31 December 2007

Start earning your free air travel points.....

Mission to Mosoul, Iraq: Part 1. I was told to get my team ready, but after our first mission, I knew to ask more questions. Where exactly where we going and what should be bring. I knew we were not going to bring all of our equipment—we’d have to hire a donkey to carry all the crap we had. This trip was going to be by helicopter. Oh joy, I hadn’t been in a helicopter in almost a year. It was a safer way to travel unless gravity beat you down.
We packed up our personal stuff, then I split the team gear up to shove into duffel bags and ruck sacks. We still had to take one Pelican case of stuff. The commander still couldn’t give me much into….he only knew that since a mess tent was blown up in Mosoul on Dec 22, it was crazy up there.
We had “reservations” on a Black Hawk flight out of Baghdad. This was good, as we would not be on “Space A” but our orders would give us a bird of our own. (The Army flew Black Hawks like a bus service all day long from one camp to another. Normally you just got on if there was room, but our orders gave us our own bird.)
We loaded our junk and ourselves on and took off. This was my first time seeing Baghdad from the air. What a mess. Even without the war, it looked like hell. I found some of my team had never flown on a helicopter before and they had just given us a brand new “terp” since the last one got fired a few days before. I just hope nobody gets airsick……
To be cont.

30 December 2007

Sight picture, trigger press

From the Soldier side: When asked: "CI-Roller dude, how did you get your team and yourself to keep going out over and over whilst in Iraq?"
I know some of you reading this are in leadership positions, and others are, but don't yet know it. I used a combination of things to get my team and the teams I took over to keep going. I didn't tell when we were going into Falljuah on our first mission, I could tell my lads were a little uptight the morning we got up before the mission. I looked at them and could see it on their faces. As we loaded stuff from our tin cans (trailers) to take with us, I told them: "we need to go eat a big breakfast! Eggs, bacon, sausage, coffee, orange juice, toast, everything we can eat!"
The younger soldier looked at me and had a puzzled face and said: "I'm not sure I can eat anything right now..."
I looked him right in the eyes and said: "Men, you can't shit your pants in fear on an empty stomach."
That got them to breath, laugh and we had chow and drove on..... Don't forget the basics! Sight picture, trigger press...control your breathing.... LIVE!
I promise, Mission to Mosoul is coming soon....

29 December 2007

Operation: Mil-Support

From the Soldier side: (cause nobody wants to hear any cop stories). When asked: "CI-Roller, what can you say about Mil-Support?"
Let me continue my story.
We left Falljuah on a humvee convoy. I think it was the first and last time our company commander and first sergeant went on a convoy, but they both got Bronze Stars.
My team and I got back to Baghdad...now remember, we had only been in country for a few days when we got a mission, so we didn't even have a room when we left. So when we got back after New Years 05, we had to find our gear we left behind...lucky one of the Bosnia Vets looked out for us and kept it.
We collected our stuff, then had to find a room. Due to my rank, I was lucky enough to only have to share a room with one person. We got was used to be a kitchen before the occupation. Right then it was full of trash. We spent hours cleaning it out before we went to the mailroom to collect our packages that had been sitting there for weeks...Christmas packages.
My room mate and I found some plywood and should have filmed an episode of "this old house" as we made a door for our room. Several other regular army soldiers were impressed with our skills and asked if we could make a door for them...
Now we had a room, we found some beds and repaired them...then we picked up our mail.
It was great! No complaints...I opened so many packages of food, shampoo, soap, magazines...you name it, my friends, family and some people I didn't even know (yet) sent stuff. I had so much stuff, I had to sort it out...I put the food in one box, and other needed things in another box. I was so happy, I had tears coming down my cheeks. (Don't ever tell anyone, nobody thinks I can cry.)
It was the best Christmas ever...thanks to a bunch of people who took the time to think of stuff I could use...
The next day we were given a "CRAP-O" (a crap-0 is when you don't even have enough info to give a FRAG-O) to get ready for another mission...seems they needed our help in a place called Mosoul, Iraq. But, first, I had to write letters and send e-mails telling everyone I got the pack they had sent, I could pack my gear later... sleep after all is over rated.
To be cont.

What evil men can do!

