WASHINGTON – Jumping on the social media "challenge" bandwagon, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter last week released a Vine video of himself doing nothing stupid, reckless, dangerous, or in any way interesting, and challenged the men and the women of the armed forces to do likewise. He specifically called out a Navy Skipper who faces a DUI charge, an Army Private that tried to clear an anti-tank rocket in a clearing barrel, and a Marine lance corporal who bet his squadmates he could rappel down a 10 foot wall with the harness on his testicles.
“The 'Stop Doing Dumb Shit Challenge' flows from the popular idea that if you film a video and then call out others to follow along with you, they’ll simply do it like the mindless sheep they are," said Asst. Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Bryan G. Whitman.
"The challenge itself is simple. You film yourself not doing anything dumb for one minute. If you make it the full minute without putting your hands in your pockets or negligently discharging a weapon into your foot, you get to challenge three other service members to complete the same challenge. However if they cannot complete it, they have to go find their immediate supervisor, explain to them what they did and report to the brig."
In addition to curbing a lot of the foolish military behavior, Carter hopes this will stop troops from donning uniforms and making the military look bad by doing other such "challenges."
Unfortunately, a review of videos posted online in response to the Secretary's challenge reveals a virtual epidemic of mass stupidity as members of all ranks and and services have had a hard time completing even 60 seconds without "doing dumb shit."
In one video, Army Spc. Joshua Buchmann stands perfectly still with his M4A1 carbine shouldered, when he apparently spots a rat off camera and decides to "take that mother[expletive] out." The video changes suddenly, with the camera lying face up on the floor and a voice off screen, presumably the cameraman, screaming about getting shot "in my balls."
Carter has deleted his video from Vine, and issued general orders prohibiting anyone else from issuing "any challenges whatsoever." Sources in the secretary's office expect the challenge will peter out quickly, as videos of Marines asking celebrities to the Marine Corps Ball traditionally overwhelm social media this time of year.