TikTok Soldier Disgraces the Uniform

TikTok Soldier Disgraces the Uniform

TikTok Soldier Disgraces the Uniform

Just when we thought that Gen Z couldn’t get more self-absorbed, we learn about an Army National Guardsman who mocks his generation — and service — on TikTok. Not only that, but he plans to ditch a career in uniform for one as a social media influencer.

Who didn’t see that coming?

Anthony Gonzales currently serves as a “petroleum supply specialist” — in citizen parlance, he pumps gas — at Fort Chaffee, a National Guard training center in Arkansas. When the 21-year-old first enlisted, he planned to make the military his career. But after his TikTok channel went viral in August, 2021, with over 22 million views and 5 million likes, the soldier saw fame in his future:

Although I didn’t anticipate gaining a lot of followers and views and stuff like that, I feel like I was meant for it, to be honest, and I have, still, so much more potential. 

He’s off to a promising start, with over 367,000 followers and brand deals with liquor and swimwear companies. So what’s his new goal? To have his “name known.”

I would love to be an influencer. I would love to just keep making videos and, like, I would love to model, also. 

Of course he would.


The TikTok Soldier Mocks His Service

When he’s not refueling vehicles, Gonzales mocks his service and his fellow Gen Z soldiers by being a drama queen. And I mean queen in the gayest sense of the word.

We’re getting attacked? Oh, that’s not really my thing, you know what I’m saying? Hey, Siri, call an Uber.

And then he took off his mask, and he wasn’t cute. So then I shot him. 

Rather like Dylan Mulvaney in uniform, wouldn’t you say?

Here’s more:

But hold on — didn’t the US Army ban soldiers from using TikTok?

Why, yes it did. In 2019, the Army joined the US Navy in banning the app due to security risks. That’s because TikTok is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, which collects data of Americans who subscribe. In addition, as the Wall Street Journal reported in 2021, the app uses algorithms to send its users into video rabbit holes of depression, eating disorders, and suicide, along with other harmful content.

But the military banned TikTok only for government-owned phones. If fools like Anthony Gonzales want to use their own phones to access the app, there’s nothing to stop them.

Meanwhile, China laughs.


What About those Naval Academy Videos?

Back in 2012, the US Naval Academy did a send-up of the then-popular video “Gangnam Style” by South Korean rapper Psy. It was recorded as a “spirit spot” video prior to USNA’s football game with Virginia Military Institute.

It’s typical for service academies to create such videos to air during football games. However, this one went viral. TikTok videos

Peter Mello/flickr/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Three years later the Naval Academy outdid themselves with “Naptown Funk,” — “Naptown” being a slang term for Annapolis, MD, home to the academy. The result was an even more elaborate spirit video which parodied Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk.”

So what’s the difference between the service academy videos and the TikTok material by Anthony Gonzales?

Plenty. First of all, Gonzales is mocking his service as well as that of his fellow soldiers. On the other hand, the USNA spirit videos celebrate being midshipmen, as well as pride in being future Naval officers. They make the Navy look cool, while according to Gonzales’s videos, being a soldier is a joke.

Finally, consider that upon graduation from the Naval Academy each midshipman is required to serve a minimum of five years as an officer in either the Navy or Marine Corps. Some, like my son-in-law (USNA Class of 2005), have made military service their career.

That’s a world of difference between a self-absorbed soldier who can’t wait to leave service so he can become an influencer and have his “name known.” On the other hand, Ryan Touhy, the midshipman who created “Naptown Funk,” wrestled with the decision between film school or the Naval Academy — and went with the academy.

Meanwhile, all branches of the US military are facing shortages. But what else can anyone expect from a military which tolerates its personnel making insipid TikTok videos that make a mockery of service — on an app that is in itself a security threat? Or from a self-absorbed generation which sees becoming a social media “influencer” as the height of life goals?


Featured image: nordskovmedia.dk/flickr/cropped/public domain. 

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • Dietrich says:

    We should backburner our concerns about the Chinese threat. Canada could take us.

  • You have an absolute talent for annoying me.

    My SON is a “gas pumper” – for the Marines. Field fueling points are very high priority targets for an enemy with any kind of brain. If he is deployed to a combat zone, I will be terrified at any knock on my front door.

    So, please staple and fold THAT bit of snark into nice sharp corners – and shove it you know where.

    • Kim Hirsch says:

      And you have a talent for missing the point.

      But stayed tuned. I’m sure I’ll annoy you again.


      • Your point was there, and obvious. WITHOUT the snark against OTHER service members.

        Yes, this one is a bad one. His MOS has NOTHING to do with it.

        So – once again – STUFF IT!!!

  • GWB says:

    It’s difficult to tell from that 25 second bit if he’s mocking his fellow soldiers who might be wusses or mocking himself because he’s a wuss. There is a difference between a Monty Python sketch about training soldiers to defend themselves from an attacker with fruit and making a video that actually mocks the idea of military service or the job they (are supposed to) do.

    I’m actually more worried that he’s mocking a culture settling in to our militaries* than that he’s mocking the services themselves. If what I might call “Then we’re in real trouble”** mentality is more prevalent than when I was in, we are, most certainly, in REAL Trouble.

    (* I despise all computer spell and grammar checkers. They often don’t recognize basic things like the plural of “military.” Mine tells me that must be “militarize.” Stupid computer. And you think I’m going to believe you on “AI”?)

    (** When I was an Air Liaison Officer [Air Force pilot living and working with the Army as a forward air controller and airpower advisor] we had to go and qualify with our weapons. It meant the less-than-handful of office people in our squadron had to go out and maybe get their hands dirty. Most didn’t complain. But one woman stated emphatically that if we were in a situation where she needed to shoot any bad guys that “We were in real trouble.” I agreed with her, though not for the same reasons she had. She didn’t even get it when I told her the true story of the REMF radio operator in WW2 that died sending out the distress radio call when the German overran the HQ. He died at his radio, a rifle in hand, with a couple of dead Germans at the tent entrance, and the radio shot to smithereens – but help on its way. I learned that one from a comic book, fer cryin’ out loud – back in the day when they were still American. I was never happy with her in uniform, much less in the unit.)

  • GWB says:

    BTW, I’m assuming this joker is without his blouse in those videos because he thinks it will protect him from being in violation of using the uniform for non-gov’t purposes. Also, if he’s making these in the field, he’s by definition “gold-bricking” instead of doing his work. If the leadership weren’t otherwise preoccupied with pronouns, I’m confident they could find him in violation in short order. But that would require management to be leaders.

  • Liz says:

    A Naval academy video (that was obviously screened approved beforehand, else the Commandant would be Commandant no more) is a little different. I find it hard to believe flamboyantly gay tiktok person is still enlisted in the service?
    I’m old enough to recall when “Maestro” O’Malley did his little gold bond powder video when stationed in the ROK. He sent it to a couple of friends who sent it to their friends until the thing went viral and he was in trouble. And that publicity was very unintentional (though still stupid).

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