TAMPA, FL - The Republican National Convention was unexpectedly interrupted last night during Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech by an extremely loud guitar solo from CENTCOM Commander General James Mattis.
After having personnel from his headquarters at nearby MacDill Air Force base set up speakers, amplifiers, and a stage outside the convention center, Mattis began “ripping it” on his custom, triple-necked electric guitar which he named “Shock and Awe”.
The unexpected appearance was made in response to a challenge issued by Ted Nugent, who was scheduled to play the venue.
“I hear he’s good with a gun, but can he do this?” Nugent said as he proceeded to grind out a gnarly double handed chromatic scale at whirling speed.
Mattis arrived on stage, standing erect, on the top of a Bradley fighting vehicle. The vehicle had been retrofitted with a 16th century French pipe organ “to give me the grooviest fill between my solos,” said Mattis.
He then hopped off the vehicle, and three Marines gingerly presented Mattis his signature three necked Stratocaster.
Head down, and holding one fist up, Mattis addressed the crowd, “This one is for my fine young men in Helmand.”
One long sharp note erupted from a string on the third head of the guitar. The note was met with a deafening crescendo from the pipe organ, and in a blur of motion, Mattis lived up to his radio call-sign of “Chaos”. Stomping on various pedals, and reeling from neck to neck, Mattis went through a variety of multi-handed techniques which were tied together by a resounding, bass-heavy melody.
General Mattis did not stay to hear himself proclaimed the victor. Instead, he climbed back atop the fighting vehicle and rode off playing a version of Jimi Hendrix’s famed improvisation of the Star Spangled Banner as well as a remixed version of a popular NWA song, which he dubbed “Fuck Da Afghan Police.”
It is unclear if General Mattis will make an appearance at the Democratic Convention to challenge Joe Biden’s son Beau, who will be playing a clarinet solo.
FORT BRAGG, NC – The White House Press Office announced today that President Obama will soon be inducted into the Special Forces Association and receive an honorary Green Beret.
Officials have said the honor will be bestowed in an upcoming September 11th ceremony at Fort Bragg.
The honorary beret comes in recognition of the President’s decisive role in covert operations throughout the world during his term — including the killing of Osama bin Laden last year in Pakistan, and his combat action in Afghanistan months ago.
Army Public Affairs has confirmed that Lieutenant General Charles Cleveland will personally present Obama with his beret and a specially engraved Fairbairn-Sykes combat knife.
The knife, traditionally used by elite soldiers world-wide since the beginning of the 20th century, will have the President’s name stamped on the blade, along with the names of deceased Special Forces Medal of Honor recipients Randall Shugart and Gary Gordon, immortalized in the novel and film Black Hawk Down.
The presentation will be in a small but highly anticipated ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center.
The White House released a statement saying that the President is proud to be recognized for his accomplishments and role in ridding the world of dangerous enemy actors, and restated his firm determination to “continue doing his best to keep the country safe from those that would do her harm.”
Obama also stated that although he had never seen the Black Hawk Down film, or read the book, he was still proud to be counted among the ranks of the most elite Special Operations soldiers.
During a late afternoon briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney fielded questions, including one about the possibility of the President also receiving a Navy SEAL trident.
“The President has in fact already received his Trident from the SEAL community,” said Carney. “He was honored to accept the insignia during a private ceremony in California, a week after his gutsy call where he singlehandedly took out bin Laden.”
When Carney was asked who had initiated the calls for President Obama to be given the illustrious honors, he hesitated before replying, “we’ll dig into it.”
Pentagon officials, taking note of the President’s extensive knowledge and experiences in special operations throughout the world, is also exploring the possibility of making him an honorary member of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, the Air Force 24th Special Tactics Squadron, and Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance Company.
FORT BELVOIR, VA – In a surprise move, the US Army’s Program Executive Office-Soldier has announced that it has selected a “revolutionary” new woodland camouflage pattern to replace the Army’s Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP).
The UCP, introduced in 2004, was widely regarded as a colossal blunder, costing the taxpayer nearly $5 billion. Modeled after the “Urban Track Pattern”, the uniform finished last in PEO-Soldier trials in 2003.
Nevertheless, PEO-Soldier selected the pattern for its new Army Combat Uniform (ACU).
Though PEO-Soldier boldly claimed that the UCP was capable of blending into any environment, practical experience in Afghanistan and Iraq showed that the uniform failed to live up to expectations. Two powerful Pennsylvania congressmen decried the uniform, citing numerous non-commissioned officers who claimed that the uniform failed to blend to the environment in Afghanistan.
After another grueling series of trials, PEO-Soldier selected a new pattern for the US Army — woodland camouflage.
A PEO-Soldier spokesperson, speaking on condition of anonymity believes that the new uniform introduction is “a game changer.”
“We figured out that the old woodland pattern really was pretty effective, and we know that soldiers will be the best-equipped, best-dressed, and best-camouflaged with this pattern.”
Using state-of-the art digital clothing records, the Army will also save money when it switches to the new old pattern.
“We can use historical hand receipts to see who had been issued BDUs. We won’t need to re-issue the new uniforms to anyone who was already issued them. This will save the taxpayers’ billions.”
Brigadier General Paul A. Ostrowski said that this was an innovative way to “solve the camo debacle and hit soldiers with the green weenie,” which he called a win-win.
“In this age of austerity, we find that we can simply charge soldiers for any uniforms they may have misplaced or thrown away,” said Ostrowski. “Luckily, we can pass along significant savings to the taxpayers by screwing over the warfighter.”
Ostrowski continued, reflecting with a smile on the best ways to field gear to soldiers who will “bitch about it for years to come.”
“We at PEO-Soldier thrive on thinking outside the box. Not a day goes by that we don’t think to ourselves, ‘how can we screw over the trigger-pullers this time’? We weren’t sure how we’d top the ACU mess, but we can definitely deliver when the top brass calls for us to produce more bullshit and call it innovation.”
COLUMBIA, KY – Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer reported today that he has received his initial invitation to join the League of Valor, a vigilante crimefighting organization composed of Marines whose amazing acts of heroism have been gradually forgotten by the Marine Corps.
“I was settling in for a nice quiet evening of polishing my gun collection and sharpening my knives, when I heard a muffled thump from outside,” Meyer told reporters.
