Army aviators have been reading Flightfax— the U.S. Army’s online newsletter for “aircraft mishap prevention information” — since the Vietnam War. The magazine, which is published by the Army Safety Center in Fort Rucker, Alabama, has evolved through the years and even halted production from 2007 until 2011. It offers the entire Army aviation community candid, transparent feedback following fixed- and rotary-wing mishaps. It also contains some seriously cheesy jokes.
There’s something surreal about finding Jack Handey-style humor in a magazine focused on aviation safety, especially as the most recent issue addresses a 10-day streak during which eight air crew members died in three separate accidents, prompting a nationwide safety stand down.
The one-liners are inserted on pages randomly, without any context, and may have gone unnoticed for so long because Flightfax’ readership dwindled to just over 1,500 subscribers of as the summer 2015 edition — a fraction of the readership of most military blogs.
In an email to Task & Purpose, Michael J. Negard, the director of communication and public affairs for U.S. Army Combat Readiness, said they have discontinued the use of jokes in Flightfax, “[i]n an attempt to apply stricter editorial guidelines to ensure all content is aligned to its core purpose of preventing accidental loss.”
That said, we pulled pages from Flightfax below to highlight some of our favorite jokes hidden within the magazine’s pages.
From the latest issue: Number 51, September - December 2015
From Issue Number 50, June - August 2015
From Issue Number 46, February 2015
From Issue Number 45, January 2015
From Issue Number 43, November 2014
UPDATE: This article was updated to incorporate a statement from the director of communication and public affairs for U.S. Army Combat Readiness. (1/25/2016; 2:47 pm)
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton
At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.
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.
A photo shared by Hoda Muthana on her now-closed @ZumarulJannaTwitter account. (Twitter/ZumarulJannah)
The State Department announced Wednesday that notorious ISIS bride Hoda Muthana, a U.S.-born woman who left Alabama to join ISIS but began begging to return to the U.S. after recently deserting the terror group, is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return home.
A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.
"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.
Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."