THE PENTAGON — Coffee served on U.S. military bases worldwide will finally include caffeine beginning in January of 2019, according to Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“We appreciate those of you who brought to our attention that coffee isn’t even really expensive and that the least we could do is serve drinkable coffee since we expect so many of you to wake up every day before dawn,” Dunford said in an address at the Pentagon. “Things move slowly in enormous bureaucracies, especially when workers are barely able to keep their eyes open. So, bear with us as we roll out these changes over the coming months.”
He added: “We’ve been proud to serve the most god-awful coffee imaginable — and I really mean that, by the way. Chow hall coffee is basically bong water except instead of pot, it's strained through moldy cardboard. And even then, it was mostly water with just the faintest cardboard color.”
The change came following a petition by soldiers under the so-called #HurryUpAndCaffeinate movement, which attracted hundreds of thousands of supporters in recent months. The initiative did not just attract current active-duty members, however. A number of veterans of the Vietnam War also signed and supported the petition, organizers said.
“When I was in, you just popped some speed, smoked a little grass, and got on with your day of ignoring orders,” said Vince Peel, who fought as a Marine near Da Lat in 1968. “These kids today, they’re getting piss-tested all the time, they can’t even drink alcohol in theater. I say, give them some damn coffee already.”
Jerome White, who was stationed near Saigon as a radio operator, agreed that drinkable coffee should be a bare minimum requirement in military chow halls.
“I would have about lost my mind if those Chinooks weren’t regularly dropping off pallets of beer,” he said of his experience overseas. “And I didn’t even see combat! The lifestyle just wears you down. Some asshole chewing you out over an untucked bootlace. Up every day at 04. Group PT. Soldiers need caffeine to deal with this kind of environment.”
Still, some criticized the move as another example of the military becoming more "politically correct."
“We have super soakers and everything to keep privates awake in class, so this kind of sucks, if you ask me,” said Staff Sgt. Bill Elm, a tank commander at Fort Hood, Texas. "The only fun thing about all these classes is to lull privates into a stupor so we can blast them with water."
"Plus, all the NCOs just make a quick run to 7-Eleven for coffee, anyway," he added. "No one drinks that hot piss they serve in the chow hall."
“What these activists don’t understand,” said one Navy Culinary Specialist who spoke under condition of anonymity to avoid reprisal. "Is that for anyone to have good food in the military means that cooks have to a) know what good food tastes like, and b) take any pride at all in our work. The reality is, we absolutely refuse to try. You will never get good food or coffee from us, ever.”