Left of Bang

There’s going to be some people from my old unit that are going to be pissed for me using this term, due to one particular command sergeant major who was dubbed “He Who Shall Not Be Named”, however, I actually had this term explained to me the other week. Having heard it daily for about a year straight, it got really redundant. Especially given the attitude of the masses towards this particular person we generally got tired of hearing him say anything. He really just loved the phrase “left of bang” and we all hated it because he loved it. But, as I mentioned it was thoroughly explained to me, and now, I see the value of the phrase I once never understood and was biased against.
Left of bang means learning your lesson from previous encounters and engagements from personal experience and the experiences of others. Then once you’ve learned these lessons, not making the same mistake or falling for the same tricks again. Literally the phrase comes from being further left from the side of the road where ieds are typically placed.
So, given that ideology, being left of the bang started making a whole hell of a lot of sense. Biases aside, it’s a phrase I’ve actually found myself using a time or two as I often have predicted the typical, stupid Army routines before they hit my level.
Even now as I type this, I am attempting to get “left of bang” for Christmas leave, when its only mid-October. This is how I make sure myself and my guys are NOT on the duty roster and we get our entire requested leave dates AND have enough time to get tickets before they skyrocket. That is the thought process behind the phrase. Just because some of us hated hearing the term it didn’t mean we haven’t been practicing it on the daily anyways. Stop letting the ghost of a past biased haunt you on something that can help you be better prepared than everyone else.


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