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DUFFEL BLOG PRESENTS: Army Heraldry Meanings

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You may be a proud infantryman, logistician, or medic, and wear your branch insignia with pride.  But do you know the historical lineage of where those insignia come from, and what they symbolize?  Join Duffel Blog‘s own Dick Scuttlebutt, our Heraldry Correspondent, as we take you inside the United States Army’s Branch Insignia.

Dick Scuttlebutt is Duffel Blog’s Heraldry Correspondent and has degrees in Heraldry, Husbandry, and Phrenology from East Dickhole State University. Go Manticores!

Acquisition: The constipated hawk is looking to the left, signifying his commie hippie leanings. The ribbons wrapped around the Poison Sumac branches represent the hair ribbons worn by the extremely high-end underage prostitutes sent to Acquisition Corps personnel by various defense industry lobbyists. And the letters Q and A superimposed behind the hawk’s head stand for QUEER ANARCHISTS.

Adjutant General: Consistently voted “Most Boring” by the Army Institute of Heraldry at its annual dining-in, the Adjutant General shield is more complicated than it seems at first glance. Its 13 white stars on a field of blue represent the fabled “Lost 13,” the highest-rated awards and promotions ever lost or misplaced by an S1. These include Medals of Honor which went un-awarded and the fifth star which should have been awarded to James Mattis before he got fired for cock-punching Joe Biden. The blue represent the sorrowful tears of NCOs trying to sign out on leave only to find the admin shop has lost their DA 31. The white stripes represent the reams of paper wasted daily by admin clerks printing out duplicate forms, and the red stripes represent the blood shed from paper cuts.

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Air Defense Artillery: The crossed cannon represent the field which all Air Defenders wish they had assessed into, namely Artillery. Over the cannon is the hallowed “Finned Dildo,” or as Air Defenders privately refer to it, the “Homewrecker,” which reminds all Air Defenders that they will spend their entire career being sodomized like a particularly sexy fish. Like a Moorish Idol for instance. Mmmm, I could fuck a Moorish Idol all day long.

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Armor: Crossed swords in the background signify the silverware which Armor soldiers use to consume their vast amounts of fatty foods, leading to many of them being nicknamed “Tankles.” Over the swords is a machine which many modern soldiers may not recognize. Thousands of years ago, Armor soldiers rode, slept, ate and even shat without ever leaving a smelly, loud, blind steel deathtrap called a “tank.” Archaeologists studying the remains of these “tanks” left behind by long-dead civilizations (cultures with odd names such as the “First Armoired Displeasion” and the “Seventh Arm-whored Calberry Rashomon”) believe the machines were both domicile and clan deity to their particular inhabitants. Fascinating.

Aviation: A tampon nailed to a pair of yellow wings. The wings represent the aviators’ willingness to flee at first sign that somebody will ask them to perform PT. The yellow represents the pee soaking their flight suits. The feathers are those of the rare and perhaps extinct (no live specimen has been sited since 2005 in Senegal) bird named Semper Fidelis Tyrannosaurus, or in lay terms, the Bloody Shart Peacock. The tampon stands for the womanly whining that emanates constantly from the mouths of aviators. The tampon is unused, which reminds the observer that no aviator has yet achieved puberty.

Army Band: A gold coin, which is the price the band members earned for their immortal souls. Embossed on the coin is something called a lyre, which is an instrument you play by striking it with a hammer. Kind of like everybody wants to do to band members.

Cavalry: Two crossed sabers, in scabbard, cutting edge up. There are two sabers to reflect the dual Core Competencies of cavalrymen: 1) Unshavenness and 2) General Insolence. The sabers are crossed to represent the closedmindedness of cavalry officers, as they insist the answer to every problem, to include economic malaise and rickets, is vigorous application of cavalry. The cutting edges face upward so that cavalry officers can more easily fall on their swords. And the swords remain in their scabbards—impotent—to remind cavalrymen that every single one of their children was sired by another man.

Chemical Corps: Two wriggling spermatozoa crossed over a field of blue, over which is superimposed a blue hexagon. The blue field represents the color that chemical soldiers turn after being exposed to live agent while attempting to perform their stated duties, when they should have just stayed up range and set up the hotline to receive the leak-sealed and packaged ordnance item from the EOD Tech, and then scrubbed his balls for him at the decon station. The hexagon represents the unholy agreement Chemical Corps has made with Moltar, god of atrocity, in order to improbably remain an active branch with its own proponency. The sperms represent the untold, uncountable number of hot loads shot into, and onto, chemical soldiers both in theaters of war and in garrison, as they perform the one duty at which they excel.

