For civilians raking the yard would typically sound like a dirty phrase. But, for sailors and other active duty personnel it takes a completely different meaning. When you’re on duty in the military, the variety of extra activities you’ll have to perform is almost unspeakable. From sweeping the lawn to cleaning the parking lot for an inspection a week away, a number of ridiculous nonsense sailors have to put up with is essentially crazy. I can speak from experience when I say, that I’ve actually witnessed and or have done these regularly and will continue to do so until the end of my career. But, for those brave souls who want to hear more about it, here is one of the most nonsensical tasks I’ve been assigned to during my tenure.
Cleaning the entire parking lot of the command for a preparation inspection for a separate evaluation. Back a few years when I was serving in Ventura Country California our objective was to tackle the test to the best our ability. But, somehow one of the leadership members decided that in order to do well for our inspection the crew should demonstrate how clean we are by literally picking up all the trash and dirt from the parking lots surrounding the main building. Now it’s at this point that people who are familiar with the Navy will say that this is standard procedure for FOD walk-downs throughout the day in the military. While I would be inclined to agree, our objective was not only to pick up anything that might damage equipment but to pick up everything. Eventually, they allowed a street sweeper normally used to clean the floors inside the building into the parking lot to move the dirt from the edges away (this did not turn out well). Not only did the street sweeper make the situation worse, we ended up grabbing brooms and rakes to move the dirt and grass away from the parking spots for hours…
The worst part about the event was that it all happened on a Black Friday. After we had gotten to spend some time with our families on Thanksgiving, we weren’t allowed to partake in the almost ritualistic purchase of marked-up goods sold at a “discount”; instead, we were actually forced to ineffectively try to clean an area that was wholly exposed to all of the environment. What made it all worse that when Monday came, and everyone was finally returned from the three-day weekend the entire parking lot was covered in dirt again!
I’m fairly convinced that events like these are part of the reason why the military retention rates are so low at the moment. It’s gotten to the point where the government is considering reinstating the draft despite how it would go against the freedom values of the country. People are often surprised when I tell them this story, but it’s one of my least proud moments in my career and a serious question of how ludicrous the pressure can get on leadership when big events are underway.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.