60 Things Soldiers Can Relate To

Mostly disassembled C9 5.56 mm light machine gun
Mostly disassembled C9 5.56 mm light machine gun | Source

If you are or have been a soldier, regardless the length of time in, chances are you'll have quite a few distinct memories from your career. Whether it be from basic training, trade courses, or unit exercises, some of the experiences we go through as soldiers are mutual - and most are exclusive to our job.

When rifles aren't laid out according to orders, this happens. Better remember your serial number.
When rifles aren't laid out according to orders, this happens. Better remember your serial number. | Source
  1. That first awkward, scary day of basic Arriving with all the bags of your kit, in civvies, abandoned on a military base by whomever dropped you off, greeted by your instructors who are chomping at the bit to begin kicking the civilian out of you. A day for the record books, at least.

  2. PT at zero dark stupid Sleeping in past 0500 was a civilian luxury, and now by that time you're awake, blinking off sleepiness on the parade square, shivering in shorts and a t-shirt. The sun hasn't yet risen, and you're waiting to see if it will be a 5k run this morning or a 10k.

  3. That thrill of firing live rounds for the first time You've been practicing the handling drills for weeks now in endless section-level classes. Maybe you even had dummy rounds. But nothing compares to when you're holding a 30 round magazine of live rounds, and you get the command to load, ready and fire.

  4. Being sleep deprived to the point of hallucinations Sleep, what is that again? You've lost track of how long it has been, you just know it's been days. Shit starts to get weird.

  5. Shitty mess food and even shittier ration packs Most of the time, the food sucks. Rations definitely suck, usually resembling puke in a bag and not smelling much better. Yum, preservatives.

  6. Being hot/freezing/soaked/muddy for hours on end It's something you just end up accepting, because let's face it, if you're doing any outside exercise, you're going to be one or more of these.

  7. Being awoken to the call of “STAND TO!” You've just found a comfortable way to squash yourself into the bottom of your trench, close your eyes, start to pretend you're anywhere else but here, then....

  8. Being awoken by the sound of machine gun fire Most likely a similar scenario to above, although the shit-your-pants factor, especially when you're sleep deprived to begin with.

  9. Taking up smoking or chewing tobacco, mostly out of boredom For smoking, it's an excuse to get out of the office/classroom or just take a break for a few minutes. Chew or dip gets you a headrush and wakes you up. Both are common in the army, just pick your poison.

  10. Giant blisters and other foot injuries If you're putting miles on combat boots, especially initial issue, your feet are most likely going to experience one or more forms of discomfort throughout your career.

  11. When in the field, frequent tick checks The struggle to check yourself, and those around you, for the pesky little blood suckers. Mostly you don't find them til later.

  12. What tear gas feels like The assault on any mucus membrane in your body, watery eyes, nose, itchy throat. Sweat goes on fire. Fun.

  13. Trying to wash a week's worth of cam paint off your face Is that the fourth time you've scrubbed your face with soap? Or fifth? Anyway, there's still a faint green tinge to your skin.

  14. Communal showers and all the awkward moments they behold As a female soldier, I've been lucky to have stalls with curtains in most places, but I've heard tales from the male showers that are definitely questionable.

  15. Waiting You wait for everything. If you don't, it's suspicious.

  16. That one lazy guy on a course that screws everything up for everyone The arsehole that doesn't shower after PT and gets the whole course yelled at. Or the guy that sweeps the dirt under his bed thinking they won't look. Or the guy that's always late for everything.

  17. The feeling of having a shower for the first time in a week Glorious appreciation for something we used to consider an every-day convenience.

  18. What people smell like who have been in the field – with no showers – for a week (or more) It can't be described, but definitely recognized.

  19. Standing at attention on a hot blistering day on parade and trying to keep yourself from passing out Wiggle those toes...

  20. Being given an unrealistic timing to complete a task It happens, especially in basic. Teaches you to get used to working under pressure.

  21. The joy of having a cold beer after getting off duty Nothing tastes better...

  22. That one officer that pisses you off more than anything Every time you see them you wonder to yourself how in the hell they ever completed a university degree.

  23. The ridiculous – but usually warranted - nicknames that are made for people Feel free to leave some of your favorites in the comments.