From the Soldier side: When asked: "CI-Roller dude, what's the worst thing you've seen men do?"
Well, not counting drunks, I'd have to give you a list of things. If you look at the war in Bosnia, I saw the remains of what men can do to others...I still don't understand it...maybe they were drunk when they did it. But this photo is from a newly started graveyard for an area in Bosnia. Years after the war, they were still digging up hidden mass graves and finding men who'd been murdered during the war.
When I talked to some of those who survived, they told me that before the war, they all lived next to each other... married from different groups and religions...nobody cared who you prayed to. Then men went crazy and hundreds of thousands of people died.
As a cop, I've seen how people can treat other people... little difference except in every day life, maybe they're not killing each other...
My opinion? We need to treat people like it's the last day we'll ever see them...friends and family.
Don't worry, the Mosoul story is coming... got to keep you waiting though... build up the suspense.

27 December 2007

Working Together...

From the Soldier Side: What I still can't understand is how the different sects in Iraq can hate each other so much. I mean if the Army and the Marines could work together in Fallujah, then anyone should be able to...right?
I have to tell you, I was so glad I got to work with the 1st Marine Division in Fallujah...they were the best. I worked for several units whilst in Iraq, but do you know which patch I chose to wear as my combat patch on my right sleeve? Even though it's not really authorize, I wear the 1st MAR DIV patch! And so far no body's had the balls to tell me to take it off and put on an Army patch.
Semper Fi, Rock on...
While we were in Fallujah, our Christmas presents from home were waiting in Baghdad. We convoyed back to "home" a few days after New Years day 2005. We had to find a room to live in, then pick up our mail. We were home for 2 days, when we got the next mission.
Next mission...to be cont.
Here's a little hint:
Mess Tent Blast Kills 15 GIs
60 Hurt in Mosul; Attack Is Deadliest On a U.S. Base

BAGHDAD, Dec. 22, 2004 -- An explosion tore through a crowded U.S. military mess tent in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Tuesday, killing at least 22 people and wounding about 60. Fifteen of the dead were U.S. soldiers, and most of the casualties were Americans who had just sat down to lunch.

26 December 2007

What I didn't get for Christmas....

Merry Christmas...How many people didn't get what they wanted for Christmas? If you answered: "Me" then you must have set your expectations too high. All I wanted for Christmas was a BAR, and I didn't get it...but I'll be OK.
The Falljuh Christmas story had a happy ending... what did you expect?
However, while my team was in Falljuh, our main base of operations was in Baghdad...so everything our family and friends sent us for Christmas was sitting there. Our commander said they would bring up the boxes waiting for us...but they never came. So, we got back to Baghdad a few days after New Years Day... and that will lead into another story later.

25 December 2007


Merry Christmas to all. For Sgt Grumpy, and all my other friends in Iraq.... remember Christmas at Eagle Base in Bosnia in 2003....
And for my new friends in TEXAS...Merry Christmas and I hope everyone gets what they want for Christmas.

24 December 2007

Christmas Eve, Fallujah, IZ 2004

From the Soldier side: OK, everyone's been telling me to get to the story end...
Christmas, Fallujah, IZ 04...Part 8:
As we loaded into our M1114 armored Humvee, I heard the 155mm cannons fire 2 rounds. I knew they were not just shooting for fun, so someone downtown was getting a whopping. We rolled out the gate heading towards the city. The Iraqi dude we were looking for could be in any kind of car...he changed often. I was really wondering what he had that the Marines were so interested in...I was thinking of all kinds of things. Maybe WMD, maybe the map to where Sadam was hiding out...ummmm...what could it be?
The further we go from the camp, the more amped up I got. My job was to get my Humvee and crew to provide cover whilst they did the transfer.
My mind started to wonder a little I was the day before Christmas, my second Christmas away from home in 2 years. But I wasn't going to cry about it...we had a job to do. Right now it looked very important.
Gunny called on the radio:"we have a car approaching....can't tell if it's him yet...be ready."
A small beat up car was slowly driving towards us...it was slowing down. As we got closer, Gunny said: "It's him, go around and provide security."
Gunny's humvee stopped and we drove past. I got out with my M16 as well as my driver. We could here rifle fire in the distance, but nothing close. I was really looking hard for anyone approaching. My gunner was in the turret. We had a good talk about not letting cars get close again and now he understood.
A few minutes had passed, when I looked towards the Iraqi car to see how they were doing.
Oh my gosh...we were going to have a good Christmas boys....they were loading cases of beer into the Humvee.
So much for General Order #1. Merry Christmas to all!

23 December 2007

Christmas Mission: Fallujah, IZ

From the Soldier side: I'll get right to the Christmas story, what are we up to....part 7?

