Ever since its premiere three years ago, “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” has become one of the most popular kids’ shows on TV, and while the fan base is meant to be young girls, a growing number of grown men have started becoming fans of the show. These men, called “Bronies”, attend conventions, watch the show religiously, and now, wear themed patches on their uniforms in combat.
The patches, called “cutie marks” after the show where the ponies have an identifying mark on their ponies, are meant to identify soldiers downrange while on duty. While wearing these specialty patches is not new, the Pentagon has repeatedly warned that unauthorized patches are not allowed on military uniforms, and “Brony” fansite FOP Equestria, discourages the usage of any show-related patches on military uniforms while on duty, saying that the show is only a “hobby” and military rules should not be broken.
“Watching My Little Pony is just a hobby, and wearing MLP patches is not authorized. It doesn’t matter if this was a harmless convention. This is a uniform violation and you can get in huge trouble for it,” the blog said in a statement.
The show was written for little girls and their parents, but teenage boys and young men, those that are of age to be in the military, have grown a fondness for the show as well. In fact, there is also a Facebook page called “Military Bronies” for fans of the show in the armed forces, boasting over 2,000 likes.