Alcohol

Demon Rum(my)

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"That Guy" is your typical Nanny Statist government website attempting to look hip while dictating private behavior—this time in an effort to get U.S. soliders to stop drinking. It's funded by the Department of Defense. I suppose there's nothing wrong in principle with trying to get U.S. enlistees abstain if the government honestly believes it'll make them better soldiers.

But there's something oddly amusing about a government-funded website—especially from this administration—warning that alcohol consumption will hinder a serviceman's chances at "scoring with chicks."

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  1. If consuming alcohol hinders your chances of scoring with chicks, you’re doing something drastically wrong.

  2. you’re supposed to get the chicks to drink anyway, your sobriety is merely a determination on what level of skankiness you’re most likely to end up with.

  3. Well, I think the “That Guy” site is totally groovy, with all that urban, gritty shit going on. A hell of a lot more entertaining than this “Reason” site, that’s for sure. Of course, that may be because I’m totally wasted, but it reminds me of the ads Uncle Sam used to run on Armed Forces TV in Vietnam to discourage toking, in particular, the classic line from the pot-smoking grunt: “Don’t bring me down, man. I’m enjoying the war!” Yeah, those were the days. You could score a lid for a can of C-rations. Seriously, I remember one time when we were just outside of Dau-tang, or maybe it was Trang-bang–It was loud, you know? It had a bang in it, I’m pretty sure. So, anyway, that’s the story. Skol, you all!

  4. For what it’s worth to the discussion, rates of alcoholism (particularly among men) in the armed forces is atrociously high.

  5. When I found out that the military isn’t allowed to drink in Iraq is when I became anti-war. That’s crap. Then the Army shut down that privately run program where regular guys like me could buy drinks for the military guys. That’s crap too.

  6. C Hitch, of course it is. That’s what guys in the military do. They drink.

  7. Jesus H. Christ! That’s totally “golf-alpha-yankee.”

    I’m glad I’m getting closer to retirement. The “straight edge” Army is getting on my nerves.

  8. Don’t even get me started on the amount of PC horseshit that comes out of the Pentegon. It is all part of a coordinated campaign to wussify the military. Add this garbage to the campaigns against motorcycles and smoking. UGH!!

  9. Prediction- No military person anywhere will be convinced to give up the booze by that website.

  10. C. Hitch,

    With these ever changing definitions of “alcoholic” one can soon call 99% of the world ‘alcoholics’. Have they gotten it defined down to ‘If you have thought of having similar effects to that of being influenced by alcohol more than once in your life’ yet?

    On a technical note, the least trouble I have every had out of a platoon of soldiers was one where only me and one of the younger Sergeants drank.

    As far as snagging chicks, it does not matter if you drink or not if you are wearing a flight suit. Add a wedding ring and you have to add a number dispenser at your hotel room door.

  11. “On a technical note, the least trouble I have every had out of a platoon of soldiers was one where only me and one of the younger Sergeants drank.”

    Two words “Barracks Rape”. We have a coed army. Put a bunch of 18 to 22 year olds who screw like minks to begin with together and mix in alchohol and things often end badly. That said, I still hate these campaigns.

  12. On a similar topic,
    When I was a kid living in Europe in the early eighties, they had a USO storefront outside the red light district in Amsterdam where they taught soldiers how to pick up prostitutes without getting into trouble. Anyone know if that place still exists?

  13. Don’t even get me started on the amount of PC horseshit that comes out of the Pentegon. It is all part of a coordinated campaign to wussify the military. Add this garbage to the campaigns against motorcycles and smoking. UGH!!

    Right, because discouraging risky/unhealthy behavior is so PC! It’s not like they’re protecting their investment or anything like that. I mean, people getting torn up in motorcycle accidents has no effect on military readiness! And smoking has no effect on physical fitness or the TRICARE budget!

  14. So they can’t drink AND they don’t get greeted by villages full of grateful, busty European women? This war stinks.

  15. It will all be irrelevant once the Pentagon gets those T-800s working!

  16. “Right, because discouraging risky/unhealthy behavior is so PC! It’s not like they’re protecting their investment or anything like that. I mean, people getting torn up in motorcycle accidents has no effect on military readiness! And smoking has no effect on physical fitness or the TRICARE budget!”

    People don’t sell themselves into slavery when they joing the military. They still keep some of their rights. Further, we want people who have inititives and take risks. I will take a few motorcycle accidents to get that any day. As far as smoking goes, every I know in the military who smokes is skinny and can run like the wind. Further, lots of things increase tricare budgets, most notably wives and children, should the military be campaigning against those as well? I gaurentee you that an army of single people is a hell of a lot lower maintenence than an army of married ones.

