Budget-crunched Pentagon introduces 549-cord

Every penny counts.

By Cobra Commander

WASHINGTON D.C. — The Department of Defense announced an initiative to replace 550-cord with a new light-weight 549-cord version of the fieldcraft mainstay.

“Researchers found that service-members rarely use that 550th pound,” claimed Army Spokesperson Maj. Tiffany Springs. “Up to 549 pounds? Sure, you use that on any given field exercise. But 550 pounds? It’s a little excessive.”

550-cord, also known as “type-III parachute cord” by nerds, is the unsung hero of many patrol bases because of its ability to hold up to 550 pounds of weight.

“You can use it to set up a tent, tie down your equipment, or repair the Hubble spacecraft,” said Sgt. Skip Yardsley, one of the first soldiers to sign up for beta-testing of the new cord.

However, the impending changes have not been met with applause from all corners of the military.

“These soldiers ain’t getting any lighter. Have you seen our height-weight numbers lately?” mused 1st Sgt. Kai Billings, another beta tester. “This could be a huge mistake, like a 550-pound splat on the ground mistake.”


The Pentagon hopes to replace all 550-cord with the less expensive 549-cord by 2029. Supply sergeants across the force have been ordered to inventory and annotate all 550-cord in service members’ rucksacks, vehicles, connexes, basements, garages, sheds, cargo pockets, attics, and junk drawers.

“Initial estimates for the migration have put the cost at $80 billion dollars,” said Springs. “But the move could save the Army hundreds of dollars per year by 2030.

Lockheed Martin is developing the new 549-cord in conjunction with rope scientists from the Oxford University School of Ropes.

“We’re excited about the partnership, and the large amounts of money that we will receive for it,” said Lockheed’s Supervisory Rope Evangelist Chip Burger.

“They asked the Army to find a way to save money, and they’ve responded with an expensive initiative that will have an unquestionably meaningless effect on the operational capabilities of our service-members,” concluded Billings. “It’s really the American way.”

Cobra Commander’s company motto is “When you’re here, your family”. You can follow him on Twitter at @c0brcommand3r.

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