The Hater’s Guide to the US Army



This is the third in a series about how branches of the military hate on each other. We’ll feature all branches of the U.S. military, written by veterans of that branch being brutally honest with themselves and their services.

The military is like a family that gets together and holds backyard wrestling tournaments every once in a while. They’re violent, they protect one another from outsiders, and are ridiculously mean to each other.

We’ve already shown how the other branches make fun of the Air Force and the Marine Corps. Here’s how the other branches hate on the Army (and how they should).


Photo: US Army

The easiest ways to make fun of the Army

Like the Marine Corps, the Army gets called ‘dumb’ a lot. Since they gave out a lot of waivers for the military entrance test in the early 2000s, this isn’t without merit. Also, soldiers try to defend themselves by pointing out all the tough Army jobs that require a surprising amount of intellect such as Special Forces or Satellite Communications Operator. Coming from most soldiers, this is kind of like a mailroom employee pointing out how smart the computer engineers at Google are.


Soldiers also get ridiculed for the admittedly useless uniform they wore for most of the Global War on Terror. All sorts of reasons were given for why it was secretly brilliant, but two other camouflage patterns outperformed the ACU in the Army’s own tests before it was fielded. Since the Marine Corps had just gotten their own sweet digital camouflage before the ACU was fielded, there were a lot of (quite possibly true) accusations of copy-catting.

Body fat is another area the Army takes a lot of flak. Even though their body fat standards are actually in line with the other services, photos like the one below and an Army motto of “Army Strong” just made the jokes too easy.


Speaking of which, quite a few Army slogans have been duds with service members. “Army of One” worked for recruiting the video game generation, but it supported a lone warrior ideal that is the opposite of how the Army fights. “Be All You Can Be,” was extremely successful and ran for twenty years, but like “Army Strong” it’s perfect for memes with fat soldiers.

Why to actually hate the Army

As the largest ground force in the U.S., the Army has a lot of control over what gear and weapons go to both soldiers and, in a few cases, the Marines. When they choose correctly, all troops from all the branches usually end up with better gear for patrols like these weapon sights that let shooters see enemies through smoke and dust.

When they choose incorrectly, they spend $1.5 billion just to shut down a failed program, like they did with the Future Combat System. This was not a one-time thing.

This power to choose what ground combatants wear comes from the fact that the Army is the largest branch and by doctrine is the one in charge of taking and occupying enemy territory. But soldiers get really prima donna about this, making jokes any time airmen screw up on a rifle range or Marines get a vehicle stuck. “Not used to using a rifle, airman? It’d be easier if you were kicking back on the beach, right Marine?”


This is stupid since soldiers screw this stuff up too. Regularly. And when they crash a truck in the mountains or desert, they can’t even use the excuse that their equipment was primarily designed for fighting amphibious battles.


Yeah, soldiers did this while in their own vehicles, driving around their own base, operating near their own defenses.


Above: Not an airman’s fault.


Zero Marines in this picture.

Also, the Army makes really bold statements about how they’re “more tech-savvy than you,” which feels a bit arrogant and misguided coming from an institution whose public-facing website got hacked a few months ago because they didn’t use https. They also risked the exposure of thousands of Army families’ personal information with a faulty system in paying for childcare.

Why to love them


Besides the fact that they began defending America the year before America existed? Or that they marched across Nazi-occupied Europe? Well, there’s the fact that American soldiers served more troop years in Iraq and Afghanistan than all the other services combined. Or, you could love them because their most elite soldiers, Delta Force, just liberated 70 ISIS hostages in a daring raid.


Photo: US Army

Then there’s the fact that they operate not only on the ground, but also in the water, the air, and space. Army Airborne units provide contingency response forces for both the European/African theaters and the entire world. That’s before you count the Army Rangers who can break into an enemy country and topple its land forces in hours or days of fierce fighting with little rest.

When it’s time to fight more subtle conflicts, Green Berets can slip into foreign countries and begin training up friendly militias and armies, safeguarding American interests while limiting risk.


Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Malcolm McClendon, The National Guard

The Army is also boss at disaster and humanitarian relief. They supported rescue and rebuilding efforts in Haiti, Nepal, and Japan. When the mission is closer to home, troops deploy as well. In just 2015, they’ve helped rebuild after hurricanes in South Carolina, rescue Texans from floodwaters, and fight forest fires in California.

classedit2 David Nye – Staff Writer at We Are The Mighty

David is a former Fort Bragg paratrooper who deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team.


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  • Carl

    If you believe marine propaganda, they are the first to fight yet when you look at the history of the U.S. military, its the Army who has put boots on the ground in most every conflict. Lastly, in the two wars that mattered most, the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, when we were at the greatest risk of not being born and not surviving as a country, it was the U.S. Army that carried us on their mighty shoulders.

    • Ed C

      Maybe, but it’s the Marines who win the battles…..two words…Iwo Jima.

  • Leon Suchorski

    You can say all that you want about the joking between the services, but in combat we all are very grateful that they are there. Stateside, we josh each other, but if someone picks on a sailor, they bettwe realize that they will have to go through the Marines to get to them. They are our own private joshing fun. I have been in transit at an airport, waiting for my flight, and hooked up to spend some time chatting with an Army, or Air Force sort, because I was more comfortable with them than a civilian. You all know the feeling that I am talking about. We are all brothers. SEMPER FI ’65-’70.

    • scdan2002

      The relationship between the services is very similar to relationships between siblings.

      They will bicker, fight, taunt and mock each other…… until someone else outside the family says/does something.

      • jackwagon67

        except for the Air Force. Everybody hates the Air Force

      • carl

        Until You guys need the A-10 then its a different story

      • Jay

        Give them a Warthog and the end is in site. I believe that all Military people will do whatever it takes to get the job done, I’m a Air Force Brat, and a Army veteran. Not one of my fellow brats grew up and joined the AF, but we still love them. It’s in our blood.

      • Ed C

        true, competition always makes one stronger…it’s then basis of our economy too….

  • JS1


  • MikeL45

    Seen fat guys like that on deployments too and most of the times them fat asses were Reserve or Nasty Guard.

    • KCarp

      They will still take a bullet right?

  • robertcrawford

    I don’i hate the us Army They are at the core of our power.

  • Sonny Barineau

    There was not anything great about the American Army during the War between the States. Sherman and his dogs burned and looted their way across Georgia. The only great army during that period of history was the ARMY OF Northern Virginia.

  • Kirk

    Hey we love the Army after all its the Army that polices the area after the Marines take the enemys home from him. And we can speak of Chesty Pullers experience with the 8th army- But in all seriousness America we honor and stand against any enemy who threaten anyone of us. Semper Fi to all who have served are serving and will serve

  • Chris

    Army = AF rejected me yesterday. Other than the Spec Ops guys, nothing happening in the good ole Army other than stupidity and dumb decision making.

  • C.V. Compton Shaw

    When you are in the Infantry in an actual combat area, the atmosphere, although very tough and manly, is, also very polite and gentlemanly. At least that was the case in Vietnam. Why? Everyone in the military combat environment has a weapon and everyone is depending on everyone else for support and cooperation in this very perilous situation. The same, of course, is not necessarily the case in training situations and the military, in general, out of the combat scenario. Rather, in those alternative situations, the social-cultural-political norms of the general civilian culture predominate. The aforementioned are reasons why combat veterans, inclusive of Vietnam veterans, sometimes have had and continue to have difficulty adjusting to civilian life and culture in which self control, respect for the rights of others, and self respect are not predominant considerations.