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Military humor: Badge of the Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club -aka US 7th Fleet-
Military humor may involve comic situations in relationships with local women. Norman Saunders cover.

Military humor is humor based on stereotypes of military life. Military humor portrays a wide range of characters and situations in the armed forces. It comes in a wide array of cultures and tastes, making use of sarcasm, parody, burlesque, exaggeration, ridicule, and double entendre.

Military humor often comes in the form of military jokes or "barrack jokes". Such jokes are not only popular among the military, but at all levels of society. Military slang, in any language, is also full of humorous expressions; the term 'fart sack' is military slang for a bed or sleeping bag.[1] Barrack humor also often makes use of dysphemism.[2]

Certain military expressions, like friendly fire, are a frequent source of satirical humor.[citation needed]



  • A good example of Military humor is Reader's Digest's Humor in Uniform, a collection of short true anecdotes depicting amusing experiences in the armed forces.
  • Military jokes might be sometimes quite blunt, e.g. British soldiers used to make a joke about the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) military decoration, to say of a comrade wounded down the belly that he had received DSO, DSO meaning "Dickie Shot Off."
  • In other jokes however, the lack of seriousness is more subtle. Often these are in-jokes and not everyone understands them. e.g. the following reference to "Camouflage Uniform Wear Policies":[3]
    • Marines: Work uniform, to be worn only during training and in field situations.
    • Army: Will wear it anytime, anywhere.
    • Navy: Will not wear camouflage uniforms, they do not camouflage you on a ship. (Ship Captains will make every effort to attempt to explain this to sailors.)
    • Air Force: Will defeat the purpose of camouflage uniforms by putting blue and silver chevrons and colorful squadron patches all over them.
  • Sometimes the joke is made by civilians about the military. In the Philippines during President Ferdinand Marcos martial law years, Chief of the Armed Forces General Fabian Ver was a feared figure. In the midst of the tense times Filipino people used to joke that the general was so fiercely loyal that if Marcos would have ordered him to jump out of the window, General Ver would have saluted and said, 'Which floor, sir?'[4]


Comic strips about military life may have a wide public world wide, like Beetle Bailey, set in a United States Army military post and featuring mostly inept characters stationed there.

Other military humor characters, like the All Select Comics comic book feature "Jeep Jones" by Chic Stone did not become so popular.[5]

Films and TV series

Among the oldest military comedies in film are the Flagg and Quirt movies. Some comedies, like the Don't Call Me Charlie (1962-1963) TV series (about a young veterinarian drafted into the Army and stationed in Paris) are totally devoted to the military theme. The fourth series of the British sitcom Blackadder, known as Blackadder Goes Forth, revolves around the life of Edmund Blackadder in the trenches of World War I. Other movies, like Forrest Gump, give a glimpse of military humor during the time period that the movie's hero is a soldier.

See also


External links

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