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When it comes to the written word — or spoken ones, for that matter — the U.S. military is in a league of its own. There’s the military’s love affair with ‘lethality’; its obsession with acronyms, of which it has hundreds if not thousands; its robust arsenal of slang; the way enlisted troops use expletives like commas; and its fraught relationship with punctuation — the Marine Corps’ hands in pockets ban is based on a misunderstanding over how semicolons are used. And no, I will never let that go.

It’s not that the military is bad with language, no, no, no, that’d be too subjective. It’s just that they have their own way of employing it. And sometimes, it’s rather magical, if a bit confusing.

To that point, I’d like to direct your attention to a government contract for beer taps at Wings Grille & Lounge, a bar located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio (emphasis added):

“Wings Grill, located at Wright Patterson AFB is wanting to enhance/augment its current draft beer capabilities with the purchase of 20 additional beer taps integrated into the draft beer tower running through the bar wall directly to the walk-in keg cooler. In addition to the 20 taps, Wings Grill is wanting to update their existing 12 taps allowing guests to purchase prepaid swipe cards for use with a portion/price regulated self-serve system. In total, Wings Grill will have 32 self-serve and self-pay draft beer taps as a result of this acquisition. The additional taps and self-serve modifications are needed to better suit the needs of the restaurant’s clientele.”

The March 12 solicitation was posted to the System for Award Management, which is the federal equivalent of the ‘help wanted’ section of the paper, and calls for additional self-serve and self-pay beer taps at the base bar, which is, quite frankly, awesome. Not only will service members be able to drink their fill — so long as they can stumble their way to the tap — this system seems to take the social distancing requirements imposed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic into account.

The only thing better than that is that it’s written like a procurement request for a new battle rifle, rather than new bar tech. It’s a stroke of genius. I mean, who doesn’t want to “enhance” and “augment” their drinking capability?

With any luck, this new booze delivery system, which relies on pre-paid swipe cards, will spread to other bases, in much the same way that on-base tattoo parlors have begun multiplying across the force.

That’s assuming that someone lands the contract by the deadline of March 25 and is up to ample task of providing “adequate training to operate all equipment.” Actually, I can think of a few folks who’d be more than happy to provide training on how to pour themselves a beer…

Related: What enlisted troops drink at every stage of their careers

Feature image: U.S. Marines and civilians compete in a stein holding competition at Lejeune Field aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., Oct. 30-31, 2020. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl Addysyn H. Tobar)

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