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A definitive ranking of troops’ extreme napping positions

Sarah Sicard

A definitive ranking of troops’ extreme napping positions
Sleep can be hard to come by in the service. One of the very first things you learn when you enlist is that you should take any and every napping opportunity possible, despite the location.
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Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division wait for an aircraft at Pope Army Air Airfield, to take them to a training rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, La., March 8. (Sgt. 1st Class Seth Laughter/Army)

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Army Lt. Col. David Woods, commander of 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, takes a nap, despite the torrential rain soaking him at his patrol base in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, June 23.

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A. U.S. Marine assigned to Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment (2/7) takes a nap in the Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) center on Forward Operating Base Now Zad, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Dec. 17, 2012. (Cpl. Alejandro Pena/Marine Corps)

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Soldiers with Black Hawk Company, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, take a nap at Forward Operating Base Union after conducting raids in Mansour, Iraq, March 3.

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U.S. Army paratroopers catch a nap before the sun rises, waiting to donate their toys in hopes of receiving a winning lottery ticket for the opportunity to earn partner nation jump wings at the 18th Annual Randy Oler Memorial Operation Toy Drop. (Timothy L. Hale/Army)

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A U.S. Army soldier assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, takes a much needed nap after participating in a training exercise in the cold and heavy rain Jan. 20, 2017. (Spc. Tracy McKithern/Army)

As thousands of National Guard members filter through the halls of the U.S. Capitol, civilians are getting firsthand looks at just how easily soldiers can turn a concrete floor into a comfortable nest.

If dozing off in uncomfortable places and positions were an Olympic sport, service members take home gold every time. That’s why we decided to pull together a definitive ranking of some the best, worst, and downright ridiculous sleeping positions in recent military history, on scale from 1 to 10, in terms of insanity.

6.5/10. He looks seriously cozy with his rucksack for a pillow, sunglasses to block the light, and no weapon in sight. This specialist proves that even a dusty desert truck bed is still a bed. And even though are no stars in the sky, at least there’s one on the vehicle.

6/10. It’s always better to cuddle and huddle for warmth. This is yet another instance that proves truck beds are almost as good as real beds. Please note the various forms possible when sleeping in an upright position. We’d wager the soldier on the right is going to need a neck brace by the time he wakes up from his nap. Still, it’s not the most unconvential sleeping position we’ve seen.

7/10. These paratroopers’ nap line is almost as uniform as it would be if they were conscious and standing in formation. Note the classic near-fetal position they’ve all adopted on the floor and smart utilization of the shadow under the bench to block out the light. That’s some real Army ingenuity.


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