This Is What Happens When You Ask A Combat Veteran ‘How To Survive Basic’

Humor
Pvt. Charlie Lonno crawls through a mud pit with barbed wire overhead as part of an obstacle course on Fort Benning's Sand Hill.
U.S. Army photo by Nathan Snook

For those looking to enlist in the military, the lead up to basic training can be daunting. Prospective soldiers, airmen, sailors, and Marines sometimes turn to the internet for tips on how to make it through their first few months. There’s no shortage of articles and advice on how to “survive” basic training, but here’s the thing, initial training in the military really isn’t hard. In fact, it’s probably the easiest time you’ll have in your entire enlistment because everything is spelled out for you.


Yet the requests for firsthand knowledge and tips continue, and one veteran decided to respond the best way possible, by being sarcastic and belligerent as fuck.

Related: This Is What Happens When Privates Roll Sleeves For The First Time »

In a new video by “A Combat Veteran,” a military-themed comedy channel on YouTube, the show’s host, Drew Hernandez, offers some advice to would-be soldiers who want to know how survive Army basic training.

“First I want to get to the one’s that don’t want to be there: Kiss your drill sergeant. He might yell, he might knifehand, but he’ll never bitchslap,” says Hernandez, a former soldier and Iraq War veteran. “Now if you see an officer, make sure to give him the greeting of the day along with a salute. Now I get it, you probably don’t know how to salute, but it’s easy. Take your right hand, put it across your heart and extend it out to about eye level. You’re welcome.”

The most recent video — titled “A Guide To Surviving Basic Training 2!” — is a follow up to an earlier post with the same name. In the second installment, Hernandez walks viewers through how to be a good battle buddy when stuck on firewatch, what to do if you see a drill sergeant’s cover lying around, and why you should make sure to chat up every noncommissioned officer you pass, after all, you should get to know who you’re greeting.

In short, it’s funny as fuck. Watch a “Guide To Surviving Basic Training 2!” below, and see for yourself.

Two U.S. troops were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday in a helicopter crash, military officials have announced.

Read More Show Less
The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returns to Fleet Activities Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, June 17, 2017 (U.S. Navy photo)

Two years after a pair of deadly collisions involving Navy ships killed 17 sailors and caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage, the Navy still can't figure out whether its plan to improve ship-driving training has been effective.

In fact, according to senior Navy officials quoted in a recent Government Accountability Office report on Navy ship-driving, it could take nearly 16 years or more to know if the planned changes will actually have an impact.

Read More Show Less
Chief Master Sgt. Jason Morehouse. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The command chief of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, was removed from his position last month after his chain of command received evidence he disrespected his subordinates.

Read More Show Less
Roxanne Roellchen interacts with her sons in their family's new home, which they moved into after experiencing roaches, leaks and black mold at another property, at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas U.S. November 16, 2019. (Reuters/Callaghan O'Hare)

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - A U.K. company that provides housing to U.S. military families came under official investigation earlier this year, after Reuters disclosed it had faked maintenance records to pocket performance bonuses at an Oklahoma Air Force base.

At the time, Balfour Beatty Communities said it strove to correctly report its maintenance work. It blamed any problems on a sole former employee at the Oklahoma base.

Now, Reuters has found that Balfour Beatty employees systematically doctored records in a similar scheme at a Texas base.

Read More Show Less
Navy Cmdr. Bryce Benson (U.S. Navy)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on ProPublica.

It was 10 p.m. on Jan. 15, 2018, when the phone rang in Navy Cmdr. Bryce Benson's home tucked into a wooded corner of Northern Virginia.

Benson had just gotten into bed, and his chest tightened as he saw the number was from Japan. It was his Navy attorney calling. The lawyer said he wished he had better news, but he'd get right to the point: The Navy was going to charge Benson with negligent homicide the following day.

Benson, 40, stared at the ceiling in the dark, repeating the serenity prayer as his feet pedaled with anxiety. Next to him, his wife, Alex, who'd followed him through 11 postings while raising three kids, sobbed.

Seven months earlier, Benson had been in command of the destroyer the USS Fitzgerald when it collided with a massive civilian cargo ship off the coast of Japan, ripping open the warship's side. Seven of his sailors drowned, and Benson was almost crushed to death in his cabin. It was then the deadliest maritime accident in modern Navy history.

Benson, who'd served for 18 years, accepted full responsibility. Two months after the crash, the commander of the Pacific fleet fired Benson as captain and gave him a letter of reprimand, each act virtually guaranteeing he'd never be promoted and would have to leave the service far earlier than planned. His career was essentially over.

Then, days later, another of the fleet's destroyers, the USS John S. McCain, collided with a civilian tanker, killing 10 more sailors. The back-to-back collisions exposed the Navy to bruising questions about the worthiness of its ships and the competency of the crews. Angry lawmakers had summoned the top naval officer, Adm. John Richardson, to the Hill.

Under sustained fire, Navy leaders needed a grand, mollifying gesture. So, in a nearly unprecedented move in its history, the Navy decided to treat an accident at sea as a case of manslaughter. Hastily cobbling together charges, the Navy's top brass announced — to the shock of its officers — that the captains of both destroyers would be court-martialed for the sailors' deaths.

The Navy told ProPublica that “given the tragic loss of life, scope and complexity of both collisions," it had an “obligation to exercise due diligence" and its investigation had “informed charges against" Benson and the captain of the McCain.

To many officers, the Navy had gone too far. “There was a deflection campaign," one admiral said recently, likening the Navy's response to shielding itself from an exploding grenade. “It was pretty clear Richardson wanted to dampen the frag pattern."

Even then, no one, least of all Benson, could have predicted how relentless the Navy's pursuit of him would be.

Read More Show Less