As the American Army grew to meet the demands of an ever-evolving world with a new kind of warfare every few generations, the widening rift between combat troops and support troops has also grown.
For now, the days of supply and intelligence troops being subjected to the same hard lifestyle and horrors as infantry are gone, and have been for some time. From the baby boomer “REMFs” to the “Fobbits” of a decade or so ago, the “guy in the rear with the gear” often tries to prove himself every bit as capable as the vision he has of the hearty grunt, trudging along at the front lines on a steady diet of freeze-dried coffee, testosterone and tobacco products.
Then again, sometimes the POG does himself no favors in cultivating his stereotyped image, while the true image of the grunt is one of crippling depression and short utterances.
Such is the case between two Soldiers, an Infantryman and an Intelligence Analyst, who both went to YouTube to talk about a day in the life of their chosen professions, with little environmental cues that play perfectly into describing each branch.
Enter P. Wilson, an Intelligence Analyst with a baby face and hipster hair-do, who talks with great enthusiasm in between puffs from his vape box. He speaks of his eagerness to get a combat patch, as they are “becoming rare.”
“Combat patches are becoming few and far between in today’s Army,” he said. “Tryin’ to get me one before I get out.”
In the background, an elaborate playlist of what can only be described as “suburban autotune” plays through tinny speakers, fading in an out like annoying Honda Civic at a drive-thru.”
He is calm, collected, easy-going and still has a spark of life left in his eyes as he talks about workout regimens, meal planning and doing “collabs” with foreign YouTubers on his upcoming rotation to Europe.
In short, he is the perfect image of how grunts view POGs.
On the other side of the coin, we have YouTuber “ItsMe 11B.”
Barely audible above the groans and riffs of Five Finger Death Punch’s rendition of The Offspring’s “Gone Away,” 11B manages to capture two combat arms musical staples in a single song, all while looking down at us from his poorly-placed webcam.
Still a young Soldier with less than two years in, he has learned the grunt art of dropping “F-bombs” between words and phrases, as well as exhaling like an exhausted middle-aged man. He talks about his upcoming deployment, hoping not to get a combat patch but to instead see actual combat.
Unable to sit still and somewhat brow-beaten, he talks about how his recruiter shafted him and -due to his lack of combat experience- he talks excessively about his time at Fort Benning’s Sand Hill, having gone through OSUT not that long ago.
“I was kind of a sh*tbag in basic,” he said with blunt sincerity. “I didn’t really give a f**k, to be honest.”
11B is expecting to go to the National Training Center in California before his deployment, where he will no doubt learn to suffer before learning to suffer more.
Amusingly enough, both Soldiers are shining, stereotypical beacons of “young bucks” in their respective branches, and will no doubt grow and evolve to be hardened, mature professionals in their respective fields.
While 11B has nowhere the amount of views on his video compared to Wilson (by about a 148 out of 151 view margin), we hope that he can polish on his showmanship, while Wilson can polish up on looking like an actual Soldier.
Good luck, boys. Give ‘em Hell.
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