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$387 Billion Congressional Study Proves ‘Pen Not Mightier Than The Sword’

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Pen is mightier than the sword

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A newly released study conducted by Congress has proven once and for all that the pen is not mightier than the sword. Over a year long period, Special Operation Forces (SOF) serving in Afghanistan were outfitted with pens as their primary weapon of engagement, instead of the standard M-4 assault rifle.

The $387 billion study was the brainchild of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

“Military spending has spiraled out of control,” Sen. Feinstein explained to Duffel Blog reporters. “Since the pen is mightier than the sword, as the saying goes, why not equip the military with inexpensive pens? When deciding on the cost of weapons used by soldiers to defend their lives, we must keep the taxpayers welfare in mind.”

“Not only that —  no one needs a military-style, semi-automatic assault rifle to hunt Taliban,” she added.

A small number of Army Special Forces and Navy SEAL teams, operating in the most hazardous areas of Afghanistan, were hand selected for the study due to their expertise in using exotic weapons.

The study initially garnered promising results.

“One positive I discovered early on was I could hide the pen in my beard,” said Mike, an Army Special Forces soldier who asked only to be identified by his first name. “I usually had five or six hidden in there. It’s not the first time my beard saved my life.

Complaints began to surface when it was discovered military procurement officers supplied the SOF teams with equipment from the lowest contract bidder.

“We were issued worthless, plastic Bic pens” said Jake, a Navy SEAL. “We ended up dipping into our pockets and springing for Cross pens. The sturdier material allowed us to stab the carotid artery, killing an enemy outright. Usually, it resulted in a pissed off Afghan with a pen sticking out of his neck.”

The study has been deemed inconclusive due to the small number of surviving participants. Of the forty-five SOF members, only two remained to provide sufficient feedback to researchers.

Even though many have considered the study a failure, the bravery of the SOF members was unquestioned. Three bronze stars for valor (posthumous), five silver stars (posthumous), and ten distinguished service crosses (posthumous) were awarded during the year long study. Twenty-five Medals of Honor are expected to be awarded, posthumously, to family members in the coming months.

Despite the losses, Senator Feinstein remains steadfast in her pursuit of curbing military spending.

“A soldier in the Marines once told me they can do more with less. That’s the attitude the entire military should adopt. In a time where taxpayers are suffering from these outrageous military budgets, we must all make sacrifices.”

Sen. Feinstein declined further questions clarifying where budget cuts would be made, citing a need to vote on a bill approving Congressional pay raises for the next fiscal year. Pentagon planners are also considering issuing swords to combat troops as their weapon of choice.

Merrick served as an army infantryman in Iraq. He's a surfer from Southern California which means he's cooler than you and could probably nail your girlfriend. Reach him at [email protected]

Army

West Point cadet hoping to sort into Slytherin

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WEST POINT, N.Y. – From the moment he stepped onto, as he calls it, Apron 9 ¾, West Point Fourth Classman Blaise Boodlesworthy has been waiting for the end of beast barracks when he heard the cadets will gather in Eisenhower Hall under the watchful portraits of many headmaster generals to be sorted in their houses.

“The sorting hat knows best, but I’ve always known in my heart that I’m a Slytherin,” Boodlesworthy said. “Otherwise, I never would have gone to West Point.”

Though the sorting hat ceremony has not been listed on any training schedule or announced in the instructions he received over the summer, the gray arches, imposing stone and green fields of the United States Military Academy, have reassured Boodlesworthy that West Point is the perfect place for a Slytherin.

“Better Hufflepuff than Slytherin,” mumbled Sergeant 1st Class Hagrid, Boodlesworthy’s TAC NCO, a West Point washout himself. “There wasn’t a single chief of staff of the Army who didn’t come from Slytherin.”

Each house has been represented at West Point over the years with varying results. However, approximately 85 percent of West Point cadets are Slytherins. A few Hufflepuffs pop up every year and branch quartermaster or transfer to the Air Force. Ravenclaws are known to graduate after many hours of fatigue duty and fights in the Firstie Club. Exactly one cadet sorted into Gryffindor. He immediately requested a release to become enlisted. He is now in Ranger Reg and hates everything.

Boodlesworthy has been dreaming of joining the House of Slytherin since Hagrid appeared to him in the cupboard under the stairs in his mom’s basement and whispered, “You’re an officer, Blaise.”

However, since coming to West Point, Boodlesworthy’s entitlement, hijinx, and sense that’s he the chosen boy who can fight the Global War on He Who Must Not be Named has earned him many walks in the yard and most likely will make his first platoon frag him.

“Ambitious, shrewd, cunning.” grumbled Hagrid. “Focused on self-preservation. That’d be the lot of them. Far better than Hufflepuff. Might as well gone to the Air Force Academy than be a Hufflepuff.”

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Miscellaneous

THE DUFFEL BLOG PRESENTS: Your CrossFit WOD

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You’ve been asking for it, and now its here. The Duffel Blog has finally become part of the grind, and we are proud to introduce our own CrossFit hero line-up. These routines are named after military members who died performing CrossFit at their local boxes. The workouts of the day (WODs) are the very workouts that killed them.