“When I opened the door with the muzzle of my AR-15, I found someone had nailed a letter to my house with this big ‘League of Valor’ letterhead. Of course they had nailed it through a Mexican drug lord’s head, so the rest was hard to read.”
According to spokesman Jeremiah Workman, a former Marine and Navy Cross recipient, The League was formed in late 2008 after the Marine Corps began institutionally purging itself of all memories of the Iraq War.
“I first noticed it in 2009 when I was doing an event for my book Shadow of the Sword. I had two PFCs come up to me and ask what my book was about. When I said the Second Battle of Fallujah, they got really confused and asked if Fallujah had anything to do with Tun Tavern or Opha Mae Johnson.”
“It really hurt at first, but then I figured, hey, if nobody knows who I am, then I can pursue my real passion: a masked vigilante for justice.”
The League is believed to be responsible for countless covert and crimefighting activities on behalf of the United States, both at home and abroad.
It is headed by Navy Cross recipient Brian Chontosh, who disguises himself every day as mild-mannered Major Brian Chontosh, an instructor of Murderology at the United States Naval Academy.
“The nice thing about the League is that it gives us a chance to give back to both the Marine Corps, and the country at large,” said Major Chontosh, while turning arch-nemesis Captain Destruction over to police.
“With Sergeant Meyer, we figured we had another year or two before the Corps starts to forget Afghanistan, but after news of the 2012 drawdown came out, we figured we’d contact him as soon as we could.”
The invitation to to the League comes at a busy time for Meyer — who already splits his activities between writing books that blast “TOC-roaches“, helping veterans find jobs after transition, and raising money for children of fallen Marines.
Meyer said he’d already met the league first-hand and was intrigued, “as long as I don’t have to wear a mask or anything.”
“Fortunately Sergeant Major Bradley Kasal told me that you only need a mask if people know who you are.”
Major Chontosh, Sergeant Major Kasal, and Mr. Workman recently drove by Marine Corps Base Quantico, following their capture of a pair of bank robbers in nearby Fredericksburg.
As they passed the base, they noticed the gate guards having an animated argument over whether or not Chesty Puller does push-ups, or pushes the world down.
“Excuse me Marines,” Sergeant Major Kasal told them. “I’m Bradley Kasal. I just wanted to let you all know you’re doing a great job.”
As they drove past, the first gate guard turned to the other and was heard asking, “Who the fuck was that?”
The article, titled “Who’s Got the Smarts?” examines groups of soldiers from different ranks, military occupation specialties, and career branches, and then orders them by intelligence.
“We factored in several things,” said Times managing editor Richard Brown, “such as test scores, writing samples, and difficulty of day-to-day tasks. Then we took the data and assigned each group a composite intelligence score.”
According to the Times, the top three smartest groups in the Army are brain surgeons, CBRN officers, and JAG Corps attorneys.
The bottom three? First lieutenants, followed closely by second lieutenants, and then military working dogs.
Pentagon sources have confirmed that in light of the article’s findings, Army brass has approved a policy to award Military Working Dogs the rank of Captain upon completion of basic dog training.
A 2009 study found that the average dog has the cognitive ability of a two-year-old child, which Brown says is perfectly in line with his publication’s rankings.
“A dog can perform basic arithmetic and can count to four or five,” Brown said. “They read body language, have an innate sense of basic fairness, and find their way through the woods. I challenge you to show me a first or second lieutenant who can do any of that.”
“To be fair,” Brown countered, “the lieutenants did display the ability to shit in a toilet and hold their bowel movements until an appropriate time, giving them a slightly higher ranking in that category than the military working dogs that haven’t been housebroken yet.”
Not everyone agrees with the findings.
“I have no doubt that every single K-9 in my unit is smarter than a PFC,” said Army Sgt. Tyrell Wiggins, a dog handler from the 503d Military Police Battalion at Ft. Bragg. “I mean, Sparky here can sniff out bombs and can follow basic commands. I’d like to see a PFC do either of those things. And sure, he sometimes eats other dogs’ shit, but you wouldn’t ever catch him buying a 2003 Mustang for $24,000 and 14 percent financing.”
Brown said it’s unfair, however, to look at one factor alone when determining intelligence. PFCs may indeed act like knuckleheads, but unlike junior officers, they aren’t innately dumb. They can eventually grow and mature, while junior officers must remain forever clueless.
“The data we have suggests that lieutenants are a special kind of stupid,” Brown said.
HOUSTON, TX — On Saturday, 25 August, America lost one of her heroes, Neil Alden Armstrong. The first man to walk on the Moon, Armstrong passed away due to complications after a blocked coronary surgery. He was 82.
Armstrong flew for the first time in 1930 at six years old, when his father took him up in a Ford Tri-motor. During the short excursion, the plane began to lose control and the pilot panicked. Sensing danger, the six year old Neil head-butted the man to silence his feminine cries, telling him to shut up, then seized the controls, landing the aircraft so well that observers thought the pilot was still at the stick.
Fascinated with flight for the rest of his life, Armstrong joined the Navy in 1949, and trained to become a naval aviator. During the Korean War, Armstrong was on a bombing mission, flying low enough to see the whites of his enemies’ eyes before he sent them back into the Stone Age, when a mechanical issue caused the plane to hit a pole approximately 20 feet off the ground. Lesser pilots would have immediately ejected, but Armstrong decided to come around for another bombing run. With his last remaining piece of ordnance he obliterated the offending pole, and machine gunned the site for good measure.
Flying back while still missing a large portion of his right wing, Armstrong became so angry at the machine that he ejected, sending his plane to crash into the sea for displeasing him. Drifting back over land, Armstrong was picked up by an old flight school buddy, who found the aviator walking down the road leading two Chinese prisoners, with a cigar in his mouth, a still warm .45 pistol in his hand, and his arms around two beautiful Korean girls who had fallen in love with him during the three hours it took to find the missing pilot. Armstrong did not speak a word of Korean.
After the war, Neil Armstrong became heavily involved in experimental testing of jet aircraft, with many of his exploits becoming legend. Once, while flying a B-29 bomber as a chase aircraft, several engines cut out and the plane began to plummet. Rather than bailing out as his crew suggested, Armstrong let fly with a string of profanities so horrific that his men have never repeated them, even under threat of legal action. When Armstrong was finished the airframe shuddered and the engines restarted.
