Posted on Jun 25, 2015
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So here's a question sure to drive some opinions from all over. Two beers in a combat zone, should it be allowed or no? I know for me personally, and no I'm not an alcoholic, but after a long day at work or busy day doing stressful tasks, I enjoy coming home and cracking a cold one. When I was in Iraq in 08-09 we were allowed to have two beers at our little JSS while watching the Super Bowl. To me it was a nice chance to kick back and take a load off. My thinking is, with all the cases of PTSD coming up, what if we allowed that decompression each night (provided soldiers are not immediately going out on mission), would it potentially lower the stress levels of soldiers knowing no matter how bad the day is that at the end of it they can crack a cold one and chill out a bit? So, should it be allowed or not?
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Responses: 117
SPC Indirect Fire Infantryman (Mortarman)
28
28
0
As much as I love beer. I wouldn't want my judgment or vision impaired under those conditions.
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LTC Owner
LTC (Join to see)
7 y
at the risk of dating myself, I remember a time when it was permissible to have no more than two drinks with lunch. Unfortunately, that was abused and rather than punish the offenders, we all lost the privilege.

Many other countries allow/permit alcohol in combat and/or field training environments. Why cannot we?
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SPC Indirect Fire Infantryman (Mortarman)
SPC (Join to see)
7 y
7b6ec83c
Unfortunately, there's always going to be "that guy"!
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MSgt Flight Chief, Mission Management
MSgt (Join to see)
7 y
I love to drink. That being said I don't think it's appropriate to have in that environment. There will always be people who find a way around the rations and get trashed. I have seen it at both Manas, the Deid, and Djibouti. You need to be focused on one thing when deployed in a combat environment and that's the men and women who are out there with you.
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Steven Gall
Steven Gall
>1 y
Bullshit, I see those guys in the desert,they should be aloud at least two beers a day.They are working harder than us back home. However there has to be an ass hole rule. Anyone that fights after drinking is off. O tolerance,perioud.
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COL Mikel J. Burroughs
24
24
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Unfortunately, I'm going to say "No" to this one because of the mission and General Order 1A. There is a reason that these orders are published and by law we need to adhere to them and follow them. As a leader I made sure that my command followed these right down tot he letter. When they left for their military leave out of Theater they had a chance to enjoy their beverages of choice. Let's not work around the orders or the rules with exceptions here and there. Let's be uniform and maintain the standards that have set. If the Order gets rescinded for whatever reason and a new one takes place that allows uniformity and new set of rules then we follow that one, but until then, unless something has changes we follow the orders. That is just my opinion as a past leader and Commander.
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COL Mikel J. Burroughs
COL Mikel J. Burroughs
7 y
LTC (Join to see) and LTC Paul Labrador I agree with both of you on certain levels, but as a former Commander I just don't think alcohol shouldn't be in the combat zone. Out of the zone is a different story altogether. This is just my opinion. When I look at the number of deaths caused just by accidents in the business that we we're in (non-combat) and then we take into account the combat environment (where everyone needs to be on their best game 24/7), I just think General 1A (even if it was a knee jerk reaction or a simple way to execute a standard across a broad range, or to respect a culture) it makes sense to me and I liked it. I had a good crew that followed it and we all felt good about when we got home. Again, I think the standard makes sense in the Combat Zone and during major training events while in CONUS. I respect your opinions though - that is the great thing about RP. We can express our thoughts openly and engage!
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LTC Owner
LTC (Join to see)
7 y
I am not advocating the consumption of alcohol while on a mission or during a fire fight by any means. My thougt process he is more of the limited down time at the FOB.

Granted and attack can happen at any time, and we all need to understand our own limits when it comes to alcohol, but I dont see an issue with enjoing a nice cold one at the end of the day if the situation permits.
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SMSgt Operations Superintendent
SMSgt (Join to see)
7 y
I am actually torn on this one, but I voted "no" for the sake of mission first. However, since there are multiple international studies that indicate the benefits of alcohol (in moderation), there are many good reasons to allow it behind the lines. Definitely not beyond the wire though. The problem arises with abuse which is difficult to control.

From a command prospective, its easier to control it if you ban it outright. Although that is a lazy approach in my opinion. But I can say that in the high speed world of SOCOM, alcohol use tends to be ignored. As long as the mission gets done, the other stuff is incidental.
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Maj Kim P.
Maj Kim P.
3 y
We will have to agree to disagree on this one COL Mikel J. Burroughs
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CPT Bill McNeely
16
16
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To be frank I think American Generals are way too uptight about alcohol down range.

I was at both British and German bases where it was allowed, no problems.
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SGT William Howell
SGT William Howell
7 y
CPT (Join to see) Ok! I have to call a bullshit on the play. Not sure how we moved from drinking in combat to raping and pillaging our own troops. I drank in combat did not rape one person the whole time. I know it is hard to believe with that evil booze of the devil. I also had a 100% success rate of rendering aid while under mortar attack. If I didn't have to do any that is 100% right?

You want to know what is dangerous? A 6'3", 240 pound grown ass man, who has not seen his family in 15 months, who has spent at least 5 days a week outside the wire and can't be trusted to drink a couple beers.
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AB In - Flight Refueling
AB (Join to see)
7 y
CPT (Join to see) - I disagree. I think our biggest problem is when you ban something, and then allow it, you get binge consumption. If you allow it all the time, you get moderation in consumption.

I was fortunate to be on exchange with the Brits - we had alcohol everywhere and I can tell you they consume more on an average night than most Americans, don't kid yourself. What was different was the approach - on the US side, we assume people are going to be idiots. On the British side, they assume people are going to be responsible. When they weren't, and it affected the mission, it was dealt with harshly on an individual basis. In the US military, when one person sh*ts their pants, we all had to wear diapers.

It is a message of distrust from leadership. Troops rise (or sink) to our expectations. Treat them like adults and that's what you get. Treat them like idiots and that's what you get. It applies to everything....not just alcohol.
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SPC Chris Schaller
SPC Chris Schaller
5 y
We had a ton of drinking in Iraq at all leadership levels. It kept the morale up more than anything except near the holidays. Xannax was abused by many and when mixed with alcohol, created a bad combo. It was because it was banned that allowed the internal black market to flourish
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CDR James Christopher
CDR James Christopher
4 y
Was in Iraq in Anbar in 04, and we got 2 beers on the Marine Corps birthday.
When I went to Afghanistan in 08, I was the OIC of a surgical team and worked closely with SF and partner nations (Brits, Aussies, and Dutch). We had a bad day when we lost several guys, the Aussies brought some beer over to our FB. There were no Ops planned, we drank to our lost comrades, and de-stressed. Similar thing when they had a bad day; no one drank to excess, we never drank when our guys were out on an Op. We were smart about it and treated everyone as adults. There were no issues.
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