Anyone who signed up because "it's not just a job, it's an adventure" has probably suffered a few moments that were a little too heavy on the "adventure" and thought, “I don’t get paid enough to do this.” It might have been a harrowing maneuver around a Chinook or shoveling a thick layer of sheep poop, but the feeling of disdain and frustration is the same. Check out what a few soldiers from the /r/Army subreddit say was the moment they realized they didn’t get paid enough for what they put up with.
1. "When a VBIED [Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device] went off and it made me lose my balance while leaning back in a chair while trying to take a nap in the maintenance office. Pog [person other than grunt] life."
2. "It turns out fuel blivets are round, and Chinooks blow lots of air really hard. As the first bird starts to position over our tandem load, the 5000lb blivet starts to not-so-slowly f**k off across the HLZ away from my hookup team. … On its little escapade, the blivet happened to run over and crush our only remaining static probe.
... Dude grabs the blivet first on his front hook, and lifts up to reposition as we sprint to the second load (which we intend to hook up on his rear hook). The wind has picked up. He's having one hell of a hard time lining up over the second load with that blivet swinging like a 5000lb pendulum of death off the front of his sky-bus. It barely misses me probably three times. I feel like there's a giant standing over me with a nine-iron, and I'm the golf ball.
I survive the swinging death ball, but the dude's been hovering for probably 5 minutes and now he's in position to hook up. Five minutes of a Chinook hovering is enough to build up quite a static charge. Terrified, I grab the sling load equipment by the rubber rather than the apex, and slam it into his cargo hook as briskly as possible. The static still hits me like a ton of bricks and I fall the f**k off the load, get picked up by one of my dudes and dragged the hell away.
Later, he told me he had felt the shock through the tail of my blouse, which is all he was holding onto to steady me as I hooked up. [In short] I nearly got myself bludgeoned and/or fried while doing a sling-load hookup under a Chinook (no surprise there)."
3. "I s**t myself on [a] mission, specifically the beginning of the mission."
4. PFC: "SGT, SPC Smith won't get out of the shower."
Me: "You go tell his ass to get out time now."
PFC leaves... comes back 2 minutes later.
PFC: "He won't get out and he's ugh... well... I don't know how to put this."
Me: "Alright, let’s go."
"I go up the steps to the first floor, into the bathroom that has 3 showers (with see-through glass doors). SPC Smith is sitting on the floor of the public shower, legs out like a V, abusing himself furiously. No way I get paid enough to see that kind of s**t."
5. "Air movement from Baghdad to Mosul airfield, May 2003. I'd been violently sick for the week prior. Land, pry open the door to a Mig hangar, discover that local shepherds have been using it to shelter their flocks. Literally three inches of sheep s**t.
1SG don't give a f**k.
'Gitcher gawd dayum E-tools out.'
So the entire company's population of E4 & below is on hands and knees scraping up a rapidly aerosolizing layer of feces for the next hour and a half. I excuse myself to vomit, expecting to sham out for a while, but, jokes on me!, wind up vomiting and s**ting for thirty minutes until the medics find me and start pushing ringers.
Somewhere in the interim, they found a working power washer. Who knew! As I sat on my ruck with two IVs in, watching the mushy tide make its way across the floor, I reflected on where I would have been at that moment if stop loss weren't a thing."