Attention service members! Last week we wrote a story about how a few determined Lithuanian infantrymen kicked the heavily-armored tail of the U.S. Army in a training exercise on their home turf. Since then, we’ve received a ton of comments from readers who trained with Lithuanian soldiers about how tough and professional they are.
“I remember them as extremely tough and competent soldiers,” said one reader on Facebook. “I remember a dude standing IN the fire to warm his feet in his cruddy boots.”
That got us to thinking: the U.S. military trains with foreign allies all over the world, each with their own particular culture, style, doctrine, and even field rations. What’s it like for American troops — who have their own ways of doing things, like patrolling, or room-clearance, or even basic marksmanship — when they see someone from another country doing it differently? Wouldn’t you want to hear that story?
“That’s a helluva feature you got there champ,” said our weary editor-in-chief Paul Szoldra through a cloud of cigarette smoke and over the clacking of newsroom typewriters back at Task & Purpose headquarters. “Why dontchya run something on page three calling for reader input. Now get the hell outta my office.”
So here I am, hat in hand, asking you, dear reader, for your most memorable stories of working with America’s allies overseas. Was it Great Britain’s King’s Royal Hussars and their built-in teakettles? Or the Australian infantry and their impenetrable slang? Or perhaps the French army with their gourmet ostrich-and-cranberry MREs? Or was it the South Korean military with their awesome dance moves?
We would love to hear them all, and here are few possible questions to get you going:
- Who are your favorite foreign allies to train with and why?
- Who are the toughest foreign soldiers you ever met?
- Who’s got the best field rations?
- What’s the weirdest culture shock you’ve had while training with a foreign ally?
- What foreign military traditions are you most jealous of and why?
- What’s the most silly foreign military tradition you’ve seen?
- If you had to serve in a foreign military, which would you choose?
- What aspects of foreign military life do you think the U.S. military could learn something from?
- What foreign military do you never want to work with again and why?
Got answers? We love to hear ‘em. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop your responses into the comment section on social media, and thank you in advance!
Featured image: Canadian Army Private Joshua Lafountain, 3rd Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry, gets fitted into his parachute and gear before boarding a 41st Airlift Squadron C-130J April 22, 2017 in Alberta, Canada. (Air Force photo / Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffin)