Marine Corps veteran and unofficial life coach Jack Mandaville has all the right answers for all the toughest questions. Composite by Coffee or Die Magazine.
I’m thinking about joining the military but don’t know which branch to choose. Any suggestions?
Howdy, Michael Martinez-McMillan!
Oh boy, that’s a pretty heavy responsibility you just laid on me and, to be perfectly honest with you, I’m already starting to resent you a bit for hoisting that kind of pressure on me. But because I’m a professional and also need the money so I can pay my taxes this year, I will finish this column.
Let’s do this in alphabetical order.
Air Force: The biggest takeaway I personally experienced with the United States Air Force was that everybody was always really nice to me when I would interact with them during AFE (Armed Forces Entertainment) tours, which is all I can ask for after years of allowing women to talk down to me once they realize I’m not as exciting as I portray myself online and they’ll be relegated to a life of going to bed at 9 p.m. and me cooking the same six dishes every week with that one day on Sundays that I prefer to just lay on my couch and eat McDonald’s while rewatching The Crown on Netflix for the 14th time.
You’ll be in a branch of service that seems to harness a healthy work-life balance for its personnel, especially if you become a drone pilot. Dude, think about it, you spend a few hours in a nice air-conditioned facility just nukin’ noobs in a third-world country that we invaded under dubious legal justifications like it’s a damn video game — all while chowing down on some gourmet veal and caviar from one of those top-notch Air Force chow halls.
Then you’ll go home at 5 p.m. and kiss your beautiful Portuguese wife that you met while you were stationed in the Azores, and she will do all sorts of wild Portuguese massages on you because of the hard day you’ve had, and then you go and tuck your half-Portuguese kids into bed and look at them with awe because you just know they’re going to grow up to be wealthy professional soccer players, being that they’re half-Portuguese and all. Then you go back to the bedroom, and your wife does some insane ancient Iberian Portuguese sex acts on you, and you’re super tired after all that sex so she whips you up a late-night snack called a Portucheeseburger, which is basically a Portuguese cheeseburger.
You make a silly joke about how you would like “Moor” cheeseburgers, which she gets and laughs hard at because it’s referencing the Moorish presence on the Iberian Peninsula from roughly the 8th to 13th centuries. And as a Portuguese person, she understands her people’s history and appreciates humor about it because it’s been long enough that you can joke about that period now.
She does the dishes, and it’s back to the bedroom where you both say nice things to each other while you slowly drift asleep together. She has literally never talked down to you once in your nine years of marriage, and she respects that you CHOOSE to turn in your taxes on the last day of the deadline every year because Portuguese women are genetically built to be understanding.
After that, you get a healthy 10 hours of sleep and your Portuguese wife has already got the kids ready and off to school and has an incredibly large traditional Portuguese breakfast waiting for you with a big cup of Black Rifle Coffee and 1% milk to start your day out right. You finish the breakfast, take a dump, use your standard European bidet, watch a couple of episodes of One Tree Hill while your wife is on the Peloton maintaining that incredible Portuguese body of hers, then it’s off to work where you’ll start everything over.
That’s the Air Force in a nutshell.
Army: Watch The Hurt Locker.
Coast Guard: Watch that one movie with Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner.
Marines: Watch Avatar.
Navy: Watch Battleship.
Space Force: Oh man, do you remember that time Donald Trump was trying to explain what Space Force was going to be and he said it was going to be “separate but equal” to the Air Force, and he probably unintentionally said one of the most racist things a sitting US President has ever said since they allowed Woodrow Wilson to give a radio address?
I hope this helped, Michael Martinez-McMillan!
I love you,
Jack Manford Mandaville I
Read Next: Dear Jack: I Got Yelled at for Walking on the Grass
Jack Mandaville is a contributing editor at Coffee or Die Magazine. He liked being a Marine, but loves being a civilian that does commentary on military culture because there’s no real sacrifice involved. He’s a satirical writer, entertainer, and amateur provocateur. His only real love outside of his work opportunities is falling asleep to Netflix.
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