I got this in my in-box and I feel that it needs to be posted for all to see. I didn’t write it and I don’t take credit for it, but damn I wish I did and I wish I could because this is sheer genius. Whoever actually did write this should get an award of some sort… like a free beer or something.
Many of you may have seen the original Snake Model of the Differential Theory of US Armed Forces upon encountering a snake in the AO. That was written when we didn’t need to call what we did “warrior training” or call ourselves “warriors”. Today that model has changed, however- per below:
The Updated Snake Model
Differential Theory of US Armed Forces (Snake Model) upon encountering a snake in the Area of Operations (AO)- updated version
1. Infantry: GPS is down, therefore doesn’t find the snake AO as they don’t do training anymore on how to use a lensatic compass. Re-adjusts black beret in frustration, then feels good about self because, as the beret denotes, they have undergone “transformation”.
2. Airborne: Comes into theater on an airplane, but doesn’t jump in. Is pretty much indistinguishable from Infantry, but decides to differentiate themselves by ruthlessly enforcing the reflective belt rule, the no sex rule, the no alcohol rule, and shuts down salsa night. Only about 21% of their force ever see a snake while they are in the AO, and that just spooks them. Leadership decide snake ops are more dangerous than jumping and require a general officer to approve operations. Soldiers spend their time filming themselves dancing and uploading their vids to YouTube.
3. Armor: Runs over fake snakes that the Airborne have put on the roads to confuse the tread heads. Giggles, runs over the fake snakes again. Puts entire unit in for the Combat Action Badge (CAB).
4. Aviation: Has Global Positioning Satellite coordinates to snake. Can’t find snake. Returns to base for refuel, crew rest and manicure. (some things never change…)
5. Ranger: Fast-ropes onto objective where snakes are thought to be. Secures outer area for special mission unit (SMU) to kill/capture snakes. SMU kills all snakes on objective, to include women and children snakes and then leaves. Rangers exfil 24 hours later. All get CIB. Go back to base and walk around like they are SMU members, since they no longer cut their hair short. Get yelled at by Airborne Sergeant Major for not saluting and for having hands in pockets when it is 0 degrees outside. Now they know how SF feel.
6. Field Artillery: Deployed into theater like infantry. Can’t figure out which end the bullet comes from on their rifle. Complains that they can’t fire their cannons because they didn’t bring them. Are made the bitches of the infantry. Spend a lot of time with anyone who will listen- explaining the physics of indirect fire. Get frustrated with infantry knuckle-dragging attitude. Everyone gets a CAB.
7. Special Forces: Have been in theater for years after overthrowing bad snake regime, building rapport and winning snakes’ hearts and minds and training them to kill other snakes. Watches as conventional forces arrive, build huge bases and FOBs, inject more generals than the Pentagon has, more colonels than Michael Jackson had surgeries, and more rules and regulations than a communist regime. Is forced to shave beards and wear reflective belts and can’t shoot bad guys unless the bad guys shoot at them while yelling that they hate Americans and promising Global Jihad. Lose more of their soldiers to conventional force negligent discharges than enemy fire. Spend more time saluting conventional officers than planning anti-snake missions.
8. Special Forces NCO: Tapes hand to patrol cap because his hand is usually in salute position on crowded and rank-heavy FOBs. Gets yelled at by Conventional Sergeant Major. Tries to go on anti-snake mission to get away from FOB. Is turned down by risk assessment.
9. Conventional Sergeant Major: Walks around huge FOBs inspecting for important things like if people are saluting and if safety belts are on the right shoulder. Encourages commanders to pass new rules that require all soldiers to low-crawl while on FOBs as walking is deemed too dangerous according to recently-updated risk assessments. Labels all activities done in Snake AO as “highly dangerous” and thus requiring General Officer approval prior to waking up every morning.
10. Combat Engineer: Studies COIN. Realizes, even though our doctrine says not to hide on FOBs, they will be busy building FOBs. Prepares in-depth doctrinal thesis in obscure 5 series Field Manual about how building more FOBs will win the war. Complains that maneuver forces don’t understand how to properly build FOBs.
11. Navy SEAL: Is confused once they realize that SOCOM deployed them for political reasons to a landlocked country. Can’t wrap mind around the fact they don’t have a submarine to exfil to. Spends time on FOBs trying to impress the ladies by inviting them to watch Charlie Sheen movies. Hollywood still makes fantasy film in which SEALs kill Muslim extremist snakes.
12. Navy: Deploys into theater and fills jobs the infantry wouldn’t even take. Complains about the infantry training they received prior to deploying- saying they didn’t sign up for hardship like that. Complains that they shouldn’t be participating in operations in a landlocked country. Still makes presentation to Senate Appropriations Committee on how Naval forces are the most cost-effective means of anti-snake force projection, even though they didn’t see any snakes.
13. Marine: Kills snake by accident while looking for souvenirs. Local civilians demand removal of all US forces from Area of Operations. Leadership declare that they should be allowed to take over operations for the entire snake AO, because “inside every snake is a Marine, waiting to get out”. Snakes begin to shave scales in a high and tight manner and instead of hissing make noises that sound curiously like “hoo-rah”.
