HOW TO TELL YOU'RE AN OLD SOLDIER...

(a.k.a. Not Generation X)

Sisyphus Understands.




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  1. You know what GDP means and still remember where yours was and how long it took to occupy.

  2. You remember when we had tactical nukes and really planned to use them.

  3. You remember spending hours in MOPP4 and doing M256 kits.

  4. You remember when the M8 Claymore and M72 LAW were part of CTT.

  5. You remember when ARTEPs were 36 hours and you had fun.

  6. You remember when Carl Vouno was CG (8th ID(M)) and Max Thurman was head of recruiting command.

  7. You know what a Gamma Goat and Goer were and could fix an M151A2 to run off one prop shaft.

  8. You remember when the Israelis were bad-asses and we all wanted to be like them.

  9. You remember when Saddam Hussein was our loyal ally.

  10. You remember when Airland Battle was a new concept, and everyone religiously read FM 100-5.

  11. You know what the 'Cap Wineberger' Doctrine was.

  12. You remember when the M16 was a plastic carbine, and you hoped for an M14.

  13. You can remember going to the Club at Graf, drinking, and watching Margaret.

  14. You personally know Margaret.

  15. You know what is a "smokey" at Hohenfels.

  16. You know the difference between the VRC46, VRC47, PRC77 and VRC160 and the requisite installation kits.

  17. You know what a CEOI is and you can encrypt grids.

  18. You remember when NTC was a new and cool concept.

  19. You remember when it was real cool to go to SAMs or be an OC at NTC.

  20. You remember when as a new LT/CPT you could go out and train your soldiers and not have an OC tell you how screwed up you were.

  21. You remember BN Cdrs and 1SG's who were Vietnam Vets.

  22. You remember Bn Cdrs who drank, swore and mentored.

  23. You remember Bn Cdrs who were ruthless about tactics, but didn't give a crap about admin BS.

  24. You remember when 2LTs and CPLs demanded respect from PFCs and got it.

  25. You can navigate at night without a GPS.

  26. You can remember OPDs about Clausewitz (aka dead Karl) which usually ended with beer drinking at the O' club.

  27. You can remember when lanes training was a neat concept.

  28. You can remember when FM 25-101 was a new concept.

  29. You can remember when the defense budget was 7% of the GNP.

  30. You can remember when the main battle area was the only fight.

  31. You can remember when every ones career track was 10 years in Germany with 1st Armored Division at Ansbach.

  32. You remember when the Soviet Union was a major super power instead (albeit the Russian Republic) of being a basket case for the IMF.

  33. You could remember studying German concepts like mission tactics, and commander's intent and it was cool.

  34. You could remember reading military history and it was in vogue, and going on staff rides because the Chief of Staff of the Army did it.

  35. You could become a S3, XO, BN Cdr, or Bde Cdr without being Resident CGSC graduate.

  36. You could remember BN and BDE cdr's who were proud of being "non-resident" CGSC guys.

  37. You could receive a couple of "2-blocks" and it would not force you to look for employment on the outside.

  38. You did not worry about OERs as a lieutenant.

  39. You remember when privates bragged about the challenge they got in basic training, and how tough their drill sergeants were.

  40. You remember when Sensitivity training was something your wife did.

  41. You remember when Values Cards meant credit cards.

  42. You remember when officers did not need values cards because they practiced values everyday.

  43. You remember when going to the Pentagon was not cool and did not help your career.

  44. You remember when PowerPoint was what a private did on butcher paper taped-up on a board with "hundred-mile-an-hour" tape.

  45. You remember when you could say hooah, because the Chief of Staff of the Army said it.

  46. You remember when women in combat was just a bad idea that would soon fade away.

  47. You remember when being hardcore and a warrior was cherished.

  48. You remember that going to ranger school was cool and not for career progression.

  49. You remember that more than one company command was what studs did.

  50. You could remember that going to Korea was like going to the field for twelve straight months, and only the hard-core guys extended.

