This is what happens when shit gets unreal

Your Heroes Are Morons

ASVAB for Dummies

No doubt

Our Congress has referred to the men and women of our armed forces as “our Nation’s most precious treasure“.  Let me tell you as someone who served along side of some of these precious gems, there are some very stupid people in the military.

“But”, you say, “every soldier and sailor has to pass the ASVAB to be accepted into the armed forces before they can serve!”

How important is the ASVAB test?

Your scores in four critical areas — Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Mathematics Knowledge (see below) — count towards your Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) score. The AFQT score determines whether you’re qualified to enlist in the U.S. military.

These are very basic assessment tests at about a ninth grade level.  Once you’ve taken this test, you have to meet certain minimum standards according to “The ASVAB Explained“.

One of the most critical of these scores is the Armed Forces Qualification Test, which is used to determine if you are qualified to join the military service. Each service determines the qualification AFQT score for enlisting in their service.The AFQT is comprised of your test results in Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Math Knowledge (MK), and Verbal Composite (VE) x 2. Your Verbal Composite score is a combination of your Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension scores. Check out the following AFQT qualifying scores for each branch of service.

Service Branch Required AFQT Score
Army 31
Navy 35
Marines 31
Air Force 36
Coast Guard 45

The AFQT is out of a possible 100 points.  If you got a 31% on the test and are trying to get into the Army well, congratulations!  31% is a passing grade, please remember that the pointy part of the gun goes away from you!

“But”, you say again, “I was raised in a meth lab and lived off of rat carcasses and paint chips, how will I ever be able to serve my country?”

Gunship Grey

As a Boatswain's Mate you will see this color a lot.

Well buck up my mouth breathing latrine cleaner, it is possible to get a special waiver to allow you to serve with scores even lower than those.  Rejoice!  You too can be like the young man I served with in the Navy.  Let’s call him Seaman Recruit Smith.

SR Smith was a Boatswain’s Mate.  Boatswain’s are responsible for maintaining the lines, deck and hull of the ship.  Part of this involves using pneumatic chipping hammers and needle guns to blast off old rusty paint off of the decks and hull.  Once the old paint is stripped off you then put primer on the bare metal and repaint it.  Try to remember these steps because you will repeat them roughly sixteen billion times over your career.  That’s a lot of work though so sometimes you just put new paint on over the rust, especially if time is short and an Admiral is coming for an inspection soon.   This paint and, especially the primer, is very toxic stuff.

Forget the lead based paint chips that you were raised on, this paint probably has more heavy metals than the steel hull that you’re painting it on.  Breathing the fumes from the primer kills as many braincells per breath as hard night of binge drinking.   All of these toxic, flammable and dangerous paints and primers are all kept in one central location on the ship: The Paint Locker.

The Paint Locker

The place braincells go to die

Whenever the paint locker is open, someone has to stand watch in it.  I’m not sure exactly why anyone might want to steal/sabotage/huff toxic, flammable paint from the locker but someone has to stand there and make sure that all paint is signed in and out or the terrorists win.  This person is also is responsible for mixing up the toxic epoxy-like mix that is the primer on the ships and gets a face full every time someone needs it.

This was the prime job for SR Smith.  SR Smith thrived in the paint locker!  He had responsibilities!  He was in charge of all of the paint in the ship!

I guess the guys in charge of the deck division figured that no further damage that could be done to his mind since his remaining functional braincells had already been compressed inside of his head into a small lump with a hard protective shell like cerebellum gobstopper.  He was always in the locker when it was open.  They may have moved his bunk in there at one point, I’m not sure.  After spending a couple of years on board with him, I managed to engage him in conversation one day and found out how he was able to get into the service.

Try to cover your amazement, but he had a waiver for his ASVAB score.  His combined AFQT score was… 13.  This makes him marginally more sentient than the paint that he so lovingly tended to.  He might even have passed the Touring test.

I have a sign!

MMMM... Toasty! Like my brain!

So next Veteran’s Day just remember, not everyone who has served in the armed forces was doing it out of a sense of nobility and duty to God and Country.  A lot of them joined because they really didn’t have any other options.

SR Smith, wherever you are, I hope that you stayed in for 20 years and retired with a nice fat retirement and disability check for the physical and mental damage you suffered sustained while serving your country.  You will no doubt need that income to help support you in your new career as a Quiznos sign holder.



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