25 February 2011

Busting Posers, a company with pride.

From the Retired Soldier side: Most of my readers know that I try to get along with everybody. Even knuckelheads in Iraq, and suspects I’ve arrested as a cop over the years.

However, there is one thing that I really have a hard time not getting mad about…that’s when somebody tries to pretend that they were some kind of war vet that they were not. Usually the story they tell is easy to find bullshit in. Most of those faking being a war vet are not going to say: “when I was in…., I was a cook.”

They usually say: “I was in the Specialgreenberetsealsrecon forces when I was in Iraq Nam. They also will usually tell you how they were wounded and got the Army Cross and the Medal of Honor and all that BS.

Then I ask them: “What was your MOS?” or "what unit were you in?" 

Well, I friggen hate posers. When I served in Iraq, I was a simple Mess Kit Repairmen. I loved my job and I did everything I could to avoid danger. I earned no medals and did nothing special.

I got an e-mail from this company that makes really cool things. They take your awards that you earned and put them on coffee cups, decals etc. I guess this is one company that takes pride in what they do and are not just in business for the money...because they lost at least $20 on this sale. 
This is the e-mail they sent me about some outrageous posers:

Busting Posers

We don't get many, but....

Dear xxxx:
Once in a while we get an order that doesn't pass muster. More often than not it's a simple mistake, and we get it quickly corrected. Some awards have similar names, like the American Defense Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. After 30 or 40 years, it's understandable if someone puts the wrong one on.
Sometimes, it's flagrant, and It's not hard to spot someone who has no idea what ribbons or the devices stand for. Here's an example of a poser who wants people to think he was a Navy SEAL in Vietnam. There are a few problems. 6 Purple Heart Medals or did he just like the color of the silver star devices? Not to mention how improbable (if not impossible) it would be to receive 6 Navy Presidential Unit Citations during the Vietnam War. We didn't fill this order. Here's the award image:

Note: this is what "Posers" come up with for their awards

Note from CI Roller Dude: the emblem at the top is what the US Navy SEALS EARN.  All awards are EARNED, they are not WON.  Of the few real honest to God SEALS I worked with in Iraq, (I was not one) I felt they were extreamly professional and cool.  For anybody to pretend to have been one, should be kicked in the b....s. 

23 February 2011

Sunny Days.....Waste of public money

From the Citizen side: One of the things I sort of looked at whilst I was in Bosnia and Iraq was local government corruption. There are a few red flags I learned to watch for and when I look at government waste, fraud, theft and corruption in the US, I see some of the same red flags.

Since the stock market, housing market and so many businesses got into trouble in the last few years…it eventually had an effect on local and state governments. The simple fact is, our government system runs on taxes, fines and fees. When the money coming in gets reduced, then these government agencies have less money. It’s very simple math.

Now when money gets tight, what do these government leaders look at cutting? Are they going to cut things that they like to spend the tax payers money on? Parties, nice office stuff, nice cars, etc...Hell no…most of them will cut all kinds of public services, cut the number of employees, and cut the employees pay and benefits. But, the little things that the bosses like to spend money on that serve no useful purpose for the tax payers.

As most of my readers know, I try to avoid writing about politics, and shit like that, but I try to write about stuff that I have direct knowledge of. How about money wasted in police departments and other government agencies?

A little department I used to work for…many years ago before I went to Bosnia and Iraq…I was in charge of the armory. All the department weapons and ammo were my responsibility. Those who know me know that I try to always plan ahead. So one day I did an inventory of all our surplus weapons and how much ammo we needed. I felt that some of the antique weapons we had were not suitable for law enforcement, but could have a great value for collectors if we traded them in.

We had two WWII submachine guns there were in very good condition and worth about $50,000 each (retail- so we could expect half of that in trade in). So, between the 2 guns, I figured we should get $50,000 in trade in. Plus trade in lots of other guns we no longer needed---I estimated we would have about $100,000 in trade in value. With this, I came up with a plan to outfit the entire department with new sidearms, new rifles & shotguns for the cars and a bunch of other stuff.

I presented the plan to the Captain. He said it wouldn’t work, but he kept the paperwork.

When I was gone on deployment, he did the trade, but with another gun dealer. When I came back, I looked at all the stuff he got--- it only added up to about $10,000. I was confused. Then I saw that in the deal, the captain got a new compact pistol to wear with his suit…for free. He wasted about $90,000 in trade, but was able to make himself look good to the chief…by claiming the trade in idea was his.

In my opinion, we should have gotten the best value for our trade in---the best deal we could get for the tax payers.

