16 February 2012

Understanding US Military Jobs- for dummies...

From the Soldier side:  Here’s something you can do if you really want to see a military person get mad at you.  Call a Marine (current or former) a Soldier.  Call a Sailor a Marine or Soldier.  Call an Airmen anything but…etc. 
I’ve come to realize that a lot (as in “shitload”) of civilians in the USA no little or no understanding about our military.  Even though we’ve had over a million “troops” ( a general term for all those in the military, but really only the Army has “troops”…keep up here and you’ll figure it out) have deployed since Sep 11, 2001. 
I’ve often heard from somebody I’ve meant or know , tell methat they have a nephew, niece, cousin, etc who’s deployed.  I always ask them two questions after they tell me that: 1.) What branch of the service are they in, and 2.) What’s their job? 

You’d be surprised how often the person tells me: “…uhhh…I don’t know.  Is there a difference?” 

Yes there is a difference you dumbass.  All the branches of the US Military have very specific names, jobs and each of them is very proud of who they are and what they do.  I will never say that one is better than the other, because in my 20 years of active Army and National Guard service, I had times when I counted on each of them to do something- in some cases my life depended on it. 

So, here’s a quick cheet sheet

US Army- over 200 years of tradition unchanged by progress.  All in the Army are called “Solders.”  This is the main battle force for the military.  They are the biggest and have more “sub branches”.  They have the Army Reserves and the Army National Guard – which has units in all 50 states and other countries that aren’t yet states. 

The Army has about a hundred different jobs, called MOS.  The soldiers are lead by NCOs (Non Commissioned Officers- NEVER call them Sir or Mam) Warrant Officers and Officers.  All branches of the military have enlisted, NCOs etc..

The Army Infantry Soldiers are called “grunts”, “line doggies” and stuff like that.  All Soldiers who don’t leave the camps are called “REMFS”.    

US Marine Corps are the best and cream of the crop for ground combat.   Marines are called “Marines” not Soldiers.  They get more “basic training” and all are considered “riflemen” and are the guys you want around you on your side in a fight. 

US Air Force- in real life, only a few in the Air Force are pilots or aircrew. They are called “Airmen”.  The rest do all the other jobs needed for the air craft and pilots to do their jobs.  Air Force people seem a little brighter than some of the other services, but they have to be with all the technical stuff they have to work with. 

US Navy…the main job is to put boats (ships) in the water.  They are called “Saliors”.  I get worried when I’m on water and can’t see land, so sailors are very brave and must be good swimmers incase their ship sinks (which doesn’t happen much anymore).   

US Coast Guard is not really considered part of the US military, but they can be in war.  They are called “Sailors”.  These guys ride around in small boats that make me sea sick just watching them underway.  The Coast Guard’s job is to protect our shores and ports and they do a very good job with limited resources.  From what I’ve seen, the sailors they’ve trained for boarding parties are some of the best folks I’ve ever seen with weapon skills. 

So, if you have a friend or family member who’s “in the military” take some time the next time you talk to them to find out what they do…and for God’s sake, at least know what branch of the service they’re in. 
Went there, did that, got the T-Shirt

And one of my favorite stories of a “dumbass”.  When I returned from Bosnia, one of the police “bosses” I worked for asked me: “How was Kosovo?”  I told him: “I don’t know, I was in Bosnia.” 

Later, when I returned from Iraq, that same retarded police administrator asked me how Iraq was (he got it right that time.)  I told him it was “OK” and left it at that.  Then he went on to tell me he’d been ROTC for a while in college.  I just looked at him and wanted to say: “So, you’re time in the ROTC was just like my deployment to Iraq?  You dumbass.”   
CI Roller (a Soldier) with a Marine K9 (not a Soldier)

Don’t try to tell a war vet about your “one time at band camp.”  We’ll just laugh. 


Heroditus Huxley said...

Speaking as someone who was unable to serve (busted up knee in high school gym), any veteran is addressed as "sir," or "ma'am," no matter the branch or rank. It only seems right.

CI-Roller Dude said...

HH, that's OK, an old NCO will just correct you with: "I'm not a sir, I worked for a living!"

NavyOne said...

This one time at band camp we got in a pillow fight. . .

Paxford said...

Hmm... I have always wanted to know if there is a generic polite term to use for NCO's? (prior to discovering their rank).

I'm inclined to call every person Sir or Ma'am till introduced - and yes... that's gotten me corrected once or twice :D


Old NFO said...

Sad that one has to do that, but a good point CI... But Marines are really Jarheads, Airmen are Zoomies, and Sailors are Swabbies... :-) Just sayin...

Coffeypot said...

We (sailors) use to kid the Coast Guard sailors that if their ship were to sink they could wade ashore. But, dude, when the is a hurricane or tropical storm, who is out there pulling civilians to safety? The Coast Guard. They are a bad-ass team.

Hogdayafternoon said...

When you make people reflect on their own lives and do a quick mental comparison with yours (many do this little exercise) they don't always like the results that get churned out.

Sean from DocintheBox said...

Um, the second guy is a Navy Corpsman!

Anonymous said...

As a Sailor, from a family of Sailors (4 generations, now, from WW1 to Iraqi Freedom). I'm glad you're home, and thanks for doing the job!

Lynn PAWZ said...

Hello my friend. I would like to say Thank You for your many years of dedicated service, must have been tough in those latter years as you aged closer and closer to 80 ;o). May I offer one correction to your site? As you mentioned ~ Military men & women get bummed out when called the wrong "thing"; such as calling a Marine a Soldier for example. You commented that the US Coast Guard is not part of the military. That is incorrect, they are. Additionally, never call a Coast Guardsman a Sailor. Navy men & women are Sailors, not Coast Guardsmen. So, (you dumbass), fix your blog! haha, I had to add that part, just poking fun at one of your comments that made me laugh really, really hard because it is so very true and heard by all of us Veterans at some point ... "You’d be surprised how often the person tells me: “…uhhh…I don’t know. Is there a difference? Yes there is a difference you dumbass.", hahahaha

Love your blog, Thanks for posting :o)

CI-Roller Dude said...

LP, I live very close to a USCG training center and have several good friends there...whom I kid all the time. as I was a grunt, I don't do water and have a lot of respect for anybody who can go out to sea and save people...I'd be puking all over the boat and then they'd have to save me.