Military service was the best and worst time of our lives. Those of you that didn’t serve may be confused by that statement. But, vets, back me up here. It was awesome and miserable at the same time. The one thing that could make serving both better and worse? Outer freaking space. Let’s get this party started:
PT: This is really the beginning. It started ever day and, depending on your branch, composed almost the entirety of your first several weeks. And it suuuuucccckked. We all hated it. None of us wanted to do it. But, not really given a choice in the matter. Do you know how many push ups you can do in zero G? All of them. It’s not even a test, really. Oh, we’re adding pull ups to the bi-annual PT test? Too freaking easy. I bet I can do at least 6 in space. Even with as fat and out of shape as I am, now, nearly a decade after discharge. Got that CO that thinks working out is life? Pfft… F*ck you, sir. Bring on the floating sit-up. One rep and you just spin around in a crunched position until even you don’t know how many you faked doing.
Formation: Oh, mother of God. How long do I have to stand here desperately trying not to pass out from lack of circulation? Answer? As long as I freaking want because there’s no body weight to support and no gravity effecting blood flow. You need us here for a 144 hour safety brief? No problem. I can sleep in a standing position when there’s no up or down.
Safety Briefs: Ok. This one is gonna suck. No way around it. Remember the two hour long talk before a weekend that could have been summed up with, “Don’t die. Don’t kill anyone. Don’t go to jail. And don’t get any STD’s?” Well, it just got worse. When you turn a bunch of E-1 through E-4’s out on the population of, say, Alabama, s#it get’s weird. Trust me. Ever tactically navigate a bar table to attack a crazy stripper who thought it would be funny to beat (and, I mean BEAT) your 135lbs battle buddy mercilessly with a belt because he was getting married? While you’re hammered drunk? This guy has. How about caught a drunk, half dressed, female Marine by the collar as she attempted to jump from a 6th floor hotel balcony? Again, this guy has. That’s the kind of stuff that happens “normallly.” Now, put those same people on Epsilon 5 a gazillion miles from Earth in a seedy strip club drinking God knows what (please, don’t let it be FourLoko again) watching space boobies when some alien douche-nozzle decides he doesn’t like humans and wants to eat them. While the NCO who’s supposed to be babysitting is in the backroom getting the Epsilon special…and a dozen undiscovered strains of space syphilis. Next weekend’s safety brief is gonna start on Wednesday. Because that’s how long it’ll take them to get through that death by powerpoint.
Promotion Boards: Four words: Space Shuttle Door Gunner. It won’t even be about rank, anymore. Trust me, I’d pass up a bump to E-6 in a heartbeat if I get to be the one that reignites the Cold War by shooting a Russian satellite to Hell with whatever passes for a heavy support weapon in Earth orbit.
“Campbell, You’re up for promotion. We have a diplomatic mission to Neptune. Handle that, and you’re bumped up.”
“If I kill stuff, do I still get the promotion? Actually, I don’t even care how it turns out. I’m just gonna go kill stuff. What’s the policy on mounting a Neptunian head above my wall locker?”
Space ISIS: Dispatching with extreme prejudice whatever bottle rocket the Taliban tried to launch out of the stratosphere would be sweet (Like they could get anything into space. Seriously). But, I mean this topic to cover whatever enemies we make outside the solar system. End of the day, no matter how nice we may be, service men and women have one underlying purpose: Violence. And your tax dollars are spent to ensure we’re damn good at it. You drop me on the forest moon of Endor and tell me rabid carebears pose a threat to America, there isn’t even a conversation past, “Will regs allow me to wear a hat made from their hide in uniform?” And that’s against adorable enemies. If they’re green with 17 eyes, an ass for a forehead, and genitals on their chin? Tango effing Down, folks. Space scorpions attaching to people’s faces? I will burn a space station to the ground. “In space, no one can hear you scream,” was said by someone who never experienced me engaging Martians with a light-saber bayonet. Because, they’d have definitely have heard my screams of joy.
What else? Well, the Geneva Convention wasn’t signed by anyone off terra firma. So, there’s that. There will be much more entertaining equipment to use improperly in your down time than the old floor buffer rodeo. No way I’m not gonna try to make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs with, literally, any vehicle I’m allowed to pilot. Chestburster pranks against every new CQ sergeant. Space ice cream. The ability to travel the galaxy, find new and interesting beings…and have sex with them. Commandeering a Death Star.
What are your thoughts on Space Force? I’m sure there’s tons I missed. I’m gonna go try to squeeze all this extra me into the old Class A’s and hope there’s a Space Force recruiter at the mall. Space MEPS, here I come.