Volunteer’s Diary: #ThisIsArmy

Sep 29 • BLOGS, War On Donbass • 462 Views • No Comments on Volunteer’s Diary: #ThisIsArmy

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«Stupidity in the army is amazing… I can be a jerk sometimes, but even I was amazed» says the reporter of  Informator.lg.ua Anton Goloborodko talking about everyday life of a volunteers in the army…

Day 23, 24, 25

I will be brief. Comparing to the training ground “twenty” is meaningless and ruthless.

We study commutators made in 80-ies.  And teachers (I can’t make myself to call them “instructors”) when we ask them “Where these things are used?” just say “This is very important. Everything you learn here is used by the army”.

Sure, there is a lot of crap like that in storehouses, it should be utilized as scrap metal, because there is a lot of aluminum in those devices.

A teacher is persistently trying to dictate a manual to us to write down. At the same time we are trying to make him show us how those devices work. And when he goes and tries to switch that on it appears that those tons of scrap metal are broken or something is missing.

We are laughing, if this “threat of soviet army” doesn’t switch on in a class, the chances to make it work on the battlefield is equal to zero.

Just few words about tomorrow, we are going to the training ground and will be shooting. You see, on Friday we were going to the training center and on Tuesday we are going back. Just for 1 day. 10 km in the morning and 10 km back to the training center… How is that? This is army…

As they say here “a soldier must be tired”. Gradually I leave attempts trying to understand the logic in the army. If you chose worst possible scenario, it’s 99% that it is going to be that way.

This is new equipment. Relatively new to what? That’s is not clear.

This is new equipment. Relatively new to what? That’s is not clear.

Day 26, 27 out of 30

5:30 – get up, breakfast, getting ready. They wanted to put me on duty, but just before leaving I switched with another guy. I didn’t shoot much in my life and I didn’t want to lose such opportunity. 7:30 – our company is moving to the training ground.

We get to the shooting range in two hours. This time we were given instruction before shooting.

After that we had two exercises: 30 shells in single shooting mode from 25 meters distance, binocular shooting (it means shooting with both eyes open). I hit the target 27 times out of 30.

The second exercise: 21 shells shooting in automatic mode from a prone position. I hit all three targets, and helped my neighbor.

So I just I praised myself :)

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But at the same time I feel I am a little bit “afraid” of the riffle. I think that’s because I didn’t have much experience. If we were shooting every day, I would become a good shooter in this month. But my job will be communication, so I will stay in a classroom.

During the day I walked 20 km. That’s not much and not little, but I will sleep well.

In the last few days I wrote a lot about some stupid things in the army. I will be writing about such things using separate tag #ThisIsArmy.

Today for example, after going to training ground they organized banya (sauna) for us. Some guys from out company went to banya, got washed, everything is great. I went outside and it’s not really hot there already, I would run to barracks, but can’t do it, there is a sergeant who catch smart guys like me and says “Wait for everybody from the company and will go all together”. It’s cold outside and I am just out of the hot shower, but I have to wait. So I am thinking, does the sergeant think that I am so stupid and won’t find a way to barracks without him? Or maybe he thinks that I will try to run away? It’s not clear why we need to walk in a line all the time. You may say that’s for discipline? I would say that the discipline is when “avatars” (drunk soldiers) get punished.

And this “banya”… Why the hell they call it “bany”? Just hot shower, that’s not banya, that’s just a shower :)

And this is another #ThisIsArmy. How banya works? They turn all water taps on, in reality only one. And there is hot water coming from all shower pipes. And it doesn’t matter how many people came there, 5, 10 or 50. To install water taps for all shows is expensive. And it appears it’s not expensive when the hot water is pouring just like that…

Day 27. IP-telephony and secret sledgehammer

We had lecture in a classroom again. Today we studied what they call most modern devices: IP-telephony, cryptographic digital devices.  I think the instructor also shares my opinion, 50 good IT guys would be able to provide communication for the whole army completely (sure except radio stations on the battlefield, there should be soldiers with radios). And we wouldn’t need to have communication troops. It’s strange to see thousands of people in the communication training center. People who know how to use computers on a user level and often those who don’t know to use them at all.

Regarding old equipment when we were learning how to use for many days and they were saying “This is very important and you will be using all that”… The instructor who came today says that nobody use that crap. So who to believe? But he explained everything to us in a very simple way, the thing is that if we switch to digital communication, the service staff is reduced by several times. Commutator  which is as big as two fridges was serviced by 3 men, now we have a size of a modem and it works on its own. One IT guy can service tens of such devices remotely. And the question is what to do with all these officers? And it may happen that we don’t need General to command communication troops. Captain would be enough. And who should sign an order to “reform communication troops”? General.

Sure, this is very simplified model. But I am really amused how officers love old equipment and don’t want to say goodbye to it. But what can I do, #ThisIsArmy.

And now I would like to say about something funny. There is a sledgehammer on a windowsill in every classroom. All soldiers were looking at it with caution. Who knows what kind of teaching methods officers use here J It appears that there is some kind instruction for that. If there is a threat that secret equipment may be captured, it must be destroyed by a sledgehammer :) This is how rough our army is :)

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Day 28. Super stupidity

Another day in a classroom. Luckily this was new equipment. And it doesn’t matter that we already had this lecture. Repetition is the mother of teaching (or stuttering). After a course of lectures I understand tuning algorithm better. Again I realized that I don’t know theory well and have poor understanding what radio waves are and it works.

And in general stupidity in the army is amazing… I can be a jerk sometimes, but even I was amazed

The morning started same as yesterday, the company commander was asking “Who signed up to study satellite communication? There should be 4 men from the 2nd platoon for in-depth study”. And we have never heard about that, nobody was choosing anyone and we are telephone operators. And we never studied satellite, what in-depth study is he talking about? We didn’t study that at all.

We go to the class with another platoon and it appears that the lecture is about radio communication on new stations, not about satellite. And the teacher got confused as there were so many men that there was no space for them.

After dinner we return to the lecture and wait for about an hour. The teacher is not coming…

Nobody even told us that we were free, that something changed and where we were supposed to wait… Just nobody came. So we just left. All this can be called #ThisIsArmy.

Days 29, 30, 31, 32, 33

1st month past by.

Not much interesting happened in those days.

I was on duty. Finally I found out what my status was here, read statute a little, and talked to some smart people.

So it’s like this, while we are at the training center, we are cadets, after graduation we will get status of contract soldiers.

On Saturday all Company went for shooting. Our platoon was late to get there as we were on duty. But there are some pluses in that, they let us days off a little earlier.

Going to the city is always a holiday. We should install a monument for women and beloved girls of mobilized ones who come to visit them, they do as much for defense as volunteers.

Monday and Tuesday were a little slow. Class rooms, lectures. I won’t even say anything about it.

And the last point, three men from our platoon already went to the places of their permanent deployment.

One went on his will, and two were sent today following the order. All of us came to say goodbye to them, I am a little envy. Hope to meet them soon. Those two were 1st who went following the order. This was the first signal that soon all of us will be taken to different locations. This perspective makes me happy and at the same time this is a little frightening. Scared of unknown future and happy that I will be finally able to get out of classrooms that I am sick of.

So basically this is all. Have peaceful night.

Anton Goloborodko for Informator.lg.ua

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