Fallujah Christmas, Part 7: Operation Christmas Mission Fallujah, Iraq. By Christmas Eve 2004 my team and I had done a few jobs into Fallujah with the Marines. They always took good care of us and I know I learned a lot from them.
On Christmas Eve, The Gunny we were working with came over to where I was working and asked if my team could be ready to go on a mission in less than an hour. I said sure and I gave the team a "warn-o" (warning order to get ready for a mission.)
We checked out the SAW and ammo, I did a PCI (Pre Combat Inspection) on my team and we were ready to roll in 3o minutes.
Gunny came over to where we were loading the M1114 and got us all together for the "convoy brief" (this should always be done before any covoy. It covers who, what where etc and what the mission is.)
This mission was simple: We were going to drive towards the city of Fallujah, we were looking to meet up with an Iraqi dude. He'd be driving by himself, but Gunny didn't know what kind of car he'd be in, so we would have to be really alert. When we found the dude, we would put out security to protect him and there would be a transfer of "items" from the Iraqi dude's car to Gunny's humvee. Then we'd move back to camp.
I didn't want to ask what the transfer would be...I was assuming it would be info on WMD or some such stuff. Very imporant stuff...I assumed...

The radios were checked, good comms, the fuel tanks full, full load of ammo, all ready to roll....

to be cont.

22 December 2007

Where is everyone?

From the Soldier side: I've discovered it's rather difficult to tell a story and try to keep some things "classified." Sorry for all the confusion. But this is the story of what I did in Iraq from Dec 2004 to Dec 2005. I'm home... I can look back and laugh...it's therapy for me.
Some days I don't laugh... but my story will continue now.. it's almost most Christmas.. in current time and in this story.
Fallujah, IZ, Part 7:
If you've ever seen any movie about ghost, that's what Fallujah looked like in Dec 04. The streets were almost empty. My team and I rolled into down town with the Marines. Two Humvees, and a few very frightened National Guard troops. The Marines had been fighting for a while..they were tired... but they kicked the insurgents butts. Our first trip to town was un-eventful... except when we went on a roof. Seems some insurgents were still playing sniper...but they sucked.
We did stuff in town, then went back to the camp.
A few days later, the Marines asked us to go a second time. We were the last vehicle of a 2 vehicle convoy, so my gunners job was to cover our "6 O'clock." That means no civilian cars should get close and none should pass us...they were assumed to be bad guys.
Well, as we stopped at a check point, a civilian vehicle came up and passed...my gunner failed at his job. Nothing happened, and the vehicle drove by... He was new...the "other guys" traveling with us got really mad at my gunner and let him know it. So we continued into town and this time on the way back, I got on the gun...
Heck, I am pretty good with machine guns and stuff...this should be easy. We rolled on back towards camp. The rules of engagement at that time were any vehicles coming up had to stop when we put up our hand...if they continued, there were no warning shots...it was a burst to the driver.
So, there we are at a check point...everything looked good, then here comes a civilian van. I yell out: "Vehicle at 6 O'clock!" I put up my hand and swing the muzzle around....it kept coming.
I was getting ready to pull the trigger and let go a burst..I had my sights lined up, clicked off the safety, ready, ready...then the vehicle comes to a stop.
I looked and saw hajji with his family in the van. A Marine runs up and yells for me not to fire...it was some Iraqi government guy and his family.
I almost smoked them... I was so glad I had the confidence to know my skills and I waited before hosing them down...that would have been hard to live with.
There, J, I feel better today... the Christmas story to come soon. -D
To be cont....

21 December 2007

This is some scary s.... man

OK, I'll just get right into part 6.
Falljuah, Dec 04, Part 6: What we're here for.
The Marines were great. The Army dudes we were replacing were so burned out that we did a handover in just a few days...and let them rest. It was an eye opener for me. The Marines wanted me to chat with some of the "persons" we had. Many of them were not from Iraq...so they were there for the Jihad.
Why did so many Islamic pukes come from other places to kill Americans? They were spun up on what happened at Abu Grabe Prison. In my opinion they should have taken everyone who took photos and did improper stuff at Abu Grabe and executed them. What they did made fuel for the fire for thousands of foreign fighters to come to Iraq and kill Americans. Those who were leaders at Abu Grabe and those who did the stupid childish things there, have the blood of hundreds of dead Americans on their hands. It's too bad they seem to lack the intelligence to understand that.
After we were in Camp Fallujah for a while, the Marines we were working with said they needed us and our armored humvee to roll into town with them.... they said with our vehicle they would have enough to make a convoy to "do something" in town. We just needed to borrow an M-249 SAW and we were ready... except my lowest ranking soldier had never fired a SAW. So I had to give him a quick class. "Here's the feed tray, the safety, the trigger....fire 6-7 round burst."
(You will never see the M-249 SAW on my list of favorite weapons. It is a POS. )
I tried to tell our command that everyone in our unit needed to be qualified on all the weapons we might use. They said that wouldn't be necessary. Wrong.
So we rolled into the city of Mosque with the Marines...and a few other guys whom I can't even say what type of Unit they were in, but there's a TV show about this Unit on these days.
to be cont.

