If you have ever ridden in a military vehicle, you know what I am talking about. It is discourteous to engage bodily functions in ANY vehicle if there are other people inside, but this is especially important when it comes to Humvees. This lesson goes beyond just bodily functions and bonds closely with being an all-around considerate human being. I use Humvees as an example because they present a unique opportunity to learn more about the people you are with than conversations alone. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were confused. You might be wondering why this topic matters or why I have chosen to include this lesson. Most people might even think that passing gas in general around others is common courtesy and should not require any explanation. You aren’t wrong, but like most things, context matters.
I am not going to get into the mechanics or tactical details but allow me to briefly explain a Humvee from the perspective of a low-ranking service member that spent a lot of time riding around in them. Humvees are large, slow, and very uncomfortable. The seat cushions are a joke, there is very little space within to put your things or move, and when they are in motion, regardless of the terrain, it is a bumpy ride. The surfaces with which to bang your head, shins, knees feet, elbows, etc., are plentiful, the windows are small and difficult to see out of, and between the engine and all the other moving parts (not all of which are meant to move), it is difficult to hear. They are gas guzzling hogs and even those without the extreme weight added on by armor, they are very slow. Best of all, there is no air conditioning.
You read that correctly, no air conditioning. These machines are being utilized for desert warfare in temperatures that can get up to nearly 150 and they do not have air conditioning. They do have a fan, but for anyone that knows any better, the only purpose this serves is to circulate air that is so hot that you can practically feel your insides cooking. It is a hardship, riding around in one of these vehicles, so when I say don’t fart in the Humvee, I am not just talking about letting out some gas. It doesn’t matter if there is smell or not, it is about the mentality. When you are in a deployed environment, there are extra factor to take into consideration. The people you are working with are your lifeline if anything goes wrong. If an emergency arises, they are all you have. You are always on the alert and even when things seem like they are going well, you know that anything can happen at any moment.
I get it. Farts are funny. Better out than in. That gas must go somewhere. Bodily functions are natural, and you don’t want to fight against nature. I am here to tell you that I have yet to meet a service member that cares about your excuses. Service involves sacrifices and if you are unable to endure a little discomfort to protect your brothers and sisters at arms from suffering, you are in the wrong career. Members need to be able to trust one another. We depend on each other. Our lives are in each other’s hands. It is not about holding it in. It is about doing whatever you need to do, big or small, to look out for each other. When you are off duty, things are a little more relaxed. Even if you are on duty but you are not working in an environment that is already uncomfortable. You need to judge the situation and act accordingly. Take my word for it, there are few, if any, circumstances where it is OK to rip one in the Humvee.