12 January 2010

"Oh Two Bravo" Oxygen Bandits on SFOR 14

Oxygen Bandits!

From the Soldier side: As promised, I said I was going to write about “Oxygen Bandits” we’ve had on deployments. However, my goal this year is to try to be more positive…so I’ll start out saying that I’m positive that if we had not taken some of the oxygen bandits with us on my two deployments, things would have not only gone better for the rest of the good soldiers, but we would have had more air to breath.

CI Roller Dude with captured MG in Bosnia, early 2004

I am sure that many of you nice citizen readers out there are not familiar with this military term and may be a bit confused. Let me start by explaining that an Oxygen Bandit (O2 B or Bravo- pronounced “Oh Two Bravo”) can be of any rank, but in many cases the worst ones are on the small teams we had to go out with. (Many times during training I tried to tell my leaders that we didn’t always need to take Specialist Snuffy with us, because he just got in the way, did stupid things and ate valuable food, water and most of all sucked in good air.)

We also had Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains, and Sergeant Major O2 Bravos.
Now please, don’t get me wrong, I worked with many great soldiers…and some true honest to God heroes. But I’ll tell stories of them later. It’s the O2 Bravos that wasted not only valuable air, but other resources, time and money. They’d often get in the chow line in front of the real workers when we were in a hurry to go on a mission. They just got in the damn way!

What we used to call some of the folks in the old days are “Guard Bums”. For the most part, these were soldiers who were in the National Guard, which was only a part time job, but that was their only source of income. In so many cases, these bums couldn’t hold a regular civilian job the rest of the month. I don’t know how some of them even ate, but when they showed up for training, you could see why they didn’t have jobs…they were retards.

So let’s talk about a few specific soldiers we had for the Bosnia deployment. Some key points you have to understand are, at that point in our unit’s history, we had very few soldiers who had ever been deployed or to any place like Bosnia- where we were required to be armed at all times. I don’t like to “pick on” soldiers who are lower in rank than I am, as I feel it’s my duty to make them a better soldier---thus harassing them does not achieve that goal in most cases. (I would put them on shit details to get their attention if needed.)

In this case, I’ll take a person who had been promoted above me. When I first met this guy, who was my team leader for awhile in Bosnia, I thought he was a great person and a great soldier. He seemed to care and wanted to do a good job. I was put on his team just before we left that states because, as the Commanding Officer (CO) explained it: “that team is dysfunctional and we need you on it to help guide them and unfuck things.”

I was happy because it meant that I was going to be on a field team in Bosnia instead of stuck in the office. I was so friggen happy!
I thought it must have been the lower team members who were not effective, which was also true, but as I found out as we were deployed, the real problem was in fact the team leader.
To be cont.



Coffeypot said...

I think it is safet to say that if a unit is fucked up the only place to look is at the leadership. One guy, okay, but the whole team, it's the team leader's fault.

Anonymous said...

Ok I am not too familiar with the military terms. But I would have to say I agree with CoffeyPot.

Love the Pearl Jam song by the way!

CI-Roller Dude said...

Yeah, I shock everybody by the music I listen to... Pearl Jam is good shit.

lorraine said...

Hi: I read "The Angry American's blog. He has lots of O2 thieves stories. He pulls no punches on what the cost is to an infantry company these people steal. No mercy, no pity - you are a thief - period. Love your blog - I may be the only one reading (you know I'm not), but for this one - don't quit. Stay safe out there where ever you end up. I thought of you with the last earthquake we just had. I'm a fellow Californian. Inland and pretty much away from the real shake but we do get some. Have a great year. lorraine

CI-Roller Dude said...

I'm never angry, just tell folks what I think...that's why I don't get promoted until all the O2 Bandits have failed, then they ask me to step up. What they didn't know was I was there all along dragging the Oh Two Bravos...

I laugh at earthquakes...

powdergirl said...

I think plenty of us nice civilians understand the term oxygen bandit, they're everywhere. It would be nice if there were way less them in places where there are guns, and stuff. They're either irritating or they're dangerous.

Off with their heads.

CI-Roller Dude said...

I know they are everywhere...and in some civilain professions they would be deadly....

I thought about "off with their heads" and I'm not sure that would do much good except save the need for headgear.