Bobby Seppo is a third generation New Yorker and a US Army Sergeant who has served two terms in Iraq. Though he is technically done his service, he just volunteered to go back and will be leading reserves in Afghanistan by the end of the month. This is a transcription of a conversation we had at a local bar in Brooklyn.
It’s important to note that Bobby (not his real name though I kept the secondary name Estonian) had no idea I was recording him and this is just casual banter with a guy in a dive bar in an industrial part of town. When I showed it to a marine he was livid and told me never to show it to anyone. Point being: This is not how uniformed US Military would talk to a news source interviewing them and it’s not meant to represent the military’s stance on anything. This is just how people in Brooklyn talk when there’s no filter and a bunch of beer. It’s an honest opinion from someone who lives outside the Ivory Tower discourse and actually fights and yes, recording someone without their permission is a felony.
Gavin McInnes: You’re going back?
Sgt. Seppo: I know, right? I don’t know. I miss it, man. I miss the camaraderie. I miss the excitement. I’m just meant to be over there.
It’s easy to forget that there’s no conscription anymore. The guys that are over there volunteered. We all assume they hate it but if it’s your calling…
Yeah, and the battalion I was in you had to volunteer twice! That meant everyone there really wanted to be there. It was a good group of guys.
What battalion is that?
Are you below marines?
Well yeah, we’re just grunts but if you asked a marine about the 82nd, he’d say we’re not grunts. If he was an educated marine he’d give us props. We’re the best of the worst.
What about this new group you’re going to be leading?
Well, Reserves usually suck. They’re below the bottom. They don’t got heart and they don’t know what they’re doing. I had some guys from Ohio once that were so lazy you couldn’t believe it.
Give me an example.
At night, 50% of us are doing patrol to protect the other 50%. I check their guns before they go out and you shoulda seen this hick’s gun. It looked like he dragged it to fuckin’ work.
And what does that mean?
What do you mean what does it mean? It won’t fire. There is no way in hell that gun would have fired one bullet. He was putting all our lives in jeopardy. I pulled him out of the line and tore him a new ass. I got everyone involved. That’s what you gotta do.
Do you make them shine their boots?
Nah. The boots we got over there aren’t like that. They’re more like suede. I always hated that shit. Shining boots. What a joke. How does that make me a better soldier? I once told my Staff Sergeant that I think we should check boots at the END of the day and reward the guy with the dirtiest boots. That means he’s the one who did the most. If you got clean boots, you didn’t do shit all day. Me, I’m under the truck working the brake lines and changing oil. I look like shit at the end of the day because I work. When I said that to the Sarge he said it was a good idea.
You’re like the Universal Soldier. You’re Van Damme.
Hell yeah, I hold the world’s record for taking apart a M16-A4 and putting it back together – blindfolded.
What kind of gun is that?
It’s a machine gun. There’s also the shorter stock M4 and M249 light machine gun.
What’s that gun I saw on 60 Minutes that can shoot a mile?
That’s the 50 cal sniper rifle. There’s guns that go farther though. Some Australian guy shot someone two miles away recently.
What? How does he do that?
Well, he’s got a spotter and they watch the way the first one goes. Maybe the wind blew it a little to the left. So they account for that the second time. It’s still amazing though. I think that’s a world record too.
You sound like you can’t wait to get back.
Yes and no. This time round I got mostly New York reserves. They’re the best Reserves to get because they fucking hustle. I guess they’re tougher because they grew up fighting and shit but Reserves aren’t professional soldiers and it’s always a challenge leading them.
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