Illustration by Ben Cantell for Coffee or Die Magazine.
Here’s the situation.
It’s 2100 and you’re at the bar trying to unwind with some fellow soldiers when a heavily intoxicated man staggers up to your table and starts giving you an earful of his “I would have joined the Army but…” stories.
Somewhere in between “punching a drill sergeant” and “I black out when I’m mad,” you realize this shit is never going to end, so you politely ask the drunk to leave and he doesn’t take it well. The inebriated asshole springs to his feet and starts shouting. It’s not long before a group of guys with skinny gold chains and backward hats pulled over their eyebrows start to gather behind the drunk and you realize where this is going.
You’re about to get into a bar fight.
If the Army has taught you anything, it’s that fights are often a numbers game — and you notice you’re one man short. All of your buddies are at the bar with you so you pull out your unit call roster and go down the list, desperately searching for one more set of hands to come back you up. But how do you choose?
Every soldier in the Army is tough, granted, but some military occupational specialties create tougher soldiers than others. Infantry typically gets credit for being the toughest, and that’s fair, but keep in mind that it’s 2100 and by that hour most infantrymen are too drunk to function. You’re going to have to call for backup from one of the Army’s other, lesser-known, tough MOSs. Don’t know where to look? We’ve got you covered.
Here are the top five Army MOSs to bring to a bar fight.
This absolute tank of a human is Chef Andre Rush: a United States Army veteran, White House chef, and the only man in the world who can crack an egg with a glance. US Army photo by Spc. Courtney Lindsay.
Got some eggs to scramble? If so, there’s no better MOS to back you up in a bar fight than a cook. They typically burn your food, but now they’re here to burn your enemies with boiling hot grease from the fryers. Yes, that’s attempted murder. No, they don’t care. Cooks don’t fuck around.
Cooks are a smart call in a bar fight as they are completely in their element in a bar. They know where to find cooking utensils and are a sight to behold with the culinary weapons of opportunity. A pissed-off cook with a spatula and a grill brush is twice as combat effective as your typical infantryman. Call a cook next time you need your bacon pulled out of the fire.
A dental specialist collecting a "trophy" from someone they knocked out in a bar fight, probably. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin Whitley.
Aside from the natural bloodlust that affects all of those who are in the field of dentistry, Army dental specialists would be a valuable asset in a bar fight for three primary reasons.
The first is that anyone who plays with human teeth for a living is terrifying. They will surely strike fear into the hearts of your opponents. Second is that dental specialists have exceptional grip strength thanks to regularly pulling energy-drink-rotted teeth every day. The third and final reason is that if you lose a tooth in the fight, they could probably hot glue that sucker back in right there on the spot. Handy!
An HR specialist chucks a frag at your leave packet, probably. US Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Gary A. Witte.
Remember back in school, people used to warn you not to “mess with the quiet kid”? Well, meet the quiet kid of the Army. HR specialists spend 95% of their workweek getting accused of losing soldiers’ paperwork and the other 5% actually losing it. There isn’t one HR specialist in the Army who doesn’t have high blood pressure and a resting heart rate of about 180.
They’re ticking time bombs ready to explode at any given moment. They’ll also be a big help when it comes time to lose the Article 15 you’ll inevitably get for public intoxication and fighting. HR specialists are tough, volatile, and morally flexible — all excellent reasons to call them next time you’re in a scrap.
This is the only officer you’ll find on this list because this is the only officer in the United States Army that you’re gonna find drunk at a bar on a Wednesday night. Don’t judge them. You can’t even begin to imagine the crazy shit a urologist in the United States Army has seen.
An Army urologist spends their days confronting some of the most disgusting horrors a soldier could possibly endure — especially if they work anywhere near Fayetteville. They are fearless and desensitized and know exactly where to hit a man to hurt him. We’ve never seen a urologist in a fight, but we can imagine that their moves would likely be crotch-based.
“Let he who cast the first stone catch these hands.” Definitely not the motto of the US Army Chaplain Corps, but it should be.
If you’re about to get into a scrap and you don’t call the chaplain assistant to come back you up, you’re an idiot. These are some of the hardest punchers in the United States Army and are willing to hand out a biblical ass whooping to protect their flock. You thought the Crusades were bad? Call a chaplain assistant next time you’re in a bar fight and wanna see some righteous fury.
A chaplain assistant will protect you from evil by blessing your enemies with divine combos and Hail Mary hooks. Whether you’re fighting a father, a son, or a whole shit ton of drunk assholes, call the chaplain assistant to pass out some pious punishment.
This article first appeared in the Fall 2022 edition of Coffee or Die’s print magazine as "That Guy."
Eric Miller is a former Army Combat Medic from Parkersburg, West Virginia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and has worked with homeless populations and veteran services throughout the state. He is an avid outdoorsman and has recently become interested in woodworking.
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