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Military Ground Protection – Part 1: A Brief History of Military Flooring

Painting of "Knight at the Crossroads" depicting a dejected knight and his horse in front of a tombstone
"For want of a nail, the kingdom was lost.” (Knight at the Crossroads, by Victor Vasnetsov. State Russian Museum)

Confession time. History is a passion of mine. Specifically, military history. So why not bring that passion and relate it to my work? 

The more I thought about it, the more my passion and my work shared a certain overlap. So, as part of this "sharing the knowledge about ground protection," I thought I would share a bit about the military history of ground protection. 

Some of you are already bored - no worries! For those that aren't...

I like history because I like to learn about what happened before me. I like to relate to what people must have gone through in whatever time I am reading about. Because of this desire for empathy, I am more drawn to individual accounts, rather than high-level general accounts. 

Reading these low-level, "nitty-gritty" accounts, two things have always stood out to me. 1) life has always been challenging and 2) details matter. Oftentimes, it is the details that help life to be a little less challenging.

In that vein, I often remember the saying: "for want of a nail, the kingdom was lost."

There are many variations of this proverb, but one of them goes like this:

“For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”


This doesn’t mean that minor pieces of kit can win battles; rather, it tells us that small details can often have profound, far reaching effects.

To that end, I’d like to take you on a short journey through history, where flooring did just that: had a positive effect on mission accomplishment by enabling military units to be more effective at their jobs.

In subsequent posts, we’ll discuss how our partner-brand Bike Track came to be a player in this field and how they're still helping units accomplish their missions all over the globe.

We’ll explore the origin story of modern military flooring in our next post. Check back soon!

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