On another occasion, Armstrong was flying with another famed test pilot, Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier. Stories differ, but at some point during the mission — to land and evaluate a dry-lakebed for use as a landing strip — the aircraft became stuck in the dirt. Neither pilot has spoken directly about the event, but sources close to each man can confirm that an argument ensued, resulting in either a metaphorical or actual dick measuring contest.
The outcome of this contest is still not known, however Air Force meteorologists did detect a temporary gust of hurricane force winds in the vicinity of the downed jet, which to this day has not been adequately explained.
Most notably, Armstrong was selected to join the Apollo space program, and became legendary when he stepped onto the surface of the Moon on July 20, 1969. Rumor has it that NASA edited his original words upon exiting the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM), which were “This bitch is mine!” and instead forced him to dub in the now immortal phrase, “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.”
When asked about the quote after the mission, Armstrong told a friend that it was some “PC liberal bullshit!”
After the lunar landing, Armstrong went on to become a teacher, NASA investigator, space technology proponent, and all around American demi-god. In his later years, pilgrims would trek to the famed astronaut’s home in Ohio to receive a glimpse of the hero, and possibly a blessing for their unborn children.
In 1993, it was rumored that Armstrong met with former President Ronald Reagan, and after being introduced to the “Great Communicator” reduced the former President to tears with nothing but a raised eyebrow.
Moments after his death, 57 countries across the globe reported unexplained earthquakes and freak storms, causing over 10 billion dollars in damage.
As a final tribute, NASA wanted to send his body into orbit, but could not afford to pay for space on a Russian or Chinese rocket, as they had blown the annual budget on Martian robot explorers. Instead, a massive state funeral will be hosted by President Obama, and attended by other great American heroes, including Snookie, Octo-mom, Michael Moore, Bradley Manning, George Clooney, and the band Green Day.
R.I.P. Neil Armstrong
(August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012)
You made us all dream big.
CAMP PENDLETON, CA - Members of the American Red Cross held a press conference last week with the 1st Marine Division to proudly announce that Red Cross emergency messages would now carry both ‘Dear John letters’ and sports scores.
“For the longest time people have only associated Red Cross emergency messages with things like the death, severe illness of a family member, or birth of a child,” said William Gossett, regional manager for the Red Cross’ western district.
“But now we can also inform you that your favorite football team just won the big game, or that your wife is leaving you due to your sexual inadequacy.”
According to Gossett, multiple surveys over the past two years showed the majority of deployed servicemen and women were overwhelmingly in favor of adding both.
Message-traffic has increased ten-fold in the days since the policy change, going from 68 messages a day to over 700.
Reactions by deployed personnel have varied.
“Yeah, it’s totally cool,” said Corporal Chris Dirksen. “We were in the middle of a firefight when this Osprey came in low over the battlefield and said: ‘CORPORAL DIRKSEN! THE NATIONALS HAVE BEAT THE CARDINALS 7-4!’ I was so stoked I actually high-fived the Taliban I was slicing open with a bayonet!”
Sergeant Shaniqua Johnson, with Explosive Ordnance Disposal, had a different story.
“I was right in the middle of placing a charge on this 400 pound command-wire IED when my Battalion Sergeant Major comes rolling up in a truck yelling, ‘Sergeant Johnson! Gary says it’s over! Keep the kids! He doesn’t care!’”
“I suppose it wouldn’t have been that bad if my Staff Sergeant hadn’t immediately asked if that meant I was single now.”
Although the Red Cross’ actions have been highly applauded by the service chiefs as “waking up to the reality of deployment,” the move may very well bankrupt the Red Cross organization over time.
Red Cross officials have privately spoke about being overwhelmed by the influx of requests. Three of their dedicated servers have shut down due to the massive increase in traffic and dozens of employees have quit for stress-related reasons.
The Red Cross has already begun revamping the entire program.
One official, speaking off the record, said “the Red Cross messages used to be relatively costless for us, as the only expenses needed were the manpower to make the phone call or send the email. But if this keeps up we may be broke in as little as four months.”
Duffel Blog investigative journalist Fernando also contributed to this report.
Paktia Province, Afghanistan – The rising number of attacks on U.S. troops by Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) has left many Generals trying to understand why — with some even citing Ramadan as a possible motive.
“It is extremely tough for the Afghan forces at this time,” said Marine General John Allen, the commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan. “Especially when they must abstain from food and water during daylight hours.”
Allen believes that the lack of basic nutrition throughout ANSF ranks coupled with the summer heat has possibly “clouded the judgment of some troops.”
“Not so” says Taliban Commander Muqtar Muhammed Sultan, the top leader of fighters in Paktia province.
“We may be observing our holy month of Ramadan, and that may mean we are not eating or drinking water,” said Sultan, “But we still hate Americans. If they air dropped us a crate of hamburgers, we aren’t going to suddenly drop our guns.”
“I mean seriously, what the fuck, right?”
In a press conference following the most recent green-on-blue attack on Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Sultan tried to make his case.
“Look, we’re recruiting new members to the Taliban, then having them join the ANA, then they attack their fellow soldiers. Are the American Generals watching a different channel than I am?”
Sultan also said that he tried contacting ISAF Public Affairs officials, but was ultimately rebuffed.
“I tried to tell them that their 2014 pullout date was a problem, and they were taking inexperienced Afghans and putting too much stress on them during training. The PAO just kept saying to me, ‘Ok Sir. Thank you so much for your comments and it will certainly be passed to my superiors.’”
When faced with the shocking revelation that Ramadan was actually an annual occurence and not a “once every 11 years holiday” as he originally thought, Allen was dumbfounded.
“Seriously?,” said Allen. “Damn it. Maybe we can try to convert them to another religion that doesn’t have any weird restrictions on food intake. What about Catholicism?”
Kabul, Afghanistan - New information provided by the Pentagon to assembled press has shed new light on the alleged shooting of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta days ago by a man dressed as the Afghan President.
“The Afghans, in accordance with Ramadan, are required to fast throughout the day,” said General John Allen, the commander of US Forces-Afghanistan. “The lack of food and water, coupled with the heat can definitely be a factor.”
General John Allen also stated that to the nation’s great relief, the shooter, who was in fact President Karzai, will recover after he tragically injured his trigger finger during the unfortunate event. Secretary Panetta is already the subject of a preliminary investigation, as officials try and determine what he did to cause the attack.
