Monday, January 16, 2017

The Meaning Behind Army Badges

Do you even stolen valor, bro?

What your badges really say about you

A few notes on badges and tabs and what they are saying to people around you. *Updated with CIB:

Air Assault Badge: I wanted a badge but did not want to put in any effort. Like, at all...seriously. I even tried to fail the obstacle course, just to see if I could and the damn Air Assault Sergeant nodded off a bit just as I completely skipped the confidence ladder climb thing. On the Hand and Arm Signal test, I pretended to have a seizure, only to be told that I got the “hover” signal correct. I am pretty sure I could skip tomorrow completely and still pass.

Parachutists Badge (Why is this not called the Airborne Badge?): I enlisted for this because I thought being airborne was going to be cool. After all, Band of Brothers was a badass series. However, it only took five minutes into the school to realize how worthless and out of touch with reality it is. Seriously, it could get taught in three days, ground day, tower day, jump day. Further, why is this even a school and why are so many people airborne qualified? Seems like a giant waste of money to me. The 82nd Airborne set me straight. It was an attitude, they explained, an airborne attitude, and it made us better than the rest of the Army. Oh, well in that case, I set out to find my inner airborne attitude. I looked around my barracks room, the laundry room, and even the common area to see if anyone left theirs, but I had no luck. Determined, I went to my team leader to see where I could buy this elusive attitude. He sent me to the company supply room with an additional request for canopy lights, which sent me to my squad leader, who sent me to the arms room, who sent me to my Platoon Sergeant, who sent me to the First Sergeant, who sent me to the Command Sergeant Major, who called me a retard and told me to go away. Undeterred, I still seek my airborne attitude and with all my zero combat jumps into Iraq and Afghanistan, only wish to find it that much more. If you should come across it, please send it to PFC Jim Snuffie, 123 Ardennes Rd, Fort Bragg, NC. Until then, I shall endeavor to persevere without it.

Expert Infantryman’s badge: The mark of a man...for some reason. How and why did it get that name again? It has nothing to do with being a man and everything to do with how many times you get hooked up during testing...I mean, how well you can memorize the needed material and pass the tests.

Combat Infantryman's Badge: I could have earned this...or I could be a complete shitbag that never left the wire. Thanks to my command and their award policies, you'll never know and I will tell tales of my heroism for life...especially at my next duty station. After all, I am a hero, if only coach had put me in... Additionally, If you are an E-7 or higher, this paired with your end of tour Bronze Star will make you look like the true badass you are in your head. Just never say anything around someone with a "V" device or the guys you served with over there or anyone with missing limbs because, well, you know why...Oh, and you'll never know if I have my EIB or not...until testing that is, and then I'll be on profile. After all, who needs an EIB when you are a genuine war hero?

Pathfinder: I am a complete nerd and it still took me three times to finally pass sling load inspections and memorize the ceiling of an AH-188 Attack Chinook. But now I am qualified for...more sling load inspections? And landing zones? Do you even really need to be qualified for that? In the real world. Can’t you just find an open area and make sure your radio works? Isn’t Iraq one big landing zone? Did I pass?

Sniper...nothing (We do not have a badge because then the Army would look like Girl Scouts. I was seriously told that to my face when a friend of mine pushed for a badge to be considered.): I like to pretend I am a badass, but really there is little required to earn this except to be in the right place at the right time and be able to breathe. However, thanks to Tom Berenger, I will be looked at like a Super Navy Seal Ranger Delta sniper by just merely uttering the word, sniper, around civilians. Also, being sniper qualified will allow me to be in a constant fight with my NCO support channel about the length of my hair until my ETS date because, you know, I am a Battalion asset damn it!! You guys have no clue how valuable my skillset is...What’s that, no I did not shoot a 23 on last record qual...Oh, you asked the training room? I mean I did, but it was really windy that day...and my rifle wasn’t zeroed...and broken...and I was using M16 sights.

Sapper Tab: My tab is just as hard to get as a Ranger tab. I’m a badass too. My school is a whole month a row!! Maybe someone will mistake this for a Ranger Tab? Like, from far away or something….

Ranger Tab: I once sucked a dick for a minimum of two months and even though I hated it the entire time, I would not quit doing it for some reason. It was exhausting and I got so hungry. But it made me understand myself so much should totally do it!! Also, this tab requires you to gather with other Ranger’s before, during, and after missions to discuss boring stories that no one wants to hear...including other Rangers. Later, as a Platoon Sergeant, First Sergeant, or Sergeants Major, you will make your soldiers sit and listen to the insufferable stories of hardship you endured no matter how hard they squirm to get away.

Now, before anyone gets too butthurt, this was all in good fun so please do not take this or yourself so serious. To be clear, all Army schools are tough to pass and everyone should be proud of their accomplishments. Anyone who earned any of these should wear them with rightful pride as they have achieved something few people even try to attend, let alone pass. With that being said, if anyone has any extra airborne attitude, can I bum some? And some Copenhagen? Comment below if you agree or disagree and let me know if I missed anything or how much you hate me for this. Feel free to share with your friends if you find this funny.

*Disclaimer: This article is satire and not meant to be taken seriously. The author has not earned all, or maybe any, of the badges he is discussing in the article. He is a lazy turd who barely completed his time in service honorably. Still, he hopes to someday find his airborne attitude.

Read more badges here.