Modern Warfare Mask Lands French Soldier in Trouble

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Modern Warfare Mask Lands French Soldier in Trouble

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The French military says it was "unacceptable" for a soldier to wear a skull-emblazoned mask that made him look like Modern Warfare's Ghost.

An unknown French legionnaire enjoyed a brief bout of semi-fame among gamers a couple days ago thanks to a balaclava that gave him the look of a real-life Ghost, one of the central characters of the Modern Warfare franchise. It's hardly a surprising choice of couture for a relatively young man who, when you get down to it, is is paid to kill people on behalf of his government; when death is your business, a death's head motif is a natural fit.

Even so, the brass was not happy when the picture came to light, saying that the soldier's decision to wear the mask was "unacceptable."

"This image is not representative of France's action in Mali," French military spokesman Colonel Thierry Burkhard said at a news conference.

Yet the legionnaire in question wasn't trying to strike fear in the hearts of enemy combatants while in the midst of a blazing firefight; according to the man who took the photo, he was simply guarding some armored vehicles in Mali, where French forces are engaged with Islamist militants, when a helicopter came in and he put the mask on "to avoid getting a mouthful of sand."

"It was evening, and rays of sunlight were pushing through the trees and into the dust clouds. It was a lovely light. I spotted this soldier wearing a strange scarf and took the photo. At the time, nothing about the scene seemed especially unusual or shocking," photographer Issouf Sanogo explained. "The soldier wasn't posing and there was nothing staged about the image. He was just standing there, protecting his face from the dust, waiting for the chopper to land. No one tried to stop me shooting the picture."

The French army is now trying to identify the legionnaire in the photo, presumably for disciplinary purposes, but Sanogo made it clear that he has no interest in assisting with the effort and doubts that he could even if he wanted to. "The troops are working in difficult conditions. They travel thousands of kilometers by road and do what they can to entertain themselves a little," he said. "I don't know the identity of the soldier in the scarf and I'd have a hard time recognizing him even if I did see him again. I think - and I hope - that it's impossible to tell who he is. I'm not even sure if he knows what people are saying about him."

Source: AFP

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It doesn't seem like they were trying to be "cool" or anything, but you'd have thought they'd be given standard issue scarves to wear for these kinds of things.

Yeah.......Maybe the Higher ups in the French Army are just unhappy that he couldn't use that balaclava as a white flag to surrender with.

...A French legionnaire.

Instead of a mouthful of sand, he'll get a mouthful of fist. The French Foreign Legion don't take shit.

Ghost was so 2009, lets get some guy dressed as Vaas on the ground!

To be more serious: There's alot of stuff I can understand as being a bad influence on ground forces, that guy who just went to court for peeing on enemy bodies is a good case but this seems mostly harmless. Still I can understand why everyone wants to look as good and professional as possible on the ground, it really doesn't seem to take much to anger the locals in some of these locations.

image
i must admit, that is a pretty cool effect.

I gotta admit, it is a beautiful picture. I think the French, of all people, should appreciate good art when they see it, rather than try to discipline the one French soldier out there that people might actually be afraid of now.

EDIT: I think I just got ninja'd.

Just a soldier being a soldier, nothing to see here to be honest.

Andy Chalk:
It's hardly a surprising choice of couture for a relatively young man who, when you get down to it, is paid to kill people on behalf of his government; when death is your business, a death's head motif is a natural fit.

Couldn't have said it better myself. Well spoken!

The photographer makes an excellent point I think. It must be so easy to get depressed or distressed when doing what soldiers do, and something as small as this makes it a little easier on them.

Plus it's a really nice picture.

I hope that soldier doesn't get too much grief for this.

Just some journalist who got his panties in a twist since they are not allowed close to the fighting, it appears that most of the french population doesnt really care about it.

You'd think that "scary skull motif" is what armies would go for. I mean it works so well for these guys.

image

So killing people for your goverment is ok, but looking like one of the only two people in the CoD series worth remembering is wrong?

LOGIC!

Ah yes, I heard about this over the radio... Honestly, I don't see why people are throwing a shit fit. The guy's in the military, it's a pretty demanding job (most of the time). Doesn't he have the right to fuck around a bit and wear something that makes him feel cool? If he feels awesome while wearing it, then hey, more power to him! Otherwise, this whole argument is completely pointless. If ONE GUY wears it, why would people think this represents the WHOLE French legion? It's just one fucking guy, he's just representing himself! If EVERY French soldier were wearing one, and it were a part of the uniform, THEEEEEEEEEN you have a case. Otherwise, no, fuck off, this is a waste of news. >_>

The photo does look really awesome, though.

