10 Ways Your Civilian Friends Differ From Your Battle Buddies

Photo by Lance Cpl. Erica Kirsop

It's probably fair to say that anyone reading this has a fair share of both civilian and military acquaintances. Friends even, if you don't happen to be overly unlikable or unhygienic. And, while veterans and civilians are equally swell types of chums to have, there are more than a few differences between them. The way you interact, relate, and occasionally frolic with your battle buddies will not always be the same as with your friends who never bore the responsibilities and bad haircuts of military service.

While these little distinctions are many, and probably greatly varied depending on your own group of friends/hygiene, here are a few I imagine are universal. You know what I'm talking about. Your battle buddy is probably headed over with those tacos and Bud Lites right now.

1. A civilian friend will be willing, however begrudgingly, to try one of the MREs you "acquired" during your years in service. A battle buddy will be furious that you already ate the chili-mac option when you got drunk one night. That was his favorite and you knew it!

2. When it comes to movies, a civilian friend wants to know your personal feelings on the accuracy and morality of “American Sniper.” A battle buddy just wants to continue agreeing with you about how awesome “Guardians of the Galaxy” is.

3. A civilian friend will find it odd that you'd mount your ceremonial sword in the bathroom. A battle buddy knows you had to pay $600 for that stupid thing and you're going to display it somewhere, damn it.

4. A civilian friend politely ignores any weight you gain after leaving active duty. A battle buddy calls you "fat ass" and tries to talk you into starting CrossFit while sharing a 12 pack of beer and enough Taco Bell to dam a major river.

5. A civilian friend, understandably, requires you to explain when you use an acronym. A battle buddy knows that a POV is really just a car, whereas a CAR is a piece of multi-colored fabric that Marines go batshit crazy over both having and not having.

6. If you need to call and chat at 3 am, a civilian friend will be grumpy about having to get up for work in a few hours. A battle buddy will have a brief panic attack before realizing you're not calling because they're late for PT.

7. A civilian friend will get really personally upset over losing to you in Words With Friends. Battle buddies are exactly the same in this regard.

8. A civilian friend comes to you for advice when he’s tentatively considering getting his first tattoo. A battle buddy swears that, some day, he'll translate what those matching ones, which you got together on your lower backs in Phuket, say.

9. A civilian friend wonders about the stacks of hardcover, lime green notebooks you have amassed from your military days. A battle buddy just nods and smiles. And probably tries to steal a few blank ones.

10. A civilian friend will diligently read the article you wrote for Task & Purpose and pretend to get the jokes. A battle buddy will just read a bunch of stuff on Duffel Blog and tell you that your "thing on whatever" was great.

If I missed any big ones, feel free to comment. I'll be happy to look at what you've added as soon as I win this game of Words With Friends. Because if I don't, I'm eating all the chili-mac MREs I have and my buddy can go to hell.

US Marine Corps

The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.

"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'

"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"

Read More Show Less

At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.

A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.

Read More Show Less

In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."

A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.

In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.

Read More Show Less

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.

In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.

A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.

The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.

Read More Show Less