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Marine Corps

Afghan Army Responds to Corpse Desecration, Mentors US Troops On Culture

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KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN – Several months after Americans first saw a video of Scout Snipers from 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines urinating on a group of dead Taliban, a group of Afghan soldiers is now teaching US Marines about Afghan culture to ensure similar incidents never happen again.

“We were deeply saddened by what we saw in that video,” said Maj Jagran Akhtar of the Afghan National Army, through an interpreter to a seated crowd of young Marines. “Here were the United States Marines, who claimed to be the most professional fighting force in the world, and yet they did not even know how to properly desecrate an enemy corpse.”

Akhtar then looked down and slowly shook his head.  “I mean, they could have cut the nuts off and put them in the corpses’ mouths, or even just thrown them on a pile of burning tires.  But then, that is why we are here today…to share what we know with our friends the Marines,” continued Akhtar, smiling broadly.

Major Akhtar is the officer in charge of the Afghan National Army’s first Desecration Trainer Team, or DTT, tasked with teaching American military personnel proper Afghan body-defiling techniques.  Every day, Marines eager to learn more about Afghanistan’s rich culture of desecrating enemy corpses gather around Akhtar, a veteran of Afghanistan’s 1980s war with the Soviet Union, to listen to his tricks of the trade from over 30 years of experience.

“Hanging a body from something and dousing it in petroleum, then setting it on fire — this is your safe zone. When in doubt, you can always get back to basics with that. And really, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Much of what you do will simply be devising subtle variations on this one basic theme.”

“Yes, a question?” said Akhtar, pausing to call on a Marine with a raised hand.

“Like using the corpse’s own intestines to hang it before you set it on fire?” asked LCpl Jason Tate, of Brattleboro, Vermont.

“See, this guy gets it,” said Akhtar, bending forward to give Tate a high five.

“Never underestimate the importance of symbolism,” continued Akhtar, “because that’s where you Americans get into trouble with our culture. I mean, Nazi flags?  Do you see any Jews around here?  Of course not!  We didn’t even know that there had been one world war until the story about that flag came out, so how is a Nazi flag going to offend, much less intimidate, us?  You must always ask yourself, ‘what does this mean to my enemy?’ to avoid such embarrassing and amateur mistakes.”

A traditional Afghan corpse desecration festival

A traditional Afghan corpse desecration festival

“Expanding upon this idea, you don’t want to confuse anti-Afghan or anti-Islamic symbolism with anti-Taliban symbolism.  Also, don’t feel like you must always use big political and religious ideas.  You can make strong statements that are much more personal or topical. For instance, when a Taliban official came to [the district of] Delaram and announced a tax on the opium crop, we stuffed his mouth and ass with poppies before hanging him in the square and setting him on fire. Yes, another question?”

“Yeah, does the symbolism also extend to what you hang them from before setting them on fire?”, asked Sgt Casey Porter of Crete, Nebraska.

“An excellent question,” beamed Maj Akhtar, “it most definitely does.”

“So, beyond hanging bodies and lighting them on fire, what do you think of, say, chopping off heads?” asked Sgt Porter, looking up from his notes.

“Okay, let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” said Akhtar, who looked around in confusion at the laughing Marines until the interpreter explained the pun he had inadvertently made when his response was translated.

“To answer your question,” continued Akhtar, after the laughter died down, “that’s at the level of shooting down the Devil’s chariot, and you’re still at the level of firing rockets at the airport. Yes, I once peeled a man’s skin up over his head and tied it in a knot using only his own pocketknife, but that was after many years of routine hangings and burnings.”

Noting Sgt Porter’s dejected expression, Akhtar then added, “But if it does come up, just apply what you’ve already learned.  The question isn’t whether or not to chop off heads, it’s what you do with the head after chopping it off. Again, symbolism is everything.”

Several hours later, media were invited to accompany Maj Akhtar as he reviewed the results of a practical application on the bodies of a dead Taliban mortar team to test the Marines’ comprehension.

‎”Let’s look at what you came up with. Okay, Staff Sergeant Sheppard, you took a picture of yourself shitting in the corpse’s mouth while you smile and give a thumbs up. Quite frankly, I’m disappointed. Honestly, this seems to send more of a message about your sexual preferences than what happens to your enemies. Contrast that with what Cpl Callahan did. At first glance, it seems very simple — he hung the body from a wall and lit it on fire. But look how he’s carefully modified that basic theme to make it his own. First, he hung the body upside down, a simple but brilliant change, as if to say ‘he died as he lived, with an upside down view of the world, for who but such a fool could have fought Cpl Callahan?'”

