Terminal Lance #173 “Oh-Three-Fifty-Two”
January 20, 2012
There’s kind of an unspoken rule amongst the regular line-company grunts that we all just… kind of hate 0352’s. Well, coming from an 0351 Assaultman, we may feel a little more strongly about it than the rest, but most people either forget that 0352’s exist or just plain don’t like them.
Why?! Why would the brotherhood of the infantry shun one of its members?! I’m generally met with confusion when I tell this to POG’s or civilians. Understandably so, many in the infantry don’t even really understand it–they just know that they would rather not be around them. A big part of this is their cutting scores, which are traditionally laughably low. Contrast this to other 03 MOS’ like Scout Sniper and Recon, which also hold lower cutting scores and aren’t despised in any way. The reason for this is that Scout Sniper and Recon are considered respectable in the sense that it takes extra effort and you have to be an exceptional grunt just to be there in the first place. There’s a mutual understanding that they should be Corporals and Sergeants and no one needs to say anything about it.
I think what gets a lot of other grunts is the fact that the TOW itself is a less-than traditional weapon; and as cool as the Javelin may be in videogames, odds are it isn’t something you’ll ever see fired in real life. This makes the whole MOS just seem kind of pointless and strange to most. As well, like every battalion, there’s always going to be that angry competitive aspect between the line-companies and Weapons Company.
Of course, in all reality they really aren’t any different than anyone else. Like myself, most 0352’s just get turned into machine-gunners overseas any way and become a mounted platoon like so many other grunts of all MOS’s. With that said, it will never seem right that some kid who just got to the fleet can outrank an 0351 that’s been in for years simply because of cutting score. This is of course the result of the ever-broken cutting score system itself, but is easily projected onto those damn 0352’s that inhabit your battalion’s Weapons Co.
In other news, school started this week! Balls deep, my friends. Balls deep.