The Show-Me Station’ — a popular bar and gentleman’s club. Soon after his arrival, a stripper named Lollipop caught his eye.
The blonde-haired, blue eyed dancer is most famous for her short acting career, starring in ‘Sidewalk Sluts II: Lollipop’s Cum Back’.
Witnesses contend that she acted like a Siren of Greek mythology, enchanting the men at the bar with a world renowned exhibition in which her name has gained notoriety from. While on stage she would put tootsie roll pops in her vagina, and tell the patrons to see how many licks it would take to get to the center.
For Blake, it was the spark which made him fall head over heels.
The next morning, while suffering from a severe hangover and bruises inflicted by Lollipop’s dominatrix routine — involving interrogation techniques normally reserved for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape training — Blake and Lollipop made the trip to the Justice of the Peace so he could marry “the most honest stripper he’s ever met.”
The marriage soon turned sour when Lollipop discovered Blake wasn’t all he claimed to be. He had initially sworn he was a Brigadier General, but became suspicious when he didn’t take the reserved spot in the ID Card Facility parking lot. Those suspicions were proven correct when her dependent ID Card indicated that her sponsor was only a Staff Sergeant. She then knew Blake couldn’t support her compulsive purchases of platform shoes and methamphetamines and set out to teach him a lesson.
While her husband was with his unit for a month-long Field Training Exercise, Lollipop went to the post career counselor to set her plan into action. It was here she demanded to re-enlist Blake with her General Power of Attorney. Before the U.S. flag, she raised her right hand and swore her husband would, “Support and Defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”. After signing the INDEF, needs of the Army contract with a bonus of $50.00, she then took her U.S. Army coffee mug, and made her way to the PX to max out their Star Card.
TDB investigative correspondents were able to corroborate the story after obtaining copies of the couples marriage/annulment decree, and Staff Sgt. Blake’s current re-enlistment contract. Both parties could not be contacted at the time, but Blake’s voice mail stated, “I am currently unavailable due to being assigned to a weather station in Antarctica, if this is Lollipop, [expletive] You!”
Blake’s former Commander, JAG Attorney Capt. Joseph Wikks, was asked what he thought about this situation.
“I hadn’t met his wife, didn’t even know her name, but the guys said she was a ten. Time and time again I told that ass clown not to sign a General Power of Attorney.”
Wikks went on to tell about the other horrors of the General Power of Attorney, which in one scenario involved another stripper who held the record — having the Power of Attorneys of six different Soldiers.
FORT HUACHUCA, AZ — Military intelligence analysts train for years — honing their skills, plotting over maps, and studying reference sources. But one analyst of the 309th Military Intelligence Battalion has recently blended his real-world military training with his fascination of the HBO series “Game of Thrones.”
While it may seem surreal, it was nothing short of epic for Specialist Andrew Rigbe.
He and his three-man working group had studied the night before, even locking themselves in the common room, poring over thousands of pages by flashlight.
“This is exactly what we’re trained for,” exhorted Rigbe, following his strategic briefing for a potential invasion of Westeros.
Westeros is already politically unstable. It had recently suffered a civil war and now faced possible invasion, assisted by traitors from within its trusted small council. The only trouble with this briefing was obvious to everyone but Rigbe: Westeros isn’t real.
It’s a land spawned from the imagination of George R.R. Martin’s epic “A Song of Ice and Fire,” before giving birth to its own series on HBO. The story centers around warring families vying for an iron throne. The practice of realpolitik is common place and military allegiances shift and turn. Important characters die on a whim.
Rigbe may have been safe if he stuck to the ongoing plot in the HBO series, but then may have mucked it up when he decided to get more obscure by using the most recent bestselling book, A Dance With Dragons.
It was clear Rigbe had brought his A-game to the briefing.
“Sir, we assess with high confidence that Jon Connington’s landing at Cape Wrath represents a clear and present danger to the realm of Westeros, in the form of an exile Targaryen-backed army seeking to reclaim the throne for Aegon Targaryen. Buttressed by irregular forces, such as the Golden Company, Conington’s invasion is in it’s initial phase. His incursion force remains vulnerable, but there may be pending reinforcements, possibly from across the narrow sea, in Essos.”
Rigbe continued the briefing with amazing enthusiasm, much to the dismay of most in attendance who, unlike Rigbe, have had sex with a woman.
“Sir, we also assess with high confidence the invasion can be put down, provided we rally forces in the surrounding Stormlands,” Rigbe stressed, circling the area with his laser pointer. “We can then call banners from Kings Landing and reinforce them, while holding a larger force in reserve to repel any surprise attack, most likely from a larger force, led by Aegon’s rival, Daenerys Targaryen, the first of her name, aka The Mother of Dragons, hereafter referred to as Dany.”
For the next hour and a half, Rigbe used detailed slides to include “enemy leadership bios” and a dire warning that “Dany’s three dragon air support could wreak havok on a level equal or greater to that of a napalm strike.”
His briefing was not well received by the senior leadership or — anyone that doesn’t have ‘Magic: The Gathering’ card sets in their footlocker.
“This is gayer than cum on a mustache,” said Master Sergeant Louis Barber. “Syria’s unstable. Israel might strike Iran. North Korea is still testing missiles. I am sitting in an hour and a half briefing to repel an invasion of Westeros. It’s a miracle the republic hasn’t fallen. Besides, I don’t have time to read. We should just watch the show after we’re done with briefings. Why is that so hard?”
No word yet on whether Rigbe’s briefing contained spoilers for The Winds of Winter.
DARWIN, AUSTRALIA – The recent deployment of United States Marines to Australia was put on hold Monday, following revelations by the Marine Corps that the Commanding Officer from Fox Company, Second Battalion, Third Marines had been carried off by wild dingos in an incident over the weekend.
The battalion was conducting training exercise VIGILANT KOALA, near Uluru in the Northern Territories at the time of the incident.
At approximately 12:30am, the battalion’s Combat Operations Center (COC) for the field exercise received a radio check from Fox Company’s night watch, which consisted of Captain Joel Caden, Lance Corporal Zavier Danell, and Private Justin Hollands.
Shortly after that, Captain Caden dismissed Lance Corporal Danell and Private Hollands to guard the company’s ammo supply point on the other side of the encampment.
One hour later, another routine radio check by battalion went unanswered.
Around 3:55am, a logistics convoy passing by the Fox Company bivouac site reported that the Company COC tent had been torn down and the company guidon was missing. Around the tent, Marines discovered multiple paw prints which disappeared into the brush.
A search of the area failed to turn up any evidence of Captain Caden until the following morning, when the guidon and some shredded cammies were located in a nearby dingo lair. The Captain’s whereabouts are still unknown at this time.
