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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The "fashion police"? it was pretty easy, and amusing how easy it was, to out smart them. If they were E1-E5, like the fuel point guys bitching about not ground-guiding all the way to the road, a simple "thank you Private" worked pretty well. If they were E8 or above, single word answers of "yes" or "no" with no emotion, while standing at parade rest infuriated them. The only time they really got over on me was an awesome Mess Sgt who made my Soldiers go hungry by denying them entry into "his" chow hall because we were wearing "Combat Shirts". Good job super-trooper.

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Forcing soldiers to have that stupid dog tag with "Army Values" written on them. What made it stupid, is that the Chain of Command from the President down to the Battalion Commander routinely violated every single one of them, on a daily basis.

If your organization has to write down their "values", they do not have any values. Period.
 

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The "fashion police"? it was pretty easy, and amusing how easy it was, to out smart them. If they were E1-E5, like the fuel point guys bitching about not ground-guiding all the way to the road, a simple "thank you Private" worked pretty well. If they were E8 or above, single word answers of "yes" or "no" with no emotion, while standing at parade rest infuriated them. The only time they really got over on me was an awesome Mess Sgt who made my Soldiers go hungry by denying them entry into "his" chow hall because we were wearing "Combat Shirts". Good job super-trooper.

What's your entry in this contest?
It's all fun and games till a Soldier gets crushed because troopers are too lazy to ground guide (and their leadership too lazy to do their jobs.)

When Soldiers see their leadership pick and choose which orders/standards to follow they will think it's OK to do the same. You will be less pleased when they are blowing off what you put out.

Any time you let shit slide you set a new standard. And that sloppy shit is what helps get guys killed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ol' Sarge, What you say is true, but it's also true that Soldiers have a highly efficient and evolved sense of bullshit detection that didn't require any input from me. In fact, what they intensely focus on is whether or not you blindly pass on the obvious BS proclamations from above, or if you are willing to say "Hey, that makes no sense, doesn't further the mission, and is actually detrimental to my Soldiers morale, pride, or longevity. If they believe that you: A. Won't lie to them B. Actually care for them and C. Will stand up for them , then they will follow wherever you lead, and if you fall, or just fall out, will carry you to safety rather than just leave you lay. They do have a choice you know.


The exit road from the fuel point at FOB Marez was approx. 350m of level, three vehicle wide, non sight obstructed, white chunk gravel with only forward driving. If there was no other traffic, I required the TC of each vehicle to ground guide half of that distance, and then, at the TC's discretion, to proceed to the main road at a walking pace. Of course, reverse travel, in ANY situation except actively in engagement with the enemy, required ground guide. I treated them as adults, and was seldom disappointed.

Our leadership styles may differ a little, and I respect your views, and your service, but one of my proudest achievements in life was bringing 12 other Soldiers, who went outside the wire every day, home without a scratch, twice.
 
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Well argued.
 

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It's all fun and games till a Soldier gets crushed because troopers are too lazy to ground guide (and their leadership too lazy to do their jobs.)

When Soldiers see their leadership pick and choose which orders/standards to follow they will think it's OK to do the same. You will be less pleased when they are blowing off what you put out.

Any time you let shit slide you set a new standard. And that sloppy shit is what helps get guys killed.
"Standards" are what mediocrity and losing wars are made out of.

I've found that "Big Boy Rules" leads to less accidents than holding soldiers' hands. If you treat people like they are idiots, they will behave like they are idiots.

And perhaps that is why the Taliban is kicking our asses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great discussion! Now let's get back to ferreting out stupidity in the military! :smile:
 

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I don't know I got promised a good school after boot camp and signed up for 6 years to get the school I wanted. Went thru boot camp in 87 @ Great Lakes in Ill.

Get called up and told we made a mistake and over filled the school. soooooooooooo you still have to stay in for 6 years. You are not going to be an E-4 when you get out of school. Your not going to be on a sub. We are going to put you in a gas turbine school. I told them to go get fucked. They kept me @ Great Lakes for about 5 weeks. Ended up with a dd214 and a ticket home.
 

