01 July 2010

Basic Training for Grumpy Old Men

In my day, we didn't have fancy training regimens. If you wanted to get ready for war, you just rode through the streets of West Oakland on your bicycle flying a flag that said "I hate black people! And we liked it!"

One can imagine the young Dana Carvey, playing his classic "Grumpy Old Man" describing how improvements in life make nothing but softies.

The following is an example why G.O.M. is so funny-- because it's so ridiculous. Nobody would argue that current condom technology is inferior to rabbit skins and bungee cords, so we can laugh at it.

The following news item (which I discovered three months late) illustrates how Army training is improving, too: Army training: Bayonets out, ‘ab blasters’ in

Sadly, there are thousands of grumpy old men in the military. 

Talk to ANYBODY in the Army, and they will tell you that they had it harder at Basic than anyone who went through after them.

It's a bunch of crock. Maybe the drills could beat them or they had to polish leather boots all the time, but that doesn't mean it was harder.

I have heard a dozen reasons why BCT was harder in the past, before the Army got "soft," and started worrying about "feelings."

But for every reason some dimwitted old codger in an ACU can recite, I can rattle off two reasons why being a Soldier is more stressful today.

In fact, the current changes merely underscore the more difficult circumstances in which young men and women are volunteering to serve today versus three decades ago.

Getting beat up is infinitely easier than having to weigh the multitude of considerations in today's highly-politicized war.

In my day, we don't have the luxury of mindlessly going through the motions, and claiming we are good Soldiers just because we broke a sweat. Today's Army is a more dynamic and powerful force."

And we are better for it.


  1. I love this post and as I was reading this I couldn’t help but think…is Rich already staking his claim to the phrase, "when I was young"? This is your perspective on life in the Army today - won't the next generation say the same about your generation? Pushing your point today into the "in my day" category?

    What a cycle, this thing called life, huh?

  2. Great post, Rich. But back in my day, if we wanted to write about our opinions on army improvements, we didn't have any of this mamby-pamby, fancy schmancy internet stuff. We'd knock down a tree with our bare hands, chop it to pulp with our teeth, make paper with it, and write on it with ink that we'd made by mixing tar with our own blood. And we liked it.

  3. Morgan, you forgot to add, "... and nobody read it, and we liked it!" Great comment.

  4. What about scratching opinions on a cave wall? Now that's protected speech in many ways, don't even think about "deleting: it!