“I’m at a loss for how this could happen,” said Battalion Commander LtCol Justin Dunne. “Everybody knows how dangerous Australian wildlife is,” he said as he shook a nest of spiders out of his ILBE pack for the third time that day.
LtCol Dunne explained that as part of the battalion’s pre-deployment training the Marines were briefed on dingos, crocodiles, large snakes, kangaroos, tasmanian devils, wallabies, great white sharks, and the dreaded platypus. The command even threw in stringrays because of Steve Irwin.
He added, “Hell, on the flight over we made them watch A Cry in the Dark and Crocodile Dundee.“
This is not the first time 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines has had an unfortunate encounter with Australian wildlife.
One week after arriving in Darwin, local police broke up ring of Sergeants who were trying to teach kangaroos the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.
“I know they’ve got boxing kangaroos here,” said Sergeant Brandon Dominick, “but why box when an eye gouge is just as effective?”
An attempt at practicing amphibious landings off the coast floundered when, after a series of Great White Shark attacks, Marines discovered that the Amphibious Assault Vehicle has the same profile and texture as an extremely fat sea lion.
The official explanation for the recent tragedy, which some Marines are already referring to as the “Dingo-Ate-My-Battalion” is not accepted by everyone.
“Have they ruled out quicksand?” said a visibly nervous Lance Corporal Manuel Lorenzokerpens. “Maybe those paw prints were really lion tracks! I know lions aren’t native to Australia, but maybe it escaped from a zoo or something. I mean, you have to think 2/3 here!”
FORT BLISS, TX — Most soldiers draw up lists of what they want to do when they get back from deployment overseas — from biting into a Big Mac to kissing their girl back home. For Private First Class Samuel Ramos, it was his dream to buy a new car.
“I’ve never actually owned a car before. I could never afford it,” says Ramos, “but with all the money I saved on this deployment, my dream can now come true.”
Ramos recently returned to Fort Bliss from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan with 3rd Brigade, 1/41 Infantry. He’s part of a growing trend of what Army officials call “post-deployment rich”.
“PDR is a term we’ve coined,” says Major Nate Simpson, “which basically encapsulates the soldier who left on deployment living paycheck to paycheck, but returns with a bunch of cash in the bank that he inevitably must spend immediately. This then brings him back to economic equilibrium, meaning, paycheck to paycheck – again.”
Ramos is not alone in his newfound post-deployment wealth. On top of the typical base pay soldiers earn each month, they also receive hazardous duty and combat pay while deployed to Afghanistan — typically amounting in hundreds of additional dollars. This extra money means more to accrue in his bank account while they are deployed.
Days after his return, Ramos walked across the street from base to A-1 Automotive Sales. The used car lot is a staple in the Fort Bliss community, and is proud to offer “Military Financing for E-1 and Above.” He was greeted by Sales Manager Chip Wilson.
“We’re proud to serve our soldiers when they come back from overseas,” said Wilson, “and especially happy that PFC Ramos came over to see us. He really liked the red Mustang we had on the lot.”
The 2007 Ford Mustang caught Ramos’ eye immediately. It had all the standard features — a powerful V-6 Engine, Automatic transmission, Loud exhaust intended for a Honda Civic, and tinted windows. The price at the dealer was marked at $21,500, even though Kelly Blue Book valued the car at around $13,000.
Ramos was an educated consumer and noticed the discrepancy right away.
“Why is the price so high on the Mustang?” he asked.
“Oh well, that’s a very special car sir,” Wilson responded with a grin of integrity, “not only is that a fine automobile with just under 167,000 original miles; the previous owner was none other than General Ray Odierno.”
The Private was shocked, in disbelief that this could be what the Chief of Staff of the Army used to drive.
“Swear to the good lord himself,” said Wilson. “I wouldn’t lie to you young man. Let’s get the paperwork started, shall we?”
This was a real dream for Ramos. He was getting the car he had always wanted — along with the knowledge that the previous owner was something of an Army celebrity.
“This is really great. I am so excited. Chip was so nice and took me through the whole process,” said Ramos, “I wanted to pay it in cash, but Chip said it would be a much better idea to ‘keep a little spending money’ and finance this one. He said I qualified for a great rate of 18% APR.”
Other soldiers in his unit have also provided an economic boost to the local community, to include the Jeep and Ford dealerships, local bars and strip clubs, as well as numerous tattoo parlors.
SAN DIEGO, CA – Local teenager Travis Munroe is safe and back with his family today after being rescued by a platoon of Navy SEALs. Munroe, 17, was kidnapped months ago from his suburban home by an al Qaeda cell, and later shown in a terrorist propaganda video release out of Yemen.
Army Col. Giles Davies of United States Special Operations Command spoke with TDB about the rescue:
“We are pleased to report the mission was a complete success for the SEALs. We recovered Mr Munroe along with the 3 terrorists guarding him. It was evident after his rescue that he had been extensively tortured by the terrorists, who were attempting to glean information about the unit they thought he was a member of. It seems that they confused his ignorance and claims to the contrary as resistance to their interrogation.”
The bizarre kidnapping came as a surprise for authorities who spent weeks attempting to discover the terrorists’ motives. The 17-year old McDonalds Fry Cook didn’t seem like a worthwhile target for an international terrorist organization. The most ‘combat’ he had seen was on Call of Duty and in Airsoft matches.
Naval Intelligence found the connection after stumbling upon Munroe’s Facebook profile.
“When we checked Mr. Munroe’s Facebook, we discovered an extensively crafted profile outlining him as being a member of the dissolved SEAL Team Six,” said Lt. Cmdr. Charles Aimes. “It even came with a full set of pictures including one fast-roping out of a Blackhawk helicopter, which on closer observation was actually him sliding down a playground fire pole in air soft garb with a Blackhawk photoshopped into the background. It would have had even me convinced except for that fact that I know that no real Navy SEAL is fucking dumb enough to put this on Facebook.”
The irony of the incident is not lost on the SEALs who rescued Travis, as some have commented on condition of anonymity.
“These shit-brained keyboard commandos think it’s really cool and bad-ass to act like special operations forces,” said Chief John, “They don’t seem to be down with fucking reality where terrorists are actively trying to carry out reprisals against us.”
“It probably seemed like all fun and games for him in Call Of Duty,” said Team Commander Lt. Andy, “Though shit gets real pretty fucking fast when some asshole goes to clamp a pair of booster cables to your junk… Kid was special ops all right. Rode the god-damn short C-130 to work.”
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, AFGHANISTAN – Many leaders struggle to make a real impact on soldiers’ lives, but Command Sergeant Major Richard Widmark doesn’t have that problem. Widmark, assigned to 325th BSTB at Bagram Air Field, saved a platoon from certain death today after spotting a six-vehicle convoy returning from a security patrol.
