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5 Questions Only A Veteran Would Ask Rob Riggle
Comedian and actor Rob Riggle is perhaps best known for his work as a fake news correspondent on the The Daily Show — where he once went undercover to get the ground truth on Code Pink in Berkeley, California — and for his roles in comedies like The Hangover, Step Brothers, and The Other Guys.
But the gregarious funnyman holds a special place among veterans and service members, in large part because he’s one of them.
“After 23 years in the service I feel very connected to the military, and very connected to veterans,” Riggle, who retired from the Marines in 2013, told Task & Purpose by phone. “I love this country and I still want to continue to serve. I might not be able to wear the uniform anymore, but I can do other things to help be part of something bigger than myself, which is working on veterans issues.”
When he’s not channeling his inner Mad Dog Mattis, Riggle is busy juggling his film and television career with his work for veterans.
“I’m involved with probably, 10 [veterans charities], and that’s a lot — I still have to go out and make a living,” Riggle said. “I don’t get paid on the first and fifteenth anymore. I eat what I kill. If I’m not out there hunting, I don’t get paid.”
“The organizations I’m out there working with, I believe in the mission and I believe in the people I’ve met and worked with,” he added.
Which is why he decided to visit the Applebee’s in Chatsworth, California on Veterans Day, he said. In between helping out, Riggle took part in that time honored vet tradition: scoring crap-tons of free food on Nov. 11.
Comedian, actor, and Marine veteran Rob Riggle at Applebee's in Chatsworth, California on Veterans Day.Applebee's
“They’ve given away more than nine million free meals to veterans,” Riggle said of the chain’s annual Veterans Day promotion. “This year their goal was another million meals to veterans. I don’t know of any other restaurant company that’s doing what they’re doing.”
“When they called and asked me to be part of it, I was proud to,” he continued. “They put their money where their mouth is.”
Naturally, since we had Riggle on the phone we took the opportunity to ask the Marine-turned comedian and actor five questions only a veteran would ask.
The following interview has been lightly edited for clarity and style.
Task & Purpose: The zombie apocalypse kicks off. What’s the first thing you do?
Rob Riggle: Oh, god, hmm. Get to high ground with a whole lot ammo. Zombies don’t have any cardio, we all know that, so they’re not going to make it to the top of the hill, so that’s probably a good place to start. Or, you know, just get a boat. You can go fishing, you can live off the fish. They’re not going to swim out to you, they’re not gonna make it — again, cardio. You’d only have to stay about 100 yards off shore.
T&P;: Finish this sentence: You shouldn’t join the military if…
RR: If you have thin skin. If you’re a snowflake. If you can’t handle being yelled at, or you can’t handle harsh language or tough stuff, you shouldn’t join.
T&P;: What’s your favorite war film and why?
RR: Oh gosh, a bunch of them. Black Hawk Down I thought was a really great representation of what happened there, and 12 Strong, because I was in it! Badda bing, badda boom.
T&P;: What’s your go-to MRE?
RR: I used to like the chili mac. I also liked the chicken and rice, too. Basically, with the chili mac, the reason I loved it so much is that it had the chocolate pound cake, which was pretty much all I needed.
T&P;: If you could go back in time and talk to yourself at the Marine recruiting office, what would you say?
RR: That’s a great question. What would I say? Hmm. I would probably tell myself “make sure you put your bars on correctly the first time, so you don’t get stopped and corrected like I did."
The U.S. military is sending an unspecified number of troops to Saudi Arabia following an attack on Saudi oil refineries that the U.S. government has blamed on Iran, top defense officials announced on Friday.
Saudi Arabia had requested international help to help protect the country's infrastructure following the Sept. 14 attacks by Iranian drones and cruise missiles, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at a Pentagon news briefing. The United Arab Emirates has also required help.
"In response to the kingdom's request, the president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces, which will be defensive in nature, and primarily focused on air and missile defense," Esper said. "We will also work to accelerate the delivery of military equipment to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE to enhance their ability to defend themselves."
13 Marines at Camp Pendleton charged with crimes related to smuggling of undocumented immigrants from Mexico
Thirteen Marines have been formally charged for their alleged roles in a human smuggling ring, according to a press release from 1st Marine Division released on Friday.
The Marines face military court proceedings on various charges, from "alleged transporting and/or conspiring to transport undocumented immigrants" to larceny, perjury, distribution of drugs, and failure to obey an order. "They remain innocent until proven guilty," said spokeswoman Maj. Kendra Motz.
The recruiting commercials for the Army Reserve proclaim "one weekend each month," but the real-life Army Reserve might as well say "hold my beer."
That's because the weekend "recruiting hook" — as it's called in a leaked document compiled by Army personnel for the new chief of staff — reveal that it's, well, kinda bullshit.
When they're not activated or deployed, most reservists and guardsmen spend one weekend a month on duty and two weeks a year training, according to the Army recruiting website. But that claim doesn't seem to square with reality.
"The Army Reserve is cashing in on uncompensated sacrifices of its Soldiers on a scale that must be in the tens of millions of dollars, and that is a violation of trust, stewardship, and the Army Values," one Army Reserve lieutenant colonel, who also complained that his battalion commander "demanded" that he be available at all times, told members of an Army Transition Team earlier this year.
According to an internal Army document, soldiers feel that the service's overwhelming focus on readiness is wearing down the force, and leading some unit leaders to fudge the truth on their unit's readiness.
"Soldiers in all three Army Components assess themselves and their unit as less ready to perform their wartime mission, despite an increased focus on readiness," reads the document, which was put together by the Army Transition Team for new Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville and obtained by Task & Purpose. "The drive to attain the highest levels of readiness has led some unit leaders to inaccurately report readiness."
Lt. Gen. Eric J. Wesley, who served as the director of the transition team, said in the document's opening that though the surveys conducted are not scientific, the feedback "is honest and emblematic of the force as a whole taken from seven installations and over 400 respondents."
Those surveyed were asked to weigh in on four questions — one of which being what the Army isn't doing right. One of the themes that emerged from the answers is that "[r]eadiness demands are breaking the force."
The Army thinks China will surpass Russia by 2028. Here is how the service is planning to take them on.
If you've paid even the slightest bit of attention in the last few years, you know that the Pentagon has been zeroing in on the threat that China and Russia pose, and the future battles it anticipates.
The Army has followed suit, pushing to modernize its force to be ready for whatever comes its way. As part of its modernization, the Army adopted the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) concept, which serves as the Army's main war-fighting doctrine and lays the groundwork for how the force will fight near-peer threats like Russia and China across land, air, sea, cyber, and space.
But in an internal document obtained by Task & Purpose, the Army Transition Team for the new Chief of Staff, Gen. James McConville, argues that China poses a more immediate threat than Russia, so the Army needs make the Asia-Pacific region its priority while deploying "minimal current conventional forces" in Europe to deter Russia.