While President Karzai has remained silent on the topic after receiving a terse phone call from General Mattis, new evidence uncovered by investigators points to insensitivity about the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as the motivation behind the incident. Across the world, observant Muslims fast during Ramadan from sun-up to sun-down, and abstain from smoking and sexual intercourse with both humans and animals.
In Afghanistan, troops have already seen the strain this puts on local soldiers.
“When you have to hide in the porta-potty to drink water, or smoke a cigarette, the stress can really get to you.” said Captain Tom Enders, an infantry company commander in southern Kandahar province. “Once the sun goes down you spend your remaining energy with your buddy Mohammed in the sack, and the next morning an American comes along and asks you to go out and chase bad guys. No wonder they’re pissed. Although the Taliban still inexplicably manage to plant dozens of IEDs a day during the holy month. Sometimes they can just snap.”
A Pentagon official close to the investigation was quick to agree with CPT Ender’s statement.
“Clearly President Karzai was under terrific strain caused by not being able to eat snacks or drink water in his US provided office with central-air during the day. When Panetta decided to call that joint press conference to confront the Green-on-Blue issue it was simply the last straw for him.”
The officer, whose identity will be protected due to his not being authorized to speak to the press, also said that remedial training will be given to the Secretary of Defense and all other senior officials working in close proximity to Afghan government personnel, educating them on the importance of not expecting anything at all out of their local partners during the religious month.
In a similar incident at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego last Thursday, Private Jamie Snodgrass shot his Drill Instructor in the leg during a live fire range because he was asked to fetch water cans in the scorching 79 degree heat, and hadn’t eaten a full meal that day.
Although raised in Iowa and the prominent son of an evangelical minister, Snodgrass had converted to Islam several minutes before shooting his drill sergeant.
The injured instructor is currently being investigated for violating the recruit’s religious freedom.
San Diego, CA – A new clothing company which calls itself “Combat Clothing”, based in southern California, has recently come under fire from numerous military veterans organizations. The company, which bills itself as a “streetwear and urban apparel” brand, often adopts military themes in its clothing styles.
Veterans organizations, such as Guardian of Valor, have blasted the company — which has no ties to the military — for attempting to profit off the use of a military-specific word.
“I feel that everyone has been in combat in some form or fashion,” said Billy Wong, the CEO of Combat Clothing. “I may not have been in the military and experienced being shot at, but I have experienced verbal combat in arguments with my girlfriend, and I played Mortal Kombat in an arcade a couple of times.”
“Not to mention I’m a Level 55 Commander in Call of Duty,” he added.
Combat Clothing seeks to unite groups that have been in life or death struggles throughout the globe — such as football players, musicians, artists, and skateboarders. Some of their styles include the phrases, “Shoot Me”, “Combat Hardened”, and “I’ve Been In Combat, Please Pay For My Meal.”
Although they also welcome military veterans to wear their clothing, many detractors have said that’s only a good idea “if they want to look like a douchebag.”
“This oxygen thief is basically profiting off of veterans who have actually been in combat,” said Ralph Anderson, an Army veteran of Afghanistan. “It’s absolutely despicable. Combat is a very specific word that pertains to military service. Period.”
Responding to the criticism, Wong consulted a dictionary to further prove his case.
“The definition of combat in the dictionary says ‘to fight or battle’, like a disease, or ‘combat crime’,” said Wong. “It also mentions military service but it’s pretty obvious that combat can pertain to everyone.”
“Doctors have been in firefights with cells, as they combat diseases. Skateboarders are dealing with improvised explosive rocks that flip them off their boards on the street. It’s a stressful combat scenario, and our clothing reflects that,” Wong said.
With the Supreme Court striking down the Stolen Valor Act, most fans felt it was a perfect time for the company to launch.
Hot on the heels of the popularity of camouflage and other “military-inspired” clothing, other companies are even launching similar styles. Cashing in on a growing trend, apparel companies have released “year-round Halloween costumes” as general fashion for men with weak senses of identity, and no accomplishments of their own to advertise.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sources at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) confirmed today that former Sergeant Kristofer Wagner, the Marine best known throughout the United States military as “Wagner Loves Cock,” had trademarked his catch-phrase and was planning to sue the US government over its unauthorized use.
Speaking to reporters, Wagner’s lawyer Timothy Kranz said that Wagner planned to seek over $41 million in damages for at least 13,462 counts of unauthorized usage by the US military over the last seven years.
“We see no difference between a Marine writing ‘Wagner Loves Cock’, ‘Disney Loves Cock’, or ‘The Church of Scientology Loves Cock’ inside a porta-john,” said Kranz. “In all cases, a trademark is being violated.”
US military spokesman Captain Bradley Moore denied that ‘Wagner Loves Cock’ could be trademarked.
“‘Wagner Loves Cock’ was created by Sergeant Wagner while he was deployed to Iraq in 2005,” Captain Moore said. ”As Sergeant Wagner was an employee of the United States Government and carrying out official duties at the time, he is ineligible to copyright his ‘WLC’ phrase.”
However Kranz points to a December 21, 2004 filing by Sergeant Wagner of ”Wagner Loves Cock’ which predates the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Iraq deployment by several months. According to Kranz, Wagner was a private citizen when he filed the trademark and therefore the phrase is eligible.
In addition, Kranz observed that in 2006 the Marine Corps had determined that a deployed Marine recorded singing the controversial song Hadji Girl, was not in uniform at the time, and thus not carrying out official duties.
“If the US military wants, we can produce at least one picture of Wagner in a porta-john from the 2005 deployment, balls out and most definitely not in uniform, writing ‘Wagner Loves Cock’ on the wall.”
Kranz said that in addition to the lawsuit, Wagner planned to begin releasing “Wagner Loves Cock” clothing through his company BluTrane.
“Now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has been repealed, there are a lot of gay active-duty and former Marines who want to express their pride, but in an unconventional or humorous manner,” said Kranz.
He then held up a pair of pink camouflage shirts: one said “Wagner Loves Cock” and the other one just said “Wagner”.
“We expect these will sell like hotcakes,” Kranz said, “especially once we secure the rights to sell them on-base at the Marine Corps Exchange.”
According to official Marine Corps historians, “Wagner Loves Cock” originated among the Marines and sailors of the 22nd MEU while deployed to the Iraqi city of Hit in 2005. The phrase quickly spread through Iraq and later Afghanistan, appearing on porta-johns, bus seats, chow halls, and occasionally in insurgent propaganda.
