31 December 2011

Happy New Year...Call for Fire...Flares...in the open

From the Soldier side:  Here it is New Years Eve and I am all relaxed and comfortable in my home.  I was thinking about the last 30 plus years and how many New Years Eves I’ve worked as cop…some just working DUI check points, some just “routine patrol” or the supervisor.  I guess the most unusual one’s I’ve had were the 2003-04 one in Bosnia.  That was pretty un-eventful. 
However, the 2004-05 New Year’s we spent in Fallujah, Iraq with the First Marine Division was the most unusual of all.  It was after the  Second Battle of Fallujah That was the time the US military was allowing the “good” citizens of Fallujah to return to their homes…or what was left of them.  It was estimated during the “battle” that about 75% of that city was destroyed.  (I got to go back a few months after that and get out and look around.  It looked like a real friggen’ war zone.)

(read about the battle here:    Second Battle of Fallujah     

On New Years Eve 2004, there was no electricity or lights in the City of Fallujah…so, the Marines had the US Army artillery units firing flares into the sky to provide light.  There is nothing like the sound of a 155 howitzer firing round after round. 
See here - M109 howitzer   

Each round would go up into the sky, explode, the let out a giant flare…the flares had parachutes on them to slow the fall…and they provide a heck of a lot of light until they hit the ground and went out.  It was one of the best fireworks displays I’ve ever seen on New Year’s Eve. 

I think they stopped around midnight, then we all went to sleep….but it was about the most different thing I’ve ever seen in my life. 
I keep saying, as long as nobody is shooting mortars and AKs at me, it's a good day. 

Did all the body armor and crap make my ass look fat?
Happy new year. 

22 December 2011

Christmas time in....Fallujah, Bosnia...and...

the Soldier  and the Cop side:  It’s that time of the year when half the population gets all happy and glad…and the other half seems to get all depressed and sad.  But my goal today is to bring a good story to all.
As some of my readers know, I retired from the police department in May…but I was asked to come back part time and help with some stuff.  I thought it was kind of funny when I heard about a young copper complaining about actually having to work on Christmas day. 
SFOR 14 Christmas and Eagle Base, Bosnia

I stopped and thought for a minute and tried in vain to bite my lip and not speak up…but you know how I am.  I just spoke what popped into my head:
“I worked 32 years as a cop and was happy to have had the job.  In all those years, where I was on the schedule to work the day Christmas came that year, I only asked for it off ONE TIME.  I worked every single holiday I was scheduled to work for 32 years….and I never complained.” 

However, looking back, working on Christmas in California as a police officer/ sergeant, wasn’t so bad.  What was really an adventure was working on Christmas day in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004.  Or, the year before in Bosnia.  Even that wasn’t so bad.  In Bosnia, we got the day off and had good chow in the mess hall.  In Iraq, the Marines we were working for gave us half the day off. 
...and Rumsfeld said all the vehicles we had in Iraq were properly armored...

But what really made things better on my deployments was all the nice things sent to us by family, friends and some folks I never had even met before.  Thanks for supporting the troops. 

Yesterday, I went out to run some errands.  As I was parking my truck, I parked next to a very nice 1967 Chevy…I noticed on the back the owner had placed a Viet Nam Vet sticker. 

As I was getting out of my truck, the Nam Vet was walking to his.  He saw my Iraq Vet sticker and he said: “Thanks for your service.” 

I looked at him and said: “Thanks for yours.” 

I think vets coming home these days do have some things to get over, but I think the public sure treats us a lot better than some of the past vets. 

Now, for those who may have to work this Christmas at some police department, stop your whining and be happy you have a good job and you’re not in some shithole like Iraq for Christmas….and we didn’t get overtime in the Army. 

Merry Christmas

19 December 2011

Baby UP!

NO Grandpa, I don't want my picture on your dumb blog!

18 December 2011

Troops pulling out of Iraq....

I don't usually post stuff about recent news...but this is exciting....(this is my excited look).

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The last convoy of U.S. soldiers pulled out of Iraq on Sunday, ending nearly nine years of war that cost almost 4,500 American and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives and left a country grappling with political uncertainty. The war launched in March 2003 with missiles striking Baghdad to oust President Saddam Hussein closes with a fragile democracy still facing insurgents, sectarian tensions and the challenge of defining its place in an Arab region in turmoil. The final column of around 100 mostly U.S. military MRAP armored vehicles carrying 500 U.S......

After spending 15 months of my life....doing useless training for 3 months, then spending a year there......My first question is:

Did we win? 

14 December 2011

Jesus Drives...and he's in a F-150

From the Cop side:  OK, another Jesus story.  I can’t recall the guy’s actual name, but thinking back before I semi retired, I don’t think he’s been around for many years…wonder what happened to him. 
(back in the late 1980's) About a few months after my last story about Jesus, I saw him walking around my beat.  Since I was a pretty pro-active copper, I had all his data in my pocket notebook, so I could check him for warrants without even having to stop him (to avoid harassment complaints). 

