In every branch, on every base, and in every possible unit is a communications (commo) guy. Sometimes, you get a commo guy who runs-and-guns alongside the combat arms guys. Other times, you get the guys who can talk for hours on the backstories of every comic book character ever made. Occasionally, these two guys are one in the same.
We tend to stick to ourselves and hide away in the S-6 (our commo shop) until we can no longer use “commo work” as an excuse to miss bullsh*t duties. In case you never got the chance to talk to us, here’s a basic rundown of what happens in our commo shops.
11. Two halves of the Commo coin.
There’s the computer side and radio side. There’s no bad blood between us because we stick together despite our differences and we both are masters at shamming/skating.
10. The radio guys have a single job.
That job is to make sure a hunk-of-junk radio, not even worth its weight in scrap metal, doesn’t mess up. Spoiler alert: Everything will go great until the moment you need it to not be a hunk of junk.
9. Commo gets called in for every computer problem.
But nearly every problem we run into can be solved with simply asking, “But have you tried turning it off and back on again?” This buys us enough time to Google the real solution.
8. No one really knows what we do.
And then we need to explain to superiors that our MOS is vital to combat readiness.
7. COMSEC (Communications Security) is a pain in the ass.
Once we pick up rank, we get pain-in-the-ass duties. The worst is being COMSEC custodian. It isn’t the enormous pile of paperwork or dealing with the fallout of an idiot ‘zeroizing’ (wiping completely clean) stuff they shouldn’t.
It’s opening this goddamn safe without it giving you a goddamn lightning-bolt error.
6. There’s literally nothing on a retrans missions.
…also known as spending days on top of a hill, being the middleman between two radios so they can connect to each other over long distances to the point that you lose your goddamn mind.
With nothing to do but radio checks for days at a time. Just you. The radio. And maybe one or two other commo guys.
5. Our jokes never die.
Older commo vets will be glad to know that their jokes are still spread throughout the commo world.
4. Improper radio etiquette is more cringe-inducing than listening to people chew with their mouths open.
One of the first things troops learn in Basic/Boot Camp is the phonetic alphabet. It’s made for this very specific reason.
3. Nothing unnerves us like messy cables.
About 90 percent of the computer-based commo world does is browse subreddits about perfectly laid-out cables in server rooms. We are in awe.
2. Best moment to be a commo? When it’s time to get rid of sensitive information, CDs, and hard drives in a destructive manner.
Also known as, “those moments you really get to zeroize something.”
1. And they say Commo guys are POGs…
“You can talk about us, but you can’t talk without us!” said every commo ever.