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24 Hour Guard Duties

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  • 24 Hour Guard Duties

    Having watched some of the CH 4 programme "Shattered", my mind wandered, as it often does, to those inevitable 24 hour guards which we all love to do.
    Many people find it difficult to remain switched on and alert for these guard duties and come the wee hours, are completely exhausted as their off duty comrades are sleeping.

    Has anyone got any tips for staying alert?

    zzzzzzz zzzzzzzzz what.....course Im awake

    Regards etc

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  • #2
    Keep moving around and occupy the mind.

    My worst experience was on my standard course where we did a 72 hr ex with virtually no sleep. I think I snatched an aggregate of 4 hrs in the three days. It was reallly interesting to see the effects on the last day. Some people were totally disorientated and unable to perform simple tasks like stating how many people were in their section. The sleep deprivation was exacerbated by cold, wet and physical activity.
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    red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

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    • #3
      Tips for staying alert/awake. lower heating in guard room, I found that is was generally set at max and room was very warm, inducing lethargy/sleep. (have you ever entered a guard room early in the morning and been hit by a wall of warm stale air) I used to have a wash and shave at about 4am this I found helped to stay alert/awake.
      Coffee also helped. Don't go on the piss the night before guard duty, staying alert for 24 hours is hard enough without suffering from a hangover at the same time. :o

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      • #4
        Well the US Navy gives it's pilots speed, but I suggest you don't go this route.

        My brother's boss used to work for NASA Air Services (providing oxygen, hydrogen for fuel and nitrogen for cooling). If there was an "issue" they would often have to stay on site for 72 hours and would get little if any sleep. The problem then came in the drive home - how to stay awake in the car. One option was to set the air conditioning to the coldest possible setting, divert the cold air to your feet and take your shoes and socks off.
        Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Victor
          One option was to set the air conditioning to the coldest possible setting, divert the cold air to your feet and take your shoes and socks off.
          Air conditioning in a guard room...now theres a way of making some money.

          Victor, thank you for your suggestion, however removing ones boots whilst on guard duty wouldnt go down very well with the o.o.
          It`d be funny , but it wouldnt go down well.

          Regards etc
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Joshua
            Victor, thank you for your suggestion, however removing ones boots whilst on guard duty wouldnt go down very well with the o.o.
            And possibly with the rest of the squad

            Yes I realise it would have effects on rapid response etc., but the idea of keeping people (just?) below optimum temperature rather than in a stuffy atmosphere is still valid.

            I'm sure keeping your feet at 10 degrees for 24 hours would be even more unpopular.

            What about getting people to do practical tasks (no, not floor scrubbing) during the duty - lectures, presentations, advanced weapons training, etc.
            Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

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            • #7
              Can recall my first ever 24 hour guard, many, many moons ago, like it was
              yesterday.

              Picture the scene... watching the last 10 mins of Salems's Lot on the telly.
              2 am comes, and it's now my turn to go out on the beat. Was bad enough going
              out with the hair standing on the back of my neck, after Salem's Lot, think what
              I was like after a sudden, loud screeching and scratching sound. Didn't have any
              problems staying awake after that !!!

              Was nearly writing out a report as to the reason for the discharge of ball ammo,
              writing a letter to some old dear as to how her pet cat got blown away,
              and submitting an expense report to the DoD for a new pair of jocks !!!!

              In all fairness, there's a strong case for guard duties of this kind to be made
              12 hr, rather than the current 24...
              "Well, stone me! We've had cocaine, bribery and Arsenal scoring two goals at home. But just when you thought there were truly no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player!" (Jimmy Greaves)!"

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              • #8
                So many stories..
                The Gardai were notorious in the 70s and 80s for doing double and sometimes treble shifts,and as expected,sleep during these times was inevitable..
                The trick was not to get caught.
                One individual,after working 20 hours straight through,was feeling the tiredness,and accepting his fate,decided to appear to carry out his duties as normal.
                This involved tying his issue garda reflective belt(which have a strong canvas back through the bars in the railings outside the embassy or government building he was assigned to protect. Belt would then be tied around garda issued waist,and prevent the garda from falling over,should he fall asleep. Sleep came easy,however he woke to find himself looking at the shoes and distinctive cloured trousers of a Garda officer above inspector,from under the peak of his cap.. Knowing that sleeping on duty while on Post was a disciplinary offence,which would hit the pocket..he thought for a while, and realised the officer had not noticed his now open eyed state,his eyes obscured by the peak of his garda cap.

                He raised his head,blessed himself,mumbled 'amen' and then 'sorry sir,was just saying a few prayers there....'


                Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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                • #9
                  I remember my last patrol harbour as a Pte In Stranahealy I was on Security and we were trting to keep the 2 stars awake for stand to! So I went around the camp asking eack shell scrape had they seen The Blair witch Project, I was told to Fcuk off a lot. But I left the Camp and had a great kip in the back of the CO's nissan :D apparently they were opening up on shadows all night!
                  Friends Come and Go, but Enemies accumulate!!

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                  • #10
                    Plenty of washing walls & windows will definitely keep the guard awake:D
                    Live long and prosper!

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