Army chief of staff tweets M1 Abrams video that shows the wrong frickin’ tank

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An Austrian Leopard 2A4 tank crews conduct the vehicle identification lane during the Strong Europe Tank Challenge (SETC) at the 7th Army Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, May 10, 2017.(U.S. Army/Spc. Nathanael Mercado)

An Austrian Leopard 2A4 tank crews conduct the vehicle identification lane during the Strong Europe Tank Challenge (SETC) at the 7th Army Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, May 10, 2017.(U.S. Army/Spc. Nathanael Mercado)

For all of its #KnowYourMil outreach to the public, the U.S. military desperately needs to take a refresher course on tanks and artillery.

In November, the Defense Department’s official Twitter account shared a picture of what they said was an M109 Paladin. Nope. It was a M1128 Stryker Mobile Gun System

Then, in March, the DoD tweeted a picture of “tanks” being offloaded a ship – except they really were Paladins this time.

And now, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville recently tweeted a video love letter to the M1 Abrams tank along with the caption, “What type of Soldier operates an M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank?"

One problem: The tank at the very beginning of the video is not an M1 Abrams. It looks more like a Leopard variant used by the German army and other foreign militaries. (A 1986 German military video showed off the Leopard 2’s gun stabilization system by attaching a glass mug full of beer to the cannon and then driving the tank – none of the beer spilled.)

Experts on Twitter quickly noticed the error. Thus it came to Task & Purpose’s attention.

Because people enjoy being told when they make mistakes, Task & Purpose dutifully passed along the pertinent information to McConville’s spokesman.

The crisis was soon resolved.

“Thanks to feedback received from online followers, we removed a video highlighting the duties of an Armor Crewmember that mistakenly included a short clip of a Leopard Tank along with footage of M1 Abrams Tanks,” said Lt. Col. Curtis Kellogg. “Feedback like this improves the quality of our social media content.”

Rest assured, we at Task & Purpose are always ready to provide constructive feedback to our friends handling the Defense Department’s social media accounts.