As Jesus was walking around his favorite place, a local college campus, I was advised by the dispatcher that he had a pretty good warrant for his arrest that needed to be served on him. 

Just as the dispatcher finished giving me the info over the radio, I lost sight of Jesus…again.  How did he do that disappearing act?  As I began cruising the area I’d last seen him, I saw an old POS (piece of shit) Ford F150 pass by with Jesus himself driving. 

As I turned my old Dodge Diplomat around to go after the truck, dispatch updated me with info that Jesus also had a suspended drivers license. 
Oh boy.   A warrant arrest and a suspended license arrest.... (I think that warrant was for something like $10,000, which was a lot in those days)

As I started to close in on Jesus and his POS truck, he tried to accelerate away from me.  Oh boy, I thought I was going to get in a pursuit with Jesus…which in those days was actually kind of fun--- before we had to fill out reams of paper. 

I activated my emergency lights and tapped the Federal siren a few times… I could see Jesus in the side mirrors of his truck and saw him looking back at me.  I knew he wasn’t going to out run me, but his truck could cause a lot of problems with other traffic. 

After a few blocks…now getting closer to the highway, Jesus was speeding up and I had the siren on continuous, which made it difficult for the dispatcher to hear me…all anybody could hear was SIREN and that got all the other cops and deputies scanning our freq to get excited and start heading towards Jesus….pretty soon, he was going to have more of my buddies than he’d know what to do with.  You can't outrun a Motorola radio. 

Then…all of a sudden he turned into a gas station and stopped at a gas pump.  As I pulled in behind him, Jesus got out and started pumping gas into his POS truck. 

I parked my rig, and walked up to him and said: “Can I see your license, registration and proof of insurance please.”

He handed me his library card.  I looked at the card, and said: “ehhhh, this is your library card, and by the way, your license is suspended.” 

Jesus started to walk to the door of his truck and said:”I’ll get it out of the truck.”
I grabbed his arms and applied the good old Peerless handcuffs, checking for proper tightness and double locking… and said: “Never mind, and you have a warrant to.”

I packed him up into the back of my car.  My cover officer parked the truck and I told Jesus he wasn’t allowed to drive. 

He went to jail….and was out by the next weekend.  He got to his truck and was pulled over that weekend by a kind of rookie cop at a nearby department.  Jesus pulled the same thing on that cop, but that cop allowed him to get into his truck to “look for the license he didn’t have.” 

In that incident, Jesus locked the doors and they had a stand off….which ended with a smarter cop coming along and breaking one of the truck windows and pulling Jesus’s ass out the door. 

I arrested Jesus many times over the next few years….each time it brought pleasure to my soul knowing I was doing a good service for the public---who never knew.   
I know...I'm going to hell. 

07 December 2011

...And He fed the thousands....a loaf of bread...

From the Cop side: Well, we’ve used the democratic process…and the next story (s?) is or are about dealing with Biblical type persons in police work.  I’m sure if you ask any cop who’s been on the job for more than a few minutes, they’ll have or are going to have a story of arresting somebody who looks and or acts like a character from the Bible. 
Now, please don’t think I’m trying to be sacrilegious, and I hope I don’t offend anybody (too much)…but I know I’m going to hell already. 

Many years ago…..
I was working the day watch on police patrol around a small college campus.  The campus was known for it’s magnetic like attractions for 5150’s (mentally ill people).  The nut jobs came to the college for all kinds of reasons, most of which had nothing to do with actually getting an education.  In some cases, they never even enrolled, but would just walk into a class or office and causing a disturbance. 
 I got dispatched to a Jesus sighting.  Well…I’m pretty sure he really wasn’t Jesus, but he kind of looked like him.  He was tall and thin…with long hair and long dark beard.  His clothes were ragged and dirty and he rarely took a bath. 

The one thing this guy could do that made me start to think he might have some kind of special powers was he could disappear into thin air.  I mean I’d get a call, and head over to where Jesus was.  I’d see him for a second…then POOF!  He’d be gone.  I never saw him walk on water, but I did check the nearby creeks just in case.     

On this one cool winter morning I got a call on Jesus again.  He was caught taking stuff from a mini mart and was last seen running towards the college campus….barefoot. 

I knew the only direct path Jesus would have to take to continue his flight from justice (in which other law enforcement members where in fresh pursuit).  I just parked my patrol car and waited….

There he was, running and shoving food into his mouth.  I wanted to wait and see if he turned the one loaf of bread into hundreds…but he was eating it too fast.  (He didn’t have any  fish.) 

The problem with running and trying to do almost anything else, including shoving food into your face, is it often causes a person to lose balance.  This did happen to Jesus and he fell….right in front of me. 
At this point, I was laughing so hard, I had a very difficult time getting out of my patrol car and walking over to where Jesus was laying prone on the ground with a loaf of bread scattered all around.  I was still waiting to see if he was going to turn the one loaf into many.  Didn’t happen. 

