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Pro Athletes To Ask Troops For Military ID Prior To Giving Up First Class Seats

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CHARLOTTE DOUGLAS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT — Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams announced via Twitter that he will now require all troops to provide proof of military identification prior to any instances in which he gives up his first class airline seats to them, sources confirmed this morning.

Williams made the change after a highly-publicized situation involving him giving up his first class seat to a gentleman who may in fact not have been a Marine.

“It is unfortunate when a celebrity is duped by someone wearing a rag-tag assortment consisting of a green beret, SEAL Special Warfare insignia, and an Army of Northern Virginia Ribbon, all on an Air Force enlisted service dress uniform,” Capt. Staci Shores, Chief Professional Athletic Relations Officer, told Duffel Blog. “Very few people would spot the flaws in such an authentic looking ensemble.”

Shores went on to indicate that the Department of Defense is now advising anyone who plans to give up a first class seat to a service member, regardless of whether it be to support the troops or to make themselves look good, to first request proof of military identification.

“Mr. Williams’ new policy is the right one for all Americans,” Shores added. “Fortunately, he tweeted out a picture of his own incredible generosity, and a few eagle-eyed veterans helped him spot the flaws. Without this act of self-promotion, Mr. Williams might have been just another victim of stolen valor.”

Williams’ demand for ID is already paying dividends for real life service members when they travel in uniform. On Tuesday, Williams purchased 10 first class seats and posted a Vine video to Twitter.

“These soldiers don’t know it yet, but I’m about to give my first class seats to them #salutingthetroopsbecauseitsgreatfreepublicity,” the tweet said, as a loop of Aloe Blacc singing “I’m The Man” played repeatedly.

Nine of the troops were able provide proof of their military service, with the exception of one private who said he forgot his ID card in his barracks room.

Airlines are reporting success with the new policies, and are petitioning the FAA to make it a regulatory requirement.

Preliminary statistics found at least 50 first class seats have been given up and another 23 stolen valor cases have been exposed in just the first few days of the policy. Additionally, 33 senior NCOs reported feeling better knowing they aren’t among “the 50 dumb boots who decided to travel in uniform.”

John Mittle is a former Army Medic with seven years experience. John's favorite APFT event is the thousand yard stare, and has a keen interest in attempting to draw the world's first perfect freehand circle. John often enjoys sitting on the back porch with his favorite drink the "Salty Dog" (double shot), listening to Scottish Bagpipes, while reading Duffel Blog articles.

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Air Force

North Pole warns of pilot shortage as reindeer leave for commercial sleighlines

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SANTA’S WORKSHOP — The North Pole is in the midst of a readiness crisis as it struggles to fill its pilot ranks with qualified reindeer, who are leaving the service in record numbers to work at commercial sleighlines, sources confirmed today.

Santa Claus claims he has only 75 percent of the deerpower he needs to deliver presents this year, especially in crucial heavy lift squadrons.

“This is truly alarming. There is no way I’ll be able to deliver presents to all the good girls and boys, let alone coal to all the naughty ones,” said Claus. “The reindeer we do have are being worked to the antler, flying three or four gumdrop sorties a day.”

Santa is offering hefty incentive bonuses to keep reindeer from leaving for more lucrative jobs at commercial sleighlines like Hoofthansa. But even offers of triple helpings of moss and herbs are not enough to keep them in the service. Unless he can fix the retention problem soon, Santa says he might have to cancel Christmas across large swaths of North and South America.

“We’re trying to do more with less, but the fact is that’s impossible,” said Lt. Col. Rudolph, commander of Red Squadron. “With this Op Tempo, my guys already refuse to fly over Detroit and Chicago. It’s just too dangerous.”

The average reindeer costs about $1 million and takes 3 years to train, according to North Pole figures. The North Pole needs to keep those ruminants in its ranks past their initial commitment to maximize return on its investment.

