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!


U.S. Army Rangers resting in the vicinity of Pointe du Hoc, which they assaulted in support of "Omaha" Beach landings on "D-Day," June 6, 1944. (Public domain)

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

For one veteran who fought through the crossfires of German heavy machine guns in the D-Day landings, receiving a Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of his service and that of his World War II comrades would be "quite meaningful."

Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to award the Army Rangers of World War II the medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by the United States, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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(Associated Press photo)

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed confidence on Sunday in the U.S. military justice system's ability to hold troops to account, two days after President Donald Trump pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan.

Trump also restored the rank of a Navy SEAL platoon commander who was demoted for actions in Iraq.

Asked how he would reassure countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of the pardons, Esper said: "We have a very effective military justice system."

"I have great faith in the military justice system," Esper told reporters during a trip to Bangkok, in his first remarks about the issue since Trump issued the pardons.

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On a military base, a black flag is bad news. That means it's too hot outside to do anything strenuous, so training and missions are put off until conditions improve.

As the climate changes, there could be plenty more black flag days ahead, especially in Florida, a new analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists found. America's military bases could see an average of an extra month of dangerously hot days by mid-century. In Florida, they could quadruple.

Pentagon data shows heat-related illnesses and injuries are on the rise in every branch of the military. Last year, nearly 2,800 troops suffered heatstroke or heat exhaustion, a roughly 50 percent jump from 2014.

"I think most of us, if we hear there are tens of thousands of cases of heat stress in our troops every year, our minds would go to where they were deployed," said Kristy Dahl, a senior climate scientist at UCS and the lead author of the study. "But more than 90% of the military cases of heatstroke happened right here at home."

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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)

BANGKOK (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea said on Sunday they will postpone upcoming military drills in an effort to bolster a stalled peace push with North Korea, even as Washington denied the move amounted to another concession to Pyongyang.

The drills, known as the Combined Flying Training Event, would have simulated air combat scenarios and involved an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the United States and South Korea.

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An opening ceremony will be held Monday on Hawaii island for a military exercise with China that will involve about 100 People's Liberation Army soldiers training alongside U.S. Army counterparts.

This comes after Adm. Phil Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke on Veterans Day at Punchbowl cemetery about the "rules-based international order" that followed U.S. victory in the Pacific in World War II, and China's attempts to usurp it.

Those American standards "are even more important today," Davidson said, "as malicious actors like the Communist Party of China seek to redefine the international order through corruption, malign cyber activities, intellectual property theft, restriction of individual liberties, military coercion and the direct attempts to override other nations' sovereignty."

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