First in your WOD box line-up is Lance Cpl. Rio from 29 Palms, California. The Metcon portion of the WOD is meant to be done unbroken and unscaled. For the strength portion, we stress proper form. Keep your toes 180 degrees from each other and ensure that your back has a nice rounded arch at the end of the lift. This might feel off balance, but that’s what a violent kip is for.

Since we are going heavy today, it is advised to forego the warm-up and get after it. You’ll need all your strength to master this challenging and rewarding WOD.

Buy in: Lunging front rack dumbbell twists.

Metcon: 6 rounds for time
10 Meters down and back front squat long jump suicide squads
3 Strict inverted Turkish bear complexes
8 Kipping pelvic thrusters
24 Kettle bell wall balls at 10 feet
10 Second rest

Then Strength:
Find your 1 RM of kipping sumo deadlift overhead snatches.

Buy out: $240

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Army

Retiring E-9 shocked to discover private sector has no seats at table for abrasive, stupid people who stay around for long enough

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CAMP COURTNEY, Okinawa — Retiring Headquarters Battalion Sgt. Maj. Joe Perkins expressed outrage and disgust on the hallowed literary digest LinkedIn over the lack of high-pay, high-power jobs available for veterans with no discernible skills aside from interrupting loudly and expressing themselves incoherently, sources confirmed today.

Perkins elaborated to reporters on the lack for opportunity for “real hard chargers” as he plans to transition to life in the civilian world.

“It’s just plain dumb,” he barked in a raspy voice scarred by decades of smoking Marlboro reds, his overly aggressive high-and-tight sitting atop a beet-red face. “Can you honestly look me in the eye and tell me that these corporations don’t need someone with no real job description to walk around, disrespect their superiors in public, tell stories about lifing staff sergeants, and have temper tantrums over seemingly small mistakes?”

Perkins seemed to be having trouble articulating his value added to would-be employers.

“I went to one place, got out of my car, and immediately said, ‘Oh. My. God.’ People were walking all over the parking lot without reflective belts and most of them without buddies. People walking on grass. I stormed right into the CEO’s office and said, ‘Listen sir, you need me here to tighten this shit up ricky-ticky, roger?’”

John Evans, CEO of service supply company ServiceCorp, found Perkins’ behavior appalling for an industry that does not pay people to spend 15 minutes correcting junior workers on executing a proper salute.

“I thought maybe a crazy person or a bum with a weird haircut had come into our building,” Evans said. “He was grabbing people’s laptops and throwing them, screaming ‘tie your shit down!’”

Perkins storied career includes one six-month deployment to Kosovo, and people in his current workplace lovingly refer to him as “worthless sack of shit” and “fuckface.”

“Anyone out their want to support a real VETRAN??!? Years of leadership experience & maintaining the standard r a linkedin clik away!!!!1,” he wrote, wrapping up his post.

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Army

Afghan bodyguard seems like real straight-shooter

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KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — An Afghan bodyguard seems like “a real straight-shooter,” sources reported today, adding that the professional guardian’s steely-eyed, thousand-yard stare brings a tide of warmth and comfort to the officials he protects.

Khalil Rahmati, a Kandahar native, was recently appointed to the security detail of Lt. Gen. Omar Abboud, a critical figure in the stability of Kandahar province who is entrusted with safeguarding Afghan and U.S. interests against the Taliban. Rahmati is Kandahar’s local Top Shot champion and holds the national record for shooting the most targets in the back in a one-minute period.

“Allah, what blessings to have such an eagle-eyed warrior in my personal guard,” said Abboud, successor to Gen. Abdul Razeq.

Razeq, a highly-respected and effective commander, was assassinated by his own bodyguard on Thursday.

Rahmati’s U.S. counterparts have also lauded his professionalism and, in particular, his marksmanship abilities.

“He’s basically the perfect soldier,” said Lt. Gen. Austin Miller, who survived the insider attack that killed Razeq and a high-ranking intelligence officer.

“If he were in the [U.S.] Army, Rahmati would certainly promote to sergeant with marksmanship scores like his,” added Sgt. 1st Class Chad Henry, deployed with the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade. “Now, does that mean that I trust him with my life?”

“Absolutely,” he said.

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News

SEAL ostracized by teams after passing drug test

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CORONADO, Calif. – A local Navy SEAL has found himself in hot water with others in the special warfare community after he passed a recent drug test, officials confirmed today.

Chief Petty Officer Special Warfare Operator Kyle McCleary, a 15-year veteran of the SEALs, was ordered to take the urinalysis as part of a Navy-wide crackdown on non-drug-usage in the teams.

The news of McCleary’s exclusion from team activities comes two weeks after officials revealed that 10 SEALs had successfully failed drug tests with an excellent showing of cocaine and methamphetamine in their systems.

“Those guys were winners. They know what it means to be a teammate — not McCleary, though,” said SEAL Petty Officer 1st Class Nathan Murphy. “He doesn’t belong anymore. A good SEAL always has at least some weed in his system. Hit the pipe or hit the road.”

