What is an Armchair Warrior?


Armchair warrior is a pejorative term that alludes to verbally fighting from the comfort of one’s living room.

It describes activities such as speaking out in support of a war, battle, or fight by someone with little or no military experience.

Refer to Armchair General.


Typical “armchair warrior” activities include advocating sending troops to settle a conflict, lobbying to keep defense jobs to make outdated military equipment as part of the military-industrial complex, or to make political messages on radio or television talk shows in favor, or using armed forces in a conflict over trying diplomatic channels.

An early example of the term “armchair warrior” appeared in the 1963 Twilight Zone episode No Time Like the Past, in which a time traveller to the late 1800s uses the term in a speech directed towards a banker who is calling for sending young soldiers to fight a war against American Indians. The show’s director, Rod Serling, had received a Purple Heart for injuries incurred while serving as a paratrooper in World War II.

This differs from “slacktivism” in that no action needs to be done by an “armchair warrior” beyond stating a point of view versus an act to give the appearance of making a difference from a “slacktivist”. It is more of a variation of “chickenhawk”, which was originally a slang term used during the Vietnam War to describe a superior officer that was not on the frontlines.

Don Henley refers to “armchair warriors” in his song “The End of the Innocence”.


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