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Opinion: If You Don’t Like How Things Are, Get Out



Gen. Martin Dempsey

The following is a “straight talk” opinion piece written by Gen. Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Greetings. As you may have noticed, it’s been a busy few months here at the Pentagon. But some of you wanted me to address the important issues facing our military the same way our Australian allies have – brutally blunt and to the point. They don’t have a war in Syria to plan or anything, but whatever. Here we go.

Myself and the rest of the Joint Chiefs are working tirelessly to ensure Congress doesn’t take away a Commander’s right to overturn the sentence of a service member convicted of sexual assault under the UCMJ. Look, we’re going to act really busy just to stall for some time. Eventually, Congress will quit caring and move on to the next thing, like doping in baseball or funding NPR.

We are totally okay with rapists being reinstated in our ranks so long as a General Officer says so. And if you don’t like that, get out.

We also hear a lot of whining about this whole medical care thing. Here’s the straight scoop. Most of the people in Wounded Warrior programs had pre-existing conditions we overlooked back when we needed cannon fodder for the surge. Hey, how were we supposed to know all that faulty body armor and shitty camo would actually save lives? We counted on these GED petty criminal asthma monkeys to die like real Americans, not cling to life and get free artificial limbs.

So if you think you deserve something because you went to war and got screwed up, get out and try your luck with the VA. Better yet, put a sock in your pie hole.

Some of you look around and wonder why we keep funding programs like the F-35 and an 11th aircraft carrier when you’re cutting the grass with a pair of dull scissors and sleep in barracks where the sewer line backs up twice a day. Look, everyone needs a plan for when they exit the service. You might use your GI Bill or start a small business. People like me get paid millions to be “advisors” to the defense industry on the same programs we used to run. They can’t pay us off while we’re in uniform, but they can pay us back once we retire.

So why don’t you go ahead and use some of that GI Bill by getting out? See, everyone can play the game!

Suicide is another big issue we face. Look, if you’re going to kill yourself, get out first. That way it’s the VA’s problem and not ours. So, separate from the military first, separate from your body second. Got it? Now get out.

Finally, I’m serious. Get out. We need to cut 140,000 from our ranks and many of us can’t be successful out there in the civilian world. So if you don’t like sexual assault, got a few owies that haven’t healed or think protecting useless weapons programs is wrong, just get out.

Thank you all for your service, but for the service you performed a few years back. You’re useless to us now. Get out.


Opinion: General standing in front of us with hands on hips isn’t really making an impression



(Photo: Defense Dept.)

By a grunt

I don’t mean to be disrespectful. I’ve been in for three years, and I understand the chain of command as well as customs and courtesies.

But who the hell told general officers to always put their hands on their hips whenever they open their soup-coolers?

What does that signal? When I put my hands on my hips, I’m usually contradicting something a barracks lawyer just said, or else I’m fighting my bar tab at the Buckhorn Saloon. Which general has to fight a bar tab? They make so much money they just fart rainbow-colored fifty dollars bills and the bar staff run around picking them up like looters after an earthquake. Those generals leave the Buckhorn like nothing happened. Me, I’m talking to the cops.

So what is it with hands on hips?

I can see Adm. Halsey with his hands on his hips, directing naval combat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean — there was a real war on back then! But mostly, I see my grandmother with her hands on her hips, scolding me for doing something wrong right before she spanks my hide.

So, to me hands on hips equals a paddling a’coming. I’m PTSDing here watching this general move his hands from his hips to putting his thumbs just inside his trouser pockets, and back again while using words I never heard before.

Does he want to inspire me or punish me? I don’t know. I don’t even know his name. Maybe it’s Gen. Grandma.

I bet there’s a course in that knife-and-fork school that I heard new generals go to. I bet it teaches them to appear confident whenever they talk. I think that whole course is about how to properly put their hands on their hips. Lord knows the field graders I see can’t do it because when they talk they don’t inspire a damn thing in me except to not become a field grader. They constantly move their hands from their hips to the inside of their trouser pockets where it’s like they’re jiggling change or wangs. Generals and grandmothers are a lot better at this, but still.

Honestly, general, would you please take your hands, your hips and your entourage of POGs and just get the fuck out of my battle?

