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Army

Teenage Enlistee Negates Oath of Enlistment With Fingers Crossed Behind Back

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Fingers crossed

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Earlier today, Private Jackson Smith took the oath of enlistment, which would make him a proud soldier in the United States Army. But the joke is on Smith’s superiors because he secretly crossed his fingers behind his back as he recited the hallowed words – thereby nullifying anything he was promising to do.

“I had some second thoughts, and well, the recruiter was just pressuring me so hard. It was kind hard to tell him no. I figured I would just cross my fingers, and after SSG Grant dropped me off at my house that afternoon, I just wouldn’t return his phone calls anymore,” Smith said as he sat in a bean bag chair and “merced noobs in Call of Duty.”

“Boom, Head-shot!” he added.

The practice of crossing one’s fingers to negate a promise has roots deep in English common law. This practice, long recognized by the courts, was brought over during the colonization of the eastern seaboard and has stuck ever since.

Smith began his ordeal four months ago, after he had successfully completed his GED. The seventeen year-old was wandering around the mall, looking to buy some gnarly Tap Out gear in celebration, when he stumbled into the local recruiting station. Smith, head down and turning his foot back and forth on its toe, asked about the possibility of enlisting. That was when he ran into recruiter SSG Jed Grant.

“I gave him the usual spiel. You know: duty, honor, country – that type of thing. But honestly, kids don’t really go for that these days. Instead, I usually just tell them they’ll never see combat and get a $30,000 sign-on bonus. That and the college stuff, of course,” said Grant.

Smith sat down with Grant for two hours and discussed the possibility of enlistment. First and foremost on the recruiter’s mind was the lofty standards the Army places on new recruits.

“You got any felonies?” asked Grant.

“No convictions.” replied Smith.

Without further ado, Grant slammed a comically large stamp on an Army enlistment form which left the statement “acceptable,” in green ink. The next hour and fifty eight minutes were spent discussing hot chicks and awesome guns.

The next week, Grant called Smith to follow up.

“He told me that he set up an appointment for me to take the ASVAB. To be honest, I wasn’t sure who he was, because I was good and fucked up. But, I decided to head down there because my friends were being real douchey anyway,” said Smith.

Smith’s best friend and confidant, Harold Williams said, “He wouldn’t shut the fuck up about the Army. I mean, he would be acting all hard when we played Call of Duty – like pretending to know what weapon was what. It was getting real annoying.”

On his third ASVAB attempt, while being whispered answers through an ear piece by Grant, Smith finally got a score high enough to enlist. At this point, things got serious. Smith was shuffled around various offices to talk to different people in strange uniforms. He was told to sign this or that, and at one point, was instructed to throw a dart at a board which had fifteen sticky notes attached to it. One note said Military Police, the rest –Infantry. After the dart hit, Smith was christened a soon-to-be Military Policeman. Afterward, Smith was pushed into a small room with a couple different flags in the corner.

“Some guy walked in. He was eating a honey bun with one hand and carried a piece of paper in the other. I mean, he was going to town on that honey bun.” said Smith. “Then he said, ‘raise your right hand and repeat after me.’ That’s when I knew that I was in big trouble.”

The practice of raising one’s hand to give an oath is directly related to the custom of crossing one’s fingers to get out of one. If someone raises their hand, theoretically, everyone can see that the fingers are not crossed. Therefore, everyone can trust the oath took effect. But, Smith cleverly crossed the fingers on his left hand.

“It was just a bit of quick thinking. You don’t get through the Murbury County Community College GED program in only four weeks if you aren’t quick on the uptake, you know?” Smith said and tapped his temple with his forefinger to emphasize that point.

After the ceremony, Smith quietly rode home with Grant. Two months have passed and Grant is still less than pleased.

“Well, I’m not very happy about it, to tell you the truth,” said Recruiting officer SSG Jed Grant. “I thought the whole crossing fingers was something five year-olds did. Who knew, right?”

The Army is now exploring the possibility of having enlistees raise both hands during the oath but naysayers have complained that it gives the impression that new soldiers are “being taken hostage.”

Dave is a communications wizard of the 4th degree. Having served in Iraq twice, he is pretty good at staring blankly at hesco baskets and getting exhaust samples.

Army

Army sergeant’s steampunk top hat springs class III leak in formation

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FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. – Army Sgt. Pennyworth Montgomery’s notably complex steampunk top hat sprung a class III leak in the middle of morning formation, sources confirmed today.

“I noticed it immediately,” said Spc. Christie Jones. “One moment the steam whistle puffed away gentle bursts of vapor to release pressure. In the next, there was clear drop formation  each of which fell from their own weight.”

