The Infantryman’s Arrogance

Infantrymen have a pride and arrogance that most Americans don’t understand and don’t like. Even soldiers who aren’t infantrymen don’t understand. The pride doesn’t exist because we have a job that’s physically impressive. It certainly doesn’t exist because it takes a higher level of intelligence to perform our duties. It’s sad and I hate to admit it, but any college student or high school grad can physically do what we do. It’s not THAT demanding and doesn’t take a physical anomaly. Nobody will ever be able to compare us to professional athletes or fitness models. And it doesn’t take a very high IQ to read off serial numbers, pack bags according to a packing list, or know that incoming bullets have the right of way.

The pride of the infantryman comes not from knowing that he’s doing a job that others can’t, but that he’s doing a job that others simply won’t. Many infantrymen haven’t seen a lot of combat. While that may sound ideal to the civilian or non-infantry soldier, it pains the grunt. We signed up to spit in the face of danger. To walk the line between life and death and live to do it again – or not. To come to terms with our own mortality and let others try to take our life instead of yours. We have raised our hands and said, “Take me, America. I am willing to kill for you. I am willing to sacrifice my limbs for you. I will come back to America scarred and disfigured for you. I will be the first to die for you.”

That’s why the infantryman carries himself with pride and arrogance. He’s aware that America has lost respect for him. To many he’s a bloodthirsty animal. To others he’s too uneducated and stupid to get a regular job or go to college. Only he knows the truth. While there are few in America who claim to have respect for him, the infantryman returns from war with less fanfare than a first down in a high school football game. Yes, people hang up their “Support Our Troops” ribbons and on occasion thank us for our service. But in their eyes the infantryman can detect pity and shame; not respect. Consider this: How excited would you be to meet the average infantryman? Now compare that with how excited you’d be to meet a famous actor or professional sports player and you will find that you, too, are guilty of placing the wrong people on a pedestal. You wouldn’t be able to tell me how many soldiers died in the war last month, but you’d damn sure be able to tell me if one of the actors from Twilight died.

Yet the infantryman doesn’t complain about that. He continues to do his job; to volunteer his life for you, all while being paid less in four years than Tom Brady makes in one game.

It’s a job most Americans don’t understand, don’t envy, and don’t respect. That is why we have pride for the infantry.

27 thoughts on “The Infantryman’s Arrogance

  1. my oldest son is an army infantryman. PFC josh mccollum. he is currently deployed in the middle east, away from his wife and 2 baby girls. although i worry about him consatantly and miss him greatly, im so proud of him and honored to call him my son, the infantryman. praying for his safe return home. my son, my soldier, my hero.

  2. Civilians respect Veterans.
    Veterans respect Infantrymen.
    Infantrymen respect Combat Infantrymen.
    Combat Infantrymen respect the dead.

  3. Very true. Thank you for your service. And oh and by the way, I was damned excited when I was privileged enough to meet an Infantryman from the 26ID who had been at the Battle of the Bulge when I was the VA one day. I told him that I had also been in the 26 ID myself and my eyes teared up when he shook my hand from his wheelchair and told me how nice it was to meet someone from his old outfit.

  4. “Manchu” the Golden Dragon Bravo 2/9 Infantry C Quad Schofield, Barracks Hawaii ’79-’82, Mahalo and extremely wonderfully written, hoohah!!!

  5. I actually would be more excited to meet an infantry man! I don’t have an over abundance of admiration for celebrities or over paid athletes!
    Every time I see any military personnel as I go about my everyday life, I always want to stop them and say something. Something that will let encourage them. Something that will let them know the sincere gratefulness our family has for them.
    I hope your post will stir some hearts and minds to some realizations of this truth.

  6. This is a GREAT post! That said, I disagree on one point. When I look at ANYONE who’s serviced this country and say, “Thank you” I mean it. I mean it to the depth of my soul. There is nothing BUT respect and appreciation in my eyes. Pity and shame? Not even in the same universe. When I say, “thank you for your service” I actually mean, “THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!!!”.

  7. I must admit I have not given that much thought to infantrymen separately.. have always just respected them because of what they are willing to do for our country. I think you are all great!!!!

  8. I am a soldier in an infantry Bn and the arrogance of those infantry man is misplaced, while I admit your job is difficult and filled with sorrow. Everything in the army doesn’t revolve around you. You cannot do anything without your support units and personnel. Beans and bullets is what keep you moving and alive. 11B is not the end all be all. I have a bunch of friends who can no longer be infantryman and through their sacrifices the breteren have forsaken them. These once shining soldiers are no longer a soldier to those who they served with for many years. They are treated like peices of crap. Your arrogance just pisses me off and I will never have respect for anyone who does that to their fellow soldier.

    • Cant do anything without them? half the time, we cant do anything BECAUSE of them. get over yourself. you have spoken your self like every other self loathing POG i have ever met. grow up. reclass, walk a mile in our shoes, and your opinion will change. i promise you that.

  9. I’m a proud retired SFC (11B/11M) infantryman . I believe that we are proud and arrogant but as they state we don’t cry about what we have to do, we just do it and drive on to the next task . Like all soldiers should do . Stay strong , unity is strength , no mission too difficult , no sacrifice too great , duty first . HOOAH !

  10. Sometimes i forget. It is a terrible feeling to to numbly walk in this world. Not able to say “man my feet and back hurts” because when you do, the ones who do look up to you wonder how you did it? They start to wonder”how did he do it?” Sometimes i cant believe i did. I feel loke a big squishy vagina. I would and will do it again if i must. RLTW

  11. Nothing I can write will be good enough for all that an Infantryman. It is true that you put yourself first for the country that we love. We are a privileged Nation partly because of you. I sleep better at night knowing you are on watch keeping me safe. Unfortunately the best I can do for you is to say THANK YOU. My wish is that you never have to go into battle and I know that is counter intuitive to why you are there. Thank you will never be enough yet it is all that I have, so thank you from every fiber of my being.

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