How disappointing.  Then I helped Jesus to his feet…still trying to control my laughter.
However, as soon as he was up, he broke loose and ran (he didn’t fly or anything like I might have expected)…then he was gone.

There was only one place he could have gone on the college…there was an all female dance class next to where we had been…he’d run into the class.

I walked into the dance class, and noticed several dance students pointing to the back of the class.  (They were all doing some kind of high stretch in a synchronized fashion)…and there was barefoot Jesue in the back dancing like a retard on an ice rink.  I did the habeas grabis on his arm, and applied the Peerless brand handcuffs in a proper manner as to not be too tight and double locked them. 

As I walked Jesus out of the class, I received applause from the students and the teacher.  I was still trying to control my laughter. 

As I took Jesus over to where the original crime had occurred, I found he was also a wanted man and he was not really Jesus.  I took him to jail and his Father didn’t come down and make bail. 

More to follow…. Jesus drives!         

06 December 2011

OK, you can VOTE on the next stories..

The CI Roller Dude gets stuck sometimes....I'm thinking of writing about either the Bibical figures I've arrested in my time or should I write about some of the lives I helped save? 

You vote, you decide...

02 December 2011

Guns Up!

From the Cop and Soldier side:  Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile…been busier than a one legged man at the World Cup Soccer Match. 

A funny thing happened to me the other day…since I started working part time at the Police Department I had retired from to help with some special things….the subject of guns came up.  The new police Chief asked me how many guns I had. 

I didn’t know.  I had to stop and count on my fingers….and toes…..and then I went home and opened my gun safe and found one I had forgotten my brother gave to me a few months ago….then I realized I might have a problem.

I checked to see if there was such a place as Gun aloholics  anonymous, but no such thing.  Then I thought back over the 30 plus years of police work and Army/ National Guard work….and how many times I was called upon to either run a range, or another officer would ask for me when they had taken an “odd gun” in and didn’t know how to unload it. 

And now, one of my part time jobs since retiring is teaching good citizens, cops and others how to shoot or shoot better.  So, did all those years of reading every gun book and magazine pay off? 

I like to shoot.  I like to teach others to shoot…and work on guns. 

We got a brand new 1911 .45 in the shop the other day…it was made by one of those custom makers that charge more than my first pickup truck cost….but worth every penny.  I picked the pistol up and somebody thought I was about to drool on it.  I couldn’t help it….
I guess I have a problem. 

When I teach firearms, the FIRST thing I cover is SAFETY.  I found a song that’s popular on the radio that discusses firearms safety….(you have to see the lyrics to get it.) 

 I don’t just shoot and teach on military and police firearms, but I love shooting almost anything.  I’m still working on collecting firearms from every country I’ve been to… or was carried by soldiers from other countries whom I worked with at some point.  I get some strange things…
                                          Can you figure out what kind of revolver this is?

One of the things I loved about running Army/National Guard weapons ranges was getting to shoot stuff for free.  Like the:  M249 SAW MACHINE GUN

And, the Future Best shot:

22 November 2011

Counting Backwards....364, 363, 362, 361, 360......

From the Soldier side: When I was a very young Private in the US Army, many,many years ago, I learned how to count backwards. Yeah, I know most people can do this, but we had a good reason that many civilians may not understand.
When I graduated from the US Army Infantry School at Fort Polk, Louisiana in 1975, I was sent to Frankfurt, West Germany. We were actually put in an old German prison. It was dark, cold and strange. After sitting around for a day being told all kinds of stuff in briefings that I can’t recall a word of, we were told to go sit in a room and wait for our names to be called.

Since I always obeyed orders, I waited in the room and waited, and waited, and waited. Some of the other soldiers wondered off in search of bier. I did what I was told and waited, and waited, and waited.  We did a lot of waiting in those days.  When my name was called, I reported to the Army Clerk and gave him my ID card. He looked at me, my ID and orders and said: “so you’re a grunt and you have no assignment yet. Do you know where you’d like to be stationed?”

I looked at him in total disbelief and said: “you mean I have some kind of choice?”

The clerk told me to go look at the big map an on the wall. Wherever I saw an Army post with BLUE pins, that was where they needed grunts. I walked over and looked at the map. There were a lot of blue pins all over the place. I could have thrown a dart with my eyes closed and hit a camp that needed grunts. Then I looked way over to the east side and saw “BERLIN” with a blue pin. 

I went back and told the clerk I wanted to be sent to Berlin. He set it up and I was on the train that night. Now, keep in mind, at this point of my life I was a Private E-2. That meant I had one stripe, but didn’t know nothin’.

When I got to Berlin, the Company Clerk for C-2-6 was at the train station. He asked if I was the new private, and I stood at parade rest and responded with “Yes Specialist.” He told me to relax. When I asked a few questions, he just looked at me and said: “40 days and a wake up.”

I had no idea what he was talking about. When I got to my barracks, I was greeted by some pretty scruffy looking soldiers…their hair was a little too long, the mustaches were a little too bushy, and they looked more like short haired hippies. When I asked one of them where my room was, he pointed then said: “15 days and a wake up.”

