7 best ways to pass time on a combat deployment

Being deployed on a FOB or patrol base means you probably have little contact with the world outside the wire for the better part of a year. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a USO nearby where you can log onto Facebook for 20 minutes at a time until you have to rotate off.

Depending what part of the world you’re in, it might be in the middle of the night back home, and nobody is online — which sucks.

So what can you do to pass the time if you’re stuck in a sh*t hole?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Related: 10 life hacks to get you through deployment boredom

7. Hit the gym or freakin’ build an improvised one.

Wood, engineer stakes, and sandbags are just a few key ingredients every FOB has on hand. With some ingenuity and elbow grease, you can construct a new gym or modify an existing one.

Either way, working out is a great way to kill time.

Improvised gym, deployment

A Marine carves out some time from his day to hit the gym during his Afghanistan deployment.

6. Catch up on your movies

Before shipping out, you probably didn’t have much free time during your pre-deployment work up. Now that you’re stuck on a FOB with plenty of down time, break out that portable hard drive you put all those movies on and play cinema catch up.

Your brain and morale will thank you.

pass time on deployment

You could also learn how to construct a movie theater from a few scraps by following these simple steps.

5. Create new MRE recipes

Let’s face it, the box where the MREs are stored have been completely rat f*cked — it happens all the time. Consider tugging on your creative strings and make something delicious from MRE items no one seems to want.

pass time on deployment

Everyone loves M&Ms. (Source: Amazon)

4. Playing card or board games

Since the military is a competitive world, play a game like Risk that takes a lot of brain power to strategize and beat your opposition. You may even learn something you can use to beat the bad guys in a firefight — you never know.

Soldiers playing Risk

These soldiers play an intense game of world domination. (Source: Army.mil)

3. Sleep and then sleep some more — whenever you can

Need we say more?

pass time on deployment

A soldier getting some much need shut-eye while chillin’ in a tank.

2. Create a journal

Write down your unique deployment experiences and self-reflection in a journal. You never know, that sh*t could get published later on down the line.

pass time on deployment

Also Read: How Navy corpsmen and Army medics work together on deployments

1. Master a video game or two

If you’re lucky enough to have electricity where ever you get sent to, you can recharge that compact gaming system you loaded up with your favorite games. Video games are a nice way to zone out and relax.

pass time on deployment

Sorry if you’re somewhere without power. We salute you…

Can you think of any more? Comment below.

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