Military Jokes

March to the beat of your own drum with these military jokes.

Attention! Choose from military jokes such as army jokes, navy jokes and marine jokes that will bring out the military humor in the most serious sergeants.

Air Force Handles Way Weirder than “Maverick”

In Top Gun, Tom Cruise’s call sign was the very apt Maverick. In real life, Air Force pilots’ handles are also 
often appropriate—but definitely 
not as cool. Like these:  ...

A Man Walks Into a Barbershop…

A man walks into a barbershop and asks, “How much for a haircut?” “Twelve dollars,” says the barber. “And for a shave?” “Ten dollars.” “All right,” says the man, settling...

A Military-to-English Dictionary

The armed forces have a language all their own. Here’s our Military-to-English Dictionary: Birth control glasses (BCGs): 
military-issued eyeglasses noted for their unappealing appearance. Gone Elvis: missing in action. Latrinegram:...

My father transferred to a new Navy base…

My father was transferred to a new Navy base when I was four, so my parents quizzed me about our address. After I recited it perfectly, the test continued. “City?”...

Basic flying rules:

Try to stay in the middle of the air. Do not go 
near the edges of it. The edges of the air can be recognized by the 
appearance of ground,...

GPS, Don’t Fail Me Now!

You’ve never been lost until you’ve been lost at Mach 3. Paul F. Crickmore, test pilot

That Weekend is Killer…

Headline from the Times Herald-Record (Newburgh, New York): West Point Cadets Train for Life in Iraq with Weekend in N.J.

Collateral Damage

As I headed into a liquor store, a colonel came out carrying two bags. I snapped to attention and saluted. The colonel responded in kind. The result: the soul-crunching sound...

Standing Violation

Sign above the toilet in a women’s latrine at Camp Ripley in Minnesota: “If you are reading this sign while using this latrine, you are in the wrong one.” Mike...

Forget Everything You Know About Guns

After leaving the Army, I applied for a hunting permit but was told I would first need to take a hunter’s safety course. “I’m a veteran, trained in handling firearms,”...

Ra, Ra, Wrong!

Few civilians know what a quartermaster does. So during my aircraft carrier’s Family Day, I demonstrated a procedure called semaphore—I grabbed my flags and signaled an imaginary ship. Then I...

You’ll Be Tested

Combat rules soldiers should know: • Never share a foxhole with 
anyone braver than you. • Never look important; the enemy may be low on ammo. • Never draw fire;...

Words of Encouragement

When our ship stopped in the Atlantic Ocean for a “swim call,” the chief boatswain noticed how nervous I was. “Don’t worry,” he assured me. “You are never more than...

Passing The Buck

Our drill instructor was at the end of his rope: An airman’s ineptitude was driving him crazy. Getting in the airman’s face, he demanded, “Whoever told you to join the...

New Cars

Visiting a new port is always exciting, and when our destroyer docked in Kiel, Germany, it was no different. In fact, one of my men was awestruck. “Look, Chief,” he...

In the Clear

During my time in the Navy, everyone was getting KP or guard duty except me. Not wanting to get in trouble, I asked the ensign why. “What’s your name?” he...

First Draft

I didn’t enlist in the Army — I was drafted. So I wasn’t going to make life easy for anyone. During my physical, the doctor asked softly, "Can you read...

Loose Change

There were tons of vending machines on base, and as the supply sergeant, I was responsible for all of them. So I pulled in a private and had him count...

Barracks Brigade

Few people know what a quartermaster does. So during my aircraft carrier’s Family Day, I demonstrated a procedure called semaphore—I grabbed my flags and signaled an imaginary boat. When finished,...

Helping Her Out

When my very pregnant niece, a sergeant in the New York Army National Guard, accidentally knocked over a glass of water, one of her soldiers volunteered to help clean it...

American Food

Upon returning from a stint in Iraq, my sister insisted that the best part about being home was having real food again: "The Lunchables I had for breakfast was great!"

Dad Approved

I’d been secretly dating for several months, and it was time to break the news to my very protective father. My mother thought he’d take it better if she explained...

