If UFO watchers are to be believed, the Army's top general just admitted that the military is preparing its young men and women to fight off an alien invasion.
"You'll be dealing with terrorists, you'll be dealing with hybrid armies, you'll be dealing with little green men, you'll be dealing with tribes, you're going to be dealing with it all, and you're going to be dealing with it simultaneously," Milley said.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, in an April 21 speech to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ROTC program at Norwich University, talked about the complex world the young, soon-to-be military officers will face.
Wait, what was that? Did Milley just say cadets will be battling little ... green ... men?!
Several UFO websites — and the people who follow them — seized on Milley's comment as validation of something out of this world.
"I think this guy probably vanished shortly after this speech. It seems like he's let way too much info out. Ha!" wrote one person in response to a video clip of Milley's speech that was posted on YouTube by The Musicmemorylane, the self-described "Ultimate UFO-Conspiracy-Cryptid-Paranormal Channel from the Netherlands."
"Wow, he said a lot. It wasn't a very long speech. Enough said. Truth is coming out slowly but surely," wrote another.
"Joseph Stalin was also experimenting with the idea of super monkey soldiers," another comment reads.
Military officials batted down any talk of aliens and intergalactic war.
The phrase "little green men" typically refers to foreign troops or paramilitary forces who dress in green attire instead of traditional military gear, the officials said.
"It does not mean fighting troops from outer space," the officials said.
Cadets preparing to don the uniform will find themselves "engaged in a very deep, long struggle with radical terrorism," Milley said during his speech. They also will face a revanchist Russia, an aggressive China, a provocative North Korea and Iran, and "any other multiple contingencies that may arise."
An article on Milley's comments appeared on Ground Zero Media, which specializes in paranormal news and commentary. The piece discusses the possibility of catastrophic events such as natural disasters and nuclear war.
"It may sound like the stuff of sci-fi films, but experts said these apocalyptic threats are more likely than many realize," the article reads, citing a report called Global Catastrophic Risks, which was produced by a team from Oxford University.
"Anything by now shouldn't surprise anyone, including an alien invasion," the article goes on to state before featuring Milley's "amazing announcement."
In an April 28 article, OpenMinds, a website featuring "UFO news and investigations," tries to debunk the conspiracy theories.
"Some UFOers have assumed this to be an admission that armies of aliens and their alien/human hybrids are threatening the Earth. However, both of those are military terms that mean something entirely different," reads the article, which bears the headline "Army Chief of Staff warns of 'hybrid armies' and 'little green men.'"
The term "little green men" was used in a non-extraterrestrial, military context as recently as 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea, to refer to men wearing unmarked green uniforms. Reporters in Russia and Ukraine alike used the term to refer to the color of the uniforms and the men’s unconfirmed origin, the BBC reported.
Meanwhile, the military has talked for years about preparing to face a hybrid threat, which can consist of regular forces, criminal elements, terrorist groups, cyber threats and more, all at the same time. This complex battlefield signals a shift away from the more traditional force-on-force battles of the past.
Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.