Carlos Alvarez tells his nephew about the cool things he does in the Army. As one can expect, there’s the “official” story and the “unofficial” one.
The military always advertises the benefits of joining up: they feature commercials with really cutting-edge, whiz-bang computer and information systems, while the reality is that there may be about 30 people that actually get to use that kind of stuff, while everyone else is still limping along with the finest 2002 technology.
Weapons are talked about in all sorts of media– everything from Popular Science to YouTube commentators talk about mind-boggling stuff like weapon optics that can make the dark of night look like a summer afternoon, or advanced munitions with guidance systems and air-burst warheads and all that cool stuff… while again, neglecting to mention that there may be one showcase team of 100 people that get to field this stuff for a month and then they never see it again, and go back to using their Iraq-era M4s that rattle when you walk with them.
No, really, one of the most useful and cool skills I picked up in the Army was the ability to sleep almost anywhere, at any time, under any circumstances. I can sleep sitting up, or “tune out” into a quasi-sleep state while standing up; I’ve slept next to roaring generators and heavy vehicles, and been able to string together cat-naps through a busy day and been able to function adequately throughout.
I guess “useful skill” really comes down to your sense of perspective, really.
Until next time!