He immediately noticed one of the Soldiers was clearing a weapon while wearing neither his protective eye wear or Army Combat Helmet (ACH). Even worse, the Soldier had the “eye-pro” perched on top of his head.
Springing into action, CSM Widmark screamed, “You! Hey you! Who is your Squad Leader? Who is your Platoon Leader?” Upon identifying the Soldier’s chain of command, Widmark then launched into an impromptu 25-minute briefing on how “laxadasical” approaches to standards were causing Soldiers to die “outside the wire.”
“Attention to detail is what keeps our Soldiers alive, gentlemens [sic]. Make no mistakes,” said CSM Widmark, during the life-saving ordeal.
He went on to explain that if the leadership allows one standard to slip, then they are liable to allow all standards to slip. Such a slippery slope could lead to the deaths of an entire platoon — as he put it, “in one frail swoop.”
The platoon leader was grateful for the Sergeant Major’s bravery.
“I don’t know, we just came in after a 16-hour patrol, the boys were ready to just get out of the vehicles and stretch their legs,” said 1LT Jimmy Pendergast, ”Then this Sergeant Major, wearing a FOB bra [shoulder holster] and reflective belt comes over and starts chewing on my medic’s ass. I go over and [SPC Kaden] Hester is at parade rest and this guy is screaming for me and his squad leader [SSG Al Chang]. So me and Chang and [Platoon Sergeant SFC Victor] Barlow stand there and listen to him sputter and fume for like 30 minutes.”
1LT Pendergast went on to describe the “correction” as “laced with fallacies” and “as unintelligible as an address book that’s gone through a shredder.”
“His grammar, diction and pronunciation were horrible. I think he made some words up,” said SSG Al Chang. “I may use them in the future for comedic effect.”
Among the flurry of mispronunciations and newly coined words were such terms as ”ascadent,” “negligible discharge,” “moosetaches,” “eye pertection,” and the aforementioned “laxadaisical.”
CSM Widmark closed the life saving counseling with a plea. “You boys is doing great work here in Iraq [sic], outside the wire. It hurts me every time I hear about you boys getting blowed up by those impoverished explosive devices.”
He was later seen correcting Soldiers in other high threat situations, including a group that had their hands in their pockets, and some others who had their sleeves rolled incorrectly. His paperwork is currently being reviewed for the Bronze Star and is working its way up the chain of command.
TAMPA, FL – Life is pretty simple for a Transportation Security Officer at Tampa International Airport. The work of screening passengers is often tedious — checking identification cards, reminding travelers to remove shoes, and looking at X-Ray screens for hours. But last Wednesday that all changed for Officer Bob Hammond.
“Every day I come in and have a routine. I usually show up at least 15 minutes late. My supervisor usually chews me out for a bit, but I know it doesn’t matter,” he says, “Federal means you ain’t getting fired.”
Hammond sees the typical passengers. “We need to tell them to move quickly, remove the laptops, that sort of thing.”
Every once in a while, the routine is mixed up.
“Since we got these new full body scanners, there have been some folks refusing, so that means we do a pat-down. We also try to search what our agency has determined are ‘high-risk flyers’ — children, military members in dress uniform, grandmothers in wheelchairs, and Senator Rand Paul.”
Despite the occasional hiccup, Hammond had his routine down pat. On Wednesday however, Hammond encountered something he — nor any other TSA Officer had ever seen before — an actual terrorist.
Officer Bill Gibson was on the rotation for identification and boarding pass check that day.
“His name was Amad Shah Rabil. He had a large, baggy coat on. His ticket didn’t quite look right, and he had a big bulge from his chest area,” said Gibson. “Of course, we don’t want to profile Arabs or anything — we need to be fair to everyone. That’s why I marked up the 85-year old woman behind him for an extra pat-down. Her walker and courteous demeanor aroused my suspicions.”
At the time, Officer Hammond was conducting a routine strip search of two four-year old children when his attention was drawn to the passenger standing beside them. He then made eye contact with Rabil.
“He seemed very friendly. He had a well-groomed, red beard. He was wearing some “Death To America” button on his coat.. I don’t know, I thought it was a heavy metal band.”
Hammond described the rest of the passenger’s attire in detail.
“He was wearing a man-dress [known in the Middle East as a thawb] and a towel on his head [or keffiyeh],” said Hammond, but what really drew his attention to the man was “the large vest he was wearing with dynamite sticking out of it [koomabala kabiera].”
Hammond ultimately made the decision to pull him aside because of his one-way ticket.
Upon further questioning by TSA officers, the man admitted he planned to blow up an aircraft.
“We initially thought this was some kind of prank,” said Hammond, “like Sacha Baron Cohen or Jackass, but after a few hours of him explaining his plot, we stopped laughing. At that point we asked him to take off his suicide vest.”
An X-Ray of Mr. Rabil’s shoes revealed the presence of plastic explosives, which Hammond described as ‘mind-boggling’.
“Who knew our stuff could actually detect explosives. I thought the whole shoe-removal thing was some type of hygiene activity.”
Later, for what he describes as “shits and giggles”, Hammond had Mr. Rabil walk through one of the airport’s full body scanners, or “naked lady machine” as he called it, which further confirmed the presence of explosives on Rabil.
Rabil is currently being held in the Tampa USO Lounge under guard by an Army PFC until they can figure out what they are supposed to do with him next.
Duffel Blog Investigative Reporter G-Had also contributed to this report.
MAZAR-I-SHARIF, AFGHANISTAN - In a tragic accident earlier today, aircraft belonging to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) inadvertently killed 51 Afghans near the city of Mazar-i-Sharif while attempting to drop candy to a group of children.
According to accounts from both Afghans and international observers, two NATO aircraft, later identified as American C-130s, made a low pass over a village of several hundred Afghans outside the city.
Approximately 1.4 million M&Ms were to be delivered via Container Delivery System in a single package with a weight of 1500 lbs. Due to a malfunction in the static line, the parachute failed to deploy and the container crashed through the roof of a local school at nearly 100 miles per hour.
Upon impact, the force of the rapidly settling candies caused the sides to explode outward, causing what physics professor Dr. Rosella Schwartz described as “essentially a 360 degree anti-personnel mine full of chocolate flechettes.”
By “flechettes,” Schwartz is referring to the M&Ms’ candy shells, which shattered and spalled upon entering the bodies of the victims and also caused more numerous and severe secondary injuries.
Dr. Manuel Velez of the Red Cross, one of the first medical personnel at the site of the impact, had a similar assessment of the candy shells’ damage.
“I’ve seen a lot of injuries inflicted on civilians by military ordnance, but this was much worse,” Velez said, stooping to change the bandages on one of the victims while pointing out the many blue, green, and yellow splotches.
“The worst were the peanut M&Ms. The soft chocolate acted as a sabot around the peanuts, so basically these things were candy-coated penetrator rounds.”
