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!


Two Air Force pararescue Airmen were awarded the Silver Star Medal on Friday for saving dozens of lives during separate Afghan battles in 2018 and 2019.

Tech Sgt. Gavin Fisher and Staff Sgt. Daniel Swensen both received the third highest military award for their bravery. Fisher also received the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping reviews the honor guards of the Chinese People's Liberation (PLA) Navy before boarding the destroyer Xining for the naval parade celebrating the 70th founding anniversary of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in Qingdao, Shandong province, China April 23, 2019. Xinhua via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government covertly moved to expel two officials from the Chinese embassy earlier this year, after they drove onto a military base, the New York Times reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

The newspaper reported on Sunday that one of the two Chinese officials is believed to be an intelligence officer operating under diplomatic cover.

The Chinese officials breached security at a base in Virginia this fall, and only stopped driving after fire trucks were used to block their path, the Times said.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

President Donald Trump is set to announce the withdrawal of roughly 4,000 US troops from Afghanistan as early as next week, NBC News reported on Saturday based on conversations with three current and former officials.

This would come as the US is engaged in ongoing, troubled peace talks with the Taliban. The talks resumed in early December after Trump abruptly scrapped negotiations with the Taliban in September, only to be paused again this week after an attack near Bagram Airfield on Wednesday.

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Photo: National Archives

Thomas Hoke can still recall the weather in December 1944, and the long days that followed.

The battle started on Dec. 16, but his company arrived Dec. 27 and would stay there until the battle's end, nearly a month later. By the time he arrived, snow had blanketed Germany in what was one of the biggest storms the country had seen in years.

"It was 20 below and a heavy fog encompassed the whole area," Hoke, 96, recalled from his Emmitsburg home.

The fog was to Germany's advantage because Allied aircraft were grounded, including recognizance flights, allowing the Nazis to slip in.

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West Point is investigating a hand gesture made by several cadets and midshipmen during an ESPN pre-game broadcast at the Army-Navy game Saturday after clips of the signals went viral because of their association with white power.

"West Point is looking into the matter," a spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "At this time we do not know the intent of the cadets."

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