When Vincent “Rocco” Vargas got the word that he’d been cast in a pilot spin-off of FX’s Sons of Anarchy, he knew there was going to be one big problem: He had no idea how to ride, despite playing a member of a motorcycle gang. “Dude, it’s scary,” Vargas told Task & Purpose.
Anyone who’s ever been to basic training knows that the relationship between trainers and trainees is strictly lopsided: The drill instructor screams orders, and the new recruits follow them. There’s no small talk. No in-between. So when Sgt. 1st Class Vincent Vargas, a drill instructor in the U.S. Army Reserve, recently found himself being addressed as “Rocco,” his nickname, by one of the privates in his charge, he was, understandably, caught off guard.
Mat Best, president of Article 15 Clothing and star of the upcoming “for veterans, by veterans” zombie apocalypse spoof Range 15, has written a smooth R&B; love song about a piece of standard-issue field gear. What camouflaged, inanimate object could be worthy of such a heartfelt ode? Only the silkiest, smoothest, most lovable piece of material to ever grace the battlefield.
Like wine or old cheese, military humor is an acquired taste — one that requires an exceptional tolerance for violence and bodily fluids to fully appreciate. And nobody does military humor quite like the guys over at Ranger Up, the North Carolina-based military apparel company that recently joined forces with Article 15 to produce the upcoming zombie apocalypse spoof “Range 15,” which may go down as the most disgusting war film ever made.
Ex-Army Ranger Mat Best is not a hipster. Yes, he has a beard. And, yes, he’s covered in expensive tattoos. And, yes, he’s starring in an indie cult comedy film funded entirely on IndieGogo. And, YES, he owns an artisanal whiskey company. But, come on, he eats bacon and owns guns. He’s not a hipster. He’s just a red-blooded American with great taste and a rich imagination.
Waiting for your one-legged pal to get done with his knee appointment at the VA is not an ideal way to spend a sunny afternoon. But when life gives you lemons — or, in this case, a few hours to kill in a parking lot with your friends — you make lemonade.