Only in the Infantry

Every male who has undergone a sports physical has experienced the awkward moment when the doctor has you drop your shorts and cough while poking around your scrotum checking for hernias. I was recently performing a Ranger School physical exam on a young infantry soldier and asked him to pull down his shorts. When he did, I saw the image posted above on his inner thigh.

I inquired why he had a crudely drawn smiley face tattooed on his leg staring up at him visible only with his pants down. His matter-of-fact reply: “It’s my Poop Buddy sir. I did it myself.” The humorously ironic thing was I knew immediately what he meant. In the Army, you don’t go anywhere without your “Battle Buddy” also called a “Ranger Buddy.” For the rest of his life, this guy would never poop alone. There, tattooed on his thigh, forever smiling up at him in every filthy porta-john world wide would be his “Poop Buddy.”

I told him it had been a while since an infantry soldier had said or done anything that surprised me, but this was completely original. He gave me permission to photograph it and share while beaming a big goofy grin and repeating, “He’s my Poop Buddy.” There are worse ideas the kid could have .

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