I was too confused to ask what the heck he was talking about. I slept for about 1 day, and was woken up the next day by another Specialist four who told me: “get your ass up and get your PT uniform on.”  He was my new squad leader.

I was confused, I didn’t know we’d do PT every day for the rest of our lives. As I got into the platoon formation, I was not greeted with what would be normal conversation, but soldiers said things like: “I’m Joe, 76 days and a wake up.”

What I found out later that day is they were telling me how many days they had left in the US Army. You see it didn’t matter how long you had been in, but how much time you had left…kind of like getting out of prison.

When a soldier got down to 90 days of less, they were called a “Short Timer” and pretty much left alone. They would show up for formations and stuff, but they usually were not given any jobs to do unless they wanted to do them.

Fast forward to 2004, Baghdad, Iraq. The day we got to Iraq, I had made a backwards calendar. At first most of the regular Army and National Guard troops I was with didn’t understand it. But it was a way of helping the time go by. It started with 364 days…and counted backwards. When we all were down to 90 days, I announced in company formation that we were all Short Timers.


15 November 2011


From the Soldier side: I usually don’t discuss politics on my blog. So, I’ll try not to. When I first heard of the “Occupy Wall Street” concept, I thought it sounded pretty good. Why not? All them greedy wall street bankers are the problem to everything that’s wrong with this country…right? (Plus the corrupt and idiot politicians)
OK, enough of that. I was in the Army of Occupation many years ago. It meant something different and it was actually an honor.
The only shoulder patch the US Army issued with a city name on it

The Occupation I’m talking about is the US Army Of Occupation- West Berlin, Germany. Charlie Company 2/6.

I liked to say that each day I could get up and look out the window and see the East German guard towers…but that’s not true, I had to walk across the hall in the barracks and look out the window from one of the other soldier’s rooms to see them. My room face the center quad area where we held our formations.

I got there when I was 18 years old and left when I was 20. I had learned how to accurately fire weapons from the 1911A1 .45 to the 81MM mortar. I could drink up to 6 liters of German bier in a night (not every night) and I had a lot of good friends with me.

Some hated being there, but I realized that I was in a place that I could someday look back and say: “That was cool.”

After being there for 6 months, each soldier was awarded the Army of Occupation Medal. It was the last medal from WWII that was still being awarded to troops. It’s odd and every time I had to stand in Class A inspection in the National Guard years later, I’d always have some younger officer ask me: “What’s that ribbon for…I’ve never seen it before.?”

I’d say proudly: “Sir. That is the US Army WWII Army of Occupation Medal.”

They’d walk along and shake their head, not knowing if I was joking or telling the truth.

Go look it up.

10 November 2011

Should I say: "Happy Birthday Marines?"

How about “Thank you Marines?”

From the Soldier side:  For my friends who know me, they know one of the things about my Iraq deployment that really bothered the sh—out of me was- The US Army “forgot” to get a bunch of us ammo before we rolled from Kuwait to Iraq in late 2004.  Most of us were under the impression that we were going into a fu----g war zone. 

How did it happen?  Well, the California Army National Guard battalion I left the states with, gave a bunch of us to a Regular Army battalion when we got to Kuwait.  So, they both blamed each other for not getting us ammo. 

We got to Baghdad via a C-130 and took a bus over to one of the puzzle palaces, where we called home for about a year.  A few days after we got to Baghdad, my company commander came up to me after dinner and said: “CI Roller, you and your team are going to Fallujah in the morning, so get your gear ready tonight.”

I said: “Yes sir.  Are we going to get the rest of our ammo load?  We only have a few rounds of 5.56 (M16 ammo) and a few rounds of 9 Mil (pistol ammo) each.”

Commander dumbass said: “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of that.”
Come morning, we ate breakfast and the unit we were replacing was going to drive us up to Fallujah.  Just before boarding the M1114 Humvees, the convoy commander did a PCI (Pre Combat Inspection) on all soldiers.  I held up my one M16 magazine and my 5 rounds of M9 ammo.  He looked at me and my team and just shook his head. 

So off to war we went.  I was really in a bad mood…all those years of weapons training and teaching others to shoot and the friggen company clerk who wasn’t going anywhere had more ammo than my whole team. 
We got to Camp Fallujah without incident.  We were going to work with the First Marine Division
Click here to find out about the best of the best

I was introduced to the Gunny we’d work with.  He asked what I did back home and I told him: “I’m a cop.”  He was to.  We sat down and did the cop handshake, drank coffee and ate donuts.  Then he asked me: “Is there anything your team needs?” 
I said: “Yes.  AMMO!  Look at what the fu—s gave us in Kuwait.”
He had his Staff Sergeant take me over to their ammo room and told me to “Help yourself.”
Dang, we had to carry a lot of crap!

