Military makes effort to get tougher on troops: Irish survived on potatoes, so can you

By Russ Read, DCNF 

U.S. soldiers deployed to Europe will have to start loving potatoes, because they will be eating them three times a day, according to the Army’s top commander in Europe.

Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges told members of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment that the Irish made potatoes interesting, and now it’s their turn, according a report by The Wall Street Journal.

“You are never going to see Burger King,” Hodges told the soldiers after a recent rehearsal drill. “Be ready for potatoes three meals a day for six months. The Irish have figured out how to make it interesting. I am sure you can, too.”

Burger King and other fast food outlets were a mainstay on bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, but soldiers should not expect the same amenities when they deploy to Poland next month. Hodges told the troops to expect austere living conditions.

“The standard of living is spartan — spartan, plus Wi-Fi,” he told the soldiers.

The reduction in amenities is not without purpose, it’s a concerted effort to remind soldiers why they are there.

“We went a little too far on some of the luxuries,” the regiment’s Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Muhlenbeck told the WSJ. “We set a climate that soldiers weren’t in a combat zone anymore. They weren’t in the right mid-set to fight tonight.”

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