ISAF spokesperson Col. Mark Marshall, who spoke to reporters today at a press conference in Kabul, said the candy drop was only the latest phase of a new operation called “Reese’s for Peaces.” He added that while ISAF regrets the accidental loss of civilian life, it would not deter them working to relieve the suffering of the Afghan people.
Sources at ISAF headquarters in Kabul said the operation was first proposed by Deputy Commander Gen. Bill Whitehead as a way to help boost the morale of Afghans as western forces began their long-anticipated drawdown.
Whitehead said he first got the idea after reading a book about the 1948 Berlin Airlift. After finishing their cargo deliveries, American pilots would drop pieces of candy to impoverished children, which earned the United States a lot of good publicity.
“Counterinsurgency is all about winning the hearts and minds of the people,” said Whitehead, “and as we transition to a much smaller footprint, the Air Force is going to have to take on some of the roles traditionally filled by soldiers, such as handing out candy.”
In early March, Whitehead gave ISAF the authority to begin planning a series of humanitarian airdrops over population centers in Afghanistan. Operation “Reese’s for Peaces”, referred to informally as “Dessert Storm”, was launched two weeks later with MQ-9 Reapers dropping several tons of licorice on Kandahar.
Over the next few weeks, ISAF warplanes dropped tons of assorted chocolates, sweets, and even ice cream over the war-torn country. Other NATO countries also took part, with French planes dropping bon bons and German planes dropping Bavarian chocolate. The United States, however, is contributing the bulk of the candy being used in the operation.
The incident in Mazar-i-Sharif is unfortunately not the first setback for “Reese’s for Peaces.” Other blunders included a crate-load of Baby Ruth bars being dropped short of its target on March 19 and plowing into a bus full of madrassa students, killing 22. On April 27, several Snickers bars hit a wedding party near Kunduz, killing 35. And on May 8, several packs of Starbursts inadvertently hit an orphanage and killed 8 children and an adorable kitten named Mittens.
Following the press conference, Col. Marshall tried to exit the podium, but tripped and crashed into a group of civilians, killing 9.
Duffel Blog investigative writer Dark Laughter also contributed to this report.
TAMPA, FL – It’s graduation season at colleges across the nation, and for the cadets of the Reserve Officer Training Corps, it means the start of their Army career. But what is supposed to be a joyous occasion and a proud moment for new Second Lieutenants has taken a turn into disaster at one ceremony, prompting the Army to review safety for commissioning cadets.
Over thirty new officers were supposed to be commissioned at the University of Tampa.
“This is our favorite time of the year,” said Lt. Col. Anthony Olson, the commander of the ‘Spartan Battalion’ ROTC Detachment. “It’s always an honor to see these men and women grow and learn and start their careers. But it’s a shock when we have a mishap.”
The Spartan Battalion had been mishap-free for over three years — but their luck ran out at the commissioning ceremony weeks ago. One lieutenant fell off the stage right after being commissioned, breaking his back and bringing an immediate medical discharge. Another didn’t place the coin in his hand properly for the handshake. Instead of it being transferred harmlessly to the enlisted man who gave him his first salute, the silver dollar went flying into the crowd, striking a retired Sergeant Major in the head, killing him instantly.
“Pa always said that the most dangerous thing in the Army was a new second lieutenant,” said Jane Hester, the man’s daughter. “I just can’t believe he was killed by one right after he was commissioned. Couldn’t he at least wait until he reported in?”
But those weren’t the only problems. The training cadre were able to convince the CENTCOM Commander — Marine General James Mattis — to make an appearance, and to offer words of encouragement to the new officers.
“My fine young men and women,” said Gen. Mattis, “congratulations on your achievement and for your dedication to our country.” He continued his speech, but as he looked out into the crowd, however, he saw something he didn’t like — one lieutenant who had fallen asleep.
“I told them to pay attention to the General. I gave them a safety brief on it,” said Olson. “With all the men General Mattis has killed with his bare hands, I figure he wouldn’t have any problems with killing a second lieutenant. Turns out I was right.”
Soon after noticing the snoozing cadet, Mattis threw down his speech notes, reached into his dress blue jacket to grab a Ka-Bar fighting knife, and jumped into the front row on top of Cadet Ted Eldridge.
“I honestly was just going to scare him,” said Mattis, “you know, make the knife across the neck motion and say ‘This is what the enemy will do if you want to take a nap’; that sort of thing. Turns out I got a little too close to the neck. Guess I’m just getting old.”
One Second Lieutenant, having been commissioned earlier in the year, returned to the university to see Eldridge earn his shoulder boards.
“That shit was fuckin’ bananas,” said 2nd Lt. Jed Eckert. “I’m sort of bummed having come all the way from Italy — instead of my bro getting commissioned, he gets killed by a General. In hindsight, I guess it’s a great story to go back and tell my platoon to reinforce the importance of staying awake on post.”
Officials at the Department of the Army were upset over the losses to the officer corps. A KIA and WIA in addition to one cadet being brought up on murder charges was regretful — but one other mishap was “completely understandable,” according to Sergeant First Class Ian Poloquin of Army Public Affairs.
The incident that didn’t surprise the Army were seven cadets who got lost trying to find the theater across from the University of Tampa.
“We gave them clear instructions. Go across campus and across one street and there’s the theater,” said Olson, “but with land navigation, it’s definitely a struggle for some.”
The seven never made it to the ceremony. Disoriented and confused, they struggled to make their way to the theater, and at one point, attempted to cross the Hillsborough River next to the campus. Their bodies have not yet been found.
To minimize the losses in preparation for fall commissioning ceremonies, the Army has started a review of policies for safety and risk management protocol. Initial suggestions included the requirement for all cadets to wear their reflective belts as soon as they get dressed the morning of the ceremony, extensive risk management paperwork requirements, and the use of enlisted guides to help navigate the new lieutenants to the ceremony. They’ve also done away with the silver dollar coin, and will require a plastic poker chip instead.
“We think these steps will help keep the cadets safe, and the use of enlisted guides is one of the best changes to minimize risks,” said Poloquin, “and besides, it’s what already happens in the Army throughout the world.”
MARYSVILLE, WA — It’s not every day that a grizzly bear is spotted — let alone inside a Navy recruiting station. Six weeks ago, Police received a call regarding a break-in at a local Naval RSS. The Petty Officer in charge of the office believed he had locked the front door, but had apparently left it propped slightly open, and a large American Grizzly Bear helped himself to the station’s hospitality.
