The Differential Theory of U.S. Armed Forces (Snake Model)

Upon encountering a snake in the Area of Operations (AO)…

1. Infantry: Snake smells them, leaves area.

2. Airborne: Lands on and kills the snake.

3. Armor: Drives over snake, laughs, and looks for more snakes.

4. Aviation: Has 12-digit grid coordinates of snake from GPS. FAC gives steer to target. Can’t find snake. Returns to base for refuel, crew rest and manicure.

5. Ranger: Plays with snake, then eats it.

6. Field Artillery: Kills snake with massive Time On Target barrage with three Forward Artillery Brigades in support. Kills several hundred civilians as unavoidable collateral damage. Mission is considered a success and all participants (inc. cooks, mechanics and clerks) are awarded Silver Stars.

7. Special Forces: Makes contact with snake, ignores all State Department directives and Theater Commander Rules of Engagement by building rapport with snake and winning its heart and mind. Trains it to kill other snakes. Files enormous claim for travel pay settlement upon return.

8. Combat Engineer: Studies snake. Prepares in-depth doctrinal thesis in obscure 5 series Field Manual about how to defeat snake using countermobility assets. Complains that maneuver forces don’t understand how to properly conduct doctrinal counter-snake ops.

9. Navy SEAL: Expends all ammunition and calls for naval gunfire support in failed attempt to kill snake. Snake bites SEAL and retreats to safety. Hollywood makes fantasy film in which SEALS kill myriad extremist snakes.

10. Navy: Fires off 50 cruise missiles from various types of ships, kills snake and makes presentation to Senate Appropriations Committee on how Naval forces are the most cost-effective means of anti-snake force projection.

11. Marine: Kills snake by accident while looking for souvenirs. Local civilians demand removal of all US forces from Area of Operations.

12. Marine Recon: Follows snake, gets lost.

13. Combat Controllers: Guides snake elsewhere.

14. Para-Rescue Jumper: Wounds snake in initial encounter, then works feverishly to save snake’s life.

15. Supply: (NOTICE Your anti-snake equipment is backordered.)

16. Transport pilot: Air-drops expired snakebite kits two grid squares away on roof of children’s hospital.

17. F-15 pilot: Misidentifies snake as enemy Mi-24 Hind helicopter and engages with missiles. Crew chief paints snake kill on aircraft fuselage.

18. F-16 pilot: Finds snake, drops two CBU-87 cluster bombs, misses snake target, demolishes embassy 4 km east of snake due to weather. Cites inclement weather (Too Hot, Too Cold, Clear but overcast, Too dry with Rain, Unlimited ceiling with low cloud cover etc.) Suggests procurement of million-dollar, air-to-ground anti-snake bomb.

19. AH-64 Apache pilot: Unable to locate snake, cold-blooded snakes don’t show well on infrared. Infrared only operable in desert AOs without power lines or SAMs.

20. UH-60 Blackhawk pilot: Finds snake on fourth pass after snake builds bonfire, pops smoke, lays out VS-17 to mark Landing Zone. Rotor wash blows snake into fire.

21. B-52 pilot: Pulls a ARCLIGHT mission on snake, kills snake and every other living thing within two miles of target.

22. Missile crew: Lays in target coordinates to snake in 20 seconds, but can’t receive authorization from National Command Authority to use weapons.

23. Intelligence officer: Snake? What snake? Only four of 35 indicators of snake activity are currently active. We assess the potential for snake activity as LOW.

24. Judge Advocate General (JAG): Snake declines to bite, citing grounds of professional courtesy.

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