  51. You could remember when you could maneuver anywhere you wanted in Korea and it was not a big deal.

  52. You could remember when "maneuver damage" was paid lip-service.

  53. You could remember when you could "Major" in ROTC.

  54. You remember eating C-rations in the field.

  55. You wore the "banana suit" to PT.

  56. You wore the "pickle suit" to formation.

  57. You remember taking the five-event APFT.

  58. You remember when a PFC/SPC made presentations using a Leroy set instead of CPTs/MAJs using PowerPoint.

  59. You remember when camouflage nets were made of cloth.

  60. You remember when the Army's vehicles ran on gas.

  61. You remember when cigarettes were in C-rations.

  62. You remember on Thursdays was Donut Dolly day. 

  63. You remember how to report for pay and what a pay line was.

  64. You remember beer machines in the barracks/dayroom.

  65. You remember when Clothing Sales was run by Army soldiers.

  66. You remember when there used to be enlisted, NCO and Officer Clubs.

  67. You remember the Women's Army Corps (WACs).

  68. You remember when stripes were worn on the sleeve.

  69. When you ran PT in boots, white T-shirt and fatigue pants.

  70. When Jungle boots were green.

  71. When Jump boots cost $16.50 a pair and you shined the whole boot instead of just the toe and heel.

  72.  When cigarettes where $2.00 a carton. 

  73. What an alert was.

  74. When Sergeants ran the Army.

    Courtesy of M.A. Sweeney

  75. You remember Disposition Forms (DF’s) instead of memorandums. (That would be DA Form 2496!)

  76. When a one line correction on a document was sufficient, instead of correcting it on a word processor and running off 20 times the number of copies you would have needed prior to the computer age. (The Paperless Army!)

  77. You were allowed to wear foreign jump wings or a RECONDO badge on your fatigues.

  78. Only elite forces wore a beret.

  79. You carried a .45 cal pistol instead of a 9mm.

  80. Soft cap meant wearing your helmet liner.

  81. You could shave, bathe and cook out of your helmet.

    Courtesy of RainEagle

  82. You remember when 5 tons ran on gasoline.

  83. You remember when F-4 phantoms mock attacked your convoys.

  84. You remember when your Sergeant was a Missile.

  85. You remember stepping on a lucky strike pack and punching the nearest guy.

  86. You remember finding Lidane in your bunk.

  87. You remember wearing duty uniforms that weren't camo.

  88. You remember painting Dragons on your 2 1/2 ton to keep the Korean slicky boys away.

  89. You remember when Agent Orange was just a weed killer.

    Contributed by MAJ Bremmer.

  90. You're an old soldier if you carry a twenty round magazine in Afghanistan.

  91. You're an old soldier if you're a Major and you have a K-bar with your name and SGT inscribed on it.

  92. You're an old soldier if you drove a 113 on more than one REFORGER.

  93. You're an old soldier if you are a life member of the 8TH ID association.

    Contributed by 1SG (RET) C. R. Bolton.

  94. You remember how to set up a footlocker and wall locker display.

  95. You remember using coke cans to neatly roll your T-shirts and boxer shorts for your footlocker display.

  96. You remember the only space you had in your footlocker for personal items had to fit in a space the size of a cigar box.

  97. You remember needing a pass to leave post.

  98. You remember getting stopped by the MP's in downtown Graf to check your pass.

  99. You know what bed check is.

  100. You know what fire watch is.

  101. You remember being on KP in garrison.

  102. You remember Saturday was for inspections and Monday thru Friday was for training.

  103. You remember when an article-15 did not end your career and all good enlisted men had at least three and they were removed from your 201 file upon transfer to another unit.

  104. You know what Blood Stripes are.

  105. You remember not being thrown out of the army for fighting downtown.

  106. You remember when people went to prison for desertion.

  107. You know what a T-10 parachute is.

  108. You remember being dragged to safety by an overweight medic.

  109. You remember when every major Post had a Post Stockade and used them.

  110. You remember being detailed to guard a work detail from the Post Stockade with a loaded shotgun.

  111. You remember pulling guard duty with a loaded weapon.

  112. You remember what the "Colonel's Orderly" was.

  113. You remember being issued handkerchiefs and using them.

  114. You remember having a shaving stick and why you had it and not a can of shaving crème.

  115. You know what an M-79 is.

  116. You know what a "Mule" is (not the four-legged type).

  117. You remember when you didn't have to be "somebody" to be buried in Arlington.

  118. You remember draftees.

  119. You remember your serial number.

  120. You know what the RA or US in front of a serial number means.

  121. You remember when food was not allowed in the barracks.

    Courtesy of K. Dasing

  122. OCS in Germany wasn't for training officers.

  123. The back cover of Soldiers Magazine was a Playboy Bunny or someone's girlfriend.

  124. "Turret Talk" wasn't a friendly conversation.

  125. Connie Rod had big boobs.

  126. You were allowed two beers for lunch.

  127. There were beer machines in the barracks.

  128. You knew the difference between a "Radborro" and a "Marlborro"

  129. The "Wall" wasn't a movie about Nuremburg.

  130. Actual strippers in the NCO clubs in Germany.

  131. The "Fifty Staters" wasn't a jock shop at Graf.

  132. Hitler's Tower.

  133. When your BGD CO tell you stories of how he jumped into France on D-Day.

  134. The "Polish National Guard" in the training areas.

  135. Twenty Mark Strasse in K-town.

  136. Pig wasn't your buddy's girlfriend, but a weapon.

  137. Beef and Boulders came in a can that was hell to eat cold.

  138. You traded your 4-pack of cigarettes from your C-rats for a beer.

  139. You didn't stay very long in places called Leesville, Nolensville or Radcliff.

  140. The company's copier was carbon paper between two sheets of paper in the typewriter.

     

    Courtesy of B.Hergert

  141. You remember tankers jackets.

  142. You remember John Wayne bars.

  143. You remember what LSMFT stands for.

  144. You remember the shitter on range 80, Graf, being shot to pieces by one of your fellow tankers during night qualification.

