To anyone considering joining the army, this is for you. First off, I'm not trying to dissuade you from joining. However, I'd love to atleast attempt to open your eyes a little bit to army life. So hell, maybe this "blog" (horrid word, I think) can be your guide. Either way, this is an important post for you.
The majority of the time, when an infantryman is in garrison, IE- not in the field and not deployed, but in the company area in or around the barracks, there is pretty much only one thing they/we do.
We kill time in the most idiotic and unfun ways.
Yes, you are supposed to be busy, always productive. But most of the time, there isn't anything for us to do. There are days when weapons ranges aren't available to us, or we won't have the resources to do this or that, or our primary leadership will be gone, busy doing something else, and there won't be anything important for us to do.
I've said before that our job while in garrison is to train. That doesn't mean that we're doing all the crazy hooah bullshit you see on TV. In fact, that's all very rare. Ignore those retarded goarmy commercials. If you want to join for the right reasons, you still will. Just know that what you see on TV will not be your typical day.
Ever hear the phrase "hurry up and wait"? Yeah, get used to that one. Today is a different day, on the other hand. Today is one of those days where there is seriously nothing for us to do, and our leaders are busy. There have been times like this, where a Specialist (E4) would march us out into the woods near our barracks and give us a class on different knots in ropes. Just bullshitting, really. Killing time.
Today, we're cleaning, getting ready for a bullshit inspection. Killing time. That's why I get an odd feeling when people thank me for serving this country. I don't feel like I've done a lot. Maybe if they would have let me go to Louisianna or Texas and do something to help the flood relief, I'd feel like I served my country. All I've done was donate money to the Red Cross. Along with paying taxes, I haven't done anything that an ordinary civilian cannot do. Just killing time.
Inspections are somewhat common. I can understand them to a point. Yes, for some reason we must maintain a military appearance. But our own rooms? I understand the reasons for keeping it clean and sanitary, but not to the point of being anally retentive. There's likely a perfectly good explanation for that too, but right now I don't feel like proving myself wrong. "Clean your room." Gotcha dad. Will do. Heh, Wilco.
Just killing time.