“Looking further, we can see that he also gutted the corpse like a beast, as if he started butchering it from sheer force of habit.  To a warrior like Cpl Callahan, this was no death to be remembered, but an animal no better than one of his deer back in…?”

“Gwinn, Michigan,” added Cpl Callahan helpfully, as Akhtar patted his student on the shoulder.

“Yet what’s most impressive…what I’m going to remember if I’m one of Cpl Callahan’s enemies…is that even though he hung the body by its feet, he also put a second noose around its neck and used it to hang the base plate from the man’s captured mortar.  This is powerful symbolism. It almost dares onlookers to try and pick up the weapon this dead fool thought to use against Cpl Callahan.”

“It’s like I’ve told you all day”, Akhtar concluded.  “It can be a little funny, or kind of extreme, but what’s really important is that it makes you think.  It’s almost a shame to see it burn.”

United States Forces – Afghanistan (USFOR-A) believes the program’s development is a sign of positive engagement from Hamid Karzai’s government.

“The role of USFOR-A and the larger International Security Assistance Force is to partner with our allies from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and develop the security situation through mentoring, arming, and training”, said Lieutenant Junior Grade Keith Goodsell of USFOR-A public affairs.  “But this program disproves claims that partnership with the Afghan National Army is just a one way street, and shows that we have just as much to learn from them as they do from us.”

“Now, what does DTT stand for exactly?”

Marine Corps

Helicopter parents won’t insert son at hot LZ

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CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan — A Marine infantryman scrambled to link up with his squad after his parents refused to insert him at a hot landing, sources confirmed today.

Pfc. Martin Sikorsky pushed out on a QRF mission for the ANA his unit is training when his parents became concerned about the state of the LZ.

“Martin knows the rules of our hangar. No screen time after 4 p.m., no driving over 45 knots and no firefights. I think any parent would agree I’m being reasonable,” Sirkorsky’s father, Huey, told reporters.

Huey’s wife Lakota looked up from the baby monitor she has in her cockpit with a live feed from a GoPro on Sikorsky’s chest rig.

“If Martin is having problems with the Taliban, all he has to do is give me a CAS 9-line, and I will speak to their mothers to get this sorted out,” Lakota said.

Sikorsky’s parents were going to allow him on the mission until they received word of an enemy RPK team in the northwest corner of the hasty LZ. Normally, they are fine with their son being exposed to medium machine gun fire. Although he is not vaccinated against 7.62, Huey and Lakota rely on a mix of essential oils to keep Sikorsky safe. However, since arriving in Afghanistan, they have been unable to find a Whole Foods that sells coconut and eucalyptus oil.

Sikorsky said he was heartbroken he could not insert with his guys and get in on the TIC. Like most 18-year-olds, he worries about the effects of his protective parents.

“How am I supposed to have a social life without my own CAR?” he said.

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Marine Corps

New Marine Commandant to bring back rolled trousers

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WASHINGTON — The next Commandant of the Marine Corps has announced that the first policy he’ll instate when he takes the helm this summer is to bring back the beloved tradition of rolling trouser legs.

“From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli, Marines have proudly rolled their pantaloons on many a foreign shore,” said Lt. Gen. David Berger. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, ‘Sir, when will we go back to trousers up?’ Well, Marines, your leadership has listened. It’s high time to show off those calves.”

This isn’t the first time a long-standing Marine tradition has been cancelled, only to be brought back years later. In 2011, then-Commandant Gen. James Amos infamously got rid of rolled sleeves for the entire Corps. Amid complaints from the rank-and-file, he brought them back in 2014.

“Trousers up is clearly what sets us apart visually as Marines,” said Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Ronald Green. “And now there will be no more skipping leg day. Any Marines who have been doing their squats and calf raises will welcome this change, I’m sure.”

Marines will be required to roll their trousers in the spring and summer months and will revert to “trousers down” in the winter.

“I remember during the Gulf War, if the Iraqis saw a flash of trouser cuff and shin they would instantly retreat,” said Berger. “If we’re going to win against near-peer competitors, that’s what we need to get back to.”

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Marine Corps

Make-A-Wish kid spends day as a Marine standing in line at the armory

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TWENTYNINE PALMS, California — When eight year-old Conrad Greeley found out his leukemia was terminal, his family immediately contacted the Make-A-Wish foundation since he always wanted to spend a day living out his childhood dream of joining the Marine Corps.

