From the Soldier side: I remember way back when I was in the regular Army and the National Guard soldiers we had going through training with us were…uh…uhh…well, what can I say? They were not the same quality of the regular Army troops we had at the time. I went through AIT (Advanced Individual Training, or MOS school) with a bunch of National Guard guys…and they were pretty stupid.
In those days, the standards to get into the Guard were lower than the regular Army. I got out of the regular Army and stayed away for 13 years…before I decided to join the Guard. What I found after going through Combat Engineer School was that some of the troops we had were pretty good, and some were oxygen thieves. Of the two types, there seemed to often be something unique I noticed- the good troops usually had full time jobs or where in college and worked hard. The dudes were usually un-employed, or alcoholics….or both.
And then there was the weapons and equipment we had prior to September 11, 2001. We were issued Viet Nam era weapons and vehicles in the 1990’s. The heavy dump trucks we had were built in 1968 or there about, the rifles were M-16 A1’s….pistols were still the 1911A1 (which is a good weapon) and the good ol’ M60 machine guns. We still had Jeeps into the 1990’s!!!
When I ran a weapons range, I fully expected half the machine guns to break before the day was over and they did.
Despite the old equipment, when we got called up to go somewhere, we always had a good rock solid group that would step up and volunteer. In 1989 when the Loma Priata earthquake hit the San Francisco Bay area, by midnight we had an entire company of Combat Engineers ready to go….we moved out the next morning with no place to go because the State couldn’t figure out what to do with us. 4 days later, when the State leaders pulled their brain housing groups out of the back sides, they figured we could help in the Santa Cruz area. The company commander said he needed 30 volunteers, he got 60.
We liked to drink and play cards: Click Here for Drink and play cards ....