Meet the military meme lords spreading the gospel of salt

Jack Murphy
November 14, 2019 - 9:59 am
Meme Lord

Getty, MatiasEnElMundo

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A new generation of soldiers and Marines are expressing themselves through a relatively new medium, making content for the troops by the troops in the form of memes.

Soldiers complaining about their job, their lives, their deployments, and their chain of command is a time honored tradition in the military but in the past, these grievances were aired in person between the enlisted ranks while sitting in their squad's locker room, in the motor pool, or while stuck on staff duty.

With the advent of social media, memes have been birthed onto the internet. They are simplistic pictures with text overlaid on top of them, communicating a message to an audience. Many memes speak to mainstream topics such as national politics, relationship difficulties, or fan reactions to favorite movies. Other memes are hyper-specific to a chosen career field.

Some of the new military meme lords are former soldiers, but many of them remain on active duty and seek to protect their identities. Most military memes are produced by anonymously run instagram accounts. Some of the jokes they post are so timeless that any veteran can get a laugh out of them. Other memes are so specific and niche that only those inside a specific command will even get the joke.

Connecting Vets reached out to some of these military meme accounts to pose a few questions.

MDMPonMDMA is one such instagram account, run by a former enlisted soldier who went officer, with three combat deployments under his belt. His instagram moniker is of course a joke as well: Military Decision Making Process on Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine better known as the drug ecstasy.

"I just meme about experiences I’ve had as a platoon leader, company executive officer and on staff. Those tend to hit the same for anyone doing those jobs throughout the Army," he told Connecting Vets. "I’m starting to dabble with the OEF/OIF stuff though. Total goldmine there. We didn’t get to meme about this stuff then," he eleborated, pointing out that during the heyday of the War on Terror soldiers did not get to meme because the technology did not yet exist to quickly create, share, and laugh at this type of content. The medium evolved, and with it so has military humor.

#ets #gettingout #therearenostringsonme

A post shared by @ sinepariandsperrys on

"When I first came in, we all just kept our comments to ourselves. Albeit we scratched our heads at the puzzling things we were doing (taking an entire villages’ AK-47s while we were getting blown up every day with IEDs) but we carried on nonetheless and everyone had different experiences in the GWOT. Now, it seems we all have the same exact mission. 'Readiness.' None of us know what that means. So, we’ve resorted to venting about it in the form of monkey puppets and sleeping Homer Simpson," MDMPonMDMA said.

USMC Memes is a Marine Corps specific meme account on Instagram run by a former Marine who served in the 1990's, including a deployment to Bosnia. He started out making a generic meme account but quickly found that his Marine Corps content got the most traction so he doubled down on that, and in the process had an unexpected realization about his audience.

"I originally thought it would be vets my age but quickly discovered lots of high school aged kids are learning about the Marine Corps through my memes."

@thatguyinyourseminar rage with me

A post shared by MDMP on MDMA (@mdmponmdma) on

Sinepariandsperrys is a special operations specific account, the name a play on the Special Operations Command motto Sine Pari which is Latin for "without equal." The owner of the account enlisted as a 18X-Ray but was a non-select at the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Program (SFAS). Undeterred, he volunteered to atttend the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program (RASP) and is now a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

He said he started his meme account when he, "saw some other SOF/military meme pages and, being the narcissist asshole that I am, I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring." His memes are for anyone in the military, veterans, spouses, parents, or anyone who appreciates military humor, he said.

The anonymous account holder said that he is, "just trying to put something out there that gets a few laughs and makes the shitty moments a little less shitty. I know they did for me when I first joined."

On that note, let's take a look at a few spicy memes.

Hoping this one will finally earn me a follow from @thisisnotpreranger ... I think it’s my new favorite.

A post shared by MDMP on MDMA (@mdmponmdma) on

This one from MDMPonMDMA is something that any Infantryman can relate to. It makes reference to a soldier during training, out on a security perimeter that has been reset and done over again four times, while he is out there staring at a tree for hours on end cold, tired, and hungry.

Here are a few highly relateable memes from USMC Memes:

Ending Combat Operations #military #thefewtheproud #armedforcesmemes #marinecorpshumor #usmc#veteranlife #marinecorps #leathernecks #usveterans #veteranartist #semperfidelis #militarymeme #SFMF #veterans_us #veterans #usmcmemes #marinecorpspoolee #devildogs #devildog #gruntlife #crayoneater #marinepoolee #oorah #marinecopsmemes #semperfi #grunt #militaryhumor

A post shared by -- USMC Memes -- (@marinecorps.memes) on

Going to the Feild #feildop #expectations #reality #expectationsvsreality #veteranhumor #miliaryporn#marinecorps #usmc #militarylife #marinecorpspoolee #veterans_us #leathernecks #marines #devildog #marinecopsmemes #militarymeme #crayoneater #marines #armedforcesmemes #SFMF #grunts #veteranlife #devildogs #semperfidelis #usmclife #marinehumor #militaryhumor #usmcmemes

A post shared by -- USMC Memes -- (@marinecorps.memes) on

Sinepariandsperrys makes memes that are highly specific to Special Operations Forces, so we'll do a bit of decoding here.

#75thrangerregiment #rltw #yeahimassignedtothe75th

A post shared by @ sinepariandsperrys on

The classic Greta meme, in this case referring to soldiers waiting to attend RASP partying it up at The Tap–which is a bar in Columbus, Georgia near Fort Benning where RASP is held. Team leaders at 3rd Ranger Battalion standby to crush the souls of any who graduate the course and get assigned to their battalion.

#75thrangerregiment #rltw #angrybatt #welcometocolumbus

A post shared by @ sinepariandsperrys on

This meme is a little bit of insider culture in the Ranger Regiment. 1st Ranger Battalion is stationed at Hunter Army Airfield near Savanna, Georgia and 2nd Ranger Battalion is at Fort Lewis, Washington–both of which are desirable locations. Meanwhile, 3rd Ranger Battalion is at Fort Benning which RASP cadidates are already familiar with from having gone to Airborne School and probably basic training there. This meme is about the moment those RASP students get the word that they are not going anywhere...

All of the military meme lords that Connecting Vets talked to were pretty clear that they were not anti-military nor were they trying to take their chain of command down a peg.

"I’m not trying to 'push back.' More like highlight something dumb that we all do, laugh about it, then jump into the wood chipper anyway," MDMPonMDMA said. 

"I don't think the memes say anything 'nefarious' or 'deeply concerning' about military members. Yeah its vulgar and the humors dark, but alot of the people who find this stuff funny do thankless jobs that don't pay much and for some are pretty fucking dangerous. When your job is as stressful and at times shitty as the military is, I think a fucked up sense of humor is just one of the ways people cope," Sinpariandsperrys explained.

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Reach Jack Murphy: jack@connectingvets.com or @JackMurphyRGR.