Recruiter Petty Officer First Class Antoine Hopkins tells the story:
“I heard something behind me as I was stacking brochures, and I turned around and just thought ‘Oh my God, I’m going to die.’ But luckily, the intense training they gave me as a recruiter kicked in. I calmly sat down at my desk so as not to startle him, and began a short presentation on the history of the U.S. Navy. The bear sat down and started to listen intently, so I began to move on to benefits and he loved it! I learned that his name was Eugene S. Bear and he signed into the Delayed Entry program right away.”
Petty Officer Hopkins tapped his chin thoughtfully and added, “He had really good penmanship. I remember he had a surprisingly neat signature.”
Representatives from the Navy report that Seaman Recruit E. Bear has started preliminary training at Naval Station Great Lakes Recruit Training Command. He is continuing to excel and his superiors believe he will graduate among the top of his entire battalion. The Duffel Blog got in touch with some personnel who have watched him progress through training.
“At first I was kind of shocked to see a grizzly bear in my medical office,” said Hospitalman 2nd Class Miranda Clarkson. “I mean, they’re such a tiny minority in terms of the recruits we normally see here. I was scared at first, but he was really well-behaved, and pretended he didn’t even notice when I gave him his shots.”
Food habits have also been unusual for Recruit Bear. Recruit Division Commanders (RDC) have sternly rejected a proposal to stock and serve live salmon every day. Drill was an issue due to his space-consuming quadrupedal stance, but Instructors remedied this by promoting him to Company Guide.
“He was destined to be at the front of the formation,” one of his Instructors told us. “He is an absolute PT beast. His run times make these other punks look like they’re swimming against the current. They may as well be playing dead.”
Despite some problems, training is progressing smoothly. One staff member in the medical facility did say there have been some problems with other recruits. She spoke on condition of anonymity.
“I actually treated three recruits who had gone against him in knife hand contests. Two of them didn’t make it through the first night, but the third is in stable condition. We expect him to return to training, but there is no way his pink fleshy hands will ever rival Recruit Bear’s built-in weapons of mass destruction. Not a chance.”
The Navy RTC has also observed Bear’s techniques and decided that now a new move called “Knife Teeth” will be expected of all their human recruits. “After seeing the devastation Recruit Bear inflicted upon his training partners,” said Admiral Hunter Shaw, “we knew we needed every sailor to have similar techniques in order to raise our fighting capacity. We fully expect every recruit to sharpen up their teeth in preparation for the new graduation ceremony, which will incorporate roaring and tooth-baring.”
Eugene Bear is expected to graduate recruit training in mid-June of this year.
AL UIDED AFB, DOHA, QATAR – The dining facility cooks better get your order exactly right — or else they may draw the ire of Airman Stephen Greenway. Yesterday, Greenway jumped to the head of the line at the BPC Dining Facility (DFAC), intent on getting his order made correctly. It was “Surf & Turf” Friday, featuring Lobster Tails and New York Strip Steak, along with rice pilaf, broccoli and a make your own baked potato bar.
“This steak is well done, I want a piece of medium rare, right now, or I’m filling out a comment card. Don’t make me get my shirt involved.”
Agapito Salazar, a contracted worker from the Philippines who sends scavenged MREs and Nutra-Grain bars, as well as his 15 dollars a day, back to his family of seven on Luzon, shook his head. “Only, one steak. Two steaks, scan again.” he said, motioning to the card scanner and making a swiping motion.
“Un-Flipping-Believable!” shouted Greenway, scanning the people waiting in line for sympathy. He raised his voice, “I DON’T WANT ANOTHER STEAK, I WANT NEW STEAK!” He held up a half of his juicy, 12 oz New York Strip, indicating the center portion. “NO PINK, I WANT PINK.”
“Yes, Yes, another steak, scan again.” Salazar continued to motion to the card scanner.
“You call this service? Let me speak to the manager!” Greenway yelled, violently motioning with his tray and sending one of his two hot and succulent 6 oz lobster tails skittering across the DFAC floor. Salazar turned around and went through the double door.
Marine Gunnery Sergeant Shane Appleton, on 5 days of R&R from a Forward Operating Base in Helmand province witnessed the scene. “I may have to kill this fucking kid.” Beside him, a group of naval aviation maintenance personnel, on lunch after doing an engine change in the 128 degree heat, started making vigorous up and down motions with their fists. After a moment, Salazar returned with Afzar Aja’an, a Pakistani line cook who had been preparing extremely fresh shrimp to replace the dwindling supply of lobster tails.
“You want steak, you scan.” At this point both Salazar and Aja’an launched into a spasmodic series of head nodding and pantomimed card scanning. “Scan, Scan.”
The scene attracted the attention of Lieutenant Colonel Skip ‘Fruity’ Pebbles, of the 869th Customer Support Squadron. “What seems to be the problem here?”
Airman Greenway came to attention in his PT uniform, adjusted his reflective-belt, and sounded off. “Sir, I requested a medium rare steak and it was well done. Now they want me to scan again to get a new piece.”
Speaking to Aja’an, Pebbles said, “This young man has already scanned, give him a piece of steak.”
“He scan? Here is steak.” Aja’an handed him another plate of steak, with two of the last 5 lobster tails, and a baked potato.
“Son, your performance here today exemplifies the attitude that makes our young airmen and women the best fighting force in the world.” Lt Col Pebbles said to Greenway. “You saw a mistake and corrected it. For that I, the Air Force, and the United States are proud of you.”
The Colonel shook the young airman’s hand, transferring to him a 869 CSS Command Coin.
“Thank You, Sir!” said Greenway. He then returned to his seat with his two trays of steak and lobster. After cutting into his new steak, he observed there was still no pink.
“I can’t BELIEVE this!” he groaned, walking over to the trashcan and dumping both trays in.
He was last observed in line at the base Pizza Hut, ordering a medium pepperoni pan pizza, still visibly upset over the stress of his inedible steak.
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD- Following the world wide release of Marvel Comics “The Avengers”, the US Army has decided they need to make film special effects into a battlefield reality. A high-ranking individual in the Army’s “Think Tank” has gone on record as saying that “it seems doable.”
The film, which is based on a comic book by Marvel, features a group of individuals that come together to fight the battles that are too big for others. The line up of the team is Captain America — a regular soldier given a “super soldier” serum and becoming our best, Thor — the Thunder God from Norse mythology, Iron Man — A billionaire genius in a high-tech suit of armor, The Hulk — a science experiment gone wrong where the madder he gets, the stronger he gets, Black Widow — a sexy super spy, and Hawkeye — a master marksman that prefers a bow and arrow.
We recently sat down with a source at U.S. Army Public Affairs who agreed to an interview. The Army Captain, who wished to remain anonymous, tried to show us how this was so simple even the Army couldn’t screw up this recipe for awesomeness and destructive capability.
The Duffel Blog: First off, thank you for your time and for speaking with us about this.
Army Public Affairs Officer: No problem. We’re excited about this project. And I couldn’t help but give away some spoilers.