The phrase became known nationwide after Al-Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden said in a video that “Al Qaeda is loving death like Wagner is loving cock.”
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is in stable condition this morning after being shot by Afghan President Hamid Karzai during a joint press conference on plans to reduce “green-on-blue” incidents. Though an initial press release from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) described Panetta’s assailant as a “man in an Afghan President’s uniform,” those who witnessed the shooting live on CNN harbor few doubts that the shooter was actually Karzai.
The attack is the latest in a series of green-on-blue incidents, in which coalition forces are shot by their Afghan allies, making a total of 32 incidents in 2012 alone, with the year far from over. They have produced a total of 39 fatalities and numerous other injuries, in what the Pentagon has referred to as “a baffling pattern of freak accidents and misunderstandings.”
According to reporters on the scene, Panetta was giving a speech on his continuing faith in the Karzai government’s ability to end green-on-blue incidents, and the ability of the coalition to overcome the Taliban together and bring peace to Afghanistan.
He had just turned over the microphone to his “great friend, President Hamid Karzai.”
Karzai stepped up to the podium and stared blankly for a few seconds at Panetta, who stood smiling broadly several feet away.
Then, without warning, Karzai suddenly produced a small revolver and opened fire on the Secretary, missing him three times, but hitting him once in his left arm and once in his left leg with subsequent shots. A sixth shot knocked Panetta’s glasses off his face.
The revolver then clicked as Karzai pulled the trigger several more times before angrily throwing the empty pistol at Panetta, breaking his nose as he lay bleeding on the floor.
In the chaos that followed, Central Command head Gen. James Mattis rapidly confiscated the pistol, while ISAF commander General John Allen checked to make sure the Afghan president hadn’t hurt his fingers while firing the weapon.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey checked Panetta’s pulse and attempted to revive him.
“Is President Karzai alright?” groaned Panetta before passing out.
Panetta was promptly rushed to a hospital facility at Bagram Airfield in a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, which had to change course to avoid small arms fire from a friendly Afghan base. At Bagram, Panetta was transferred to an ambulance which took him directly to the base’s trauma center, though it came under fire from Afghan National Security Forces no less than three times during the five minute drive, in one case from a group that was walking out of a base dining facility and had to stop to load their rifles.
Both groups of Afghans (one group was responsible for two of the incidents) later offered grudging apologies.
Regarding the motivation for the shooting, Karzai initially claimed it was due to “American insolence, ignorance of Afghan culture, Quran burning, violating Afghan traditions, or something else like that.” He then called for the immediate withdrawal of coalition forces so Afghans could begin maintaining the country on their own “without western interference.”
“We’ll miss you,” replied Mattis tersely, as he and Dempsey immediately started calling the Commander in Chief to plan a general withdrawal from the country. Karzai then rapidly backtracked, saying the attack was caused by “perhaps some confusion on my part, but that confusion was caused by an intelligence failure on the part of NATO.”
As Mattis continued to dial without so much as an upward glance, Karzai threw a screaming, crying tantrum in which he swore he’d join the Taliban if he was not properly supported by his NATO backers. Following the threat to join the Taliban, Karzai’s tirade trailed off, as he had noticed Mattis was glancing back and forth between him, a metal urn of scalding hot coffee on a nearby refreshment table, and Gen. Allen, who was looking Mattis directly in the eyes while emphatically shaking his head no.
At that point, Karzai changed his story yet again, and claimed that he had actually been handing the pistol to Panetta when he suffered a negligent discharge.
Following the incident, ISAF issued an apology, saying, “We are deeply sorry for any emotional trauma experienced by President Karzai, especially with regards to the loss of his personal sidearm, which has been in his family for generations.”
Though most have interpreted the attack as confirmation of the ongoing degradation of NATO-Afghan relations and the deteriorating legitimacy of the Afghan government, some officials in the region, such as Pakistani Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, see Karzai’s actions in a more positive light.
“Right now we’re hearing unprecedented levels of support for Karzai from Taliban officials and many low-level fighters who have previously refused to come to the table and deal with the Karzai government,” Kayani said. “This could be the key to formal reconciliation efforts which could end the war.”
He also expressed hopes that Karzai might pursue the gutsy strategy further with a larger gesture, such as formally putting the whole NATO effort under the command of Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
An ISAF spokesman rejected Kayani’s proposal as “utter nonsense”, and was joined in a rare agreement by a Taliban spokesman who noted that “while a broken clock might be right twice a day, there is still no place for Hamid Karzai in an Afghan government that hopes to have any legitimacy with people at home or abroad.”
Duffel Blog Investigative Reporter G-Had also contributed to this report.
PHOENIX, AZ — A state senator is in hot water after making controversial remarks last week in an interview with Arizona Foothills Magazine. The full interview, which is to be released Friday, includes contentious quotes on military service-members, the constitution, and defense spending.
Senator Linda Lopez (D-29, Ariz.), a member of the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, was apparently quoted during the interview as saying “the troops should just go fuck themselves.” Lopez continues to claim that her remarks have been “taken out of context” and that she is in fact a huge supporter of the U.S. military.
It’s not the first time Lopez is being questioned for something she said. In the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting, she told an interviewer that the shooter was “probably a veteran of Afghanistan.“ The shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, had no military experience.
Her most recent remarks come after a vote in the Committee to improve education benefits and mental health services for veterans of all service branches. Lopez opposed the bill and was the only no vote, telling reporters that she opposed it on constitutional grounds. When pressed further, she admitted however, that “she hates the fucking constitution.”
Minutes after making the remark, she told reporters that she misspoke and didn’t mean to use profanity.
“I only voted no on the bill because I support the troops, but don’t support the war,” Lopez said. “Besides, if these numbskulls would quit enlisting, we wouldn’t need to support the stupid fucks. That last part’s off the record, by the way.”
Lopez has maintained that the full context of her interview quote was about supporting the troops and giving them fleshlights as a way “to go fuck themselves in the warzone and at home.”
Although The Foothills refuses to release Lopez’s full remarks until the interview hits news stands later this week, TDB did obtain partial transcripts.
“Frankly, the troops should just go fuck themselves. Let’s be honest here,” Lopez remarks in the interview. “I’m really tired of these people complaining all the time.”
