Small Wars Journal

A Soldier’s Letter Home

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A Soldier’s Letter Home

Gregg Campbell

The following is presented as part of the TRADOC G2's "Soldier 2050" Call for Ideas. This material will form a compendium of thoughts and ideas that will support the exploration of future bio-convergence implications on the Army of 2050 at the Mad Scientist Conference 8-9 March 2018 at SRI International. The conference can be livestreamed at http://www.tradoc.army.mil/watch/.

17 June 2050

Hi Sweetheart!! 

I still can’t believe I was deployed to Japan to fight the South Koreans.  But, when you try to take over North Korea by force, the DPRK gets our support!  I know me being away for a 20 month deployment will be hard, but I promise to write to you as often as I can.  I started actually doing my job about three weeks ago.  I LOVE being Human Intelligence.  I Synced with a woman today who escaped South Korea to go north.  She told me that she worked in the South Korean government and got her Syncplant about three weeks ago.  It was then that she realized that the government had placed a back door in her implant to monitor her communications with her family.  Luckily, she escaped and we reprogrammed her Syncplant so that she could communicate freely.  I have no idea how HUMINT Soldiers had to do interviews face to face.  I refuse to let a source see my face!  I just wish we could afford the Syncplant World so we could communicate across the ocean.  Maybe the extra $4000 a month I am earning while deployed will help us pay the $20,000 we need.  Just don’t go blowing all of our extra money on that new WristTab.  Those things are way too expensive, and they are made in South Korea!  We have better ways to spend the $35,000!  Besides, those things make your wrists look fat (just kidding!).  Oh, I have another great story to tell you.  I can’t tell you everything, but I can give you the broad strokes.  I met a guy in the market here and he was telling his friend about how he was spying for South Korea.  I had my Nanogel on me, and I bumped into him and wiped some on his hand.  He has no idea that I am tracking his every move now.  Spy now, chump!  But, I have always wondered if I was breaking the law by tracking people without them knowing.  But, the Army issued me the Nanogel, so I should be fine, right?

So the Army keeps coming up with new ways to make us do training.  Yesterday we got an order from the Commander to complete our SHARP training by today.  He was force updating our SoldierPhones so that we could not use them until the training was done.  Apparently, just because the Army gives us the phones, it means that they can control them too!  That is why I am writing this letter instead of ChainMailing.  If that guy ever left his office, I might have some respect for him.  He runs the whole company from his office.  Overwatch from his desk, formations through SoldierPhone….he even ChainMails his wife from his office!  Can you believe this guy?  You would think that the South Koreans were actually firing bullets at us!  Maybe he thinks it is still 2030?  Once the bullet ban went into effect back in 2032, wars got up close and personal.  I wish I could get more training on my EMP Wave.  I am not that good with it yet.  But, once I go to the range a few more times, I will be able to disable personal electronics from about 25 yards.  Try and stop me then!

One of the guys here is big into military history.  He has pictures of his grandfather who fought in the second Iraq war.  It looks like he is carrying 200 pounds of equipment.  I have no idea how they lived!  I hate carrying the 14 pounds of electronics I have now.  Imagine all of that weight!  The Japanese people just say “See, carry a sword and you will be just fine.”  But, the Soldiers looked cool back then!  Just the bullets they had to carry weighed more than my whole package.  Can you believe that snipers could kill you from a mile away?  I can’t even fathom not being to see your enemy.  They actually fought at night too!  The Woods Act of 2041 really improved fighting in a war.  Not being able to fight at night really helps!  And who would name their kid Tiger?  How did we survive with Presidents who were not on TV?  How did people elect them without knowing every detail about their lives?  BANANAS!! 

Oh, some other great news. I got issued my first quantum computer yesterday.  It is the size of a pack of gum.  It links directly with my implant, so I can write this letter to you without getting up from my bed.  So far I have spent 3 minutes writing this letter.  It is amazing how much we can get done in a day these days.  The swarm technology that runs the company network can link in as well and I can update my preferences in regards to my job.  Finding people to talk to has never been so easy.  I can run permutations of ideas that I have so easy, it is almost like my college science project I did when I was 12.  Did I ever tell you about that?  I was able to link my drone to my car and control both with my GoogleGlove.  My teacher wondered why I would link it to my car since I could get everything that I needed sent to my house through AmazonHome.  I told her that it was a throwback nod to the 2000s, when people had to drive to work themselves.  I got a B because my teacher apparently lost a grandfather in a car accident.  I never did like that teacher.

Have you seen Star Wars XLII yet?  I got a bootleg copy from one of the guys here.  That Darth Vader guy never dies!  But watching a four hour movie can get boring.  I could write a novel in that time.  It is a nice break from the long days of work here.  The Commander says if we don’t get our stuff together, he is going to extend the work day to 7 hours!  I can’t believe this guy.  But I don’t want to talk about him anymore. 

Well, I have to go.  I have to write up my reports from yesterday.  Another 8 minutes down the tubes.  I will write you again if they don’t unlock my SoldierPhone soon.  I finished the 12 minutes of SHARP VR training, but my phone is still locked. 

I MISS YOU!

Love,

Your Favorite PV2 (I Hope)

Opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the U.S. Army or the U.S. Department of Defense.

Categories: Mad Scientist

About the Author(s)

MSG Gregg Campbell enlisted in the United States Army in May of 2002.  After completing One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, GA he was assigned as an infantryman to 1st BN, 30th IN at Fort Benning, GA.  MSG Campbell volunteered to transfer his MOS to Human Intelligence Collector (35M) through the Special Recruiting Program in 2007.  1SG Campbell has held leadership positions ranging from Team Leader to 1SG for HHC, 111th MI BDE, Fort Huachuca, AZ.  MSG Campbell currently serves as the USAICoE G-3 SGM, Fort Huachuca, AZ.

MSG Campbell’s awards include: MSM (1 OLC), ARCOM (3 OLC), AAM (1 OLC), AGCM (5th Award), PUC, VUA, NDSM, ICM (4 Campaign Stars), GWTSM, NOPDR (Numeral 3), ASR and OSR.  Decorations include the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and Senior Instructor Badge.

MSG Campbell is married to Elizabeth Campbell of Queens, NY and they are the proud parents of four children: Erin (daughter), Jason (son), Nicholas (son) and Thomas (son).