No Smoking

I was in our local VA hospital when a clerk began scolding a veteran who’d lit up a cigarette in a no-smoking area. "Sir!" she barked. "When did you start...

Top 5

After I spoke at a grade school assembly about veterans, a student asked, "Were you ever in a war?" "Yes, two," I said. "World War II and Korea." The girl’s...

Packing for War

I was in Afghanistan speaking with a reporter as a soldier packed her things. The major came over and noticed some odd-looking pieces of cloth on her cot. "What are...

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Before he was deployed to Afghanistan, my brother Ken was lamenting over how many people seemed unaware of the conflict. I had to concede his point when I later mentioned...

Forrest Gump

My husband and I were watching Forrest Gump at the base theater. The crowd was pretty quiet throughout the film, until the scene when Forrest graduates from college and is...

Vision Issues

During World War II, selective service wasn’t always so selective. My nearsighted friend went before the draft board to explain just how poor his vision was. "If I lose my...

Visiting the Base

After visiting my son at his base, I complained to my brother-in-law: "Security there is so tight, you practically have to give up your firstborn to get in." He replied,...

Giving It Away

As the soldier drove up to the Air Force base gate, my husband, who was on security detail at the time, had an inkling that the driver might have had...

Tool Time

The chief and I were on our submarine trying in vain to hook up some fire hoses. The wrenches we had didn’t fit the connections, so he resorted to banging...

Fear Factor

I served in a parachute regiment. During a nighttime exercise, I was seated next to a young officer. He was looking a bit pale, so I asked, "Scared, lieutenant?" "No,"...

Geography

The day after the Haitian earthquake, I got a frantic call from my daughter in Florida. "What’s wrong?" I asked. "Nate’s been called up by the National Guard. He’s going...

What's a Motto?

As a new paratrooper, I was struck by all the T-shirts on base emblazoned with the motto "Death from above!" Later I noticed a submariner with a T-shirt that declared...

War Stories

My father was telling his young nephew about fighting in Vietnam. "Are you a hero?" Jose asked. "Nah," said Dad. "Did you ever shoot anyone?" "No. All I did was...

International Pride

A brother of a student of mine showed me a photo their father had sent from Iraq. In it, his dad is sitting atop a tank. On the back of...

Trying

Marines are known for storming the beaches, not for romance. I witnessed this firsthand at the base in Twentynine Palms, California. One of the enlisted men complimented the receptionist’s flowered...

Preparing for Boot Camp

Like any mother, I worried when my son joined the Marines. But later on, when I asked him how things were going, he put my mind at ease. "Let me...

Deployment

When the Air Force deployed me overseas, my daughter’s friend asked her where I was headed. "Guantánamo Bay," my daughter said. "Oh, my God!" her friend shrieked. "What did he...

Letter Home

A letter I received from my son stationed in Baghdad: Mom, Yesterday I was part of a security detail for Kid Rock, Kellie Pickler, and comedian Lewis Black. This morning,...

Placing Blame

My daughter and her husband, naval reservists, have an eight-year-old son. When one of his parochial school classmates told my daughter that Angus had said a bad word, she said,...

Odd Package

An officer in my unit in Iraq was on the phone with his mom. She asked if there was anything he needed. Yes, he told her, lots of ChapStick. There...

Limb by Limb

While lopping branches off a tree in his yard, my warrant officer lacerated his leg with a chain saw, requiring a trip to the hospital and stitches. Our chief decided...

Unclean

Soon after being transferred to a new duty station, my Marine husband called home one evening to tell me he would be late. "Dirty magazines were discovered in the platoon...

Government Green

I was charged by the Coast Guard to buy a house near Station Rockland in Maine to be converted into military housing. But after many delays on our part, the...

Vote for the Best "Off Base" Joke of 2008

The humor editors of Reader's Digest compiled the 5 funniest military jokes from the 2008 issues. Read these and vote for your favorite now!

Taking Off

Just after my father, who was a career Air Force NCO, passed away, all my brothers and sisters returned home to be with Mom. As we reminisced about my dad,...