Lopez is not the only politician who has made a gaffe during interviews or public events.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) once told a crowd that “he served in Vietnam” although he never deployed as a Marine reservist during the 1970s, and Representative Todd Akin (R-Mo.) recently came under fire after talking about “legitimate rape” and the female body’s amazing ability to defy biology.
After TDB confronted Lopez with additional context from the interview transcripts, the Senator backtracked and attempted to explain further:
“In my defense, I was responding to the troops’ demands for a constitutional amendment limiting elected offices to either veterans, uniformed police and fire personnel, or civilians who held conscientious objector status throughout their entire period of eligibility for selective service, with all others forced to wear velcro shoes and overalls,” she explained. “Fuck them.”
She has since apologized for her remarks, saying that she “just went full-on retard with what she said.”
Ask A Medic is your semi-regular advice column where you can get advice about all those burning, stinging, tingling questions you are just too damn embarrassed to go to sick call for. The advice of the Doc is not to be used as a replacement for seeing an actual medical professional.
“Doc Feelgood” is a former WWII medic that stormed the beaches of Normandy. He is one bad ass mother fucker.
DEAR DOC: Can I get my girlfriend pregnant over Skype? We have been deployed six months and she is three months pregnant and that is the only way it makes sense to me? -CONCEIVED BY COMPUTER at FOB Altimur, Afghanistan
DEAR CONCEIVED BY COMPUTER: Unless your wife has come in contact with some of your leftover sperm submitted during one of your pre-deployment porn marathons, hell no. My advice to you is don’t sign the damn birth certificate, …or arrange for her to fall down the stairs.
DEAR DOC: I think I have athletes foot. My dad is an old school Marine and he said to pee on it. Is there any truth that this will cure athletes foot? -WHIZ QUIZ in Fort Huachuca, AZ
DEAR WHIZ QUIZ: Oh the old piss on the foot trick, haha. Well I tell you what. Firstly no, it doesn’t work, but between you and me, tell your dad Doc says it only works if you also shit on your foot. The results should be quite interesting.
DEAR DOC: Hey doc I have a problem, my left nut has swollen to the size of a grapefruit and really hurts. My command says that I am a malingering shitbag because I want to go to sick call and get it checked out. I have begun pissing blood and I can barely walk, but Top and the CO have threatened me with an Article 15 if I go, and say “all I need to do is suck it up.” Do you think I should go or am I just being a pussy? -BLUE BALLS in Fort Lewis, WA
DEAR BLUE BALLS: Yeah you’re being a pussy, really your balls are the size of a grapefruit, and you’re complaining. Let me know when your little juevos get to be this big. With that being said I don’t think you have anything to complain about, so return to duty, drink some water, and drive on Soldier.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A spokesman for the U.S. Army announced today that top leadership was struggling to respond to what he called a “suicide epidemic” taking place during suicide prevention training.
Spokesman George Wright revealed that 62 soldiers had taken their own lives during the mandatory training curriculum in the past month alone.
“We knew we had a problem on our hands with the rise in suicides. It’s a real crisis and the media kept hammering us on it,” said Wright. “So we felt that giving a PowerPoint briefing would solve the problem.”
The mandatory suicide prevention program instituted Army-wide includes suicide prevention video vignettes paired with a 2700-slide PowerPoint presentation. The class is usually taught by a therapist, the unit Chaplain, or some poor bastard NCO that was forced into being a certified suicide prevention instructor.
The briefs, given at the Battalion level, also require each Commander to give a personalized talk on the issue.
“With at least a tear in the eye and calculated amount of emotion in their voice to satisfy Officer Evaluation Report (OER) requirements,” Wright added.
Despite the new training, Commanders have reported troubling incidents during the briefs.
“During one of the breaks during hour seven or eight, one soldier actually removed his reflective belt and hung himself with it from a door,” said Captain Steven Riggs. “How the hell am I supposed to tell my soldiers that reflective belts save lives from now on?”
A separate class at Fort Dix resulted in six soldiers in the audience taking their lives, along with the instructor of the brief — who jumped off the stage head first at slide 2403 of the PowerPoint.
“That one was particularly tragic,” said Captain Justin Bergant. “Not only did I have six soldiers who hadn’t signed the attendance roster, but the instructor wasn’t able to sign off on the rest of the sheets, making them all useless. Not one single certificate of completion could be issued and now the Colonel says my OER will reflect the failure to hit our 100 percent goal.”
As a temporary measure, the Army no longer allows soldiers to wear dog tags, boot laces, or reflective belts during the briefings — quite often confusing troops who are used to relying on the PT belts for keeping them alive in combat and in garrison.
Despite the tragedy, Wright says they already have plans in place to fix the problems.
“Well, obviously we’re not doing enough, so we know that we need to add an additional 400-500 slides to really hammer home the message,” said Wright.
Wright also says they have received good feedback on the latest guidance memo to Army leaders.
“We’re now requiring all Training NCO’s to maintain a unit roster which all soldiers need to sign before the briefs, saying that they promise not to kill or hurt themselves.”
The Army Chief of Staff also weighed in on the issue, saying that he had his “Plan E ready to go” in case the already used plans A, B, C, and D fail.
The other plans, according to Odierno, include ignoring the problem and hoping it will just go away (Plans A and B), telling soldiers to take motrin, drink water, and “suck it the fuck up” (Plan C), and finally, giving them an anti-suicide nasal spray (Plan D).
“We certainly feel that soldiers should be able to police themselves and take care of each other on this issue, but if all else fails, we’ll have to trust in the UCMJ,” said General Ray Odierno. “Any soldier that commits suicide will be punished accordingly. That will include court-martial and possible bad conduct discharge.”
Odierno added, “This is a failure in PowerPoint, not leadership.”
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - It’s early morning as the sun rises over eastern Afghanistan and an American patrol heads outside the wire. Minutes later, as the platoon reaches an open field, they come under attack.
Embedded journalist Mike Jackson asked the Platoon Leader what he thought of the new rules of engagement (ROE) issued by the Department of Defense shortly after they radio “troops in contact.”
As the young officer lay behind a low mud wall, flinching from the crack of incoming rounds and attempting to help treat a soldier who’d been wounded, he checks his watch and yells over the sound of the gunfire:
“I sent up the request to shoot back about 20 minutes ago,” said 2nd Lieutenant Richard O’Keefe. “Hopefully the President will get back to me soon.”
