The U.S. military dangles cash bonuses and post-military college money to entice recruits into the service. Meanwhile, the Canadian military has beards and weed.
As Chad Garland of Stars & Stripes reports, a new rule took effect on Tuesday allowing all members of the Canadian military to rock a beard as long as they can grow more than just peach fuzz. "A member will ... shave off unsuccessful attempts to grow a beard," the policy says.
The policy also says Canadian soldiers with beard-growing genes will need to have a mustache as well, keep their fur neatly trimmed, and not let it "exceed two centimeters in bulk." Sadly, that last requirement means that although beards are okay, soldiers will not be able to attempt Chad Garland-esque levels of beard-growing.
It also allows commanders to restrict facial hair if operations require it.
While the policy says its intent is to strengthen morale and team cohesion, it comes on the heels of another change that undoubtedly strengthens morale (and the munchies): the allowance of marijuana use.
Last month, Canada's military outlined new rules regarding marijuana consumption following the national legalization of the substance for recreational use that will take effect on Oct. 17.
Canadian service members can consume pot as long as it is eight hours before duty, 24 hours before the operation of weapons or vehicles, or 28 days before high altitude skydives, military flights, or operations in a hyperbaric environment. It will still be banned from international operations, according to Reuters.
So stock up on your beard oil and weed brownies, our allies to the north. You earned it.
Oh, honey, that Axis of Evil getup is so 2002. You need to get with the times and try on this little number called a Wolf Pack of Rogue States, designed by Mike Pence.
Yes, the Axis is Evil is out, and the Wolf Pack of Rogue States is so, so in.
The vice president mentioned the latest and greatest phrase to describe anti-American super-villain states during a conference in Washington on Wednesday, and clearly, they must all be running around the desert together looking for strippers and cocaine.
"Beyond our global competitors, the United States faces a wolf pack of rogue states. No shared ideology or objective unites our competitors and adversaries except this one: They seek to overturn the international order that the United States has upheld for more that half a century."
According to Pence, the Wolf Pack includes Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Notably absent: China and Russia, the two states that actually have a shot at seeking "to overturn the international order."
As Daniel Larison notes at The American Conservative, the Wolf Pack crowd's "ability to 'overturn the international order' is practically nil, and it isn't even certain that most of them desire that outcome. If North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua are our main adversaries, we are as secure as can be and we have very little to worry about."
Pence's wolf pack phrase follows another tried by National Security Advisor John Bolton back in November, when he labeled Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua as a "troika of tyranny" and a "triangle of terror," which make for interesting death metal band names, but seem kind of lame in comparison to the infamous 2002 "Axis of Evil" phrase from David Frum.
But perhaps they can consult with Stitch Jones, the Ayatollah of Rock-and-rolla, for some better branding.
Heartbreak Ridge - Stitch Jones meets Gunnery Sergeant Highway
Maj. Matthew Golsteyn in Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Philip Stackhouse.)
Army Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn – whom President Donald Trump has called "a U.S. Military hero" – will face an Article 32 hearing in March after being charged with murder for allegedly killing a suspected Taliban bomb-maker.
On Dec. 18, the convening authority for Golestyn's case decided to hold the preliminary hearing in connection with the Feb. 28, 2010 incident, Army officials have announced. The proceedings are slated to start on March 14 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.