US Marines and British SAS bring the hate to Taliban in Afghanistan.
You know the more I think about it the more I think everyone should experience that special form of Hazing that comes from drinking too much:
Harmless, and a good lesson not to get AFU the night before Duty Section.
I trust a beer in the hands of my son at 18 years old around teammates more than I would around others not of the same integrity. In our Irish Family, drinking starts early at wakes, weddings, a little wine at Sunday Supper,etc. But no Driving OR Flying!
When the Navy moved a P3 detachment (I think it was a P3 detachment) to Tinker, we painted the anchor out front pink. We were not sober.
I agree on this one. Why is it you can expect an 18 year-old to be mature enough to hold a security clearance, operate a variety of extremely lethal weapons, be responsible for the safety/security of others, put his/her own life on the line, and potentially take the life of another human being if ordered to do so, but not mature enough to drink? At least allow them to drink on base. And yes, I understand that comes with its own set of issues to overcome. It's not the age that's the big issue though. It's the culture we as Americans have built around alcohol consumption. Hell, look at shows like the "Jersey Shore". Give our Warriors the right to drink on base, with some restrictions, and make it clear it is a privilege, not a right. Abuse it, mistreat it, and it's gone.
Some of the arguments smart people are making here about being able to handle drinking at 18 remind me of my original position on this from back in the day. Do it like the Europeans do. Let them drink at 16, drive when they are 18. Let them get the "shiny new" aspect of it out of their system before starting to do things that have greater impact (serve in the military, drive, marry, by a house, et al.).
I can just hear it now "but think of the children!".. or the bible thumper refrain, "beer is evil!".. Yeah, a rational approach just won't work here.
@jrexilius If beer is evil and evil and evil is an enemy then we should follow what the bible says and love our enemy. Just sayin' :)
@jrexilius Jesus first miracle was to make wine, not grape juice, wine for a wedding.
And not just any box of wine he made a good vintage
2:10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
I've always felt the whole Bible Thumper line that alcohol was The Devil's invention was Bull Shit!!!! And my dad's family was Eastern Kentucky Free Will Baptist, so it was no cards, no dancing, no booze. Ha! Not this Squid!!! But that's another story!
I can't agree more, I'd say push the driving age to 21. 16 drink, 21 drive.
We're already drinking in our barracks, regardless. I heard back in the day, your day, DLI was a collegiate experience. An open base back in the early 90s, 18 yr olds used to get drunk, fight, fornicate on the roof of Munakata hall or in the old cemetery, the more adventurous among them went up Huckleberry hill to do the dirty. There were all kinds of drunken epic pranks, mostly done by Marines, but once in a blue moon, the zoomies also got their licks in. One day, the Marines walked out of their barracks to notice graffiti written on their beloved pull-up bar proudly displayed in the front, spray painted yellow on the posts were "Gay" and "Anal", so the two red posts holding the pull-up bar, with yellow inscriptions, which read, "Pain is Temporary", "Pride is Forever", now took on a totally different connotation--pre DADT. Only 1 single Marine that day thought it hilarious. Could the airmen have been so courageous without alchohol? I think not.
So, yes, lower the drinking age, make higher the driving age.
@James6 I remember a scrap or two with some boots in the club on post. I had to stand up for my zoomie brethren as I was more than capable of going toe to toe with one or two jarheads at a time. I have a soft spot in my heart for my Marine brothers but boots need a good kickin every now and again to remind them they're not the only fighters on base. And yeah, back in the day the gates were always open and no checkpoints unless a VIP was there for the day.
Violent agreement Brandon - if you can't trust somebody to drink responsibly how can you trust them with other very important repsonsibilities like military service (voting comes to mind as well). Though I was 21 before the drinking age changed personally so I did not have much dog in this particular fight..