  145. You remember soldiers who could not pass the drivers test in Germany, let alone speak English.

  146. You remember doing a barracks search in Germany and finding hash in the battery compartment of a transistor radio.

  147. You remember doing a barracks search in Germany and finding a 35 mm camera film container with hash or marijuana in it.

  148. You remember 50% high school grad enlistees.

  149. You remember you drove an M114 on more than one REFORGER.

  150. You remember SADMs and MADMs.

  151. You remember unannounced IG inspections.

  152. You remember how to rig an M151 to continue driving.

  153. You remember you fired M60A1s.

  154. You remember a 'C ration' breakfast of melted cheese over scrambled eggs.

  155. You remember when the CG attended the strip show at the Graf club.

  156. You remember Flippies at Graf or Hohenfels.

  157. You remember Motor SGTs who could jerry rig anything to run.

  158. You remember the Brits or Canadians firing artillery off the range at Graf.

  159. You remember riding in the front seat of an M151 with no canvas and windshield down with your cold weather mask on in a snow storm and having a M114 run up over your trailer while you were stopped.

  160. You remember Kakis.

  161. You remember gas generator pop up targets in holes you dug.

  162. You remember grease guns.

    Courtesy of M. McQueen

  163. If you have a “Ruptured Duck” patch on your uniform you are really an old soldier.

                                 

    Courtesy of T. Sheppard

  164. You remember "Coal Bin Willie" ordering all the 82nd Airborne Division coal bins to be whitewashed. (That's right: coal bins.)

  165. You remember when the XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery CO was a survivor of the Bataan Death March.

  166. You remember when the American flag flew proudly over the Panama Canal Zone and the 21st Infantry Regiment soldiered there and there was a AAA Battalion that fired 90mm AA guns.

  167. You remember when Marilyn Monroe visited the 45th Division near the Punch Bowl in Korea.

    Courtesy of 1SG (Ret) M.T. Nevins

  168. Two Words: C*nt Cap

    Courtesy of SFC (Ret) H. Davis
    Combat Engineers can get you there.

  169. You know you're an old soldier when you call old friends at 0344 and announce "Lariat Advance."

  170. You know you're an old soldier when you can tell the story about accidentally entering the 1K zone with a full combat load during a sector alert.

  171. You know you're an old soldier when you know the way through the Polish Cemetery to the Kloster Krueznach.

  172. You know you're an old soldier how to get to the ski area at Wildflecken.

  173. You know you're an old soldier where Jerry's Kellerbar was.

  174. You know you're an old soldier how to avoid the MPs sleeping on the powerline to get to Jerry's Kellerbar.

    Courtesy of SGM (Ret) R.W. "Yank" Yanke

  175. "A good cup of coffee is like a HOT woman; when they are gone, you are cold and alone."

  176. That a “Stovepipe” was the 90MM Recoilless Rifle that you lugged everyday, but only got to live fire it twice a year.

  177. Where you could find the John Wayne bars in the B-1, B-2 or B-3 units.

  178. You found out the hard way, that a mess kit could collect more water then food if you did not keep it under your poncho.

  179. That having 8 inches was not considered a bad thing in the Field Artillery.

  180. If you wanted to use the latrine in the field; you or someone from your squad would have to dig it first.

    Courtesy of Jim Armour, CSM (Retired) 

  181. Remember the "Overseas Weekly" that reported the nasty things GIs did in Germany.

  182. When lSGs and MSGs were WWII vets and wore the fatigue uniform with a 25 inch width in leg pants.

  183. When we wore white "T" shirts and white name tags on our fatigues.

  184. When everyone donated money to the Platoon Sgt when someone parents died.

  185. When the mess sergeant would give groceries to the young Private and his wife who just got into country.

  186. When German beer was a nickel each Wednesday night at the company club.

  187. When MP companies were allowed to have their own company club because they were not encouraged to go downtown to the bars.

  188. When prostitutes were great sources of information for MPs. Mortuary Mary was one of those.

  189. When prostitutes working the evening shift would take the getting off duty swing shift MPs to the Florida Bar in Landstuhl and pay for all the drinks. They would dance the night away.

  190. When seeing someone with an ARCOM a total rarity.

  191. When ARCOMs were signed by four star generals.

  192. When each major GI town in Germany had its own football team, and would play against each other. This also applied to the Air Force.

