POG Military Term
A POG is the opposite of a grunt or Person-Other-than-Grunt. A grunt describes someone in the military with a labor-intensive job such as Infantrymen or Mechanics. POGs, on the other hand, typically have desk jobs.
These two groups are usually at odds with one another and calling someone a POG isn’t a term of endearment. It’s meant to be an insult and it’s used in every branch of the military. But what’s so bad about having a desk job in the military?
Here, we’re going over the term POG, the military history that led to its use, and how we might be able to resolve the dissatisfaction of one group toward another.
What is a POG Military Member?
In the military, no matter what branch you’re in, there are POGs and there are grunts. From just the brief overview that we mentioned before, you can probably understand why a grunt would feel resentment toward someone with a desk job.
The first thing to note is that POGs often get paid more than grunts. To work at a desk, you often have a job that requires a college degree and you were probably commissioned as an officer.
However, if you enlisted in the military, you’re probably working in Construction or on the front lines in the true line of fire. Grunts get their hands dirty while POGs are seen as enjoying cushy chairs in air-conditioned rooms. Plus, with a higher salary, it makes sense why there’s a sense of disdain.
POGs don’t make things easier on themselves either. In terms of being the butt of jokes, bringing a fancy rolling suitcase instead of an unassuming rucksack to deployment only causes grunts to tease them incessantly. This is classic behavior from POGs that grunts cling to.
Different Military Jobs Require Different Training
In the military, there’s a level of respect that comes with putting your life on the line in the literal sense. Knowing how to use a weapon and defending your country physically gives soldiers, in most cases, a huge sense of honor and pride.
Therefore, when a POG gets less training in weaponry and physical drills, it’s no wonder they’re seen as “less than” or something to make fun of.
But, is this assumption really accurate? Yes – different military jobs require different training and while someone on the front lines might be doing physical fitness drills, someone else might be in a classroom learning how to detect an intelligence breach.
However, both grunts and POGs go through the same basic training and are continuously tested on their physical fitness and weaponry skills. At the end of the day, no matter was MOS you hold, you’re held to the same minimum standards. So, while it’s understandable that some grunts get annoyed by POGs, everyone deserves to be in the military if they’re there.
Is a POG Military Service Member Ever on the Front Lines?
The short answer is: yes. While a POG is a relatively subjective term, you don’t necessarily have to be holding a weapon to be considered on the front lines. Some POGs train incredibly hard to participate on the front lines and they definitely see combat from time to time.
Take a Combat Engineer (12B), for example, who is in charge of clearing explosives and preparing the infrastructure for combat. Or a Combat Medic (68W) who provides emergency medical attention for those grunts who get injured in battle.
These POGs are risking their lives under dangerous conditions to serve the military machine as a whole and without them, the grunts would notice.
POG Military Culture
Poking fun and cracking jokes are a huge part of military culture and surely, calling someone a POG is often just that. But sometimes, people from these different groups can be truly disgruntled by one another.
Disagreements between POGs and grunts are similar to any issues of hierarchy in any industry, not just the military. It goes back to the way the American education system is set up in the first place.
Skills like medicine, analytics, engineering, and mathematics are deemed more important than physical labor and mechanics. Sure, some of these skills require much more intensive training and specialized talents, but it’s easy to become resentful when someone is paid more or given more respect just because of arbitrary privilege.
But, at the end of the day, everyone has their place and it’s important to come to terms with yours. Every position in the military has value and it’s pointless to expect fairness in every aspect.
A strategist, for example, who sits at a desk stateside is just as important as the sniper stationed in the Middle East. The strategist might get paid more, but the sniper is probably more respected among military members.
A military cook might not seem like a true soldier, but without them, the whole operation would go sideways. Every moving part within the military machine is important and the only way to enjoy your time in the military is to respect and value everyone’s role.
POG Military Terminology
So, does it make sense that POGs and grunts often go head to head? Of course, it does. But is there another way to look at things? Absolutely.
Especially in cases where grunts are deliberately being derogatory toward POGs and vice versa, it takes a bit of introspection to see that if you’re blaming someone else for what you perceive as unjust or you’re triggered by what seems unfair, it’s always best to look inward.
If you’re a grunt, what part of a POG’s job might you not understand? Is there some truth in the fact that their skills are worth more in a monetary sense? Perhaps they have a skill that only a few people know. Or perhaps their time studying in college makes up for their lower fitness training requirements.
On the other hand, if you’re a POG and you look down upon grunts and consider them to be uneducated or unintelligent, is there a perspective you can take to understand the stressors in their lives? Is there some privilege on your behalf that hasn’t been accounted for?
These are both good examples of looking for all the ways you are alike or ways that you can see the other person’s perspective more clearly. Overall, it’s sure to make the military a more balanced place where everyone is truly working toward the same goal and respects everyone else as part of the bigger picture. Give it a try next time you get annoyed at a POG.