VIDEO: That Time the US Army Tried to Drill Its Soldiers While They Tripped Out on LSD

In the 1950s and '60s, US Army and CIA experimenters experimented with a number of substances in a bid to find advantage in future military conflicts. Among those substances was the powerful psychedelic, LSD. 


The archived video footage below makes abundantly clear that LSD was not going to prove very useful to the military. It was shot in 1963 at the Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland, where the Army was testing the drugs on active duty volunteers. The video shows a squad of soldiers ordered to conduct drills and ceremony.

The first segment, shot while the soldiers were sober, shows them able and willing to follow orders and do their drills. The second segment (which begins at 1:42) shows them attempting the same maneuvers under the influence of LSD. It didn't work out so well.

"There was much laughter as the group attempted to give expression to inner emotions," the Army narrator reports. "This elation was group-supported, and an individual who was separated from the group would show severe disturbance."

While the men managed more or less to line up on command, getting them to march properly while on acid was a different story.

"After a few minutes, the men found it difficult to obey orders, and soon, the results were chaotic."

And not good for military discipline. At one point, a drill sergeant, who had also been dosed, is approached by an officer and told to order his men to drill. "You want 'em drilled, you drill 'em," the sergeant tells the officer.

Enjoy. This is your tax dollars at work:

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