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Study explores the idea of allowing some military reservists to work from home or be non-deployable

The military’s reserve component has a chronic under-manning problem. A new report from RAND Corp. suggests some ways to fix that, including some ideas that would rock the traditional structure of military service, even for part-timers. What if some reservists could be non-deployable? What if some could work from home, on their computers? What if…

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Study explores the idea of allowing some military reservists to work from home or be non-deployable

The military’s reserve component has a chronic under-manning problem. A new report from RAND Corp. suggests some ways to fix that, including some ideas that would rock the traditional structure of military service, even for part-timers.

What if some reservists could be non-deployable? What if some could work from home, on their computers? What if some worked more than their required one weekend a month, two weeks a year? These are some of the suggestions for plugging those personnel gaps, making reserve service more flexible and attractive to a diminishing number of Americans who qualify in the first place.

“A large and growing segment of the U.S. population is not a primary source of military manpower because of various life choices and conditions,” the report found, echoing a host of senior military officials who have in recent years lamented the small number of young people who are healthy enough, and without a criminal background, for service.

The study presents nine “workforce constructs” that would disrupt how the services’ reserve components and the National Guard operate. They include ideas like telework, part-time activation and even a warrant officer program for chaplains, freeing uniformed religious leaders from the workload of military officers and making joining up more attractive to civilian clergy.

The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act required the Defense Department to look into “alternative force mixes,” so the deputy assistance defense secretary for reserve integration and the office of the assistant defense secretary for manpower and reserve affairs commissioned a report from RAND.

The researchers reviewed existing data, congressional testimony, interviewed some current reservists and compared the U.S.’s reserve component structure to other countries.

One of the most basic issues the reserve component faces, according to the report, is a somewhat outdated model to begin with.

Because the reserves came about in the early 20th century, researchers wrote, it’s still generally structured according to the norms of the time, assuming that men would have a long-held civilian job, free weekends and a spouse at home to pick up the slack while they headed off for drill.

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That isn’t so much the case anymore, so researchers are suggested making reserve service more flexible, and more akin to evolving civilian work models.

“Trends suggest that Americans will continue becoming more accustomed to flexible employment options and will expect them in military service,” according to the report, whether it’s teleworking, flexible schedules or part-time, on-call and seasonal work.

Those options could be more attractive to the kind of tech jobs these potential service members would have in their lives outside of uniform.

“Segments of the U.S. workforce possess some of these skills, but civilians are unlikely to serve in existing military programs because of the manner in which these programs are designed and administered,” according to the study’s assumptions.

And further, those more flexible options might entice existing reservists with those in-demand skills to stay in.

“Many occupations that report potential scheduling or work-life conflict with RC participation include skills that have been identified as in demand across military branches, such as pilots, clergy, cyber-related occupations, and medical scientists and practitioners.”

One of the report’s key suggestions is a type of reserve service dubbed “No Passport Required” ― that is to say, it would create a category of troops who aren’t required to deploy.

The researchers lament the one-size-fits-all minimum physical standards required to serve, and the way they prohibit so many Americans from joining up.

“There is no variation in medical/physical standards even if the typical performance of those specialties are not physically demanding, because of the possibility that any service member may be called upon to deploy, serve in austere conditions, and potentially engage in direct combat,” they wrote.

But if the services “traded” deployability, they would have a larger recruiting pull for the reserves.

That would, of course, clash with recent Defense Department initiatives to increase the number of service members who are ready to deploy. While many of those non-deployables needed simple health checks or other administrative straightening out, there are thousands of others who are or will be on their way out of the services because of long-term illness or injury.

The study authors acknowledged that loosening those rules around deployability, especially in fitness standards, would upend a big part of the military mindset.

“This proposal would require a change in this policy, at least for a subset of specialties, and a larger change in culture away from the expectation of every service member who has to deploy,” the wrote.

Similarly, the study floats the idea of creating “the Telereserves,” a group that can work from home. It could expand interest in reserves service because it would eliminate the travel required for some troops who don’t live close to their units’ physical headquarters, which can turn some off to service.

A subject interviewed for the study laid out the drawbacks.

“One individual we interviewed from an organization that conducts work related to military families stated that telework makes a lot of sense, and it is happening in the rest of the world,” according to the report. “However, the interviewee pointed out that from their experience, security would be the biggest challenge. Sending files, having video and audio connections, and having access to defense systems could present practical barriers to the feasibility of this option.”

Another idea, “Reserves On Demand,” builds on the idea of creating more flexibility in reserve service. Rather than drilling the standard 38 days a year, what if some reservists could be called on for longer stints, but still less of a commitment the periodic active orders that are available now?

And this model would involve an app, like a marketplace for open gigs.

“If a smartphone application were used to solicit volunteers and match RC members with traditional deployments, all manner of requirements could be met with this model.”

The suggestions are not “ready to wear,” researchers wrote, and will need effort to implement them.

