American views of their fighting troops.

Very good piece about the standard American soldiers.

Much the same for us.

Who is an average soldier?

The average age of the active military man or woman seems to be 15 years old when you look at them, although it is probably nearer 19 or 20.

The guys are short haired, tight-muscled kids who, under normal circumstances are considered by society as half men, half boys. Alternatively, in the case of a young lady, she probably has dyed hair, maybe cut shorter than she would like, and looks as though she weighs 90 pounds, still Mummy and Daddys little girl; neither yet dry behind their ears. Neither is old enough to buy a beer, but both are old enough to die for their country.

They never really cared much for work and would rather wax their own car than wash their father's or mothers; would rather go out partying than help clean up the house, but they have never collected unemployment either.

They are recent High School graduates; probably average students, pursued some form of sport activities, drive a ten year old jalopy, and have a steady girlfriend/boyfriend that either broke up with them when they left, or swears to be waiting when they return from half a world away.

They listen to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and have huge Howitzers to help them do their job.

They are 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when they were at home because they are working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.

They have trouble spelling, and always have all the things young people want to do, thus letter writing is a pain for them, but they can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark.

They can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if they must. They dig foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like professionals.

They can march until they are told to stop or stop until they are told to march.

They obey orders instantly and without hesitation, if in a military setting, but they are not without spirit or individual dignity.

They are self-sufficient.

They have two sets of fatigues: they wash one and wear the other.

They keep their canteens full and their feet dry.

They sometimes forget to brush their teeth, in fact, they sometimes have no water to do so, but they never forget to clean their rifle.

They can cook their own meals, live on battlefield rations, survive whilst working and fighting on one meal a day, mend their own clothes, even manage without the luxuries that they are used to at home, more importantly, they can fix their own hurts.

If you're thirsty, they will share their water with you; if you are hungry, their food. They will even split their ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

They have learned to use their hands like weapons and weapons like they were their hands. They can save your life - or take it, because that is their job.

They will often do twice the work of a civilian, in terrible conditions, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all.

They have seen more suffering and death then they should have in their short lifetime. They have stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them.

They have wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and are unashamed.

They feel every note of the National Anthem vibrate through their body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around them who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, they defend their right to be disrespectful.

Just as their Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather did, and maybe their Mother, or Grandmother, they are paying the price for our freedom.

Beardless or not, he is not a boy, pony tail or not, she is not a girl.

They are the Fighting Soldiers that have kept this country free for over 200 years.

They ask nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.

They are all someones kids, boyfriends/girlfriends, spouses, parents, they all have loved ones who are hurting just as much as they are whilst they are thousands of miles from home. All will tell you they have lost members of their "family" whilst fighting, for the military "family" of friends and unknown comrades is important to them
Good piece..
for british version they missed out excessive alcohol consumption every weekend, and will fight anyone who wants one :D
But will also buy anyone a beer and assist anyone stuck in a fight :D
'Sniff'... Silly, sentimental old me!


Shame the Yanks missed out the bit about having no knowledge of the culture or customs of the countries they 'invade', treat everyone other than an American as though they are lower than a dog, randomly gun down unarmed civilians as though they were playing a computer game........and then wonder why everyone hates them?
Unlike us in Queen Victorias' day, of course; that would have been enlightening the natives, obviously. Maybe at the end of a Maxim gun but thats progress.

Bravo_Bravo said:
Unlike us in Queen Victorias' day, of course; that would have been enlightening the natives, obviously. Maybe at the end of a Maxim gun but thats progress.

Aye, it's too easy to fall into the trap of laying into American international policy when ours wasn't perfect. i've done it myself, too bloody much.
I think it was better, but that point could be debated till the end of time so i won't.
They have our mistakes to learn from (and ignore) just as we had the romans, greeks and dark-ages to learn from (and ignore)..

Very astute point sir.



Sorry I must have missed something. Thought that the Victorian era was a while back, and that this was a discussion about 2004. Silly me. But I suppose you are right, the Romans were absolute bastards when it came to PW handling....
The only yanks I met out there had big bums and we killed their dogs. I have no specific comment to make but expect many back...

Similar threads

New Posts