TDB: Indeed. So shall we just go through them one by one and you can tell me the Army’s plan to make it happen?
PAO: Sounds great.
TDB: Captain America
PAO: We give some steroids to an officer. Seems simple enough.
TDB: The Hulk
PAO: Same steroids, we just give them to a Marine… and rabies. Steroids and rabies. Again, seems simple enough.
TDB: Iron Man
PAO: Really the only thing impressive with this guy was the suit. And I mean, we’ve been working on a mech type thing since “Aliens”. You really think we haven’t made any headway on that front? We’ve just been looking for a good time to field it. Now we just need to find someone with a smartass attitude. And we know those aren’t in short supply anywhere in the Army. This whole thing isn’t too far off from the “Land Warrior” system we’ve been throwing around for a long time now.
TDB: You got me there. Moving on. Black Widow.
PAO: You are gonna give us the chance to make public something we already have? Great. Plus we’re gonna use this one for recruiting. Do you know how much our forces, and other things… are going to swell because of this one? Eh? EH?
TDB: Uhh…. Ok. Hawkeye
PAO: We’ve got marksmen all over the place. Don’t we have some Special Forces bow and arrow course or something? We have a course for everything else. Falling out of the sky. Sliding down a rope. Eating bugs while playing hide and seek. We’ll just make the course and see who is the best at it. Then boom, we have an archer.
Then we hit the snag in the interview. What is holding the Army back from making and fielding this unit that it seems would gain us the ultimate advantage in the field?
PAO: This is the one that is kinda hanging us up right now. The whole “lightning power of a God” thing is tricky. Plus the invulnerability and a few other things. The main problem though? The hair. It’s WAY out of regs. We’re concerned that if we say cut it, it’s like Samson and we lose his power. But we can’t just let him run around like that either. We’re currently trying to figure out a way to float over the female standard from AR670-1 and make that apply just to him. Plus come up with something for the beard. We figure though, when is this guy ever gonna have to put on a Pro-Mask? So we’ll let that part slide or just make up a special reg for him lumping him in with Special Forces. And really, the Special Forces thing, it kinda fits. But after we get that through, we should be good to go.
At this point, we were awestruck. The casual manner that this gentleman had just blown through how they could field an elite fighting unit composed of the stuff of legends had us impressed. I think my source may have expected this though because he continued on to fill in where I was left without words.
PAO: I know it’s all a little mindblowing. But after seeing the movie, we thought to ourselves, why can’t we do this? It seems do-able. Hell, when we went out into the rank and file to get some opinions — as soon as we said “super soldier program” we had a line formed that we hadn’t even asked for yet. Granted, now that we have lifted the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, we also had an unexpected line form for the Black Widow role on the team. But we are all about equal opportunity in the military now so everyone is welcome to apply for all positions.
We’re going to work through the bugs and get this thing going. Maybe accepting the lowest bidder for the Iron Man suit wasn’t the best idea, but we are confident the soldiers can make it work once they get it in the field. Maybe we shouldn’t have already been trying out different “super soldier serums” on soldiers in all those “vaccinations” you get before deployment. And maybe we shouldn’t have given rabies and steroids to a guy that had a LOT of anger issues and TBI. But we’re gonna work through it all and who knows where it will lead? Me personally? I’m thinking about getting an eye patch. Ooh! And becoming black!
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Citing concerns over operational security, the Department of Defense has implemented a policy prohibiting all military personnel from wearing Tapout clothing, including t-shirts, hats, and accessories, when out of uniform.
The new policy went into effect Thursday on the recommendation of a council led by Dr. James Miller, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.
“Even though Tapout gear is incredibly tacky, that’s not what this is about,” Miller said in a press conference. “Admittedly, as a mixed martial arts enthusiast, I take personal issue with fat soldiers walking around with ’Tapout’ on their chest, when they can’t skip rope for five minutes, let alone step in a locked cage against a trained fighter. And to me, whether you’re fat or fit, if you don’t know the difference between an omoplata and a gogoplata, then you just look like a jerk in a Tapout shirt. But at the end of the day, we’re primarily looking at our troops’ safety.”
Miller stressed that the ban stems from concerns about Tapout gear and operational security, or OPSEC. According to a DoD press release, OPSEC is defined as “seemingly harmless information that adversaries can use to develop intelligence against our forces.”
Miller said that officials were concerned that Tapout clothing “could give the enemy a big-picture idea of how many military personnel are in an area, where they go in their off time, and what kind of asinine garbage they spend on their money on. Basically, if I go to a movie theater and see a bunch of Tapout shirts, I know two things: one, there must be a base nearby, and two, with all these posers around, I’m probably the best fighter there, pound for pound.”
Miller said that a defense working group was sent to San Diego, CA, Fayetteville, NC, Jacksonville, NC, and San Antonio, TX to observe people in Tapout gear. The group went to shopping centers, bars, and Dave & Busters, and asked people wearing Tapout clothing whether they were in the military. The working group’s data indicates that 1% of the people interviewed were civilian mixed martial artists, 15% were local douchebags, and 84% were active duty military.
“84% is a big deal,” Miller said. “Even though this wasn’t a formal study, we can’t sit by and do nothing. Not too long ago, I went to a mall outside of Joint Base Lewis-McChord on a Friday night and thought I was in the middle of a UFC Fan Expo. And I’m willing to bet dollars to donuts that not one of those guys could throw a switch kick, or counter a basic double leg, or maintain an appropriate range against a fighter with a reach advantage. Also, don’t forget the OPSEC.”
Many military personnel are not pleased. Specialist Frank Alvarado, who is assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, said, “This is bullshit. I wear Tapout because it’s an expression of who I am. I’m a soldier, but I also train UFC.”
Miller said that the working group will be sent out to identify other possible OPSEC concerns, such as skin-tight Under Armour workout shirts worn at bars and restaurants, high-and-tight haircuts, and civilian wives so overweight they make the passenger side of the couple’s Honda Civic dip when they get in.
SAN DIEGO, CA – 17 year-old Nathan Brottman wants to serve his country, and he’s got the perfect plan for how to do it – the Navy’s Delayed Entry Program (DEP). But Brottman has a problem — he’s deathly afraid of the water.
“The DEP is actually pretty great,” says Brottman, “We meet one weekend a month and practice marching and saluting and stuff.”
When asked why he had chosen to enlist in the United States Navy, he disclosed that the Marine Corps recruiter was at lunch, and the Navy Career Counselor next door invited him into the office.
“He asked me why I wanted to join the Marine Corps and I told him I wanted to be a Sniper like in Call of Duty. He said that the Navy SEAL snipers were the best in the world, and pointed to the De-motivator poster behind his desk that talked about them shooting Somali pirates on Easter Sunday ftom the deck of a destroyer. Next thing I knew I was taking a practice ASVAB and peeing in a cup.”
