Thursday 19 Jul 2018 | 19:45 | SYDNEY
Thursday 19 Jul 2018 | 19:45 | SYDNEY

Plentiful peculiar Pentagon patches


Michael Fullilove


3 April 2008 09:41

The Interpreter’s more security-minded readers will have noticed the wonderful article in yesterday’s New York Times about the military patches worn by members of various military units funded off the Pentagon’s classified budget. It seems that a lot of military guys working on top-secret projects out in the desert have a good deal of time on their hands. William J. Broad reports as follows:

One patch shows a space alien with huge eyes holding a stealth bomber near its mouth. “To Serve Man” reads the text above, a reference to a classic “Twilight Zone” episode in which man is the entree, not the customer. “Gustatus Similis Pullus” reads the caption below, dog Latin for “Tastes Like Chicken.”

There is also a dragon holding the Earth in its claws, a naked woman riding a killer whale, and a Groucho Marx face.

The article was inspired by a new book by Trevor Paglen, entitled I could tell you but then you would have to be destroyed by me: Emblems from the Pentagon’s black world. A Brookings colleague, Peter Singer, has also pointed me in the direction of the rich literature on this topic in the blogosphere. Danger Room, for instance, ran a competition for the Most Awesomely Bad Military Patch, the winner of which was the ‘Death wears bunny slippers’ patch, showing the Grim Reaper at ease (click here and scroll down).