I did.  I’m an ammo hog…I feel warm and fuzzy with lots of ammo.  Not that in the whole year I ever go to return fire and the bastards who shot at us….but I felt if I had to, I’d return a shitstorm of lead.


09 November 2011

Safe Driving Tip- Tailgating...

From the Cop side: After working as a cop for 32 years, with a few years working “traffic” I figured I should start posting some tips.  Today’s tip has a video to help get the point across. 
How many of you “tailgate”?  I mean how many of you when you’re driving and in a hurry drive too close to the car in front of you?  This can be the cause of many motor vehicle collisions….(there are not really motor vehicle accidents because almost everyone of them is caused by driver error.) 

Watch this clip to see what I’m talking about…this all could have been prevented: 

And for those who drive on the other side of the road....  Retesting bad drivers

06 November 2011

Weapons Experts....?

                                                                     When you make a mistake with a gun....

From the Soldier side: I’m afraid after my last post about “our version of a real war video game”…some folks think I was joking.  Many of the ideas I had listed were based on real life stuff that happened when we were in Iraq….and I’m sure others have their own true stories. 

My biggest fear of getting killed in Iraq (and Bosnia for that matter) was getting shot by one of our own people…not because they wanted to shoot me, but, because they were not competent with any kind of firearm.  In both Bosnia and Iraq, we had to “clear” our weapons before entering a mess hall, PX and some other buildings.  That was where a lot of “empty firearms” went off.  The sad part was these gross acts of negligence (or mental retardation) didn’t usually happen with some young private, but usually happened with senior NCOs and officers handling the weapons. 

I got to where I would go up to the clearing barrel, clear my weapon, then turn around and watch for those coming up behind me.  In one case in Bosnia, I witnessed a Blackhawk pilot pull his M9 out of his holster a good hundred meters from the clearing barrel and start pulling the slide back while it was pointed in my direction. 

I just yelled: “God Damn it Sir, that’s not the way to clear your weapon!” 
                                         typical uniform of the day in Bosnia, circa 2003-04
He just gave me a funny look and walked on into the mess hall.  I decided the next time somebody did that, I’d pull my M9 back out of the holster and point it at them and start racking the slide and mumble about being a postal worker. 

In another case of weapons skills brilliance, I was getting onto an Army Stryker vehicle at Mosul, Iraq.  The deal on boarding those vehicles was we’d “lock and load” our weapons just before boarding.  I carried an M9 pistol and an M4 carbine.  As I stepped into the vehicle, I saw an Army Major walk up behind me, pull out his M11 (Sig 9mm) pistol, point it at me, and try to load M9 (Beretta) magazines into the pistol.  I looked at him and said: “Sir, them mags aint’ gonna’ fit into that pistol.”

The major looked at me and asked: “Can I borrow your M9 for this ride?” 
I looked at him and said: “Sir you’ve already demonstrated your weapons skills to me, I’ll keep my weapons, but in the event I should get killed before you, you can borrow whatever you like.” 

(you see, I could get away with talking to offices like that because I never wore my rank, unit patch or name tag, and I looked mean.) 

A few days after the Mosul ride, an “unknown major” was boarding a Stryker vehicle to go for a ride, when he locked an loaded his M16, started to step into the vehicle and put his finger on the trigger, letting a burst go inside the Stryker. 

Nobody was hurt, but everybody was staring at every Army Major they saw for weeks…”were you that guy?” 

…and you all remember the story(s) of our really stupid Sergeant Major who  decided he was going to man the “Fifty Cal” machine gun on a few convoys.  He had never trained on that weapon, but what the heck, he was a Command Sergeant Major and he knew everything…right? 

Nope..and to this day I suspect he still doesn’t understand that the M2 HB .50 caliber heavy machine gun does not have a safety….

So, when you go back and read my last post, I wasn't kidding about how to make a war video more real...just add some of the retarded shit some people do and alll the vets will say: "Wow, that's so real."

01 November 2011

New War Video Game...ideas....

From the Soldier side: One of my Army buddies had a great idea on Facebook about how to make war video games more real… some of us added on to his concept and this is some of what we came up with…
All the war videos pretty much have the players running or driving around and shooting up everything in sight. What they seem to forget is all that gear has to be prepped before the mission and there are lots of other things that go on each day in a modern war. So, our video game would have the player dealing with this:

1.) Prior to the mission, your team leader has to spend 4 or 5 hours writing up an OP ORDER .With attachments using every software program Microsoft Office has- Power Point, Excel, Word and solitaire.

2.) Your teams drivers have to do    PMCS   on the vehicles. This typically takes 2 to 4 hours depending on the age, miles and type of vehicle you are assigned.

3.) Your assistant has to check out and PMCS the    SINGARS RADIO  .This includes checking the attachments like the handsets and antennas that are the same ones that have been used since before the Viet Nam war.

4.) You will personally check out the   BLUE FORCE TRACKER  because as the truck commander you seem to be the only one who knows how to use it.