14. Marine Recon: Provides the foundation for a new, special, elite, Special-Ops Marine unit, while not admitting that regular Marines are not special. Deploys into theater and kills snakes just like regular Marines. Gets thrown out of country. Comes back with a whole battalion and sits everyone on FOBs. Wishes they were back in the “regular” Marines again.
15. Combat Controllers: Nothing sexy due to massive limits on air ops as our snake doctrine recommends we concentrate on the “will of the snakes”.
16. Para-Rescue Jumper: See #15.
17. Supply: Pays snakes to transport supplies, as it violates risk assessments to travel where snakes live. Snakes take money and buy bombs to blow-up FOBs. Bombs blow-up supplies, which causes them to pay more money to snakes to transport more supplies, and so on- in a circle it goes. All loggies deployed to snake AO get CABs.
18. Transport pilot: Is too busy flying VIPs and general officers around to transport anything. Forwards all supply requests to supply. Even more money to snakes to transport supplies. Since more supplies are required in theater, more generals are required to approve the requests. More generals in theater mean more supply requests forwarded to supply, and so on- in a circle it goes. All transport pilots get General Officer coins.
19. F-15 pilot: Mis-identifies SF and good snakes as bad snakes and requests clearance to engage. Rare clearance is given and SF frantically calls pilot off. Pilot later blames Army lack of understanding of Air Force in 70 page staff college paper that gets him promoted to general and an achievement ribbon. Goes on to command air cell that clears other F-15s to fire on other good snakes and SF. One of his pilots also writes a staff college paper that blames the Army… and so on…
20. F-16 pilot: Finds snake village, drops two CBU-87 cluster bombs, and misses snake target, but gets direct hit on a snake wedding ceremony 500 KM East of snake village due to weather. Claims that a strategic bombing campaign will enable it in the future to kill all snakes and achieve a revolution in military affairs. Writes paper in staff college… you know the story…
21. AH-64 Apache pilot: More than likely the majority of these jokers are working as staff officers in some 30-general officer headquarters on some massive base that used to be in a lovely location- but since has been plowed of all trees and ripped of all grass and is now a dusty, rock-filled, tent-covered, and connex-heavy base that DOES have a Green Bean coffee place. Gets pissed off because all the NATO guys can drink, but the former pilots have to meet in secret so that they don’t end their careers by having less alcohol than the average 12 year old in Germany on a Sunday. Gets a NATO medal and a Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) for never building a power point slide in 7 months that didn’t need corrections by an O-6 U.S. Colonel. Doesn’t really believe there are any snakes in the AO.
22. UH-60 Blackhawk pilot: see #18.
23. B-52 pilot: All B-52s are deadlined due to lack of spare parts. See #21.
24. Missile crew: Missiles? Nothing mentioned about missiles in COIN manual. See artillery.
25. Intelligence officer: Spends entire deployment in air-conditioned, windowless, staff office in large, meaningless FOB. Reads reports from the field and does analysis on the reports that all in the field who actually interact with snakes disagree with. Attempts to justify job by disagreeing with leaders in the field in front of their boss during weekly Video Teleconferences (VTCs). Puts all officers in for MSMs if they are still breathing oxygen at the end of their tour.
26. Judge Advocate General (JAG): Answers the phone with “No, now what’s the question?” Doesn’t believe forces are allowed to do anything in theater, much less interact with snakes. Works feverishly on prosecuting infantry who have interacted with snakes who are now dead for some reason. Puts all JAG soldiers in for Bronze Stars.
27. NATO soldiers: Import tons of alcohol along with national caveats that make it impossible for them to interact with snakes unless they are training good snakes on a highly-protected base. When one of their soldiers gets killed while driving intoxicated, country pulls their forces out of snake AO. Snakes miss the alcohol, although snakes aren’t known to drink alcohol. U.S. females miss them due to their exotic accents and their forward demeanor (unbounded as it is by sexual harassment paranoia and sexual sensitivity training). They all get NATO medals and the lowest U.S. award possible.
28. Contractors: Fought snakes in Vietnam when they were commie snakes. Work a 9 to 5 job and get Fridays off. Follow the contract closer than a union follows a break schedule. Doesn’t build any capability in the snakes worth mentioning, but manages to make a lot of money. Loses contract- not due to a failure to deliver- but because another contractor (who is worse) bids lower. Protests the loss of the contract, which sets back anti-bad-snake operations at least a year. Loses contract in the end, but gains another contract as U.S. forces draw-down and requirements stay the same. All contractors get bonuses and 401-k growth due to their companies being the only companies on Wall Street making money that didn’t get a bailout.
29. General officers: Sign off on new guidance once in theater that encourages forces to engage with snakes, live among them, build rapport, and coordinate with civilians. Then signs off on policy that labels engaging with snakes, living among them, building rapport, and coordinating with civilians as high risk and requiring a general officer to sign off on prior to every instance of conducting said activities. Berates subordinates for not engaging with snakes, living among them, building rapport, and coordinating with civilians. Gets promoted no matter what happens while they are here.
Good stuff. Goooood stuff.
H/T to Robin the SF Medic/firefighter/male model.