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Opinion: We were winning when we left




By Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush

As former Presidents of the United States, we feel obligated to address President Donald Trump’s sudden and reckless decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan after a mere seventeen years of combat operations. We are not sure how the war could have gone so wrong in just the two years he has been president, but rest assured that we were winning in Afghanistan when we left the White House.

In October 2001, the United States launched Operation Enduring Freedom, sending American Soldiers and Marines to drive the Taliban out of Afghanistan. By the time Trump was inaugurated as president, we had managed to retake all of Afghanistan’s provinces from the Taliban, some as many as six times.

In January 2009, at the end of the Bush presidency, we had 30,000 Americans deployed to Afghanistan. Security had improved, shops were reopening, elections were being held, and the Afghan army was learning how to fight. In January 2017, at the end of the Obama presidency, we had 8,000 Americans deployed to Afghanistan. Security had improved, shops were reopening, elections were being held, and the Afghan army was learning how to fight.

It is hard to argue with this continuous record of success. Any decade now, the people and government of Afghanistan will stop relying on U.S. soldiers and U.S. aid money to defend their homes.

We are also alarmed at President Trump’s comments about our allies, especially Pakistan. When President Trump said, Pakistan “doesn’t do a damn thing for America,” he neglected two decades of Pakistan sheltering and arming America’s enemies. From Mullah Omar hiding out in Quetta in 2001 to Osama bin Laden in Abottabad in 2011, there has never been a better friend to America’s enemies than Pakistan.

Why President Trump would only give a measly $200 million to Pakistan this year, why President Trump would want to negate the sacrifice of the 2,500 Americans who died in Afghanistan by not sending another 2,500 Americans to die there as well, is beyond our understanding.

He has also made no effort to consult the defense industry or the international heroin industry, both of which require our military presence in Afghanistan if they are to turn a profit.

We urge President Trump to reject his failed policy of withdrawing from Afghanistan and instead embrace our failed policy of remaining. After all, it’s not like any of our kids will be going.

George W. Bush served as the 43rd President of the United Sates. In the eight years he was president, 641 Americans died in Afghanistan. Barack Obama served as the 44th President of the United Sates. In the eight years he was president, 1,747 Americans died in Afghanistan.

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Opinion: I secretly want you to pet my service dog



The following is an opinion piece by the disabled veteran whose service dog you are about to pet despite the clearly printed warning against that on his harness.

Pay no attention to the large embroidered letters that read “SERVICE DOG: DO NOT PET” on my dog’s blood red vest. I want you to pet Max. Go on, do it.

It’s fantastic when you distract him from his one job, making sure I don’t lose my shit in public. The truth is, I desperately want you to pet my service dog so that I can just melt down in this grocery store while you block him from getting to me. I come alive when anxiety floods my veins, sweat pours down my IED-kissed back, and my highly-trained service animal’s face is being lovingly smooshed by a stranger in a “Support the Troops” shirt. Don’t mind Max’s squirms to get away from you and back to his job. He’s just excited to get manhandled for the fiftieth time today.

I get it — Max is so cute. He can pick up my dropped pills when my nerve damage kicks in or plop his heavy head in my lap to lower my blood pressure. But his true purpose in life is to respond to you cooing at him and announcing that he looks just like your dog Charlie.

If service dogs really weren’t designed for petting, disabled vets like me would hobble around with a honey badger or chihuahua — anything but an adorable black lab.

Also, I am so grateful you donated to Hero Dog that one time (I got Max from Puppies Behind Bars, but whatever, they’re all the same). It’s almost like you paid for him. Max is practically your dog! Get a selfie! Or better yet, just let me take the picture for you.

What kind of selfish prick would I be to deny you? Your tax dollars paid for my military service, injury, and delayed VA benefits. Max is our service dog. So go on, scratch his ass. You’ve earned it. I’ll just be over here riding this panic attack alone until you’re done.

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Opinion: Are we dead or just in Kuwait?

An existential op-ed written by your squad leader in Camp Buehring, Kuwait.





Guys, I have to come clean: I don’t think we survived this past deployment. I don’t really feel anything anymore. The color has run out of the world. All is awash in browns, grays, dust and burning, stifling, ball-sweat inducing heat. We must question our purpose, the point of it all. Are we dead or just in Kuwait?

