All previous editions of this blogpost are obsolete.
The experience of last nights mortar/rocket attack gave me a perspective into the life of a non-combat soldier. These lads and lasses who were taking up all the space in the bunkers were not even in gear. I roll up to the bunker shortly after the first sirens went off and there were a bunch of people in completely odd uniforms taking up the entire bunker…they had no kit on and were on their IPAD’s…..God forbid they don’t have their Ipad in the bunker…utter craziness… One chap had full kit on in his duty uniform but somehow forgot his socks and boots…idiot….one guy had on flip flops, multi-cam pants and a pt jacket…idiot…To put the icing on the cake, two extremely well dressed cats were wearing marsh mellow suits (light grey snow pants and jacket meant for -30 degree weather) and their kit on over that…they seemed to be completely okay with their appearance. Myself and the other 7 combat soldiers in our group were in hysterics. I have never worn the marsh mellow suit not even in the dead of winter on tower guard in Yahya Kheyl in 2011. The moral of the story is there are people that get deployed that really have no idea what a deployment is like. They do not understand going to memorials of soldiers that die next to you on the field of battle. They do not understand what actually happens when a 107 mm rocket hits your building. Just ask Sgt Jeffrey Page if you want to know. They do not understand what it’s like to not have 4 meals a day and no ice cream, or sleep on the floor.
In previous edition of this blog post I mentioned that there was an imaginary rocket that hit the tent next to us…turns out I was wrong there actually was some sort of small rocket that landed 45 meters from me… And yes the POG’s (Person other than Grunt) ended up writing up combat action badges for the event…I would like to go home now…at least to get away from all this insanity.
Today at lunch I treated myself to some Subway and then sat at the picnic table and enjoyed a good game of “people watching.” Basically the game goes like this: you pick out all of the undisciplined actions and completely wrong uniform standards of all of the “soldiers” around you. These are some of the things that I saw:
Shaving Profiles: Basically if a man gets shaving bumps that are out of control he can get a profile where he he has to keep his facial hair within a specific length. (usually beneath a quarter inch) I saw an idiot today with a trimmed gotee…idiot…my sergeant’s blood started to boil.
Unauthorized eye protection/no eye protection: Is eyepro annoying? Yes it is but never the less it must be worn. Today I saw about 5 people with no eyepro and at least 20 with not real ballistic eyepro or actual sunglasses…get outta town…idiot.
Female Haircuts/Too much makeup/Too much perfume: If you ever expect to be let in combat arms and stay in that job specialty, you better shape up or ship out, I saw at least three ladies with hair that was out of control. Regulations are very specific on how you have to have your hair. Crazy out of control frizziness is not a style. Makeup and perfume who the hell are you trying to impress…because you are starting to look like a clown…get it under control you are not an actress at a USO show.
Bicycles on deployment: Yes Bagram is big…but for the love of guns man take the bus you look like a complete idiot. Who calls home to mom and asks her to disassemble their favorite Schwinn and send it in separate pieces to Afghanistan…Get the hell out of town you schmuck.
Horrible salutes: This falls to every different branch of officer and enlisted job. Salutes are so easy it is not even funny. I trained my 10 year old sister how to salute…YOU ARE NOT WAVING IN A SALUTE!!!!….moronic idiots…
Female with M203 grenade launcher or M249 machine gun: This might not be that funny to non infantry types but for the love of guns what is a woman doing with a weapon system that is only used in direct conflict with the enemy…rolling on the ground at this point…
Guy walking around with an M16 with iron sights: You always know a POG when they are walking around with a M16 and no optic or laser.(my immediate thought is he probably couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.)
Soldiers who cannot pull off the ‘stache: Although most infantry First Sergeants do not allow their men to grow out the ‘stache it is authorized nonetheless. So many of these guys look like they were trying to desperately grow out their peach fuzz into a mustache..it aint working pal…shave it off schmuck.
Lower enlisted not calling NCO’s by their rank: Well that is just blatant fraternization, usually between male NCO’s and lower enlisted females…despicable…
Overweight soldiers: I see this day in and day out here. Let me put it into perspective: I am 74 inches tall and in order for me not to get the body fat test done I must weigh 206 pounds or under. I am allowed to weigh over that as long as my body fat is under 24%. I saw this guy that was about 72 inches and looked to be about 310 pounds…..not muscle…..C’mon bro that is borderline disgusting you should not wear a uniform it is despicable…On the flip side I saw this Czech Republic soldier who was a total beast, he would have made a great SAW gunner for me…
I could go on and on and on and on but it’s useless, useless because you my loyal readers probably have a hard time understanding why all the afore mentioned things are actually bad and completely undisciplined. Not because you are ignorant but because you are not institutionalized into the Army life like I have been. This small story plays into previous aspirations of wishing that I lived in a different era. An era where you do not need an Army to tell you how to be disciplined, instead you had your father’s belt and Sister Margaret’s ruler to beat you into place. (No I do not condone child beating…)
To add to the list of things I have not done lately, I must apologize for not writing in a while. I would say its 30% lazy, 20% writers block, and 50% been way to bloody busy for my own good. Please know that although there are gigantic differences between jobs in the Army whether it be combat or non combat, all jobs support the infantry, and we appreciate that. Yes we are over confident and to many non-infantry it can be quite annoying, or just plain despicable, but please realize we are the ones shooting back while you are the ones with the single rooms, eating pizza, and going to coffee shops. In all the horrible living conditions I have been in, I would not trade it for anything in the whole world. Have a great week America, I will see you soon.
Washing clothes by hand from a well, Fall 2010.
Cleaning weapons after an obviously sweaty mission, fall 2010.
My living quarters 2010-2011 deployment.
Living conditions on this years deployment, 19 bro’s in this room.