06 October 2008
I went to OIF & all I got was....
From the Soldier side: I've learned one thing about being in the Calif Army National Guard....just when you think everything is working OK, the higher ups decide to re-organize things. I've been in a few units where this has happened.
The big problem? You have to figure out new leaders, and soldiers below you. Sometimes you can figure them out in a few hours...or a few months. The problem is you only see them for a few days each month. The bigger problem is you have to prove yourself all over again... I'm so happy I can retire in a few years.
So, this last weekend, after things were re-organized, I still ended up in the slot I held before...but now I actually have a brand new 2nd LT for a platoon leader. I'm not used to having a new LT.... we've been so short of officers since the wars started---seems nobody with any brains wants to join the National Guard I guess.
So, I have to train another officer who's actually younger than my own kids. Great.
So, I started by telling him the story of the brand new 2nd LT who came to Iraq to work with us:
We had already been on deployment for 7 months...we'd had one KIA and several WIA. My team and I had just flown back from the Syrian border--where we had no running water or decent food for weeks. We needed to re-fit, shower, clean weapons and equipment and collect our mail.
I explained to her that when we returned from a job (mess kit repair) we usually had the next day back off so we could prep for the next job. She said: "I want you in the office in the morning at 0600 hrs. We're not having any days off anymore...there's a war on and we need to work harder....we'll work from 0600 to 2300 everyday."
Oh my God! At this point in the "war" most units gave their people one day off a week. That day off might vary, as it did with our teams, but you could not go a whole year in that shithole without days off...the human body just needed time to recover. There were times I was there (like the battle of Fallujah) where we worked 7 days a week...but at this point in time, there was nothing that dramatic going on....just a very young, stupid, over eager new 2nd LT who wanted to get a Silver Star or some crap.
I bit my tongue...and didn't say much. She had formed some reason to think my team and I were dirt-bags. I never said anything to correct this concept she came up with...I would just have to prove myself one more time. This LT was going to really piss me off.....
To be cont.