Luckily, Make-A-Wish came through, and on Tuesday, Conrad met up with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment’s Easy Company at 0400 outside the armory. The company was drawing weapons to verify serial numbers for the third time that week.

As per his family’s request, the Marines treated Conrad just like any other Junior Enlisted Warrior, with Cpl. Sean Casey assigned as his team leader for the day. He took the boy under his wing immediately, officials said.

“I tried to teach him how to spin up a CASEVAC 9-line but he couldn’t figure it out,” Casey said. “At least his hair is in regs.”

At 0630, the armory gates opened and Marines flooded in. As the smallest and newest boot, Conrad dutifully assumed his place at the back of the line. At 1100, just as he was getting close to the window, the armorers cut for chow.

When they came back at 1300, Conrad was informed they couldn’t issue him a rifle because Gunny hadn’t signed his weapons cards. After standing by aimlessly until 1700 for his team leader to tell him what to do, it was time for Conrad to head home.

Conrad walked away from his short time in the Marine Corps with a new perspective on life.

“Today made me feel a lot better. I used to be sad I would never get to grow up and be a Marine. Now I’d rather just die.”

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Marine Corps

JLTVs deadlined due to faulty cassette deck

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QUANTICO, Va. — Brig. Gen. Arthur J. Pasagian, commander of Marine Corps Systems Command, announced today that all Joint Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs), the replacement for the Humvee, would be deadlined across the service after field testing revealed a dangerous defect with their cassette decks.

This decision comes after reports that cassette tape decks in new JLTVs were spontaneously combusting after three or four uses.

Oshkosh Defense, who holds the contract to make JLTVs, released a statement claiming that they “are not liable for this issue.”

“We wanted to equip the JLTV with an aux cord and Bluetooth technology, but the geniuses at DOD Acquisitions insisted we go with a tape deck because ‘that’s how the kids like to listen these days,’” the statement reads.

Lance Cpl. Conrad Gardner of 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines was injured in an incident with a JLTV’s tape deck.

“My driver and I were listening to some Raffi, because those are the only cassettes I own,” he drawled. “Then, out of nowhere, that cassette player just exploded in our faces. These vehicles are dangerous. I’d be safer flying in an Osprey.

The effects of downing so many JLTVs at once are being felt far beyond the motor pool and the decision makers in Quantico. Marines arriving at the 7th Regiment Command Post in Twentynine Palms today encountered a Jonestown-like scene. Dozens of staff officers were sprawled dead on the ground, unable to cope with the atrocious vehicle readiness numbers.

The JLTV program cost $23 billion, with a per unit sticker price of nearly $450,000.

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Marine Corps

Marine Corps predicts future drinking incidents will be caused by near-peer pressure

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The Marine Corps published a strategic document today that predicts future alcohol-related incidents will be caused primarily by near-peer pressure.

“We need to think beyond the small-scale drinking incidents of the past 20 years of counterinsurgency and start looking at major intoxicating threats,” reads a forward from Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller. “In the future, near-peer adversaries like Russia and China will pressure us to enter into high intensity, testosterone-fueled benders. If we’re not prepared, they may even drink us under the table.”

The document claims that high tech weapons and advanced sensors on the battlefield will mean that Marines have to disperse into several smaller barracks parties if they want to get plastered. Small units seeking to close with and destroy the local nightlife will have to rethink their tactics.

“We’ve gotten too used to robust logistical support providing us all the booze we need whenever we want to tie one on,” Neller continues. “But Chinese anti-access/area denial systems will increasingly be checking IDs at the door and may prevent Marines from having easy access to local pubs. Very soon, we may have to conduct forcible entry operations through the side door of the bar just to get a drink.”

In testing, the Corps has had some success in reducing DUIs through the use of unmanned ground vehicles. However, unmanned systems also pose some risk.

“In the Marine Corps,” added Neller, “even the unmanned vehicles get drunk.”

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Marine Corps

Wait training added to Marine PFT

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QUANTICO, Va. — Headquarters Marine Corps will add wait training to the physical fitness test to reflect increased demands on the time of today’s Marines, sources confirmed today.

The test itself will feature a four-hour wait check, and the preparatory program will incorporate lengthy waits in multiple settings.

“We’ve found that Marines spend a significant portion of their day — in garrison, in the field, and on deployment — waiting around for something, and some of them are just not prepared,” said Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller. “No hip-pocket classes ready to brief, nothing from my professional reading list and no PME homework. Hell, not even any hydration, tobacco or sunflower seeds.”

