POG (person other than grunt/permanently on the ground), REMF (rear echelon mother f*&%er), FOBbit, non-com, leg, nonner, all used to describe non-combat arms service members. Combat arms personnel are often seen on social media talking down to “POGs”, defaulting to how their service somehow is less notable, dangerous or valorous than that of service members serving in combat arms positions.
However, is this negative rhetoric warranted? Are “POGs” somehow lesser in their service than that of combat arms personnel? We say no, and here is why:
- It’s usually about right time and right place, not right MOS- When I entered into service, I started out as a non-combat SF support soldier. Upon return from basic training, advance training and airborne school I went to Special Forces Selection and soon after the Special Forces Qualification Course. While in the course I ran into a buddy at a bar who attended basic training with me and later went on to be a JAG paralegal specialist. At the time (2005), he had already deployed three times to Iraq and had received two purple hearts for wounds sustained in combat operations. There I was, on my way to the supposed tip of the spear and this “POG” had already conducted three combat deployments and seen sustained combat operations. The reality is he had been at the right place at the right time, resulting in him having to conduct the job of an infantryman. Today there are actual Special Forces soldiers who have spent 7-10 years in an active duty Special Forces unit who have yet to see a combat deployment. It’s just how the cards are dealt.
- They still endure the hardship of war- The reality is “POGs” who deploy to combat zones still say goodbye to their loved ones, go through divorces, miss childbirths, become casualties, burry their friends and endure all of the other hardships associated with war. Just because they aren’t infantry doesn’t mean they don’t somehow skip out on war.
- They are necessary for our military to operate- That’s right, without “POGs” our military would cease to operate. Pay, logistics, transportation and every other aspect of a fully functioning military are thanks to “POGs”.
In the end if you signed your life over to uncle sam then your service is more than appreciated. While service members in combat arms positions do tend to see more combat than that of support personnel, it does not mean that they are somehow lesser in service or sacrifice. Typically the ones who will say otherwise are those who never served in combat or have experienced what/how support personnel contribute to the fight. If you’re a combat arms service member reading this post and are systematically losing your mind over our statements, ask yourself; would you be willing to tell a gold star mother of a fallen support soldier that her son’s/daughter’s service was somehow less important, dangerous or relevant than your own?