A local college, not a very big college… needed new software for operations. You know, the stuff colleges do….a committee of workers and computer geeks looked into a few different programs and recommend a program in the middle cost range---explaining that it was easier to use etc and cost much less than some of the other programs that did not work very well. The middle cost program was about $250,000. The most expensive program was FIVE MILLION DOLLARS, and required $250,000 a year to upgrade etc.

Guess which program that college bought? And it appears that one of those in charge is good friends with one of the owners of that high prices software company.

The local county did the same thing…spent millions of dollars on crap software that didn’t work and needed lots of fixing….dumping more money down the drain.

This sort of thing goes on everyday. People in charge of government agencies spending millions of dollars on crap, then they claim that they need to cut the workers pay and benefits.

For me to get into police work…I put myself through college. I put myself through the police academy. I had to volunteer for several months to just get my foot in the door of a police department…I started out working shitting shift…dealing with everybody’s problems…drunks, car crashes, drunks, family fights, drunks, armed robberies, drunks, shop lifters, drunks, rapes, drunks, crazy people, drunks, people trying to kick my ass, drunks, murders, drug addicts, drunks, and did I mention drunks. Working nights, weekends, holidays, missing my kids birthdays, soccer games, family events, Christmas, Thanksgiving, working in the heat, the rain, the cold and drunks. I’ve been kicked in the head, spit on, yelled at, threatened to be sued a million times, had to take guns and knives away from all kinds of assholes etc, etc, etc.

And now the citizens of California think my retirement is too much. I figured with my education and skills, if I had worked at a civilian job for 30 years, my pay would have been about 10-30% more for all those years---but I chose police work because I knew I could make a difference and when I retire, the odds are I am not going to enjoy all my retirement anyway.  (we tend to die 5.3 years after retirement--but I work out, so I'll beat those odds.)

So the next sniveling citizen who starts bitching that some of us public servants make too much money and all…they can kiss my ass.
I have dozens of stories of how public bosses have wasted lots of tax money on stupidshit. 
When you look into when a public official waste money like this…there are two possible reasons

1.) Corruption of some kind. 
2.) Incompetence. 

16 February 2011

30 years of ARMY Food...

The history of mess?

Yummm....CI Roller Dude eating C-Ration, in West Germany, Circa 1976

From the Soldier side: If you study military history, right after weapons and tactics, THE most important thing is the food served to the troops. Many years ago, I was reading an actual account from the American Civil War (or, the War Between the States). In this story, the troops were issued 3 days worth of rations. These rations were something like: Bacon, Hard Tac, Flour, Beans and a mess kit.

Yummy huh. As this story went along, the sergeant in charge of this small squad got mad at his troops because they had eaten the entire 3 days of rations by lunch time on the first day.

In the mid 1990’s, I was a squad leader in a Combat Engineer company. We were doing training at Fort Irwin, CA. We were going out on a 2 day exercise. We were issued rations for 2 days--- MREs.

Before dinner time on the first day, some of my guys came up to me and told me they were hungry. I looked at them and said: “well, I guess we can have our chow break for dinner now…”

(we’d been humpin’ across the desert and were dry and tired to.)

My guys looked at me and said: “Sarge, we’ve already eaten everything they gave us.”

I realized that not only did I have to work on fire discipline with these kids, but food discipline.

I can recall many of the Army mess halls I’ve eaten in during the 20plus years I was in the Regular Army and the National Guard. Our battalion mess in Berlin was good. The other battalions sucked.

Almost every Army National Guard mess hall I’ve ever eaten in during training served some of the worst shit I have ever eaten in my life.
We had no idea what this was

When my National Guard unit was called up for training in Bosnia, we went to training with the RED BULLs. Their mess hall sucked. When we got to Ft McCoy for more useless training, they opened up an old WWII mess hall. I think they found some old boxes of food from 1945. That shit was gross. But when we finally got to Bosnia, we had great chow!

An actual meal served to us at Ft McCoy.  Notice the "Multi Meat".

Same deal for Iraq. We went to Ft Lewis, WA, and were stuck in the old WWII barracks and I think they found more shit from 1945. We got substandard food. But, we could have walked half a mile to the “real army” mess hall and they had pretty good chow.

When we got to Iraq, most, but not all, of the mess halls were pretty good. The closer you were to a general, the better the chow was.

Now, I can look back and laugh.

If you need a very good do all e-manual for the M9 Beretta pistol, check out:

M9 Beretta-92FS-everything-manual-ebook

The orginal "Multi Meat" Turkey or Chicken?

