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Pentagon

Typo Leads To Creation Of $179 Million Gorilla Warfare Program

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Gorilla Warfare

CRESCENT CITY, CA — The Department of Defense has confirmed accusations that a $179 million military training program for mountain gorillas was created based on a spelling error in an email between two high ranking Army officers, according to official sources. The admission follows over a year of denials, which were originally sparked by a leaked copy of the email from an anonymous whistleblower.

“As these large wars end and we refocus on the possibility of proxy wars with China over resources and influence in the Pacific, South America, and Africa, we need to think about putting a small scale Green Beret-like capability in at least a few of our regular infantry battalions,” the email begins.

“This is partly just a recruiting ploy to put in the commercials, but it would also identify local talent that we could pull out of gen pop and send to Camp Mackall or the Rangers. God bless the SEALs and Marines, but they’re the only things standing between the goddamn Navy and total irrelevancy. Screw [the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986], we need more special forces and shock troops to price them out of the market. To stand up that kind of capability, we’ll need to budget for a new gorilla [sic] warfare program.”

The email soon came to the attention of Admiral William McRaven, commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command.  Unfortunately, the email seems to have only been forwarded in part, and McRaven saw just the final three sentences, which he forwarded to Chief of Naval Operations ADM Jonathan Greenert. A week later, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, accompanied by ADM Greenert and caged silverback mountain gorilla Ojore, publicly announced that the Navy’s Marine Mammal Program would, “like the Navy SEALs and Marines, now expand to cover threats on sea, air, and land, and in any clime and place,” a statement now believed to have been intended to provoke the Army based on Mabus’ mistaken impression of the email.

Despite originally having no interest in actual gorillas, the Army complained that the Navy had no business in what was logically an Army mission, since there was nothing aquatic about gorillas. The Navy, concerned that they might be completely shut out of the military gorilla field, responded that ‘marine mammal’ was a description of the animals’ training, not their natural habitat, and threatened to press for takeover of the Army’s working dog program since the Army routinely teaches their dogs how to swim. Following a period of bitter bureaucratic infighting, the Army grudgingly backed down and created their own gorilla program with a similar level of funding.

A compromise between the two services was negotiated soon after by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) of the House Ways and Means Committee, an Army veteran and a “strong believer in the military gorilla concept.”  Thompson’s compromise produced the Joint Military Gorilla Program (JMGP), which combined the Army and Navy’s gorilla programs in a single $100M facility headquartered outside Crescent City, CA, and also created a prestigious liaison billet for an Air Force officer.

The location of the facility in what was then Thompson’s home district led to allegations of corruption and pork-barrel spending, at which point WikiLeaks received and published the original email along with several hundred related emails from later in the project’s development. The scandal died down when JMGP spokesman and head primatologist Dr. Warren Reed explained that California’s 1st District contained one of only a few cloud forest habitats in the U.S., which was vital for proper gorilla research, and that this, combined with factors such as proximity to the ocean and other regional military facilities, made it the only possible choice.

The story then faded until a sharp-eyed reader, outspoken military reformer Colonel Roy Casey, USAF (Ret.), looked at the initial email, realized the misunderstanding, and posted the entire story on his blog, which was soon picked up by both WIRED and Foreign Policy. Interest in the story immediately revived, and the Department of Defense’s denials began.

“I think this tells you a lot about the culture of the DoD,” said Casey. “There was no reality check anywhere in the chain that offered even a single question about this, even as simple a question as ‘sir, did you mean guerrilla warfare?,’ nevermind questions about the number of gorillas left in the world, the difficulty of teaching military science to animals only capable of sign language, or the dangers of handling even a single wild fucking gorilla, much less how those dangers might be compounded if you gathered a large group of gorillas in one place, armed them, and then trained them how to operate as a military unit. People were either too afraid or too stupid to ask their bosses hard questions. This is even worse than the Bradley.”

By ‘worse than the Bradley’, Casey is referring to problems of corruption and incompetence that plagued the development of the Army’s Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and which were exposed by his fellow military reformer Col. James Burton in the book The Pentagon Wars.

Sgt. Ojore, shortly after learning to stand upright.

Sgt. Ojore, shortly after learning to stand upright.

