The Bosnia mission (called SFOR for Stabilization Force) was considered a hazardous duty assignment. We were also supposed to be armed at all times- on or off the camps. In our case, we packed 9mm M-9 (Beretta) pistols concealed while in civilian clothes. I bet most citizens didn’t know that Mess Kit Repair soldiers did such missions, but we repaired mess kits regardless of the danger.
To be honest with everyone, I actually felt 10 times safer in outside the camps in Bosnia than I did in any major city in the USA. When I go into some large cities at home, I carry 2 friggen pistols and lots of spare ammo. In Bosnia it was only one pistol and two 15 round magazines. …oh and my Emerson folding knife. We drove un-armored Volks Wagons...and traveled light.
So, to tell ya’ all about my team leader. At first, he seemed like a great guy. He seemed to listen, seemed to care, and seemed to want to do a good job. Since he was the team leader for the first 5 months, until he got relieved, I never checked his work. You see after each mission, we were required to write reports about what we’d done etc. I checked the other team members work, but the team leader told me I didn’t need to check his.
I can’t emphasize how important it was for us to write reports…it was really important. Many of the things we did, needed to be passed on. Without a proper report, what we were doing was pointless. All the other team members, including the CI Roller Dude himself, were good about doing this.
Many times in our official missions, we might be invited to some sort of festive occasion. At such events, alcoholic beverages were always available. Our General Oder #1 said soldiers were not allowed to drink. We had a “special” order that actually allowed us to drink for official visits, but there was a two drink limit. Since I was always armed and I tend to get “loose” when I drink, I chose to not drink. My team leader more than made up for my dryness by getting drunk everytime.
He not only got drunk, but would hit on every single women at these events. He told me his goal was to get laid. I reminded him that our orders and training made it mandatory to avoid doing things like that. You see, I do have control of myself…a skill that has served me well for years. My team leader was doing his best to spread “American” love around Bosnia.
The Oh Two Bravo team leader went so far as on several occasions to tell me that he was driving to the main base, when in fact he was going to sleep with some local woman. The captain at the main base often called asking for the Oh Two Bravo team leader and I’d say: “Sir, he told me he was on his way to see you….4 hours ago.”
The Dumbass captain, who himself was stealing oxygen, would just say: “Oh, I’ll look for him.”
This went on for months until one of the officers who actually had a brain figured out what my team leader was up to. The dumbass captain was ordered to call our team in for another investigation.
…and this is where I got really pissed off….the dumbass retarded, lazy, stupid ass, dipshit, know-nothing, oxygen bandit, stupidass captain tried to blame me for my team leaders indiscretions. I had busted my ass and the team leader was just out screwing off. He had to balls to call me in and try to interrogate ME. Wrong move. At that point I had been a cop for over 20 years, and had interrogated hundreds of bad guys.
The Dumbass Captain called me into his office and started to question me about my team leader. After he asked 3 questions, to which I had not responded to a thing, I asked in a polite way: “Sir, am I under investigation for something?”
He looked at me and said: “What. What do you mean?”
I responded with: “Sir, with all due respect, if I’m under investigation for something my team leader has done, then you need to advise me of my rights. If I’m not under investigation, then tell me so, and I’ll answer your questions. However, I should point out, that for this type of investigation, you are neither authorized to investigate nor are you qualified. If you insist on continuing, you yourself will be under investigation. …with all due respect SIR.”
That really pissed him off and he threw me out of my office. My team leader was relieved of his command and his weapon. I was put in charge---without a promotion. Thank God neither that captain or my former team leader went to Iraq with us. The team leader was forced to “retire” when we returned home. And that’s an Oxygen Bandit story. I have many more...