5 Halloween costumes based on military stereotypes (that are kinda true)

Mandatory Fun

VIDEO: Happy Halloween from the scariest U.S. service branch!

Editor's note: A version of this article previously ran on Oct. 28, 2016

It's late October, and that means it's time to figure out what you're going to "be" for Halloween this year.

Of course, you could always just go with the obvious — you could dress up as a vampire, or a zombie, or that chubby bald fella who wore a red sweater to the second presidential debate (can't think of his name). But that's boring. If you really want to be the life of the party, you should probably opt for something more original — something with a little bit more pizazz.


Don't worry. Task & Purpose has got you covered. In fact, we came up with not just one, but five totally spooktacular costume ideas, all of them 100% original and fairly easy to make. For inspiration, we turned to the world we know best: the military. But you won't see Rambo, or GI Joe, or a sexy sailor in this lineup. These costumes are based on reality.

Check 'em out.

Sick Call Ranger

(Task & Purpose illustration by Matt Battaglia)

Also known as "Light Duty Warrior" or simply just "Dirtbag," Sick Call Ranger's special powers include hanging out in the barracks while everyone else is working, and — actually, that's it. That's his only special power.

Lost Lieutenant

(Task & Purpose illustration by Matt Battaglia)

It's a joke as old as the military itself: Lieutenants are terrible at land navigation. But what if one got so lost that he ended up on a desert island with a talking volleyball like Tom Hanks in "Castaway"? It could happen.

​Couple's Costume: Navy SEAL And His Ghostwriter

(Task & Purpose illustration by Matt Battaglia)

Navy SEALs are some of the most skilled warriors to ever walk this Earth, but what good is being the best if nobody knows it? That's why Ghostwriter is always looming nearby, scribbling down the notes that will become the memoir that will become the screenplay that will become the blockbuster film that will make the Navy SEAL rich.

​Soldier Who Forgot Her PT Belt

(Task & Purpose illustration by Matt Battaglia)

If you ever want to know why reflective belts are mandatory in the military, try doing PT in broad daylight without one. You'll get run over by a car 100% of the time. No reflective belt = gruesome injury. It's just basic math.

Valor Thief

(Task & Purpose illustration by Matt Battaglia)

There's no villain more fearsome than the Valor Thief. If you're not careful, he'll steal all of those medals you earned in the military. Then, when you're not looking, he'll use those medals to live a totally awesome and fulfilling life — and he didn't even have to go to Iraq!


Gen. Chuck Horner (ret.) commanded the air campaign of Desert Storm (Task & Purpose photo illustration)

When Air Force Gen. Chuck Horner (ret.) took to the podium at the dedication of the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial site in Washington D.C. last February, he told the audience that people often ask him why a memorial is necessary for a conflict that only lasted about 40 days.

Horner, who commanded the U.S. air campaign of that war, said the first reason is to commemorate those who died in the Gulf War. Then he pointed behind him, towards the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where the names of over 58,000 Americans who died in Vietnam are etched in granite.

"These two monuments are inexorably linked together," Horner said. "Because we had in Desert Storm a president and a secretary of defense who did the smartest thing in the world: they gave the military a mission which could be accomplished by military force."

The Desert Storm Memorial "is a place every military person that's going to war should visit, and they learn to stand up when they have to, to avoid the stupidness that led to that disaster" in Vietnam, he added.

Now, 29 years after the operation that kicked Saddam Hussein's Iraqi army out of Kuwait began, the U.S. is stuck in multiple wars that Horner says resemble the one he and his fellow commanders tried to avoid while designing Desert Storm.

Horner shared his perspective on what went right in the Gulf War, and what's gone wrong since then, in an interview last week with Task & Purpose.

Read More
Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar (U.S. Army photo)

The Navy SEAL accused of strangling Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar was promoted to chief petty officer two months after Melgar's death, according to a new report from The Daily Beast.

Read More
In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea, wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Associated Press/Yonhap/Kim Jun-bum)

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

U.S. troops are still ready to "fight tonight" against North Korea despite the indefinite suspension of major military training exercises on the Korean peninsula, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.

Read More
A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 911th Airlift Wing is towed across the flightline at March Air Reserve Base, California, Jan. 7, 2020. (Air Force photo by Joshua J. Seybert)

March Air Reserve Base in California will host nearly 200 U.S. citizens who were flown out of Wuhan, China due to the rapidly-spreading coronavirus, a Defense Department spokeswoman announced on Wednesday.

"March Air Reserve Base and the Department of Defense (DoD) stand ready to provide housing support to Health and Human Services (HHS) as they work to handle the arrival of nearly 200 people, including Department of State employees, dependents and U.S. citizens evacuated from Wuhan, China," said Pentagon press secretary Alyssa Farah in a statement on Wednesday.

Wuhan is the epicenter of the coronavirus, which is a mild to severe respiratory illness that's associated with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The virus has so far killed 132 people and infected nearly 6,000 others in China, according to news reports.

Read More

The number of U.S. troops diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury following Iran's missile attack on Al- Asad Air Base in Iraq now stands at 50, the Defense Department announced on Tuesday.

Read More