THE PENTAGON — Firefights with enemy combatants are 96.3% more likely after hearing protection has been removed. according to a new Pentagon study.
The results came at the conclusion of a 5-year, $600 million study conducted by DARPA and the US Army.
“We’ve analyzed the timing of enemy attacks, combined with after action reports and thousands of interviews. The results are irrefutable,” said Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Vrable.
Those results were unsurprising to many service members who had been in sustained combat operations and had reported similar anecdotes for years.
“I remember my first time in Iraq,” said Josh Copeland, a former Marine sergeant. “We’d go days without contact. Gunny was always bitching about keeping your earpro [ear protection] in, but after awhile it’s annoying not to be able to hear anything. Sure enough, I took those fuckers out and we were hit by a complex ambush minutes later.”
While many in the academic community debated the scientific methods of the study, claiming bias by the research population, several smaller studies have also confirmed the findings.
“We would go out to relatively quiet sectors in Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq, patrolling with US and local national forces. When units were ordered to remove their hearing protection enemy contact usually followed on 9 out of 10 occasions. It was incredible,” said Capt. Jake Hargrove, one of the data collection officers for the project.
The full 976-page report will be released in the upcoming weeks, and also highlight additional correlations found during the study, according to Vrable.
Other conclusions include but are not limited to:
- Increased likelihood that an IED will be a dud depending on how far the formation is from the nearest EOD unit.
- The chance of rain directly tied to whether or not you brought a poncho
- Increased likelihood of an indirect fire attack when you have to really take a shit.
- Inverse correlation between the amount of sleep you got the night before, and the likelihood that you’ll be called for a QRF mission between 2300-0600.
- Relative attractiveness of your coworkers is directly related to whether or not you’re married.
“Who cares about this study?” said Master Sgt. Pete Lidell. “This isn’t new information. Now if you really want to see some shit go down, try taking off your kevlar and helmet at the same time in country. Motherfuckin apocalypse right there.”