05 September 2013

The Winners of the 2013 Mil-Humor Awards!

On April 1, 2013—a day that will live in infamy, at least in the Sherpa household—the Red Bull Rising blog announced an experiment: A contest recognizing the best of humorous military writing, in both text and art. We were just coming off the success of a tongue-in-cheek poetry contest, and we decided to accelerate our Mil-Humor Award plans because we saw a target of opportunity, and thought we had a small amount of the Big Mo.

We garnered enough entries in three of four categories to warrant awards. Best of all, we learned a lot from the shoot-from-the-hip process: what works and doesn't work regarding outreach, categories, rules, judging processes, etc. In true lessons-learned fashion, we hope to use that insight in future "best of mil-humor" projects.

While we were unable to secure an official sponsorship for this year's contest, we are pleased to donate $50 to a military-focused charity specified by each awardee.

Support these creators. Read their works. Buy their books and T-shirts.

Also: Follow their leads. Support their charities. Be a force for truth-telling, change, or whatever else trips your trigger.

Most of all, however, keep your sense of humor. Because ... Sherpatude No. 26.


Category: "Best Military-themed Comic Strip or Cartoon"
Awardee: Delta Bravo Sierra

Topic: There's strange, and then there's Army strange ...
Target charity: Heroes Project, Corrollton, Texas

Populated by a menagerie of strange animals and amped-up personalities, the characters of Delta Bravo Sierra are often instantly recognizable by those who have served or continue to serve in the military. It's like "Beatle Bailey's" Camp Swampy had suddenly been overrun by the cast of "Pogo."

The Engineers in our judging pool loved the "crab" character, who uses his claws and a crew of misdirected Roombas to perform route-clearance missions downrange.

One strip, which depicts a soldier improving his fighting position at holiday time, particularly resonated with judges. If you don't get a little dust in your eye when you read this, you don't appreciate the true meaning of Christmas in a hostile environment.

For information on how to donate to Delta Bravo Sierra's target charity, the Heroes Project, click here.


Category: "Best Comic Strip or Cartoon on a Specific Military Topic"
Awardee: Doctrine Man!!
Title: "I am a bad-ass!"
Topic: The evolution of human flight at the dawn of the Drone Age
Target charity: Pets for Vets, Wilmington, N.C.

Written and drawn by an active-duty but anonymous Army strategist, "Doctrine Man!!" is like "Dilbert" for cube-dwellers who work in 5-sided office buildings. Of all the discussions and debates generated on the cartoon's Facebook page in 2013, none has come back, time and time again, like the topic of remotely piloted aircraft.

This series of panels accurately depict the culture clash in today's fighter-jock locker room talk. Both sides of the debate want to achieve the air of superiority, but Doctrine Man!! is on their collective six, gunning for everyone.

That's why, although we've never met him, we like to imagine that Doctrine Man!! is like "Jester" from "Top Gun" (1986). Except he probably wears a digital watch.

For information on how to donate to Doctrine Man!!'s target charity, Pets for Vets, click here.


Category: "Best Humorous Short Video on a Military Theme"
Awardee: Ranger Up
Title: "Tim Kennedy performs 'Part of Me' by Katy Perry"

Topic: A high-speed, high-drag (you heard us) parody with a point
Target charity: Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), Arlington, Va.

Written and produced by self-described "bunch of whacked out Veterans who make silly crap and happen to sell awesome T-shirts on the side," this parody of a 2012 Katy Perry music video generated a number of unexpected results:
1. The world learned that Mixed Martial Artist and active-duty Army soldier Tim Kennedy looks spectacular in a bathtub with bubbles and a wig. 
2. We came to realize that the video was more than Big Over-the-top Fun, but an effective, good-natured commentary on how the entertainment business seeks to appropriate themes of patriotism, hard work, and what it means to serve. And that's a ... part of us ... the media's never-ever-gonna to take from us ... no. 
3. We made the mistake of watching the original Katy Perry video with family around. Now, one of our daughters wants to be a U.S. Marine: "Just like Katy Perry," she says.
For information on how to donate to Ranger Up's target charity, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), click here.

Also, be sure to visit Ranger Up's "Rhino Den" website for daily insights on veterans, suicide, and prevention, Sept. 8 to 14, 2013.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to recommend the movie "TROOPER", a movie about veterans, for veterans. If you were a veteran in our Armed Forces, then you must watch and support it. The message has to go out and to be spread all over the land.



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