However, Dr. Reed is pleased with the program’s results. “The critics can say whatever they want, but we’re seeing real progress. The mountain gorilla social hierarchy maps perfectly onto a military hierarchy, and these guys have a passion for learning. It took very little time to get them up to reading children’s books, and after only a few months they’d moved on to history. And as soon as Petty Officer Ojore reads a book, he hands it off to his Army counterpart, Sergeant Munyiga, then on down the line until they’ve all finished it. One week it will be The Spartacus War.  The next week it will be Mutiny on the Amistad.  Sure, sometimes they get confused, like when Ojore signed that he wanted a copy of Alberto Bayo’s 150 Questions for a Guerrilla, but he played it off and made a big show of reading it cover to cover anyway.”

“As far as Col Casey, his claims are ridiculous,” said Reed. “The truth is, we have no problem admitting when we make mistakes or have setbacks. For instance, while the subjects have picked up reading very quickly, we’ve been disappointed with their sign language. During the day, they seem able to sign normally, but at night their signs to each other are nonsense, just hours of back and forth nonsense.”

Colonel Casey remains unconvinced.

“What’s worse than this error making it so long without getting caught is that, even when the error finally came to light, they chose to double down on the mistake instead of correcting it. It’s like the F-35. ‘Hey, we’re so delusional that we believe even our complete fuck-ups are somehow accidentally brilliant.’ Don’t get me wrong…screw WikiLeaks, fuck that twerp Assange, and Manning should get ten lashes on the National Mall. But the fact is that this shows the DoD still has brain cancer. Until they institutionalize reform processes instead of sending their white blood cells after anyone who tries to handle reform in-house, they’ll need someone outside getting in their soup to keep them honest. Looking at this mess, you’ve got to wonder just how badly things would have to go wrong before they’d admit they screwed up.”

Meanwhile, outside Crescent City, CA, the program continues.

When questioned about a second WikiLeaks document which claimed that, following a month long cultural awareness course, the twelve silverbacks’ behavior appeared to indicate that they had adopted a particularly radical type of Salafi Islam, the DoD refused to comment, except to vow that they would prosecute all involved in leaking the document.

Navy

Pentagon relieved to discover tankers in Gulf Of Oman just collided with US Navy warships

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WASHINGTON — Officials at the Pentagon breathed a collective sigh of relief this week after receiving word that the tankers damaged Thursday in the Gulf of Oman were actually accidental collisions with US Navy warships.

According to reports from 7th Fleet, both tankers were damaged nearly simultaneously by the USS Boxer (LHD 4) and the USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) in completely unrelated yet fortuitous acts of gross negligence.

“We are happy to announce that reports of Iranian attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman were merely incompetence and dereliction of duty on the part of the U.S. Navy and not the harbinger of future wars to come,” said 7th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Phillip G. Sawyer.

While a win for US foreign policy, it is a major blow for the the U.S. Navy, who have been grasping at relevancy since the cancellation of 70’s sitcom “CPO Sharkey.” Everyone at the Department of the Navy, including key defense strategy analysts, had been working at a fever pitch determining the implication of Thursday’s attacks on inter-state strategic competition.

“We can take solace in the fact that they are already back to providing in-depth analysis of the battles in Game of Thrones,” said Sawyer.

Iran’s U.N. Mission also praised the announcement, calling it the most positive diplomatic action on behalf of the United States military since Iran’s seizure of two US riverine command boats in 2016.

“I commend the officers of the U.S. warships for not ‘giving up the ship’ this time,” the Iranian mission said in a statement. “Instead, they chose to errantly ram that ship into an oil tanker.”

“So brave.”

An investigation into both incidents remains ongoing, but the same senior Navy officials who appoint and ham-handedly relieve officers found guilty of misconduct are confident that the findings will result in sweeping changes to how the Navy shifts blame in future incidents.

“Disciplining only senior officers is not consistent with other branches of the military, who usually vilify more junior personnel first,” said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson. “I will ensure the results change that behavior in the future.”

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Marine Corps

Marines send homemade cards, letters to Mattis on first Father’s Day apart

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WASHINGTON — Marines across the active and reserve force have sent letters and homemade cards to former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis for Father’s Day, sources confirmed today.

Officials confirmed they became aware of the card writing activity within the ranks when an unusual number of requests came in for construction paper, glitter glue, and puff paint from Marines worldwide.

Pentagon spokesman Daniel Hazelrig confirmed the DoD was both aware and supportive of the cards and characterized them as “absolutely heartbreaking.”