I don't know. I was in the Navy when the States began changing their drinking age to 21. You got grandfathered in if you were found to be underage when the laws started to change. So in Florida, the drinking age goes to 21, I'm 20 so I'm grandfathered in but the Federal drinking age was still 18 on base. So yeah, we had people with security clearances who seriously risked their lives everyday in helicopters and slightly older guys, still underate were plane captains responsible for multi million dollar aircraft. I seen the comparison between those having those duties but not being trusted to drink alcohol. I would just offer that selling your helicopter to the Cubans is a totally different kind of failure of judgement from getting wasted and getting behind the wheel of a car. At Mayport NAF we too had beer machines,(as Old PH2 mentioned). They were a bargain at 50 cents a beer. One Friday night, a bunch of us SAR guys were tying one on but good. A detachment had returned and we were celebrating. Because of our trusted person's Secret and Top Secret NORFORN clearances we had our own floor in barracks, on third deck. One of the guys produced a very large magnet, the size of a brick and said; "Here, watch this."(which is the sentence that began many UCMJ violation) He put the magnet near the drop slot, put in his 50 cents, pushed the Budweiser button and the entire machine emptied itself of Bud. The magnet apparently locked open this metal trap door that itself was attached to the brand selector doors on the machine. It was magic. When we had slammed down those beers we then went to the second deck and did the same thinf to that machine. More and more people came to see the levitation trick and soon we had partied our way thru the machines on all three decks of Bud, then the Miller, then the Michelob, then the Miller Lite and finally....the Strohs. Fast forward three days to Tuesday and we see these trucks taking all the beer machines off the base. The theft in our barracks resulted in the base commander pulling all the machines, every single fucking machine on the base!!!. What is worse, the entire base knews that our squadron guys were the culprits. NAF Mayport only had one air squadron and the rest of the base was a Cruiser Division, a Destroyer Squadron and the carrier Kennedy. And all 8,000 of them now bitterly hated all 150 of us. And among the 150 of us, the hard drinking, hard charging SAR guys were all being blamed by the rest of the squadron guys in our barracks. Amd among the 28 of us we blamed Mr. Magnet for his big idea.(That is how the shit rolls) Soooo before this could turn into our CO sending us all to Guam or Diego Garcia we went to our Chief, begged him to cover us and turned out our pockets. We probably paid double or triple for the beer we stole and a week later the machines came back. The Chief did us a solid we never forgot and we loved him for it. We chucked the magnet into the St. Johns river. The point of this story is that the drinking age is probably 21 now because of the shit junior enlisted guys like us pulled back in the 80s......Sorry.
@SEAN SPOONTS Great Story, your Chief was pretty cool. A couple I'd served with would have let you twist. I think I was up at NAS Oceana at roughly the same time, if the beer machines would have disappeared there very well could have been a mutiny! J/K J/K But seriously, the level of maturity required to stand up to peer pressure may be missing at any age. The consumption of alcohol has been the catalyst for many a poorly made decision.
What a great story, thanks for sharing that.
@Old PH2 There is some more back story. The three machines we emptied presented a mystery to the vender when he came to refill them on that Monday. All the beer gone, no signs of tampering and waaaay short on the money. That is why the base commander had the rest of the machines pulled from the base and had the entire base looking to kill all of us. The fear was that all the beer machines would get emptied out because someone had a key to unlock them. Unbeknownst to us, the three machines we robbed from all went to JAX to the criminal investigative unit there to be checked out. They were treating this like the Lufthasa heist at JFK. I came into the party later that night, drank the beer like everybody else and saw how it was done. There were probably 40 of us in total directly implicated. Mostly the aircrew, mostly E4 and below and mostly unaware that our prank resulted in the machinery of a big criminal investigation taking place. When we went to the Chief it was to confess our collective responsibility(we colluded before hand on sticking together to protect the dumb ass with the magnet who was scared shitless of taking the rap alone, but some of the older guys informed us that we were all equally guilty for not stopping him or reporting it. So anyway, we all ponied up $50 each which equaled 100 beers per man and begged the Chief to make it right for us, since it was just a prank to us. We weren't as worried about the criminal thing, which we didn't really know was looming in the background until weeks later. We just didn't want to have to fight our way into and out of every facility on base with all the pissed off surface fleet sailors vowing to kill us. People in the squadron were pissed at us because while they weren't even at the party they were getting shit blown at them from surface sailors for being in the squadron. So that is what we went to the Chief for, to square it away with the surface Navy and our own people too.. We don't know what he did or how, he refused to talk about it afterward but the beer machines came back, none of us went to Mast or Jail and that was the end of it. Looking back I think three things saved us. First, we didn't steal any money from the machines. Second, we made treble or quadruple restitution before we were caught and third we went to our Chief to try and fix it inside the Navy rather than all scatter like rats, each man for himself. The only thing he asked us was how we did it and before anyone could really tell him the truth magnet man's best friend said the machines were left unlocked. I'd love to talk to that Chief today and find out how he fixed it, how many calls he had to make and favors he had to pull in for us.
