bdu's

For those of you who write military fics

If you have never been in, or aren’t around people who’ve been in, I would dearly love to give you a few pointers.

Let me preface this: I love it when people write military fics (be they AU or canon-fic). I love the characterizations, the story arcs you create, and the love with which you create the stories.

But I’d like to help you make the actions of military personnel as accurate as possible, so someone who’s actually in doesn’t start to read your fic and roll their eyes at some of the things you unknowingly write.


-First off, you do not salute in civilian clothes. It’s actually unauthorized. There are only two exceptions to this rule: the President is allowed to salute in civvies, and if the national anthem is playing outdoors, combat veterans are now allowed to salute. (That came about in 2010, for accurate reference.)

-Do not salute indoors, unless during a formation (but I doubt people who don’t have intimate knowledge of drill and ceremony would bother writing about a formation, so that point is mostly just thrown in for shits and giggles). 

-The army and air force do not say, “sir, yes sir”. That’s a marine thing (I’m not sure about the navy, since I’m not in the navy, but I’m sure someone else could help out if there’s a question about it).

-Saying “black ops” isn’t really something we do. For the army, you’ve got SF (which is how we refer to special forces–the guys you’re probably thinking about (”green beret” is an old term for them that’s not really used anymore)) and Rangers for the two big special operations forces. SEALS are the navy force, and I apologize, but I don’t know the other branches’ special forces. Again, ask someone who’s served in that branch.

-People don’t usually refer to themselves (or others) by their ranks. Exceptions are usually made if hanging out with people from your unit speaking about a superior, such as “Yeah, LT and I were talking the other day and …”. 

-Sergeants are not referred to as “sarge”. You have no idea how many people got the shit smoked out of them in basic for that error.

-Army goes through Basic Training (or Basic Combat Training now; BCT for short), and marines go through Boot Camp. Yes, there is definitely a difference in terms. Army people tend to refer to their initial training as simply “basic”. I don’t know about marines or other branches.

-Calling someone “Soldier” is really something only done on TV/film. It’s usually mocked by people who are in.

-In the army, it is against regulation to just stick your hands in your pockets. We mockingly call them “Air Force gloves”, though I don’t know if they typically put their hands in their pockets. There is also a big stigma against wearing “snivel gear”: the poly pro cold-weather protection gear worn underneath your uniform.

-The everyday Army uniforms are called ACUs (Army Combat Uniform). They are never called anything else, but especially not fatigues. If you’re going back to 2003 or earlier, the uniform was BDUs, or the Battle Dress Uniform. The tan uniforms worn during the Gulf War and first few years of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF; Afghanistan) were called first chocolate chips (gulf war-era) and then DCUs (Desert Combat Uniform). 

-The dress uniform is called something different depending on what time period you’re going for. Saying “dress uniform” is usually a good bet, because you’ve also got Class A’s, Class B’s, ASUs, Dress Blues, Khakis, etc. 

-Typically when meeting someone else who’s in, the first things you ask are, “What’s your MOS (military occupational specialty–your job)? Where were you stationed?” Giving out rank and deployment backgrounds out of the blue don’t usually happen. 

-Time spent in the military is usually referred to as simply being “in”. “How long were you in for?” is heard way more often than “how long did you serve for?” That question is usually asked by civilians. 

-There are enlisted, and there are officers. Enlisted are those who start out as privates, work their way up through the NCO, or non-commissioned officer ranks: sergeant (called “buck sergeant” in a derogatory term for someone who has been freshly promoted), staff sergeant, sergeant first class, and eventually get to first sergeants and sergeants major after fifteen to thirty years in. Officers also usually start out as privates and specialists, then graduate from college and commission as second lieutenants (the derogatory term is “butter bar” and is usually used in reference to said officer’s lack of experience and knowledge) before working up to first lieutenant, captain, major, lieutenant colonel (”light colonel”), and colonel (”full bird”). The general timeline is making captain (”getting your railroad tracks”) after about 5-8 years for competent officers, and spending 5-10 years as a captain. 

-We do not stand at parade rest unless forced. Ever.

-Or at attention.

-When talking to an NCO, a lower enlisted will stand at parade rest. When talking to an officer, an enlisted will stand at attention.

-The highest ranking NCO is lower ranking than the lowest ranking officer. 

