Valdosta Daily Times


November 11, 2012

Weird things I learned from the Army


VALDOSTA — A Cheap Breakfast

When you have a lot of mouths to feed and not a lot of dough, my favorite go-to breakfast is biscuits n’ gravy. Now, in the Army, they call it something else, (a certain expletive) on a shingle. I’ll let you Google it and fill in the blanks.

While this breakfast is no secret to any Southerner who doesn’t live under a rock, the Army did add a unique twist.

You cook the gravy and then after you cook the sausage patties, you grind it up in the gravy.

Soldiers cooked it like this because you could quickly run through a mess hall or line and slap some on a biscuit and off you go!

Personally, I love this method so much more than the way it is traditionally served and it is so much easier when you have multiple people to feed.

Avoid the Doctor

Anyone who has ever had to deal with Tricare health insurance is quite aware of how difficult going to the doctor can be. My mom knows all too well how a simple case of strep can turn into a two-hour phone call of why a certain medicine wasn’t covered.

Thus, to avoid the headache of military health care, my parents did everything they could and then some to keep me and my brother out of the doctor’s office.

My mom made me eat vegetables every day. We couldn’t drink soda until like middle school and we were forced to take vitamins every morning.

Keeping healthy and eating well doesn’t just have positive effects on your overall well-being, but it is a habit that has saved me money now that I have to pay for my own health care.

100-Mile an Hour Tape

If you have ever been inside the inner-workings of an Army base, you have probably noticed that soldiers like duct tape. In fact, the origins of duct tape in the military date back to the 1940s .

According to an article by a staff writer from, military started using duct tape because of a ticked-off Navy mom who worked in an ammo-packing plant in Dixon, Ill.

The military was shipping ammo using a method that made it hard for troops in the field to get to it in a hurry. She had a better idea, a thick, cloth-based tape that would keep the bullets dry but could be ripped open in a blink.

She took her complaint to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Two weeks later, the Office of the Chief of Ordinance responded to her request and proudly implemented it.

That was a long, fancy answer for this short tip: If it breaks, fix it with duct tape. If it still isn’t fixed, it’s probably pretty dangerous and you should re-consider your purchasing history.

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