“However, we feel that any of them could be implemented, if one or more services agreed that it would be worth applying to solve their particular manpower shortage, and recommend that OSD actively encourage such service-level efforts,” the researchers wrote.

The services should let their reserve commands experiment with alternatives, they added, to see if they might help fill shortfalls.

“For example, if the services identify a problem with cyberoperator retention and believe that alternative work parameters would help alleviate the problem, the appropriate components should be encouraged and authorized to test different approaches (such as those outlined in this report),” they wrote.

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This is the dancing Soviet soldiers Twitter account we never knew we needed

Have you ever tried to drop it low and then just…dropped? If you’re looking to gain the thighs of steel required to not only drop it, but pop it, look no further than these Cold War-era Soviet soldiers leaving it all out on the dance floor. If watching these Soviets perform wildly athletic feats isn’t…

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This is the dancing Soviet soldiers Twitter account we never knew we needed

Have you ever tried to drop it low and then just…dropped? If you’re looking to gain the thighs of steel required to not only drop it, but pop it, look no further than these Cold War-era Soviet soldiers leaving it all out on the dance floor. If watching these Soviets perform wildly athletic feats isn’t mesmerizing enough, viewers can now enjoy the soldiers breaking it down to timeless classics such as Britney Spears’s “Toxic” and The Killer’s “Mr. Brightside,” courtesy of the Twitter account @communistbops. mr brightside – the killers pic.twitter.com/AXgD82WWwN— soviet soldiers dancing (@communistbops) August 30, 2019 Run by an 18-year-old in the U.K., the account traces its roots back to the user’s 20th century Russian history coursework. To fully immerse himself in that world, @communistbops began using some of his free time to listen to the Red Army Choir, he told Slate.com in 2019. The result? A bright spot amid the hellish cesspool that is oftentimes social media. Pulling most of the footage from a YouTube account run in the name of Leonid Kharitonov, a Russian opera singer who died in 2017, the teen has watched “these videos so much now, I kinda remember which dance moves would go best with certain lyrics.” And, like your drunk uncle at a wedding, who, despite doing zero cardio in 20 years, seemingly becomes as nimble as a gazelle as he guzzles his 17th Busch Light, the Soviet soldiers seem impervious to pain and ACL blowouts as they bound around the dance floor. Try not to feel vicarious pain, for example, as two soldiers seemingly re-invent the single-leg squat as the angsty tune of Evanescence’s “Bring me to life” blares. bring me to life – evanescence pic.twitter.com/6ON8V1yJvT— soviet soldiers dancing (@communistbops) September 13, 2020 Sign up for the Early Bird Brief Get the military’s most comprehensive news and information every morning (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. Train for nuclear war and develop legs like a Clydesdale? No wonder McCarthy was so concerned. So, head on over to @communistbops to peruse some of yesteryear’s most phenomenal dance moves set to some of today’s greatest hits.

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Paid parental leave is on the horizon, but feds still have questions

The availability of paid parental leave for federal employees kicks off in just over two weeks, but employees and their representative organizations have informed the Office of Personnel Management that policies surrounding the use of that leave are still unclear or overly restrictive. The leave becomes available for employees that give birth to, have a…

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Paid parental leave is on the horizon, but feds still have questions

