Strange Military Traditions

Militaries around the world have strange traditions and myths that seem to come almost out of nowhere, but still hold firm. I hope to make this a reoccurring article to highlight some of the strange things people in the military do.

Bullet, Razor and Match

We’ll start with an American myth that we’ve all heard before in varying ways: The bullet, razor and match story. In some cases, the story goes that a razor, bullet and one match are at the top of the flag pole on base – in other’s it’s buried at the bottom. The idea is that the commander of the base or the one unlucky troop that is left can run the flag down, cut the stripes and then commit suicide instead of being taken alive.

While there’s no doubt that the flag holds a significant amount of pride and garners our protection, the logistical problems are pretty obvious. Protecting the base would probably be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Imagine a soldier frantically defending his base, realizing they’re being overrun and then taking the time to dig up or chop down the flag pole only to then light the flag on fire with one match and ceremoniously commit suicide. The lore of this tradition has been proven false, but it’s a nice thought at least.

Indian and Pakistani border guards

India-Pakistan Wagah Border Crossing

India and Pakistan don’t like each other. The reasons are many and I won’t be going into them here because it’s too depressing and I’m only on my 2nd drink. Just know the animosity is strong with these two, which is why the Wagah border crossing is the only major thoroughfare between the two countries. Due to high tensions, both sides do a militaristic dance which includes high stepping, salutes and some wicked mustaches. Consider it a pissing contest between two nuclear powers. Nothing scary about that. Do yourself a favor and watch the video, it’s entertaining to say the least.

Do you know of any funny or weird military traditions or myths? Let me know.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Mark Wasson

Mark spent 7 years in the Minnesota National Guard as a combat medic. When's he's not busy losing friends, he's drinking with his dog. Befriend him on Facebook or follow him on a Twitter that he doesn't use.
Mark Wasson
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