American Military Bonds Over 'My Little Pony'


In many offices, co-workers bond around their shared love for TV shows. They debate and revel in the latest episodes of "Mad Men" or "30 Rock." Still, it might be a little surprising to discover the TV show that members of the American military are bonding over: "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic."

This year's class of pilots-in-training at Oklahoma's Vance Air Force Base shirked the skulls and scorpions of patches past, in favor of a pink homage to the cartoon series, reports NewsOn6.com.

"It was kind of a fluke," Lt. Thomas Barger, spokesman for the 71st Flying Training Wing, told the Air Force Times. "During a slide show presentation while previewing the different patch options, the student presenter threw the 'My Little Pilot' patch design into the mix as an ironic joke. That patch made it all the way through the approval process and is even more ironic since the class never really wanted it in the first place."

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In the 1980s and 90s, "My Little Pony" was a popular TV show and toy line of pastel dolls with an intoxicating aroma of honeysuckle and PVC. Its 2010 resuscitation by Hasbro Studios spawned an enormous and unlikely Internet fanbase of mostly adult men, known as "bronies," who share their cultish appreciation in online forums and regular, elaborately costumed meet-ups (like the one pictured above -- Otakon 2011 in Baltimore). Bronies even created a commercial promoting their fanbase, and run their own charities, Bronies For Good and The Brony Thank You Project.

Members of our nation's armed forces appear to be some of the most enthusiastic acolytes of the Hub Network show. A Facebook page for military bronies has over 8,650 likes. A sergeant at Fort Carson in Colorado told The Gazette newspaper in Colorado Springs that there were around nine bronies at his base as of a few months ago, himself included. Last year's BronyCon Summer 2012 even offered a special lunch for service members, reports Military Times, and when the voice actress behind magical pony Twilight Sparkle paid a visit, the men erupted into her signature song "twilightlicious" (video below).

"If I had not found that show, I would have been so stir crazy, hating my life, being stuck in Texas," says one self-professed military brony in a YouTube confessional. "... But the way I keep myself going is I listen to the fan music while I'm out working.The music is inspiring."

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The show has stirred such passions among troops that the Military Times even ran an article on whether it's appropriate for airmen to wear their uniforms to Brony gatherings.

But whether or not it fits the image of the defenders of our skies, it makes the pilots better fighters, Barger told the magazine The Escapist. "Fostering camaraderie, morale and unity on a regular basis and through small means -- like a tastefully humorous patch -- enhances our ability to complete the mission when working as a team is essential," he said.

The show's themes of teamwork, optimism, and flying seem to strike a particular chord with our countrymen in uniform. Hub Network CEO Margaret Loesch, who was also an executive producer on the original 1980s series, told USA Today last year that she had received an email from a group of soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, who had discovered the show through their daughters.

"Even though it's a show designed for little girls, the theme of friendship and honor and integrity and the moral center has relevance to them," Loesch said. "That's pretty special."



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Vickyepicwin

And this is the kind of **** that makes other countries laugh at Americans.

April 27 2014 at 5:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
NikkiCuevs03

Actually Frank Larkin you are badly mistaken..YOu can make money with Google quite easily. Just check this out.. goo.gl/CUsV4u

August 12 2013 at 9:43 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
hgslgs

i think everyone should atleast give it a chance

August 10 2013 at 3:23 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
hgslgs

im a brony and i so... agree

August 10 2013 at 3:22 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Mario Rodgers

Oh yeah. I guess all these gung ho types skipped over the part where it said we even set up charities thanks to the lessons of the show and the fandom's overall passion. We've raised tens of thousands of dollars and even gave some hope to a couple African villages. What other tv show can you say has changed the world this much other than Star Trek?

August 10 2013 at 12:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mario Rodgers

I see a lot of narrow-minded, sexist comments. It's not the pink frilliness and ribbons the old show was, but how is a person's hobby such a threat to your world just you're too stupid to think outside contrived prejudices and outdated gender stereotypes?

August 10 2013 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mario Rodgers's comment
The Kings Man

Thank you! Someone, has to explain what the current version is about.

August 10 2013 at 12:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bubba

This is the new "Obama" military. After spending over 20-some years in the U.S. Army (including some in Texas, which I loved),as both enlisted and officer, I can not think of any of my troops who would be a "bronie" (even if tortured by an enemy). Sort of makes me think of today's ads for the Navy where they say: "The Navy - a worldwide force for good". I am sure that this ad makes our Navy heroes of our many wars spin in their graves, as the revelation of "bronies" should for Air Force troops.
Thank God the Marines and the Army are maintaining some decency (so far), although the feminization of the entire military has moved to the front as a priority, and PC has become the "Order of the Day" . Bah, Humbug.

Bubba is an old Army guy, who longs for a return to a Military focused on defeating the Enemy, not on social engineering and "inclusion", through today's Obama "touchey-feeley" Bronie clones.

August 10 2013 at 5:34 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bubba's comment
The Kings Man

Wow, someone is butt hurt over something that is not needed. Get over it.

August 10 2013 at 11:30 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
flilguy

Just because this guy watches this cartoon with his peers doesn\'t mean that everyone in the service is watching it. I was curious and tried to watch \"My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic,\" I started falling asleep within the first 90 seconds of the show.

August 10 2013 at 4:25 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to flilguy's comment
The Kings Man

Somehow, I think you are a troll.

August 10 2013 at 11:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Buddy Maxwell

Talk about Texas all you want, but a real man would rather spend the rest of his life in a cell next to Charlie Manson rather than admit they are from that funky state of Alaska! LOL

August 10 2013 at 3:51 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Buddy Maxwell's comment
flilguy

At least people from Alaska know how to drive in the snow.

August 10 2013 at 4:16 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
marianne

this is weird...very !

August 10 2013 at 3:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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