“The cards are cute but it really makes you feel for these young Marines,” said Hazelrig. “So many messages asking if it’s their fault, what they did wrong, and promising to be more lethal if Mattis will just come home. It really tugs at your heartstrings.”

Mattis resigned from his post in December of 2018 in a move which Pentagon officials at the time characterized as a “trial separation” and which Mattis explained to the Marine Corps as, “running out for a pack of smokes.”

Since then the retired general has moved out to California, rented an apartment and is currently spending a disconcerting amount of time hanging out with college students while claiming to be “living [his] best life.”

Members of the Corps explain that while they enjoy having two Christmases, it isn’t the same without Mattis around and affirmed their reluctance to call Acting Secretary Shanahan “Dad,” despite repeated requests from the president.

Units initiated the card writing campaign after a plot to have Mattis and the Pentagon both visit the border wall with Mexico and initiate something called “Operation Parent Trap” fell through.

Meanwhile, defense officials plan to allow the Marine Corps to spend the weekend sleeping over at the retired general’s home.

“Last time we were there he let us stay up late and watch Die Hard which was pretty awesome,” said one junior Marine.

According to one official, if the troops are good, Mattis intends to allow them to watch a VHS of Conan the Barbarian before bed which, multiple sources confirm, “totally has boobs in it.”

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Army

Pentagon senior executive fired for inadvertently making a decision

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WASHINGTON – Pentagon officials fired a senior bureaucrat after he accidentally made a decision, breaking decades of tradition and spurring fears that the building may become more efficient, sources confirmed today.

Donald Witherspoon, a Senior Executive Service (SES) civilian on the Army staff, began working at the Pentagon after he retired as a colonel weeks before he was supposed to deploy for the first time.

Sources say Witherspoon began his day like any other: by crying in the shower, screaming “you are a man” at his reflection in the bathroom mirror, and donning an ill-fitting suit before driving to work. Little did he know, his role in the Pentagon was about to come to an end.

The incident occurred when Witherspoon returned from a meeting and mistook a staff action packet for a coloring book. After keeping mostly within the lines, he was so pleased with himself that he signed the document and handed it to his executive officer. The unwitting bureaucrat became the first SES since 1952 to make a decision in the Pentagon.

“So many processes had to fail for this to happen,” said Witherspoon’s executive officer, Col. Stephen Newell.  “This system is designed to delay decisions indefinitely … or at least spread risk among dozens of generals and SES’s so that no single leader can be held accountable.” After this revelation, blood trickled from Newell’s nose and he collapsed.

Dr. Jonathan Northfield, a Pentagon mathematician, was less surprised by the incident.

“It was a statistical eventuality … like the infinite monkey theorem,” said Northfield, referring to the theory where a monkey randomly hitting keys on a typewriter for an infinite amount of time will eventually churn out Shakespeare’s complete works. “Witherspoon was the monkey who accidentally wrote King Lear.”

A consulting firm has already offered Witherspoon a position to sit quietly at meetings and alternate facial expressions between a vacant smile and a concerned scowl for double his current salary.

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Army

Point/Counterpoint: Future wars will be fought with AI robots vs. ‘Microsoft Word is not responding’

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https://www.dvidshub.net/image/2713125/testing-future-marine-corps-warfighting-laboratory

The following is a point/counterpoint discussion about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and robots in future large scale ground combat. The point will be presented by an Army officer writing an article for an online military journal. The counterpoint will be presented by the same officer while his computer’s operating system, software suite, and the Pentagon Joint Service Provider thwart his attempt to write the article.

Point: Future combat will be lightning fast, violent, and lethal, requiring leaders to rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning to process massive amounts of intelligence and make decisions rapidly.

Counterpoint: [Smart card error. The smart card was not recognized. Please check that the card is inserted correctly and fits tightly] “Jesus … Alright, I’ll put the card back in juuuuust right for you. I hate this computer.”

Point: Near-peer adversaries will contest our forces in all domains, from mission receipt to crossing the line of departure. Our information and cyber warriors will be able to respond to threats in real time.

Counterpoint: [slams mouse down] “I just LOVE typing my pin number in six times when I open anything.”

Point: Soldiers at the squad level will have zettabytes of information at their fingertips. They will maneuver dispersed, alone and unafraid, massing synchronized effects on target with assured communications.

