Grunt Life: Knuckle-dragging eZine Coming Soon
Grunt Life is the name of a new knuckle-dragging eZine coming to the web soon. It is written by (though not necessarily limited to) grunts. It will be a monthly 30-page electronic digest says Brian Kenney of Gruntworks. Grunt Life is a product of Gruntworks, which has developed a huge, even cult-like following of both grunts and POGs alike on line.
What is a grunt and what is a POG? Kenney supplies the following definitions:
“If your primary weapon is used to close with and destroy the enemy; to put a bullet in his face, then you’re probably a Grunt. If it’s primary purpose is for self-defense, you’re probably a POG.”
There are many RECOIL readers who served in the military. Some were no doubt infantrymen and most will identify with the traditional definition of grunt, which is to say an infantryman. Brian Kenney and some of the scabbed-knuckle types he works with, however, argue the larger definition. Conversely a POG, by all accounts, is anyone else. POG (pronounced pogue) stands for Person Other than Grunt. It is frequently, though not always, used as an epithet, though older more seasoned grunts are often less derisive than their younger more “moto”or “hooah” fellows (see below). Those familiar with the tooth-to-tail analysis of the military are aware there are a surprisingly small number of infantrymen and dedicated doorkickers comparatively speaking. Those who have ever spent any time around infantrymen are well aware of the perverse pride they take in the frequently miserable nature of their dangerous profession.
Interestingly, from all the feedback received thus far on social media, Grunt Life will appeal not just to warfighters of all kinds, but to civilians as well.
“Our jokes are military,” Kenney explains, “but other people get it too. The ghoulish humor, the outlook…we make it accessible to everyone, not just POGs but civilians as well. We entertain and educate.”
In order to entertain and educate, Gruntlife is assembling an interesting cast of contributors. There are grunts and POGs and civilians alike. Within the magazine, as can be seen from the mocked up covers, will be an element of TTPs (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures) and fieldcraft, but the real niche will be humor.
Kenney explains, “What we hope is a guy downrange at a FOB opens it up and laughs – if he does, mission accomplished. If he also learns something about a new piece of gear and that helps, say it’s his first deployment, then better still.”
The eZines is described as a magazine for warfighters – it will be in large part from a grunt’s perspective, but it will include some macro view from people in the know. That may not just be SNCOs and general officers, but from civilians SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) such as VA advocates, ballistic experts – and humorists. Always humorists. Writers, editors, artists, the primary goal of the eZine will be to evoke a laugh in the reader. To that end they’ve already established a relationship with other ‘cult’ military humor sites an artists, including the men behind Bob on the FOB comics and Downrange Comics.
The primary contributors, of course, are grunts. Some are veterans, some are retired, some of them are still active – one of them, for instance, missed a conference call a few days back because of an attack where he is currently deployed. They are hoping to use Kickstarter to launch Grunt Life, so they’re “not handing the crown and scepter over to investors”. For obvious reasons they would want an investor who has bathed his testicles in a canteen cup at a combat outpost, understands that edible is a relative term and is familiar with the piquancy of burn-$&!tters. That is not your typical businessman, so they figure (probably rightly so) that autonomy would be better maintained with Kickstarter funding.
Note: Moto is a Marine term for motivated, sometimes used derogatorily or expanded to motarded. Hooah is an Army term for motivated, also something that can be complimentary or derisive, as well as a general purpose acknowledgement.
“I don’t make the infantryman look noble, because he couldn’t look noble even if he tried. Still there is a certain nobility and dignity in combat soldiers and medical aid men with dirt in their ears. They are rough and their language gets coarse because they live a life stripped of convention and niceties.Their nobility and dignity come from the way they live unselfishly and risk their lives to help each other.” Bill Mauldin