Having escaped Montgomery’s notice, the leak worsened due to the internal pressure generated by the boiler apparatus held within the hat’s large stovepipe structure. This caused a torrent of scalding water to spray over the faces of two privates standing adjacent to Montgomery.

“Arrghhh!!!” screamed Spc. Michael Johnson as doctors treated him at the local burn unit. “Who even lets him wear that stupid thing?!”

The military police sergeant said an internal problem caused the top hat to send boiling water shooting on the privates who he expected to hold the position of attention.

“Well, I think the problem arose when the 25 tooth brass gear misaligned with those around it. This caused the hat’s internal dampening system to overfill with steam pressure,” Montgomery said while wearing a purple tented set of welding goggles.

“This sent a gust of steam through the incorrect piping and into a glass reservoir directly underneath the series of Edison bulbs I have attached around the top to indicate ambient air temperature and atmospheric pressure,” he continued after adjusting a few external lenses over his left eye and checking an ornate brass pocket watch.

Montgomery then opened an umbrella with a loud, “Cheerio!” and floated into the sky towards the dirigible he had moored to a light pole at the barracks parking lot.

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Army

The untold story behind the name of the US Army Special Operations Command

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The following is an excerpt from the personal journal of Lt. Gen. William Yarbrough (1912-2013), reprinted by Duffel Blog with permission from the Green Beret Association.

So here it was, June of 1998, and the Pentagon made the decision that they wanted all the Army Special Operations components under one unit umbrella. They had pretty much everything figured out except what to call the new parent command. So Eric [Shinseki], who was about to take over as chief of staff, called me up and asked me for ideas on a name.

Now, during Vietnam, Green Berets would be out doing things in the middle of nowhere, and they’d have absolutely no supplies to speak of.

Guys would be complaining that they had to do their business out there in the jungle but didn’t have anything to wipe with. The team commanders would be constantly telling people “use a sock.” Or when guys would need to take care of themselves, if you know what I mean, but there was no tissue paper handy? “Use a sock.”

Seriously, socks were easier to get than toilet paper. I still don’t know why. Guys within the Special Forces community started saying “use a sock” for literally everything. It got to the point where it almost became an institutional joke motto, sort of like “Wagner loves the cock” for the Marines.

So now here it is, I’d been retired for almost thirty years, when out of the blue I get a phone call from Eric, and he asks me to come up with an idea for a name for this new major command.

Without even thinking, I blurted out, “Use a sock.” It was just an offhand joke. I never meant for him to take it seriously. But he ran with it, and sure enough, a year and a half later, there he is, announcing the formation of USASOC (U.S. Army Special Operations Command).

I never had the heart to tell him. He’d probably be really embarrassed.

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Air Force

Pentagon worries that plunging morale might affect morale

Nevertheless, many service members remain skeptical that conditions will improve anytime soon.

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ARLINGTON, Va. — Officials at the Pentagon have expressed concerns that plunging morale among American service members may be affecting service member morale, sources revealed today.

“We at the Department of Defense are deeply worried that the growing apathy of America’s war fighters may have a negative impact on America’s ability to fight wars,” said Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Ed Marquand.

“Though we are at present unsure of the exact root of the growing malaise, our researchers suspect that it may have something to do with almost two decades of perpetual conflict, a gradual decline in America’s international prestige, or endemic inefficiency across the military industrial complex.”

While the Pentagon’s recognition of this growing problem strikes many Americans as a step in the right direction, it remains unclear what actions the Pentagon will take to rectify the issue.

“We are currently exploring a number of possible solutions to increase the job satisfaction of our soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen,” Marquand said. “Currently, we suspect that if we find a way to make living more bearable for our military personnel, they may actually begin to enjoy being alive. Experiments conducted on laboratory animals and members of the Coast Guard support this theory.”

However, despite the Pentagon’s announcement, there are some across the military who disagree with any attempt to improve the the happiness of military members.

“Morale is a crutch,” an anonymous colonel stated in a recent suicide letter.

Nevertheless, many service members remain skeptical that conditions will improve anytime soon.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” said Lance Cpl. Marcus Strudelmeier of 7th Marine Regiment. “If Maj. Whatshisnuts thinks a little press conference will keep me from doing cough syrup jello shots in a desperate attempt to shuffle off this mortal coil, stand the fuck by.”

As of press time, Pentagon researchers were attempting to link overwhelming depression among E-5s and below with poor barracks Wi-Fi.

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Army

Retiring Sergeant Major convinced he was medieval Japanese Samurai in previous life

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FORT HOOD, Texas — An Army sergeant major months from retiring after more than 30 years of service is pretty sure he was a Japanese samurai in a previous life, sources confirmed today.

“You know, I can really identify with the Samurai mindset,” sources say Sgt. Maj. Joshua Thomas, an overweight 48-year-old father of four, murmured to himself. Thomas, gently fingering a challenge coin given to him 20 years prior by the Commander of III Corps, added: “Maybe I could have been a ninja.”