Why are we here? Is there nothing other than absurdity in this bleached pan of our waking nightmares? Is there nothing more than watching how many Kuwaiti soldiers it takes to devour that foreign delicacy chocolate cake?

Has life been reduced to watching other living, breathing service members — not merely our own, but the entire Western world’s — go on real deployments? This can’t be Hell, can it? Hell does not have a gym or an MWR. (Or does it?)

I’m certain Hell has better chicken wings.

Was it Kierkegaard who once said, “we shall not decide which life fights the good fight most easily, but we all agree that every human being ought to fight the good fight? Unless of course they’re sentenced to this godforsaken desert by the Military Intelligence Readiness Command?”

Trust me, that was purely rhetorical.

I’m pretty sure this place was the last thing Camus saw flash in front of his eyes before the crash. We are condemned to be free, but what is the nature of this freedom? Condemned to roll our laundry into balls repeatedly, like some modern Sisyphus?

The freedom to complain about internet lag or the sheer lack of Black Panther on haji disk? Was life ever more meaningless?

Wait. That’s why I can’t remember Iraq. That was a lifetime ago, when we believed in COIN and David Petraeus. We are assigned here. This is life now. Somewhere between smelling a burn pit here and the meth back in Fort Huachuca.

We aren’t dead, but we are in hell.

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Marine Corps

Opinion: I am very tired

By Gen. Robert Neller, Commandant of the Marine Corps



Good Morning, Marines.

As the 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps, it is my distinct privilege to lead and serve you in this unique and essential war-fighting organization. Despite the hardship of this position and the responsibility it entails, working alongside our dedicated Marines and Sailors has been one of my life’s greatest joys.

However, one thing has weighed heavily on my mind these past few years, a confession that needs to be made before God and man, alike. Fellow Marines, I, Gen. Robert Neller, am very tired.

I’m just exhausted. I’ve been doing this shit since 1975, and I’ve got to tell you, man, I’m pooped. I legitimately can’t remember the last time I slept. I think I took a nap in the Pentagon parking lot last week before a meeting with Dunford, but I’m really not sure.

I mean, what kind of shitty-ass job is this when I can’t let my head hit the fucking pillow without some cracked-out aide telling me a 28-year-old staff sergeant in Miramar texted a picture of his ding-dong to a lance corporal and now its on Reddit. What-the-literal-fuck, Marines?

Or how about this, the other night, I was having dinner with my wife — who, by the way, has seen me about four times in the past eight weeks — when I get a call from Gen. Berger, who’s like, hey Commandant, guess what, a 7-ton in Okinawa just crashed into a light pole, and now you have to speak to the fucking Japanese Prime Minister. Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me.

Listen up idiots. I get it. This isn’t a zero-defect organization. Mistakes happen. I’m fucking tracking.

But you assholes — and I’m speaking to everyone subordinate to me, which is literally all of you — need to get your heads out of your buttholes, for… I don’t know… the next three hours.

Just let me rack out under my desk. I mean this. I will call a Marine Corps-wide safety stand down if it means I can take a nap.

Bottom line, Marines: It’s not easy at the top.

So next time you think about drinking and driving or smoking near a fuel pump or breaking into the amnesty box, please reconsider. Remember, protect what you’ve earned and let me sleep. If you have any questions, I’m in the fucking Global.

Gen. Robert Neller is the 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps. Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Commander, Marine Forces Command from July 2014 to September 2015 and Commander, Marine Forces Central Command from September 2012 to June 2014. He hasn’t had a full eight hours of sleep since around 1997.

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Opinion: Is there someone with a little more experience who could draw my blood?




An Op-Ed by Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Juarez, while awaiting his bi-annual HIV blood draw.

Listen, HN3 Jones. I’m not trying to tell you how to do your job, but I can see your hands are shaking a bit as you’re preparing that needle and supplies to draw my blood. How about you take a deep breath or two and just relax for a minute. I know that you spent months training to do this and it will be fine.

Oh, not months? Phlebotomy is just a two-day course? You just checked in from the schoolhouse too, eh? I see.

All folks deserve a chance to learn their job through hands-on work, and I wish you all the best in your career, I do. However, the last time I came in, a fellow HN3 of yours stabbed the needle through my vein and into my bone.

The experience left me vomiting in pain on the floor.