11 February 2011

My Range Safety Briefing:

CI Roller Dude running a Cop range. 

From the Cop and Soldier side: My best friend had a little problem whilst at a civilain range a few weeks ago.  Private ranges are sometimes the worst place to shoot---depending on the locals. 

I think the first time I helped run a weapons range, I was about 19 years old--in the US Army, in West Germany. I was taught by my Army Sergeants that if you’re running the range, you have to make sure that every knucklehead on the range understands what it really means to be SAFE. They trained me to watch for the nervous shooters, and they really taught me to watch out for the shooters who thought they knew everything. They were the most dangerous because they had a tendency to not really listen to what you were telling them about safety.

Over the years, I came up with my own ways to run a range and ways to give a safety briefing that made sense to even the dumbest shooters. A typical Army range safety briefing might sound like this:

“ Keep your actions open and your weapons pointed up and down range. Follow all commands from the tower.”

Well, maybe somebody like a cook who has to qualify, has forgotten what all of that means. (not to pick on cooks, but what the hell, to be honest, they are almost always a problem on weapons ranges. What can I say?  ...and as for some of the Army cooks cooking, I'd rather eat an MRE.)

So, when I run a weapons range, I tell those helping me to watch for those who might do the wrong thing…but usually after MY briefing, nobody does anything bad.  This was usually told with my very loud outside voice. 

“Listen up! This is my range today. I don’t care what rank you are, if you fuck up on my range, I WILL throw your ass off. There are 3 basic rules on my range!"

1.) You will be safe- if you shoot anybody on this range, one of my assistance or myself will kill you. If you wound anybody, we will wound YOU. Is that clear?
CI Roller Dude can train on any weapon from a civil war musket, to 40 MM.

2.) You WILL qualify on my range. If you can’t fucking shoot, tell me now and we will work with you before you go on line and waste ammo and our time. Is there anybody here who has never fired a (what ever weapon we’re using that day)? Don’t be shy…we’ll be able to tell in just a few minutes. If you speak up now, I will help you and I guarantee YOU will qualify, unless you are totally retarded.

3.) You WILL have fun on my range. Hell, you are getting paid to be here. You are getting free ammo and you are getting some of the best instructors in the world for FREE. Enjoy it.

The last times I ran the pistol range for my Army National Guard unit, I had 100 % of the those who had to qualify, qualify. And nobody has ever been injured on my ranges...and most people come up to me after the range and tell me that they actually had FUN. 

09 February 2011

I know some hero dudes and women...

From the Retired Soldier side: As I was walking about my cop job today....I like to get out and do good ol' fashion foot patrols and talk to citizens.... I was talking to a civilian employee who works for the same government agency my police department works for.

This nice lady was talking about some vet, and she said: "you guys are war heroes!"
I looked at her, and I said: "I'm not a hero, but I was lucky to have worked with a few in Iraq.”

I just read one of the blogs I have over on the side (look over there on the right…further down…there..)

I do tell people who care and listen, in my case, I actually enjoyed my deployment. In my case, I think my many, many years of police work and advanced training in dealing with stress helped me make it through and look at it as something somebody needed to do.

A lot of our troops have been or are still getting shot at, blown up, and everything else. But what is being done for them when they get home? Not enough.

If you “Support the Troops” then think about what YOU can do to keep supporting them when they get
home. We’re having too many lost when they get home. I have volunteered to be and “adviser” at a local college to help the vets. I was an NCO for over 20 years….and I can still help the troops…even the ones who’ve taken off the uniform.

Go read Embrace the Suck (that’s one of the saying we used for our wars) http://onemp.blogspot.com/

OK, I’ll get off my soap box.

06 February 2011

Super Bowl Memories.....who played?

From the Soldier Side: (I told this story last year and the year before,and the year before that... but it’s one of my favorites)
Super Bowl Sunday, Jan 2005! There I was, in Baghdad, Iraq. My team had just flown in that day from some shitty mission.... (I think it was Mosoul/ Telafar). We were worn out and tired. We had been sent to Mosoul to help after the Army mess hall had been blown up by a suicide bomber. Still, after all these years, I think one of the hardest things to investigate is something where the primary suspect has killed himself. In that case, I really wish he had made a mistake with his fuse and blown himself up outside the camp.

Kind of like going on Vacation- in a Black Hawk

But the biggest hinderance in that investigation was not the insurgents, but the idiot Sergeant who had put herself in charge...she had no idea what to do.