“Not only are large numbers of reindeer getting out, our best reindeer are getting out,” said Rudolph. “Donner and Blitzen dropped papers last week, and Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen all took private jobs at Doeing testing unmanned sleighs.”

While Claus increasingly has been filling the ranks with unmanned aerial sleighs (UASs), turnover among the elves who pilot them has also been an issue.

“These UAS pilots are always on the clock, delivering presents to hundreds of houses an hour from thousands of miles away,” he said. “Nobody can handle that much Christmas cheer. Nobody.”

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Air Force

Charles ‘Wide Neck’ McDowell leads USO Tour request voting

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ARLINGTON, Va. — After weeks of neck-and-neck voting, Charles “Wide Neck” McDowell has pulled ahead of adult film actress Riley Reid as the most requested USO star for an upcoming international tour, sources confirmed today.

Service members from throughout the military placed more than 645,000 votes for McDowell and 320,000 for Reid this month following McDowell’s fame after his mugshot went viral.

“This is the kind of guy that everyone has necks-level love for,” commented Andrew Green, a specialist with the 82nd Airborne Division. “Soldiers across the world are coming together and neckworking to bring this god to bless our troops and potentially end racism.”

Though the voting does play a large role for the USO in selecting and funding the star, many more factors come into play before booking can actually begin.

“We sent someone down to Charles’ neck of the woods in Florida where he is currently training for his MMA debut. But despite his schedule he seemed interested, and we will discuss more necks week,” said Robert Hales, booking agent for the USO.

Hales did show some hesitation about bringing McDowell along for the European and Middle East tour starting next March.

“I want to give the troops what they have requested, but they’re in for a shock as soon as they see his neck is normal and his head is just tiny,” he said.

Reid volunteered to go on the tour for free if McDowell decided to attend.

“No lie, wide neck, a go pro, and me could trade his 15 min of fame to 15 min of bliss,” she tweeted.

Florida authorities have also voiced their full-throated support for McDowell to give back to the troops, offering to count it as community service and allowing him to travel internationally. Currently out on bail, McDowell has been capitalizing on his fame by appearing on MTV’s show “Necks,” singing in a feature of Ariana Grande’s “Thank You, Necks” hit song, and swallowing watermelons whole for five dollars in Orlando. Hopes are Ol’ Saint Neck could travel by Christmas.

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Air Force

Space Force now soliciting uniform concepts from industry

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Two months ago, President Donald Trump announced the creation of a new branch of military service within the Department of Defense, the U.S. Space Force. A recently released Pentagon report revealed that, almost immediately after the President’s announcement, a Pentagon official named Mr. James Fortran deployed to various locations within the U.S. in an attempt to find an answer to the question that what was cited as “the Space Force’s most significant hurdle in its long road to activation:”

“What will the uniforms look like?”

The report details that Fortran was first sent to California to meet with interested uniform suppliers. Bored by extraordinarily simple suggestions like “let’s make human exosuits with built-in jetpacks” or cost-effective, nonsensical ideas such as “just keep the same design as the rest of the military, you idiot,” Fortran decided to head to the San Francisco Comic Con event for inspiration.

The images featured above represent a portion of Fortran’s portfolio, which he submitted to the Pentagon at the conclusion of his trip. Published transcripts from his presentation cite him as commenting that “they’re perfect… look at how eccentric, robust, and forward-thinking these designs are! When Americans think of space marines, this is what they will picture in their minds.”

Fortran’s portfolio also mentions a meeting with Bungie, the creators of the Halo gaming universe. Details from this meeting were unfortunately classified, but Fortran was cited as stating that the meeting went “very, very well” and that the ensuing discussion was “very, very promising” in the presentation’s transcripts.

Fortran has returned to the Pentagon, where a series of meetings are currently underway to evaluate his findings. The Pentagon declined to comment on any specifics relating to the consideration of Fortran’s uniform findings. However, inside sources revealed that Captain Charles Bunkley of the United States Navy, who led the introduction of the blue type 1 working uniform made to have sailors blend in with the ocean, suggested a black uniform imprinted with various constellations, nebulas, and galaxies. It appears as if this idea is also being seriously considered.