@SEAN SPOONTS @Old @Trango I saw a couple after the fact, pretty hilarious if you ask me. Where do I buy the T-shirt? My EOS was 10/10/92 so i saw the first year after the witch hunt. Phrases like Train wreck, Fratricide, witch hunt, debacle, Political Correctness, are all too mild to describe what happened.
@Old PH2 @Trango Do you remember the "I survived Tailhook" moto patches that some of the pilots were wearing? They told them to take them off,.....or else. So the guys started wearing them sewn inside their flight jackets. lol
@SEAN SPOONTS @Ben Sean ain't joking I had to do TAD with Base Security during the six months it took for my TS/ No Foreign Clearance from the FBI. I was getting calls from teachers and old Bosses asking me WTF was I getting into? I remember a Briefing while deployed to the Caribbean, discussing possible Bingo sites, did you know that drunk driving in Ecuador is punishable by summary Execution? At least it was in the 80's.
Sorry Couldn't find an Ecuadoran execution, settled for Chinese, you get the point.
@Ben K ...Well, we weren't the only guys doing that kind of shit in the Navy back then. On night at NATC Millington three of us came back from town blasted out of our minds. I woke up in the back of this Dodge Omni and see blue lights flashing around, the MA's had my buddy who was driving doing a field sobriety test behind the car. It turns out he was passing people on the right, driving on the grass with his lights off. Rather than throw him in jail they made us get a guy from our barracks to drive the car the whole 150ft to our parking lot and surrender the keys to our barracks security watch til morning. Today, it would be DUI, treatment and discharge for that guy. Two or three 18 year olds sitting around drinking beer is probably not going to result in much mayhem, but in the military you have hundreds of 18-21 year olds in a SINGLE building. That's were the big epic fuck ups happen, a mass of young guys all boozed up and showing off for each other trying to make their bones in the unit. I tihnk the lesson has already been learned(perhaps the hard way) that those three years mean something in terms of maturity and judgement. Brandon's perspective on things may be tilted by being a SEAL, who's platoons are much more tightly knit, with a virtually closed chain of command and are generally considered untouchable by people outside that chain. You are more likely to see a SEAL blown out by his own team for something he does than to see the guy get blown out by an outsider. They're a pretty chumy bunch. As for the comparison made between these young guys being trusted with security clearances and multi-million dollar equipment and not being trusted with a beer I would just offer this in reply. The military doesn't just give you an F-18 to take care of and tell you to do the right thing with it. You are trained, drilled, tested, qualified and accountable to a whole chain of command for what you do with that trust. You aren't just trusted with a security clearance. They carefully investigate your background, talk to your school teachers and neighbors and ask them about your political views and trustworthiness. If the military put the same inventory controls on a can of beer that they put on a single bullet before they 'trust' you to put it in a gun and shoot it downrange, drinking would be more hassle than it is worth. Now, the Europeans certainly are liberal with their booze laws, but they are pretty tight on their drivers licenses. France just passed a law that requires everybody to have breathalizer kits in their cars. EVERYBODY has to have them, not just young people. That isn't liberal drinking laws. Hell, they probably drink to forget just how unfree they really are as a people. Oh, an in Europe generally, there aren't any DUI trials and fancy lawyer tricks. If you blow over the limit you're guilty right there and then, no trial. You go to jail and lose your license....period, no appeals. So, you can drink at a younger age, but you can't drive. When you can drive, you have to carry the evidence kit that will put you in jail for 6 months right there in your own glove compartment. And the cops decide if you are guilty, not a judge and jury. Be careful what you wish for guys. I starting to lean towards keeping the underage drinking illicite and illegal. Hell, underage drinking is like jacking off.....Its not as much fun if you have permission to do it.
