When you are in the military, you get a military driver’s license. In the Army, that means that you have to test on pretty much every vehicle and piece of kit that your job requires you to operate. In my case, I had trucks, HMMWVs, ground support equipment for the helicopters, and was cleared for railway operations (a surprisingly fun side job that most people tended to hate.) What I did not have on my record was tracked vehicles. Because I was in an aviation unit, we didn’t need tanks or armored personnel carriers. That was left up to other units. But about that railway operations certificate for a moment…remember how I noted how I loved that part of my job? It meant that I was legal to load and off-load vehicles off of a freight train and stacker cars. It meant that my entire day was rooted to moving vehicles. And it meant that if a vehicle was in the way at the ramp from the train and not in the gigantic sand pit of a parking area, that it needed to be there. Which meant that I could easily hop into something like a M577 command APC and hustle the big box out of the way. Never a tank, and only once in a Stryker, but still…two sticks to steer and enough weight to flatten a patrol car is a highly intoxicating setup for someone who normally drove a busted-ass HMMWV that could do zero to sixty MPH in about two weeks.
People who have driven tracks know how awesome it can be. People who have worked in close proximity to tracks get it too. But if you’ve never dealt with a tracked military vehicle, how would you react to your first time behind the wheel? Drew from Carfection hopped a flight from the U.K. to Minnesota to check out a place that literally lets you go joyriding in a variety of military vehicles. Drew doesn’t strike me as the ex-military type…or, if he actually is, he’s hiding it very well behind that child-like grin as he splashes through the mud!