People are going nuts over the 'Tetris Challenge' — which is basically every anal-retentive SNCO's dream

Mandatory Fun

In recent weeks a small corner of Twitter has been besieged by photos of first responders and service members posing alongside gear, assorted equipment, and vehicles that have all been meticulously organized to look like a life-sized toy set, before being posted online as part of the so-called Tetris Challenge.


The Guardian wrote about the viral meme trend on Sept. 18, in which emergency responders took part in the challenge, and on Sept. 28, The Warzone's Tyler Rogoway reported its recent spread to mil-Twitter – and noted that the trend might date as far back as November 2018.


However, the act of methodically arranging your shit in neat and ordered rows has been around a lot longer than that.

Think about it: The whole trend is based on people painstakingly arranging equipment outdoors, under the full sun, for the viewing pleasure of others. I have news for everyone: The Tetris Challenge is a fucking gear inspection.

The only difference is that the folks involved in this seem genuinely happy to be doing it.

Just compare that, to this image of an actual "junk on the bunk" inspection:

Not so fun without the hashtag, is it? (U.S. Army/Sgt. Liane Hatch)

The fact that this isn't new shouldn't be surprising: Militaries around the world have been staging arms, munitions, and vehicles in neat little rows for years.

A Boeing B-52H static display with weapons, at Barksdale Air Force Base in 2006 (U.S. Air Force)

None of this is to say that these photos aren't great: They are!


I just can't help but imagine what it'll be like for a SNCO charged with corralling a platoon in a post-TetrisChallenge world:

Staff Sgt: "Alright, we have a gear inspec- Wait, where are you going?"

Troops: "We're going to go draw weapons, then lay all of our equipment at the motor pool, covered and aligned with the MRAPS, staff sergeant."

Staff Sgt: "I've been trying to get you asshats to do a gear inspection without bitching for ages! What gives?"

Troops: "Yeah, but afterward we're gonna take photos and hashtag it!"

Staff Sgt: "I fucking hate it now..."

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stephane Belcher)

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President Donald Trump, speaking during a closed-door speech to Republican Party of Florida donors at the state party's annual Statesman's Dinner, was in "rare form" Saturday night.

The dinner, which raised $3.5 million for the state party, was met with unusual secrecy. The 1,000 attendees were required to check their cell phones into individual locked cases before they entered the unmarked ballroom at the south end of the resort. Reporters were not allowed to attend.

But the secrecy was key to Trump's performance, which attendees called "hilarious."

Riding the high of the successful event turnout — and without the pressure of press or cell phones — Trump transformed into a "total comedian," according to six people who attended the event and spoke afterward to the Miami Herald.

He also pulled an unusual move, bringing on stage Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance and Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, who Trump pardoned last month for cases involving war crimes. Lorance was serving a 19-year sentence for ordering his soldiers shoot at unarmed men in Afghanistan, and Golsteyn was to stand trial for the 2010 extrajudicial killing of a suspected bomb maker.

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Retired Col. Charles McGee stepped out of the small commercial jet and flashed a smile.

Then a thumbs-up.

McGee had returned on a round-trip flight Friday morning from Dover Air Force Base, where he served as co-pilot on one of two flights done especially for his birthday.

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Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

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