17 January 2010

Oh Two Bravo- Team Leader, part 3...

From the Solider side: If I haven’t mentioned it before, we had Oxygen Bandits on our Bosnia deployment. Yeah, I know every soldier, sailor, marine and maybe even the air force has enlisted folks who’re the thieven’ O2 bandits, some in a felony capacity, but with the lower enlisted, I figure there’s hope, or at least they’ll not re-enlist. The bigger problem is the O2 thieves who are NCOs and Officers. These types can do more damage.

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.

..went there...got the T-shirt...

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. 

No kidding...

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...

The End...


Coffeypot said...

Bring'em on, Dude. I like to read'em.

It's a shame the captain wasn't retired, too. But I bet he got a medal instead. Officers do that for each other.

AirmanMom said...

Great post and I must say I do love listening to Van Morrison as I read your words.

CI-Roller Dude said...

The dumbass captian did eventually go to Iraq with another unit later...and for some odd,unknown reason he retired as soon as he came back from that job... I just hope the dumbass didn't get anybody killed.

AM, "She's as sweet as tupelo honey..." and I am not talking about my motor cycle. (but the bike is second.)

Anonymous said...

1. Great story -particularly with regard to them questioning you about your TL's actions.
2. In my neck of the woods, something bad happened, my superiors were always looking for a scapegoat.
3. After higher was notified of the problem, the first response would be, "What have you done about it?"
4. Your reply better make mention of whose scalp you were waving.
5. Watched this happen in the Army -as a youngster with dim comprehension of what was going on.
6. As a Marine officer, good documentation saved my butt a couple times when incidents happened in units I commanded.
7. Two temporary assignments were made to clean up messes following the relief of other people. My choice was based on the assumption I know the bureaucratic ropes, since I had been able to protect myself on previous occasions. (Credit to a couple savvy 1st Sgts who were on my side)
8. In one case, the fault was all mine regardless of the fact I had made several attempts to correct the situation -documented, of course. Knew it was a bad situation and should have pushed harder.
9. Communications is the name of the game in the mess kit repair business.
10. That's the heart and soul of MG Flynn's 28 page document on mess kit repair in Afghanistan. He's right, but making a significant change in 18 months strikes me as wishful thinking.
11. Mid-nineties, an Army WO named Tourison wrote a book about MKR in VN.
12. In it, he claimed that the CIA had files on all the local VC units down to squad level.
13. These were collected from interrogations carried out by CIA, Army and Vietnamese MKR types and placed in file cabinets in a compound on Ton Son Nhut airbase.
14. The information was rarely disseminated.
15. Apparently the CIA feared their sources and methods would be compromised.
16. Let me translate this for you into real effects: When my unit went on patrol, we generally had no idea who was out there.
17. A couple of times we were warned that large NVA units were in the area. Thank god, nothing came of those.
18. There are names on the wall because of failure to disseminate information that we possessed.
19. Find that impossible to forgive.
20. Fast forward to 2003. During the invasion, the commanders of the 1st MARDIV and 3rd ID had little knowledge of the capabilities and intentions of their opponents.
21. Friends that were there tell me that half the movement was made in MOPP 3.
22. In this case, the CIA (and members of the other 13-odd lettered US MKR agencies)knew nothing. Overheads (NRO and AF) and signal intercepts (NSA and ASA)were practically all the info commanders received.
23. If it sounds like I'm bitter, I've communicated well.
V/R JWest

CI-Roller Dude said...

Mr West,
I think the Army officers study a "Blame Matrix" in Officer School. They spend weeks learning how to avoid responsibilty, shifting blame and stuff like that.
I prefer to figure the real problem and then fix it.

If the fixing requires great amounts of ordanance and weapons, I'm much happier.

Coming UP:

Repeat of Super Bowl Sunday in Baghdad 2005.

How to kill or capture an insurgent.

5150's (mentally ill) citizens in police work.

and more...

Anonymous said...

So does that cool bike get to retire with you? niiiiice...

CI-Roller Dude said...

Anon...Yep, I that's my own private bike. Yamaha 1100 V-Star.
Looks like a Harley, but doesn't have all the mechanical problems Harleys have and was half the price.

Anonymous said...

1. Got hearts and flowers about the Corps at The Basic School.
2. Reality set in upon joining the fleet.
3. The Army had a saying, "Play the game."
4. The Marines didn't say that, but we lived it.
5. Like the "blame matrix." Sounds like a LPA discussion over beers in a safe (non O Club) location.
6. Even though I had enlisted time in both services, was unprepared for the administrative realities I faced in leadership.
7. All of a sudden the garbage my NCO's had always whined about became my reality.
8. My good NCO's educated me and saved my butt repeatedly, both physically and administratively.
9. A big difference between the US forces and those of most other countries I served with, was that few of them a had cadres of experienced NCO's like we did.
10. In most services the enlisted ranks are treated like crap and jr. officers do the jobs our NCO's do.
11. Problem is, the jr. officers don't know much more than the troops do.
12. Enough of this.
13. Where is that hellish place in the bottom photograph?
14. Particularly like the entrance way.
V/R JWest