U.S. Navy Tells Its Twitch Streamers To Respond Like Whiny Cowards When Asked About War Crimes

U.S. Navy Tells Its Twitch Streamers To Respond Like Whiny Cowards When Asked About War Crimes

The saga of the United States military’s attempts to recruit young people by streaming on Twitch is full of twists and turns. Over the summer, the Army and Navy’s Twitch channels were flooded with messages about America’s copious war crimes, questions that almost always resulted in bans. But since these bans arguably straddled the line of free speech violations, the Navy is asking its streamers to adopt a different tactic when viewers bring up the military’s past atrocities: act like complete fucking babies about it.

In training documents acquired by journalist Micah Loewinger, the Navy details how it wants its streamers to react to questions about the United States military, specifically the common “What’s your favourite U.S. war crime?” question that continues to plague these channels. I never expected the grunts they put in front of a camera to sell kids on conducting imperialism to have meaningful conversations, but I’m still surprised by how whiny and feckless they come off.

One response reads,

“I am here to hang out with people like me who love gaming. If you want to know more about my life in the Navy, I am happy to discuss. But I will not speak on behalf of others.”

They are very much not streaming just to meet and chat with fellow gamers. As with military recruitment at esports and other gaming events, these Twitch streams are all about putting a friendly face on an inherently predatory act, not to mention one that overwhelmingly targets those from poor and minority backgrounds.

Another option:

“If you have concerns about Navy policies or actions, I suggest you contact the Federal Elected Officials from your state.”

Sorry folks, “I’m just following orders” isn’t going to work here.

“I’m here to play games. I have no interest in engaging in personal attacks.”

Further into the training documents provided by Loewinger, the Twitch streamers are taught to tell viewers that their views are entirely their own and do not represent the Navy as a whole. Weird how as soon as someone brings up, oh I don’t know, the United States massacring civilians in the Philippines after the Spanish-American War or retreating Kuwaitis in the first Gulf War, it becomes a personal attack.

“I understand that some people here oppose the military and have no interest in a Navy career. But for those who are curious about what it’s like to serve, let’s talk.”

Yep, folks oppose the military in the same nonchalant way they dislike pistachio ice cream or prefer blue over red. It’s not that our taxes are disproportionately given to an organisation that murders and rapes its way through sovereign nations in our names. Just a simple difference of opinion.

Despite the attempts of politicians like congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez to keep the United States military from recruiting on Twitch, it seems like channels from the Army and Navy are here to stay. And as with every carefully planned marketing strategy, it’s obvious these organisations are going to want their propagandists to stay on message rather than dispute viewers. It’s almost as if there’s no arguing that our armed forces are a force for evil in this world. It’s almost as if there’s no defence for their presence on Twitch.

It’s almost as if they plan to continue committing war crimes in perpetuity, hoping that a few streamers shouting, “Poggers!” as they mow down virtual insurgents in Call of Duty can continue to provide grist for the meat grinder.


  • OK, so bad stuff happens in wars, and lets pretend some of that stuff isn’t officially sanctioned and it’s just done by one of the bad apples – why aren’t they punished? Look at the list of war crimes the U.S. have committed and then look at how many years the perpetrators ultimately served (not were sentenced to serve – actually served). In almost every case they serve next to none, their sentences are reduced drastically or they are declared insane almost as though they are being pardoned behind the scenes by people who have done similar things.

    I think when you look at the military and what they’ve done you’ve got to remember the background reasons why people are so angry about it – in America the amount of money they spend on their military is unbelievable, meanwhile you have a massive gap in income equality, healthcare and prison systems that are run for profit and a track record of destroying the lives of the veterans it depends on.

    I just came off making a piece for YouTube on the Military-Entertainment complex [ https://youtu.be/Je7XKCVQGqE if you’re interested, or interested in attacking me personally as I sort of expect at this point], and while some people clearly think it’s not a big deal that the military portrays itself as friendly and heroic others find it absolutely horrifying that they’d take things I / we love and slip some pro-military propaganda into them.

    Their track record with war crimes is terrible, but more importantly the war crimes are just one part of what makes the military so horrifying – the other big one is that their actual goals are pretty awful to. They aren’t liberating civilians, they might depose some dictators here and there, but they do it for profit. Australia does it too, just tagging along behind America, doing whatever she wants to secure oil and trade routes for American interests. Any and all disgust or scepticism directed towards the military is well deserved.

