These aren’t photos of toys — they’re servicemembers posing with real gear
By ALEX HORTON | The Washington Post | Published: September 30, 2019
The airmen laid out all the equipment that keeps them ready to secure Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.
Radios and night-vision goggles? Check. Rifles and a machine gun? Check.
Energy drinks? Definitely that.
In a trend that has rocketed across the world, the airmen got into position for the Tetris Challenge on social media — laying out equipment and people in a horizontal pattern and photographed from above. But even as the meme suggests the classic video game, the result is reminiscent of toy soldier play sets.
While meme historians peg the practice to a 2018 post from a New Zealand police Twitter account, it caught fire this month after first responders in Switzerland gave life to #tetrischallenge by laying out traffic cones, fire extinguishers — and themselves.
More first responders worldwide later joined in on the fun.
But a few military contributions helped propel the meme, offering a rare glimpse into the equipment they carry into battle.
The Tetris Challenge is the latest craze to catch on with servicemembers.
Photoshopped giant cats on aircraft carriers, nestled on tanks and lounging on the Pentagon were a big and bewildering hit when they appeared on social media and published by an unknown guy named Thomas in Western Europe.