This morning I was perusing my newsfeed when I came upon a question posed on one of the military websites that I belong to it asked: Is the gear too heavy for soldiers’ in the modern Army?
As I read this question and the ensuing responses, I was reminded of what I carried on my missions. To start I carried a pack with three days worth of water, food, batteries, clothing, and other necessary untensils. Then there was my primary weapon and the full combat load for it. A breach kit just in case there was a door that we couldn’t get through. A camel back with water for me to stay hydrated in the heat and more. There were other things that I carried as well, but all total it was over 100 pounds.
How did we manage to carry all of this and perform our wartime mission? We trained. My unit would conduct flak vest runs, and we did PT with our weapons. When we did not run with our vest on, we were in the field wearing our equipment. You must be strong mentally and physically to survive the rigors of combat.
As I sit here this morning, this question seems to be nothing more than whining. This cry-baby mentality is allowed to blossom because of shoddy leadership. “My pack is too heavy. It doesn’t feel good on my shoulders. This can’t be good for your back.” Yet, these same individuals want to go to college while they are in, and they want the benefits that come from military service. Well, your free college is at the end of that 5-mile NBC run at FT. Hood, Texas. So, shut your mouth and move out.
While I do understand that it is uncomfortable to carry all the gear, there is one truth in combat. That truth is this: You never know what you will face, therefore, you must be prepared for every possible scenario. This weak-minded whining tells me that these soldiers have never been trained. They have never been pushed to their limits. I wouldn’t want to deploy with them. To make matters worse, it was a Staff Sergeant that was complaining. If the leadership is complaining what do you think the lower enlisted is learning from their leadership? Toxic leadership doesn’t create viable troops.
In many ways I am glad that I have retired from active service. I enjoyed my time in the Army, but it was this constant stream of tears and complaints that wore me down. You want the benefits of a career, the federal job after military service, the college degree that you don’t pay for (in terms of money), but you can’t be on time and do what is asked of you. You can’t perform basic soldiering skills, but you want the perks. God help us if this is the best that we can come up with.
I am going to close it down here. You guys take care and I will chat with you all soon.