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Army

Navy pranks Army with 17 years of sustained land-based combat just before Army-Navy game

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PHILADELPHIA — Midshipmen carried on a long tradition of friendly hijinks just before their collegiate rivalry game by pranking Army with 17 years of sustained land-based combat to just “get in their heads” before the big game today.

“We thought, what if these guys who aren’t old enough to drink figure out they’ve dedicated their futures to sprawling forever wars?” said Midshipman Michael Nelson, the senior leading the prank. “Who could mimic the tactics of war for screaming football fans? Once they hold the knowledge that blood and sacrifice will never accomplish the political ends we call victory, they’ll never be able to focus on the game. Navy Wins! Dude, we pwned them good.”

“Plus, after that thing with the Air Force Falcon, we didn’t want to touch animals.” added Nelson.

Nelson got the idea for the hilarious prank while making an Army-Navy rivalry video in his room in Bancroft Hall.

“We ran out of gay jokes, and I was thinking about getting stationed in Oahu with my hot first wife while West Point’s players were going to be leading pointless presence patrols on a route called futility. That’s when I realized that it was the perfect prank!” he said.

Darnell Woolfolk, West Point’s starting running back, fell victim to the hijinks late Friday night when his roommate’s sort of hot cousin called. Little did he know she was working for Team Navy and would subtly let him know that win or lose, he could look forward to multiple rotations in the same wars his father fought.

“I was really pumped up for the game.” Said Woolfolk. “I was listening to Future and thinking about crushing Navy. Then I slowly started thinking about the sacrifices I was making for an American populace that grows further disconnected and disinterested in what we say we’re fighting for. I immediately snuck into Washington Hall to eat spaghetti on ice cream from our special athlete refrigerators.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Woolfolk added, staring into an existential void of multiple deployments, football-induced brain injuries, and strawberry ice cream. “None of it matters anymore.”

As a battered copy of the ‘The Quaker Guide to Gaining Conscientious Objector Status” circulated around the student section of Lincoln Financial Field, West Point’s Corps of Cadets fought back in the healthy spirit of inter-service rivalry by reminding the Brigade of Midshipmen that soon, they’d be wearing an Army uniform and calling themselves “sand sailors” no matter how many aircraft carriers Congress to gave them.

The practical joke strategy worked so well that Navy plans to get in conference rival Tulane’s head by reminding them about the crippling interest rate on student loan debt and the chances of finding job after graduation.

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Pentagon buys F-35 with unpaid GI Bill benefits

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WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is getting one extra F-35 this year, thanks to the Department of Veterans Affairs screwing thousands of veterans out of GI Bill benefits.

Lord pounced on the lost funds after VA officials told Congressional staffers that underpaid benefits would not be reconciled. Fixing the payment issue would require the VA to audit potentially millions of past claims, which is just too much work. For now, it seems the VA will simply uphold the time-honored tradition of fucking veterans while publicly promising to stop fucking veterans.

“Lethality is the Department’s top priority,” said Ellen M. Lord, under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment. “We are one step closer to achieving it thanks to all you soon-to-be homeless and degree-less student vets. Thank you for service and your housing allowance.”

The withheld money was slated for repurposing to the Booz Allen Hamilton IT contract responsible for implementing the glitch-filled payment system, but Lord managed to re-appropriate it to Lockheed Martin instead.

When asked about the impact to current veterans, Lord demurred.

“It’s a terrible situation, for sure, but we’re in the business of creating veterans, not sending them to Columbia University,” she said. “And just look at all those F-35 capabilities. It even has pockets!”