20 December 2007

It snows in Bosnia!

From the Soldier side: OK, I've been going on about Iraq too much in the last few postings. My Bosnia deployment was really much better...I mean we all got arrested and all.
What? Say it ain't so...the CI-Roller Dude is a cop in civilian life, how could he get "arrested" in Bosnia and just before Christmas?
Well, our jobs required us to go outside the camps. I'm not sure if some people stuck on the camp resented that or what...but rumors from things the last rotations did spread and got mixed with things some of our teams might have actually done...I don't know for sure. I know I did my job and stayed out of trouble.
So, just before Christmas, all the outer teams were called back to the main camp. We had to turn in our weapons, ammo and badges...and we were told we were restricted to the camp.
CID (Criminal Investigation Division) interviewed us all...those of us whom the command felt were good soldiers were interviewed first...then cleared and told to go back to work.
However, we sat at the main camp through Christmas...and all our mail and packages from home were sitting at the outer camps we were assigned to...so we didn't get to open our Christmas packages until well after Christmas. Screwed again by the Army and the lack of decent leadership.
Who was finally charged after all the investigations? Most of the officers and some senior NCOs. A former team leader of mine was later investigated for something else, relieved of his command and it was given to me... of course without a promotion.

Part 6 of Fallujah will come later....enjoy your Christmas, because the Fallujah Christmas had a good and bad part.

Suck it up, drive on, and survive Christmas?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

From the Soldier side: When asked: "CI-Roller dude how did you make it through Christmas and all the other holidays, birthdays, and other stuff when you were away?"
I wish I had an answer. I think humor helped me the most. This time of year some people have other little battles going on...even back home. Sometimes it's someone who's passed on, sometimes it's someone we wish would pass on. (Like, "I hate that SOB, I wish he/she would die.")
Then there's the depressing part for people like Sgt Grumpy who's in Iraq now, and according to his recent blog post, he may have just realized something about the Iraqis that I didn't want to tell him...they are not worth "freeing." They are backwards, dumbass, lying, untrustworthy, stupid people. So, what the hell should Grumpy be fighting for? I'll tell you. He should be fighting for the same thing I did when I was there...to save and protect the lives of the other troops.
Despite what some well meaning citizens think...we don't fight for our country and freedom and all the crap. When we go to war, we fight for the person standing next to us... our mission is to help all the other troops survive!

Part 5, our job in Fallujah, IZ:
So the Marines turned out to be very nice, professional and good people. When ever you go and have to work with someone new, you always worry a little about how you'll get along. I always try to do what I can to get along with people...unless I have to kill them.
These guys were great! They gave us a tour of the little camp within a camp. As we were walking in the equipment container, the staff sergeant showing me around asked: "Do you guys need anything?"I explained about the lack of ammo we had. He looked shocked that we rolled up with only a few rounds. He handed me ammo cans full of 5.56 MM and 9MM ammo. I felt like a kid at Christmas. I had never been so happy to get bullets. I mean I'm a range master back home for the PD. When I needed ammo, I just picked up the damn phone and had it delivered! If I had known the Army wouldn't give me ammo for war, I would have brought my own.
Anyway, the ammo problem was now taken care of. We could go go work.
Our job? can't say much about it...but we got the privilege to "chatting" with a bunch of little turd insurgents who'd been captured. I can tell you, the ones we talked to were not very impressive. A boy/girl scout troop could have taken them out.
to be cont.

17 December 2007

The "Fallujah Marines."

From the Soldier side: My teams first mission as most know, was in Fallujah, Iraq. I won't go on about it too much, you can read about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Battle_of_Fallujah

as well as other sites. If I knew then what I know now, I think I would have called in sick.

