Basic soldier skills are lacking in today’s army, just ask anyone who still remembers bayonet drills. As a public service announcement, Duffel Blog surveyed senior NCOs in combat arms fields across the military to identify of some of the most common mistakes soldiers make in the field that can ruin a low noise profile.
Do not step on a twig. It might make a snapping noise. Especially at night. Go out into the field for three weeks. Run, throw yourself into the prone, breathe really heavily — that’s all part of your job. But, if you step on a twig, rest assured you that you’ll be the only person who does, and you’ll be putting everyone at risk.
Velcro is by far the most dangerous substance a soldier has in the field. It’s still unbelievable that the entire army would issue something that terrible. One NCO says, "I talked to this one guy whose friend is in Delta Force, and he was saying that they cut the Velcro out of their ACUs, then sew buttons in its place, then cut the buttons out and put in special, top-secret noiseless Velcro." Maybe you should be thinking about doing that before your next field exercise to show everyone that you’re high speed. You will, if you put the mission first.
Looking for a low-calorie, healthy snack in the field? Better not try celery. That signature snap is far worse than stepping on a twig. Carrot sticks aren’t great either, so maybe stick to baby snow pea pods or edamame.
[dropcap size=small]Ordering Pizza[/dropcap]
Oh, yeah, they’ll definitely deliver. You’re not the first Joe to come up with this idea. The issue is going to be when a guy in ’92 Camry with a broken muffler pulls up and then takes forever to find your credit card slip to sign. You’ll definitely give your position away.
We know that they’re man’s best friend. Maybe they’ll even end up being trained to be badass military working dogs. But until they’re whelped, their plaintive calls for mother are sure to draw enemy attention. But don't go all David Motari on them either.
Of course, you need a little something to keep you company during those long nights at sea sand. But when you’re sexting with the girl back home (or the guy in the next shelter half over), make sure you turn the ringer to "off" and not "vibrate." Ladies, this goes doubly for you, even if the temptation is so much greater.
[dropcap size=small]CPAP machines[/dropcap]
Sleep apnea is a serious condition which can degrade combat readiness. But think about it, soldier. Are you going to have a CPAP machine in combat? Are you going to get some kind of special assignment that says you’re deployable, you just get some kind of special duty where you’ll be able to plug in a CPAP machine? Oh. You will? Yeah, you totally will. So when you’re in the field, if OPFOR comes to get you, just yell “notional no noise!” and show them your CPAP profile. OPFOR probably has a CPAP machine, too.
[dropcap size=small]Steam-powered Victorian Fair Organs[/dropcap]
Your NCOs say they understand if you have any additional duty appointment to do MWR that you want to do something big. And you’re on the right track, since a steam-powered organ doesn’t have to be plugged into the generator. Your enlisted leaders admire that kind of thinking. But this baby is going to turn on when you don’t want it to. And someone might die when it does. As an alternative, consider asking the food services section to have hot chocolate and pop tarts at midnight.