NYT on The Performance-Enhanced Military

During my deployments in Iraq there were often rumors that certain soldiers were taking steroids because of their sudden increase in physical size. When the unit deployed these soldiers looked no different from the average soldier, but upon completion of the deployment they looked Rambo-esque. Some soldiers felt that others were getting away with steroid use because these soldiers were rarely seen in the gym and because drug testing through urinalysis was rarely done by units while deployed.

Full Story – HERE

I don’t know how people can function on drinks like “Rip-it”. I once had a few Red Bulls back to back and felt terribly anxious, and even more thirsty then I was initially.  I suppose you get accustomed to it though.

I’m really surprised they don’t crack down more on steroid use while deployed. Especially considering mismanaged steroid use can quickly lead to heath problems and injuries.  I assume the side effect of aggression would occasionally have its advantages in combat.  It would be nice though if you could just turn it off and on.

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Linoge May 8, 2010 at 08:57 am

I cannot speak to steroid use in the military, but on the two deployments I embarked upon in the Navy, everyone came back in better condition than they left in, even my scrawny-assed twiggy self. Why? Well, there is not a whole lot else to do in what little spare time you have than to work out, and some people dive into that idea with a bloody vengeance.

Throw in some protein shakes, some amazingly intensive workout plans, and people who are more inclined to put muscle on their frames than me, and they came home buff.

But, I guess, it sells more newspapers to cast aspersions on the military as a whole on the basis of rumors, rather than simply recognize that effort tends to result in results.

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Admin (Mike) May 8, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Good point Linoge. I just hate to see guys push themselves too far at the expense of their health. I can imagine that the goals some people set when it comes to getting “bigger” is like an addiction in itself trying to attain them.

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Solomon May 8, 2010 at 09:44 am

you might also add that steroid testing is expensive as hell.

face it … if you really want to find steroid use then go take a look in SOCOM.

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Admin (Mike) May 8, 2010 at 11:50 pm

I never would have guessed it would be expensive. I figured it would be more of a “pee in this” type thing.

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Mike May 8, 2010 at 02:47 pm

That guy in the picture… How does he wipe?

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Admin (Mike) May 8, 2010 at 11:52 pm

LOL good point. Luckily constipation is a side effect of steroids :P

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Ross May 8, 2010 at 03:19 pm

Hahaha…i can say for a FACT that yes, steroid use occurs in deployment. Far more people than you think use them…and testing is so expensive as to make it unfeasible. Most steroids kill your cardiovascular endurance however, so it’s not really a good idea to start taking the stuff if your unit is going to be doing dismounted patrols through the mountains of afghanistan every day…you can have a heart attack, no joke. Of course, it all depends on what you take, how long you take it, and how much. But I have seen guys in my infantry company literally gain 30lbs in two weeks, and all the side effects that come with it, bloated face, mood swings, trouble sleeping, so on and so forth.

and as for the comment about SOCOM…the rumor is that the drugs are somewhat readily available to them, but who knows if this is true…i’ve seen some big SF guys and some small ones…couldn’t tell you.

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SPC Fish May 8, 2010 at 04:02 pm

most of the SF guys i see arent really big. they are lean and fit. big guys arent quiet and sneaky.

and ive never met a SF guy that was anything but chill. you cant be roid raging in a firefight and expect to make rational decisions.

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Admin (Mike) May 8, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Interesting info Ross. The mood swings and what not would make for an interesting dynamic haha

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Ross May 9, 2010 at 02:49 pm

yeah leadership typically doesn’t want troops going from homicidal to suicidal every five minutes…

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Chase May 9, 2010 at 12:50 pm

LOL @ the guy in the picture. Due to interference from his massive arms, it doesn’t look like he could get both hands on his pistol at the same time, or even on his M-16. He’d have to fire his Uzi one-handed like the Terminator. So much for SOCOM steroids, hahaha.

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