-If you want to throw in some humor, if there is a lower enlisted (E-4 (specialist) or below) joking with an NCO, and the lower enlisted says something, the NCO can snark back with, “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you because you weren’t standing at the position of parade rest.” It’s a dick move usually to call people out for that, but it happens often enough that if you put that in a fic, someone who’s in will likely laugh at that for a few minutes.

-There is a term for a slacker in the army called POG (pronounced “pohg” with a long o). It stands for Personnel Other than Grunt, meaning everyone who’s not infantry. The term has transformed to mean anyone who shirks their duty or is kind of a shitbag and should be kicked out. 

 -There’s also a bit of a stereotype that infantry are made up of dumb guys, because you don’t need a high GT score to get that MOS. Their nomenclature for their MOS is 11B (eleven bravo), which is often referred to as an “eleven bang-bang” when trying to insult them. 

-If someone is making someone else do push-ups, they do not say “drop and give me x number”. They’ll tell them either to push, or tell them to get in the front-leaning rest. The front-leaning rest position is the starting position for the push-up. 

-Usually referring to basic training and AIT (advanced individual training, where you learn your military occupational specialty), you get “smoked” on a regular basis. This refers to PT (physical training), usually in the form of push-ups, flutter kicks, and sprints. It’s not fun. One of the least favorite phrases to hear in basic is, “Platoon, attention! Half-left face! Front leaning rest position, move. In cadence! Exercise!” Because that is the full command for getting people to do push-ups. There is literally no other reason for the half-left face movement. It honestly exists only for push-ups.

-It is awkward as fuck to be told “thank you for your service”. It’s wonderful that people want to show their support, but it is very difficult to respond to that without sounding like a douche.

I know I said a lot about basic training in there, but that’s because I tend to read a lot of fics that are either about basic or about deployments. I can give some pretty firm answers on basic, but everyone’s deployment is different, and I also could be violating a shit-ton of OPSEC (operation security) by telling you guys specific details about deployments. Everything I’ve told you is information you can look up on your own on the internet, but this is a bit more insider’s culture for you to help make your stuff more accurate.

And if you ever find yourself writing a military fic and have questions, by all means, inbox me. I’ve been in for almost nine years and I do have one deployment under my belt, so I can give you accurate army info. I’ve never served in any other branch, though, but I can probably give you a little bit more accurate info than what the movies do if you’ve got general questions.

Also, if you’ve got questions about PTSD, I can help with that. It’s not the cake walk that a good deal of fics portray it as, and it doesn’t always involve nightmares and aversion to touch. It can present as depression, intense anger issues, pulling away from loved ones, driving in the middle of the road, freaking out over pops, bangs, crashes and other unexpected noises, being easily startled by things other than noises, hypervigilance, the inability to sit with one’s back to the room, sudden bouts of anger, depression, tears, silence, or mood swings, among many others.

-Also, please, please, if you’re going to write about someone with a disability, or something that gave them a medical discharge, talk to me about the VA first, unless you’ve got a lot of knowledge about them. Not only am I in, but I’ve also worked professionally for the VA, some of that time in enrollment and eligibility, so I know a lot about disability pensions, who would qualify, what type of benefits they would qualify for, etc. I also know the ways that people can accidentally get screwed over from the VA. (It’s actually one of my long-term professional goals to change some of those things, so I am very passionate and very knowledgeable about it.)



TL;DR: I know shit about the military and the VA. Ask me if you have accuracy questions.

10

When I started Stargate, I got the part, I was sooothrilled to have this incredible character, to be playing someone in the military and I had so much respect, to be playing someone who’s so smart and so liberated and… I thought, “Yes!”

I had two weeks to move from Toronto to Vancouver. I flew out there, I had my first wardrobe fitting. And one of the things that was in… the thing that was in the wardrobe room was a very low-cut tank top and a push-up bra…

And I turned to the costume designer - whom I’ve worked with since, who’s wonderful - and I said, “What… What is this?”
And she said “Well, they wanna see what you look like in it.”
And I said, “…but this… nobody in the military, no captain in the US airforce would wear this… while her male counterparts are wearing crew neck T-shirts and… I c… I… I can’t do it!”
And she said, “Well, they just wanna see what you look like and take a picture and…”

I was like “…”

And I panicked because I thought I have just been given this amazing opportunity - I didn’t know it would last 10 years but I knew it was gonna be a kick-ass show - and I was like… “I can’t do it…”

And I started to cry and I said, “You have to go upstairs and tell them I’m not doing it. And if it means that they recast the part then recast the part but you’ve cast a smart woman and you’ve cast somebody who’s never tried to get a job based on her looks or her body. I’ve always played strong, smart women, I… I can’t do it. So if they wanna recast the part I totally get it but I’m not playing that version of this character.”