More Stringent Rules of Engagement
The new rules of engagement that require higher approval authority are part of a broad-based strategy of minimizing civilian casualties. Changes first came with the introduction of the Karzai-approved rifle combat sight.
Since its introduction, instances of civilian casualties have plummeted, causing many Afghan lawmakers to tout the optic’s success. Taliban spokesman Muhammed Muhammed Muhammed stated that with the recent lack of casualties their forces were taking in the field, the group was even willing to return to the negotiating table.
The success was unfortunately short-lived, when a stray goat was killed after wandering into a coalition firefight three days ago.
“This is a terrible day for Afghans everywhere,” spouted Afghan President Karzai in response to the latest outrage, calling on further restrictions to what he calls ‘reckless American gunplay’. Airstrikes and helicopter attacks, already requiring a General Officer’s approval before they can be used, have now been cancelled across the AOR.
Karzai demanded a higher approval authority to curb unecessary casualties.
As a gesture of good faith, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated that he would personally receive all requests to return fire through the military chain of command on a specially designed smart-phone carried with him during work hours.
If he decides the request has merit, he will then submit the request in PowerPoint format to President Obama, to be reviewed during the next White House morning security brief.
As cries of Allah Akbar reached a fevered pitch, the enemy closed to hand-grenade range. Lieutenant O’Keefe was asked if he thought the new rules were helpful.
“Oh, absolutely,” he replied, ducking as another RPG detonated on the other side of the wall he was hiding behind. “I mean, they told me in IOBC [Infantry Officer Basic Course] that counterinsurgency was all about the hearts and minds of the people. We can’t do that if we’re hurting innocent civilians. So yeah, I guess it’s a good thing. In fact I-” his next words were cut off as an enemy recoiless rifle shot impacted a nearby hut, killing the family of three cowering inside.
Earlier that morning Secretary Panetta made the following statement about the new restrictions:
“We want to emphasize that we stand behind our troops on the ground 100%,” said Panetta in a hastily called press conference to announce the news. “We just want to be absolutely sure they’re doing the right thing out there. Its all about safety.”
When pressed for his thoughts about the Secretary’s statement, Lieutenant O’Keefe agreed wholeheartedly, and launched into an insightful monologue about ‘just and unjust wars’, pausing occasionally to change spots, avoiding the areas where his men were engaged in savage hand to hand combat with the Taliban fighters that were swarming over the wall, his men swinging their empty rifles like clubs.
As Jackson sprinted away from the battlefield, following the tattered remnants of the Lieutenant’s platoon, he asked O’Keefe about his chances for getting clearance to fire.
“Pretty good I think,” the LT wheezed out between breaths as he ran across a field, dodging enemy fire. “It’s midnight in D.C., so if the President gets up early I think we can expect an answer in about 6 hours. Good thing we did a lot of running back in garrison!”
PANJWAI DISTRICT, AFGHANISTAN - Army Sergeant First Class James Hargrove knows the dangers of war. The platoon sergeant — currently on a year-long deployment with the 82nd Airborne — says he’s been worried about maintaining combat effectiveness since casualties have been so high.
His soldiers have seen increasing attacks from small arms, rocket-propelled grenades, and countless improvised explosive devices (IED).
“I was really concerned about whether or not we could keep this up for another five months,” says Hargrove. “I mean, how the fuck can you take the fight to the enemy when you’re losing guys like we are?”
“So I brought up the issue to my chain of command, and believe it or not, they did something about it.”
The grizzled platoon sergeant smiles and holds up the latest addition to a soldier’s protective gear when going outside the wire. A bright yellow reflective belt.
“When the CO called us all together and told us about the new policy, I was like holy-shit, why didn’t I think of that?”
Years of Army research of course has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that soldiers who wore reflective belts during low light hours were 75% less likely to get hit by cars, motorcyclists, pedestrians, small arms fire, explosions, lightning strikes, or fat wives in base housing.
The only question soldiers are asking is “why wasn’t this implemented sooner?”
As Hargrove’s platoon gears up for another combat patrol into the heart of an enemy village, the men are all smiles, helping each other adjust the neon-yellow straps to ensure maximum visibility during the dark hours of the night.
“There’s no way we’re going to take casualties with these babies!” exlaims PFC Lance Detwiller.
As the Americans exit the compound with their Afghan partners, the ANA seem to hang back, shying away from the US soldiers in formation. When asked about this, SFC Hargrove believes it to be a simple answer.
“It’s probably just jealousy. I mean, there’s only so many reflective belts to go around, and our guys come first, ya know?”
The leader of the controversial organization — known for leaking classified information — was happy to announce their agreements with the creative force behind The Hurt Locker.
The filmmaking duo just wrapped up a film about the hunt for bin laden called Zero Dark Thirty — partially based on intelligence briefs they received from the White House, set to be released later this year.
“We’re very happy to have both of them aboard and look forward to the film,” said Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder. “And we were really disappointed in the Obama administration. They pulled off the bin Laden raid and we had no idea. That’s the kind of oversight we’re trying to prevent.”
Assange says he fights for open information and access to secrets for everyone — although he refused to share his credit card number or email password.
“We’ve tried to be transparent [and give al Qaeda every advantage] with our intelligence dumps and having the U.S. eliminate Bin Laden was [simply unacceptable and] a great thing for the world. WikiLeaks continues to stress the importance of a more open [source of intelligence for terrorists] and just world.”
When pressed for further comment, Assange opened up — and changed the subject.
“We’re looking forward to what Mark and Kathryn can bring us in the way of public relations. The Bradley Manning story is one we feel needs to be told and Mark and Kathryn are just the ones to do it.”
Both Boal and Bigelow, although initially surprised by the offer, seemed to be on board with Wikileaks, regardless of the reason.
“We believe in Assange’s vision. Information should be open for the public to consume regardless of the consequences…or at least that’s what I learned at Oberlin College,” said Boal.
He went on to say that there wasn’t any real conflict of interests with the “military industrial complex.”
“I just kind of lucked out. I mean for godsakes, I wrote In the Valley of Elah. Did you even see that turd? Of course you haven’t! My career should be over, but for whatever reason, they trusted me.”
Kathryn Bigelow’s office issued a brief written statement regarding her new role within the WikiLeaks organization:
We are thrilled to be working with WikiLeaks and remain confident the integrity of information shared with us by the government will not be compromised. Our next film will detail the trials and emotional stress suffered by PFC Bradley Manning and his benefactor Mr. Assange.
