This may be a several part series (to inform those who don’t know), depending on how long this former Lance Corporal who got promoted to Corporal on his EAS Day wants to rant and rave about ground combat. First off a little backstory on me so you know where you’re getting your information from.
I’m a normal f***ing dude! I’m not a spec ops warrior or DELTA Ranger SEAL Raider Space Shuttle Door Gunner! I was an 0351 Assaultman with 3rd Battalion 7th Marines from 2005-2008. I did both trips to Ramadi, Iraq, then got out in 2008.
First trip over I was with Weapons Company, CAAT (Combined Anti-Armor Team) Red. Second trip over I was augmented out to the MiTT/MTT (Military Transition Team). Both deployments, I did everything from run the gun (since nobody knows what the hell to do with 0351’s) to drive and kick in doors, hell they even let me run a few integrated patrols the second time over.
Now for the meat and potatoes.
Ground combat entails a lot of intangible shit that many folks won’t tell you about. I’ll be downright honest, 99% of this is hindsight being 20/20 because at the time I was too stupid to realize how important some of this shit was (18 year olds can be stupid, who’d have thought). Part one of this series on ground combat is going to focus on being in shape. You should probably train more (no shit right?)
A lot of what we do in the military gets stupid exaggerated by Hollywood and our parents who are super proud of us. Doesn’t mean there isn’t a grain of truth. Minus the main pack, you’re probably carrying anywhere between 50-60 additional pounds on your ass while on patrol. There will be times, when you are going to have to take your ass, plus the additional weight of all your gear and move fast across an intersection, whether it’s lit up or not, if you lollygag, you’re a nice juicy target. Also, you might just get to walk around in the city/countryside for more than a few hours in the heat of the day! You can totally be out of shape and do that really well. (sarcasm)
If you’re going to move fast with all that shit on your body, brother or sister (entirely different series) you’d better be strong and not skip leg day or any other day at the gym.
Bad shit also sometimes happens in the combat. That means that someone you like may get shot and you will have to pick them up and carry them for a distance. Let’s say that your fellow body slayer is on the lighter side, approximately 170 lbs, now add 50-60 lbs to that. Also now remember you have your own 50-60 additional pounds. You and him and possibly another body have to move quickly.
Believe me when I tell you, if you’re weak, it’s going to royally f*** up your day, the wounded guys day, and the other guy helping.
Ground combat puts a tremendous physical strain on you and if you’re not in somewhat good shape…you’re kind of f***ed and you’re kind of f***ing everyone around you. A team is only as strong as it’s weakest or slowest little bitch. Don’t be the weakest or the slowest.
Stay tuned for Part Two…once I get more alcohol.