I’m currently reading “No Easy Day”, by Mark Owen ( pseudonym), the story of the mission by SEAL Team 6 to kill Osama bin Laden. In chapter 3, he relates an incident in which he and the team had to pack for a mission:
“We worked under “Big Boy Rules” at the command, which means there wasn’t a lot of management unless you needed it.”
At one point the author approaches a veteran SEAL and asks him what he should pack. The vet looks at him and says:
“Dude, what do you think you need to bring for deployment? Load it,” he said. “This is your guide. Bring what you think you need.”
Later in the chapter Owen says that training for war was constant, SEALS walked around in full kit moving from range to range.
Little Boy Rules are my main reason for choosing to leave the Army. The only way I could survive at this point is in Special Operations. Making up my own mind is what I miss most about being a cop. Not having someone hold my hand, stand me in a formation and yell at me about picking up trash. I can’t wait to get out and feel free again. As a cop, I decided what I carried for equipment, even what kind of gun I carried. While there were rules and regulations, they weren’t the focus of our existence; the mission was the focus. In Big Army, the regulations trump mission. Daily, we are reminded of regulations, while the average Soldier knows little about fighting wars.
As much as I complain about Little Boy Rules, I’ve seen first hand why they exist. It’s constantly amazed me the inability of people to do the right thing without being told or forced to do so. Some people I’ve talked to even say they like the military because it tells them what to do.
I have about a year remaining. I look forward to being an adult.