But I’m saying this while I’m blubbering because I’m suffering that I’ve just lost maybe the best job of my career…

And so she said, “Okay” and I said, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’ve never been difficult, I don’t… but I can’t do that!”

So she went upstairs and she came back down and she said, “Okay, no problem.”
And I said, “Okay, so what’s my costume?”
And she said, “Well…”
And I said, “Just… What are the guys wearing?”

So she handed me a black T-Shirt and the BDUs, which is what my character would wear in the field with her male counterparts, and that’s where we went from there.

But that to me was the defining moment of…

And I still cry about it because I still remember that young woman on the verge of breaking into the… new something big, being petrified that she was gonna loose it, but… I knew that I couldn’t play the TNA version of Sam Carter.

And to the powers-that-be, great credit, I don’t think that it was Brad or Jonathan or Rob or any of those guys who were asking for it, I think it might have been, you know, much higher up.
But to their great credit they were like, “No, absolutely not. She’s… okay, whatever she’s comfortable in.”

And… thank God that they went that route.
But that was… that was one of the defining moments.

~ Amanda Tapping ~
Shore Leave 2013

6

April 20th, 1999 tape - roughly 30 minutes before the attack
Evidence item #333

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold are once more in the family room of the Harris home. Eric is filming. Dylan is wearing a black baseball cap on backward, exposing a “B” embroidered in white on the back of the hat - the Boston Red Sox logo. He’s wearing a plaid shirt, either dark blue or black with white; the shirt’s untucked. He’s wearing black BDUs (military-style pants) tucked into military-style boots. There are several bags on the floor, including a large maroon one.

Eric: “Say it now.”

Dylan: “Hey mom. Gotta go. It’s about a half an hour before our little judgment day. I just wanted to apologize to you guys for any crap this might instigate as far as (inaudible) or something. Just know I’m going to a better place. I didn’t like life too much and I know I’ll be happy wherever the fuck I go. So I’m gone. Good-bye. Reb…”

Dylan takes the camera then and begins filming Eric. Eric’s also wearing a plaid shirt that’s either dark blue or black with white, with a white t-shirt on underneath. His lower half can’t be seen.

Eric: “Yea… Everyone I love, I’m really sorry about all this. I know my mom and dad will be just like.. just fucking shocked beyond belief. I’m sorry, all right. I can’t help it.”

Dylan: (interrupts) “We did what we had to do.”

Eric: “Morris, Nate, if you guys live, I want you guys to have whatever you want from my room and the computer room.”

Dylan adds that they can have his things as well.

Eric: “Susan, sorry. Under different circumstances it would’ve been a lot different. I want you to have that fly CD.”

Eric: (eventually) “That’s it. Sorry. Goodbye.”

Dylan: (sticks his face in the camera) “Goodbye.”


The tape ends with a brief glimpse of a sign on the wall of Eric’s bedroom, someone’s arm partially blocking it from sight. It’s the letters: CHS along with a drawing of a bomb with a lit fuse and, in bold black letters, the word “clue”. 

2

I’m sorry, but I’m little confused about positions on Senior Class photo. It seems like Brooks has his elbow on Eric’s knee, right? But Eric’s legs look really funny, I mean, due to bottom of Eric’s combat boot, is it possible? Doesn’t make sense.

In the senior photo when they did the goofy picture, there’s a foot on the fat dudes (next to brooks) lap and I’m just wondering - is that Dylan’s foot????? And who’s knees is Brooks resting on?? I’m so confused lol.


