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5 Habits We Picked Up Overseas That Are Not Safe For Work
War sucks. But as soldiers, we adapt. We develop habits that increase our chances of survival and make the suck just a little bit more bearable. Some of those habits are worth hanging on to as we transition into the civilian workforce. Others, not so much.
Here’s a list of five work habits we picked up overseas that definitely should not follow us back home.
1. Snuggling your coworkers for warmth.
Look, there’s no shame in snuggling up to your battle buddy on a chilly winter night in the field. It gets lonely in the desert and those military-issued sleeping bags simply don’t cut it in subzero temps. It is, however, unacceptable to snuggle a coworker in a civilian office setting, where that kind of physical contact between colleagues is both frowned upon and completely unnecessary to stay warm. That’s what thermostats are for.
2. Consuming dangerous amounts of caffeine.
Get caught dozing off on the clock and you’ll quickly develop a reputation among your coworkers as a lazy bum. For most folks, one or two cups of coffee in the morning will suffice. But if you’ve ever deployed, chances are your body is used to operating on at least 10 Rip Its before noon. While that’s certainly a great way to increase stamina and focus, it’s also a great way to die of kidney failure.
3. Wearing a reflective belt.
As veterans we know that wearing a reflective belt is the key to staying alive in a war zone. In addition to being mortar proof, these mandatory strips of neon plastic ensure that the wearer maintains maximum visibility at night (to scare off snipers, of course). But when worn over civilian work attire — or any attire, for that matter — the reflective belt looks really, really, really dumb. Our advice: burn that sucker the day you get out.
4. Bringing feral dogs to work.
In Afghanistan, my platoon found a dog. She was covered in ticks and smelled like rotting goat carcasses, but we kept her around because she boosted morale. While adopting a platoon mascot off the trash-strewn streets of Kandahar is fine when you’re at war, here’s the thing about being employed in the civilian world: Feral dogs are a definite no go in the workplace. Why? Because they attack people and carry rabies.
5. Bathing with baby wipes.
Using baby wipes to cleanse your body of filth and grime is essential to maintaining personal hygiene while deployed. The last thing the guys in your platoon need is to constantly smell your moldy balls. But back in the States, where E. coli-free water is abundant, relying exclusively on the baby-wipe bath to stay clean will only lead your civilian colleagues to suspect that you live in a van down by the river. If you do, that’s cool. Just be sure to invest in some soap.
BANGKOK (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea said on Sunday they will postpone upcoming military drills in an effort to bolster a stalled peace push with North Korea, even as Washington denied the move amounted to another concession to Pyongyang.
The drills, known as the Combined Flying Training Event, would have simulated air combat scenarios and involved an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the United States and South Korea.
An opening ceremony will be held Monday on Hawaii island for a military exercise with China that will involve about 100 People's Liberation Army soldiers training alongside U.S. Army counterparts.
This comes after Adm. Phil Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke on Veterans Day at Punchbowl cemetery about the "rules-based international order" that followed U.S. victory in the Pacific in World War II, and China's attempts to usurp it.
Those American standards "are even more important today," Davidson said, "as malicious actors like the Communist Party of China seek to redefine the international order through corruption, malign cyber activities, intellectual property theft, restriction of individual liberties, military coercion and the direct attempts to override other nations' sovereignty."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"
It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.
But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.
A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.