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Old February 14, 2013, 03:42 PM   #37
BlueTrain
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Join Date: September 26, 2005
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 5,825
So maybe that shotgun my son had in the photo was for less lethal options. I used to think it was for anti-tank purposes.

One thing about all these standard operating procedures/standing orders, together with all the stuff in manuals, lesson plans, TOEs, and whatnot was that once people are on the ground and stuff starts flying around, everything goes to pieces, sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally, and sometimes even before anything starts to happen. This is the real life part of the military (any military, any time) that is either not generally realized or believed.

Units take casualties, which mean gaps in the carefully designed structure of a unit, and sometimes losses of equipment, sometimes vital equipment. Units may not have authorized equipment or personnel because someone else somewhere else had priority. Things don't work properly because they're too old or they were expected to be used under different conditions. Things wear out. No unit on deployment operating in the field (the expression used to be "campaigning") could possibly pass any inspection. No one in any unit in the field has full knowledge of what is actually happening and some have no idea at all what is happening.

The only one outside of the army who appreciates what the soldier is actually going through is a soldier on the other side: the enemy, who everyone believes is better equipped, better motivated, younger, more experienced, a much better shot, and much more willing to die, which is probably why more of them do.
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