Terminal Lance #297 “Book Smarts”
November 15, 2013
I thought of this joke last night while I was out drinking with former Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Sergeant Major Kent, and Paul Szoldra from The Duffel Blog.
No, that’s not a meth-induced fantasy scenario I cooked up last night, that actually happened.
It’s a weird story, but it started with this:
What proceeded was me and Paul getting sloshed in downtown San Francisco on “Leatherneck” beer at the Marine’s Memorial Club and Hotel courtesy of SgtMaj Kent. We even exchanged challenge coins.
It was weird.
…But it was awesome.
Anyway, about today’s strip:
Those of us that chose the infantry moniker of “Assaultman” at ITB are frequently known as the “smart ones” of the infantry. There’s a prerequisite algebra exam prior to entering the training program. It was fairly easy, I got 100% on it, as did other members of my class. We learn all about demolitions, to include some advanced knowledge of calculating the blast radius of different explosives, etc. It’s a lot to take in, and generally speaking, the 0351 group of a Weapons Platoon generally tends to be the most “nerdy” of the bunch. This is undoubtedly true, as many times our little circles in the field would devolve into debates about Star Wars and whether or not Wolverine could kill Captain America; all whilst the 0331’s were busy calculating the amount of times they had pulled out versus let it soak.
Of course, it’s all irrelevant in the end. In my battalion, 0351’s were mostly turned into turret gunners and whatever else they needed. I, myself, ended up being a .50 cal gunner on my first deployment more than anything else.
We’re smart, but unfortunately most battalions don’t really utilize them for that purpose anyway. 0351’s become a weird jack
off of all trades of sorts.
Regardless, we all end up in the same place, doing mostly the same stuff, and hating it just as much as anyone else.