Most people think Duffel Blog writers are the most intelligent, hilarious, and best-looking military members and veterans in existence, and of course, those people are right. But our writers are also an eclectic group of people who write military-centric satire for fun, clout, and that sweet cash payment after an article hits your inbox.
That’s not to mention having the power to reach millions of people, in addition to deftly skewering national security issues in a way that will get our readers thinking and hopefully affect change.
But how does it all come together?
Hi, this is Paul Szoldra, the editor in chief of Duffel Blog, and I’m here to explain.
Back when this all started in 2012, it was just me writing my weird ideas on Marine infantry life or making fun of the ‘Chair Force.’ But it wasn’t long before I got an email from Kuwait: “I’m incredibly bored. Can I write for you?” I remember one soldier asking.
Then messages came in from others: a Navy veteran. An Army infantry officer. Even a Coastie. Troops realized they could complain to more than just the person sitting next to them in formation about the first sergeant or bloated weapons systems.
Now, there are nearly 60 contributing writers of all stripes and services who meet online every day in a private Facebook group to pitch ideas, post drafts, and most importantly, offer suggestions and push others to be better. It’s our place to talk about and share our views on what’s happening in the world. And from that brainstorming comes the articles that you love, like recent news that the Air Force is building a precision-guided Covid-19 vaccine delivery system and critiques that the National Guard lacks an exit strategy for the presidential inauguration.
Aside from that, many Duffel Blog writers have gone from internet friends to real friends, and we probably shouldn’t talk about our first ever ‘DuffelCon’ gathering in Tybee Island except to say it was a lot of fun.
We have plenty of bad ideas too, of course. But we tend to pull diamonds from the rough in a similar way as The Onion and its ‘tough room’ voting system: Writers pitch a headline to the group, and if it gets at least a couple of ‘likes’ or comments, it’s a good one and they write it. Or sometimes other writers will drop a much better headline in the comments like ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage coming in off the top rope.
Once an idea is fleshed out, writers get to work on a draft and bring it back into the group. Other writers collaborate on the article, offer ideas to tighten up language, suggest a joke here or there, or point out that calling one of the characters Spc. Büttmnchin might be a little too on the nose. (No way!)
So what do I need to do to join you?
The application process is straightforward: Just fill out this form with your name, contact information, headlines, and a writing sample.
Duffel Blog has been hailed as "pitch-perfect" satire by Wired while CBS News said it often "turns out some of the best satire since Joseph Heller wrote Catch-22,” so we're stringent about keeping our pool of writers strong and fresh.
Our best writers are creative, have military experience and a great sense of humor, and possess a willingness to master the elements of parody, news style, and satirical writing. They also should commit to engaging in the writers’ room and write at least one article per month.
If this sounds like your cup of tea, apply! Or if you have any questions, hit reply and let’s chat.