"You're Not Worth It"
A Iraqi Zoomie Story

What is it like to guard GitMo?

On May 4th, Brigadier General Gregory Zanetti, the Deputy Commander at Gitmo, wrote an interesting article published in the Lawrence, Kansas, Journal-World and News:

A day in the life of a Guantanamo guard
By Brig. Gen. Gregory Zanetti
May 4, 2008

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - Their average age is 23. Most are on their first Military assignment. They wake up at 0430, clean up, throw on a fresh uniform and are standing in formation at 0500. They silently file on to a bus that takes them to the camps. They get off the bus and again stand in formation as the First Sergeant barks out the orders for the day.

They move into the camps and do the requisite shift change duties. They take their posts at 0600. They then "walk the blocks," placing their eyes on their assigned detainees every three minutes for 12 hours. They walk eight to 11 miles during their shift.

At 1800 they get back on the bus, go back to their rooms and change into their exercise clothes. After a short formation, they do at least one hour of PT (physical training). They then clean up, grab a quick dinner, and fall into bed.

And so it goes, four days on, two days off.

While that may be the schedule, it does not tell the full story of a guard's day at Guantanamo Bay . To do that requires an understanding of something called the Battle Update Brief, better known as the BUB. The reason the word battle is used is because the detainees see the camps as an extension of the battlefield.

So do the guards...

Go to the Lawrence J-W&N for the rest of the story, it's worth your time and important in light of the recent suicide bombing by a released prisoner and the Presidential candidates aims to close the  facility...the piece discusses daily/hourly attacks on guards, threats on their families, abuse, etc. and the military guards remain professional all day, every day, in the presence of the enemy.

Update:  LL reminds us that Patterico had an amazing set of interviews with a psych nurse at Gitmo in late 2006.