Part 4, we arrive at Fallujah. As we got out of the Humvees, it took me a few seconds to get my legs working. I had either driven on been a passenger on many convoys a lot longer than this trip, but not as scary. We were greeted by the Army team we were here to replace. They looked very burnt out. One agent had been helping the Marines look through the dead insurgents to figure out who they were... he had the joy of being able to speak, read and write Arabic, so he was well used up. I had never seen anyone who looked so burnt out.
We were escorted to where the senior Marine Sergeant was, and I met the guy we were going to work for.
I can't mention his name, but he was a Marine Gunny (E-7) who was a Marine Reserve who'd been on many deployments. He was also a cop in is civilian life...so we got along good. We had plenty of coffee, but couldn't locate any donuts.
Just as I was being introduced to "Gunny" an Army 155 MM cannon went off without warning. I had been around a lot of loud noises in my life, but that cannon caught me off guard---good thing I had just gone to the latrine.
"Gunny" looked at me and saw my expression, and said: "it's out going....don't worry."
Each time a 155mm cannon went off, I thought it was taking out a city block in Fallujah. The battle was not over.

To be cont.

16 December 2007

Al Falluja, "The City of Mosque"

From the Soldier side: I think "GOOGLE" is great, I first used their search to find a person of interest while working in Bosnia. The photo is from Google Earth, it makes Falluja, Iraq look like a nice city. I'm sure the image was from before the Battle of Falluja, because by Dec 2004, about 70-80% of the city was gone.
The USMC and US Army went in and cleared out the F.F.I. (foreign fighter insurgents) those that weren't killed or hadn't escaped were captured. They had a lot of detainees who were in need of a chat.
Part 3, Convoy to Falluja:
Just as my team and I were about to get into the humvees, the supply sergeant came out. He slipped me a few boxes of ammo. I split them with my team. So now I had two magazines...but the ammo he just handed me was all 5.56 mm tracers. I had one mag with all tracers. Not ideal, but better than nothing.
As I recall, the ride to Falluja was pretty quick. As we got closer to Falluja, the only vehicles allowed on the roads were military. Any other vehicle was fair game to be shot at...without any question. I have been a cop for over 25 years, been to a lot of shit, but this ride had me soo on edge, anything might have made me loose it.
Our absolutely useless training warned us that anything could be an IED...every pile of crap I saw, had me worried. The humvees never slowed and drove at top speed to every check point. I didn't like sitting still at the check points, but as soon as we passed, the driver had it in overdrive in no time. 400 Cubic Inch GM turbo diesel with Over Drive.... still moved too slow for someone used to a Ford Crown Vic that could move at 120MPH.
We rolled into the front entrance to Camp Falluja without incident. Drove over to where the Marines we were going to help were and un-assed the vehicles.
To be cont.

15 December 2007

New info to help spot a Taliban

This is to help Sgt Grumpy and his friends in Iraq...

Ten signs of a Taliban:
10. You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection tobeer.
9. You own a $300 machine gun and a $5,000 rocket launcher, but youcan't afford shoes.
8. You have more wives than teeth.
7. You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.
6. You can't think of anyone you HAVEN'T declared Jihad against.
5. You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry IEDs in your robe.
4. You've never been asked, "Does this burka make my ass look fat?"
3. You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other thansetting off roadside bombs.
2. You've uttered the phrase, "I love what you've done with your cave."
1. You wipe your butt with your bare left hand, but consider bacon unclean.

Don't leave home without it....

From the Soldier side: Sorry, no photo today... the computer I'm using doesn't have my stash of digtal images. Over the years, and in the last few weeks, many people have asked: "What kind of stuff should we send the Joes and Janes in places like Iraq."
If you know what camp or FOB (Forward Operting Base) they're at, you may find out what size of PX they have...if any. I was at some places where all they had for a PX was an empty room. If they're at a place like Camp Victory in Baghdad, it's like a friggen Walmart with machine guns.
If they are without a PX, then almost anything you need for everyday life will be in short supply. Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, snacks, porn, beer, etc. (No, forget the porn and beer, it's a violation of General Order #1, which states: "All military personal and attached civilians will have nothing that would allow them to have fun.")
Even though the PX may have beef jerkey, don't be afraid to send it...Cliff bars were good becasue they don't melt. Letters from kids etc are great too.
My savior was the folks who sent me fresh coffee beans and a grinder. I ran my own Starbucks.

Christmas story, Falluja 2004, Part 2.
So, we gathered all our gear and were setting it out by the M1114 Up-Armored Humvees. We were riding into Falluja with the unit we were replacing. They had a "team" in Falluja helping the USMC and we were to ride there and get a "Hand over" and take over.
The LT from the outgoing unit was the convoy commander. He did a PCI (Pre Combat Inspection) of my team and me. We had everything we needed, except a basic load of ammo. I had one 28 round magazine (I always loaded the mag 2 round short to reduce jams) for my M-16...and 5 rounds of 9mm for my M-9.
The LT almost sh-- his pants. He asked if we came to Iraq with no ammo...and I just looked towards our idiot captain and shrugged my shoulders. Into the vehicles we went...and on the convoy to Falluja, Iraq.

to be cont.

