Army Poop Story #2

I actually found an post with three army poop stories, including the one about the anal spoon.  But they are told poorly, so rather than linking to it, I’ll retell them one at a time.  One is already retold in a “Letter from Basic,” so if that’s a better version, I’ll reuse that one.  When I find it.

Anyhow, this was when I was a reasonably gruntled (not disgruntled) grunt in an airborne infantry company.  We were stationed in Alaska, and were preparing to deploy to Iraq.  So we did a lot of Arctic training, and a lot of walking.  Because there are lots of icy hills to climb in Iraq.

Now, as the Swede mentioned in a previous comment, you can make your own toilet in the woods.  This is not hard.  Use your issued “e-tool” or borrow a shovel; walk out into the woods; and dig a hole.  If you dig it near the base of a tree, you can hold the tree, squat, and dump into the hole.  Watch your boots.  If there’s a convenient fallen tree, you can sit on it, stick your ass out over the edge and pretend you’re sitting on a real toilet (with bark).  There are actually 6 million ways to do it. 

In basic training, you go out to these ranges and the toilets are absolutely subhuman. Like six outhouse style shitters in a row in the center of a latrine.  So you can take a dump literally three inches from your bros.  Maybe brush against them with your elbow when you wipe.  Plus the place will be filthy and the toilets filled almost to the top.  So that’s a really good time to choose the woods.

Once, and this is not the story, I was at Fort Benning, GA, and I was taking a piss in the woods and I saw this rock unfold.  Yeah.  It was about 6″ in diameter and it turned into an armored dinosaur like an ankylosaurus and then waddled away.  I started to freak out and thought it could have been a demon or an alien.  My mind searched for more rational possibilities.  Finally, I realized that it was not a real-life Bakugon, but actually an armadillo.  I’d never seen one before.

But there are two important warnings to woods pooping.  And no, these have nothing to do with poison ivy:

  1. You gotta dig a hole and you gotta fill it in.  You can’t just dump on the ground, throw some toilet paper on it (also, apparently some soldiers don’t wipe or use 1 square and call it quits), and leave it for someone else to step in (esp at night).  That’s called a “landmine”.  And it’s really un-bro-like.
  2. This is for you unit commanders out there: pooping in a little hole is for a limited number of people at a short-term campsite.  It’s not for a batallion staying somewhere for 2 weeks.  Eventually, every possible hole will be dug; folks will be unearthing poops like Indiana Jones; and guys will be walking 5 miles to poop and getting lost.

#2 (haha get it) is something you learn in a class called “Field Sanitation”.  Most of our officers and NCOs were new in their jobs, and they hadn’t even offered the class yet in Alaska   .

The natural instinct of the stupid but tough Army leader is to say something like “Let the men poop in the woods.  We’re not here for comfort.  We’re here to train.” This is why field sanitation was invented, possibly by the Romans.  You can be tough as nails and still get typhoid.

Anyway, our leaders marched us out into the woods for a camping trip.  This was in December and there was at least three feet of snow on the ground.  As I remember we just hiked about nine miles from the barracks.  We walked on the roads at least, but they were icy. I remember having a difficult time making it up the last steep hill.  Here we were.  We were going to spend at least five days in this place.

“Welcome to Valley Forge,” I muttered.  I’m sure this joke was made at least five thousand times that winter.  All of our training exercises were like Valley Forge.  (Just the pain and suffering, not the actual freezing-to-death part.)

“Hey, there’s no port-o-shitters,” someone observed.

Most guys didn’t have to go immediately, and we had to set up our arctic tents & etc first.  But as soon as we were done, this became an increasing problem, especially after we ate.

So what – dig a hole?  There was three feet of snow.  Even if you got through all that, the ground beneath was frozen solid.  Also, I didn’t mention that it was -10, so on our lower halves, we were wearing: underwear, two layers of long polypro underwear, and Goretex pants – with suspenders.  You’d have to take all that off and then freeze your nuts off.  Also, where?  We were on a hilltop with little tree coverage.  So enjoy people watching you poop.

My buddy Clemmer figured out one way.  He pulled his pants down, hung from a tree branch, lifted his legs up in a hanging leg raise (that’s core strength!) and crapped right on top of the snow.  I was a witness to this amazing simian feat.

However not all of us could/wanted to do this.  The NCOs (squad leaders and up) and officers didn’t have to worry about it.  They would hike/drive to daily meetings with the battalion staff, which of course was in a heated building with indoor plumbing.  Or they would find a way to get back to base (“I have to pick up more radios!  I have to help bring chow today!”)

For the rest of us, we just decided to hold it.  Someone asked our medic, “Doc, if I don’t take a dump for five days, will I be ok – or will I have medical issues?” Replied Doc: “I dunno, but I’m going to find out.”

Apparently, if you don’t eat much and your body knows your pooping options are limited, you can hold it for at least three days without much problem.  However, our company was even more sluggish at our training than usual, which earned us some lectures (from the group of people who could poop in toilets.)

About three days into this ordeal, some guy from another company (btw a company is about 100-120 guys & each company was at a different campsite) got lost, and search parties were organized to try and find him (by walking in giant lines) . One of the search parties came back to our camp with rumors that they’d found port-a-pots.  The three of us in who’d won the coin toss (losers search for nerds, winners stay in camp and guard the weapons) decided that another squad could guard our stuff, and immediately set out on a mission to find these long-lost potties.

We hiked a few miles before we found them.  They were only about a half-mile away, down a treacherous hill.  I’m not sure why three port-o-pots were just sitting in the middle of nowhere (I think they were doing some construction, maybe of a road, that summer/fall and just forgot to take them with them)  Seeing those beautiful blue plastic outhouses was so amazing; it was almost like a mirage in the desert.  But they were real.  We trundled to them as fast as we could. (it’s amazing how your needs suddenly become urgent when opportunity presents itself) Three of us. Three potties.  And all of them reasonably clean. 

