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ED - Kayaker had this to say...

Blousing the boots ??? It shows discipline of the soldier and uniformity. Why is it a problem now with this generation of soldiers ?? It was NEVER an issue with those of us who served from the 80's onwards...If you people are too hot, go back to wearing Jungle Boots then or DRINK MORE WATER and stop whining.Let the soldier decide if he wants to blouse or not ??? Are you mad !!! You start letting Joe make up his own mind about certain things like this and he won't even get out of the rack in the morning. Get over it ! NCO's lead troops, not some rear echelon pogue or TRADOC weenies who never deploy anywhere.Kayaker, thank you for articulating my point.  The above photograph is a picture of an Airforce Pararescue Jumper (PJ) serving in a Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) unit in Afghanistan.  By your measure, this individual is the epitome of undisciplined - no gloves, sleeves rolled up, trousers un-bloused, and there he is, discharging his weapon from a moving helicopter (I bet he didn't call range control first...) To think that he went through at least two continuous years of some of the most intensive training the military has to offer, yet he doesn't have the self discipline to dress himself properly in the morning (I bet you he is very good at what he does though.)The uniform for the USFS wildland firefighter consists of nomex pants, nomex long sleeved shirt, hard hat, leather boots, leather gloves, and a fire shelter.  In addition to that, as a Crew Boss, I required everyone  on my crew to pack a headlamp, spare batteries, an MRE, 1 gallon of water, 4 fusees (road flares), a mill bastard file, a personal first aid kit, a roll of fiber tape, and a change of socks in their line bag.  I didn't expect your pants and shirt to be starched and ironed, or even washed daily; it just had to be serviceable, meaning if you tore it up on the line, you replaced it at the end of shift and reported the following day ready to work.  If you used a fusee, you replaced it.  Your tools were always sharpened before next shift, and the edge was covered with a double strip of fiber tape.  On the line, you had to wear your kit; off the line you can wear what you want.  My measure of discipline was being able to come from the shift briefing, hand out briefing material to the Squad Bosses, hop in the trucks and drive to the line, not how straight the line was that they parked the trucks on the night before, whether or not the hem of a firefighter's trousers rested between the 3rd and 4th eyelettes of their boots, or if their pockets presented a bulged appearance.  It was in getting down to business, day in and day out, and getting the job done.I think we've lost sight of that and placed form over function.  Again, when it came to wearing body armor in the cantonment area, I was told we wore it in case we got attacked or shelled.  Now that is all good and well, but then why aren't we wearing it when we're running PT?  Of all the various classifications of folk on our FOB (American Contractor, American Soldier, Special Forces, Local National, Iraqi Army, Foreign National, etc...) the only ones who wore armor on the FOB were the regular joes (everyone on the FOB, except for the non-American civilians had it, and were required to wear it if they ever left the wire).  If it's for safety, shouldn't we all wear it?  What sort of immunity do all those other folk have to artillery attacks that I don't have, and why isn't the Army buying me some of that immunity?Now a days, when I hear leaders talk about discipline, I more often than not insert the word "stupid."  Standing out in the rain getting soaked because one person forgot their gortex isn't disciplined, it's stupid.  Putting on your armor, helmet, and ammunition to walk the 30 feet from your bunk to the porta-john, just so you can take a leak isn't disciplined, it's stupid ( it isn't smart either - just change into PTs next time.)  What we really need to focus on is getting the job done.  Unfortunately, I just see us getting more disciplined...

 

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