Friday, July 01, 2005

The ingeniuty of the American Soldier

One of the best things you can do (unless you are on liberty) is to let a smart E-3 throw out an idea about how to solve a problem.

IEDs hard to identify? Junior enlisted spend too much time playing with toys? Well, you can solve both problems.
A young private in that platoon has one of those radio-controlled toy cars. When they find unidentifiable debris in the road, E.S. sends out his little RC car and rams it. If it's light enough to be moved or knocked over, it's too light to be a bomb, so we can approach it and get rid of it. If it's heavy, we call EOD. At night, they duct tape a flashlight to the car.
In the finest traditions of his nation, there is always a co-worker with great ideas about how to make some cash out of it.
I've suggested to E.S. that he put some fancy paint and a couple of LED lights on his toy car, demonstrate it to some Army brass at the Pentagon, and sell it to them for $80,000. He won't actually try that, but it's fun to imagine. In the meantime, I've also suggested to some of his chain of command that they put him in for a commendation or a medal for his ingenuity. If he ever finds a real bomb with that toy car, they probably will.
....or issue a RC to each platoon. Full story at

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