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Heh heh, that's easy... Mid-nineties Winter Gunnery at Graf... The Bn SMAJ blockin' the entrance to the chow hall, refusing to let the Joes in to eat unless they could show him their copy of "Winning (Whining) in the Cold" tucked in their Gore Tex inner pocket.
 

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Good ole Graf... Plenty of stories come out of that place for sure.

I was doing an EIB FTX in Baumholder winter of '09, they had everything set up at the bottom of a huge hill. Anybody that is familiar with BHolder knows its no joke in the winter time (and the hills are no joke either) we got about 4 feet of snow and ice over night, still sent us out there.. A bunch of guys were spraining ankles, nothing serious, but we still shouldn't have been out there for nothing.. Well, a BG shows up to "check on us" and busts his ass coming down the hill, rolled head over heels at least 3-4 times, twenty minutes later we were heading back to the company area and turning in weapons. Haha, good times.
 

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My fave is the Military personnel system. I was enlisted as a 13B but served as a clerk, due to my 72 wpm typing speed. Got commissioned as an M60A3 tanker, and attended M1 conversion school, and was promptly assigned to a Scout Platoon with M3 CFVs, no training involved. After my Scout Platoon time, someone discovered that I was fluent in Russian and had travelled in Russia/WARPACT, I was made an Intel Officer, again no school involved. Left active duty and joined the National Guard as an M48A5 Tank Platoon Leader, and then became a Cavalry Troop Commander, but had to attend CAV Leaders' course, because I "wasn't CAV Qualified" nevermind my Scout Platoon time, because the CAV school didn't exist when I went through Armor Basic, despite Blackbirding to, you guessed it, setting up the CAV School. So, after my Troop Command, I went back to being an Intelligence Officer, serving as an interrogator/trainer as well as various other Intel billets. I went IRR to become a social scientist, living and working in various East European countries and particularly Afghanistan. Developed a reputation for being somewhat of an expert in Afghanistan, Central Asia as well as other regions, and decide to get back in to the Reserves in order to cash in on GI Bill for my kids. So, the Army, in it's infinite wisdom, decides the ONLY billet I can fill is that of "Logistics Officer". Since I'm a cultural expert in a combat zone where we are still involved, I ask about serving in one of the multitude of Civil Affairs, Intel or Psyops billets, and the answer is "No - you are not school trained" and I am too senior to pick up a school. So, here I sit, as a Logistics guy, doing something I've never done, never been trained in, while people with minimal theater knowledge and a paper diploma do things I am expert at, and in which I make a really nice living on the civilian side.

There's Stupid, Army Stupid and Army Personnel System Stupid.
 

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I hated the double standards for females, and I'm not talking about the pt tests. I hated nco's that would screw over a soldier in a second for simple convenience. I hated everything about garrison life. I was only happy when we were in the field.

Civilians in the chow hall with attitudes. Hell, civilians anywhere on base with attitudes. They burned me up.
 

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I can't stand DTS. Now they make the soldier responsible for Army-incurred expenses like air travel. As a CDR, I racked up over 20K worth of unpaid expenses through no fault of my own - well, mostly not my fault. :) in any event, I was leading the way in unpaid debts in the entire BDE and perhaps event the command. As a result, I never punished a soldier for this sort of thing and when I was questioned about PVT Snuffy's unpaid balance I'd always blame it on DTS, CITIBANK and whatever, but never the soldier. Actually, in my experience it was NEVER the fault of the soldier. My BDE CDR was awesome and covered me until the problem eventually fixed itself.
 

