Military Living: A Life without Necessities
Anybody who has spent a good amount of time in the military knows that members of the Armed Forces live a life without necessities. I’ve spent over 16 years in the military and I’ve lived, slept, and trained in some of the harshest conditions in the world. For those in the National Guard, you’ve endured some of the harshest conditions known to man.
How the National Guard Has to Survive
Over the years, the National Guard has had to be creative and make do with the lack of proper equipment. They practically have to borrow all of their equipment once they deploy, or go without it, which makes completing a mission very difficult. One of the units that suffer the most from lack of equipment is the engineers.
No Proper Equipment
The engineers get deployed to the FOBs and Camps in both Iraq and Afghanistan with old equipment and retro vehicles and basically have to make do. That’s because there’s such a lack of funding from the state to provide them with proper tools, equipment, and even viable military vehicles.
Then what happens when they get overseas is they have to try and borrow stuff or go without it. So you’ll have soldiers using old methods to complete tasks like climbing on sandbag bunkers removing constantan wire around the base. This puts the soldiers in danger when doing so and it also takes a lot of time to do it this way.
If they had the proper vehicles and the proper equipment, they could remove the wire with an excavator and this would only take a quarter of the time, or less, without putting anybody in danger. I’ve been in the National Guard for years and I’ve deployed with many different units: engineers, infantry, EOD, and special force. The one thing they all have in common is living without necessities.
I even mean things such as uniforms because the state has no funding. For example, in 2014 I was deployed with an infantry unit and we had trouble getting the proper uniforms and equipment to complete our mission. Finally, another state was able to provide us with the proper uniforms, eye pros, gloves, and more.
This is ridiculous, and a perfect reason why every National Guard unit should fall under an active duty Army unit. That way when it is time for AT and a deployment, they can be fitted with the proper equipment, uniforms, etc to complete their mission.
Prior to our deployment in 2014, we were doing a FX. It was February in Ohio so it was cold; rain and snow. We were out for the weekend and we slept outside in our sleeping bags. That was it. We got very little sleep those three days.
Lack of Sleep
That’s another thing the military likes for you to go without is proper sleep. Since the first day I was in the Navy, getting the proper sleep has been an issue. I remember being deployed in the Navy and for some reason we were constantly staying up late at night doing training. Ranger school, special forces, BUDS, all of them, they keep you deprived of proper rest and you’re faced with the harsh conditions like training in the bitter cold or extremely hot weather.
I realize why they do it though. Because your enemy doesn’t care if you’ve had a good night’s rest when they attack you. However, it doesn’t need to be so ridiculous. It didn’t matter if it was AT, airborne school, etc, they just liked to keep you up late then send you off to sleep for only 2-4 hours, if you’re lucky, then it’s back up to start the day.
Where’s the Food?
Then there’s the lack of food. That’s another thing they like to deprive you of is proper nutrition. Ok, you can say there are MREs, but come on, they’re full of sodium and they often freeze when you’re in cold conditions. There’s a different way to decide if a soldier, sailor, etc can improvise, overcome, and adapt rather than constantly putting them in harm’s way.
It’s a fact that the body performs so much better with some good rest and proper nutrition. It amazes me, and proves, how great our military personnel are when living in these types of conditions. They’re able to make due somehow and get the mission completed successfully.
My concern is what happens when we go to battle with a more viable opponent and we have to face them without the proper necessities. I remember in the beginning of OIF, units had to weld metal on their humvees in order to protect themselves from bullets, IEDs, and more. Now of course, we have better armored vehicles that keep the personnel inside of it protected.
I will say that over the last couple of years the Army has realized that proper nutrition is crucial to keeping a soldier safe mentally and physically. The Army has set a standard that, while training, soldiers must be allowed a minimum of six hours of sleep and two hot meals a day.
As far as the equipment goes this is one of the biggest our military faces today, especially, as I mentioned earlier, the National Guard. The states need to increase their funding for the National Guard units. It’s ridiculous how much they struggle to even get proper uniforms for their people whether it’s for their annual training or for a deployment.
If soldiers don’t have proper uniforms how can they perform their duties with success? It’s time to give our military, the most important military in the world, proper sleep, better equipment, and good nutrition so they can continue the fight for freedom across the world.