Counterpoint: [Please select a cert.] “Am I supposed to use my authentication cert or my email cert to log in? “[No valid certificates found.] “Fan-fucking-tastic, why would I want to be able to access the shared drive?”

Point: In order to impose multiple dilemmas on our adversary and minimize risk to U.S. forces, we will use artificially intelligent robots.

Counterpoint: [Microsoft Office Word is not responding. If you close the program, you might lose information] “Ummm.” [Clicks “wait for the program to respond”]

Point: These unmanned systems will coordinate attacks autonomously, based on the commander’s vision and intent, and destroy everything in their path.

Counterpoint: [:( your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. We’re just collecting some error info, and then we’ll restart for you] “Wait, what the fuck? No, no, no. I haven’t saved in like …  two hours. THIS CANNOT BE HAPPENING!”

Point: By employing task-based artificial intelligence, these systems will also improve our ability to distinguish legitimate targets from harmless civilians. They will minimize civilian casualties while maximizing lethality.

Counterpoint: [Smart card error. The smart card was not recognized. Please check that the card is inserted correctly and fits tightly] “DAMN YOU JOINT SERVICE PROVIDER! I PRAY TO GOD I SEE ONE OF YOU MOTHERFUCKERS IN THE HALLWAY!!!”

Duffel Blog reporters 29ReasonsWhy and Veishnoriets contributed to this article.

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OPFOR

We didn’t want to invite John Walker Lindh to our Memorial Day party, but his potato salad is so damn delicious

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Joh Walker Lindh potato salad

WASHINGTON—Every year, millions of Americans gather on the last Monday in May to drink, barbecue, socialize, and remember the fallen. But we all have that one friend who we know would be an unwelcome addition to the party. Nobody wants to invite him, but his potato salad is just so good that we have to.

That’s what happened when we heard that “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh was being released from prison. We didn’t want to invite him to our Memorial Day party, but his homemade potato salad is so fucking delicious that we didn’t have a choice.

Sure, Lindh’s stint with the Taliban in 2001 and experience in al-Qaeda training camps will make for some awkward conversation at our backyard barbecue. But holy shit if it isn’t worth it for a couple scoops of his signature side dish.

You might think after 17 years in federal prison that Lindh’s culinary skills would have atrophied. I can tell you with certainty, however, that they have not. Most people put too much mayonnaise in their potato salad and are overly conservative with the vinegar and paprika. Lindh, on the other hand, goes light on the mayo and all in on the vinegar and spices.

Now that’s the way a potato salad should be made.

Our party guests might have their own opinions about the Taliban or supporting terrorist organizations. But we know they’ll be able to put their prejudices aside, if only for one day, once they taste John Walker Lindh’s delectable potato salad.

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News

Pentagon forms community of disinterest to plan Iran war

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(Source: U.S. Air Force)

WASHINGTON — Recognizing that overthrowing the terror-sponsoring Iranian government requires a whole-of-Trump approach, the defense and White House officials recently convened a secret interagency planning team at the Pentagon, sources confirmed today.

Its goal: to plan a soup-to-koloocheh ground invasion of the intractable Persian country. But the meeting was quickly dubbed a “community of disinterest,” according to sources. While over 50 high-level West Wing appointees were present, other Departments — including the host — sent low-level staffers or even term hires nearing the end of their appointments. Defense was reportedly represented by a single procurement specialist recently hired from the civilian sector. And State sent a cleaning crew that had finished its work early.

“There was just no interest,” said a banking policy analyst from Treasury.

Homeland Security, however, did send a decision maker: senior executive Michelle Daenerys, who is head of Enforcement and Removal Policy. However, Daenerys told reporters that she wouldn’t be back and that she expects to be named Secretary in a few days.

“Given the never-ending Game of Fools that goes on at DHS,” she said, “I need to brush up on scorched-earth policies so I can fix this migrant thing down there on the border between Colorado and Mexico.”

The Pentagon meeting reportedly adjourned without mission analysis being conducted or courses of action developed. Sources said that even a coffee fund set up for the meeting received only thirty-five cents, a found CAC card and a USAID pin in contributions.

A source reported that the Mustache of John Bolton was seen brushing furiously against the faces of attendees and hissing, “Kill! Kill!” When questioned by media, Mustache said that cremating Persians in a vicious ground war is the best way to win the hearts and minds of the Iranian diaspora.