The rest of the time in that camp was like a blissful dream: Weapons not firing because of frozen lube, hands freezing on metal, cranky sergeants, long walks, stupid training, frozen MREs, frozen canteen water, smelly tents, not enough sleep in the smelly tent, dumb stove/weapon/whatever guard duties, crappy chow – none of it mattered now that we had a place to poop.  (We told everyone about the toilets – we weren’t buddy fuckers)

By the way, the lost soldier was found a few hours later.  He actually got into the line of one of the search parties and walked with them for about fifteen minutes until they started calling his name, when he asked the guy next to him what was going on.  He wasn’t even really lost, just got assigned to the wrong group or something and his squad lost track of him. 

Porter and the benchers never showed up.

Weight: 193 (+1.4)

Manta Ray Squat: 45×5, 135×3, 225×2, 275, 315, 340, 365, 370, 375, 380, 385, 390; 360,380,385×1

Bottom Position Squat #10: 315, 405, 475, 510, 315

TSV: 385×6

Dumbbell Bench: 30×30, 35×25,10, 40×40, 45×35

Military Press: 45×8, 95×3, 135×2, 155, 175, 180, 185; 150×3,2,2,2,2


(1″ deficit): 135(nb)x3, 135×2, 205, 275, 315

(0.5″ deficit): 335

(1″ box): 350

(1.5″ box): 360

(2″ box): 370

Having some problems figuring out where to place my hands so they don’t hit my thighs on the way up. Nice bruises on both legs now.

Shoulder Band Pulling

Time: 2:05


20 thoughts on “Army Poop Story #2

  1. I went on an eight-day backpacking trip back when I was sixteen – my first backpacking trip – and, if I recall correctly, defecated once the entire trip. I wasn’t backed up, or anything, I just didn’t need to. Of course, this was back when I weighed ~ 170 @ 6 feet, and hardly ate anything anyways. This “eating” thing is quite new for me, at least compared to the 20 years leading up to it…

  2. this does not, I’m afraid, portray the army as as unit where things are well-planned. hopefully, this pooping business is not representative of the military as a whole.

    please consider writing scripts for comedies starring kevin james. 🙂

    • Hey Bareback, Why don’t you go to mopewod, and tell everyone there that would understand this joke to come party here? Ruinchristmas, while not as mopey as Brent’s blog, has everything we need and more. Fresh, daily content that we can choose to comment on or not. A lovely comments section with only two rules; use only one email address and one user name. Many of the mopewod homies are already chilling here my brother. “LargeMammal”, “firstname”, “WodJMC,” “foreign language guy”, “other foreign language guy”, they’re all here and more!! So run!! Go tell them!! There’s no reason this blog shouldn’t have 50-100 comments a day. Fuck Brent. He is dead. Long live Coachmas!!

  3. “He actually got into the line of one of the search parties and walked with them for about fifteen minutes until they started calling his name, when he asked the guy next to him what was going on.”

    Lol, that’s some Gomer Pyle shit there.

    • tell me about working up to L-sits

      I can currently do ~20s at a time on a chair that look dece. Can’t do shit on the floor and my legs aren’t perfectly straight or anything.

      • I did a bunch of hanging leg raises before I ever really tried l-sits. I mean I’ve done a set here or there over the past few years but never actually did them until a month or so ago. But I could do like 20 seconds without much problem first time. So I’m guessing the hanging leg raises were a big help since that’s what I’ve been doing a lot of lately for ab work.

        I’ve been just using the dip bars at the gym and that works well. I can hold it for maybe barely 10 seconds on the floor with my palms flat, but it’s easier if you go up on your finger tips. Being on your fingers hurts like fuck though at first.

  4. “folks will be unearthing poops like Indiana Jones”

    honestly lost it right here in the office.

    Also, science fact, the arctic is a desert. Obviously this was in the forefront of the minds of whoever designed your pre-Iraq training.

  5. Got stuck in snow traffic while coming back from LA and had to take a shit on the side of the freeway while it was snowing. I think other people found it uncomfortable but well when you gotta go, you gotta go. I had some TP rolls in the car (knew they would come handy one day). So army training seems like it would make you lose a lot of weight real fast.

    • 2 quick observations besides huehuehue at your roadshoulderpoop
      1. in basic, guys normalize. real skinny like 5’10 125 guys might gain 30 lbs in basic no lie. big fatties will lose 40 lbs. and this isn’t even biggest loser guys who are too fat to go.
      2. flushable wipes was the best thing i learned in army training

  6. I am almost done my observing run. When I return to civilization, I expect to have hours upon hours of blog catching up to do. Also is there anything more mopeworthy than trying to observe stars through clouds? So futile. Much anguish. Wow.

  7. Loled pretty hard at the image of the dude shitting while hanging from a tree.

    In that environment, fuck shitting outdoors. But, in a nice, Mediterranean climate while on vacation, shitting outdoors connects you to an ancient ancestral root nearly lost in modern humans.

    While traveling through China, I got to experience first hand the “third world toilet” aka a hole in the ground. Some places were literally a massive pit with a platform of 10s of holes built on top. The fucking stench… The odd, exotic, insect grub worming around in vast piles of human shit and piss… Good lord. And they charged you like .02 cents for the privilege to shit on the ever-growing and decomposing pyramid… Gagged a few times, but when you really have to shit, it’s any port in the storm.

    Later you’d walk through the city and these flies/insects might land on you, and you just knew they spawned in a bunch of shit. In the States at least you can romanticize a bit. Like, “Oh, this fly might’ve come from trash, or dog shit.”

    Not in China. All those flies are human shit flies.

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