      • It was mine. This guy always complains about the military.

        Saying the article is whiny, the twitch recruiters aren’t responsible for the whole of the US armies actions and the military isn’t sunshine and rainbows.

        • You’re forgetting the catalyst that started all this in the first place in that the organisation was banning folks who brought up military misconduct in the chat.

          • Those people already know what the answer will be. They know the recruiters won’t give them an answer either. They’re there to cause shit.

            If you’re actually interested in the military you would ask actual questions about the jobs there and if you want to know any of this other stuff, go read some reports or ask actual higher ups

  • You’re completely delusional if you think Joe Guy marine #257480 appointed to work on a recruiting channel disguised as a gaming channel is ever going to sit down and chat with you about war crimes.

    I’m all for their channels being hounded until they shut them down… But seriously, some people need to get a grip.

    Acting like they’re ever going to give anything but stock answers, chosen by people far above their pay grade most likely, is insane.

    • Sure, but it helps to keep the issue chugging along, and the fecklessness of the military’s attempt to bland things out is fun to parody.

      Obviously nothing said here, or even on US Kotaku, is going to make much of a difference to the military itself, but if calling out this kind of stuff leads a few more gamers to wise up then I’m all for it.

      I, for one, would be happy to see many more articles like this one.

      I think you are misunderstanding the audience for articles such as this. The article is not directed at changing the military’s behaviour in some way, it’s aimed at informing gamers who might not otherwise be aware that they are being manipulated.

      • The article could have been better written. The reporting side of it which could be interesting is buried under the ‘A Current Affair’ style whining and hyperbole.

        However, the question should also be, is this relevant for Australia? Your point of the article being a warning to those being manipulated is fine for US readers, but not relevant here. Australia’s military is a much different beast than theirs – though not denying there hasn’t been issues with both culture and actions taken. But overall, ours is a much more professional set up and offers genuine educational and employment options for those interested.

        • You are being far too parochial. The article is entirely relevant to Australia, and the Australian military is not “more professional”. The problems are endemic here.

          See, for example


          In fact, the US army offers vastly more genuine educational and employment options than the Australian military does. The US military employs enormous hordes of professionals that never go anywhere near combat. They build bridges, dams, ports and irrigation systems. The US military offers massive numbers of university scholarships, and essentially free tuition at US colleges, both prior to and after service. The US military has a massive research arm that encompasses such things as, for example, breast cancer research. The US military is basically the mechanism that country uses to funnel huge amounts of socialist-style funding towards a wide variety of causes while still pretending that it’s a hard-core capitalist society.

          Literally 7.3 percent of all living Americans have served in the military at some point in their lives, and a much large percentage of US males for obvious reasons. The vast majority were not combat troops, unlike the military in Australia, which is a far more focused military combat force.

          If anything, the problems are much worse here than in the US.

  • “It’s almost as if there’s no arguing that our armed forces are a force for evil in this world.”

    It’s almost as if you believe your own bullshit, Ian.

    • Militaries are created for war. Big suprise.

      In other news, water is wet.

      Of course they could be better, but the army isn’t there to hold birthday parties. There is plenty of death and trauma with them, we don’t live in a Utopia.


    Yeah, even the yanks don’t want to be around our psychopathic murderers.



    That’s right, it’s dragging innocent teenagers into huts, torturing and murdering them and then having a lol about it later with your mates.


    What’s that, you weren’t aware of the mass of war crimes committed by our ‘heroes’ that the majority of our bootlicking media are ignoring?

    You don’t get that the kind of normalising bullshit this article about is WHY you end up with these cultures of fucking insane monsters?

    Congratulations, now please reply to this post with more of your painfully obvious programmed bullshit defense of Western imperialism.

    Extra points for mentioning the WMDs hidden in the baby food factory, 9/11, Bali bombings, the Domino Effect and any other infantile trick used to con basic bitches into supporting invasions of third world nations.

    50 bucks says one of the alt right dingleberries jumps on in here with a ‘IM NOT DEFENDING THE MURDER OF INNOCENTS BUT LET ME BITCH AND MOAN ABOUT YOUR POST CONDEMNING THE MURDER OF INNOCENTS’.

    This instance is one where you’re best served in not doing that. Our nation’s military has committed some really, really fucked up shit. Best you don’t even move towards handwaving that away.

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