I’ve studied and studied this photo quite a bit myself and and it’s not easy to figure out!  So, you’re not the only one that is coming up short over it! The thing that doesn’t make much sense is the body part in light blue denim jeans that I put a ‘?’ by. But, we can determine from the first photo, that Eric is wearing black BDU pants. Brooks and Zack have slightly nuanced shades of dark blue jeans so this means.. the light denim jeans have to be Dylan’s! His body is slopping forward and his looong thighs are kinda squeezed in together and all we can see are the tops of his knees  Brooks has his hand lazily resting on the top of Dyl’s knees.  I used to think that was Dylan’s boot..but I it seems too small given that Dylan had a size 12 foot.  It can’t possibly be Eric’s boot, because his body is leaning in the opposite direction. No way would he get his boot swung forward.  So, the only logical explanation would be Robyn’s boot. I don’t know what kind of rugged boots she has on but that would give her a fairly sizable foot for a girl - maybe size 9 or 10.  Which would mean that her right leg is bent, leaning on top of Dylan’s thigh (which we can’t see behind Zack) and she’s resting her boot on top of Zack’s leg.  That’s the best I can deduce of it presently!  :)  The photo really is a puzzle-like conundrum..   

And, by the way, Zack is not a “fat dude”, he is stocky, people, stocky. Sheeesh.  The poor guy…

8

SG1 Meme: Outfits (3/3) | Blue base Uniforms

Prompt: Still happens before they’re together, preferably in season 4.  From @castlefanficprompts.  Sometime between 47 Seconds and Always, because of course it is.

It’s lucky that she hears the click, really.  She’s been distracted the last little while, and annoyed with herself for it, which is a distraction in and of itself.  She shouldn’t be pining for Castle like a teenager with her first crush.  If he’s over her, well, she can get over him too.  Plenty of fish in the sea.

(She doesn’t want another fish, though.  She wants him.  Loves him.  And she can’t simply switch that off because he’s found himself a shiny new stewardess - flight attendant - whatever she is.)

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anonymous asked:

I have a sanvers prompt for you It's a college Au Alex is at Stanford Maggie enlisted in the military Maggie surprises Alex at her last Basketball game I saw this prompt going around it's not mine I would write it but I'm not very good

Alex aches. Every single part of Alex’s body aches. But Alex Danvers is not a quitter. She does not go quietly into the night. She will not vanish without a fight. She will play on. She will….stop quoting Independence Day in her head and just shoot the damn basket. Because Alex Danvers is graduating top of her class at Stanford in May. Because Alex Danvers is this close to being valedictorian. Because Alex Danvers is more than her mother’s expectations. Because Alex Danvers is the best women’s college basketball player in the nation, and this is her last game and she refuses to lose.

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#38 - I redesigned the Colonist outfit from Alien Covenant, man to think a simple headset and filter mask would’ve avoided such a catastrophe. Miss when Alien was ‘hard’ scifi. 

  • Recording cameras moved to a place that the back of the head doesn’t obscure the shot
  • Rebreather to filter foreign particles
  • Headset for better situational awareness, and harmful noise reduction.
  • Original gun prop (instead of dressed up existing gun)
  • Eye protection 
SIGNS THAT STARGATE IS TAKING OVER YOUR LIFE

1. When you see a circle on the ground/floor made out of brick/stone or a design in the carpet. And it reminds you of a ring transporter.
2. You hear the name of an Egyptian god, and you think about the Goa'uld.
3. When you know the name of the episode after watching only 15-20 seconds.
4. You understand a Goa'uld phrase without having to look it up.
5. When you use quotes from Stargate in everyday conversation (‘for crying out loud’, ‘Indeed’).
6. You say 'mikta’ instead of ass/bottom/etc. or 'Netu’ instead of hell.
7. You own a zat'nik'tel or other Stargate weapon.
8. You have ever dressed up in any uniform/outfit from Stargate (BDUs, Jaffa, Wraith, Tok'ra…).
9. When you make Oma Desala-like quotings ('If I had cleaned the plate yesterday, it would already be dirty again’.)
10. When large, standing rings reminds you of a Stargate.
11. Indignation because the periodic table doesn’t include naquadah and trinium.
12. You have Stargate-related dreams.
13. You have ever attended a convention wearing any sort of Stargate related clothing (BDUs, other uniforms/outfits).
14. Actual serious thoughts about buying that $1200 Staff weapon.
15. You read/write Stargate fanfiction.
16. You went on a trip to Colorado Springs, just to see Cheyenne Mountain.
17. You’re convinced Stargate is real, and that the TV show is just a coverup…
18. You recognize more than four references on this list.
19. You refer to Earth as the 'Tau'ri’.
20. You laugh at Teal'c’s Jaffa joke.