13 January 2010

Oh Two Bravo- "The Team Leader"

Oh Two Bravo- The Team Leader.

From the Soldier side: To continue with the Oxygen Bandit story…actually I could write a series on this subject. The funny thing is, for many years I didn’t understand how some people were wasting oxygen. I always assumed that there was plenty of air…. But after doing some reading by Al Gore, I found that these O2 Bandits are really a major cause of global warming. If you know one, duct tape their breathing holes shut as soon as possible!

(Note: in regards to the teams we had in Bosnia and Iraq--- Most grunt units are set up with 10 man squads. Each squad is broken into 2 teams of five men. Our teams were 3-4 men and worked alone or with a security force –SECFOR team. These teams were supposed to be lead by a warrant officer, or senior sergeant. In Bosnia, I usually worked with one other person or alone. I took a terp if I needed one.)

Before we deployed to Bosnia for the SFOR 14 mission, a bunch of us had been pulled off the invasion of Iraq job. That was a big relief because the first soldiers in, didn’t have a decent PX or coffee shop. That would have been really rough. By the time I got to OIF 3, Baghdad was pretty well set up for nice shit.

So, about February of 2003, we were told we had to go to Minnesota for winter training. We flew there and learned lots of valuable stuff like don’t leave cans of beer outside the barracks when it’s 10 degrees F outside. The beverage will freeze if you leave it out overnight. See, I grew up in the snow and spent 2 years in the old Berlin Brigade, so I was very experienced at freezing my ass off. There is a reason I decided to live in California and not in snow country….cold weather sucks!
As we were muddling through our training, I met the dude who was going to end up being my team leader in Bosnia later on.  I'll call him "AH" for short.   He seemed like a good person, and when I got tasked to help train soldiers drive in the snow and ice, he listened to what I said. “Slow the fuck down when driving in snow and ice.”

I had soldiers spinning M1114 Armored Humvees around on frozen ponds. I did a combination of police driver and army driver training…it was fun.

We suspect they spent more on the logo than ammo...

All through the training, my future team leader seemed pretty good. Before we were put on active duty orders, we had over 60 days of mostly useless off the wall training.
By the time we were put on active duty orders, we knew the other soldiers we’d be deploying with pretty well. I found some people, a few rare people are very good at bullshitting about how good they are. After we were actually on active duty orders, we had 60 more days of even more stupid off the wall useless training.  Then we spent 7 months in Bosnia. 

To be cont…


Coffeypot said...

Beer freezes at 10 degrees? Cool! That way you can bite off a chunk and you want spill it if you slip and fall. Got any more useful tips like don’t piss into the wind, even if it does freeze before it hits the ground?

Red said...

To be continued again?! Why do you leave me hanging, Dude?!

Mike Golch said...

Dude,Great Playlist.

Anonymous said...

Frozen beer looks kinda cool and dogs seem to enjoy it. The best part of living in a cold place is driving on fields of ice and snow... heh heh

I think you're positive, dude. Positively funny.

Did you ever let the MG go after you captured it? Or did you keep it?

Agent BP

CI-Roller Dude said...

Had frozen beir in Berlin a few times. Beersicle.
I'm sorry to "be cont" but that's how we keep the ratings up.
BP, I'm trying to positivley funny...sometimes I am sometimes not...

Anonymous said...

1. Agree totally on cold.
2. Went from VN to Germany.
3. Army issued me so much 782 gear, couldn't carry it in one load.
4. Just forgot to teach any of us how to use the cold weather stuff.
5. Could load up on clothing till you looked like a green Michelin man and you'd still freeze your butt off.
6. Went to Graf; went to Wildflecken; went on a bunch of exercises and froze every time.
7. On one, was invited to warm up in a 113. Climbed in, sat down and dozed off.
8. Two NCO's walking past spotted the vehicle sitting in the middle of a field, engine running. They got in and dropped the back ramp.
9. Woke up lying in the snow, being kicked at and told to get on my feet. Had a headache that lasted 3 days.
10. Knew about the carbon monoxide danger, but being cold for weeks makes you a little crazy. On Reforger 1, carbon monoxide was neck and neck with vehicle accidents for leading cause of GI deaths.
11. According to a doc I asked about it, all 12 of us in the vehicle were probably within an hour of checking out.
12. The Corps sent me to cold weather school. Twice. ("I've already been, send somebody else."
"The orders are cut, shut up and do what you're told.")
13. Learned how to stay warm with regular issue gear and a couple judiciously placed rags.
14. Note: the brigade of the 82nd that initially deployed to Iraq, bought neck gaiters for all personnel out of their discretionary funds.
15. Whoever made that decision went to the same school I did -and Iraq was cold in March.
16. Heat and humidity can make you miserable. Cold hurts.
V/R JWest

CI-Roller Dude said...

Mr West.. we must have been to some of the same places. I froze my ass off in Germany so many times. We'd go out for the "day" and they'd decide to have us do a night op. It'd drop below Zero F, and all our cold weather gear was back in our barracks as we looked for shit to burn to keep from freezing to death. When I see movies about the "Battle of the Buldge" I shiver. Nobody taught us jack about the cold.
Many years later, I learned enough to train my old Guard unit how to camp in the snow..and make it fun!
The new gear is a lot better, Gortex shit is the best. Most normal folks don't know, when you die in the desert, in many cases it's from the cold at night, not the heat. In heat, if you have enough water and common sense, you'll be ok...the Cold cuts through everything.

Anonymous said...

Beer slushies. Come to Canada. We have slushie versions of all drinks. And we excel at winter exercises! Come up to Fort Mac when it's -52 degrees C (-62 degrees F) - we'll freeze more than your beer!

CI-Roller Dude said...

you just made me shiver... I had to put on and extra jacket and turn up the heater...
When I was a kid, I lived in upstate New York (I'm not a Yankee!) and it would stay -40 for days. We'd were 2 pairs of long johns, 5 pairs of jeans and so many sweaters and jackets, that if we fell over, it'd take 3 other kids to pick us up.
It was OK when I was a kid, but the Army left us out in the cold too many times and I hate it. I thrived in Iraq's desert heat. I guess it's because I'm a cold blooded creature afterall.

I'm getting out another jacket just thinking about it.