A picture is worth a thousand words. In this instance, all 1,000 of those words are “fuck.” US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Russo.
Now don’t let the title confuse you — we think military service is a great thing. There is no higher calling or more noble deed than being of service to others, and the men and women who choose to do so are truly the best of us. While military service is an honorable profession, sometimes people forget that it is still a profession. And just like in any other job, sometimes you have shitty days that make you second-guess signing on the dotted line.
Military service is tough, and you’d be lying if you said that you didn’t have a few moments in your career where you thought, “What the fuck am I doing here?” Every service member has his moments of doubt. It happens. However, not every service member is photographed during those moments of deep regret — but some are, and frankly, the photos are pure gold.
Here are 10 photos of service members (likely) regretting their decisions.
The Marine Corps is known for its tough training. Apparently, this brave Marine signed up for “Experience Your Worst Nightmare Level 1,” and you can see the regret in her eyes. We heard that Level 2 is getting choked out while on fire.
The military is all about efficiency, which is why you made this exact face every time you pulled your ruck off a perfectly good truck and carried it to a destination you could have just driven to. Efficiency.
Pushups have the weird ability to both increase your chest strength while also making you regret every decision you ever made that led you to doing them. Do enough pushups and you’ll regret being born.
There are two questions you never ask in the military: “Is there anything else to do?” and “What’s this made out of?” Just shut up, eat your catwich, and try to look busy when the CO walks by.
Family Readiness Groups do great things for service members’ families. They put a lot of effort into making events fun and enjoyable for both service members and their families, which is to be commended. That being said, there is also a dark reality to FRG events that no one talks about.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of junior enlisted service members are regularly dunked, pied, and otherwise riddled with silly string and glitter against their wills during these events. It’s a heinous practice that can lead to lasting complications for the Joes. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get glitter off a military uniform?
Your recruiter likely did an excellent job selling your career choice to you without mentioning any of the job-specific hazards that come along with it. Case in point, MPs in the military have to be tasered themselves to receive Taser certification. Is it worth it? For us, yes. Thank you for your sacrifice.
Okay, we’re not entirely sure why this service member elected to cover just one eye. Maybe it’s part of the drill, but you can tell by her “Well, shit” expression how much it helped.
You can tell by this Marine’s expression that he’s in the throes of deep regret … or he’s passing out. Who knows? Rumor has it that the Marine choking him completed “Experience Your Worst Nightmare Level 3 — Paper Cut Fighting.” He’s not a man to be messed with.
And in this case, the dream looks a bit more like a nightmare. Like we said before, the military is all about efficiency. Why use two sets of legs when you could use just one?
As a former medic, I can personally attest to seeing numerous soldiers consider running away to Mexico after receiving an NPA. Personally, I’d say it’s not that bad after your 10th or 11th time doing it. By then, your nose, gag reflex, and soul have become completely desensitized to it and everything else.
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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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