Anyway, after we got off the Blackhawk chopper in Baghdad, we were trucked back out our rooms. We dropped our gear and headed for dinner….
We walked over to the mess hall. After clearing our weapons, grabbing a tray of chow, I saw that they had a bunch of ice cold beer. I thought it was a celebration for our safe return.

Nope. It was Super Bowl Sunday 2005. This is the most important holiday in the US Army. The Marines have the Marine Corps Birthday, I'm not sure what the Navy and Air Force have, but the Army has Super Bowl.

Now, I figure a lot of you won't understand how important beer was....because General Order #1 said we could not have anything with alcohol in it...unless a General authorized it. But, even with a General's approval, there could only be a 2 beer limit per person. Now, to be honest with you, I don't normally drink that much any more. But that time of the deployment, a cold beer sounded really good. 2 cold beers sounded even better. They went down quick.....ice cold, yummy.

Then, my #2 guy looked around and found all the Islamic Terps and the Mormon soldiers. We convinced them that they should get their ration of beer and bring them to us.....only 2 at a time.

I lost count of how many beers I had. And wouldn't you know it, walking out of the mess hall (really kind of staggering) there was the battalion commander and the sergeant major. They were assholes, and I just walked by and said: "Gentlemen, dinner is on me."

We made it back to our rooms and passed out. I never did watch that game and I have no idea who was even playing. But the 2 beers were sure gooooood! I admit.. I was a bit ripped.

(For those reading this outside of the United States...the Super Bowl is kind of like the world cup soccer, except better ads on TV.) 

04 February 2011

What's that thing on....oh, it's an.I Pod Holder

From the Soldier side: If you are a person who studies history...military history to be specific, you may find that there are some things that seem to happen in almost every war we've had in the last 100 years. For any war that's gone on for more than a year, our Army seems to go through changes very rapidly.  A rapid change is not normal for our Army.   

When I was in the “old Army” we had a saying: “The US Army…200 years of tradition unchanged by progress.”

(This seems to apply to our VA also).

In the my old Army days, our uniform was the Olive Drab (OD) Green. No fancy camo pattern. It hadn’t changed much since the Korean war.

CI  Roller Dude, before he was CI Roller Dude...when he was a Grunt Eleven Charlie

When I joined the National Guard in the late 1980’s, the issue was Woodland camo. We used the Woodland through Bosnia in 03-04, then just before we went to Iraq in late 04, we were issued the Dessert Combat Uniform (DCUs) I liked the DCUs.
CI Roller Dude when he was a Combat Engineer

When we returned from Iraq, we soon were issued the new Army ACUs. I don’t like this uniform. It’s too weak…with Velcro pocket holders that fail and shit sticks all over the uniform because of the Velcro panels to put patchs and do-dads on.

When we were in Iraq with the Army, I e-mailed some pictures back to friends and family. My old Police Chief saw our new Army Issued helmets (which I guess supply didn’t want back, so I kept it.) He asked what the little thingy was on the front.
What is that little black clipy thing on the front? Smells like Camelshit!

CI Roller Dude, waiting for a ride, in Bumfak, Iraq- With IPod clip on helmet

I told him it was to clip an I-Pod to so we could relax with our music on convoys and stuff.

02 February 2011

What's a Page View?

From the Blogger side:  Most of the people who know me know that I totally lack the ability to do something like a blog.  I can actually take an entire computer apart and rebuild it.  The electronics parts doesn't bother me.  It's crap like software.  For me to use any software, I'll first look at it and ask: "Is this some shit I really need to use for anything useful?" 
Then, if I think it might be useful, I'll give it about 3 hours.  If I can't figure it out in 3 hours or less, I throw it away.  Kind of like some of the software they "trained" us to use when I deployed to Bosnia and Iraq.  We sat through a week of training and I asked the trainers from Man Tech: "who came up with this shit?  It sucks.  It's like 1980's software and it's totally useless." 

They argreed with me, but none the less, we had to suffer throught the stupid training.  In the end...out of a class of about 50 soldiers, only 5 computer geeks could use all the software....and then when we got to Iraq, we were not even using those programs. 

Anyway, my point today is...my blog site had a new thing I added...called "Page Views." 
I'm not really sure WTF that is, does that mean everytime somebody views one of the pages on my blog it counts it?  So, if it's at 15,000 plus...does that mean the 3 or so people who actually read this stuff have looked 5,000 times each? 

(Nobody who knows me in real life could think I actually do blogging.... One of the great secrets of the CI Roller Dude.)