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I can't stand DTS. Now they make the soldier responsible for Army-incurred expenses like air travel. As a CDR, I racked up over 20K worth of unpaid expenses through no fault of my own - well, mostly not my fault. :) in any event, I was leading the way in unpaid debts in the entire BDE and perhaps event the command. As a result, I never punished a soldier for this sort of thing and when I was questioned about PVT Snuffy's unpaid balance I'd always blame it on DTS, CITIBANK and whatever, but never the soldier. Actually, in my experience it was NEVER the fault of the soldier. My BDE CDR was awesome and covered me until the problem eventually fixed itself.
With DTS, the US Army is financing operations by forcing soldiers to borrow money. It is completely and utterly unethical and demonstrates how scummy the Army can be as an institution. It would be much cheaper and more ethical to just issue debit cards with an estimated cost of deployment loaded on them and ask soldiers to apply to refill as needed.
 

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With DTS, the US Army is financing operations by forcing soldiers to borrow money. It is completely and utterly unethical and demonstrates how scummy the Army can be as an institution. It would be much cheaper and more ethical to just issue debit cards with an estimated cost of deployment loaded on them and ask soldiers to apply to refill as needed.
I agree completely. The Army is essentially borrowing money from soldiers. Soldiers are responsible for payment and their credit gets dinged if they don't. Part of the reason my DTS got so screwed up was the complexity of the system and my lack of computer expertise. Finally, a sharp E-4 took care of it for me! :)
 

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One of my favorite stupid Army rules was the ECP at Camp Arifjan, (Arifjail), Kuwait. I had to remove my shirt, carry a cell phone and an M9 in a shoulder holster. 3rd Army policy believed this ''disguise'' made me blend in with the locals while driving to and from duty locations in country. Trying to get off Arifjail was quite the nut drill compared to getting back on after traveling to one of the other posts in Kuwait. Just a CAC to get on but to get off one had to be led by an O-5, CW-5, E-9, GS-15, or a WG-9 with TDY travel orders, not 2 pages, had to be a front and back copy signed by any one of the fore mentioned ranks. I remember the 2nd shift guard mount relief being turned back because they forgot their ''memo'' authorizing them to replace the day shift at the SPOD (Shipping Port of Debarkation) a couple of exits north on KT 30. I don't miss it.
 

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And another thing. What was with the Ugandan Mercenaries checking CAC I.D.s at every DFAC (dining facility), library and MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) building when I came off the road, MSR/ASR? In their 511 knock off uniforms and M4's, who thought it was a good idea to have these contract Mercs guard anything? It really chapped my A more so than the seat of the M1151A1 gun truck!
 

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I was in Balad, Camp Anaconda or Camp Sustainer or what ever 3rd COSCOM wanted to call it in summer of '03. I had 2 mechanics stationed at Camp Diamondback when that suicide bomber attacked the DFAC. Fortunately they had already left the DFAC. It was during the time when Command thought is was a very good idea to hire locals because the thinking was they would embrace the US as friends. Needless to say the vetting process of hiring LN's left much to be desired. Achmed would say his cousin Fayeed was "OK" and that was about the extent of it that I gleeaned. We had an incident where one of my unit's 88M's (truck drivers) was returning from sick call. He saw several LN's combing through trash bins. He alerted the MP's who took the LN's in custody. The LN's were found with soldier's family's return addresses on them ripped from care packages. Of course many soldiers did not follow the command policy of destroying all home address material. That soldier's reward was a threatened Article 15 for taking too long to return from sick call based of his time out from the CASH. I can't make this stuff up. Needless to say no one in my unit ever turned in a LN again for anything even blatantly suspicious (risk/reward or toxic command structure, you decide).
In Balad, I was informed at the daily Battalion BUB (Battle Update Briefing) that the 3rd COSCOM CDR was positioning teams of MP's at different intersections to pull soldiers over if their chin strap was not worn properly. He led several of these traffic/chipstrap traps personally. Now my personal chinstrap on the ''Fritz'' helmet was half cotton canvas and half nylon. The adjusting straps were affixed with proper 1'' wide 100 MPH tape IAW 3rd COSOM's CSM directions. Unfortunately as I sweated in the 120 degree plus heat of July 2003, the cotton part of the chin strap would loosen. But I couldn't adjust it, why you may ask? because it was taped IAW with policy. Generally by morning it would tighten up again. I need to stop reading the emails I sent my wife from 2003-2004.
 
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