From the Soldier side: As many of you know, several months ago I was on the list of soldiers in my unit to go to Kosovo. Yes, we still have some American Soldiers there. Why, I don' t know. I didn't have to go because there were lots of youngsters who had never been deployed anywhere yet....and thought this would be a good mission to "learn" how to do our job...(mess kit repair.)
However, they seem to have me on the "alternate" list for the next mission...this would be the Calif. Army National Guard 40th ID (Infantry Division) who'd be going. If I went, I'd be repairing mess kits....like I did in Bosnia and sort of like I did in Iraq--but without the tan clothes and body armor.
So, I've been "pinging" some of my mates who're in Kosovo right now...trying to get the good intel on what's going on so we can better prepare.
Each soldier is sending me an e-mail from different locations and offices---most don't know I've asked everyone what's up.... and they all say pretty much the same thing.
"It's like a European Vacation --but you get paid tax free." (in other words, it's a waste of time)
"Nobody in command seems to have any idea what's going on outside the camp."
"It seems like one command group is fighting with the other---and neither knows what's going on ."
Should I tell them that this is normal? A WWII Nazi General said: "The US Army does so well in war because the deal with Chaos everyday."
The main problem the US Military has now on deployments is the leaders are trained not for war, but for how to do stuff in a non-war environment. In both Bosnia and Iraq, we had to stop missions ( I mean real live things that needed to be done) so we could come in and fill out things like evaluation reports....or sit a listen to a class on affirmative action ( we had almost every race, religion as well as male and females on most missions -- I think we were very diverse and gave everyone and equal chance to die in Iraq!)
One night in Iraq, I was woken up at midnight...to come see the 1st Sergeant. All the NCOs were brought in. It seemed the asshole Sergeant Major didn't like the way some of the NCO Evaluation Reports (NCOERs) were filled out. He had taken a nap during the hot afternoon. Then woke up at 8 PM and began looking at the forms. He was so upset, that he had called all the 1st Sergeants and began his little fit. So, my fellow NCOs and me sat up for 3 hours checking the forms over (my stuff was squared away)...then got up at 5 am to go out on mission in Baghdad....while the REMF Sergeant Major slept in .
I can't wait to retire and get a prescription for medical marijuana and make the last 30 years a blurrrrrrr......