In 2004 I was 24 years old, a newly promoted E5 and a member of a Scout platoon deployed to Baghdad. I had to learn the fundamentals of running and gunning not because I wanted to look cool on YouTube or thought super fast split times would get me “sponsors”. Even while I was deployed I trained how to run my rifle, transition to my pistol and reload with a quickness because my life and my team mat…es lives counted on me. It wasn’t a hobby or a sport, it was my job. We all trained because we didn’t want to fail the guy to the left or right of you who was counting on you in a fight.
Over a decade later I’ve got a couple more deployments under my belt, a bit more rank and I’m in the middle of a medical retirement. When I see guys posting videos in body armor, doing flashy transitions and working as “brand ambassadors” all I can think is “Kudos bro, but where were you during the last decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan and if you’re so OAF why aren’t you at the recruiters office?”
I’m all for EVERYONE getting out and training however they want. It’s your god given right and I’ll be the last one to tell you to stop training in full kit with a gas mask and doing cheetah flips if that’s what you want to do. But don’t act like its a profession just because you’ve got a YouTube channel and shot timer. If you’re really that serious about it I’m just curious why you’re not putting on a uniform. At the end of the day there’s a big difference between learning to fight because it’s a hobby or learning to bring the hate because your buddies lives count on you.
My statement isn’t meant as an acquisition but a explanation for why I train. It wasn’t because I wanted to look cool of get free gear. It was part of my job. And that fact leaves me confused when I see grown men who could serve their country in a MIL/LE capacity but aren’t.