About Duffel Blog
Duffel Blog is the first and only satirical news outlet devoted to the U.S. military community. Since 2012, we have poked fun at generals, lieutenants, and everyone in between while helping military members and civilians think critically about national security through satire and humor.
“I think I have learned more about U.S. military culture from reading Duffel Blog than I have from many hundreds of academic articles on the subject.”
—Tom Ricks, Foreign Policy
Founded and edited by Paul Szoldra—a Marine Corps veteran and national security journalist for over a decade—Duffel Blog has been produced since 2012 by hundreds of talented writers, editors, and artists from the enlisted and officer ranks of every branch of the U.S. military (though we’re looking for a Space Force member and a few other recruits).
As an independent, reader-supported publication, Duffel Blog is only made possible with the backing of people like you. Thank you for your support. 🙏🏻
“Some of what [Duffel Blog] turns out just might be the best military satire since Joseph Heller wrote Catch-22.”
—David Martin, CBS News
Why you should subscribe
Duffel Blog was founded on the premise that there was plenty of absurdity in the national security world, and it needed to be pointed out. Now, after a decade of publishing and millions of readers later, it’s safe to say that we were right.
Yet times are tough in digital media, even more so for a small operation like Duffel Blog with one editor and dozens of part-time contributing writers. The laughs over the years kept increasing, but our social media reach and advertising revenue steadily declined. So in 2020, we moved to an email newsletter on Substack to sustain Duffel Blog for decades to come. And now that all those annoying and intrusive advertisements are gone, we need your help.
Free subscribers to Duffel Blog get occasional emails, but paid subscribers help to directly support the Duffel Blog and get:
Every new Duffel Blog (~4 stories/week), ad-free. We’ll even throw in a PDF copy of our ‘Best of Duffel Blog’ book with hundreds of hilarious stories.
Access to our comment community and full archive (10+ years of laughs).
A massive amount of gratitude from a team of military writers for your support.
“[Duffel Blog] reminds me of The Onion in its early days. They’re clearly having fun doing it, which is part of what makes it successful.”
— Scott Dikkers, founding editor of The Onion
Media Coverage of Duffel Blog
Rep. Pat Fallon claimed SPLC listed 2 veterans organizations as ‘hate groups.’ His source? A satirical news blog. (The Washington Post)
Duped by Duffel Blog, a congressman claims that the VFW and American Legion were labeled hate groups (Task & Purpose)
GOP Politicians Have Repeatedly Been Bamboozled by Satire. Are We One Onion Article Away From Total Chaos? (Washingtonian)
Move Over, Sammich Jokes: Women Make Their Mark on Military Humor (Military.com)
A New Era of Military Comedy from the Ranks (War on the Rocks)
Duffel Blog Founder Releases Book to Mark 5 Years of Military Humor (Military.com)
Duffel Blog makes fun of military absurdities — and has the Pentagon laughing, too (The Washington Post)
The Duffel Blog: Like 'The Onion' In Camo (NPR)
Oops! McConnell duped by parody news report on Gitmo (MSNBC)
Senate Minority Leader Fooled by Report in Military Version of The Onion (Wired Magazine)
Where the U.S. Army Is Winless (Time Magazine)
Military satire on display via the Duffel Blog (Military Times)
Prank and File: These Military Reports Are Out of Line (The Wall Street Journal)
The Military's Version Of The Onion Is Now So Popular Its Server Just Crashed (Business Insider)
Fake military news site gains traction (Columbia Journalism Review)
US Army Changing Bayonets For Tomahawks (Gizmodo)
“They’ve made a lot of fun of me and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it.”
—Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis
Praise for Duffel Blog
“Behind the biting wit and outrageous headlines is a satirical prowess that not only engages the reader with pointed absurdist humor but does so with the intent to challenge every level of the military experience.”
—Maximilian Uriarte, New York Times bestselling author and creator of Terminal Lance
Frequently asked questions
Who writes Duffel Blog?
Duffel Blog is written and edited by a talented team of hundreds of military service members and veterans who run the gamut of enlisted and officer ranks in every branch of the U.S. military.
Has Duffel Blog ever fooled anyone?
Yes. Duffel Blog is frequently taken seriously despite its satirical nature. The most notable example comes from 2013 when Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wrote a letter to the Pentagon asking for more information on a Duffel Blog article that reported G.I. Bill benefits would be offered to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. The letter made national news and made us laugh ourselves silly.
Other examples include a story that fooled a writer at Gizmodo, another that led to constituents calling into the office of Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), which prompted an official statement in response, and frequent cases that have appeared on the fact-checking website Snopes.
What does the Pentagon think of Duffel Blog?
We like to think the top leadership at the Pentagon enjoys Duffel Blog, despite a number of public affairs officials complaining over the years after they’ve received angry calls that can be traced back to us (sorry, not sorry).
Duffel Blog counts Defense Secretary Jim Mattis as one of its fans. In an interview with CBS News in 2013, Mattis said, “they’ve made a lot of fun of me and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it,” adding, “It’s good that these young men are poking a little bit of fun at us … I enjoy the feedback actually.”
In another interview with The Washington Post in 2013, he said, “Duffel Blog is a beautifully crafted response to an increasingly stuffy environment in today’s America. Duffel Blog reminds us of much of what we in the military fight for — the freedom to think our own way and to laugh about the absurdities without being mean-spirited.”
Pentagon spokesman George Little also praised Duffel Blog in 2013, telling The Washington Post that “it helps put many things in healthy perspective, even when it’s a little over the top or overly satirical. In the very serious world we live in at the Pentagon, a bit of levity can actually help advance the mission.” He also urged military public affairs professionals to read the site in a speech he gave at Fort Meade.
Duffel Blog frequently gets positive feedback from military service members, veterans, and civilian national security professionals.
Duffel Blog is a parody of a news organization, and all content it publishes is satirical in nature. No content should be regarded as truthful, and no reference to an individual, company, or military unit seeks to inflict malice or emotional harm. All characters, groups, and military units appearing in these works are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or actual military units and companies is purely coincidental.
Duffel Blog is not intended for readers under 18 years of age or those without a sense of humor.