    Most importantly, the military is there to protect freedom, not bend to the whims of totalitarian nanny-staters like you.

  17. One way to reduce alcohol consumption, and its related problems, in the military is to allow pot smoking.

  18. “Right, because discouraging risky/unhealthy behavior is so PC! It’s not like they’re protecting their investment or anything like that. I mean, people getting torn up in motorcycle accidents has no effect on military readiness! And smoking has no effect on physical fitness or the TRICARE budget!”

    Less then a hundred years ago we had a military full of drinkers and smokers, that seemed to kick the shit out of the enemy during 2 world wars.

    Andy, you obviously dont live in a military town… as for Tricare costs, you can chalk up the majority of those to Dependents, like cheating housewives who get the STDs or Pregnant by thier civilian lovers while thier husbands are at war, or the soldiers kids who keep getting sick and breaking bones.

    I would LOVE to read some documented research stating the costs of Tricare has gone up because of smoking/drinking habits of soldiers.

    I knew it was gonna happen sooner or later, drinkers are soon to become public enemy number 1 after they root out all the smokers.

    Pretty soon, you wont beable to take a shit without approval and a stool sample, just to make sure your not consuming anything that might make you ‘unhealthy’.

  19. “When I was a kid living in Europe in the early eighties, they had a USO storefront outside the red light district in Amsterdam where they taught soldiers how to pick up prostitutes without getting into trouble. Anyone know if that place still exists?”

    Yes. Europe is still there.

  20. You see I spent half of my relatively recent (2000-2004) enlistment overseas (2002-2004) in Korea where people drank copiously (I was actually the odd man out in that I didn’t drink a lot). One of Captains used to lead our flight during our off-duty cycles explicitly for the purposes of getting smashed. To be honest, that was only mildly more drinking than I saw stateside. Though the miracle of a strong dollar versus the Korean won helped a lot.

    I can’t see this kind of lame pseudo-hip stuff remotely denting military drinking culture. I mean working hard and partying hard have been part of warrior/military culture for quite a long time.

    Though I’m sure that some General at the Pentagon sincerely believes that he must protect the troops from the scourages of drinking or whatever, in the end there is a certain silliness to the idea of discouraging drinking, smoking, et cetera when people belong to an organization that potentially exposes them to being shot, blown up, gassed or what have you.

    I remember whenever we had our yearly ‘dangerous driving during the summer’ style briefings, I would always constrast that with the zillion anti-Scud and DPRK infantry invasion drills we had to deal with.

    I’m not saying the military shouldn’t try to promote non-war activity related safety but geeze all these people are already giving up a lot of freedom, let them have some of the small pleasures at least.

  21. I am of two minds about this. On one hand, drinking and smoking (tobacco and pot) are relaxation and coping methods that do a soldier good, particularly in a war zone.
    On the other hand, soldiers are defacto property of the government, especially in a volunteer military. If the Pentagon decides that an alcohol free soldier is a better soldier; they have the right to cultivate the best soldier they can. Is this really any different than the military dictating how many miles a day you have to run for PT or how short your hair has to be for optimum performance in the field?

  22. Wow, I love this site. I learn so much every day, like how I’m a “totalitarian nanny-stater”
    and how it’s “slavery” to discourage extremely risky behavior (motorcycle riding, smoking) in people who knew full well what they were getting into before they joined, who are getting phat benefits and on whose health and wellness the military completely relies. Have they banned motorcycle riding yet? No. They just make sure you know what you’re doing and they make you wear proper gear. Are people getting court-martialed for smoking? Hell no. The worst they’re doing is pointing out the obvious: smoking is bad for you. There’s plenty of bullshit to take the military to task for (zero-tolerance drug policy; excessively harsh treatment of minors caught drinking; absurd, wastful policy towards gays) but you guys just want to focus on some common-sense efforts to maintain a healthy force.

    Less then a hundred years ago we had a military full of drinkers and smokers, that seemed to kick the shit out of the enemy during 2 world wars.

    So did the enemy.

    “Further, lots of things increase tricare budgets, most notably wives and children, should the military be campaigning against those as well?”

    A large part of the reason many join is for the benefits for their families. Stop being disingenuous.

    “I would LOVE to read some documented research stating the costs of Tricare has gone up because of smoking/drinking habits of soldiers.”

    Show me research that shows they haven’t. The burden of proof is on the one making extraordinary claims (yes, saying that drinking/smoking don’t raise tricare costs in the long run is about as incredible as they come- only on a libertine-arian site do you find people who say this shit)

    “Andy, you obviously dont live in a military town”

    You’re right. I live on a military base.