5.) The Lead Vehicle Gunner has to strip, clean and oil her  M249 SAW   to make sure it will fire The rear vehicle gunner will do the same to his M2  FIFTY CAL   (yep, it’s the same gun your great grand pa used in WWII.

6.) After this is all done, the battalion Sergeant Major wants all soldiers to conduct an area police call because he found a scrap of paper outside his nice air conditioned office.

7.) After the police call, everybody has to have a weapons safety class because one of the office REMF officer had another negligent discharge with his M9 9 MIL  this is the third one this month, but so far nobody has been injured, however, several people have been awarded the CAB COMBAT ACTION BADGE  . due to the close calls and crapping their DCUs due to the loud noise.

8.) After all of this, you and your team have a chance to go to the camp PX . to pick up badly needed soap, deodorant, foot powder, Gatorade, chew and other items, but when you get there, the REMFs have already bought everything in stock and you leave with a DVD of the Partridge Family because that’s all they had.

After the PX, you return to the office and attempt to write reports for what your team did that day, however, the software sucks and you can’t get on line to the website where you need to enter the information…so you wait until midnight, and then it works.

Get up the next day at 0500 hours, go to the mess hall and inhale your food, run back to the office and load up your truck and wonder why even though everything was checked and ready to go last night, now the truck won’t start.

When you finally get out the gate, you drive for hours in the 130 degree heat, get shot at but never see the shooter and come back to camp and repeat the above…do this 7 days a week.

CI Roller Dude says: You can't have an adventure without some part of it sucking! 

27 October 2011

Gun Fighting Rules (yes, we do have rules for this sort of thing)

From the Cop side:  Since I retired from the Police Department a few months ago, I got a job teaching citizens and cops to shoot or shoot better.  My old department hired me back part time (so it won't stop my pension) and I help with training there.  I end up practing with firearms about 3 days  a week now...life is good.  With new cops who ask about packing a gun off duty...I tell them about the First Rule of a Gun Fight....here's all the rules: 
CI Roller Dude in Baghdad, circa 2005, this would be a good gun to bring

1. First Rule of a Gun Fight- Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns. Bring four times the ammunition you think you could ever need.

2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammunition is cheap - life is expensive. If you shoot inside, buckshot is your friend. A new wall is cheap - funerals are expensive

3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.

4. If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.

5. Move away from your attacker and go to cover. Distance is your friend. (Bulletproof cover and diagonal or lateral movement are preferred.)

6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a semi or full-automatic long gun and a friend with a long gun.

7. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.

8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and running. Yell "Fire!" Why "Fire"? Cops will come with the Fire Department, sirens often scare off the bad guys, or at least cause then to lose concentration and will.... and who is going to summon help if you yell "Intruder," "Glock" or "Winchester?"

9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on "pucker factor" than the inherent accuracy of the gun.

10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

11. Stretch the rules. Always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.

12. Have a plan.

13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won't work. "No battle plan ever survives 10 seconds past first contact with an enemy."

14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible, but remember, sheetrock walls and the like stop nothing but your pulse when bullets tear through them.

15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.

16. Don't drop your guard.

17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees. Practice reloading one-handed and off-hand shooting. That's how you live if hit in your "good" side.

18. Watch their hands. Hands kill. Smiles, frowns and other facial expressions don't (In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where I can see them.)

19. Decide NOW to always be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.

20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

21. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet if necessary, because they may want to kill you.

22. Be courteous to everyone, overly friendly to no one.

23. Your number one option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.

24. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with anything smaller than "4".  But missing with a .40 or .45 is still not as good as hits with a .22!

25. Use a gun that works EVERY TIME. "All skill is in vain when an Angel blows the powder from the flintlock of your musket." At a practice session, throw you gun into the mud, then make sure it still works. You can clean it later.

26. Practice shooting in the dark, with someone shouting at you, when out of breath, etc.

27. Regardless of whether justified of not, you will feel sad about killing another human being. It is better to be sad than to be room temperature.

28. The only thing you EVER say afterwards is, "He said he was going to kill me. I believed him. I'm sorry, Officer, but I'm very upset now. I can't say anything more. Please speak with my attorney."


20 October 2011

Leadership....something you have to work at to be good.

From the Cop and the Soldier side:  Many years ago when I was a Private in the Regular Army, I never considered that someday I’d be a leader of men and women.  Later, when I became a civilian cop, I again never thought of someday becoming a Sergeant. 

But…it happened.  In many cases, I was thrown into a leadership job because there was nobody else competent….or in some cases the supervisor was “relieved of command” and they put me in charge.  I never turned down a leadership job, but I never cut somebody’s throat to get a leadership job either. 

Some people have said: “he or she was born a leader.” 
Can you figure out what gun this is?

Not true.  You have to have some experiences in life to be a leader.  A leadership school can give you some ideas and tools, but it really can’t make you a leader.   Yelling and acting like an asshole may work for a short time, but sooner or later, somebody will frag you. 

Here’s a short, cheap book that might help some.  This book will NEVER be used in any military or police leadership schools.  But it’s got some rough basic concepts. 