  24. The ridiculous – but also usually warranted – insults for that one idiot As per above.

  25. The large amount of acronyms in the army – but you somehow know them all There's a shocking long list

  26. More waiting Because a half an hour wasn't long enough.

  27. How loud and awesome a grenade explosion is

  28. How loud and awesome a rocket explosion is

  29. Ruck marching for 13 kilometres By the end everything hurts and you can't wait to take the bloody rucksack off.

  30. Trying not to laugh when at attention when someone says something hilarious... intentionally – or not You're supposed to be standing completely still at attention, but then you feel that urge to smile, and laugh... someone next to you breaks, then you're next, and whoever's in front of you starts yelling for you to get a grip.

  31. How easily you make friends or acquaintances with just about everybody, because you all have at least one thing in common It just happens, and you don't have to know each other for long. You can also go years without seeing them again and meet up somewhere and be just as close.

  32. The notorious “ground sheets” or “morale boosters” on base I had a girl in my room on basic who was one of those. Enough said with that one.

  33. How nine times out of ten, the MPs are arseholes just because they can be They'll pull you over on base because they have nothing else to do.

  34. Even more waiting Been there for an hour? WAIT ANOTHER.

  35. Getting several conflicting orders at the same time Sgt said go here. But the WO said go here. The other WO said listen to Sgt. The officer says listen to WO #1. Then they all argue about it.

  36. Those moments where no one knows really what's going on (SNAFUs) Usually follow moments like above.

  37. The excitement when you receive your approved leave pass for the weekend Freedom printed on 8.5 x 11.

  38. Dealing with civilians who ask you really stupid questions "So uh, have you shot people?"

  39. The pain in the ass of initially forming a beret This usually requires a couple soaks in the sink and most likely cutting out the liner, then walking around with a wet beret on your head, patting and pulling at it like a retard.

  40. Awesome mess functions where everybody gets drunk My unit has lots of these. They're excellent for morale and you're supporting your local mess. Have another beer.

  41. The joy of getting a free round when someone is promoted Maybe if you're lucky, they'll promote two people on the same night.

  42. The itchy fire blankets that aren't washed on a regular basis and God knows what's on them They're terrible, but most times you just have to accept them.

  43. Not being able to shit for days after eating a steady diet of ration packs It is terrible, and when you finally are able to go, it's traumatic.

  44. Looking at the new recruits and realizing you were once that retarded too That one guy with the horribly bloused pants, shoe laces sticking out and beret formed like a chef's hat? You were once there.... admit it.

  45. The unspoken rivalry with the Navy and the (Ch)airforce Shh. It just is what it is.

  46. That awkward stare-down when you're trying to see if the person approaching you is an officer He thinks you're an officer, you think he's an officer, you're both staring at each other's epaulettes from twenty feet away trying to see before you get too close and salute last-minute. Awkward.

  47. The excitement when you do an exercise with soldiers from another country and get to use all their cool stuff We Canadians get to work with the Americans sometimes, and they have awesome weapons.

  48. How fun it is doing a defensive or offensive attack with lots of ammo, little sleep, para-flares and mock explosives It's like you're in a movie. You feel badass and all your training led up to this moment.

  49. Freaking out the first few days when you're off course wondering where your weapon is You took your weapon everywhere, even to the shitter. You slept with it next to you. When you're released into freedom, you find yourself lost without it for a few days.

  50. When someone leaves their locker unlocked and they come back to find their shit all over the floor in a giant kit pile Hope you had your name and last three on everything. On my basic we had some guys leave their room itself unlocked, including lockers. Everything was thrown into the middle of the room in a giant mountain.

  51. Learning how to strip and assemble all weapons in a timely fashion Practice makes perfect and once you learn you don't forget.

  52. Hospital corners

  53. The first time you were able to pass inspection without a single flaw Not even some dust on the top of your locker. Win.

  54. Eating your meals quicker than you realized was humanly possible They give you fifteen minutes to eat breakfast. That includes making it through the queue line when there are 50 people ahead of you.

  55. Staying in the kit cleaning room til lights-out trying to get your rifle spotless Carbon can be a bitch.

  56. Making sure your hair is cut or styled according to the dress regs For guys, keep it short. Shave every day. Girls, no fly-aways, use hairnets and hairspray.

  57. Compared to hooches or trenches, cots are considered a luxury

  58. Suffering the torture of extra duties because of a fuck-up (not necessarily by you, either) The pain of teamwork. One suffers, you all suffer.

  59. It ain't training if it ain't raining OR if It ain't snowing, we ain't going A motto that is true 99% of the time. If you're going out into the field... the weather will most likely be shit.

  60. The pride knowing you're serving your country

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