Military service comes with a lot of challenges, from the inherent danger and high stakes of the job to the daily difficulties unique to that line of work.
There’s one hardship that doesn’t get nearly enough attention: The unending quest to find a suitable profile pic for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and, well, probably dating sites, too. And there’s one surefire way to ruin an otherwise epic “thank me for my service” photo — a BFA.
For those not in the know, a BFA is a blank-firing adapter that fits onto the muzzle of a weapon and helps ensure that automatic weapons properly cycle when firing blank ammunition.
Nothing will expose your posed heroics, for the training pics they are, faster than a bright red or yellow BFA on the business end of your rifle. It doesn’t matter that you slapped #livingthedream on that photo of you triumphantly directing machine gun fire downrange, that BFA instantly undercuts all the drama.
Here are 9 military photos that would have been badass if it weren’t for all the damn BFAs.
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The (almost) Marine Corps recruiting ad
Lance Cpl. Alex Rowan, a combat engineer with 4th Marine Division sprints like a man on a mission — that or on the set of Band of Brothers — during a SAPPER Leaders Course at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Locate, close with, and deafen the enemy
Marines with Black Sea Rotational Force 18.1 form up for a reenactment of their favorite World War II movie scenes, as they advance across a field during training at U.S. Army base Nova Selo Forward Operating Site in Bulgaria on May 10, 2018.
Is it still ‘pew, pew, pew’ if you’re shooting blanks?
Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) unleash a wall of, well, not lead — hot air? — on opposing forces during Saber Junction 18 at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany on Sept. 26, 2018.
Ricky ticky reco- oh, screw it. Friggin BFA.
Would-be lieutenants at Marine Corps’ Officer Candidate School do their best impression of Bruce Willis’ team of operators from Tears of the Sun as they crawl through “The Quigley” an infamous training exercise at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.
The end is nigh!
I swear, if you got rid those BFAs, this could be a scene from some post apocalyptic horror flick — I mean, it’d have to be, that’s literally the only time I see someone wearing a gas mask.
Marines with Task Force-Crisis Response Africa simulate a gas attack during a field exercise at Morón Air Base, in Spain on Feb. 7, 2018, and another perfectly framed and lit photo is ruined by a bright red BFA.
Tired. So tired… of BFAs
Marine Lance Cpl. Marc Mercado carries an M240 and and M4 after a long day of casualty evacuation training drills at Kahuku Training Area, Hawaii on May. 2018.
Even with the BFAs, this photo is still more realistic than ‘The Hurt Locker’
Soldiers drag the body of a (presumably) perfectly fine buddy to, well, not safety, because we know he’s not in danger — thanks BFAs! — during a training event at Fort Irwin National Training Center in California.
Another great photo bites the dust
Soldiers with 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, take part in training at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, California on Nov. 12, 2015, and because of the BFAs dangling from the muzzles of those weapons, an otherwise perfect stock photo for a military news story is again ruined.