The Life Of The Lower Enlisted, In 5 Memes

Soldiers assigned to 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, Division Artillery, 1st Armored Division, utilize a weight gym in the field during Network Integration Exercise 15.2, May 15, 2015.
U.S. Army/Spc. Moniqua Woods

Every day, Task & Purpose community manager Aaron Provost keeps an eye on what the military and veterans community is talking about. This week, he offers a brief visual guide to the daily successes and failures of America’s fighting men and women in the style pioneered by the post-9/11 generation: dumb f*cking memes.

Welcome to the military. I will be your guide


Look, we all know life is tough for the junior ranks and life isn’t going to get any easier. Embrace your lot in life and just accept that this is who you are now, because every day will present new and exciting ways for the military fuck you over. You just have to accept that things are bad and getting worse and there’s no way of changing that.

Fake it ‘til you make it

Aaron Provost

But don’t let something as simple as not knowing what you’re doing get in the way of your confidence in how you’re doing it. Style over substance pays off in the military because if you look squared away, you are squared away — until that shit catches up with you, but that’s a problem future you can deal with.

Keep that shit to yourself, some of us are trying to sleep


There’s nothing worse for a command than a climate of motivation and fun, and they’re going to do whatever they can to stamp that shit out hard before it spreads to the rest of the unit. So when they kick your teeth in for being on top of your game and excited for the challenges the military offers you to grow, don’t say you weren’t warned.

Like an onion of dissent


At some point, the bitterness will take hold and you’ll find your lungs groaning before you even move to execute an order given to you. Even the simple act of getting into formation will force exasperated sighs from your taxed body and the strain of eye rolls behind that newly promoted sergeant’s back will fade over time. You’ll get it done, but they’re going to have to listen to all of the reasons it’s a waste of your time and talents that could be put to better use finger fucking an Xbox controller back in the barracks.

The spirit is willing but the flesh is spongy and bruised


A little liver Olympics with a side of self-loathing helps smooth out the worst of it, and sometimes you’ll run across friends that won’t want to take part as much as you. In time, they too will see the folly in giving a shit about things like PT tests and ‘being sober’. Until then, you’re well within your right to ridicule them until they are wading deep into the dependa watering holes you typically find yourself in on a Tuesday night.

But hey, it’s not all bad. You get free meals at the chow hall and your preowned ‘94 Mustang purrs like an asthmatic elephant. So, at least you got that going for you.


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that no U.S. troops will take part in enforcing the so-called safe zone in northern Syria and the United States "is continuing our deliberate withdrawal from northeastern Syria."

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan earlier on Friday said Turkey will set up a dozen observation posts across northeast Syria, insisting that a planned "safe zone" will extend much further than U.S. officials said was covered under a fragile ceasefire deal.

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On Tuesday at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual conference, Army families had the opportunity to tell senior leaders exactly what was going on in their worlds — an opportunity that is, unfortunately, all too rare.

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The fog of war, just kills, and war crimes are the focus of a new documentary series coming to STARZ. Titled Leavenworth, the five-part series profiles 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, the Army infantry officer who was convicted on murder charges for ordering his soldiers to fire on three unarmed Afghan men on a motorcycle, killing two and wounding the third, while deployed to the Zhari district in Kandahar province, on July 2, 2012.

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A big stereotype surrounding U.S. service members and veterans is that they are defined only by their military service, from buying "Dysfunctional Veteran" t-shirts to playing hard-boiled, high-octane first-person shooters like Battlefield and Call of Duty (we honestly have no idea where anyone could get that impression).

But the folks at OSD (formerly called Operation Supply Drop), a non-profit veteran service organization that aims to help troops and vets connect with each other through free video games, service programs and other activities, recently found that most of the gamers they've served actually prefer less military-centric fare like sports games and fantasy RPGs.

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CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (Reuters) - Shelling could be heard at the Syrian-Turkish border on Friday morning despite a five-day ceasefire agreed between Turkey and the United States, and Washington said the deal covered only a small part of the territory Ankara aims to seize.

Reuters journalists at the border heard machine-gun fire and shelling and saw smoke rising from the Syrian border battlefield city of Ras al Ain, although the sounds of fighting had subsided by mid-morning.

The truce, announced on Thursday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after talks in Ankara with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, sets out a five-day pause to let the Kurdish-led SDF militia withdraw from an area controlled by Turkish forces.

The SDF said air and artillery attacks continued to target its positions and civilian targets in Ral al Ain.

"Turkey is violating the ceasefire agreement by continuing to attack the town since last night," SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted.

The Kurdish-led administration in the area said Turkish truce violations in Ras al Ain had caused casualties, without giving details.

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