National Guard Soldier: ‘We’ll Be Getting New Equipment Any Day Now!’

Historical Portrait

Beau Burgess, museum and historical collections curator and director, Fort Douglas Military Museum, poses for a portrait in a civil war uniform near Fort Douglas, Utah, September 17. Burgess gave a historical presentation of Fort Douglas and the surrounding areas to Army Reserve Soldiers from the 76th Operational Response Command to kick-off a three-day Senior Leader Workshop, being held at the command’s headquarters. (Official U.S. Army Reserve portrait by Sgt. 1st Class Brent C. Powell)

A National Guard soldier smiles after a hearty lunch of hardtack and water. US Army Reserve portrait by Sgt. 1st Class Brent C. Powell.

Staff Sgt. Nathan Lambert of the Virginia National Guard expressed great excitement and optimism after learning that the United States Army purchased new rifles to replace the M4 and M249 SAW.

“Maybe we’ll be getting updated equipment too!” said Lambert, completely unaware that there is literally zero chance of that happening. “Either that or maybe get the old M4s and M249s that the Army is no longer using which is also okay — I’m getting tired of lugging around this old Brown Bess and haversack.”

Due to the National Guard’s status as the redheaded stepchild of the United States military, most Guard units in the United States are utilizing Revolutionary War-era weapons and equipment while still being required to perform the same tasks as the regular Army.

After his unit ran out of powder and shot, Lambert led a successful bayonet charge on an enemy position during a heavy firefight in Logar province, Afghanistan, in 2005. The charge was successful, and after treating his wounded with strips of cotton cloth and chicken broth, Lambert personally evacuated his entire unit on the back of their mule, Samuel.

mule team

National Guardsmen (top) pose with their casualty evacuation vehicle pulled by Samuel (bottom left) and Dorris (bottom right). Photo by Mac Caltrider/Coffee or Die Magazine.

National Guardsmen (top) pose with their casualty evacuation vehicle pulled by Samuel (bottom left) and Dorris (bottom right). Photo by Mac Caltrider/Coffee or Die Magazine.

“It’s hard doing what’s asked of us with minimal support and equipment,” said Lambert, oblivious to how few fucks the higher-ups give about troop needs. “Maybe they’ll see how hard we’ve been working, or how we managed to convert our mule-drawn covered wagon into a functioning casualty evacuation vehicle, and decide to help us out. We’ll be getting new equipment any day now, I’m sure of it!”

Satire disclaimer: This article is a work of fiction. It’s a joke. Although the National Guard does not receive as much credit and support as they should for the amount of work that they regularly perform, they are still slightly better equipped than a Revolutionary War soldier — but only slightly.

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Eric Miller is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die Magazine. He served as a combat medic in the Army and hails from Parkersburg, West Virginia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and has worked with homeless populations and veteran services throughout the state. He is an avid outdoorsman and has recently become interested in woodworking.
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