Brottman had some reservations about joining the Navy, but his recruiter assuaged his fears.
“I told him I didn’t want to go on a ship, and he said that shouldn’t be a problem. I’m terrified of the water. He told me that Marines always have to go on ships because they ride them from place to place, but a lot of sailors these days get shore orders, and that I could become a SEABEE and do construction.”
A week later his recruiter took him to Military Entrance Processing Command where he began his future in the Navy.
“I didn’t do great on the ASVAB, but it turned out ok. I was eligible for the Undesignated Fireman program! The classifier at MEPS said that was good because I would become a striker and choose any rate I wanted. I figured a fireman would have to stay off the ship because they have to drive firetrucks and things like that. As long as I don’t have to go to a ship. I can’t swim.”
But why not the Army?
“My cousin was in the Army and he hated it. He said it sucked living in a tent in the desert. I asked the recruiter if we had to sleep in tents, and he said that sailors always slept in a berthing. I didn’t exactly understand the term but it sounded like it would be more comfortable.”
With high school graduation a few weeks away, Brottman is looking forward to making the Navy a career. “I looked at the time in rate requirements and I’d be eligible to be a chief in 9 years! I think a chief fireman would be a cool job, like Robert De Niro in Backdraft.”
OKINAWA, JAPAN — Some have remarked that being a Marine Wife is the ‘toughest job in the Corps’, but for one spouse, it’s gotten even tougher. As she recently pulled into the main gate of Camp Foster, Michelle Sully suffered severe emotional distress after Lance Corporal Kevin Hansen failed to render a salute to her vehicle last Thursday.
“It was just so terrible,” said Sully between tears. “I drove my car up to the guardhouse, and after he [Hansen] checked my ID, he just… stood there. No salute, barely even a wave.”
The vehicle in question — a gray Nissan Skyline favored by DoD personnel stationed on Okinawa — was clearly marked, with the blue decal denoting it as an officer’s vehicle prominently placed on the windshield. The vehicle’s bumper also bore several “Marine Officer’s Wife” and “His Boots, Her Sandals” stickers, further solidifying the fact that this vehicle demanded respect.
When questioned about his violation of protocol, Lance Corporal Hansen was apologetic.
“I just don’t know how I could have made such an awful mistake. I’d personally like to apologize to the blue decal for any suffering I may have caused.”
Hansen’s immediate supervisor, Staff Sgt. Eric Doney, is currently contemplating Battalion level non-judicial punishment, and had choice words to say on the matter.
“We MP’s care a lot about the customs and courtesies of the Corps. The dishonor and lack of respect Lance Corporal Hansen showed to that poor little blue decal. It fills me with contempt.”
“Mrs. Lieutenant Sully,” as she demands to be referred to, is currently seeking unspecified damages against Hansen for the emotional distress she experienced. The case is currently pending.
FORT BENNING, GA — Earlier this week, Private First Class Jason Hentinger ceased to exist. Following a confrontation with Drill Sergeant Francis Humphrey, Hentinger was consumed, body and soul.
Soon after arrival at his basic training assignment, problems became apparent with the new recruit. Hentinger allegedly refused to bury his face in the top of a duffel bag he was hugging next to his chest while running the 2.5 miles to the temporary barracks in which he would be housed.
Another drill sergeant, Sergeant Brandon Wilson, also expressed disappointment with the new recruit: “I can spot a problem child, and that kid Hentinger … I just knew he was going to be an issue when he didn’t blindly run over that pothole ridden parking lot.”
Problems only intensified for Hentinger. According to a platoon mate, Hentinger sometimes fell out of formation when running for PT.
“I mean, it wasn’t constant, but yeah, occasionally he would fall out of the runs. He wasn’t one of the guys who never kept up though,” said Private Alan Jennings.
Hentinger brought on the full fury of Humphrey during chow three weeks after arriving at Basic Training. 2nd Platoon had the policy of ordering recruits in a staggered line and then quizzing them with various bits of military knowledge. This information was readily available to the soldiers in an Army issued “Smart-book.”
“I mean, we gave him all the tools he needed to flourish, but when I quizzed him on the muzzle velocity of a 1964 Czechoslovakian modified Kalashnikov assault rifle, he just stared blankly ahead. I’m going to be honest, I kind of lost my cool,” said Humphrey.
“I mean, who did this kid think he was to come into my DFAC and spit on the American flag?”
After failing to answer the question, Humphrey ordered Hentinger to the back of the chow line, where Hentinger would plot his later infractions. After grabbing a tray, Hentinger proceeded through the chow line. The recruit stopped only to open a small plastic case and get what is commonly referred to as a ‘fat-cake.’
“I was at a table of soldiers, making sure they got a proper amount of nutrition when I heard the hinge of that fat-cake door swing open. I smelled the delicious sugariness of the fat-cakes. That’s forbidden fruit in there. Real no-go type stuff. I walked over and explained that to Private Hentinger,” said Humphrey, still visibly angry at the thought of a recruit eating dessert.
“Drill Sergeant fucking lost it,” said Private Nathan Shill, also eating lunch that day, “At one moment he was banging on the table and yelling at us to shove our meatloaf into our [expletive deleted]. Then his head turned, and he raised his eyebrow. He looked at the Hentinger guy. The rest was like a blur.”
Accounts vary, but some things are common among various witnesses to the events. Humphrey jumped over a table, came down like the thunder of heaven, and began screaming into Hentinger’s face.
“The kid had lost control, so I needed to take corrective action. I felt like this was a good opportunity to use some of that old fashioned Drill-Sergeant-rant stuff. I calmly told Hentinger that I was going to rip out his heart with my fist and then stare into his eyes as I snuffed out his soul.”
During this conversation, Hentinger remained immobile and simply stared blankly at Humphrey. Humphrey, being egged on by other Drill Sergeants, told him to put down his tray and get into the push up position. It appears that Hentinger, rebelliously, remained utterly immobile and just stared at Humphrey dumbly.
“At that point, I had a difficult decision to make. The recruit had put me into a very bad position. I either had to go back on my promise to remove his head and use it as a make-shift Kevlar… or I had to remain true to the Army values of Honor and Selfless service. Basically – do the right thing. I mean, I had given my word after all.”
“That’s when shit got crazy,” says Specialist Johnson, a soldier who works on the chow line, “the lights got dim and smoke started to roll in through the doors. Drill Sergeant Humphrey started twitching and shaking. Someone was chanting in Latin n’ shit. All of a sudden, blood splattered against my face, but I couldn’t look away.”
“Drill Sergeant had his hands on both sides of the guy’s head. There was a bright light … ” said Private Jennings, before collapsing into tears.
