Saturday, January 14, 2017

Reasons I Drank in the Army


           Sometimes I need a reminder that I do not miss the Army as much as I think I do. So here are three things I do NOT miss about the Army. After I wrote these I noticed they were more like rantings. Sorry about that.


Command Sergeants Major: No offense to my old leadership or friends who might have attained the rank, but I can only think of one good CSM I had in my sixteen year career. On the modern battlefield, where initiative and thinking outside the box at the lowest level were required, I would argue they actively worked against American forces with their “standards and discipline” rhetoric. That is great for the old line and column tactics however, in the current wars, it is detrimental to the unit. I had one approach me while giving a class to my squad in Afghanistan. He was complaining of finding one of my soldiers with their hands in their pockets, you know...in Afghanistan...in the winter. Oh the horror!! When I did not give answers that were to his liking, he told me to report to my First Sergeant and the two of us would report to him at some point. So I did, and together we went and got yelled at. To his credit, my First Sergeant told me to forget about it, just try to be more tactful in the future. However, consider the amount of wasted training and time spent that day because a soldier was keeping his hands warm...in the winter...in a war zone...against an enemy that was adapting to our tactics every second...and you will understand why the rank is something I absolutely do not miss dealing with.


CQ/Staff Duty: The absolute worst. Let us start at the beginning of the shift so I do not miss any of the awesomeness. The twenty-four hour shift officially begins at 0900 but you must show up for 0630 for physical training, you know, because you are trying to sham out, dirtbag. Then, you take over at 0900 from a guy that is rushing to get out of there as fast as they can. That is fair to him, but I feel really bad making him stay while I count out the bajillion loose keys...wait what number was I on, sorry guy, got to start over. The you have to deal with the CSM all day. Toward the end of the day you begin a cat and mouse game with the command trying to find out if they are actually leaving or coming back so you can feel like a clown calling “attention” or “at ease” to, really yourself sitting there. Thus begins the night time adventures of the infantry battalion filled with debauchery, DUI’s, and domestics. Here you get the privilege to call and wake up the First Sergeants of each offending solder, where they promptly tell you to “fuck off”. Be thankful if you were never in an airborne unit with fake call outs. By the way, why have I not seen the officer on duty yet during any of this shift? Then, at sometime between 0430 and 0630, the cat and mouse game would begin anew as you figure out who just parked and is walking in. Was it the CSM, LTC, or just some Lieutenant or Specialist? The last few hours are the worst, especially trying to figure out who is your replacement and trying to figure out how you get home safely. Finally and mercifully, your replacements show up fifteen minutes late and while you begin to pack up your stuff they ask, “Where is the inventory sheet?”. I am convinced Hell is Staff Duty for eternity.


The Airborne Timeline: Everything is packed into as little space as possible with as much movement as possible. Now, I am not blaming the Jumpmasters or the unit leadership for this, I know it is necessary in order to get Battalions/Brigades/Divisions out of the aircraft in a timely manner. However, it seems like the biggest cluster of shit ever!! Are the rucks rigged...manifest!!...draw weapons….manifest!!...where's the bubblewrap….MANIFEST!!! What a nightmare. But you aren't done yet. You’ll have to wait for transportation, do sustained airborne training, wait for trans again. Only then do you finally arrive and catch a breather at the JMC... only to be told to get your parachute and rig up. Once rigged, you sit in the harness for three hours, finally get JMPI’ed, only then, you have to pee so you de-rig and do that all over again. Meanwhile the Jumpmasters are circling up to discuss the latest rubber band SNAFU or misrouted static snap cord and briefing the rest of us how serious we should take it. Dude, I don’t care about a tangled static hook opener, just check my shit! After all of that the jump then gets canceled and you seriously want to murder someone as you just wasted hours of your life you’ll never get back. One last thing, remind me again, why there are airborne units? It seems like a huge waste of money…


Ok, I feel better now and definitely do not miss the Army so much. Let me know if you agree or disagree with me or what I missed. Finally, Go Pats!!

Check out more reasons I drank in part one here and part three here.

4 comments:

  1. Ha ha this is great! I definitely had people staring at me while I sit in the airport reading this and laughing out loud. These are great. Keep them coming.Thanks for the read brother, love you guys.

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    1. Thanks for the support, Joe. Be safe in your travels.

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  3. I think you forgot about being stuck on Post Police, or "Area Beautification"

    I'll tell you a little story. Before I deployed in 2005 I was in limbo for a bit, because they didn't know if I would pass a med board after I received my hearing aids. While I was going through the evaluating process, they moved me to rear detachment. Well I found out those guys pretty much did nothing but CQ and Post Police.

    You think getting stuck with a CSM is bad, well get stuck with the IG of the base for a few days, while he watches your detail like a hawk to make sure you get every cigarette butt off the side of the road, and the front of the NCO club is spotless, after everyone pitches in to rake it.

    Well, I had to endure about a week of it before I got a lucky break. I was picking up trash in a line with the rest of my group, and a new soldier drove past me and threw litter at me out the window. I picked it up and it turned out to be the guy's temporary ID tag for his car. Walking over to the IG, I hand him the crumpled up paper, and that man got a big sadistic smile on his face, because the soldier's name, and replacement company were clearly listed on it. The IG gave me the rest of the day off, I still had to show up the next day though.

    I show up the next day, and we had a new member of our post police gang. A rather pissed off soldier complaining how he had only been here two days, and got sent to post police as punishment for littering.

    A couple days later I was cleared by the med board after they determined I could continue in my MOS while wearing my hearing aids, and I deployed with my unit shortly afterwards.

    I don't miss that detail, but I do remember fondly the look of that face IG, when he finally caught a litterbug red handed.

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