@Trango @SEAN SPOONTS Yeah buddy, your post Tail Hook, they put a leash on all the AIR wing plus the Surface fleet. The USN has never been the same from what a couple of my old buddies that lifed out tell me.
I ever mention the old CWO that had a habit of walking into foreign bars asking young honeys to beat the shit out of him? I bet that doesn't happen anymore. Well maybe not as openly!!! Old dude's gotta get his freak on somehow, am I right?
@SEAN SPOONTS Oh man, these stories are fantastic. Legendary even. On one hand you did kinda ruin it for future generations but on the other hand, what's the point of living if you can't dream big, 'miright?
@SEAN SPOONTS That's leadership, Old School USN CPO leadership.
None of this blowing into a damn breathalyser at morning muster. Christ the last two weeks of my closest buddies tour, both of us were so drunk we got sober. I walked through security check points with a mug of "Gatoraide" that was mostly Vodka. Went to work every day and inspected maintenance, Oh did I mention I was a collateral duty inspector for TARPS and the AO's?
It's a different Navy now that's for sure.
Here's your conspiracy theory for today:
Now that Obama Care is law, to save money, the gov't will lower the drinking age; and allow tobacco companies to advertise on TV again. Too Much? HeHe.... Just my little monkey wrench getting thrown in!!!
Here is a dissenting view with references to back it up, caveat, I personally disagree with the data.
Here are some of the figures that led to a MLDA, (minimum Legal Drinking Age,) of 21.
It's interesting to note that the last paragraph mentions that two reasons that Europeans experience less fatal accidents due to drunk driving is the fact that more use public transport and they tend to drive latter in life.
As did so many, I drank alcohol legally at 18. It was the "great experiment" of the 70s. How did it work out? The statistics are out there. Somebody HAS to have studied the merits, LOL.
I have friends and family(as everyone, I'm sure, does) who are younger than the age limit who can control their actions with the use of alcohol and those who are far and above the legal age limit who cannot control their actions with the use of alcohol. The reality is we live a controlled 'free' society. If you wish for a change, teach and act for change. Change hearts and minds. The SOF Community is filled with the best at 'changing hearts and minds', right? Yes! One step, one heart, one mind, at a time to freedom you think you already have......
The thing is most people I know who make the this exact same arguement have no desire to serve in the military. They just want to get wasted and have fun during high school and college before they join corporations. Yes, a young soldier should be allowed to drink but just because everyone can choose to be a soldier doesn't mean they will and so they shouldn't get the privledge of being associated with the cost of the job.
@Frosty So basicly: special treatment and rights for those in the military?
Its more life fair treatment. From what i hear life is hard and the danger is great so why not give them a cold beer for a hard days work? And when you think about it other jobs out their get special benefits so why not treat our service men and women well for a change?
When I entered the US Navy and made my way to the fleet, shore barracks had a Beer Machine on every floor, for about $.50 you could get a cold 12oz. There was no supervision, all the money from those machines bought more beer and any profits went directly into the command's recreation fund. This money was also used to periodically float a check to NAVY Relief. As long as no one got too stupid "every thing in the Barracks, stayed in the Barracks."
That's part of the story behind how I learned that MEK would remove ordinance tape residue from your skin.
Waking up in the barracks outside of your assigned room, was always an adventure.
Yeah it's stupid. I can remember back during basic training in '94 / San Diego they let us drink legally on base. Anyone know if this is still allowed?
@Chairborne Commandos Radio At boot camp in Great Lakes we had a few hours once or twice at the greasy spoon just before we graduated but drinking was strictly forbidden. We could get a burger, play pool or see a movie and that's it.
This comment has been deleted
@Matt2 Not exactly. During basic it was business as usual and we were on lock down 24/7. The time period I'm referencing is right before graduation and then the week or so following when you're waiting to get orders to the next duty station. We were allowed to drink on base no strings attached. I don't think there was a single person In my graduating class that was of age and it didn't matter. ROTC SD was cool like that. I am wondering if anyone else had a similar experience?