“They’d rather be dead than suffer under the mullatolahs,” it said. “Unlike me. I avoid death like when I avoided Vietnam.

Molon Labe is not just a beer brand to me,” it continued unprompted, while combing itself. “It’s also a way of life and death. And I intend to make sure that today’s draftees — err, service members don’t have to suffer the guilt of avoiding death via some badly-conceived White House strategy.”

Finally, Mustache said that regime overthrow will help it achieve its long-term strategic goal: validating that its life was worth something after all.

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Army

Chinook catches Army flirting with younger, thinner aircraft

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PENTAGON — Long rumored tensions came to a head as the CH-47 Chinook Helicopter confronted the U.S. Army after discovering suggestive text messages on the Army’s phone, sources confirmed today.

The Chinook referenced an exchange that included a Snapchat video of the CH-53 Super Stallion (a name experts believe is clearly overcompensating for something) loading 55 troops internally and taking a 36,000 pound load. The Army claimed it can’t help what gets sent to their public account and that the Chinook should be flattered that other aircraft are so interested.

While the Army characterized the texts and several direct messages as non-committal and “just seeing what else is out there,” the Chinook expressed disbelief. It appears the Army engaged in detailed conversations with multiple different aircraft and allegedly solicited pictures of several with their ramp down.

“After all I’ve done, after 57 years, you’re going to try to run off with some skinny little skank who is barely off the assembly line?” the Chinook reportedly shouted during an exchange in a Pentagon hallway.

“Do you want me to go seats out? Is that it? Or maybe just fly around doors off like one of your little sluts?” it added.

The Army attempted to explain itself and suggested the Chinook was overreacting.

“Why do you get like this? You’re so paranoid,” the Army said. “The Osprey is already with the Marines. We met on a joint exercise. We’re just friends.”

This isn’t the first time the Army and the Chinook have had trouble in their relationship. The Army got pretty serious with the UH-60 Blackhawk in the ’90s and was ready to end it with the Chinook entirely, according to multiple friends close to the situation. That was until they had a new war together and things settled down.

The whole situation apparently resurfaced after someone mentioned to the Army that it had been in Afghanistan for over 17 years. The Army later stated over beers that it loves Afghanistan but is worried about losing its identity, according to friends.

“Like, what if I want to travel still? Check out Asia? I feel like Russia has been eyeing me since forever, but we were never ready to make a move at the same time,” the Army allegedly stated. “Plus, the Osprey said it can do fixed wing and rotary wing. I’ve never had a bi-functional aircraft, and I feel like that’s something I could totally get into.”

Further statements by the Army now seem to indicate they and the Chinook are “on a break” despite evidence that Chinooks are still carrying the Army’s troops both at home and abroad.

The Chinook was reportedly seen on the flight line binging on ice cream and blasting Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” album while fielding questions from the CH-46 fleet about whether the split is their fault and who they will live with now.

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Army

Officers with Bronze Star license plates least likely to have left FOB

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Bronze Star

WASHINGTON – A study released today found that officers who purchased non-valor Bronze Star license plates for their vehicles were 98% less likely to have left a forward operating base, or FOB, during a deployment than officers who did not purchase the plates.

The Pentagon spent two months and roughly $17 billion on the study, which was originally intended to determine why some officers were colossal douchebags while others were only slightly less so. A clear pattern emerged, according to the study’s researchers.

“They were all fobbits,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Hill, the study’s manager. “The handful of officers who had left the wire did so either accidentally or purely against their will. In one instance, an officer got lost and wandered onto an MRAP after salsa night. He was fine but the other folks in the S-6 shop never heard the end of it. They’re the real heroes.”

Established during World War II, the Bronze Star Medal was awarded for merit or heroism while engaged against an enemy of the United States. Today, the non-valor version of the medal is a rite-of-passage award for officers and senior non-commissioned officers who complete a deployment without losing property, sleeping with a subordinate or murdering someone.

The study findings shocked some officers, but many soldiers and non-commissioned officers seemed unfazed.

“I think the license plates are great,” said Spc. Robert Larson. “They let me know which officers are most likely to cross the street for a salute or scream at me for their own failures.”

Researchers claim there were other findings, such as the correlation between having the license plates and driving like an asshole, though they say it will take years and “much, much more money” to unpack all of the data.

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