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Waste of the Day: Throwback Thursday: Army Pamphlet Details Rules of King Of The Hill

In 1983, the U.S. Army spent $61,650 printing color pamphlets describing the rules of the boys’ game King of the Hill.

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Loose cash lots of Benjamins lost to PPP fraud in Illinois alone

In 1983, the U.S. Army spent $20,000 — $61,650 in 2023 dollars — to prepare 30,000 fancy, multi-colored pamphlets explaining how to play the children’s’ playground game, King of the Hill.

For this wasteful spending, Sen. William Proxmire, a Democrat from Wisconsin, gave the Army a Golden Fleece Award in 1983. He gave awards to wasteful and nonsensical spending, eventually handing out 168 Golden Fleece Awards between 1975 and 1988.

Waste of the Day: Throwback Thursday: Army Pamphlet Details Rules of King Of The Hill
Waste of the Day 12.28.23 by Open the Books

“The Army has made a mountain out of a molehill but the poor taxpayer have taken the financial tumble,” Proxmire said then.

The pamphlet contained four pages of detailed rules, and a multi-colored diagram of an earthen mound to be used when playing the game. The Army said the purpose of the pamphlet was to “incorporate leadership, strategy planning, and decision-making skills into the physical fitness training program.”

Proxmire called that “nonsense … as the Russian army practices blitzkrieg tactics, massed infrantry attacks, chemical warfare and subversion. Our playing King of the Hill will not keep Defense Minister Ustinov awake nights.”

He added, “King of the Hill has little resemblance to the modern battlefield, which is fluid, makes use of high technology weapons, including remote targeting and attack, and is ot bound by detailed rules,” Proxmire said. “Whatever lessons about strategy which can be learned from King of the Hill will be useless on the battlefield.”


He also noted that children has been learning the rules of their playground game for years without any pamphlet.

“Drill instructors are notably proficient at keeping the troops fit,” he said. “If these instructors want to play King of the Hill to improve fitness, they do not need a Defense Department pamphlet filled with silly rules.”

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This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.

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Adam Andrzejewski (say: Angie-eff-ski) is the CEO/founder of Before dedicating his life to public service, Adam co-founded HomePages Directories, a $20 million publishing company (1997-2007). His works have been featured on the BBC, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, C-SPAN, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, FOX News, CNN, National Public Radio (NPR), Forbes, Newsweek, and many other national media.

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