FORT SILL, Okla. — In an effort to connect with his new platoon, 1st Lt. Stephen Simon has developed a “meme speak” technique that he hopes will catch on with officers across the Army.
“As times change, so do the way soldiers learn,” says Simon. “These days our young enlisted newbs are all about what’s hot on the internet so I’ve adjusted to that part of their culture.”
“I don’t want people to think, “watch out, we got a bad ass over here” but I also can’t come off as an overly attached girlfriend, rather a ‘much wow, such cool’ kind of guy to these young normies,” said Simon.
Most days he tries to join his soldiers for lunch if he can find them, as a way to give them life advice that he hopes will resonate with them better than mandatory safety briefs.
One recent morning, he told a squad, “Make sure you’re all Good Guy Gregs this weekend. Don’t be Scumbag Steves or else you will end up as a Bad Luck Brian because it’s a trap, ya know?”
The soldiers of HHC, 214th Fires Brigade, have a very love/hate relationship with their new platoon leader.
“He’s always trying to talk like people do on Tumblr, which is so cringe-worthy that it is actually funny,” said Pvt. David Beck. “We actually end up paying attention somehow.”
“Wake up, Grumpy Cats!” Simon said, slapping his knee and giggling while the formation anxiously waited for their weekend to begin. “There are going to be a lot of pedobears out there and I know that feel bros, but deal with it because ain’t nobody got time for that!”
Groans rang out as the leader handed out his weekly “rage comics” with pictures of frogs on them, his format for dispersing the platoon’s upcoming training schedule. “Remember gents, you only YOLO once!”