12 December 2007

5 Star Hotel...I don't think so

From the Soldier side: I was talking to a young LT the other day at drill. When she was in Iraq, she was stationed in Camp Victory, Baghdad. She didn't believe me when I said any camp with running water was good.
If you ever saw the movie "Platoon" you may remember the part where the star of the movie was put on "latrine duty". In those days in Viet Nam (I was never there, I'm not that old) latrines were usually built with wood. You sat over a half barrel and did your business in the barrel. When the barrel was about half full, some poor private had to pull the barrel out, fill it with flammable fuel, stir it and light it.
What a smell...burning crap.
There was a camp I was at in Iraq that used that same method. They had no running water, but lots of ammo. The camp was hit so many times, we had to wear our body armor just to go to the latrine. No crap.

11 December 2007

Don't leave home without it....

From the Cop side: When asked: "CI-Roller dude, what do you carry at work?"
If you were a cop and in charge of the weapons training etc, and could authorize anything.... what would you carry? Well, would you carry something in .45 caliber? That's a good start. But an old fashion 1911 only holds 7 or 8 rounds and you have to carry it "locked & cocked" - which freaks non-gun people out.
But you like that "1911" feel. So, let see what could we do...?
How about a Para- LDA 14 shot .45 caliber? Our department issues the Glock in .40 caliber...now that's a nice "IPG" Idiot Proof Gun, but I have shot 1911 for so many years I just had to go that way.
I carry an "M-9" Beretta Mod 92 in 9mm when I play Army...for a 9mm I think it's a very good weapon. The problem is the 9mm rounds the military has to use suck.
When people ask what kind of pistol they should get, I suggest trying a few out and see what you like. Why just buy one, when you should own a few. For new shooters, take a class for someone who knows what they're doing.
Merry Christmas.
Update: I asked Sgt Grumpy at http://sgtgrumpy.blogspot.com/ to try and post stuff more often so I know he's OK...even if it's just a photo of a donkey. He listens well. Hope you get the stuff I sent before Christmas. My Christmas in Iraq was very special...I'll make everyone wait until just before Christmas before I tell the story...we were in Falluja in 04.
For the younger folks reading this. The first thing I teach anyone about guns is SAFETY! Look at the NRA site http://www.nrahq.org/education/guide.asp for some basics. Guns should only be used safely for good purposes. Everytime someone uses a gun the wrong way, it makes it more difficult for the "good people" who use guns to be able to keep that right.

05 December 2007

A "Perk" of the job:

From the Soldier and Cop side: One of the best parts of my police job and my soldier job are getting to play with so many weapons. This photo is of someone holding a captured Iraqi machine gun in some place we were at in Iraq. It was in very good condition, which was unusual for most of the captured weapons I got to play with.
This would have made a very nice deer rifle. I'm going to start adding a list of my favorite firearms. I've shot a lot and I have a little bit of knowledge... so if anyone wants to discuss guns, e-mail me.
Merry Christmas..if you give anyone a Teddy Bear for Christmas, please name it Mohammad.

04 December 2007

Call me after everyone else has gone at least once!

From the citizen Soldier side: As some of my fans know, our National Guard unit is telling some of us we have to deploy again. As I've whined before, this would be the third long deployment for some of us...but, my complaints are many.
How come there's so many others in my MOS who've not ever deployed and it looks like they never will?
The "leaders" we have who're telling us we "have to go" and have no choice, are some of the same knuckelheads who've never gone to a combat zone or in some cases, have never deployed anywhere.
The Danger Mines sign is from Bosnia. I didn't get the T-shirt, I was outside the wire where these friggen signs were posted. In Iraq, they didn't have them because we assumed everything was an IED.
I am quickly loosing any little respect I had for our leaders (again). They are knuckelheads...what are they going to do? Send me to some crappy place again?
Merry Christmas.

He was the door gunner on the Space Shuttle....