It' s in the Kindle format, and if you don't have a Kindle, it can be down loaded on any computer or Ipad. 

16 October 2011

Hire a Vet...yeah, right....

From the sort of retired Soldier and Cop side:  This post will be a little different than usual.  This is about searching for a job.  For my regular readers you recall I retired last year with over 20 years in the California Army National Guard (I don’t get a pension from them until I hit 60).  This year I retired from 32 years of police work—that I do get a good pension for.  You see I have worked since I was 16...and many times I had a full time job and a part time job...to make sure my family had what they needed.

I decided that after I retired, that I could still do some things that I enjoyed and had some training for in my past jobs.  (police training, Mess Kit Repair for the Army and anything to do with guns.)  I was totally shocked at a few things in regards to finding a job these days.  The last time I had to apply for a job, it was paper forms, now everybody wants stuff done on line.  I’m good with that, but I don’t think it should be an excuse for poor manners.  Recruiters working for some employers will totally bullshit you and then lie about it.  (you can’t lie and bullshit a person who’s been a cop for 32 years and did “mess kit repair” on 2 deployments.)

The first thing I discovered is most civilian employers don’t even tell you how much they are going to pay for the job…and some don’t tell you up front whether or not it’s full time or part time.  In many cases, I’d spend hours filling out a form online and answering questions designed for an 18 year old….like: “did you get along with your teachers in high school?’ 

What kind of retarded shit is that for an adult? 

In several cases, I’d get called up and asked: “You sound perfect, can you come in tomorrow for an interview?”   Well, sure, I guess so, but that’s kind of short notice.  But I’d go….to be interviewed usually by somebody younger that my sons.  Most of the time they had no idea what or how to ask questions….in a few cases I had to explain that a question they asked was illegal….like what church I went to.  Then, after they said: “well, I have to have my boss interview you…” I’d asked: “by the way, how many hours a week and how much does this job pay?”

When they told me, I told them: “It’s not even worth me starting my truck to come here for 5 hours a day at that kind of pay…..I’ll just sit home and watch TV.” 

One job I applied for working as a contractor for a military branch---this was with a nationally known big company that makes all kinds of cool shit and stuff.  I went in for an interview one day on very short notice.  As I walked in, they said: “Oh, we made a mistake, the job we want to interview you for is not that…( a job I was totally qualified for) but for this other job…(that when they explained it to me, I had no idea what they were talking about.) 

The guys who were going to interview me, were not prepared but said it would only take about 30 minutes.  It took over 2 hours…because neither one of them knew what they were asking…they were not prepared.  We wasted their time and mine….and the assholes were not even polite enough to get back and tell me I didn’t get the job.  If they had offered me the job, I would have turned it down because I couldn’t work with people that dis-organized. 

Another thing is since I am a “triple Vet” I am supposed to get job preference in any government job I apply for.  Now, I won’t take a job from a young vet who really needs the job, but when they totally ignore that rule and hire some person who’s never served, then what good is that rule? 

The most dysfunctional place to find a job is with the US Federal Government.   They have tried to combine all federal jobs at www.usajobs.com  but this has so many problems, I’d need another post just to describe them. 

I know jobs are hard to come by these days, but that doesn’t make it right for Human Resources and employers to be rude, lie, not post the pay and hours and in general just be assholes. 

Anyway, I’m happy now working part time and 2 jobs I really enjoy.  You see, it’s not so much the money as I wanted to do something I enjoy doing and work with good people….who know what the hell they are doing.   

15 October 2011

It runs in the Family.....

From the Soldier Side: One of the absolute most outstanding, best, awesome guys I ever knew in my entire Army & National Guard career was a guy I served with in Iraq.  He was my boss for the first 4 months and he is one of the most calm people I have ever known.  I could write an entire blog about him, but this post is for his son. 

His son was wounded in Afghanistan.  Here’s the news video (sorry about any commercials)
Click   HERE!

A HERO!!! 

10 October 2011

Great moments in Traffic Court

From the Cop side:   Over the 32 years of cop work (I retired, but the new chief asked me to come back part time and help with some stuff) I have been asked many times: “What was the scariest thing you did?”  or “What was the most exciting thing you did?”  or “how many people did you shoot?”  but my favorite was “what was the dumbest person you had to deal with?” 
In order: “I was scared so many time, I lost track”  “I loved getting in vehicle pursuits or going after armed bad guys”  “I don’t answer that question”  and last “some of the traffic tickets I wrote brought out the really dumbass in some people….I mean who wants to get a ticket for shitty driving?” 
Kind of like this:  How to do police work clicky here
 What makes some traffic tickets truly great memories is when the offender request to go to traffic court to contest the ticket.  Let me make this clear, I believe it is a great right we have in this country to be able to go to court…in traffic court like any other court; the burden of proof is with the prosecution---which in most traffic cases is the police officer who wrote the ticket.  I wasn’t even bothered when some of the drivers I cited stood up in court and flat out lied under oath. 