Civil Affairs: A globe over which hover an upright torch, a rolled-up Vanity Fair article, and a child’s toy sword. The globe represents the Earth, which is a planet in our solar system. The Vanity Fair article represents the excellent service Civil Affairs provides to the service, such as the article leading to the resignation of Stanley McChrystal. Some old-time CA officers will insist that the rolled piece of paper is actually a letter of recommendation. The toy sword represents the fact that CA insists, adorably, that they are part of SOF. The torch recollects the burning sensation you get in your anus after dealing with CA for long enough.

Electronic Warfare: One of the newest insignia, the EW branch is represented by a bright yellow shield with a black midsection, inside which is a lightning bolt and a key. The shield stands for the protection that will be afforded to soldiers by EW when, at some point in the distant future, their equipment actually functions as promised. The lightning bolt stands for the invisible death rays which permanently render utterly sterile the unlucky soldiers who are forced to ride in the back, right next to the DUKE. The key reminds observers that the NSA is always browsing your phone and email account, looking for terroristic keywords, OPSEC violations, or pictures of ur bewbs.

Engineer: A golden castle. Simple and unimaginative, just like your typical Engineer officer. Only two types of people live in castles. Naïve helpless virgins who constantly need to be rescued; and mean old ugly witches. Again, just like typical Engineer officers. The castle’s crenellations are uneven, which represents the haircuts and teeth of Engineers. The castle’s door is wide open, just like the hopeful buttholes of eager Engineer soldiers. The castle is constructed of Lego blocks, which represents the fact that just like Lego blocks, an Engineer is great when in the proper order but is the worst thing you want to encounter barefoot in the dark.

Artillery: Two crossed cannon. There are two cannon to represent the two “core values” espoused by the Artillery corps: utter deafness, and traumatic brain injury. The cannon are crossed to signify the crossed legs of wives as they refuse sex yet again, which causes the artilleryman’s legendary grumpiness. They are also crossed to remind artillery soldiers to “play swords” as they double up at the piss tubes. The cannon float unaccompanied by a chassis or wheels of any kind, which reminds the observer that the average artillery soldier is going nowhere.

Finance: A parallelogram-shaped fishing net, open and ready to catch fish. The four sides of the shape stand for the four things upon which soldiers will waste the most money: high-interest car loans, alcohol, ridiculous clothing, and loose women. The net represents the barriers hindering the successful electronic transfer of hazard pay, dislocation pay, bonuses and allowances. The net also represents what the IRS will throw over you while chasing you for tax fraud, because a computer at DFAS had a short and accidentally overpaid you by roughly six hundred thousand dollars. Also they will order their attack dogs to bite you right on the dick.

Infantry: A pair of crossed flintlock muskets. The outdated rifles represent the archaic and obsolete tactics still being taught at combat schools, such as airborne operations and barely-disguised Fulda Gap holdover scenarios. The rifles are not cocked, symbolizing the infantry’s long history of being unready to fight and having to rely on Marines or SF to open a theater of war. The rifles are crossed, which indicates the average infantry officer’s inability to conceive of a problem as anything other than a matter of motivation and screaming loudly enough; and their refusal to converse as equals with anybody who hasn’t been to the useless suffer-fest and fat camp known as Ranger School.

Inspector General: A garlanded wreath upon which is embossed DROIT ET AVANT, which is Latin for “Droid You Are Looking For.” The garland is a sprig of hemlock and a tail feather from the Blue Falcon, a bird which infests all Army installations, especially around Headquarters buildings. The wreath symbolizes the flowers laid at the grave of what used to be your reputation. Behind the wreath, crossed, are an unsheathed sword and a long-handled axe. These are the weapons used by executioners as they put your career out of its pathetic misery. The axe is wrapped in a bundle of sticks, called a “fascisti” in Italian, which reminds the observer that IGs are a bunch of fascists.

Judge Advocate General: A pen crossed over a sword, to remind one and all that the pen is the mightier of the two, having ended the careers of many more fine officers in the last twenty years than weapons of the enemy. Behind the crossed pen and sword is a wreath of the extremely poisonous “white snakeroot” plant, bound with a sprig of hair cut from a forsaken orphan child who was dying of dropsy. The pen is a quill pen, which has been made from a vulture’s feather. This symbolizes the carrion-bird nature of your average Army lawyer.