Navy officials allowed Duffel Blog a peek into the world of the SEAL community with an invitation to spend off-duty hours with the SEALs. Reporters discovered a lot of shirtless flexing, hacky sack circles and parties with drugs. “Lots and lots of drugs,” one reporter wrote in a notebook.

SEALs — with their high operational tempo — understandably need a distraction during their off-duty activities. While most operators in other branches turn to exercise and chugging Red Bull to keep themselves busy, SEALs prefer cocaine, which is readily available when stationed near Mexico.

McCleary has opted out, however, choosing to stay away from activities that would put his trident at risk. His teammates believe it’s a mistake and acknowledge that he will be held accountable for “just saying no.”

“C’mon, what’s so hard about doing a little bump here and there?” asked Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason Toon, an East Coast-based SEAL with a faint coke ring around his right nostril. “All McCleary has to do is get with the program. Say, ‘Man, you got a razor blade I can borrow?'”

McCleary’s reputation within the SEAL community began to suffer years ago when he made the decision to eat healthy and drink only water. Despite his desire to be seen as a team player, McCleary was not willing to poison his body with horrible substances.

“Everyone’s doing it. It’s easy and convenient to pop down to Tijuana, score a little deca durabolin and report back Monday,” BUD/S instructor Todd Fuller said as he jabbed a needle into his left buttock. “Hell, popping positive is mandatory the last week of BUD/S. Otherwise, you simply don’t get into the teams at all.”

Rear Adm. Collin P. Green, commander of Naval Special Warfare Command, was asked during a press conference about McCleary’s failure to adhere to the highest traditions of the teams and Naval service by failing to get just a little bit high.

“I’m sorry. The surf is really loud this morning. I’m having a hard time hearing. Have a great day. Thanks,” said Green, before quickly excusing himself.

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News

Senator proudly cites DNA test to prove he’s nearly 1 percent veteran

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BOSTON — Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Dickard Rosenthal has released the results of genetic testing to add legitimacy to his claim that he is “basically a veteran” and “should be treated as such”.

The DNA test shows that he has a distant grandparent that may have possibly fought in the Thirty Years War, the French Revolution, or was a member of a Mongol horde terrorizing eastern Europe in the 13th century, Roesnthal said in a press release and a subsequent CNN-sponsored town hall event.

“I am proud to show the American people, and especially Donald Trump, that I am indeed pretty much a veteran, and the sacrifices on behalf of my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great (possibly) grandMOTHER’s (sic) service, between 300 and 1000 years ago, should not go unrecognized, or unrewarded,” Rosenthal’s press release reads.

“I am proud to possibly be tangentially related to someone who may have served something somewhere,” he added.

Rosenthal, a progressive firebrand widely considered to be a front-runner in the Democratic Party for the 2020 presidential primary, has faced repeated criticism for his decades-old claim of veteran status.

Records indicate the senator used his claim to be a veteran as a means to gain crucial status within a minority group as he applied to prestigious positions at Ivy League institutions and subsequently in his successful Senate run.

“Frankly, my previously uncorroborated claims were all I needed to be a veteran. But with this DNA test, I can now conclusively say I am distantly related to a veteran, which is basically the same as being one. It is now the responsibility of Donald Trump and his Republican allies to prove that I am not,” Rosenthal said.

Blondes Over Baghdad contributed to this report.

Image courtesy of the Department of Defense.

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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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Navy

STDs get tested for sailors

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PHUKET, Thailand — Sexually transmitted diseases have been racing to nearby clinics to get checked for sailors in an effort to curb a spate of recent outbreaks, sources confirmed today.

The outbreaks come after a group of U.S. Navy ships made a stop at a port in Thailand and released sailors out into the public, a move the local population views as nothing short of biological warfare.

“With no regard for public safety, the commanders saw fit to unleash a swarm of sailors out into the open air, knowing full well that they can easily spread,” said Bobby Khachatryan, a public health practitioner. “Have they no idea what sort of social stigmas STDs encounter when they catch a case of the squids?”

Local sexually transmitted diseases are canvassing the area, looking for fellow maladies who might have unwittingly come in contact with a sailor.

“You can never be too safe or get tested too early,” said a batch of chlamydia. “You don’t want any sailors sneaking up on you. They are nasty, fat and lazy — just gross. It’s also super embarrassing when others find out that you’ve contracted sailors.”

Reported cases of sailors had dwindled prior to the arrival of the ships. Public officials attributed the decline to sailor awareness, sailor prevention, and sailor avoidance.

“It seems the time of plummeting sailor cases is at an end,” Khachatryan said. “Now, we are in reactive mode, and the STDs have to be treated with medication and ointments while we try to contain the sailor outbreak. The public healthcare system is currently overburdened as most STDs are making a dash to the pecker-checker to get swabbed for ‘swabbies.’”

Not everyone is panicking, however. Gonorrhea, a local sexually transmitted infection, welcomes the sailors with arms wide open.

“I caught a grand total of four sailors back in the fifties. They aren’t anything to worry about, really – some squirting and oozing. They are nothing a good dose of penicillin can’t tackle,” gonorrhea said proudly. “Bring those men and women on!”

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