Rumor Doctor blog archive

Did the 1st Cavalry Division lose its colors?

The 1st Cavalry Division’s combat patch stands out from its peers: Its silhouetted horse and line on a yellow field is recognizable from far away. But urban legend has it that there was a time when soldiers in the unit were not allowed to wear the patch in the United States.

“Story is that the division lost its colors in Korea and since the division was ‘disgraced’ the patch could not be worn in the US,” one reader wrote in an e-mail to The Rumor Doctor. “During Vietnam the division ‘regained’ its honor, ending the ban.”

Is buying 1 million Iraqi dinar a wise move?

If you don’t like stocks and bonds, you can invest in something safer, like gold. But if commodities aren’t your bag, how about Iraqi dinar? One reader bought 1 million Iraqi dinar in the hopes that the currency will go up so she can exchange the money for dollars and make a profit.

She paid $700 for the currency five years ago and now it’s worth about $850. Is this a wise investment strategy? The Rumor Doctor decided to look into the mysterious world of finance.

Are Satanists and Islamists running the military cargo system?

Other journalists may put their lives in danger to get a story, but only The Rumor Doctor is willing to put his immortal soul at risk to get to the truth.

Case in point: A reader in Japan noticed the number “999” on military cargo crates. Turn that number upside down and you get “666,” the sign of the devil. Some of these cargo crates also had crescent symbols stenciled on them.

Can you inhale a lump of feces from breathing the air at Kandahar Air Field?

You may not want to eat as you read this.

As anyone who has been anywhere near Kandahar Air Field knows, the base has a lagoon of sewage roughly the size of Lake Michigan. Rumor has it there is so much airborne fecal matter coming from the “Poo Pond,” that after six months of living on the base you have inhaled a candy-bar-size lump of human waste.

Did Marines, not German soldiers, coin the phrase ‘Devil Dogs’?

In the Marine Corps, there is tradition and there is truth, and the two do not always intersect. Such is the case with term “Devil Dogs,” which the German troops in World War I supposedly called Marines at Belleau Wood, leading the Corps to adopt it as a term of endearment.

But The Rumor Doctor got a tip that the term “Devil Dogs” might not come from the Germans after all, so The Doctor decided to get to the bottom of the matter, even at the risk of being accused of hating all things Marine Corps and American.

After The Doc debunked the legend of the “Blood Stripe” — the scarlet stripe on dress blue uniform pants supposedly commemorating a battle in the Mexican-American War — a commenter on Stripes.com wrote: “Schogol’s self-portrait shows him with long hair and a beard, so of course he can’t be trusted tampering with sacred Marine traditions. Every Marine NCO knows in his heart (and arms and legs after getting promoted to Cpl) what the REAL truth is. What’s next, Schogol, Mom and Apple Pie?!”