What is a POG?


Definition: Person Other than Grunt

POG is a term, usually derogatory in nature, to describe a non-combative soldier in any of the military branches. A grunt, on the other hand, is a soldier in those combative positions such as infantrymen. These two groups are usually at odds.

Some service members say even soldiers with labor and technical jobs can be considered grunts even if they’re not necessarily on the front lines. Overall, the distinction seems to be that grunts do hard labor and POGs have desk jobs.

From a Grunt’s Point of View

It’s impossible to answer the question, “what is a POG?” without looking at a grunt’s perspective in order to shed light on why there’s such a disconnect between these two camps.

From just a brief synopsis, you might be able to understand how a grunt could feel a bit of resentment toward POGs. In a nutshell, grunts imagine them sitting in a cushy desk chair all day while they rough it in the mud, risking their lives – literally.

POGs don’t make it any easier on themselves. They’re known for being overweight, bringing fancy, rolling luggage instead of carrying a rucksack, and they’re said to have barely handled a gun apart from yearly servicing. In a culture of proud soldiers, these behaviors won’t harbor the most respect.

It’s true that most POG units require less personal training, have less risky jobs, and get promoted quicker than their grunt counterparts. But there is another way to look at it.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

With the disparities in job duties, lifestyle choices, and classic teasing among recruits, there seems to be a lot of genuine tension between POGs and grunts. It’s easy for a grunt to feel jealous of or bitter toward a POG who seems to have no worries compared to the stress of life as a grunt. But let’s have a little reality check here.

Most POGs have a college degree and that’s no easy feat. Before a grunt admonishes a POG because he has a comfortable job doing easy-as-pie administrative work, it’s best to think about all the time and effort he or she put into getting an education. This gives them a leg to stand on for getting promoted quickly in some cases.

Yet, the education system these days has a lot more to do with the money that it has to do with smarts. Grunts get that, too, and there’s no way that just because someone has a labor-intensive job means they have any less intelligence. Still, there are always ways out of your situation if you’re unhappy with your lot in life. But chances are, you chose to be in the infantry or a Ranger. There’s a lot of pride associated with combat positions that POGs don’t receive. Relish in what you do receive by being on the front lines instead of being angry about the things you don’t have.

So, instead of focusing on how easy a POG has it or how dumb a grunt is, consider what you have to be grateful for. After all, you’re all on the same side and one unit can’t function without the other. Sure – a little fun and games never hurt anyone and surely the culture of teasing POGs will live on in mess halls around the world. Just remember, it’s better to have respect for one another than constantly be head to head. It’ll make a stronger military in the end.

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