Army life can’t be easy. In addition to the whole “very high chance you will end up dead” thing, you’ve gotta deal with drill sergeants yelling at you all the time. What a bummer.
Maybe at least you can get a few jokes in?
Stand at attention for these tales of military hilarity from the troops of Reddit.
1. You’re not yourself when you’re hungry
Mid 80’s in Marine Boot Camp.
Got a letter from mom. She desperately wanted to send her #1 Son something. I mailed back “Don’t. Last guy who got something got bent while the Instructors shared it and the rest of us watched.”
I’ll give her this, she’s clever.
She sent me ONE HUNDRED AND SEVEN Snickers bars. One for each of the 103 recruits, and 4 for the drill instructors.
We picked up a 5th DI that week.
They made me open this big heavy a** package I got in front of them. That was the first time I’d heard them laugh.
I got bent up front while 102 recruits and 5 DI’s watched and slowly enjoyed their Snickers bars.
I still hate Snickers.
2. Giddy with excitement
Context: in army basic training, anything said to a drill sergeant needs to end with their title. Yes, drill sergeant. No, drill sergeant.
So early into basic our drill sergeant was handing out rifles. He asks my battle buddy for his serial number. Battle buddy rattles it off.
So the drill sergeant, not having heard his title given, asks him “who the f**k do you think you’re speaking to? A drill sergeant? An a**hole? A d**khead?”
My buddy, realizing he forgot the title and now fully flustered goes to say “apologies, drill sergeant,” but instead says “apologies, d**khead.”
Both their eyes got wide at the same time in totally different ways. The private realized he may not survive what comes next. The drill sergeant is giddy with excitement that a private just called him a d**khead to his face.
– [deleted user]
3. “I don’t like her either”
Not an instructor, but was a recruit.
Me and another recruit were in the hall putting away the marching flags when my Petty Officer 2nd class strode up to us. He was the hard a** of the bunch, but he had his moments. He looked at us and then at the door guard and whispered to us “Watch this.” He approached the door guard and screamed in his face: “WHO IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE RDC?” (Recruit Division Commander)
The door guard panicked and muttered he liked them all. He screamed “BULLS**T!” before walking off with a grin. A couple hours later, he did the same thing to our sister division, but apparently that door guard prepared herself.
PO: “WHO IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE RDC?”
DG without missing a beat: “I DON’T KNOW WHO SHE IS, BUT THE PETTY OFFICER IN (different division) IS PRETTY RUDE!”
PO just as fast: “I DON’T LIKE HER EITHER!”
Then they both turned away while everyone tried not to laugh.
4. Up chucks
“Sir! This recruit respectfully requests to go throw up!”
We were in the middle of a “intensive training” session. I allowed it, he ran to the bathroom, loudly emptied his stomach, ran back to me and said “Sir! This recruit respectfully requests to resume intensive training!”
And he went right back into push-ups. He did well.
5. A special accent
Standing in formation at Fort Knox about to head to the range and everyone needs their gloves.
One private comes out without them and the DS screams “private where the f**k are your gloves?” In this thick tennessee accent he goes “well d**n drill sarnt, I must of done left them sum b**ches up sturs.” The DS (from new jersey) just dies laughing.
6. In loving memory
Not a DS, but a Navy recruit. I was on colors duty and it’s kind of windy in Chicago.
One time, we did not tie the fastening ropes well enough so the flag ended up half mast. Our RDC retrieves me and the other recruit from class an hour later and proceeds to yell at us and asks, “who the f**k died?” The other recruit, without missing a beat, says, “Chris Farley.” (which was technically true cause he died a few days before).
The RDC had to leave to compose himself, before proceeding to have us stand at attention for a few hours while all the other ship RDCs came by and made fun/yelled at us, making Farley and SNL jokes.
– [deleted user]
7. This is my crutch
I remember when I was in boot camp we were in the squad bay cleaning our rifles. One recruit was in crutches and so he was just sitting down basically watching us clean ours. Drill Instructor walks over and asks wtf he is doing.
Recruit: “This recruit doesn’t have a rifle”
DI: “No s**t. Start cleaning your crutch recruit”
Recruit: “The crutch sir?”