Logistics Corps: A golden ship’s wheel to represent buggery. Inscribed on the wheel are the words SUSTINENDUM VICTORIUM, which is Latin for “Drawing Sustinence From Our Victims,” a motto which harkens back to the branch’s Vampiric origins. Behind the wheel, crossed, are a cannon and a key. Together, the wheel, cannon and key represent the three sub-branches of Logistics. The cannon represents Napoleon, a tiny one-testicled French artilleryman who built a world-spanning empire out of penis envy, and would ask his wife to stop bathing when he came back from war because he liked his women smelly. So clearly the cannon represents the Ordnance Corps. The key represents Quartermaster Corps because of their tendency to hoard and stash any and all unsecured supply items they come across, in order to barter and trade them away for favors at a later date. The wheel represents Transportation Corps, because transporters are round, and if not properly directed by a grown-up, will cause the entire ship to capsize. For some reason each sub-branch still has its own separate insignia.

USA_-_Logistics_Branch_Insignia

Medical Corps: One of the few branches which openly celebrates its death-cult past, the insignia for Medical Corps and all its sub-branches (Dental Corps, Veterinary Corps, etcetera) is the caduceus. A caduceus is a tall Staff of Ra with outstretched wings, wrapped with two snakes hissing at each other. The Staff of Ra represents the unholy alliance the branch has struck with various demons, evil spirits, Dark Old Ones, djinn, naga, and golems. The staff is also often borne by an Insect Shaman, and as every thaumaturgist knows, insect shamans are just, like, the worst. The wings represent a patient’s soul exiting its body and flying off to the great police call in the sky, as he finally succumbs to his various illnesses which have been wildly misdiagnosed by the befuddled doctor. The two snakes wound around the staff represent the two fleeting, ever-elusive goals of the Medical Corps: competence and timeliness. The fact that they hiss at one another signifies the vicious brutality which the medical administrative system will visit upon the soldier and his dependents. Some whisper that the snakes are actually joined at the tail and that it is actually one snake with two heads. Those insane psychopaths are immediately fast-tracked to become Surgeon General of the Army.

Med

Military Intelligence: This insignia is a five-pointed gold heraldic rose imposed over a four-pointed gold sun, further imposed over a gold sword. The rose represents the flowers which all intel analysts send to the grieving families of soldiers killed because they were using bad intel. The sun signifies the blinding light of knowledge, and also the sunburn-esque rash you got on your donger after messing around with that E5 from the MI company over in the BSTB that one time. She was such a whore. The sword stands for melee weaponry in World of Warcraft, which every MI soldier is required to play incessantly or he/she will never rise above junior enlisted rank.

Military Police: Crossed flintlock dueling pistols. These pistols are actually historically accurate, as they are a direct representation of the pistols wielded by MPs at the Battle Of San Luis Obispo, which took place when MPs attempted to roust a platoon of infantrymen who were just trying to enjoy their one god dam day of liberty by taking in an exotic dance recital. As the story goes, the infantrymen were none too enthusiastic about abandoning their nipple-viewing activities, and so they resisted physically, which forced the MPs to resort to more extreme methods. One thing led to another, and soon the whole area was bathed in napalm, packs of rabid cannibals roamed a debris-strewn wasteland, and Richard Nixon had to personally parachute in and use his superpowers to–well, you know the rest.

Ordnance Corps: A golden flaming bomb. The bomb reminds us that everything Ordnance Corps touches blows up in their face. The flames remind us that anybody who loudly declares that he is proud to be in the Ordnance Corps is a flamer. The bomb is lacking a fuse, which means the bomb is ready to detonate—symbolizing every Ordnance soldier’s lifelong problem with Premature Ejaculation. Please give.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal: A point-down bomb, behind which are lightning bolts, all of which are imposed over a shield from which are outstretched, feathered wings. The bomb indicates the severe damage which all EOD Techs will do to any working toilet. The lightning bolts symbolize the digital network which any bomb tech will use to download bootleg movies and squirter porn. The shield represents the tendency of any bomb tech to use the “fuck you, that’s not my job” excuse in any and all situations, including when they’ve been directly ordered to do something by a three-star general who is now commandant at West Point. The wings are there just because.

Psychological Operations: A golden horse head, behind which are a pair of crossed daggers which have turned into lightning at the tips. The horse head is a direct visual metaphor for the famous scene from The Godfather where the Don leaves the horse head in the bed of the movie producer. This symbolizes the way Psy Ops will mindfuck you—indeed, in their doctrinal corps competencies, the first one listed is “Mindfuck.” The two daggers represent the two Principles of Psychological Operations, which are brashness and unapologeticality. The daggers turning into lightning at the tip signifies Psy Ops capitalizing on the new frontier of social media, where they will post photoshopped pictures of you being taken to pound town by your own father in order to discredit you.

