Fact Check

'Til Deployment Do Us Part

Published Jul 31, 2015

FACT CHECK:   Is the Army instituting a mandatory divorce policy to "improve readiness" within its ranks?

Claim:   The Army is instituting a mandatory divorce policy to "improve readiness."


Example:     [Collected via Twitter, July 2015]

Origins:    In late July 2015, an article tweeted out by the Duffel Blog web site began circulating on social media sites. Titled "Army Implements Mandatory Divorce Policy To Improve Readiness, Lower Costs," it read:

FORT KNOX, KY – In an effort to increase soldiers' interchangeability and world-wide assignment eligibility, the Army has announced that married individuals will no longer be considered for enlistment, and all active-duty married soldiers must divorce their spouses within thirty days or be subject to administrative separation in accordance with AR 600-8-2.

Dependents must return to their home of record at their own expense.

“What we’re seeing is an awful lot of dependents in the Army community, who — let’s be honest — contribute nothing to military readiness,” said Army Secretary John McHugh to reporters. “They distract our married soldiers from putting the mission first, and they suck up a huge amount of resources.”

The article was not new in July 2015, and following the link revealed an original publishing date of 23 March 2013. Moreover, Duffel Blog is a well-known, military-oriented satirical web site popular with those in the armed forces for its quick wit:

We are in no way, shape, or form, a real news outlet. Everything on this website is satirical and the content of this site is a parody of a news organization. No composition should be regarded as truthful, and no reference of an individual, company, or military unit seeks to inflict malice or emotional harm.

All characters, groups, and military units appearing in these works are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or actual military units and companies is purely coincidental.

While most "satire" sites exist solely to dupe readers into spreading false stories, Duffel Blog generally provides laughs for a specific audience and its content (occasionally and inadvertently) is sometimes mistaken for real news. Previous instances in which this happened (which are few and far between) involved the publication of Duffel Blog pieces about a General's controversial speech, misplaced military ballots, and the bankrupting of Applebee's due to its free drink policy on Veterans Day.

Last updated:      31 July 2015

Originally published:    31 July 2015

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.

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