Deploy with Success: Navigating the Essentials

Deploy with Success: Navigating the Essentials and Avoiding the Excess

**Things to Bring:**

1. **Sense of Humor:** Because nothing beats deployment blues like a good laugh. Bonus points if it's dad jokes – they're universally appreciated, even in the most remote locations.

2. **Comfortable Socks:** Because you never realize the importance of good socks until you've been on your feet for hours. Plus, you can always trade them for favors or snacks.

3. **Power Bank:** Your gadgets might not have access to a charging station for days. A power bank can be a true lifesaver, ensuring your phone survives the endless game of Candy Crush during downtime.

4. **Photos of Loved Ones:** For those moments when you need a morale boost, or you want to remind yourself why you're enduring the hardships of deployment. Plus, it's a great conversation starter with locals.

5. **Travel-Size Hot Sauce:** Because even MREs can use a little extra flavor. It's the secret weapon to turn any bland meal into a gourmet experience. Just don't overdo it – you don't want to start a hot sauce black market.

6. **Multi-tool:** A Swiss Army knife or a Leatherman – your pocket-sized problem solver. Need to open a can of beans, fix something, or perform minor surgery? Your multi-tool has got you covered.

7. **Portable Speaker:** Music can be a great escape. Just be mindful of your musical choices – not everyone appreciates death metal at 6 a.m. during PT.

8. **Deck of Cards:** Classic entertainment for downtime. A simple deck of cards can foster camaraderie and lead to epic poker tournaments.

9. **Ziploc Bags:** Essential for keeping your gear dry during unexpected rain showers or impromptu river crossings. Also doubles as a makeshift ice pack for those inevitable bumps and bruises.

10. **Personal Hygiene Items:** A small luxury in a less-than-luxurious environment. Your fellow soldiers will thank you for not smelling like a gym locker.

**Things NOT to Bring:**

1. **Pet Rock:** As much as your rock has been a great listener at home, deploying it might be pushing the boundaries of practicality.

2. **High Maintenance Pets:** Bringing your goldfish might seem like a good idea, but it's not practical to set up a tank in a desert. Leave the exotic pets to the local wildlife.

3. **Full Wardrobe:** Remember, you're deploying, not walking the runway. Practicality beats fashion; leave the stiletto heels and tuxedo at home.

4. **Entire DVD Collection:** We get it, you love movies, but Netflix and chill might be a bit challenging in a remote location. Opt for a few favorites or a streaming device instead.

5. **Anything Illegal:** Yes, even if it's for "stress relief." There's no humor in a military tribunal.

6. **Personalized Camouflage:** Your artistic touch doesn't extend to the battlefield. Stick to the standard issue; the enemy won't be impressed by your tie-dye skills.

7. **Inflatable Furniture:** As much as you'd like to recreate the comfort of home, a blow-up couch might not withstand the harsh conditions.

8. **Fancy Cooking Equipment:** Leave the gourmet cooking experiments for home. MREs can be surprisingly delicious when you're hungry enough.

9. **Selfie Stick:** While documenting your deployment is great, a selfie stick might make you look more like a tourist than a soldier. Plus, it's a potential weapon in close-quarters combat.

10. **Drama:** Save the soap opera for TV. Deployment is stressful enough without adding personal drama into the mix. Keep it light, keep it funny, and keep it focused on the mission.
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