War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

kit bomb

sms’ biv at FOB Anchor/Wainwright/June 2009

sometimes it takes a spell with the infantry to find out what you are, what you are made of, where you fit in the scheme of things. at Suffield, somewhat to my relief and chagrin, I discovered what I am. I am what is known in the army as a kit bomb.

a kit bomb is the soldier who just can’t keep his or her kit together in an orderly fashion. socks here, boots here, candy here, and most importantly for someone in theatre, frag vest, helmet, and gun here. a place for everything and everything in its place. and it has to be this way for two reasons. because soldiers live in extreme close quarters, a kit bomb is annoying at the very least and dangerous at the most basic level. in a rocket attack, the last thing one wants to do is to trip over the kit bomb’s gear sprawled all over the place. and for the kit bomb, the last thing one wants to do is grab for a frag vest and helmet and boots, and not be able to find them.

when going out on patrol with a section, one always carries enough kit to last 72 hours. a road can be cut off for days. this was the case of the POMLT “dirty dozen” when their five hour stroll turned into 11 days without clean clothes, toothbrushes, etc. so when I go outside “the wire”, I carry a small packsack with meds, water, a change of clothes etc. and nothing more.

sometimes life is a kit bomb. sometimes everything seems out of order. sprawled. misplaced. sometimes we need to patiently find a place for everything and put everything in its place.

at “Spin”, we had to evacuate. I had three minutes to pack and head out. fortunately, I didn’t kit crater my biv for a change and managed to grab and go. I made sure too, that I had a quick snack in the pocket of my frag. that snack came in handy as I sat in a “safe house” for three hours without food, water, etc. with just a cold breeze to keep me company.

1 Comment (Closed)

Alex VanderWoude

Perhaps it would help to consciously assign a place for every piece of your kit. “My helmet’s spot is here, and my boots’ place is here.” Don’t let stuff just fall into a home; take the time to specify it. If everything has assigned homes then it may be easier to put them there when you’re not carrying them.

If this doesn’t help then don’t feel too bad. I’ve given the same advice to my wife, but she still can’t find her car keys or wallet. I have learned to smile quietly to myself and be philosophical about it. Of course, in our case there is little danger that people’s lives will be jeopardized.

Jul 19 2009 · 12:23

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