The revised training program will require Marines to wait in a classroom for 55 minutes before the instructor shows up. At the close of the classroom portion of the wait training, Marines will divide into groups and proceed to the base clinic, armory, consolidated issue facility and range. There they will participate in round-robin training consisting of sitting, kneeling or standing at each location for 75 minutes before a role player turns them away for lack of ID or appropriate attire. They will finish the training day by waiting on the word for 84 minutes.

As with any change the Corps has introduced in its storied history, there have been vocal objections from those who consider themselves “Old Corps.”

“Those millennials need training for everything. Real Marines already know how to wait. I’ve been waiting for my check-in sheet to be signed since ’89. Chesty would roll over in his …” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Jedediah Smith, before choking on the baseball-sized dip in his mouth.

Some have questioned the feasibility of incorporating so much extra training into the annual training requirements of a force that is continually preparing for war in Afghanistan, North Korea, China and Texas. However, the concerns have largely fallen on the deaf ears of leaders waiting around at DEERS.

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Marine Corps

Recruiters hate him! Marine finishes four-year contract in eight months with one simple trick

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TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. — Pfc. Patrick Boyd is being hailed as a genius after finishing a four-year contract in just eight months

His peers are beyond jealous at Boyd’s amazing feat.

“Boyd and I went through boot camp and ITB together,” Pfc. Hector Gomez said. “Then, we both got orders to 2/7 (2nd Battalion 7th Marine Regiment). I’d also thought we’d EAS around the same time. Now, he’s back home, and I’m stuck in the middle of the desert with my head shaved bald screaming ‘aye lance corporal’ at a bunch of dudes with no combat experience who are like six months older than I am.”

One of those Marines tormenting Gomez is Lance Cpl. Brad Williams. Williams never thought much of Pfc. Boyd while serving as his team leader. But, this turn of events has left him in awe.

“It normally takes four years to fulfill a four-year contract, but the other day I saw Boyd walk by in civvies with his DD-214,” Williams said. “He must be some kind of prodigy.”

Staff Sgt. Jose Ramos, the unit’s substance abuse control officer, was also impressed.

“The Marine Corps considers a urine sample with 100 nanograms of cocaine per milliliter to be positive,” he said. “Pfc. Boyd tested at 1400 ng/mL. He must’ve been railing lines of coke off the top of the urinal while he was pissing. It’s truly motivating to see a Marine so determined to go above and beyond the standard.”

Outside the small rowhouse in Allentown, New Jersey, where Boyd now lives with his parents and younger sister, a line of Marines snakes around the block. All are there to learn how they too can cut their contracts down to a quarter of their original lengths. They’ve drained their leave balances to come speak with a man who’s quickly becoming a prophet-like figure in the lance corporal community.

Boyd doesn’t understand their admiration.

“I went out there yesterday and told them I got an other than honorable discharge, and now I’m going to spend the rest of my life living at home and working at a gas station,” Boyd said. “They still just wanted to know how I got out so quickly.”

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Air Force

Fans excited for final season of Afghanistan

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BAGRAM, Afghanistan — Fans of Afghanistan, already America’s longest running drama, are excited for the premier of the final season of the conflict, whenever that may be.

A media darling at launch, Afghanistan has suffered from low viewership since the first season but remains a powerhouse moneymaker with an annual budget of almost $45 billion. Producers initially promised large, exciting battles and decisive story lines but thus far have had issues delivering consistently. Fans of the show place the blame for many of those issues on producers insisting the show split air time with spinoff drama Iraq.

Despite the small TV audience tuning in, a large number of Americans (about 14,000 at present) physically attend the conflict every year hoping to take part in events as they unfold.

However, many of these participants express discontent over the direction the show has taken and feel the program has been dragging for the last decade or so.

“I was skeptical at first because there had been a Russian drama about Afghanistan, but in the first few seasons, this felt very different. And when they surprised everyone by killing off Bin Laden in season 10, that was amazing,” said Capt Mike Watt, currently deployed to Sharana. “But l feel like lately it’s been the same story line every season. Just lazy writing all around.”

A quick audit of recent years supports Watt’s argument. Plot devices like COIN, blue on green insider attacks, and meeting with local leaders that end up accomplishing nothing have become repetitive. Despite these issues, there remain a strikingly large number of subplots and unanswered questions. So many in fact, that writers and executive producers have expressed that they can’t imagine wrapping this up even if they have 10 plus more seasons.

Regardless, fans remain excited for the final season whenever that may be. An online poll among attendees on who will end up on top received hundreds of thousands of votes and came back with a landslide victory for write in candidate “I don’t give a fuuuuuuck.”

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