Thomas recently submitted his retirement packet which has, reportedly, spurred a series of adolescent fantasies about medieval Japan. Chief among them is an image of himself in full suit of traditional samurai armor. “I can see myself on the field of battle, clutching my weary katana and squinting to see out from my lacquered mengu face mask. But it is difficult, because of the blood which makes my eyes sting.”

Thomas pivoted listlessly in his chair and sighed, according to sources, who added that for at least the past few hours he had been staring out his window, daydreaming of a snowy Japanese landscape. He ended his fidgeting by leaning back in his chair and resting his feet on a large wooden desk.

“After I aided my defeated opponents’ in ritual suicide, I would likely return to my holdings and ruminate on their courage by quietly inspecting cherry blossom trees. Maybe I would donate a portion of my yearly koku to a shrine for their kami and participate in a tea ceremony,” Thomas told reporters.

Thomas’ wife, Helen Jackson-Thomas, reports that her husband has lined up civilian work as mid-level management at an IT company just outside of Boise, Idaho. Sources confirm that his personal internet search history include the terms, “Iaijutsu Idaho,” “The Five Rings,” “Movie Forty Something Samurai,” “Clacky Practice Swords For Sale Boise,” and “Extended Tri-Care Coverage for Dependents.”

“I think I would be a weary samurai. Tired from the horrors I’ve seen, but resolute in my duty.”

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Army

First MRE eaten in war in Afghanistan finally pooped out

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JACKSON, Mo. — After more than 17 years inside a retired Special Forces soldier’s colon, the first Meals Ready-to-Eat consumed during the war in Afghanistan was pooped out this week, sources confirmed today.

1st Sgt. Jeff Donegan (Ret.) says he ate the beef ravioli MRE during the initial invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001.

“I remember it like it was yesterday. A hot, dusty afternoon on the outskirts of Kandahar. Not a rock or something in sight to lean my heater on,” Donegan said. “I cracked open that wheat snack bread knowing we’d be in it for the long haul, but I never could have imagined it would be this long.”

Donegan went on to serve three more tours in Afghanistan and two in Iraq before retiring in 2011. He said his battle to push the MRE through his intestines is an analogy for the invisible battles thousands of troops fight once they leave the service.

“I thought that once I retired, my days thinking about the war were over, and I could move on with my life,” he said. “But the years went by, and I could still feel the cheese spread inside me, gnawing at my guts. It cut down deep into my core, an obsession that I just couldn’t shake out.”

Donegan finally sought professional help to assist him in passing the MRE through his bowels. He says help is out there for the many soldiers who still struggle to defecate after eating them.

“I finally talked to a therapist and she said that it’s all about acceptance,” he added. “I needed to accept it before I could let it go, to face my demons head on. Yeah, it hurt. I think pooping out MREs hurts us all in its own way, but I got through it.”

At press the time, the most recent plate of goat meat and rice served to American troops by their Afghan partners had already been sprayed all over a local Port-a-John.

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Army

Space Force seeking applications for transfer to mobile infantry

It’s called the “Cross Into the Black” initiative.

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WASHINGTON — Space Force Recruiting and Retention Command announced today that it is seeking applications from current active-duty Army 11-series MOS and Marine 03xx-series MOS personnel for lateral transfer into the Mobile Infantry, the service’s direct-action combat arms branch.

The “Cross Into the Black” initiative seeks to recruit current infantry soldiers and Marines to take their ground combat skills to the interstellar battle space.

“Our goal is to be able to rapidly field an initial corps of trained warfighters who will then be able to train the next generation of mobile infantry,” said Space Force Lt. Col. John Rico. “Our troopers will be prepared to deal with anything, from the gritty hell of face-to-face combat, to the potentially awkward moral dilemmas that may arise from railing out your smoking-hot redhead platoon mate while you’ve still sort of got a thing for this pilot chick.”

Mobile infantry warfighting doctrine calls for rapidly deployable units that can counter not only Earth-based threats, but also potential attack from non-Earth based enemy forces. Insertion by orbital dropship is the primary assault tactic employed, as it enables rapid massing of friendly forces on the enemy objective and the establishment of a secure lodgment for follow-on operations or beer-and-bang parties.

Mobile infantry units will deploy aboard heavy fleet cruisers such as the USS Rodger Young, the first Space Force cruiser to be commissioned. The cruisers can deploy 32 Viking-class dropships, each capable of carrying one fully combat-equipped rifle platoon as well as four Conestoga-class support dropships stocked with mission-critical supplies including spare munitions, rations, hair-styling products, beer kegs, electric violins, and footballs.

