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My unit ordered some air freshener for the CP. Instead of ordering boxes, they ordered CRATES! Crates of sour apple air freshener. Strong shit! We used to slam the nozzle to break it off then lob them into someone's B-hut. Couldn't go back in there for a whole day even with all the windows and doors open!
 

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In '03 while working as the S3's driver, our BC had a change of command come up. Our battalion was in a small FOB in a Ministry of Interior compound in Mosul Iraq, deep in indian country. We took mortar fire and/or RPG fire about 5 times a week, and sniper fire daily. In the 7 or so months we were there our compound got hit HARD with coordinated RPG/RPK attacks at least half a dozen times, hell they even hit us with a DShK once. So anyway, big battalion change of command, generals and all sort of big brass were set to come in. So among the other crazy shit they made us do was to completely power wash the helicopter pad where the brass was going to land. So yeah, power washing pavement, while taking intermittent sniper fire. After about 3 or 4 near misses I told my platoon sergeant to pound sand and that I wouldn't do it. In the middle of the monumentous ass-chewing that ensued, the battalion CSM came up and asked WTF was going on (he had been watching me take the sniper fire). He told me to un-ass the AO to cover, then proceeded to ream the SFC who told me to do it and threatened to make him take over the power washing. :roflmao:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Several Iraqi "civilians" (insurgents) noticed that some of the insurgent mortar rounds wouldn't explode. One day, they struck up a conversation with one of my smart-ass NCOs and asked him about it. The NCO immediately saw through these guys and told them that "there's an invisible force field over the FOB that senses incoming metal objects and deactivates the fuses.

Months later, US forces seize a cache of mortar rounds and roll up some bad guys. Upon inspection, each mortar round fuse was wrapped in plastic wrap. The intel guys asked the insurgents why they did this. The insurgents replied "so the rounds would get through the force field."
 

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Not too many shenanigans but when a bootenant wants a third SAW on post when your squad has only two, you gotta improvise, adapt and overcome.

:cool:

(These fellows survived their encounter with our SAW.)
 

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Hitch hiked down Rt Tampa on my day off to get to Navistar to try and swing a dope deal with a supply Sgt there for gore-tex jackets for my squad.

I had jumped in with another Company of MPs escorting a convoy south, but they turned around when four fuel tankers went up in flames and shut Tampa down about ten miles from Navistar. I said "OK thanks for the ride!", got out, and started walking. Acouple Brit land rovers picked me up a couple huindred meters on the other side of the conflageration (it really was pretty impressive, flames were shooting up 5-6 stories high.).

I also tried to buy a Sterling SMG for $100 cash from an IP who stopped to chat with me. The conversation was friendly, but I had him low-muzzled from hello to goodbye.

Right before our next tour of Iraq, my new CO sorta insisted that I quit telling that story. I guess he was afraid that all the young Privates would start hitch-hiking all over Iraq.
 

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I look back now, riding up and down Tampa, Jackson and Sword in a M998 without doors, couple of sand bags on the floor, a piece of plywood on the roof frame with a spare tire ratchet strapped to the plywood in only a Fritz (helmet)and old style flack jacket with a couple of Iraqi plates taped inside, was pretty freaking stupid on my part. May 2003. Older but no wiser!
 

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It really was different in 2003-2004. When we went back in 2008 I could've sworn that every CSM in the Army had been there writin' rules from sunup to sundown since the day I'd left.
 

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It really was different in 2003-2004. When we went back in 2008 I could've sworn that every CSM in the Army had been there writin' rules from sunup to sundown since the day I'd left.
Like no ''PT running wearing ballistic glasses or sunglasses'' in that absolutely pristine environment? Or ''All Pers. will wear their ballistic eye protection at all times except when sleeping''? Uh........
 

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It really was different in 2003-2004. When we went back in 2008 I could've sworn that every CSM in the Army had been there writin' rules from sunup to sundown since the day I'd left.
I couldn't believe what a difference 18 months made. I was in theater from Feb '03 - Mar' 04, and returned in Sep '05. First tour was half rolled up sleeves, unbloused boots, safety glasses were unheard of, no neck or groin protectors (much less the wings), DCU with woodland gear (win) instead of ACU (fail), bought flat bread and kabobs from locals everyday in Mosul, no doors no armor on vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I couldn't believe what a difference 18 months made. I was in theater from Feb '03 - Mar' 04, and returned in Sep '05. First tour was half rolled up sleeves, unbloused boots, safety glasses were unheard of, no neck or groin protectors (much less the wings), DCU with woodland gear (win) instead of ACU (fail), bought flat bread and kabobs from locals everyday in Mosul, no doors no armor on vehicles.
In 2008 at FOB Marez, in Mosul it was pretty bad. The bad guys weren't hitting the FOB much but the city was chaos. I probably should have felt bad for the kids, but what I really felt sorry for was the plight of the dogs and donkeys. Those poor animals had it bad there. :(

As for CSMs, most we encountered were top-notch guys who weren't concerned with silly uniform infractions. The one time I was corrected for a minor infraction (name tag and US ARMY tag switched) some E7 brought it to my attention in the most polite and discreet manner possible. I thanked him. I was a USAR field grade officer on a small team. My enlisted guys never had a problem either. I think your typical "military bullies" weren't keen on picking on some E4 who works directly for a field grade. The bullies would terrorize the lone frightened Private. I made a lot of mistakes in my Army career but I ALWAYS took care of my subordinates like a mama grizzly bear with cubs. Word spread about the friendly officer with the sinister "dark side" and nobody messed with my guys.
 