Weight Issues

Sixteen years is a long time. That’s how far the photo of my husband—looking slim and fit in his Marine Reserve uniform—goes back. Today, he’s about 100 pounds heavier, so...

Crash Landing

As he reviewed pilot crash reports, my Air Force military science professor stumbled upon this understated entry: "After catastrophic engine failure, I landed long. As I had no power, the...

Bad Transmissions

Marine Corps pilots and aircraft maintenance technicians have a special bond. So I was unfazed when a flyboy described a vexing problem. "The radio," he said, "worked intermittently … but...

On Closer Inspection…

Officer candidate school at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, was tough. During an inspection, a fellow soldier received 30 demerits for a single penny found within his area. Ten demerits were for...

Dinner is Served

Distrustful of Army chefs’ culinary talents, my father quizzed the top cook at his base. How did he know when the food was ready to be served? Dad asked. "Easy,"...

True Stories From Comic History

When is comedy history? When you had to be there to really get it. We opened the Reader's Digest vaults for these stellar examples.

Long Departure

Approaching a GI who had just arrived in South Vietnam, I asked him how long he expected to be here. "Well," he replied, "the sergeant told us we’d be here...

Simple Request

The trials and tribulations of our sons, daughters, parents, and friends in the military. In a lecture to a group of Korean officers, Lieut. Gen. Bruce C. Clarke, at that...

Slow Delivery

The trials and tribulations of our sons, daughters, parents, and friends in the military. During my Air Force basic training, I cracked the frames of my eyeglasses. After taping them,...

Child Talk

In honor of Memorial Day, the teacher I worked with read the Constitution to her third-grade class. After reading “We the people,” she paused to ask the children what they...

Secret Information

While standing watch in the Coast Guard station in Juneau, Alaska, I got a call from the Navy in the nearby city of Adak. They had lost contact with one...

Setting up a Brigade

My brother and I arrived at boot camp together. On the first morning, our unit was dragged out of bed by our drill sergeant and made to assemble outside. "My...

Smart Ones

One of my jobs in the Army is to give service members and their families tours of the demilitarized zone in South Korea. Before taking people to a lookout point...

Smile For the Camera

When my husband visited our son, Michael, at boot camp, he found him marching smartly with his unit. Michael’s father proudly approached the soldiers and began to snap photo after...

Air Force Talk

Pointing to a pan of chicken wings and legs disguised in the classic mess-hall manner, a young airman asked the mess sergeant, "What’s for chow?" "Air Force chicken," replied the...

Time Confusion

My wife, Dolores, never quite got the hang of the 24-hour military clock. One day she called the orderly room and asked to speak with me. The person who answered...

Based on Water

After being at sea in the Persian Gulf for 90 straight days, I went to the squadron command master chief to complain. "Chief, I joined the Navy to see the...

Tough Dentist

A Navy dentist’s license plate:

“TOP GUM.”

Bookworm

Having helped prepare the annual budget for my unit of the Seventh Army Special Troops in Heidelberg, Germany, I took the report to the office of the adjutant, who signs...

What Really Matters

Going over our weekly training schedule one morning at our small Army garrison, we noticed that our annual trip to the rifle range had been canceled for the second time,...

Dangerous Weapons Permitted

On a business trip, my father approached a security checkpoint at the airport. The National Guard shift was rotating, and a guard, in full uniform, was in line in front...

You Are What You Are

During basic training, our drill sergeant asked for a show of hands of all Jewish personnel. Six of us tentatively raised our hands. Much to our relief, we were given...

Doing What You Are Told

The colonel who served as inspector general in our command paid particular attention to how personnel wore their uniforms. On one occasion he spotted a junior airman with a violation....

Falling Objects

When I was an infantry platoon commander, my Marines trained regularly for nighttime reconnaissance patrol. As we moved along, each of us would whisper the name of any obstacle to...

Foreign Object

Serving as a Marine recruiter in western North Carolina, I found a young man who met all the requirements and was ready to enlist. I explained the importance of being...

Giving Up

After joining the Navy, my husband underwent a physical. During the exam, it was discovered that, due to an abnormality, he couldn’t fully extend his arms above his head. Perplexed,...