Writing a story about Duffel Blog? Here’s what you need to know.
Duffel Blog is a digital-first satire publication written by and for members and veterans of the U.S. military. Often regarded as “the military version of The Onion,” the now two-year-old site has carved out its niche in the satire world and made headlines all its own.
The Duffel Blog story
Honorably discharged from the Marine Corps and attending college at The University of Tampa, Duffel Blog founder Paul Szoldra was working on a startup idea to help other military members in their transition to college. As part of that project, he started a number of blogs to get some traffic to the website — one of which was Duffel Blog. It was March 4, 2012.
The first article on the site was “Tired of ‘Chair Force’ Nickname, Air Force Colonel Bans Chairs.” Szoldra slowly built a following, publishing his own stories three to four times per week. Soon after, he began receiving emails from service members asking one question: “Can I write for you?”
Duffel Blog has grown steadily since then in both fans and traffic. The site, which now publishes at least one new story each day, now boasts more than one million unique visitors each month. Content is produced by a highly-talented pool of contributors from a blend of military backgrounds, both veterans and active-duty.
What others have said about us
“Some of what it turns out just might be the best military satire since Joseph Heller wrote Catch-22.” —David Martin, CBS News’ national security correspondent
“The lads have a well-tuned sense of humor and convincingly imaginative ‘reporting’ that bode well for a country that could use some laughs. I think the writers know that we need to stop taking ourselves so seriously.” —Gen. James Mattis (Ret.), former commander of Central Command, to The Wall Street Journal
“The site reminds me of The Onion in its early days. They’re clearly having fun doing it, which is part of what makes it successful.” —Scott Dikkers, founding editor of The Onion, to The Wall Street Journal
“[Duffel Blog is] a must-read for national-security nerds — and anyone who enjoys humor, really — it provides pitch-perfect military parody online.” —now-Guardian national security editor Spencer Ackerman, writing in Wired Danger Room
“It helps put many things in healthy perspective, even when it’s a little over the top or overly satirical. In the very serious world we live in at the Pentagon, a bit of levity can actually help advance the mission.” —George Little, former spokesman for The Pentagon, to The Washington Post