PENTAGON — Pentagon officials today announced the indictment of 4,957 armorers across all branches of the military for accepting bribes from Unilever, parent company of the Q-tips brand in a press conference.
Between 2001 and 2017 the company paid out an estimated $3 million for armorers to reject rifles, requiring the needless use of hundreds of millions of additional Q-tips, investigators said.
The case opened up thanks to Ohio State finance student and Marine Corps reservist Sgt. Shanae Jackson. During a group project last Spring Jackson noticed that out of Unilever's $200 million in sales in 2016, 32% were tied to military bases across the country. Intrigued, she reached out to their corporate headquarters:
"Unilever told me it was in my best interest to stop looking into it, and that they knew where I lived," said Jackson.
"I was extremely confused. Then I had rifle qual at drill that weekend and the armorer, a lance corporal, rejected my rifle 27 times in a row after I cleaned it. When he finally accepted, it was 3 a.m. and I had a 4 foot pile of Q-tips on the table, as did my peers. When I saw the him drive off in a brand new Jaguar with Truck Nutz on the back something clicked and I alerted [Naval Criminal Investigative Service]."
NCIS investigations discovered armorers were receiving kick-backs for every 25 packs of Q-tips ordered. Several stings revealed common tactics to encourage Q-tip use which included soaking all the donkey dicks in dirty oil, hiding rags and pipe cleaners, and slipping coal dust into CLP (Cleaner Lubricant Protective) and down the barrels and chambers when pretending to check them at the window.
"Oh yeah, I could make an infantry battalion go through 2,000 packs in one week if I wanted. At 500 to a box that's a million Q-tips and for me, the money for endless lap dances at Cheetahs. The girls there really did like me by the way," admitted one armorer, on condition of anonymity.
Unilever declined to comment, though the Pentagon warned this was "only the tip of the Q."