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US Olympic table tennis team deploys to Kuwait to train with ‘best of the best’

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ping pong

KUWAIT CITY — The US Olympic table tennis team has been training at a US military encampment in Kuwait where “the best ping-pong players in the world” are found, a spokesman for the team confirmed today.

“The facilities are first-class, of course,” coach Stefan Feth told reporters about Camp Arifjan’s sprawling table tennis facilities. “But it was the huge number of competitors who spend almost every hour of the day playing table tennis that really caught my attention.”

“It’s as if all anyone does around here is play ping pong,” he later added.

While many details about Camp Arifjan are secret, the encampment is widely known by US veterans as a major hub of competitive table tennis. In 2014, the Wall Street Journal chronicled the rise of international table tennis phenom David George, who had deployed to Kuwait as a mechanic with the Montana Army National Guard.

“To be honest with you, I hadn’t even touched a ping pong paddle before deploying,” he said at the time. “It’s just that you find yourself with so much down time, I mean. What else is there to do?”

With temperatures that can exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, staying cool is reportedly a top priority for deployed service members in the Middle East. Camp Arifjan’s air conditioned MWR facilities have become a refuge for listless soldiers who sometimes struggle to find something constructive to do, said Virginia Worthington, a translator who works on base.

“Sure, there are Arabic language classes and MBA extension programs you can sign up for, but why?” she asked reporters over the din of a heated doubles tournament. “The action is right here!”

“Hey!” she added, pointing at a player who had just netted a serve. “You better take that weak shit back to CONUS!”

American military personnel are not the only talented table tennis players on the base, according to Tim Lee, a player on the men’s US national table tennis team. He told reporters that many third country nationals, migrant laborers who work on base, are just as skilled as the US military players.

“Some of the TCN guys have incredible spin control,” he said. “It’s almost like they’ve been trapped here for years with table tennis as their only outlet.”

When reached for comment, Area Support Group-Kuwait Commander Col. Shannon E. Nielsen, who was then-playing a heated doubles match himself, said, “What? No! The serve can’t spin off the side of the table in doubles play! This is Kuwait, baby! Not some bullshit summer camp at the YMCA!”

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THE DUFFEL BLOG PRESENTS: Your CrossFit WOD

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You’ve been asking for it, and now its here. The Duffel Blog has finally become part of the grind, and we are proud to introduce our own CrossFit hero line-up. These routines are named after military members who died performing CrossFit at their local boxes. The workouts of the day (WODs) are the very workouts that killed them.

First in your WOD box line-up is Lance Cpl. Rio from 29 Palms, California. The Metcon portion of the WOD is meant to be done unbroken and unscaled. For the strength portion, we stress proper form. Keep your toes 180 degrees from each other and ensure that your back has a nice rounded arch at the end of the lift. This might feel off balance, but that’s what a violent kip is for.

Since we are going heavy today, it is advised to forego the warm-up and get after it. You’ll need all your strength to master this challenging and rewarding WOD.

Buy in: Lunging front rack dumbbell twists.

Metcon: 6 rounds for time
10 Meters down and back front squat long jump suicide squads
3 Strict inverted Turkish bear complexes
8 Kipping pelvic thrusters
24 Kettle bell wall balls at 10 feet
10 Second rest

Then Strength:
Find your 1 RM of kipping sumo deadlift overhead snatches.

Buy out: $240

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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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SEAL ostracized by teams after passing drug test

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CORONADO, Calif. – A local Navy SEAL has found himself in hot water with others in the special warfare community after he passed a recent drug test, officials confirmed today.

Chief Petty Officer Special Warfare Operator Kyle McCleary, a 15-year veteran of the SEALs, was ordered to take the urinalysis as part of a Navy-wide crackdown on non-drug-usage in the teams.

The news of McCleary’s exclusion from team activities comes two weeks after officials revealed that 10 SEALs had successfully failed drug tests with an excellent showing of cocaine and methamphetamine in their systems.

“Those guys were winners. They know what it means to be a teammate — not McCleary, though,” said SEAL Petty Officer 1st Class Nathan Murphy. “He doesn’t belong anymore. A good SEAL always has at least some weed in his system. Hit the pipe or hit the road.”

Navy officials allowed Duffel Blog a peek into the world of the SEAL community with an invitation to spend off-duty hours with the SEALs. Reporters discovered a lot of shirtless flexing, hacky sack circles and parties with drugs. “Lots and lots of drugs,” one reporter wrote in a notebook.

SEALs — with their high operational tempo — understandably need a distraction during their off-duty activities. While most operators in other branches turn to exercise and chugging Red Bull to keep themselves busy, SEALs prefer cocaine, which is readily available when stationed near Mexico.

