Comically creative orders are a military instructor’s best friend. Ask any recruit for an inventory of comically embarrassing stories of being on the receiving end of such commands and the list will be as long as a CVS receipt.
MCRD San Diego recruits who stare too long at civilian airliners taking off from the adjacent airport may be ordered to sprint and jump across the parade deck in an effort to catch said planes.
A grimacing recruit in dire need of a toilet may request to “make a head call” prior to taking a turn on the obstacle course only to have the request answered by a sarcastic demand to “Call the head.” Fellow recruits try desperately to stifle laughter as the singled out Marine-hopeful completes each obstacle while screaming “Head!” at the top of his lungs.
Examples are numerous, with personnel from each service adding their own own unique twist.
In that same fashion, Russian military instructors recently doled out some unique orders to their recruits by commanding them to march while singing a song forever cemented in the pantheon of terrible-but-entertaining ’90s pop: “Barbie Girl.”
All things considered, the performance of the uniformed Russians is quite admirable. Each remains perfectly in step while bellowing lyrics in a perfect rhythm that would make the members of Aqua blush.
Furthermore, few among the group appear to sacrifice even an ounce of bearing, a factor that could also be attributable to nothing in Russia being actually funny, as demonstrated by the immensely popular cartoon, “Shoe and Shoelace.”
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Still, the exemplary stoicism, as well as the ingenuity to turn the ear-bleeding chorus of “Barbie Girl” into a “hooah” chant, is commendable and is in keeping with the finest traditions of military service.
And fortunately for viewers, the internet remains undefeated. Within hours of the clip being shared, a YouTube user complemented the Russian troops’ triumphant chant with the instrumentals of the song.
Watch the first version of the video below.
And then the second with music.
A not-so-deep internet search of Russian marching, meanwhile, reveals a well-established history of employing Western culture in their marching routines.
In fact, there is an entire video compilation of troops marching to the theme song of “SpongeBob SquarePants” — in Russian, of course.
Enjoy this confusing tradition below.
About J.D. Simkins
J.D. Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times who was a Marine scout observer from 2004-2008. He ugly cried when the Washington Capitals won the 2018 Stanley Cup.