Special Forces: Before They Were Paratroopers
The tactical advantage of paratroopers is that they can literally drop into the battlefield, thereby allowing their unit to take up positions in areas not accessible by land.
Sounds pretty fitting for the type of guy who figured out how to climb before he could crawl.
Last Friday I shared our first exercise in jump training. It ended poorly.
Shout from living room: Shit, that’s a lot of blood!
Me:<observing blood gushing from Destroy’s mouth> Did he bite off his tongue?
Jon: Why the hell would you ask that?
Me: I’ve done it. Totally legit question.
By this time, Destroy had scaled the Little Tykes castle and resumed leaping from the slide. So the next day we took them to the Air Show.
It appears the affinity for helicopters is genetic.
Search took off toward the static navy Blackhawk with the pure joy and exuberance only a tiny person can express. A young aviator in a flight suit asked my little man if he wanted to sit in the cockpit. An aneurism was budding as his little eyes bugged out.
Several minutes later we requested Search give someone else a turn. This did not go over well.
“No. My cocker. I fly.” And he resumed pushing buttons.
I wrestled him out of the seat. (Don’t let his size fool you. Tiny dude’s spry!) The moment his little legs hit runway he was off toward the next helicopter.
Historical fighter planes were of no interest. The giant C5 galaxy transport jet held no sway. Trick show pilots circling the air were a mere distraction. FIND ALL THE HELICOPTERS!
Kid was *focused.*
Suddenly the heavens parted, angels sang and Search spotted an orange Marine UH1 Huey.
While Search looked for buttons to push and figure out how to override the landing system, Destroy had wiggled himself into the back of the rescue bird. I was ready to officiate the obviously impending sibling rivalry meltdown primed when the inevitable cockpit-sharing question occurred. (Because even trained Marines are not suitable replacement refs for a major muppet meltdown.)
“MOMMY! I JUMP!”
Now, yes, the birds were not in the air. But for a 2’ 9” person, a 3-foot jump is still pretty significant. And you’ve got to start practicing somewhere.
The twin tiny toddlers partnering to pilot their aircraft while leaping from the cargo hold (all the while making “PEW PEW” gun sounds and finger motions) had their onlooking military flight crew in stitches.
“My god, you have a baby pararescue team,” announced a grinning Marine.
I’m a preemie boymom. Either they’re training for special forces, or I am. Survival of the fittest. (But I think having your whole tongue is a pre-req.)
How long have you been a soldier?
Since the day I was born.
Suddenly this recruiting advert makes a lot more sense. Implying that training for the physical and psychological hurdles to become the best of the best begins long before they step foot at basic.
Maybe even the day they started fighting for life.