Crazy Purchases In US Defense Spending Spree

Spend It All

Many countries, like the US, have a “use it or lose it” policy when it comes to their budgets. 

So, if the military wants 80 billion next year, and they haven’t used enough to reach that mark, it becomes a mad spending frenzy. What weird or excessive things have the Department of Defense bought in the past?


Christmas and special end-of-year meals can end up a real treat for the troops. 

Plates have been piled with lobster tails, snow crab, and millions of dollars of other sea creatures. Since it’s for the fighting men and women, most people are totally ok with this kind of splurge. 


No, not a few packs here and there. The DoD bought $32 million worth – and not the rechargeable kind.

 Granted, throw-aways are probably more useful? Still, just thinking about all of those ending up in a landfill a few months down the line might make some people cringe. 


A chunk of the budget is assigned to marketing and advertising. 

They wanted to remind people to sign up and serve, so they once put their message on a bunch of NASCAR stuff. The various branches of defense are very vocal that they don’t like waste spending – that it’s the Department of Defenses (e.g. Pentagon) that is to blame.


A throwback to a retro spending spree - In 1856 after Secretary of War Jefferson Davis imported a herd of several dozen camels from North Africa and Turkey. 

Davis believed the “ships of the desert” lost interest, despite being great in the desert

One Chair

The Pentagon gets away with a lot. One of those things included a $9,341 Wexford leather club chair purchased from the Interior Resource Group. 

An insane amount of furniture (that is intentionally overpriced) is an annual expenditure. How many sofas can you get with a few million dollars?

Other Foods

It doesn’t have to come out of the water. Gourmet meals with thick, expensive rib eye, top sirloin, and flank steaks are cooked by pit-masters and professional chefs. 

But if you think about it, why not put more towards finding a way to make their daily means great instead? This includes MREs.

Sports Tributes

Paying millions to entertain the troops isn’t a bad thing. 

Often, the bloated budget has millions go towards teams so they can advertise in as many areas as possible. If you’ve ever seen how much a Super Bowl slot costs, the price tag isn’t as surprising. 

Workout Equipment

Men and women in service can get swoll with the regular stream of brand new fitness equipment. 

It must feel like being Oprah being able to tell everyone, “And you get a treadmill, and you get a set of weights, and you get a universal gym!” It wasn’t just a few here and there, it was literally millions of pieces of workout equipment. 

Passenger Vehicles

These aren’t the multimillion-dollar ones that you see in war. They are just “normal” cars for various “higher-up” people to drive around in. 

The extra spending came from add-ons like being bulletproof or whatever bells and whistles someone needed (or wanted).

Mississippi Cutter

The coastguard often gets overlooked. 

However, when the US government decided to get them a new, expensive boat, everyone banged their heads against their desks (or dinghies). The reason? They didn’t need or want it … and had to maintain it. They needed other things that were far more important.


Less than 10% of the enormous purchase of the little blue pill went to active members of the country’s guard. 

A significant chunk goes to retired personnel. The rest is used in some war zones to trade to local chieftains in exchange for information or other kinds of help.

Failed Uniforms

It’s not secret the government loves to splurge on experimental weaponry and other new advancements.

 One such project was trying to find ways to improve uniforms (while keeping costs down at the same time). What some people don’t realize is that big-budget projects can fail. 

Lip Balm

The Air Force launched one campaign where their message was printed on tubes of lip balm. 

But when someone found out that there were traces of hemp in the recipe, the entire batch had to be destroyed and all other tubes collected for meltdown.


It might sound “duh”, but it’s not the fact that they bought arms and weapons that raises eyebrows. 

It’s the well-known absence of proper book keeping that has money leaking everywhere – sometimes with bullets sitting in a warehouse forever.