Army Logistics Question

If you are out on an all day patrol, say in an armored Hummer or some kind of tank, and you need to… ummm… use the facilities, where do you go?

Say you’re out in the middle of nowhere and the enemy may be watching your every move. Do you leave the relative safety of your vehicle and find some bushes somewhere? Do you have to hold it until you reach a friendly base? Is there some kind of facility in the vehicle itself?

I doubt you just pee in an empty bottle… so what’s the straight dope on MBFs (mobile bathroom facilities)?

They don’t have bottles but have devices that you pee in which solidifies it into a type of gel thing

Bottle, or if you absolutely can’t hold it, plastic bag. Usually you’re not out long enough to where you can’t hold a #2, and if you’re sick, you’re either taking pills or you’re not going out.

Reminds me of an old Air Force joke :

An F-15 is escorting a B-52 bomber on a long, boring routine patrol. The jet pilot pipes up on the radio, bragging that “anything you truck drivers can do, I can do better !”. The bomber pilot replies : “Oh yeah ?! Watch this !”.

The bomber continues flying, straight, narrow, constant speed and altitude. Minutes pass. Then the bomber pilot says

  • "All right, your turn now.
  • But… you didn’t do anything !
  • I got up, stretched my legs for a while, went to the can and had a cup of coffee."

:smiley: I love it.

As far as the question goes…I thought adult diapers were sometimes used in the marine corps? Could be a myth. When ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

I recently re-read Tom Clancy’s ‘Red Storm Rising’, which is now hopelessly out-of-date (but still interesting to me). Anyway, one of the American tank commanders in the story states he misses the M-60 tank because he could take a leak out of the escape hatch in the bottom of its hull (which the M1 Abrams didn’t have)

Of course we do. Why do you think we wouldn’t? Or if we’re on foot patrol we’ll pick a (relatively) secluded corner or something though I’ve known guys who just didn’t care and blatantly pissed out in public.

Chrisbooth12, the hell are you talking about?

I was told the same joke by my commander, who was a pilot, but it went: The fighter pilot performs a roll and says, “let’s see you do that” and the bomber pilot says, “okay sure you got me.” Then he says, “let’s see you do this” and switches off two engines.

In a documentary on tanks in WWII, there was a British tanker who remarked on the problem, “You’d fire a shell in the direction of Germany, do you business in the shell casing (unspoken, but presumably when it cooled), and toss it out the hatch.”

Paging Ex-Tank to GQ :smiley:

Pee in a bottle, or somewhere around the tank if you’re at a temporary stop. If you’re at an extended stop (an overnight, or just several hours), we’d go to about 50% security (usually someone on the TC’s .50 cal, and another on the loader’s -240) and following Army field procedures, make a temporary latrine.

Take a chunk of camo netting, a pole and spreader, and some tent stakes, and you can make a decent ad-hoc field latrine that gives a bare minimum of privacy to do your stuff. Mostly, no one wanted to look at someone else’s hairy ass making a poopy.

An MRE case, properly stuffed with dirt/sand, makes an acceptable field expedient toilet seat. A small packet of toilet paper came with every MRE, plus there’d always be a roll or two of regualr Army toilet paper (aka “tree bark”) in one of the sponson boxes.

MREs are great for slowing down bowel movements, but when you gotta go, you gotta go. This never happened to me, and I don’t think this ever happened to anyone I knew; unless they just never talked about it.

I can tell you any such conversation would have went, had it occured:

Soldier: "Hey Sarge. I gotta go.

Me: :mad:

Soldier: “I mean, I gotta go #2. Real bad. Right now!”

Me: :rolleyes:

Soldier: “If I don’t go soon, I’m gonna shit myself!”

Me: :dubious: “If you shit yourself, you’re getting an immediate transfer to the Infantry. And by ‘immediate,’ I mean as long as it takes me to toss your poopy butt off the tank!”

Anyone (well, I guess almost anyone) can sort of train themselves to pee/poop at will, and soldiers get good at this. We could pretty much sleep at will, too.

Something any reasonably experienced soldier learns to always take advantage of when it comes along:

  1. Sleep.

  2. Hot grub.

  3. Latrine/shower facilities.

  4. Clean underwear.

In Desert Shield, in the immediate lead up to the air campaign, my unit was moving towards the Iraqi border in stages. We came upon a kind of trading post at the corner of no-and-where, Saudi Arabia. The proprietor was a little leery of us at first (nothing like a company of tanks rolling up on you as a way of saying “Hello!”) Since we just about cleaned him out, he was weeping for joy and kissing us by the time we rolled off.

The first thing my driver grabbed was a brand new, unopened, pack of underwear. It seems he didn’t stock up on new underwear before deploying, and 3 months later, his stuff was wearing kinda thin.

My platoon sergeant got a couple dozen eggs, some cheese, onions, and peppers, and a little one-burner camp stove (I was in HQ platoon, so the SFC was in a HMMWV). Sergeant Whatshisname was a pretty damned good camp cook.

We had omelets for breakfast for a couple of days. Which was a very nice change from MREs 3 meals a day.

I found some garlic powder, red pepper, and hot sauce.

A flexible or rigid plastic container holding a pouch of polymer gel, with a resealable opening for insertion of urine. Not necessary for infantry patrols, but handy if you’re a pilot, sealed up in a tank during NBC, or otherwise unable to easily leave your post to find a toilet or tree :slight_smile:

Going back to the pilot jokes. In the USAF we (fighter pilots) carried “piddle packs” on long deployment flights. Nonstop Western USA to Germany is not fun sitting on an ejection seat & hand-flying the whole way. Pissing somewhere along the way is also not optional.

In the 80’s we had the first image here

This is the latest & greatest nowadays

This is what civilians use

Bottles if in a vehicle and the situation dictates you stay in it (for whatever reason).

On the ground anywhere if dismounted. Many people just piss while they’re walking–the true reason women are not suited for the infantry.

Just remember; in every unit, vehicle or what have you, someone has to remember to pack the shit tickets. There’s nothing worse than unloading a steamer and having nothing to wipe with.

It was always on our deployment checklist.

If it was OK with the truck commander I’d hop outside the MRAP and piss in the sand. This was Basrah province, 08/09.

Yeah, you’d probably pee in an empty bottle. Gatorade wide-mouthed. Don’t lose the cap.

I don’t know about the Marines, but I understand adult diapers have been used by NASA. (Google search of “crazy nasa adult diaper” gave this Esquire article).

For the Marine Corps, I’ve never experienced this but the miniseries/book Generation Kill describes a platoon of Marines during the initial invasion, and this becomes a plot point. Many would shit in the open if they had a free moment (like a lull in artillery barrages), and some had some sort of cardboard tube they’d use. One of the Marines got very upset when a kid borrowed his tube and got shit all over the inside.

That’s what MRE’s are for :). For good reason of their many nicknames is Meals Refusing to Excrete. (Upon Preview: ExTank beat me to it).

I’m sure the term “shit a brick” was around long before MREs. But taking an MRE poop does lend a whole new level of meaning to the term.

I was affiliated with the Army just as MREs were being phased in, so when we did field duty we often ate their predecessor, the lovely & talented MCI,_Combat,_Individual_ration .

In some ways I prefered the MCIs, but I can say they were at least as effective as MREs as an ass cork.

I wonder if the current generation of MREs is any better or worse (as food or as cork) than the 1980s Mark 1 version.

MRE Menus through the years.

My last official run-in with MREs was menus X - XI in '91. They were already much better than Menu I - V.

I’m loathe to do this, but I’m afraid after giggling for a good 5 minutes, I sort of have to : Irish punk band name !