In the aftermath, a large black scorch mark adorned the floor of the Alpha Company dining facility. The TRADOC Commander of 673 Infantry Brigade, Maj. Everett Blackacre, was proud of his drill sergeants’ dedication.
“I think that Drill Sergeant Humphrey did a very brave thing,” said Blackacre. “I mean, he has truly set an example to, not only younger soldiers, but the non-commissioned officer corps as a whole. He has shown us what it means to place one’s own morality and petty concerns and live up to the army value of selfless service.”
Washington, D.C. – Top military officials met with the President this week to discuss actions and further sanctions against North Korea. The meetings come after the latest international media frenzy out of Pyongyang: the launch of a rubber ducky into the Sea of Japan.
“It’s about the size of a baseball, it’s yellow, and it’s adorable,” said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. “I don’t know how Korea got a hold of materials of this caliber, but the United States will not stand for it.”
Top leadership quietly voiced their agreement with the statements during the address. He continued, “We have talked directly with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but he is pointedly avoiding questions regarding the destructive potential of the ducky.”
Leaders in Asiatic nations expressed similar concern, and were quick to make an ultimatum. Japanese Minister of Defense Naoki Tanaka, had this to say: “We are aware of the recent launch into waters which divide our nation and Korea. If North Korean personnel do not wade out to retrieve this object, we will seriously not hesitate to blow the shit out of Pyongyang.”
Commandant of the Marine Corps General James F. Amos told reporters that he thought the Japanese terms were “fucking sweet,” and that he believes talks with North Korea will “hopefully not happen, so we can finally be done with their shit.”
The incredibly cute bathtub toy has been spotted floating almost a quarter-mile off the Eastern coast of North Korea. Experts described its trajectory as “delicately bobbing and weaving in whatever the fuck direction it wants to go.” Analysts are predicting that at its current rate it will likely end up reaching the shores of Japan in approximately twelve years, but is equally likely to be eaten by a fish or other water-dwelling creature, and civilians should not be afraid for their lives even though some injuries may occur. Opponents of this theory point out that the unpredictability is the primary source of danger.
Navy Captain Shawn Irwin of the USS George Washington, based in Sasebo, Japan, is one of those opponents. “I think the American people are missing the point,” said Irwin. “Do you know how hard it is to target a small vessel a hundred miles away and fire accurately? There are wind speeds, air currents, trajectory and ballistics… a ton of calculations and values to consider. Now imagine that vessel is playfully splashing about like a child in a mud puddle. It’s damn near impossible to hit, and even if we did, it would probably gently float back up to the surface of the water. The North Korean military leadership is certainly getting very crafty these days.”
Flotation experts are currently working out how much C4 Korean scientists could have fit in the rubber ducky without sacrificing its jovial, buoyant nature. Meanwhile, the White House has hired expert boatswains to determine whether or not the ducky could have been outfitted with a rudder and engines.
One top-level expert, Marcus Lebowski, has been poring over satellite images for the past 18 hours, and has a conflicted view on the topic. “It isn’t very likely,” he admits. “A standard ship rudder weighs a few tons, and ship engines can be up to several thousand times that. I just can’t seem to figure out how a small, bird-shaped flotation device could support that sort of weight.”
But he does admit, with some fear, that nothing is impossible. “I mean, Korea wouldn’t embark on this sort of project without thorough analysis beforehand. Maybe they’re onto something we haven’t touched on yet.”
South Korean Intelligence has offered its support to the White House and is currently trying to identify the exact phylum, class, and species of the irresistible, possibly weaponized waterfowl. An anonymous source inside Seoul said, “The sub-species of the rubber duckling is very important here. It could determine its swimming speed, diet, mating habits… all kinds of relevant information.”
So far, an estimated 16 billion dollars have been spent on intelligence collection since the yellow, polyurethane device first touched the water.
FOB DELARAM, AFGHANISTAN – In the mountains of Farah Province, a dismounted rifle patrol from 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines prepares to depart the wire. Rifles are loaded, gear is checked, immediate action drills are rehearsed.
Lastly, and most importantly, the patrol gets a brief from their 0231 Intelligence Analyst, Corporal Oscar Jimenez.
“Intelligence shows that all Afghans are pedophiles. You should get a young boy to accompany your patrol; if you get into a firefight, you can use him to cover your escape while the Taliban are sodomizing him.”
Over the six months since they first arrived in Afghanistan, the men of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines Intelligence Section have repeatedly honed their skills at producing top notch bullshit.
For example, Corporal Jimenez has a list of high value targets that he acquired from the International Security Assistance Force Headquarters in Kabul. Every day he briefs his company on relevant targets, like Taliban leader Mullah Omar or Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, in case his Marines encounter them in the local marketplace.
Like many other intelligence non-commissioned officers, Corporal Jimenez recently graduated from a three-month entry-level course at the Navy-Marine Corps Intelligence Center, where he studied topics like the maximum effective range of a T-72 tank and Integrated Air Defense Networks — all highly-relevant for a counter-insurgency environment.
Corporal Jimenez also keeps a hopelessly out-of-date database on key leaders that he inherited from the previous unit.
“We’re tracking both the good guys and the bad guys,” emphasized Corporal Jimenez. “For example, Mullah Salluh is the go-to guy for the Alikozai Tribe in this area,” he said, referring to a mullah who was gunned down by the Taliban three months ago.
Corporal Jimenez isn’t the only motivator there. Lance Corporal Scott Huddleston always makes a point of including animation in his briefs, which he believes helps add a touch of humor to the day.
“These Post-Blast Analyses are usually such a downer,” said Lance Corporal Huddleston as he worked on an after-action report where the Taliban had detonated an IED at the entrance to a patrol base.
“Look how I made the Taliban do the moonwalk to where he emplaces the IED!” he proudly exclaimed, referring to the April 7 incident that killed two Afghan policemen.
But, besides briefing their own companies, the battalion’s intelligence section has plenty of other fudging to do. Every day the 1st Marine Regiment requests a Daily Intelligence Summary or DISUM, from the battalion.
“Daily analysis is extremely important, since it lets the regiment know what its units are up to,” said Corporal Jimenez. “I used to just copy old reporting off Intellipedia, but then I came up with a Mad Lib that I’ve been using for the past three weeks. No one’s complained yet, and I can spend more time playing Mafia Wars!”
Two years ago, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the senior intelligence officer in Afghanistan, wrote a blistering report that argued the “U.S. intelligence community is only marginally relevant to the overall strategy.”
Since then, Marine Corps Intelligence units have worked to change that opinion.
“My Staff Sergeant told me that I have to start using Text Shadow, since it helps my key points stand out,” said Corporal Jimenez, working on one of his many briefs. “This will really help Marines understand my analysis that the entire Taliban are actually Russian intelligence agents.”