Quartermaster Corps: An eagle perched on top of a wheel, with a key and a sword crossed behind them. This insignia, voted “Most Frenetic” by the Army Institute of Heraldry at its annual dining-in, is difficult to decipher. The wheel represents the GOV van that supply sergeants use to go “to the SSA” to “pick up parts,” when in fact they stop at the shoppette for two hours to read every page of the latest low-rider magazines (“They got the chicks with the boobs on there.”) and try to flirt with the bored sixteen-year-old girl who works at Charley’s Subs. The thirteen stars represent the unluckiest number, 13, which symbolizes the curse of every company commander who’s ever had to deal with a shitty, sneaky, backbiting supply sergeant. The eagle stands for the dirty, rotten, borderline-felonious scavenging nature of supply sergeants the Army over. Yeah, eagles are carrion birds. You didn’t know that?

USA_-_Quartermaster_Corps_Branch_Insignia

Signal Corps: A pair of crossed semaphore flags, one white with a red center, and one red with a white center. These are crossed behind a flaming gold torch. The red-on-white flag, at left, symbolizes the blood of Signal Officers spilled when the battalion commander finally got tired of their excuses and just shot them in their fat fucking faces. The white-on-red flag, at right, symbolizes the purity of the signal, surrounded by the filth of all that which is not digital. The flaming torch would stand for the illumination of the human mind via communication if any commo network ever worked satisfactorily; instead, it stands for the numeral “1,” which represents the single solitary competent, reliable SigO in the entire army. He’s currently in Small Group 26F at the CGSC at Fort Leavenworth, and no, you can’t have him for your unit.

Special Forces: Officially a pair of crossed “arrows,” in reality they are far too short to be arrows, and are actually crossbow bolts. Considering that the crossbow for much of the Middle Ages was a tool for bandits and assassins (indeed, crossbows were banned for “all civillised [sic] men wheresoever they maye be found” by the Vatican for much of the 15th through 19th centuries), the crossed bolts symbolize the deceitful-yet-vicious nature of the typical SF officer. The heads of the bolts are broad, signifying the wildly non-doctrinal range of missions that SF will claim is rightfully theirs in lean times. The heads are also sharp, signifying the unpleasant knowledge in the back of every combatant commander’s mind that if an SF commander in their COCOM feels slighted, the butthurt party will just run to his patron Senator and pretty soon that general will be getting an angry phone call from some idiot who happens to be on the Armed Services Committee. The fletching on the arrows is fourteen, each, feathers, which symbolize the fourteen “key avenues of execution” for Special Forces: beards; ballcaps; hands in pockets; first-name basis; flip-flops; fucking all the females on the FOB; steroids; larceny; blatant disregard for no-alcohol policies; hiking boots instead of issue uniform boots while in uniform; long, flowing hair; more beards; skateboard helmets instead of MICHs; and mandatory wear of the green beret even when it would be much more convenient to wear a PC like a normal human being.

USA_-_Special_Forces_Branch_Insignia

Transportation Corps: Often called the “flying torch wheel” by that one instructor I had years ago, this is a ship’s wheel, over which is a shield, over which is a Detroit Redwings logo. The ship’s wheel symbolizes rum, sodomy, and the lash. The four spokes of the wheel symbolize the touchstones of transportation doctrine: lateness; incompleteness; disrespect; and unwarranted pride. The shield represents the vigorous defense which any Transporter will present should anybody point out that his branch is basically a bunch of glorified truckers. The Detroit Redwings logo is a reference to hockey, which, like the Transportation Corps, is something which should have been phased out long ago to make room for something that Americans give a shit about.

Chaplain: There are multiple insignia for the Chaplain Corps, depending on which faith the particular clergymen practice. However, it is incumbent upon us to note that there do not exist insigniae for the “miscellaneous” religions, such as Tribalistic Animism, Shintoism, Aum Shinkriko, EKENCAR, rootwork, Santeria, voodoo, “climate change,” or Mormons. This is clearly a huge infringement upon the rights of the minorities, and DB insists that this inequality is remedied at once.

Tune in next time as Duffel Blog explains the heraldric origins of all the Army’s divisional patches!

Dick Scuttlebutt is a graduate of SAMS and a veteran of the War on Women. He won the coveted Weeping Mushroom Medal for his actions at Two Points Ridge. His Twitter feed @DickScuttlebutt was voted "best" by your sister. You can send hate mail to [email protected] Or buy his book here: http://tinyurl.com/kdeeg6p

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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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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Army

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Army

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Air Force

Pentagon worries that plunging morale might affect morale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Army

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

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sgm samurai

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Army

First MRE eaten in war in Afghanistan finally pooped out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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