  193. When TDY pay was $18.00 a day, and that was "big time."

  194. When old NCOs wore the 3rd Infantry Division patch on their right sleeve in 1966.

    Courtesy of A. Rhaburn

  195. You remember Shelter Half, and looking for a spoon buddy with the other Half.

  196. Gas was $0.78 cents in 1988.

    Courtesy of M. Peacock

  197. You remember places like Crailsheim, Erlangen, Pastorius, Pinder Barracks...

  198. You owned a P38 and bear the scars of having owned one.

  199. You've eaten the OD Green paint shavings of a C-rat can.

  200. You remember the SQT.

  201. You remember military hospitals made of wood at major installations (Ft Polk, Ft Gordon, etc).

  202. You remember the yellow enlisted rank insignia being worn on the sleeve of fatigues.

  203. You remember getting promotion points for time in service and time in grade.

  204. You remember the ranks Spec 5 and 6.

  205. You remember when the Stars and Stripes was not just a Newspaper, but also a book store.

  206. You remember signing out Converse Chuck Taylor's and cleats at the gym for unit sports.

  207. You remember AFRTS having one channel, going off the air at 2300, and you, your Dad and brother standing for the National Anthem in your living room at 2300 when AFRTS signed off.

  208. You remember organization days with beer.

  209. You used brasso and kiwi daily.

  210. You broke starch.

  211. You dressed up to go to the Enlisted Club for dinner.

  212. You saw Charlie Pride at the Kazabra Club.

  213. You remember female dancers at the all-ranks club at Camp Bullis.

    Courtesy of K. Chastain

  214. Would love to own their own HMMWV. (If a MX shop came with it, cause the damn thing will fall apart.)

    Courtesy of T. Kindred

  215. You know you're an old soldier if you remember what a P-38 is and wore one on your dog tag chains.

    Courtesy of TR.W. Tank Ward

  216. You fixed the same heater in your M1 that you did in your M60A1.

  217. There was always an NCO that could fix the heater in your tank.

  218. Pinning the cherry LTs Airborne Wings upside down on his cap was funny.

  219. Shaving your AWOL then escorting dumbass to become a CCF ranger was a hoot.

  220. Night acquistions from the PDO yard were expected.

  221. Challenge coins got you a beer or cost you one.

  222. Caps had Ranger eyes.

  223. The CSM had 'hat lights' resulting in Elmer Fudd days.

  224. Calling early to get the prostitute area for CP.

  225. Going to range 99 meant out of contact.

  226. Sleaze Inspections were the only ones you didn't want to be first at.

  227. Starched fatigues rubbed your nipples raw on long runs.

    Courtesy of T. Warrick.

  228. You know what a "Supernumerary" is, and tried hard to get it.

  229. You sang cadence about the temperature of a certain part of the anatomy of a female Eskimo.

  230. You could change filters in your M17 mask in under a minute.

  231. You know what signing a Statement of Charges means, and you signed a few in your day.

  232. Your Sergeant put a pencil under your boot heels to see if your boots were still "serviceable".

  233. You could trade for almost anything with a working Zippo lighter.

    Courtesy of A. McIlvenna and D. Masoner.

  234. You're an old soldier if you remember eating C rations.

  235. You're an old soldier if you remember what a "P 38" is.

  236. You're an old soldier if you are a female and were issued the black beret (1980's).

  237. You're an old soldier if you remember dehydrated meat patties and fruit in MRE's.

  238. You're an old soldier if you remember when the first week of basic training was "Zero" week.

  239. You're an old soldier if you remember watching the males doing "Grass Drills" outside in their boxer shorts and t-shirts as punishment.

  240. You're an old soldier if you remember wearing a steel pot.

    Courtesy of Art.

  241. If you were stationed in Nuremburg, Germany you knew where and what the wall was.

  242. You knew where to climb the fence to get back to your barracks.

  243. You knew where to crawl under the fence to get back in the compound.

  244. You knew not to start the 5 ton in the ammo dump warm up, no heater and a noisy buzzer.

  245. A dollar was worth almost four Marks.

  246. You knew where all the GI hang-outs were, but didn't know where the tourist sites were.

  247. You knew what it was like to take your fellow unit members to the stockade.

  248. You knew what it was like to travel on a troop transport ship accross the North Atlantic.

  249. Korea; You knew what 2400 country wide curfew was.

  250. You knew what MPC was.

  251. You knew not to climb the wall after curfew, the Korean soldiers carried shotguns and would shoot you.

  252. Everybody had a Class A pass.

  253. You know what it's like to ride in the back of a 2 1/2 Ton when it's 13 degrees below zero.

  254. You know you got troubles when there is an alert and you are stationed in Seoul with no weapon.

E-mail me if you have any more items!

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