Live-Action Role Play in Ukraine
Monday May 16, 2022
It was — literally — a made-for-television moment. A former US Navy chief petty officer turned cable news pundit, dressed in a fresh out-of-the-box camouflage uniform replete with body armor and magazine pouches, wearing matching camouflage helmet and gloves, and cradling an automatic rifle, stared into the camera and announced “I am here to help this country [Ukraine] fight what is essentially a war of extermination.”
With a Ukrainian flag on his left shoulder, and a US flag emblazoned on his body armor, the man, Malcolm Nance, declared that “This is an existential war, and Russia has brought it to these people and is mass murdering civilians.”
A day before, Nance had tweeted a black-and-white photograph of himself, similarly clad, announcing “I’m DONE talking.”
Nance spent 20 years in the US Navy as a cryptologic technician, interpretive (CTI), specializing in the Arabic language, and has turned his career into a thing of legend, so much so that when he speaks of his journey from news desk to Ukraine, it almost sounds convincing.
“Ukraine announced that there was an international force on Feb. 27,” Nance told one reporter...
...and I started looking into it on Feb. 28 … I called the Ukrainian embassy in Washington, and I said: ‘Hey, I want an appointment.’ They were a little slow, so I just went down there and put in my application. The guy asked if I had combat experience and I said ‘Yep.’ Then he looked at my application and said, ‘You’re on the team.’Just like that.