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.
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…