Unfortunately, just enough student veterans received at least partial payment, so the Pentagon can only afford an F-35 Lightning I½. A spokeswoman for Lockheed Martin confirmed that the purchase still counted toward Lord’s loyalty rewards punch card. The Pentagon needs to purchase 94 more Joint Strike Fighters before the defense contracting behemoth throws in free cockpit cup holders.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie shocked his department with a promise that every last dime would be repaid — no easy task as the Pentagon already cashed the check.

“Good luck with that, Bob,” said Lord, “but for now, mama’s gettin’ her F-35.”

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Navy

Zip-tied Somali pirates bet on how many SEAL memoirs they’ll be in

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MOGADISHU, Somalia — Four zip-tied Somali nationals placed bets on how many Navy SEAL memoirs they would be featured in, according to three SEAL memoirs already published since yesterday’s stand-off.

“Three shots in the dark, and the sacred rite of warfare had ended,” read one description of the mission in 2nd Class Petty Officer Jim MacDonald’s memoir “After Action: Hindsight through NVGs.” “It was a scene that has played out countless times in history: a little boat rocking in the moonlight that was like the gaze of Valhalla, a band of pirates arguing heatedly about how many airport bookstores would carry ghostwritten accounts of their capture.”

Another account of the event appeared in 2nd Class Petty Officer Joe Silvo’s “No Fear: Lessons on Hard Core Leadership for Market Uncertainty.”

“Hard core leaders eat accountability for breakfast,” read the opening paragraph of Chapter One: Hard Core Competencies. “But it can also make even the hardest core leaders feel vulnerable. For instance, when a band of pirates ridiculed me to tears as shameless self-promoter who would disgrace the Navy by cashing in on the prestige of the SEAL name to sell schlock to corporate executives, I almost didn’t ask them for a quote for this book.”

The betting took place after SEAL snipers killed three armed pirates who had taken an American oil tanker crew hostage in a small boat in the Gulf of Aden. Four Somalis were left to contemplate their fates as the SEALs moved in.

“As the bow of our boat parted the mist, we heard groans of agony rising from the pirate’s dinghy,” recalled Chief Petty Officer Ruben Martinez in “Crunch Time: Navy SEAL Secrets to Rock-Hard Abs.”

“Prepared for an ugly scene, we were surprised to find the pirates alert and unharmed, resigned to the fact that they would be reduced to two-dimensional caricatures in the many, many books that would be written about this non-event.”

The captives were driven to piracy by social and environmental forces that were out of their control, which should be considered when depicting them in film or literature, according to screenwriter Katherine Heller who designed the memoir-writing phase of SEAL Qualification Training.

“Picture a community devastated by war, disease, starvation, and neglect, and drop it right at the edge of the sea,” she told a class Wednesday, underlining “Raise The Stakes” on a chalkboard. “It’s the brutal friction between these two realities — the barbarity of man, the endlessness mystery of the raging ocean — that wrought these charact … I mean, survivors, and drove them to confrontation with the most hardened killers in the US military.”

“This is ‘Lone Survivor‘-level sales for anyone who does it right,” she added.

As Duffel Blog went to press, the four as-yet unnamed men were en route to a holding facility in Norfolk, Virginia, where they will face a grueling schedule of interviews by the hundreds of SEALs currently writing memoirs.

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Coast Guard

Border Wall to be constructed out of unfinished Coast Guard cutters

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EL PASO, Texas — Federal authorities have awarded over 30 unfinished Coast Guard cutters to a Texas company to build 12 miles of wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in the Chihuahuita area, sources confirm today.

Texas contractor FLURP Inc. will begin construction of a 418-foot reinforced steel levee wall in January in the agency’s El Paso region using remaining parts and materials from unfinished and unneeded boats, Coast Guard representatives told reporters. The company also will use the money saved from building more Coast Guard vessels to dig a sick moat with alligators and build a super cool draw bridge.

President Donald Trump has promised that the Coast Guard cutters on the border will provide an impenetrable defense against all aspects of illegal immigration and shot down questions of migrants using boats to cross.

