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USAF Honor Guard tests recruits with special exercise using a rubber chicken
Many future airmen have failed their exams when faced with the rubber chicken test.
Johndel Callora
01.11.22

We have seen them many times circulating on the internet, funny videos that test our ability to keep a straight face despite what we are seeing. And it is really hard.

It also became an internet fad called “Try not to laugh challenge” where a person or a group of people watch a video that will surely elicit laughter but they are not allowed to laugh, chuckle or even grin.

If you can’t keep a straight face, you will lose and face a penalty or punishment depending on the situation.

Civilians aren’t the only ones

Some men and women in uniform must face this challenge, too. As if the intense training and arduous tasks under challenging weather is not enough endeavors, there is also a battle of will.

The United States Air Force Honor Guard is the official ceremonial unit of the United States Air Force. They are assigned to Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington D.C.

The Honor Guard’s primary mission is to represent the U.S. Air Force at all public and official ceremonies within the National Capital Region and abroad when directed by the Military District of Washington, Headquarters U.S. Air Force or subordinate commands.

Ceremonies include those for visiting dignitaries and military officials, funerals for deceased Air Force personnel and their dependents, wreath-laying ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, White House arrival ceremonies, receptions, and other state and military occasions which comprise the Honor Guards of all five armed services.

Like every squadron in the U.S. Air Force, the Honor Guard is composed of flights which, in turn, are composed of sections, and then elements.

It’s complex, to say the least.

The workhorse of the unit is the Ceremonial Flight.

It is the primary element called upon to supply personnel for all ceremonies that the unit participates in.

It is composed of four elements: Colors, Bearers, Firing Party, and Drill Team.

Honor Guards are required to conduct themselves in a professional manner and maintain proper bearing and composure at all times no matter what happens.

And how can they ensure that the future airmen can resist distractions and keep their cool always?

The forbidden rubber chicken bearing test.

The future airmen are instructed to face the wall, backs straight like a pole, holding their guns in front of them. A serious tension hanging in the air as they are preparing themselves for the test.

Tony C - YouTube Screenshot
Source:
Tony C - YouTube Screenshot

Then there’s the chicken

An ugly face of a yellow chicken creeps out from the corner of their eyes, held by one of their superiors, trying to say hello.

Tony C - YouTube Screenshot
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Tony C - YouTube Screenshot

It’s harder than it looks.

Just the sight of the rubber chicken is enough to make some of the future airmen shake their shoulders in the struggle to rein in their laughter.

Tony C - YouTube Screenshot
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Tony C - YouTube Screenshot

And I can’t blame them.

I mean who won’t be distracted with those bulging eyes and mouth wide open that can fit a golf ball with its size?

And the impossible test gets harder when the guy holding the toy squeezes it making it scream a weird sound on their faces.

Tony C - YouTube Screenshot
Source:
Tony C - YouTube Screenshot

Not everyone makes it.

Many honor guards already failed the test, unable to hold back their laughter or smiles in their version of the “try not to laugh” challenge.

Tony C - YouTube Screenshot
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Tony C - YouTube Screenshot

There’s a price to pay.

These people will face the penalty their superiors have prepared for them. Others also impress with their self-control as they succeed in resisting the temptation to laugh.

Tony C - YouTube Screenshot
Source:
Tony C - YouTube Screenshot

This ingenious test, despite its weird form and presentation, is really effective in testing their ability to maintain bearing and composure.

See how hard it is to pass the rubber chicken bearing test in the video below!

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By Johndel Callora
hi@sbly.com
Johndel Callora is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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