Despite the fact that our Soldiers are the best-trained and best-equipped warriors on the planet, there are some things about the gear that we get issued that is most frustrating. While meant to improve the way we do things, it sometimes seems as if the designer made the stuff so that it would provide little annoyances to the averge G.I.
For example, when opening any random MRE dinner pouch, let's just say, ravioli, the pouch tears unevenly and when pulling the top portion completely off, it invariably splatters into the face of the Soldier, who is only trying to get a meal.
What prompted this blog was the construction of our new body armor. While is it incredibly effective in saving lives our troops, putting the pieces together seems more diffcult than "taking the hill." It is, at the beginning, like Christmas when you get a bike or some other toy that has "some assembly required" on the box and it turns out that "some" means just short of "invent." Fortunately, some very experienced Soldiers in our unit who were more than happy to assist those for whom this is a first deployment as well as the first time with body armor. Gathering together and putting together this Warrior's Puzzle became another bonding activity which brought out the strengths and experiences of different Soldiers. Once completely put together, the body armor makes one feel like Robo-Cop or a Starship Trooper. Fully loaded, a Soldier might resemble the computer-generated robot from the NFL games.
Whether it is body armor, MRE packages or other pieces of equipment, I always have the feeling that someone, somewhere (the designer/s) is sitting in his Lazyboy laughing when he thinks of a ravioli-spattlered troop or the expression on the face of someone who looks at a pile of gear saying "What do I do with all this?"