Rumor Doctor blog archive

Which came first: Taliban donkey bombs or Union army mule bombs?

First it was Taliban monkeys. Now it's Donkey-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices.

A Stars and Stripes report out of  Wardak province in Afghanistan says the Taliban have started packing donkeys with explosives to use the animals as unwitting suicide bombers.  This tactic reflects the Taliban's cruelty and lack of humanity, but wait -- did someone already try it more than 150 years ago?

Remember the 'warrior companion' rumor? Here's the backstory

For more than a year, The Rumor Doctor has been dissecting military rumors, myths and lore, making friends with Satanists and enemies with Marines.

It all started when The Doctor, then a mild-mannered reporter, debunked  a rumor  spreading at warp speed that the Army had replaced the phrase "battle buddy" with the more intimate "warrior companion."

Do Rangers say "hooah"?

This week, Army Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry became only the second living Medal of Honor recipient for the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. He and his fellow Rangers deserve our most heartfelt thanks and gratitude.

Just don’t wish them a heartfelt “hooah!”

Does putting your blood type on your gear help if you're wounded?

When The Rumor Doctor first went to Iraq,  a good friend advised him to write his blood type and Rh factor on the sleeves of his shirt, just like troops downrange do. This would allow medics to make sure The Doctor got the right type of blood if wounded, since a mistake could be fatal.

Thankfully, The Doc was bulletproof and returned home safely. But he was reminded of all this when a reader recently asked whether displaying your blood type really did any good during the “golden hour,” the time immediately after trauma.