Serving in the Cold War "readiness" was the constant goal for anyone in the armed forces. It was a term attached to literally everything we did... our physical training, mental state, basic skills, vehicles, equipment and weapons. Our state of "readiness" was constantly being measured and monitored... were our vehicles clean and serviced? How many soldiers can pass the PT test on any given day? Is every soldier capable of basic rifle marksmanship? And on and on...
This constant pursuit of readiness was also a truly unattainable goal... we were always striving for perfection but never quite made it. Invariably there would be a vehicle with gigs such as a dirty battery terminal (the hummers had an enormous battery pack placed directly under the seat where a battery explosion would literally rip a soldiers ass apart).... Or a soldier would fail a pt test... Or a weapon would have a bent firing pin... there were always gigs.
To push readiness we also had to believe WW3 was imminent. I served under presidents Reagan, HW Bush and Clinton... and regardless of who was in the White House we prepared the same. Although overall readiness declined drastically with the onset of the Clinton era, hastening my personal exit from military service.... our individual readiness stayed the same. The key concept was to believe war was imminent no matter what. Readiness in practice is a whole lot of prep for "the worst case scenario".
This constant striving for the truly unattainable holy grail of total readiness instilled in me a way of life. I keep my weapons clean... I inventory my gear and make sure it is serviceable... I keep my vehicle totally serviced at all times... my clothes are clean and in place... I train my mind and body... I rehearse basic skills and constantly seek to improve.... I anticipate the unexpected. At least as well as a typical civilian can! Without being a prepper or total nut job (keeping the mental state balanced and ready too)!
This training has left me with some good habits. Things I gained and learned from the military I refuse to let go of. It's why when someone says "thank you for your service!" I am a bit puzzled because I am the one thankful for being given that opportunity and reaping so many benefits... not to mention the GI Bill!
Today's vlog celebrates a continued state of "readiness" and illustrates how I have maintained even my 30 year old PT uniform! And while I still can never quite achieve that end state of total readiness... I will continue to strive. Because you don't have to get ready when you stay ready!