21 August 2009

More Common Sense stories....

From the Soldier side: During my last few months in Iraq, I was slightly hurt (not shot or anything cool, just a stupid thing) so, I was on light duty for a few months. One of the guys who'd been stuck in the office for the first several months we were there begged to take my team over.
You mean I could sit on my ass in an office and enjoy A/C all day?

So, while I was on "light duty" I was in charge of our "teams". Kind of a promotion, but without the pay raise. I was pretty lucky in that I had some really, really good soldiers on the teams. ( I know because I violated my profile a few times and went out with them anyway).

My day would start at 0500 hours. I'd get up, shower, shave, walk a mile to the mess hall, then be in the little Ops Center we had before the teams arrived.

My job was to look over their "missions" for that day and make sure they were doing the right things. Do follow up stuff all day, debrief the teams when they came back and review/ approve all the reports. (Mess Kit Repair has a lot of paper work!)

One of the other duties I had, is when some soldier screwed up, I'd have to take care of it. You know, be an NCO. Most of the time, the soldier didn't really screw up, they did the right thing. However, the folks who were above us, freaked out a lot...so I'd have to run interference, and help explain that when Specialist Snuffy fired the waring shot at the Hajji car coming at the convoy, Snuffy had in fact followed the Rules Of Engagement (ROE). Most of the Hajjis drove HUA (Head Up Ass.)

But. There was always one retard. We had one soldier I could write a book about. His MOS was COOK. He carried more crap on his vest than the rest of the company put together. One afternoon, after one of my teams returned. The Buck Sergeant in charge of that team came in and asked to talk to me in private. He wanted to know what to do with the COOK dude.

You see, the COOK was made a gunner on a M1114 Humvee. It seems this day an Iraqi Gas tanker truck was driving near the convoy. It seems that the Cook, now Gunner, felt that the Gas tanker truck was too close.

So, what would you do to get the driver to move away?

How about give a hand and arm signal?

Nope. The Cook, now turned Gunner thought it'd be really smart to fire a warning shot with his M4 carbine...caliber 5.56 MM....on burst....with tracers.

I'm pretty sure after my investigation that the Gas tanker truck was not a VBIED. But, if the 5.56 tracer rounds had set it on fire, it could have been.

Lucky for that group, none of the rounds hit anything that would start a fire.

So, I had to decide....Let me ask you. Would you leave that Cook on the gun after that, or replace him with somebody who wasn't a retard?


Opus #6 said...

He fits the definition of the term "loose cannon".

Coffeypot said...

Depending on the availability of personal, I would temporally replace him on the gun, give him some SERIOUS instructional training verbally and hands on, and inform him the next time he pulled a stunt like that he would get to ride the M1114 strapped on the front. What ever you do, I wouldn’t put him back cooking - you would have to eat his stuff. If you did, assign a private to test eat your food first.

CI-Roller Dude said...

O#6. Not loose cannon, but loose brain housing group.

CP. We were lucky in regards to the cooks...at the big camps it was all done by "No Bid KBR" cooks. They billed the Army about $150 per meal.
Funny, if I paid that much for a meal here, it'd have table cloth and a waiter.
I pulled the "Cook" off the gun and put him on another duty. At that time, I had 3 people stuck on camp duties for each person on a truck...and I always had some kid wanting to go out on the convoy/ missions. Never a shortage of Heroes.

Anonymous said...

Keep the butane away from that cook...

Anonymous said...

1. Your Army is still an improvement on mine, that of forty-odd years ago.
2. Your young troopers were volunteering for hazardous duty.
3. No one in my unit who'd been outside the wire ever volunteered for anything.
4. Most of us were jealous of the cooks, clerks and supply types that got to stay on the fire base.
5. Remember once, reps from a helicopter battalion came recruiting door gunners.
6. It was touted as a good deal, restricted to people with six months time in-country.
7. Word was circulated that they had E-6's and 7's on the guns because of casualties.
8. Got zippy volunteers from my unit.
9. Got to see a bunch of other armies later on. The best of them weren't as good as my sorry VN unit.
10. Didn't know that back then. Was pretty sour on the Army.
11. Sour enough, joined the Marines when I decided my screwed up civilian life was worse than sticking my head back in the lion's mouth.
12. A lot of my friends have rosier memories of the old days.
13. Not sure I understand that.
14. Next topic: ROE.
15. Ours were not much less restrictive than yours.
16. Have talked to many young troops back from Iraq or the Stan.
17. Ones that were in a lot of fights are always uncomfortable about that subject.
18. Tell them that back in the day, when we got in a fight, did what we had to and than picked up the pieces best we could to make it look like we adhered to the ROE.
19. The response is always the same: "Damn, that's exactly what we did sir."
20. They are always amazed.
21. Everybody wants to stay alive.
ROE formulated by JAG majors and state department fairies satisfy their little needs -but won't necessarily keep you alive.
22. Discuss this with high ranking folks and frowns appear.
23. As your butt is moved farther from the line of fire, adherence to the ROE becomes more important.
24. On the pointy end, you get pretty frosty about your continuing survival.
V/R JWest

CI-Roller Dude said...

Good comments JW,
LET ME make this very clear. I wasn't upset with the COOK made GUNNER because he fired a warning shot into the truck...I was worried that he didn't think about it being a GAS TANKER truck that he could have set on fire while it was way too close to the damn convoy.
Most of the time, when a gunner in our unit fired a warning shot, it was totally within the Legal Guidelines of the ROE.
More on this later.

Red said...

Wow, that Cook is scary... I completely agree with you about worrying more about his thought process (or lack thereof) than his action of firing at the tanker truck