From the Soldier side: If you're in the military or, even in civilain Police work, you've run into the soldier or cop who's done it all. He (or she) knows it all. They've done everything and seen it all. When they tell their stories of what they've done, you are amazed.
They say things like: "when I was in Iraq I did bla, bla, bla." Or, even funnier is the ones who've never deployed, but know it all. And there are the civilain cops who have never been in a fight, but have some great stories to tell.
My favorite line was whilst someone was telling his stories, we added: "and he was the door gunner on the space shuttle."
When you run into that type, try not to laugh too hard, they need the attention and they may go off on you if you challange them about their B.S.
Have a good Christmas...
Oh yeah, Sgt Grumpy (http://sgtgrumpy.blogspot.com/ ) said something about me being tagged or some such nonesense.... since anyone who really knows who my real ID is, would suspect that it's impossible for me to actually have the computer skills to make a blog..I'm going to ignore it and see what happens...the rules of the game are too complicated for me.
I've got a new name for what the US Military is doing with the Guard and Reserve...I'm calling it the BIG SUCK. Because they're sucking some people up because they happen to be able to actually do their damn jobs. I'm going to start screwing everything up...maybe they'll make me a damn cook or something.

27 November 2007

The best part of the job....

When asked: "CI-Roller dude, what do you enjoy most about your jobs?" That would have to be the chance to shoot so many weapons over the years. There are a few that are my all time favorites. Anything that shoots full auto and I don't have to pay for the ammo is good...but there are some that are better than others. Like the MP-5. The M-2 Browning .50 cal is another one I like. Remember gun safety anytime you are handdeling a firearm. Always treat them as if they are loaded. If you own a firearm, take a safety course if you have not had one. Most people can learn a lot from taking a course by a professional. I've seen many shooters who thought they could shoot because they had a gun.... Only hits count.
Yeah, I support the second amendment.
And for my good friend, Sgt Grumpy who's in the IZ now (http://sgtgrumpy.blogspot.com/) don't trust anyone but your partners. Always double tap, do tactical reloads, keep your weapons clean at all times, and make it home.

18 November 2007

He was driving what?

From the Soldier side: Anyone who's been "outside the wire" in Iraq has seen one of these. It's an Iraqi Taxi. They are white and orange, usually a Toyota, but I've seen other brands.
Once we were helping out a unit who'd just arrived in Iraq. I can't really say what help we were giving them, but they had one local who claimed some insurgent was driving a white and orange Toyota. The new unit didn't know that was about the most common type of car in the area we were in.
They sent out a patrol and on their list of wanted people was this guy driving a white and orange Toyota.
They brought in 7 people the first day out. Until we explained to them that the Iraqi Taxis were white and orange. oops.
This will be a good Thanksgiving for me...I'm home with my family. But I have several friends in Iraq who'll be eating KBR chow this year. Good luck guys.

Update to this issue: Someone e-mailed me and wanted to know where this picture was taken. Between Dec 2004 and when I left Iraq a year later, I was sent on so many missions all over Iraq that I lost track. I think it's Al Asad. I was based in Baghdad, went to Fallujah, etc etc. If I list all the places I went with and without my team, too many people might guess who I am.

15 November 2007

Morons as Leaders, We survived Iraq anyway

From the Soldier side: Some e-mails I got about my last entry... made me have flashbacks to my year in Iraq. Although I'm in the California Army National Guard and I deployed as far as Kuwait with my Calif. unit, once in Kuwait, a Regular Army unit grabbed a bunch of us.
At first I thought this would have been a good thing. However, I quickly learned that the "new Army" is nothing like the good old Army I had served in years before.
The unit I was attached to was run by blithering idiots. From the Battalion Commander down to the Company level. I was so happy when my team got sent out on long missions and got to work with cool people like the USMC.
How stupid was this Regular Army unit? The first sergeant wanted us to have stand up formations outside every morning--- and we were only 100 meters from the camp wall. On the other side of the wall was Baghdad.
My first self appointed mission when I took over as the NCOIC of the teams was to make sure the company "leaders" didn't poke their noses into what our teams did. Our teams were very special and the company was only supposed to get us beans and bullets. They didn't do very well on the second part and had no idea of the tactics required to move about outside the camp.

Oh well, I could go on for hours.