A SOLDIER HAVING FUN!!!


I understand how they wouldn't want their soldiery using this imagery in combat but cut the guy a break, sands a bitch to get out of your teeth.

What? That's just not right, let him have a bit of identity.

He didn't even do anything, just stand there.

Hell, in my opinion, the skeleton face should be a part of the military uniform. How intimidating would it be to see skulls with guns aimed to kill?

Dude!! That is really cool in my opinion.

The enemy will be all like: "Holy crap, its Ghost! That means Price and Soap are nearby!"

Legion:
It doesn't seem like they were trying to be "cool" or anything, but you'd have thought they'd be given standard issue scarves to wear for these kinds of things.

They do but most times soldiers will buy they're own gear such as boots, scarves, and underclothes because the standard issue is usually low quality.

kajinking:
Ghost was so 2009, lets get some guy dressed as Vaas on the ground!

Suddenly, every extremist in the area - for unperceived reasons - surrenders to the nearest not-Vaas soldier in the area. Stability is restored over-night.

One white, upper-class, early twenties tourist joins a tribal warrior society in response.

I might side with the French government here though.

He was on duty and a representative of France. He should've just worn his normal outfit. Yes, the army should've provided scarves themselves, but wearing a skullmask is a bit insensitive on the soldier's part.

If you were a regular there with perhaps little to no information to current events, would you trust foreign soldiers with skull-masks? It's better to keep a somewhat friendly face to the local population.

"This image is not representative of France's action in Mali... we aren't remotely badass."

Thedutchjelle:
I might side with the French government here though.

He was on duty and a representative of France. He should've just worn his normal outfit. Yes, the army should've provided scarves themselves, but wearing a skullmask is a bit insensitive on the soldier's part.

If you were a regular there with perhaps little to no information to current events, would you trust foreign soldiers with Assault Rifles and Tanks? It's better to keep a somewhat friendly face to the local population.

I think their garb is somewhat irrelevant in the wider context. Besides, from what the news is reporting the locals are giving French troops a very warm reception regardless.

He should get in trouble.

A Frenchman, impersonating an Englishman? I won't stand for it what.

Blunderboy:
He should get in trouble.

A Frenchman, impersonating an Englishman? I won't stand for it what.

It's almost as though they think they're people!

Cute... but offensive.

I'm from Canada.

We don't go around other people's country wearing death masks.

It's just not done. (and it's impolite).

Heaven forbid ANYONE should find a French solder intimidating. ~_~

I won't pretend to know anything about French military politics, but aren't the French Foreign Legion mercenaries?

The Anthromomorphic Personification Committee have recently called a press conference, in which it is expected that they will apologise for the image taken of Death wearing a beret.

I wouldnt want to be in thier shoes. If this makes thier day just a tiny bit more entertaining, then let 'em have it.

Machine Man 1992:
I won't pretend to know anything about French military politics, but aren't the French Foreign Legion mercenaries?

No, but they used to have a fairly open policy to who they let in. Years gone by, criminals would take joining the Legion as a way to escape authorities.

Jokes about the French aside, the Legion are pretty bad-ass. Not one of his fellow soldiers will rat him out, that's for sure.

Can't help but think of the Mitchell and Webb SS officers skit.

"Hans, are we the baddies?"

Soldiers fight on behalf of the people for our continued peace, safety and freedom.

I'm allowed to act rude, spout nonsense, pretend i'm cool or stupid or silly, this is freedom, and i won't deny those rights to the people who fucking defend them for me. Sorry to the rich leaders who feel they are being represented improperly, but the army is made up of the people, the government just organizes it.

Sometimes a scarf is just a scarf. People are dying over there, but let's talk about this scarf. I guess its my own fault for clicking the link.

When I read this story, the first thing I thought about was a quote from Apocalypse Now.

"We train young men to drop fire on people... but their commanders won't allow them to write 'fuck' on their airplanes because it's obscene."

Al-Bundy-da-G:

Legion:
It doesn't seem like they were trying to be "cool" or anything, but you'd have thought they'd be given standard issue scarves to wear for these kinds of things.

They do but most times soldiers will buy they're own gear such as boots, scarves, and underclothes because the standard issue is usually low quality.

As a US Airman i support this message. So does my closet

PunkRex:
A SOLDIER HAVING FUN!!!


I understand how they wouldn't want their soldiery using this imagery in combat but cut the guy a break, sands a bitch to get out of your teeth.

i like this one better:

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