Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Map Reading

Today we were back in the classroom for a full day on map reading and land navigation. Tomorrow we crawl over logs and racks on the land navigation course. The class had a lot of practical exercises and a more difficult test than most Army classes. But the topic is very important. Getting lost in a war zone is very bad news.
The evaluator for today's course was an Iraq veteran with more than 20 years in the Army. In fact, at the end of the day he showed us his 20-year letter. He has a laminated copy he carries with him. The 20-year letter says he has 20 years active service and is eligible for paid retirement. He said he thought about retiring but he thinks that land navigation is so important that he stayed on active duty instructing and evaluating land navigation primarily for troops getting deployed. He was in Iraq twice and wants every soldier to know how to find his way home when all the electronics fail--he told several stories about soldiers who depended too much on the electronics and what happened to them. And about one of his own missions in which a new driver hit the wrong switch and destroyed ll the electronics in their vehicle. They got home using old fashioned land navigation.