The time before that, I was trying to donate blood for the clinic’s drive for our deployed warriors. I’m O-Negative, which you are in desperate need of, so despite my misgivings based on past experience, I came in right away. A fellow HN3 of yours spent 15 minutes poking the needle into my arm in different places and wiggling it around trying to get the blood to flow. Not only did she fail to get more than five drops of blood, but she left my arm so bruised, the next morning my CO asked if my boyfriend was abusing me.

Back in April, after four months of calling to make an appointment, only to be told it was Shipmate Day or Admiral So-and-so’s birthday picnic or that the clinic was closed for training, I finally was able to get an appointment for some blood work. The only slot available was two days before my PFT, unfortunately, because the technician messed up both arms so badly that I could only manage three agonizing, barely valid pull-ups, instead of my usual 25.

So, based on that history, I would like to respectfully ask that maybe your most senior HN1, or perhaps a vascular surgeon, could come draw my blood.

Oh, they aren’t available? I think I will actually just take my chances with HIV then.

Duffel Blog writers Addison Blue and Stormtrooper and the entire military contributed to this article.

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Opinion: It’s not ready-to-eat. You have to open, mix, and heat it




The following is an opinion piece by the Specialist with a juris doctorate degree in your Basic Training platoon.

The Meal: Ready-to-Eat military ration is one of the greatest myths perpetrated on our nation’s armed forces. Despite its name, the meal is anything but prepared for human consumption.

First, you have to open the box the foodstuffs come in, choose one of the menu options, trade it with someone else for a better one, and then cut open the plastic bag everything is contained in. This already proves that the meal is not ready-to-eat, but the Department of Defense adds insult to injury.

You must then open the main entree’s box within the bag, then open the heater, then insert the meal into the heater, add water, lean it on a rock or something, wait for 10 minutes while it cooks, and then you must still open the meal’s pouch, burn your tongue, and blow on the food to cool it down.

Ready to eat? My ass.

This doesn’t even factor in the steps and time necessary to add your jalapeño cheese spread or any other condiments. Is the milk shake ready to eat, or is it exempt because you don’t eat it, you gag on it? Can you eat the creamer right away, or are you expected to mix it with the suppository of coffee-flavored ashes?

But while we’re on the subject: is the whole experience really even a meal, or just a random assortment of snack foods? Do you really even eat it, or simply ingest it as fast as you can for basic survival purposes?

I demand that the name be removed, and I suggest that we now call it Calories: Some Assembly Required (CSAR)

Your move, Pentagon.

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Opinion: ‘The Greatest Generation’ — What have they done for us lately?




The following is an op-ed by Chaz Daniels. It was cross-posted at Total Frat Move.

The Greatest Generation? Fuck those guys. Winning World War II was a big deal, but what have they done since?

I don’t know about you, but I can go whole days without thinking about World War II. Then all of a sudden, it’ll be a day like Veterans Day and I’m supposed to care? Get over yourself, Greatest Generation.

Let’s look at some “famous” World War II Veterans, like John McCain. What a hot, leaking bag of trash. He may have won World War II, but then he picked a fight with Barack Obama and crashed his ship into another ship. Not okay, John. Not okay.

If you’re that “Great,” greatest generation, why don’t you help out? It took you like five years to win World War II. So if I did the math right, you could have one the war in Afghanistan THREE TIMES BY NOW. But no, you won’t help. So what’s great about that?

And what’s up with baby boomers?  I would think if you added up one great person with one great person it would equal another great person, but no. All those Greatest Generation types just made baby boomers, who whine constantly, skipped Vietnam, and made a bunch of millennials. It’s a slip-n-slide of suck over there.

I once saw this movie Band of Brothers about this Greatest Generation guy Dick Winters. As a first lieutenant he parachuted into Normandy in the early hours of D-Day and then fought his way across France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. He was a humble, servant leader in that movie, but that movie was FICTION and exactly the kind of dumpster liner stuff the Greatest Generation would like you to believe about them.

Hey, I like World War II a lot, it’s definitely my favorite of the World Wars trilogy, but the more I think about it, the more I think the Greatest Generation is not for me. Okay, gramps, you got a couple of good years in there, but it’s time to finish strong. Are you going to loaf around in the wheelchair, or help the country out? Looks more like the lamest generation to me.

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