Things have been absolutely crazy around here lately. Between all the different missions we have going on, we’re on 24 hour call. That pretty much means you only sleep when you can. I should be sleeping right now and making up for the 4 hours sleep I got from 0100 to 0500, but I figure since we’re on duty the next 24 + hours, what’s the use? I’m going to be tired now and I’m going to be tired later so I might as well be tired now and stay up and get some stuff done. I’ve learned that if you can be tired and still do your job properly you can take advantage of the extra time and use it to square away yourself and your Joes.

A lot of people don’t know what I do for a job in the Army National Guard, and here on this deployment. My primary MOS is 11B, which is Infantry, typically called a grunt. According to the Go Army Website, the definition of an Infantryman is as follows:

The infantry is the main land combat force and backbone of the Army. It’s equally important in peacetime and in combat. The Infantryman’s role is to be ready to defend our country in peacetime and to capture, destroy and repel enemy ground forces during combat.

The following are some duties expected of Infantrymen:

  • Perform as a member of a fire team during drills and live combat
  • Perform hand-to-hand combat
  • Aid in the mobilization of vehicles, troops and weaponry
  • Assist in reconnaissance missions
  • Operate two-way radios and signal equipment
  • Process prisoners of war and captured documents
  • Learn to use, maintain and store various combat weaponry (rifles, machine guns, anti-tank mines, etc.)

To put it into civilian terms without too much false bravado, we shoot stuff and blow shit up. If there is a bad guy, our mission is to kill, capture, or otherwise eliminate them. You know that guy on the news with the RPG? The scumbag making IED’s? The guys that makes the suicide vests to blow up women and children? Our job is to eliminate those guys. Our job is also to win hearts and minds, and protect the good people of the world from the bad, whether they be American, Iraqi, or whatever. That’s my job, and I love it. In what other job in the world do you get to roll down the road with 50 cal mounted on a swiveling turret on top of your Hummer (not that pussy civilian SUV but an actual up-armored HUMMVV)? Where else are you given an M4 and an M9 Pistol to carry around every day? Sorry ladies, women aren’t allowed in the infantry.

So greatly summarized, that’s what I do. So next time you see boots on the ground doing a patrol through an Iraqi village, with little kids gathered around, chances are its a bunch of grunts doing their job.

The quote of the day: “Salzman, I think you gave me ass warts.” Don’t ask, for god sakes don’t ask.

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