  23. it’s “slavery” to discourage extremely risky behavior (motorcycle riding, smoking) in people who knew full well what they were getting into before they joined

    Well, if before they joined the military wasn’t subject to scolds who wanted them to stop taking risky behaviors, then they didn’t know what they were getting into. The military has been on a slow decline since the second world war as regards to its focus on winning wars; now making the military fit into society at large better and advancing the careers of generals seems to be the focus. That’s a good recipe to start losing wars, badly; the only reason we haven’t yet is because we haven’t fought anyone smart enough to take advantage of our weaknesses. Let the soldiers do whatever they want, so long as they’re not killing or raping civilians or destroying their ability to win wars.

    who are getting phat benefits and on whose health and wellness the military completely relies.

    There’s something more to military preparedness than just physical health. There’s also this thing called “morale” that you have to take care of. Banning smoking and drinking in the military is going to radically lower morale. The kind of people who make good soldiers are also the kind of people who drink and smoke. Not invariably, but it’s certainly a strong trend I’ve noticed. I never smoked until I was in the military; while there I picked up pipe smoking.

    Smoking and drinking are part of military culture. Soldiers have been drinking heavily since the dawn of recorded time; those times and places where they didn’t drink, there were strong religious reasons for not doing so (though I can guarantee you that even in Muslim countries soldiers drink more than the average citizen).

    Truth be told, for many people in the military telling them not to drink encourages them to drink. I think this is from The Right Stuff, that among the test pilots in the 50s the pilots were made to watch a film telling them how important a good breakfast was to being ready to fly during the day. The next day, every single one of the test pilots skipped breakfast. See if that doesn’t happen with “drinking is bad for your health, soldier.”

    If you want to discourage the very people who most want to join the military from doing so, just ban drinking and smoking in the military. See how far the recruitment numbers drop then.

    Hell, the Royal Navy until recently issued their sailors alcohol. Didn’t seem to affect their fighting preparedness much.

  24. I’m not arguing for “banning” alcohol and tobacco or motorcycle riding or any number of other risky things. I’m aware of the effect that would have on morale. But nobody else is either, and the military isn’t seriously considering banning those things either. Some people on here seem unable to distinguish between banning something and discouraging it.

  25. It’s not all that big of a waste of money. The site contains some useful quantitative information: Almost 50% of unplanned sex is under the influence of alcohol.

    I wish the site had a bit more information though, like a good wine recommendation.

  26. “Some people on here seem unable to distinguish between banning something and discouraging it.”

    If you don’t want to ban it why discourage it? Either you believe in people’s freedom or you don’t. Preaching to them is no middle ground.

  27. Comment from a Captain in the Marines after I showed him the website, funded by the Dept of Defense:

    “There are marine barracks with out toilet paper, but as long as an airman feels better about not drinking himself to death. . . it’s worth it.”

  28. “If you don’t want to ban it why discourage it? Either you believe in people’s freedom or you don’t. Preaching to them is no middle ground.”

    Holy fuck you sound like GW. I don’t think weed should be illegal but I still try to try and dissuade my 14 year old cousin from smoking it.

    You’re an idiot.

  29. When I was going to tech school at the Navy Air Station in Tn we were grateful for the cheesy EM Club that served cheap beer, good cheeseburgers, and a pack of Marlboros for a quarter. We were a long way out from Memphis and there was only one off-base bar within walking distance and it was a long dam hike to the front gate. We used to joke about doing something different tonight–let’s go have some beers. As long as the barracks were clean and you made it to class the next morning nobody bugged us.

  30. Mel,

    The best whines are at TNR and The Nation.

    The former has the best courtesans.

  31. You’re an idiot.

    And you’re rude.

    Your family works to instill certain values and encourage certain behaviors in your cousin. And I’m sure we all wish your cousin health, happiness and success. However, many of us do not wish to be compelled to pay to produce materials which nag her not to participate in legal activities. It’s silly. It’s talking out of both sides of one’s mouth. It’s schizophrenic.

  32. Besides, I don’t want to hear that soldiers are lacking basic equipment – like the TP mentioned above – while DOD money and effort is being spent on ANYTHING else. Stories like pm’s above make me crazy angry.

  33. Well While I have heard that alcohol abuse has been something of a problem in the military, I’m not sure this is the most cost effective way to deal with it. Making services available to those who actually have the problem might be more effective.

    Now this is something that is causing me a lot more concern that some antibooze campaign.

    “The Christian Embassy is an evangelical missionary group focused on government workers in Washington, DC. The group’s recent promotional video features endorsements from several prominent military officers.”

    This group is getting funding from DOD and has actually had chaplains who have complained about it reassigned.

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