Tom Ricks's Inbox

By Tom Ricks's Inbox
Sunday, June 17, 2007

Being a soldier can teach you a lot. Here a "Spec. Schwarz," supposedly a female service member in a "psychological operations" unit serving in the Balkans circa 2001, lists what she has learned she can't do in the Army. Whether or not the name is correct, the list certainly has a good feel for the modern U.S. military. A quick search showed that it has been circulating on the Internet for several years, but I saw it only recently, when a retired Army colonel sent it along. The full document lists 213 forbidden actions. Here are some of my favorites:

* * *

1. Not allowed to watch "South Park" when I'm supposed to be working.

2. My proper military title is "Specialist Schwarz," not "Princess Anastasia."

7. Not allowed to add "In accordance with the prophesy" to the end of answers I give to a question an officer asks me.

8. Not allowed to add pictures of officers I don't like to War Criminal posters.

18. May no longer perform my now

(in)famous "Barbie Girl Dance" while on duty.

23. Must never ask anyone who outranks me if they've been smoking crack.

32. Not allowed to let sock puppets take command of my post.

39. Not allowed to ask for the day off due to religious purposes, on the basis that the world is going to end, more than once.

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