The availability of paid parental leave for federal employees kicks off in just over two weeks, but employees and their representative organizations have informed the Office of Personnel Management that policies surrounding the use of that leave are still unclear or overly restrictive. The leave becomes available for employees that give birth to, have a partner give birth to or adopt children on or after Oct. 1, a policy that received the most criticism and confusion in responses to the rule. Many commenters noted that, especially for those expecting the birth of a child, a due date is not a definite estimation, and federal employees that expected to be able to take paid leave may be denied it if they or their partner end up giving birth earlier than the planned due date. The OPM rule is firm on how a birth or placement for adoption must fall in relation to the official start date: “Paid parental leave is available to covered employees only in connection with the birth or placement of a son or daughter that occurs on or after October 1, 2020. Since paid parental leave may not be used prior to the birth or placement involved, paid parental leave may not be used for any period of time prior to October 1, 2020.” But as the Office of Employee Advocacy for the House of Representatives noted in its comments, the rule and its definition of the term “birth” is restrictive in its description of a “living” child, as a child may be born without a heartbeat, but be resuscitated by doctors, or the parents may plan to have a living baby, only to later have complications that result in that child’s death. According to the Office of Employee Advocacy comments, the language should be updated to ensure that employees experiencing such situations still have access to paid parental leave. Those comments also called for alterations to clarify that an employee may use annual or sick leave in addition to the 12 weeks of paid parental leave. Sign up for the Daily Brief Get the top federal headlines each morning (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Daily Brief. Commenters also questioned how such leave would apply to an employee that experienced the birth or placement of a child twice within the same 12-month period, and the Office of Employee Advocacy noted that “if there are two triggering events that generate their own 12-month period, it entitles the employee to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for each of those 12-month periods.” In its comments, the National Treasury Employees Union noted that some of OPM’s requirements for eligibility of paid parental leave were too restrictive and “are in tension with Congress’s intent in providing this significant and necessary benefit to federal employees.” Those comments note that the requirement for employees to “affirmatively elect to use paid leave and execute an agreement providing that the employee will work for the agency for twelve weeks following the paid leave,” unless the employee is physically or mentally incapable of making such an election — at which point they would be eligible for retroactive election to use the leave — puts an unfair burden on employees. “OPM’s standard, moreover, fails to account for the non-birthing parent of a child who is born earlier than expected. The employee may need to leave work, immediately, to care for his or her family. This departure might occur before the employee elects paid parental leave and executes a work obligation agreement,” NTEU wrote. “But, under Section 630.1706(a)’s strict language, the employee would not be able to retroactively opt for paid parental leave because he or she would have been physically and mentally capable of timely making the election.” NTEU also took issue with the interim rule’s allowance that, if an employee provides medical evidence that they cannot return to work after the 12 weeks due to a serious condition, the agency may demand additional examinations and certifications from other health-care providers. “First, the Act does not authorize an agency to demand additional certifications from ‘other’ healthcare providers affirming the employee’s serious health condition. Once the employee provides a medical certification supporting to the serious health condition that prevents a return to work, that should be the end of the matter,” NTEU wrote. “An agency has no statutory authority to order the employee to solicit additional certifications from ‘other health care providers,’ which would necessarily entail additional medical examinations from those providers.” Both NTEU and the Office of Employee Advocacy raised concerns that agencies’ authority to require certification or documentation of a child’s birth or placement gives too much discretion to the agency to revoke such leave, especially since OPM itself determined that “the risk of fraud is low” and a simple statement from the employee has in the past been sufficient proof.

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Military plays ‘never have I ever’ on Twitter

There are certain inevitabilities that come with joining the military. From being screamed at by drill instructors to bad housing assignments and learning how to sleep anywhere, some experiences are universally shared by anyone who has worn the uniform. Twitter user @scmorrison, however, recently noted that while certain ordeals are shared, there are other commonplace…

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Military plays ‘never have I ever’ on Twitter

There are certain inevitabilities that come with joining the military. From being screamed at by drill instructors to bad housing assignments and learning how to sleep anywhere, some experiences are universally shared by anyone who has worn the uniform. Twitter user @scmorrison, however, recently noted that while certain ordeals are shared, there are other commonplace endeavors that some have managed to avoid for the entirety of their service. I have 14 years of service and have NEVER thrown a hand grenade. Is there something common in the military that you’ve never done? @SDDCCSM @TradocDCG?— Steve (@scmorrison) September 13, 2020 The notion attracted the attention of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command and Army Training and Doctrine, both highly active accounts on the platform, which kicked off a friendly game of “never have I ever, military edition,” yielding surprising and amusing results from those in all branches. (Don’t forget to put a finger down if you’ve undertaken any of these endeavors.) Riffing on the original Tweet, Maj. Gen. Tammy Smith noted that while she has had the pleasure of throwing a grenade, there’s a distinct piece of flair she’s missing: The Army Achievement Medal. 34 years of service and never earned an AAM- but I have thrown a hand grenade.— MG Tammy Smith (@MG_SmithT) September 13, 2020 Smith’s remark hurts, considering she’s dedicated more than three decades to the Army. Other responses, however, stung less but revealed plenty about military culture. Sign up for the Early Bird Brief Get the military’s most comprehensive news and information every morning (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. Chain smoked.— Blondes Over Baghdad (@BlondsOvrBaghd) September 13, 2020 A surprising response, given the soaring number of smoking personnel. “About 30 percent of veterans self-reported current use of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, roll-your-own, and/or pipe tobacco, with the majority of the users (21.6 percent) reporting current cigarette smoking,” the FDA reports. Good on BoB for not succumbing to peer pressure. Though, it appears she’s not the only one to avoid the bandwagon substance use that keeps most service members sane — like energy drinks. 13.5 years. 5 deployments, 2 Navy and 3 Marine Corps. Never used tobacco, Red Bull, or NO-Xplode.— MechE Devil Doc (@MathNerdJeremy) September 13, 2020 Scientists should study how @MathNerdJeremy managed to stay awake for those 13 years without assistance. And then there’s this downright impressive sailor with a two-decade-long streak of fortunate duty stations. Almost 23 years in the Navy and I’ve never been stationed in Norfolk or DC. I win the Navy.— Erik Naley (@battlechop719) September 13, 2020 Still, the most shocking revelation, perhaps, belongs to user @DavidChetlain, a submariner. Never ate an MRE.— David Chetlain (@DavidChetlain) September 13, 2020 How anyone makes it through a career in the military and never happens upon a brown packet of chili-mac, we’ll never know. Perhaps things are just different under the sea.

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