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

Duffel Blog is edited by Paul Szoldra—a Marine Corps veteran and national security journalist—and produced 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 military 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 rely on reader support to pay our writers and editors to produce original content that keeps the military veteran community laughing every week.

Duffel Blog
The Duffel Blog story (aka why we're a newsletter now)
Dear reader, I recently moved Duffel Blog from a website to an email newsletter hosted on a platform called Substack. The primary and perhaps unsurprising reason? 2020. Duffel Blog has never made a ton of money. It's been kept alive mostly by the amazing writing of its military veteran contributors who do it more for the love of it than the small amount of money I manage to pay them. And with relatively low overhead (no offices, just me, a wonderful part-time editor and freelance writers, web hosting, software), it didn't cost that much to keep up…
Read more

Free readers of Duffel Blog get occasional newsletters, but paid subscribers help to directly support the Duffel Blog and get:

  • Every new Duffel Blog (4 stories a week, M-W-F-S) We’ll even throw in a PDF copy of our ‘Best of Duffel Blog’ book with hundreds of hilarious stories and staff commentary.

  • 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)

“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.”

At one point, Mattis had Duffel Blog mentioned in his official biography at Stanford.

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.

Disclaimer

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.


People

Paul Szoldra 
Founder, Editor The Ruck & Duffel Blog | 🇺🇸 Marine veteran | National security analyst
G-Had
I hate your freedom.
blondesoverbaghdad
Blondes Over Baghdad lets someone else take the top block because it’s the selfless service thing to do. She’ll go to ranger school when there’s a 3-beer policy. Follow her on Twitter at @BlondsOvrBaghd
Roger Wilco
Pilot, writer, stay-at-home astronaut
Grumpy
The only OG civilian at DB, Grumpy has been editing this stuff for a very long time.
Jan Lionsnest
Scrivener-in-Chief of medieval satire at Ye Olde Tyme News. Contributor at Duffel Blog as Cat Astronaut.
Carl
His greatest life achievement is being a triple dipper and the highest military award he received was for retiring which he had to write himself.
Lieutenant Dan
Lieutenant Dan, now retired, rescues dogs and dog-faced soldiers, and contributes to Duffelblog.
Jordan Hemlock
Jordan Hemlock is a Duffel Blog diversity hire, sharing the unsought opinions of a lieutenant.
Brent
Pilot, planner, PacNW native. Lets get weird.
Duffel Blog
Bad Lawyer is actually a pretty good lawyer with a terrible sense of humor.
Dick Scuttlebutt
Dropping bomz on ur momz
Addison Blu
🎥 screenwriter | 🔫 SpecOps combat veteran | 🎮 former pro gamer |📚 Mensan
Bull Winkle
Striving to be the person my dog thinks I am.
W.E. Linde
Former military intelligence officer, amateur historian, blogger/writer at DamperThree.com. Strives to be a satirist, but probably just sarcastic. Twitter @welinde
The Ghost of Jimmy Carter
Born in the light of a dying star around the year 1667.
MrScorpio
Mr. Scorpio is a contributing writer for DB who might work with you. I’m in the cubicle next to you, look over at me. See, I'm waving. Follow them on Twitter @_MrScorpio for SWO hateposts and other dumb Navy content.
Adam Straus
aka 29ReasonsWhy
Kevin Craver
Contributor to Duffel Blog, recovering ex-journalist, recovering ex-infantryman, aspiring novelist with an agent but no publisher yet.