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Explaining The Rivalry Between an Army POG and a Grunt

The term “army POG” or even “military POG” has been surrounded by controversy and negativity at times. Mention it in forums and it is sure to get a string of strong emotions and mixed reactions even to the point of never-ending comments and arguments.

Surprisingly, not all in the service or were in the service know about these terms. So before we even discuss the controversies shrouding it,  what is the POG military term and why all the fuss about it?

What Does an Army POG Mean

The meaning of POG, in military talk, is Person Other than Grunt, while a “grunt” is a term to define infantrymen and combat arms soldiers whose AIT, which stands for Advanced Individual Training,  is in the Infantry School. Their Military Occupational Specialty or MOS puts them on the frontline.

It has sadly become a derogatory term or insult of some sort, but before we think who is better than the other, let’s go over some points to remember.

Training of Army POGs (or non-infantry)

  1. All recruits go through the same Basic Combat Training (BCT) no matter what the MOS of each recruit will be, whether infantry or non-infantry.
  2. The AIT of an Army POG can last anywhere from  4 weeks to 7 months or even more for those learning a foreign language. That being said, the MOSs become highly specialized.  Thus, for a grunt or infantry to think that they can survive without the POGs, is farthest from the truth.
  3. Even after the BCT, and aside from the AIT, an Army POG still continually undergoes physical fitness and weapons proficiency.  Each one is subject to the same duties, strict daily schedule and disciplinary rules as in BCT.

Combat for POGs

What percentage of the military sees combat? Technically only about 14% based on 2017 statistics are in active combat, mostly from the Army or Marine Corps.  The grunts may be the front liners in combat, but make no mistake about it, an Army POG faces combat too.

Ask a Marine Motor Transport (Motor T) soldier who endures hours in a convoy, hitting IEDs along the way. Or 12B combat engineers who assist in combat missions by route clearance, detonating explosives and clearing IEDs.

Or take for example a female service member killed in the line of duty. She was part of the security forces and was an E3 running convoy security.

So yes, there are jobs outside of infantry that see combat action. Military POGs deploy as well and train hard too especially for deployment.

The bottom line is, if you are wearing the uniform, you are front line.  Whenever troops encounter an enemy, everyone grabs a weapon and defends the line.

When you wear the uniform, you have an automatic target on your back. The enemy wouldn’t care what your MOS is – you ARE a target.

A Grunt’s Life

Yes, army and marine grunts bear the burden of the combat, kicking in doors, and facing the enemy head-on. They are subject to the highest risk. 

Training is constant, just as with any MOS.   They deserve the highest respect and commendation for putting their lives on the line.

What all servicemen should remember is that combat missions are carried out because of the part each one played.

Maintenance of the jets ensures the performance of a mission.  The building of bridges and clearing of IEDs, help facilitate carrying out of the infantry role. Before a missile reaches its final destination, several hands played a part.

You can’t fight the enemy without ammunition, transport to the fight, or indirect fire from air support.

Every MOS is there playing a crucial role as it takes the whole machinery to wage war against the enemies. If these support MOSs were not there playing their role, a lot of things would crumble and fail.

Of course, we all get it –  a grunt’s life is one of the hardest there is and they have earned our highest regard.

While the infantry puts the most at risk, to carry out missions successfully, there is a need for mechanics, military intelligence, cybersecurity, surveillance, artillery, combat engineers, and more.

Final Thoughts

Yes, there is a love-hate relationship between grunts and POGs and you can read it all over the place. Infantry recognizing the role of POGs on one hand and on the extreme end saying it is only infantry and what else is there.

This most probably stems from soldiers who get disappointed with another who is performing below expectations. If each one performs their role to the best that can be and support one another, then each one will get to appreciate that EVERY single person is important no matter what the MOS.

Grunts are out there on the front lines risking their lives. An Army POG is there supporting the operation. Both are important, both are essential, and both won’t work without one another.

So, perhaps calling each other grunts and POGs as an insult is mostly a waste of time. Try understanding what the other group has to offer and be grateful that they’re willing to do their jobs.

When it comes down to it, all soldiers took an oath to the country.  It makes no sense to think they’re better because they are in a different branch or job. There should be no discrimination whether Army POG or grunt.

It helps to remember how each soldier undergoes a lot to fulfil his role according to his MOS – how each one passed the recruitment/enlistment, the constant training, and the day-to-day tasks each one has to play. 

The more each soldier empathizes, the more one will understand the importance of another and earn each other’s respect in a unified goal to protect the country.

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