Units are gender-integrated, which eases logistical and supply-chain burdens for field shower units, portable tents, personal prophylactic kits, and other sustainment provisions.

The Space Force is offering transfer bonuses of up to $20,000 for service experience of eight years or more, or the equivalent qualifying time and unlocked achievements in a candidate’s online gamer profile, as an incentive to lure experienced mid-career infantrymen away from sister services.

Applicants should have a GT score of 110 or greater on the ASVAB. Scores down to 50 are waiverable if the applicant has less than 12% body fat and flexible sexual standards.

Would you like to know more?  Space Force Recruiting and Retention Command says interested parties should visit its website for more information.

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Army

Jody Moth makes sure soldier’s lamp is okay

Don’t trust him.

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BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Staff Sgt. Daniel Clark loved nothing more than connecting and video chatting with his wife back in the states. Not long ago, the deployed NCO came off a particularly tiring shift and called her up. That’s when he saw it.

“Something big was creeping around behind her,” said Clark. “I nearly panicked and yelled for her to watch out.”

Clark’s wife assured him that the ‘something big’ was nothing more than a harmless moth.

“Her explanation made sense,” said Clark, “but I just had this… uneasy feeling.”

While Clark didn’t want to make a big deal of the situation, he also couldn’t let it go. Over the next few days he did a little digging and noticed a spike in the electric bill. When he confronted his wife about it, she claimed it was probably related to the air conditioner.

“I knew right then and there she was feeding me bullshit,” said Clark. “She’s always griping that I crank the A.C. too low. If anything, the electric bill should’ve gone down.”

Clark also noticed the moth was becoming a regular part of the background whenever he dialed home during hours of darkness. Clark said his wife denied running the lamp any longer than necessary. She was growing more defensive and agitated whenever he mentioned the issue. Eventually, things came to a head.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Clark. A tear ran down his cheek. “I gave her my heart. I trusted her.”

After noticing a $200 Amazon purchase on the credit card, he logged into their account to check the order history.

“She bought a set of those color-changing ‘smart’ light bulbs—” He sniffled and used his forearm to wipe his eyes. “and some blackout curtains.”

When she stopped answering his repeated calls and messages, he knew their marriage was over. He’d seen this scenario play out with too many battle buddies too many times. Defeated, he informed his first sergeant that a divorce packet was incoming. When the company commander asked him to check his bank account, Clark responded that it wouldn’t be necessary. He already knew it was cleaned out.

Two week later, Clark received a divorce packet in the mail.

“Everyone always thinks it’ll never happen to them,” said Capt. Pete Harrington, Clark’s company commander. “Soldiers hate safety briefings and marriage counseling, but it’s all done in an effort to protect their best interests — to prevent these sorts of tragedies.”

Harrington added: “It takes a real son of a bitch moth to do this.”

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Army

Army hopeful new combat fitness test will turn the tide of war in Afghanistan

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PENTAGON — After 40 years of the same physical fitness test, the Army has announced a new combat focused test that will reverse its recent spate of war loses dating back to Vietnam, sources confirmed today.

“The new test is combat-focused,” said Esper. “It’s a game changer. Clearly our inability to properly test our soldiers’ physical fitness levels has led to some poor outcomes in recent conflicts.”

The Army Combat Readiness Test is a massive change to the current assessment and will include six events: the deadlift, power throw, push-up, sprint/drag/carry, leg tuck, and 2 mile run.

Senior Taliban leaders are clearly intimidated by the well-developed deltoids of soldiers that have been training for pilot programs to test the new ACRT, a recent Rand Corporation study shows. The research, citing several unnamed intelligence sources, stated that the Taliban are particularly concerned that soldiers well trained in the “dead-lift” could push back recent Taliban inroads in a number of provinces.

“If we had had this test back in 2001, we would have already won the war in Afghanistan,” said Maj. Gen. Malcolm Frost, who oversees the ARCT as commanding general of the U.S. Army Center of Initial Military Training. “Frankly, I can’t believe it has taken so long.”

Generals across the Army greeted the announcement with enthusiasm, while criticizing the Afghans’ poor performance on their own physical fitness test as a clear indicator of their inability to conduct combat operations. Security Force Assistance Brigades, the units charged with training indigenous forces to fight in lieu of American soldiers, are now focusing entirely on training for the ACRT.

“If we can get the Afghan Army to master the power-throw, I really think we can turn this thing around,” Staff Sgt. Damien Alverez of 1st SFAB told reporters. “I wish I had trained this way for my last six deployments.”

Esper added that he was eager to see the new ACFT implemented across the force, particularly in staff and institutional units.

“We’ve been doing entirely too much thinking and planning across the force. It’s time for our leaders to get out there and focus on what really matters. Physical training.”

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