A (Very) Short History Of Military Personnel Drawing Dicks In The Sky

Photo via Twitter

Two cocky Navy pilots ended up in hot water after using the contrail from their E/A-18 Growler to draw a massive penis and testicles in the skies above Okanogan County, Washington, on Nov. 17. While the responsible aircrew with the Electronic Attack Squadron 130 out of  Naval Air Station Whidbey Island has yet to be identified, naval aviation chief Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker promised to hold the crew accountable for the “sophomoric and immature antics of a sexual nature” that the Navy deemed “absolutely unacceptable [and] of zero training value


But as Washington Post military reporter Dan Lamothe notes, the phallus has occasionally held a place in modern U.S. air warfare before — far beyond the suggestive nuclear tip of the Minuteman III ICBM.

The recent history of similar confirmed phallus-sightings is short and disappointing (I swear this never happens to me); the only other recorded incident of DoD personnel engaging in aerial dong-scrawling occurred in 2012, when a group of Blue Angels painted a “large blue and gold penis” on the roof of a trailer at the group’s El Centro, California, winter training facilities.

The phallus in question “was visible from satellite imagery (e.g. Google Maps)… through the end of the 2012 airshow season,” until an unnamed airman “bought paint with his own money and painted over the penis,” according to a Navy report on violations of the elite flight demonstration squad’s sexual harassment policies made public in 2014 (As Lamothe points out, the Navy’s sexual harassment policy “cover[s] a wide range of behaviors, from verbal comments to physical acts, and can be subtle or overt” — which ostensibly includes intimidation by testicular constellation).

U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, diamond pilots practice the Diamond 360 maneuver during a practice demonstration at Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro, California, on March 6, 2014Photo via DoD

The dearth of officially acknowledged dongscapades isn’t totally confined to American armed forces. In 2014, a Royal Air Force pilot crafted what looked, to many local residents, like a giant penis in the skies over RAF Base Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland.

A penis in the sky over Moray, Scotland, circa 2014Photo via Express/YouTube

Ironically, British military emphasized that the smokey junk “was not what it perhaps appears to be,” according to the Express. "The pilot concerned was flying in a holding pattern, which is what all aircraft do when they are waiting to land,” a spokesman stated. "The matter was looked into, but this is not a case of someone being silly."

If aspiring aviators want to outdo their fellow cock-jockeys, they’ll have to aim higher than their local airspace — literally. In 2013,  NASA's aging Opportunity Mars rover, definitely, absolutely, indisputably drew a dick on the surface of the Red Planet.

A penis. On Mars.Photo via NASA

Are NASA astronauts technically aviators? Does programming a drone rover from the earthen comfort of mission control qualify as “piloting”? Important questions, but irrelevant: In terms of drawing dicks in the sky, foisting a tallywacker onto the surface of Mars has to qualify as rising to a challenge.


The first grenade core was accidentally discovered on Nov. 28, 2018, by Virginia Department of Historic Resources staff examining relics recovered from the Betsy, a British ship scuttled during the last major battle of the Revolutionary War. The grenade's iron jacket had dissolved, but its core of black powder remained potent. Within a month or so, more than two dozen were found. (Virginia Department of Historic Resources via The Virginian-Pilot)

In an uh-oh episode of historic proportions, hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War recently and repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital city.

Wait – they had hand grenades in the Revolutionary War? Indeed. Hollow iron balls, filled with black powder, outfitted with a fuse, then lit and thrown.

And more than two dozen have been sitting in cardboard boxes at the Department of Historic Resources, undetected for 30 years.

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(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton

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Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.

They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.

What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.

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A Coast Guard lieutenant arrested this week planned to "murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country," according to a court filing requesting he be detained until his trial.

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(Getty Images/Spencer Grant)

(Reuters Health) - Military service members who are at risk for suicide may be less likely to attempt to harm themselves when they receive supportive text messages, a U.S. study suggests.

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Army Sgt. Jeremy Seals died on Oct. 31, 2018, following a protracted battle with stomach cancer. His widow, Cheryl Seals is mounting a lawsuit alleging that military care providers missed her husband's cancer. Task & Purpose photo illustration by Aaron Provost

The widow of a soldier whose stomach cancer was allegedly overlooked by Army doctors for four years is mounting a medical malpractice lawsuit against the military, but due to a decades-old legal rule known as the Feres Doctrine, her case will likely be dismissed before it ever goes to trial.

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