Tuesday, June 3, 2008
At one of the many briefings I had at the end of Annual Training, the most interesting one for me was from the public affairs sergeant for our brigade. During my last enlistment--in the 70s--the Army communicated only through commanders and official spokespersons. But after 9/11 the Army did some market research and found the American soldier had among the highest credibility among all professions, above doctors, scientists, athletes, etc. So the policy became "Let the Soldier speak." There are restrictions. We are supposed to talk only about what we know and we are not, for obvious reasons, supposed to talk about future tactical operations. But the best line from the presentation: "The Army is an outdoor sport. Take the reporters out in the field." It makes sense. The old Army constantly sent out "Grip and Grin" pictures with soldiers receiving awards--indoors. The new policy is much better. For those who did not see the article I was in on May 18 on the front page--scroll down to the May 18 post.
As part of pre-deployment medical processing, I got an eye exam. The contract eye doctor determined the prescription I would need. I old him I mostly needed reading glasses and that I had several pairs. he siad the Army paid him to make me glasses. So a few days ago I received two pairs of BCGs, Birth Control Glasses, the only style the Army issues. Above is one photo from the Web.
I now have one pair of clear, bifocal BCGs like my current glasses for reading and using the computer. I have one pair of BCG sunglasses with the same prescription--assuming I want to read or work on the computer in direct sunlight--because with this prescription I can't drive or see more than 10 meters. Finally, I also received a pair of inserts for my gas mask. Putting these inserts in my gas mask will allow me to read or work on a computer during a gas attack. What they won't do is allow me to shoot or drive or see clearly 10 meters in front of myself. But if I am gassed while reading a novel--I am set!!