“Shut your mouth!” the president said, pointing at a reporter. “They can’t get here on boats. You think those rapists and murders can afford a yacht?”

The section will be the first of Trump’s border barriers in the valley, which is considered one of the busiest corridors for illegal crossings. Other areas have been completed with remnants of discarded F-35 parts.

“The wall will be comprised of several security layers: a broken flight deck camera system, miles and miles of rusted steel peppered with white and red paint, and guard towers built out of discarded non-skid,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told reporters. “We’re also looking at utilizing pursuit boats stacked on top of one another that we otherwise would have used to interdict drug traffickers and a bunch of helicopter blades on top of the wall from Coast Guard search and rescue helicopters.”

Coast Guard representatives agreed with the decision and said they’ve been doing fine fine with what they already have.

“Considering how often these boats leak, it might be the best idea to place these things along the border,” said Capt. Barry Hughes.

“These invaders will be so disappointed once they see this massive impenetrable wall of badassness,” Texas resident and border militia founder Jamie Kearney told reporters. “I mean, how else can they get across our border? I literally can think of no other way of these assholes can get to America. I think we won!”

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News

Last American president to actually win a war has passed on

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Former President George H.W. Bush, who fought in World War II as a naval aviator and as the 41st president from 1989 to 1993, led American forces to decisive military victories over major powers including Iraq and Panama, died peacefully on Friday night at his home in Houston. He was 94 years old.

Bush began his long and distinguished career in public service as a sailor in 1942, when he enlisted in the Navy to avenge Pearl Harbor. By 1943, he was the youngest Naval aviator, flying a Grumman Avenger torpedo bomber against the Empire of Japan. He flew 58 combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism after being shot down and rescued by a submarine.

“They wrote it up as heroism,” Bush later told his biographer of the medal, “but it wasn’t — it was just doing your job.” His other military decorations included three Air Medals and the WWII Victory Medal.

After graduating from Yale, making a fortune in Texas oil, and serving as a congressman, director of the CIA and vice president under Ronald Reagan, Bush ascended to the presidency as a Republican in 1989. Within months, he ordered U.S. forces to invade Panama. The invasion toppled a generic Latin America dictator who may or may not have worked for the CIA and was a forgettable success. But the move was widely praised at the time for giving the military a “soft ball” to help it get over its post-Vietnam malaise.

By the end of 1989, probably because the Commies thought Reagan was still president, the Soviet Union crumbled. Sensing decisive victory was at hand, Bush skillfully talked Russian leaders into signing a “strategic partnership agreement” in which Russia threw in the towel in the Cold War in exchange for American promises that NATO would not expand even “one inch eastward.” This landmark agreement paved the way for NATO to expand 500 miles eastward towards Moscow and incorporate a dozen post-Soviet states, securing peace in Europe for generations.

Bush won his second war in the Middle East in 1991 after Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. In response, Bush assembled an international military coalition to expel the Iraqi invaders from Kuwait and shake the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all. American forces and their allies charged across the desert and killed tens of thousands of Iraqis, liberating the small kingdom and keeping the price of oil reasonable. In the victorious aftermath of the war, American held its last unironic military parade.

Scholars agree that Bush’s victories enabled the military achievements of his successors. His actions to secure the contemporary rules-based international order and establish lasting American hegemony laid the foundation of contemporary American foreign policy.

“He is the reason we have enjoyed three decades of unfettered strategic raiding by U.S. forces in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and probably some places you couldn’t even find on a map,” said Luke Schumacher, an international relations scholar at the University of Chicago. “As we all know, those actions which have secured core American national interests. We would not be here without George H.W. Bush.”

President Donald Trump, among others, has praised Bush’s legacy.

“You know, he got shot down — and you know how I feel about people who got shot down — and we could have beat Japan sooner, but, in the end, he was a winner,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “And who doesn’t love winning? America loves winners.”

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