One of my favorites was this overly self important dipshit who was driving a little Porsche one afternoon.  In California they have a Vehicle Code section for blocking intersections during heavy traffic.  You know when the light is about to change and people keep driving into the intersection when traffic is not moving---they just cause it to jam up more because they are in a hurry. 

When I did traffic enforcement, I always tried to be very fair…I would think “what would the average person do in this situation?”  If the average person followed the rules, then so should everybody else.  I was the most generous when doing speed enforcement with radar--- and I still wrote more tickets in those days. 

So, back to the guy in the Porsche.  It was late in the afternoon, traffic was pretty heavy on a Friday and everybody just wanted to get home from work.  (in those day s more folks were working)….and there I was sitting at a red traffic signal waiting for my turn to go through a busy intersection.  If somebody blocked the intersection and it delayed the cross traffic when their signal changed for more than 20 seconds, I’d cite the offender…  well that day I had 3 drivers go ahead into the intersection and block it after their light turned yellow…then the asshole in the Porsche pulled in to.  The cross traffic had to wait for over 40 seconds, so I moved around cars and pulled the Porsche over.

I did the normal “safe” approach, asked for his driver’s license, and stuff.  He responded with: “why do you need that?”  I don’t like to argue, so I just said: “once you provide your license etc, I’ll explain the minor infraction I pulled you over for.” 

Nope…he wanted to know why I pulled him over before he’d provide me with what I asked for.  I told him it didn’t work that way, and if you would please hand me his license etc.  The little turd had to argue with everything I said…but I didn’t engage. 

I finally got his stuff, explained that he had blocked the intersection for cross traffic for over 40 seconds..and of course he asked: “Don’t you have anything better to do?”  (no we had just chased a truck full of burglars an hour before and arrested them at gun point, so we were just relaxing) 

Once I had the dumbass’s license and stuff, I went back to my patrol car and wrote the ticket…when I returned to dumbass, he was indignant that I wrote him a ticket.  He told me: “I’m not signing that ticket.” 

Which I explained was his right, but I would have to call my supervisor over and “she” would explain the same thing I was going to explain about him having to spend the weekend in jail etc.  When dumbass heard the supervisor was a “she”, he said: “the supervisor is a woman?”  He didn’t seem to like that at all. 

He finally signed he ticket…and of course told me he’d take me to court…which he did.  He even brought an attorney!  (for a $75 ticket)

When I was called up in traffic court, I explained the entire incident in great detail….I looked at my notes a few times.  All the attorney could say was: “Officer, I see you looked at your notes, but do you have any recollection of this case without looking at your notes?”
I said: “Why yes I do.”

Attorney: “Officer, how many tickets do your right each month?”

Me: “Oh anywhere from 20 to 40 depending on how much real police work we have to do.” 

Attorney: “well, if you write that many, and it’s been a few months since you wrote my client, how do you recall this incident so well?”

Me (looking at the traffic judge): “your honor, should I answer that?”  Judge dude: “Yes.”

Me: “Because your client was so obnoxious.” 

All the cops, deputies and highway patrol sitting in the back of the court room were laughing their asses off.  it was a good day in traffic court. 

04 October 2011

One time at….(Sung to the tune of “One time at Band Camp”)

From the Soldier side:  One thing I have found that has been consistent throughout military history has been many troops have a good sense of humor.  In many cases, this is an essential quality to survive.  Many of these “funny times” in war may only be funny for those who were there at that time.  Years later when you try to explain it to somebody, it just ain’t so funny. 
But, if you run across an old buddy you’d de-ployed with, and remind them of that funny moment, you’ll start laugh so hard, people will call the police.  

One of the “you had to be there funny things” we did was use the line from the movie “American Pie” this one time at band camp… we changed it to this one time in Bosnia and later, this one time in Iraq. 

Click here to see what the hell I’m talking about:   This one time at band camp...

I often used humor in both my police and Army duties over the years---right when the shit was about to hit the fan…or, at least we thought it might. 

This one time in Fallujah, Iraq, my team and I were about to go out with the Marines  we were attached to.  This was at the end of 2004, so there was still some stuff going on, but it was pretty safe…sort of.  We got up early that morning to make sure our gear and weapons were ready.  I looked at my guys and could see that they were pretty worried…(they had forgotten to breath).  I had to think of something to get them calmed down, or we’d never make it out. 

One of my guys was going to drive the M1114 Turbo Charged 12,500 pound Up Armored Humvee, one was going to be on the gun, an M-249, and the fourth was the “terp.”  I got them gathered and said: “we need to get to the mess hall and make sure we eat.  I want everybody to have a full breakfast, eggs, bacon, ham, oatmeal, coffee, milk, juice, toast, apples, etc.”

They looked at me in disbelief….and I added: “WE can’t shit our pants in fear on an empty stomach!” 

Then there was this one time in Bosnia….we ran out cappuccino in the mess hall.  That was rough.