The military is all about discipline and control. It’s also about endurance. Recruits are put through the most grueling tasks and painful training regiments, hoping it will toughen them up for the brutal world outside. But sometimes, the punishments the military personnel dish out for errors committed are hilarious. They’re sometimes so inventive they serve as comic relief to the other soldiers.
In an online forum, members talk about some of the most comedic punishments they’ve seen. Here are 12 of them.
1. Hat of Gold
A user on the platform talked about a couple of guys who hated wearing their hats. So, each time they were out, they “forgot” to put it on. A sergeant made them “wear” the other guy’s hand as a cover for days. He said they looked ridiculous and miserable while holding the other man’s bald head. The imagery here is quite hilarious. It surely made them never “forget” wearing their hats again.
Another user had a tradition in their unit. When someone was new to their unit and went on their first summer exercise, the newcomer would need to carry a rock around wherever they went. They were not to let anyone else have this rock. One guy kept losing his rock, so after the third or fourth time, the platoon sergeant gave him something that, according to the user, could only be described as a small boulder. He had to lug that around for a week and ensure it was never lost again.
One commenter said they once had a ladybug land on their desk during a morning inspection. When a staff member found it, they made him write a 500-word biography about who the bug was. They also had to ensure the bug was in good health for every morning inspection that week.
4. Work Around the Clock
Another story on the forum was about a soldier coming late to everything. He was never out of bed on time and in line for inspection early enough. The sergeants pulled a clock off the wall and made him wear it around his neck like a necklace wherever he went. He looked like the rapper Flava Flav, and the sergeants constantly screamed at him, “Flava Flav, what time is it?”
5. Sent Home to Mama
A newly promoted user to sergeant was on pre-barracks inspection duties before a new Command sergeant major’s (CSM) barracks inspection. The new CSM wanted the troops to have their rooms decorated and lived in. Everything was going fine as the sergeant went around inspecting rooms. When he arrived at the last room of the evening, it happened that the soldier there had nothing that wasn’t issued to him. There were no new pillows or blankets, and his fridge was empty. He had sent all his money back home so his mother could care for his four siblings. The user and another sergeant ordered him to come with them. The commander and others donated over $1000, which they forced the soldier to use to buy food, a TV, and other items, just so his room would look good and he would be comfortable.
6. Military Bard
Another soldier couldn’t get his act together in the squad. Even the simple things were hard for him. When the squad found out he was a former opera singer and also fluent in German, they made him write and sing opera songs about his errors and mishaps. It was a hilarious experience to witness a soldier singing self-deprecating songs in a marching formation. Sometimes, the company would bark “German style!” and he’d seamlessly switch his lyrics to German.
7. Wasted Oxygen
Someone in the group said they remember a soldier being sent to the nearest tree to sincerely apologize for wasting the excellent oxygen the tree worked so hard to produce. A commenter echoed the story with theirs about when they had been on a twelve-mile hike, and at mile 4, they realized the assistant gunner forgot the tripod for the M60. The sergeant made him apologize to every tree for the remaining 8 miles.
8. Picture Perfect
A soldier kept losing his ID or leaving it next to the computer. The chief “borrowed” it, took it to a print shop, and had it blown up to about three feet across. Then he cut the picture out and made the soldier hold the enormous ID with his face in the cut-out hole.
9. Set in Stone
An archeologist in the group said they often work at military bases. Once, they came across a large rock feature that spelled out “I Will Not Throw Rocks” in small rocks. It was hilarious to think about the soldier who spent all that time spelling out his resolve not to throw rocks anymore.
10. Rock Painter
One commenter confessed that he was ordered to tan rocks. He’d lay the rocks out and flip them every 15 minutes to ensure they got tanned evenly. The commenter reminded everyone at the end of his comment that rocks don’t tan.
11. Pass the Body
In another story, a user narrated how a medic warned him and others not to relieve themselves in the bushes as it was unhygienic. The following day, the medic found human waste in the grass under a nearby tree. He called them all to form a line. The first soldier was near the excrement, and the last was at the closest toilet. They transported the “dead body” back to its grave by passing it along using their bare hands.
12. Drink to Death
One member reported an incident where they were weighing out bags for deployment, and one soldier’s bags were overweight. When one of the petty officers inspected the bags, he found about 20 mini bottles of maple syrup. Rather than bring his gun sling, he had tried to smuggle in syrup. The officers made him drink all the bottles. He couldn’t drink them all, though. About four bottles in, he became sick.
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