09 November 2007

Non-Deployable Chickens

From the Soldier side: Here's a funny thing. A long time ago when I was in the Regular Army, I figured I'd have to go fight a war somewhere sometime. It never happened and I was discharged. Years later I joined the California Army National Guard. The first years were normal-- I went to earthquakes, floods, fires and drug interdiction missions.
Then Nine Eleven happened. I knew I'd have to go somewhere and do something...so what did I do when my enlistment was about to run out? I re-enlisted for 6 more years. Why? Because I'm a dumbass.
Since Nine Eleven I've run across many people in the National Guard and have heard of many active duty Army soldiers who have done everything they can to not get deployed. They claim injuries, family problems and all kinds of crap to stay home. The part that really upsets me is many of these people have not and will never deploy and THEY STILL GET PROMOTED!
I've been deployed twice for a total of 24 months. It screwed up my job and my family, but I still did my duty. In my opinion, these non-deployable pukes should be kicked out if they have not deployed at least once. And if they won't deploy, they should not get promoted. We now have lots of good soldiers who've deployed and have real world experience in our jobs who can lead very well...they should get promoted.
That's my rant for the day. Have a good Veteran's Day and don't forget who it's brought to you by. -D.

05 November 2007


From the Cop side: I'm still amazed at how many people still think they can drive after they've been drinking. Maybe they went to a club or a bar, or stopped and had a few with dinner. Whatever the method, the problem is the same.
This photo is from a 20 something year old female who went to a bar with a couple of her friends. She and her friends had more than a few drinks. She thought she could drive everyone home.
Lucky, only the fire hydrant and the car suffered. She destroyed her car, the damage to the hydrant was about $10,000. The DUI fines, court cost, attorney fees, increase in her her car insurance will cost even more.

29 October 2007

Captured cut up weapons

From the Soldier side: One of the best "jobs" I was on, was in Bosnia. It was beautiful country, nice folks, and lots of guns and explosives still floating around.
The photo is what was supposed to happen when weapons were turned into SFOR. I did read some news accounts of some ending up in other countries later on---even Iraq.

28 October 2007


From the Soldier side: When asked: "CI-Roller dude, did you know any heros in Iraq?"
I have to answer with "I knew a bunch."
I my opinon, anyone who was willing to go out into Baghdad everyday just to do their job was a HERO!
We had a few who didn't want to go outside the wire, but we had a bunch more who did. This is one of the teams. Their faces are blacked out for Op-Sec.
What is a hero? Someone who does what has to be done when nobody else can or will do it.

24 October 2007

The Lightening Taxi-Airborne thing....

From the Soldier side: (sorry I'm not doing more stuff from the cop side, but this stuff is more exciting.) My good long lost friend Sgt Grumpy is working his mission in Iraq now. (see one of the blogs below for the link). I pray he stays safe and does not become as grumpy as me.
Some folks asked why I "volunteered" for Iraq back in 04. I mean I'd just returned from one deployment and I was supposed to not have to deploy for a whole year.
Well, our Battalion commander really needed us. (yeah, he just needed bodies) He swore that: "If you go now, at least you get to go with your own unit." Wow, that sounded good. To deploy to Iraq with my buddies-- many whom I'd deployed to Bosnia with. Some I'd been with for over 4 years.
Then, as soon as we got to Kuwait, they gave a bunch of us to a regular army unit. Oh well...they were just as "ate up" as any Guard unit.

The reason I volunteered.... my wife was having PMS the day I needed to sign the papers. Just kidding. I felt it was my duty.

19 October 2007

Too Much Fun!

From the Soldier side: When asked: "CI-Roller
Dude have you ever had a fun deployment?" Well, don't tell our command, but Bosnia was the most fun job I ever had. I couldn't figure out
how some soldiers who deployed with us
hated being there and were scared to death.
We did suffer from greedy, self serving leaders,
But my job was the best you could have in the
US Army.

The photo is one of our team members posing.

16 October 2007

A Good Leader!

From the Soldier side:
The person who got me interested in writing a blog will soon be going to Iraq. His blog is http://sgtgrumpy.blogspot.com/
Sergeant Grumpy was deployed with us to Bosnia (SFOR 14) and is one of the best soldiers I ever worked with as well as being one of the best humans I know. He's the kind of guy who would do anything for a friend or a fellow soldier.
Sgt Grumpy's blog for today talks about leaders. It seems he had at least one good one. With all the humor we try throwing out, I can be honest about one thing...good leaders are very very hard to find. I'm talking about leaders, not managers. I my lines of work we need leaders...not desk jockeys.
A leader knows how to do the job and can do it better than those he or she is leading. A leader knows those who work for him or her and knows how to get those who follow to do the job.
The good leader has people who ENJOY working for the leader and would not want to work with any other.
This is something you can't learn in a school...you can learn how to do it better, but the basics are not learned.
Check Sgt Grumpy's blog....he's talking about a good leader. If you don't understand, then move out of the way and let someone else lead.