You may know @VicBlends from his TikTok or YouTube channels, where he gives people haircuts on the streets and uses it as an opportunity to share their stories. But he recently traded in his clippers for a day in the US Army.
The influencer, whose real name is Victor Fontanez, is from Fayetteville, North Carolina, and his father and brother both served in the military. So Fontanez traveled to Fort Benning, Georgia to see what it’s like to enlist for a day.
At the Abrams Training Center, Fontanez rolled a dice and had to do 13 Russian Twists before joining the crew for an MRE lunch. He tried the creamy spinach fettuccine and, despite the soldiers’ insistence that it was disgusting, decided it was “not so bad”.
The chocolate milk, on the other hand, made Fontanez cringe.
“It’s chunky,” he said, grimacing.
Fontanez also visited Benning’s weapons cache before spending time on the marksmanship course.
“I’m an army kid, my dad did 28,” he said. “It meant a lot just to be able to connect with a lot of people on base who make everyday life happen.”
In another video, Fontanez once offered a soldier down the street, infantryman Nathan Hicks, a free haircut — far better than the average barracks DIY job. During the cut, he asked Hicks what made him join the military.
“Thanks for the motivation,” he said as he finished the soldier’s haircut.
Fontanez currently has 12.5 million followers on TikTok. He started cutting hair in his mother’s garage as a side hustle, but now teaches the art of barbering in online classes as well as in person. Speak loud and tight.
Sarah Sicard is an editor at the Military Times. Previously, she served as Digital Editor of the Military Times and Editor-in-Chief of the Army Times. Other work can be found in National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose and Defense News.