From the Citizen Soldier side: Sorry for keeping you all in such suspense, but I had to go away for a few days and do some more Army training. I better finish my Riot story, huh.
So, there we were, sitting around doing all this crowd control training, explaining the Rules of Engagement and stuff in preparation to go to L.A. to help with the riots. We knew that they already had Army National Guard MP (Military Police) units responding to the area to help, but what we didn’t know until weeks later…was they had no issued ammo!
The California Army National Guard only stores live ammunition in a few key locations. The location the MP units were told to pick up ammo was not open. It “appeared” that the assholes who worked at the ammo point full time, went home instead of waiting to issue the live ammo to those who needed it.
So, when I talked to my buddies who were there with the MPs, they said that they stopped at a sporting goods store and the commander purchased the ammo with his own money. The MPs were going to arrive with live ammo no matter what.
(You see, many of us who’ve been in the National Guard for a long time, know that sometimes the only way we were going to get the mission done, was to pay for the fuel, food or whatever we needed out of our own pockets.)
Meanwhile, back at our armory, we continued doing the training so everybody would be ready to go…. Our line company was ordered to remain at the armory over night, while the Headquarters company was allowed to go home and come back the next day. When we heard this, some of our troops got a little pissed off--- after all, if we were going to the riot, wasn’t everybody going?
Since California State Law requires that anytime you eat pizza for dinner, you must have beer with it, a few more of our sergeants snuck out and grabbed a few six packs of cold beer to go with then pizza.
After we had dinner, the company Executive Officer (XO) began walking around and checking on the troops. When he got to our platoon room, he found lots of empty pizza boxes and empty beer cans. He became very upset (as most pencil heads do) and began to get mad.
Then he walked to the next platoon room and found that they had picked up a giant keg of beer and most of the Joes were pretty drunk.
The XO then walked in to the company Command Post (CP) to tell the company First Sergeant (AKA “TOP”) and found the Top and other senior NCOs and the Company Commander drinking a bottle of Scotch. At that point the XO just said “fuck it, I forgot this was the National Guard.”
We hung around until Sunday. Then we were told that the Army National Guard had the situation under control and we were no longer needed. There were a lot of unhappy soldiers who really wanted to go shoot a bunch of assholes in LA, but didn’t get the chance. A few of them later got a chance to go to Iraq and make up for the lack of excitement.
Those were the good old days.