Monday, February 23, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

ruck this schlep

I went for my first ruck march in a LONG time, and it was difficult. TIP: Weigh your ruck before you begin.

For those of you who aren't entirely sure what "schlep" means, perhaps because you were raised in certain parts of the midwest, or maybe just have a healthy distrust of immigrant culture, no act embodies it better than rucking.

And for those of you who aren't entirely sure what "rucking" is, perhaps because you had the good sense to stay away from the military, it's the Army's way of saying, "going on a hike with heavy equipment/crap in your rucksack (backpack, only shittier)" or, "if you'd joined up in the 19th century, a mule would be doing this."

Mark Twain famously described golf as "a good walk spoiled." That is because he never experienced rucking. He probably had mules.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Apologies to the New Yorker

After my last post about the body type encouraged by the APFT, I had to draw this:

"Yes, but he never scores below a 320 on his PT test!"

Army Strong

The Army's main measure of physical prowess is the APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test). The APFT consists of sit-ups, push-ups, and a 2-mile run. When I began my cadet career, I could barely do 30 push-ups (100% on the APFT is 71 and the average is in the 50s). Before I knew much about the Army, 30 push-ups sounded like a lot. But being a cadet who can only do 30 push-ups is like being... well... a cadet who is even more of a useless invalid than a normal cadet (okay, enough modesty- we are really fucking awesome).

Fortunately, five years of suffering through cross country gave my body the entirely unnatural ability to move itself 2 miles in under 13 minutes (100% on the APFT but mediocre for cross country. Luckily, I was a pretty damn mediocre cross country runner).

The Marines' version of the APFT has chin-ups instead of push-ups, which I enjoy, but I don't think it will ever catch on in the Army because it's just another way to punish people for being fat (the original method being the 2-mile run).

Apart from the run, the APFT essentially requires only 2 muscles: your pecs and abs. Forget biceps, shoulders, whatever any other sexy beach muscles. Just pecs and abs. I've heard there are literally dozens of other muscles in the human body, so it could be said that the APFT is not really a complete measure of fitness... every jacked cadet who wrestled in high school but can't jog across the unitard store without getting out of breath will agree with you, at least (sorry homeboy, maybe you shouldn't have put on those 30 pounds in your SHOULDERS).

So the APFT is a lot like the SATs- it fails to measure some important qualities, but if you really screw up it there is definitely something wrong!

So does studying for the SAT make you smarter? Because I'm too lazy to hit the gym, so I train for the APFT and nothing else. Now, my body basically looks like this:

I can max the test, but I can't curl anything heavier than a junior bacon cheeseburger.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How do you remember where you set a rally point?

I asked an honest question in mil sci class today and got a more spectacular answer than I could possibly imagine.

Thank you, sir.

[big comic] I meet a girl in Israel

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

The first post and my banner

"War is Hell" - William Tecumseh Sherman
"War is Schlep" - Me

See what I did there?

When I came up with this unbelievable idea for a blog name, I hesitated to christen any blog with it - seeing as I'm a college student whose time in uniform usually involves rubber rifles and a map of the forest behind the gym (just because the girl's cross country team has no problem jogging there doesn't mean a man can't lose himself in those infernal woods and turn mad before he finds his way back).

But if Sergeant Big Tobacco can write an (absolutely amazing) deployment blog that's mostly about the challenges of jacking off in Iraq, I figure I can dig up some material that's at least as entertaining (If not nearly as substantial).

Also, the name was just too sweet to pass up, and it is my hope that I can sustain this blog until I do actually get to write/draw about higher-stakes adventures in Iraq/Afghanistan/Iran/Pakistan/North Korea/Equatorial Guinea (they know what they did).

This should be my wordiest post ever- I'll try to draw as many of my posts as possible. It's a good gimmick and I can do it while I watch TV.

That's what she said.