Meet Anthony Gonzalez, a 21-year-old Army National Guardsman who dreams of moving on from the military and becoming a star — a TikTok star.
In fact, Gonzalez is already a burgeoning star thanks to TikTok videos he posts in which he mocks his generation’s “battlefield behavior.” Indeed, his TikTok account is already up to 17 million likes and 367,000 followers.
“When he’s not fulfilling his responsibilities as a petroleum supply specialist at Fort Chaffee, a US National Guard training center in Arkansas about three hours west of Little Rock, Anthony Gonzales, 21, passes the time between battery refills by filming himself being ‘dramatic’ in the field,” according to the New York Post.
“We’re getting attacked? Oh, that’s not really my thing, you know what I’m saying? Hey, Siri, call an Uber,” he reportedly jokes in one of his many videos.
“And then he took off his mask, and he wasn’t cute, so then I shot him,” he says in another.
And for some reason, the kids love these TikToks.
See one example below:
@arianagonzoothe ammo can WAIT!!♬ original sound – gonzo
“The schtick has killed, earning the rising social media star more than 367,000 followers and brand deals with liquor and swimwear companies,” the Post notes.
He reportedly earns an average of $1,500 per TikTok he posts.
“I feel like I was born to be a star,” he told the Post.
“After his first Army-themed TikTok went viral in August 2021 – amassing more than 22 million views and 5 million likes – a stunned Gonzales realized his lifelong dream of becoming famous might be within reach,” according to the Post.
“Although I didn’t anticipate gaining a lot of followers and views and stuff like that, I feel like I was meant for it, to be honest, and I have, still, so much more potential,” he said.
“People always ask me, like, ‘How do you come up with these things?’… It’s stuff that I do. Like, those are things that I would say,” he added.
@arianagonzoobc God FORBID i get taken out without my streaks being covered♬ original sound – gonzo
Gonzalez reportedly has two more years left in the military. Although he’d previously planned on remaining in the military for a long time, he’s now thinking about instead moving to a city like Los Angeles and living the high life.
“I would love to be an influencer. I would love to just keep making videos and, like, I would love to model, also,” he said, adding that he hopes to have his “name known.”
What do grown adults 30 and above think about him and his videos? Well, they’re not too keen on them. Here’s just a small sample of the response seen on Twitter:
He’s even more insufferable than the people he’s mocking.
— Nick Gurr (@gur89776095) July 29, 2023
I hope this is not what the majority of service members look and act like if so we are FU*KED !!!!
— 2ARick510 (@2ARick510) July 29, 2023
Hilarious that we are going to lose WWIII & become a Chinese province
Too funny, that our youngest generations are weak, confused, ignorant, and depressed.
Side splitting that our own soldiers advertise their ineptitude and lack of discipline to the entire world.
— LusciousMuffins (@LuciousMuffins) July 29, 2023
Gonzalez isn’t the only military member who’s made it big on TikTok. The Associated Press reported last year that the Army’s “highest ranking Muslim soldier is also a TikTok star.”
Army Colonel Khallid Shabazz is his name, and he “serves as command chaplain for U.S. Army Central, the three-star command responsible for land operations in the Middle East.”
So he’s a top dog — as well as a star.
“Shabazz’s TikTok account includes a mix of his weightlifting exploits peppered with Quranic and biblical messages. Aphorisms abound. ‘If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to meet it’ appears to be one of his favorites,” the AP reported.
“As a chaplain, Shabazz is used to handing out nuggets of advice and wisdom to troubled soldiers — the sort of counsel a younger, more troubled Shabazz could have benefitted from,” according to the AP.
See one of his TikTok videos below:
And then there’s Nikko Ortiz, who’s considered to be “everyone’s favorite military TikTok’er,” according to The Military Times.
“Army Staff Sgt. Nikko Ortiz was working out just over a year ago when he decided to pull out his camera and make a video. He sent the finished product to a buddy who was familiar with TikTok. After watching, the friend told Ortiz he should make an account and post it,” the Times reported in late 2022.
“Fast forward to today and Ortiz has amassed 2.9 million followers and developed a reputation for being one of the funniest military content creators,” the Times added.
See one of his videos below:
@nikkoortizzz #army #fyp #marines #navy #airforce #coastguard #spaceforce #foryou #foryoupage #cod #warzone #funny #veteran #GodzillaVsKongRoar #drinks #xyzbac #hi ♬ original sound – Nikko
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