Although many grunts might disagree, heading out to the field can be a productive, fruitful experience if all the training operations are well-planned and clear goals are set. During training, troops are allowed to blow sh*t up, fire their weapons at various targets, and call for mortar support should the situation require it.
In short, it can be a fun time.
Unfortunately, many newbies find ways to mess up even the simplest tasks, bringing things to a grinding halt.
Boots don’t want to get themselves into too much trouble. After all, it might get you assigned to a cleanup crew or, worse, NJP’d — but it happens. This is a list of the most common ways infantrymen screw themselves over while training in the field.
Also Read: 4 simple rules every infantryman ‘in the suck’ should obey
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“Hey guys, did it look cool?”
Not fully recovering from a good weekend
Most field ops start bright and early on Monday morning. Unfortunately, the majority of all infantrymen will have spent their duty-free weekend either at the bar or drinking in their barracks room. All the while, 99.9 percent of grunts tell themselves that they’ll be fully functional before the morning hits.
That rarely happens.
Going out to the field with a nasty hangover is a good way to screw yourself over. Infantrymen recovering from weekend of heavy drinking are much more likely to fall asleep on the job or suffer an otherwise-avoidable, nasty spill out in the rough, hilly terrain.
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Talking sh*t over a “hot mic”
Have you ever overheard someone talking in the background during a phone conversation? Sure you have.
Speaking over a “hot mic” means accidentally broadcasting something over a frequency — and anyone tuned into that frequency can hear it.
In the civilian world, talking sh*t over the phone comes with a certain set of consequences that you can (usually) talk your way out of. Accidentally talking sh*t about another service member to everyone listening, however, might bring about some harsh discipline.
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Damn. The little guy wasn’t expecting that.
Before a unit heads out to the field, the officer in charge will create a “gear list” that outlines everything a troop will need while training. The beloved “Wobbie,” some extra pairs of socks, and a few waterproof bags almost always make the list.
The list of required gear tends to get pretty long and, after you’ve packed it all up, it’s pretty heavy. So, some troops will cut corners and leave things behind to lighten the load, making life easier when they’re out hiking in the field.
Skimping out often comes back to bite the troop in the ass. There’ll come a time when he or she desperately needs that one piece of gear they decided to leave behind.
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Life without NVGs while in the field.
Burning out their batteries
A troop’s NVGs run off of special battery power which they can either get for free from supply or buy with their own cash at the post exchange. It’s easy to operate these specialized pieces of equipment — all it takes is a flip of a switch. Unfortunately, that’s also the equipment’s curse. As a troop packs up their equipment to head out to the field, it’s all too easy for those googles to rub up against another piece of gear and get switched on.
Before you know it, the NVGs are out of batteries. So, if the troop isn’t mindful enough, they’ll be blind once the sun sets.