McCleary has opted out, however, choosing to stay away from activities that would put his trident at risk. His teammates believe it’s a mistake and acknowledge that he will be held accountable for “just saying no.”

“C’mon, what’s so hard about doing a little bump here and there?” asked Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason Toon, an East Coast-based SEAL with a faint coke ring around his right nostril. “All McCleary has to do is get with the program. Say, ‘Man, you got a razor blade I can borrow?'”

McCleary’s reputation within the SEAL community began to suffer years ago when he made the decision to eat healthy and drink only water. Despite his desire to be seen as a team player, McCleary was not willing to poison his body with horrible substances.

“Everyone’s doing it. It’s easy and convenient to pop down to Tijuana, score a little deca durabolin and report back Monday,” BUD/S instructor Todd Fuller said as he jabbed a needle into his left buttock. “Hell, popping positive is mandatory the last week of BUD/S. Otherwise, you simply don’t get into the teams at all.”

Rear Adm. Collin P. Green, commander of Naval Special Warfare Command, was asked during a press conference about McCleary’s failure to adhere to the highest traditions of the teams and Naval service by failing to get just a little bit high.

“I’m sorry. The surf is really loud this morning. I’m having a hard time hearing. Have a great day. Thanks,” said Green, before quickly excusing himself.

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Senator proudly cites DNA test to prove he’s nearly 1 percent veteran

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BOSTON — Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Dickard Rosenthal has released the results of genetic testing to add legitimacy to his claim that he is “basically a veteran” and “should be treated as such”.

The DNA test shows that he has a distant grandparent that may have possibly fought in the Thirty Years War, the French Revolution, or was a member of a Mongol horde terrorizing eastern Europe in the 13th century, Roesnthal said in a press release and a subsequent CNN-sponsored town hall event.

“I am proud to show the American people, and especially Donald Trump, that I am indeed pretty much a veteran, and the sacrifices on behalf of my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great (possibly) grandMOTHER’s (sic) service, between 300 and 1000 years ago, should not go unrecognized, or unrewarded,” Rosenthal’s press release reads.

“I am proud to possibly be tangentially related to someone who may have served something somewhere,” he added.

Rosenthal, a progressive firebrand widely considered to be a front-runner in the Democratic Party for the 2020 presidential primary, has faced repeated criticism for his decades-old claim of veteran status.

Records indicate the senator used his claim to be a veteran as a means to gain crucial status within a minority group as he applied to prestigious positions at Ivy League institutions and subsequently in his successful Senate run.

“Frankly, my previously uncorroborated claims were all I needed to be a veteran. But with this DNA test, I can now conclusively say I am distantly related to a veteran, which is basically the same as being one. It is now the responsibility of Donald Trump and his Republican allies to prove that I am not,” Rosenthal said.

Blondes Over Baghdad contributed to this report.

Image courtesy of the Department of Defense.

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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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Navy

STDs get tested for sailors

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PHUKET, Thailand — Sexually transmitted diseases have been racing to nearby clinics to get checked for sailors in an effort to curb a spate of recent outbreaks, sources confirmed today.

The outbreaks come after a group of U.S. Navy ships made a stop at a port in Thailand and released sailors out into the public, a move the local population views as nothing short of biological warfare.

“With no regard for public safety, the commanders saw fit to unleash a swarm of sailors out into the open air, knowing full well that they can easily spread,” said Bobby Khachatryan, a public health practitioner. “Have they no idea what sort of social stigmas STDs encounter when they catch a case of the squids?”

Local sexually transmitted diseases are canvassing the area, looking for fellow maladies who might have unwittingly come in contact with a sailor.

“You can never be too safe or get tested too early,” said a batch of chlamydia. “You don’t want any sailors sneaking up on you. They are nasty, fat and lazy — just gross. It’s also super embarrassing when others find out that you’ve contracted sailors.”

Reported cases of sailors had dwindled prior to the arrival of the ships. Public officials attributed the decline to sailor awareness, sailor prevention, and sailor avoidance.

“It seems the time of plummeting sailor cases is at an end,” Khachatryan said. “Now, we are in reactive mode, and the STDs have to be treated with medication and ointments while we try to contain the sailor outbreak. The public healthcare system is currently overburdened as most STDs are making a dash to the pecker-checker to get swabbed for ‘swabbies.’”

Not everyone is panicking, however. Gonorrhea, a local sexually transmitted infection, welcomes the sailors with arms wide open.

“I caught a grand total of four sailors back in the fifties. They aren’t anything to worry about, really – some squirting and oozing. They are nothing a good dose of penicillin can’t tackle,” gonorrhea said proudly. “Bring those men and women on!”

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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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