@Matt2 @Chairborne Commandos Radio LOL, yes it was! When we went through the laser range "simulator" I was thinking, I didn't sign up to play laser tag. One of the things that has always stuck with me from boot though, was towards the end where a few divisions got together and were addressed by the RTC command staff. Someone asked the CMC why there wasn't more physical testing, O courses and such. ....the CMC's response, "How strong do you have to be to push a button!" Everyone laughed but in my head I was like, REALLY??? Still, I went through boot in the fall of 98' and to this day cold fall mornings reminds me of that place; and for some sick and twisted reason....it makes me smile....
@Chairborne Commandos Radio @Matt2 Similar. At NTC Great Lakes I recall three days of cinderella liberty after graduation(barely). I only recall two of them a day in Milwaukee and one in Chicago, On the third day I pulled duty at the main gate. They bussed us into Milwaukee and dropped us off at a hotel downtown at 0900. I recall having a walk down strairs to the bar which was below street level At 0900 there were people in the bar drinking! Milwaukee was the most booze soaked city I'd ever seen. The mall downtown (Grand Avenue?) spanned several blocks with enclosed walkways across the city streets. They served liquor in the mall and I don't mean at TGI Fridays. They had a window you would just walk up too and order a drink or beer and you could just walked around with it at the mall. Hell you walk around with a drink in your hand on te city streets and it was fine. By 1100 hrs we were all pretty stewed. If you wanted a drink in Millwaukee you didn't have to look very far. Chicago was much more sedate by comparison. My duty at the gate comprised of evaluating returning sailors that were being dropped off by buses or returning on foot from the train station that took them to Chicago. If they were visibly inebriated we culd not send them back to the barracks(where they could puke in their racks and drown in it. There was a large room at the gate house with the floor lined with mattresses, you got put in there and a roving watch kept an eye on these sailors to ensure they didn't puke on themselves and inhale it. We tried to get them to puke before we even put them in there. That was actually a fun night. The Navy sent us to NATC Millington(outside Memphis) by charter bus. At lunch time the bus pulled into this diner in a small town and we sortied to the liquor store across the street and came back with bags full of beer and liquor. We smoked and drank and had quite a party the rest of the way to Millington. The driver was as cool as Clint Eastwood about it. We had the good manners not to puke on his bus. I don't recall ever having to produce an ID. We arrived in Millington all loudly singing Strairway to Heaven completely smashed at about midnight and had to be escorted in two and threes to the transit barracks. They wouldn't let us go to the e-club which is where we all wanted to go. Now at Millington they did check ID at the e-club which pissed a lot of guys off. I remember a lot of moonshine was available at roadside places in TN. None of that mason jar shit either, they sold it in plastic gallon jugs. Quite a few guys had those in their rooms and drank it with orange juice. I don't remember beer being as popular as liquor, maybe just because of my own perferences in that regard.
@Matt2 I hear you but I look at myself now and what could have been and I am truly regretful. This ain't about me bro, I was relating a personal experience so that (Hopefully!) Al here gets the gist and moves forward in life with the knowledge that there are rough and ready men, ready and willing to do violence on our behalf so that we sleep well at night. I've made my peace for the time being and when I have the chance I make damned sure vets know that I appreciate them.
@Chairborne Commandos Radio @Matt2 Never made it past the sophomore year of ROTC in college. I was a shitbag and bugged out. No excuses, only performance. I didn't persevere and for that I will always feel less than. That said, I got drunk with all the senior cadets every weekend. In the Cadet Corps and every weekend was like a trip to Vegas or Fight Club. First rule: You don't talk about Fight Club and the second rule is that YOU DON'T TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB. First time in ten years that I've said that to anyone, the anonymity of the internet helps.
I'm torn in both directions on this one. Philosophically I agree that if one is old enough to serve, they are old enough to be served. On the other hand, I have to question if an 18 year old (male or female) has the maturity to drink responsibly (of course, that holds true for 21 year olds as well). Military members undergo extensive training in teamwork, leadership, weapons, so a certain kind of maturity is learned, taught, absorbed. However, that doesn't necessary translate into their 'off-duty' lifestyle. I would like to see them trained as rigorsly in financial literacy, navigating leases/contracts, marriage, parenting, and yes, drinking. The consequences of poor choices in those kinds of things ruin careers and lives. So, my feeling is yes - and no.