Mr.Assange said that he feels a kinship with Manning.
“It’s good to see people willing to take the fall for our organization. Bradley Manning is a heroic young man. Any man who goes to jail when I don’t — is. The least I can do to repay his bravery is bankroll this film and make tons of money off it.”
The film is said to cover Manning’s life, from his awkward childhood, to his shy, awkward time as a Specialist at Ft. Huachuca, where he openly posted his daily routine on YouTube for millions to see, to his no doubt equally shy, awkward time lip syncing Lady Gaga, while downloading thousands of kilobytes of classified information for open dissemination, to the awkward moment in his court martial where his defense tried to claim that his confused sexual identity (referring to himself as “Breanna” and cross dressing) was somehow a precursor to his being a traitor.
Bigelow was mum on casting, but several big names such as Toby Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Paul Reubens are all being considered.
The filmmakers have not said whether Manning will be referenced as ”Breanna” in the film.
HOLLYWOOD, CA – The entire cast of the the military-themed reality television show Stars Earn Stripes has been killed in Afghanistan, according to a statement released today from NBC.
“This is really an unfortunate tragedy,” said NBC Executive Andrew Jacobson. “These stars were trained by real professionals and given lots of fake Hollywood-style action shots. We thought that it would be fitting for the final assault of the season to take place in Afghanistan on the front lines with no help from their professional instructors.”
While many critics accused the show of using excessive special effects with fake explosions and bullets, NBC felt it was necessary to respond and change course in the season finale.
“We thought the best way to portray the hardships of being in the military was to use a real setting and a real mission, which is what we did by placing the stars in a real combat scenario. Unfortunately, the stars’ training didn’t cover actual military tactics, but rather focused on what looked cool on TV.”
Most of Hollywood is in shock and disarray over the deaths of such stars as Dean Cain and Terry Crews. Sylvester Stallone, who worked alongside Crews in other films, spoke to The Duffel Blog amid tears.
“I never saw this coming. Terry was always on point on the set,” said Stallone. “He always seemed to be believable with the fake weapons and explosives we used. I expected him to excel on the show, and it’s truly regrettable that he was killed.”
According to the NBC statement, the cast of Stars Earn Stripes was on a top secret raid on the home of the leader of the Haqqani Network.
General James Mattis, CENTCOM Commander, allowed the raid to take place, saying “it’s about fucking time those pricks in Hollywood did something besides bitch to Congress. Let them take a few live rounds and see how ‘cool’ it is when their buddy is bleeding out of his fucking skull.”
The price of NBC stock has plummeted with the news of the show cancellation.
Mr. Jacobson informed the Duffel Blog that NBC is seeking an alternative set of stars for the next season of Stars Earn Stripes, but little interest is coming from Hollywood.
“It seems like these actors, they all talk about ‘support the troops this, support the troops that,’ and they do those USO tours where they sign autographs and take some pictures, but in the end, they really don’t get the premise of guns actually hurting people, namely themselves.”
An MQ-9 Reaper Drone flying overhead partially witnessed the tragedy, with pilot Major Willie Trevino watching.
“Apparently, Nick Lachey tried to sing a song for the Taliban or whoever the fuck they were fighting and they didn’t like it,” said Trevino. “Then they chopped his balls off before they hung him. I would have fired a missile at the compound, but these things are expensive, you know?”
The statement from NBC closes with an apology about the lack of further episodes.
“We here at NBC would like to apologize for airing this show and will no longer be showing any new episodes. We’d hate for people to get attached before the last episode where everyone gets fucking slaughtered.”
Some fans have already expressed their dismay at the cancellation, including Early Baldwin, an Alabama native and avid follower of the series. After calling NBC to lodge a formal complaint against the show’s cancellation, it was explained to him that the entire cast was murdered in a one minute fire-fight.
Early retorted, “I don’t give a shit, we gotta support the troops, now put the damn show back on!”
The Haqqani Network posted a statement to their Facebook page which said, “The cast of Stars Earn Stripes was killed. This is a tremendous victory against the Great Satan. These people weren’t even A-list celebrities, why try and ransom those rejects when it was so much more fun to cut off their balls?”
FORT BLISS, TX – A U.S. Army infantry battalion commander received the Silver Star today for “gallantly carrying out his billet description to the letter” while deployed to Afghanistan last year, according to his award citation.
Lt. Col. Jimmy Matthews, currently assigned as the leader of 4th Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, was honored to receive the nation’s third-highest award for his actions during a year-long deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Lt. Col. Matthews’ award was submitted by his higher brigade commander Col. Alan Johnson, based on a write-up he solicited from Lt. Col. Matthews.
“This really is something special, I have to say,” said Matthews after his award presentation. “When the Colonel said he was putting me up for an award, I was completely shocked. I really had no idea. He originally put it in for the Medal of Honor, but this will certainly do.”
As the leader of his unit, Matthews followed his job description to the tee. Unlike many of his colleagues who shamefully did more than their jobs required, Matthews “stuck to his guns”, according to his summary of action — putting together harrowing hour-long meetings, daringly supervising a Tactical Operations Center (TOC), and courageously mentoring his junior soldiers.
“The colonel definitely deserves this award more than anyone,” said Capt. Steven Hendrix, a company commander in the battalion. “We had a lot of cases of soldiers going above and beyond their duties — really going way outside what their jobs were all about. But he really set the example.”
An enlisted machine-gunner in the battalion agreed.
“I have three combat tours and have seen some really amazing things from my fellow soldiers,” said Specialist James Bruster. “But I think they were all medal chasers. Luckily our higher-ups are really good at spotting these ‘cowboys’ and making sure they don’t get anything. But the colonel — we know he’s not looking for any recognition.”
Bruster continued: “It really is a good thing that when you do your job exactly as required — the Army will reward you.”
Another soldier in the battalion was still angered at the award being reduced.
“It’s really a shame that he didn’t get the Medal of Honor,” said Sergeant Ian Wyland, a team leader who was recently awarded the Army Achievement Medal after being recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross. “Lt. Col. Matthews clearly did what was asked of him. The Army shouldn’t shortchange him in return.”
Matthews’ wife Joanne also received the Outstanding Civilian Award and was meritoriously promoted to Chief Master Spouse.