Outside The Wire

NSFW safety brief singer’s superiors definitely in on the joke

Don’t worry, the singer of the salty safety brief is safe–from punishment.

Superiors at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, were in on the joke when Pfc. Michael Davis sang an acoustic anti-drunk-driving song, in spite of the foul language.

In fact, 1st Sgt. Travis Cook said Davis — a Christian singer-songwriter — is “straight-laced as they come,” and was simply adapting how Cook curses for emphasis while delivering the weekly briefings. The NCO was grateful Davis’ creative take grabbed the attention of his 130-plus battle buddies, helping the safety message sink in.

“Like the whole Army, we’re confronting DUI’s, and when we do safety briefs, with the repetition of, ‘don’t drink and drive,’ you just see these guys’ eyes glaze over,” Cook said.

The song’s refrain is the signature line of Cook’s safety briefs, “Alaska will f—ing kill you.”

In a humorous fashion, the tune stresses the dangers of drunk driving, falling for strippers and tangling with the local wildlife (the last one, a lesson Cook said he learned firsthand when he nearly bumped into a giant moose while out hiking). Not to mention Alaska’s subzero temperatures.

“Alaska is an amazing place to be, but it’s also amazingly dangerous,” Cook said. “This state will kill you.”

For Davis, it all started when one of his team leaders discovered Davis’ talents as a Christian singer-songwriter and shared a video of him with their platoon leadership.

When platoon leadership suggested that Davis adapt Cook’s legendarily profane safety briefs into a song for the weekly brief, Davis feared it would not be compatible with his sacred style. But he soon got over his initial discomfort with help from some platoon mates–who pitched in on the lyrics.

“The safety brief has some crazy words in it … I said, ‘I don’t know, I’ll just do it,’” said Davis, 30, raised in Arcanum, Ohio.

Davis dashed off the tune in under an hour, and his performance more than a week ago was posted to U.S. Army WTF! Moments, winning tons of support. He and Cook couldn’t be more delighted.

“I’m thrilled over everything on Facebook and the acknowledgement for a great soldier,” Cook said. “The chain of command at brigade and battalion level have been nothing but supportive.”

For Davis, the attention has been “overwhelming,” not to mention the new confidence feeding his Christian singing-songwriting aspirations.

“It’s definitely given me some encouragement,” Davis said. “It’s definitely been a boost for what I do with my Christian songs.”

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