1. The state of the Army when overtaken by Generation Y kids. Long hair prevails, little or no kneejerk respect shown to superiors and a relaxed work environment that is a fast acting poison in an archaic bureaucracy.
2. The term replacing the advertising slogan "Army of One," which isn't a very slick campaign. There would be more recruits with "Dude, the Army will totally pay for college." They're selling a product, not a career.
After much ushering from a friend to relate my experiences in this man's Army, I decided to create this here blog for e-posterity. I graduated from high school in May of 2003 and had already decided that the Army was what I wanted to experience. I grew up reading books about Audie Murphy and Patton and devouring volumes of war history. I felt it was a needed shot to the arm to my fading motivation and direction in life. I enlisted for three years on August 5, 2004 as an infantryman. I completed training on Nov 24, 2004 and was sent to Ft. Lewis, WA as part of the Stryker Brigade, the new medium weight vehicles recently adopted by the Army. They had just recently returned from Iraq when I got to my unit in December. After two trips to Yakima Training Center and National Training Center and more than a year of training, the unit is going back to Iraq this summer.
But this is not a blog to sing the high praises of my chosen profession, but rather a tool of expression for my disdain for the day in and day out mountains of bullshit and mundanity that I climb every day of the week dear reader, and it is a shame I didn't begin this along with my career. There is an endless amount of moments that could have been recorded that would make the average Joe Taxpayer shake his head in shocked disbelief. But to catch you up:
Today we were issued the last of the equipment that we need before going overseas. This includes superfluous ballistic paneling along the neck and groin that would offer no realistic protection from shrapnel. Armor plates were also issued that are heavier than previous incarnations. Millions in R&D really paid off I'm sure. They're still inferior to civilian alternatives if you were wondering. The plates given to us will crack if dropped right. A Dragon Skin plate will stop an AK-47 round at 20 feet. I figured that issuing everyone Dragon Skin plates would cost more than the life insurance payouts the Army is paying to dead solider's families who would otherwise have lived with better plates. Cold equations. Also included: Uniforms with velcro patches and nametapes, for fast ripping action. Pressumbly during a capture, you can shed any proof you are in the American military, including your flag, unit patch, name and 'US Army' tape. This will leave the enemy clueless about your affiliation. Forget about how the nameless uniforms promote theft, or how it fails to blend into any environment that doesn't look like a blue Atari game.
More to come.