DI: “Yes now clean it and say the crutch creed”
Recruit: *Starts to brush his crutch
“This is my crutch. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
Without me, my crutch is useless. Without my crutch, I am useless-”
DI: “Wtf. Shut the h**l up recruit”
Drill Instructor had to walk away and put his hat in front of his face so we couldn’t see him laugh. We all had a good laugh about it that night during square away time.
There are plenty more stories that made us laugh once boot camp was over.
8. Nobody likes a show-off
We were on a casual run for PT nice and easy 3km.
Finish the run, s**tpump pvt x walks up to the sgt conducting the run and says “sgt when does the real run start? “
Thought he was hilarious.
Ended up running 12km that day. F**k that guy.
9. What’s up?
Doing a ruck march in basic training, wearing the patrol cap since we are at Heat Cat 5…aka it’s really hot outside.
There’s a kid walking with his hat sort of coming off his head, with the brim pointed upward.
Recruit is told that the hat must be worn where the cap band is parallel to the marching service.
Recruit calmly states that we’re currently walking uphill.
– [deleted user]
10. Tear ’em aparty
One of my buddies has some amazing stories from DS time.
My favorite was about a pair of trainees walking down the sidewalk towards an officer. The one trainee (A) was carrying a large box with both hands, and the other (B) was walking to his right and had nothing in his hands. The officer was getting ready to return the salute he knew was incoming, but the two trainees were visibly freaking out – how could A salute with both hands occupied?
B got the bright idea to salute with his right hand, appropriately, and to salute for his buddy with his left hand and a resounding “GOOD MORNING SIR”. This really needs the visual, but picture a Ginyu Force/Usain Bolt arm position.
The drill sergeants were falling over each other to go tear them apart, stifling laughter the whole time.
11. A conscript!
Not a DS but doing my best to translate ranks etc. from Finnish military: I served as an instructor for new conscripts during the latter half of my own conscript service.
We were testing how well the new conscripts had learned the ranks of our military. They would wait in line and when it was their turn I’d show them a piece of paper with the symbol of a rank in it. They would address me properly, tell their name and say the rank. For example: “Sir Corporal sir, conscript last name, a Captain.”
The rank depicted on the piece of paper I showed was Corporal, which was also my rank and thus on my jacket, very visibly. The new conscript first addressed me “Sir general sir”. I raised an eyebrow and he quickly tried to fix his mistake: “sir second general sir” (a rank that would be right below general if it existed, which it does not).
The conscript behind him made a chuckle so he fixed his mistake again saying “Sir corporal sir, conscript last name, I don’t remember the rank you are showing”. I said “You just said it.” He went quiet in thought for a few seconds, then happily said “a conscript!”
12. Just resting
Obligatory not a drill sergeant. But I was US Infantry, serving in Korea.
We were part of a mixed US/Korea unit, and during a briefing, one of the Korean soldiers fell asleep. Our sergeant wakes him up and begins screaming at him. The soldier said “No Sergeant, you got it all wrong. In Korea, it’s a sign of respect to listen with your eyes closed, because then you have no other distractions.”
The sergeant bought it, and as soon as the meeting was over and the sergeant was out of earshot, we all cracked up.
13. Stick together
Our DS called us a bunch of a**holes who were not team players. So we came up with a cadence that had us yelling “week to week. Cheek to cheek. Us a**holes stick together”.
The DS would try to hide his smiles when we pulled that one out.
14. I scream, you scream
Marching the troops back to the barracks after lunch, I noticed a recruit with a white stain on his hip pocket. I halted the platoon and got in the recruits face.
Me: “recruit, that white stain on your shirt better be because you are excited for this afternoons training”
Recruit “no Sgt. I am saving my snack for later”
Me: “what snack are you saving?”
Recruit “ice cream”
15. Tossin’ bombs
Obligatory not a DS:
We were on the grenade training range in groups of 3. This is where there are various stations where you and your group have to throw dummy grenades at things.
When you’re the one throwing, you were supposed to yell to your group: “Cover me while I throw my grenade!”
This one guy from the south with an accent to match yelled “Cover me while I throw this here grenade!” before he lobbed it.
I had never seen the DS monitoring that station laugh so hard.
Man. Even army JOKES are terrifying.
Do you have any funny stories from a time in the service?
Tell us in the comments.