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In 2008 at FOB Marez, in Mosul it was pretty bad. The bad guys weren't hitting the FOB much but the city was chaos. I probably should have felt bad for the kids, but what I really felt sorry for was the plight of the dogs and donkeys. Those poor animals had it bad there. :(

As for CSMs, most we encountered were top-notch guys who weren't concerned with silly uniform infractions. The one time I was corrected for a minor infraction (name tag and US ARMY tag switched) some E7 brought it to my attention in the most polite and discreet manner possible. I thanked him. I was a USAR field grade officer on a small team. My enlisted guys never had a problem either. I think your typical "military bullies" weren't keen on picking on some E4 who works directly for a field grade. The bullies would terrorize the lone frightened Private. I made a lot of mistakes in my Army career but I ALWAYS took care of my subordinates like a mama grizzly bear with cubs. Word spread about the friendly officer with the sinister "dark side" and nobody messed with my guys.
Nice.
 

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Marez 2008-09. I remember after about 8-9hrs out on mission, I was walking back to the CHUs from the TOC, about 3/4 of a mile, with two big .50 ammo cans stuffed full of various types of ammo and ordinence that I had horsetraded to get for my squad. It was starting to get a little heavy, so I was walking briskly. 1st Cav had just taken over Marez.

As I'm walking across an open area, a SGM stands watching me, with a little grin, just a little off my line of appoach. As I get within a few feet of him, he takes two steps forward, directly into my path, pretending to focus on the horizon.

It takes a concious effort to not just run him down, but our persons do touch. He immediately jumps away, yelling "You need to watch where you're walking SSG!" I suppose he expects me to squirt a tear and snap to a modified quivering form of parade rest. I straighten my torso as best I can with the ammo cans pulling both shoulders down, and face him.

He then asks me, with chin pointed skyward, " Where are you from Soldier?" I respond with the best spur of the moment lie I can think of, to match his lie of me running into him- " Butte Montana SGM". He grunts and turns away, I carry on with my walking.

Was it my USAR unit patch? My MP patch? Was he just trying to establish his dominence? Had I stepped into a "Cav area"? Was he just bored? Don't know, but I did immediately form an opinion of him as a man. It wasn't good.

So yeah, I did make the aqaintence of the military bullies in Mosul. I just didn't, and don't, see the point of bullies playing childish games with the Soldiers who went outside the wire while the bullies stayed in the land of the MWR tent salsa lessions and gleefully awaited their return to chide them about the angle of their PT belt.


Oh well, it was a long time ago really, and I ate baklava last night. :D
 

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Surprisingly, most (but not all) of the E8+ dick heads I came across in the 101st in garrison toned it way down in theater. One notable exception comes to mind.

On my second tour our CSM we deployed with (who was pretty damn awesome) was sent back to Campbell after a pretty nasty truck accident (not combat related) and he had messed up his back. He tried his best to stay, but they forced him to go back stateside. His replacement was a complete jackass. Spent almost all of his career as a DI, then a Senior DI, then a training company 1SG, then senior staff in a training battalion, by some god damn Army miracle a training battalion CSM. He hadn't been in a line unit in something like 18 years. I thought there were systems in place in the Army to prevent something like this from happening, because needless to say, this guy was completely ruined with regard to being a senior NCO in a line unit. He came to us slick sleeved, and very pissed off at the world that he hadn't yet heard a shot fired in anger. He made it a point to enforce the most ridiculous uniform standards he could think of, up to and including wearing PT belts while in PT gear on the FOB in the middle of Iraq. He and I crossed paths when he decided to drop in on a PCI I was conducting on my squad prior to a dismounted patrol. Started telling my Joes to wipe all of the lubrication off of their weapons, getting upset that there were "irregularities" in how things like camelbaks, ammo pouches, etc. were setup on our armor/chest rigs, you name it. We literally had to stand there at the position of attention and go through a f'ing basic day 1 type inspection. Of course, he didn't actually go on the patrol. :jerkoff:

When we got back to Campbell he expected us to be conducting PT the day after we got off the bird, stating that he didn't give a shit what the regulations said about the first 48 hours. Then he made sure to shitcan BAH for anyone who was married, but had to spend a couple nights in the barracks. All in all a real winner. His little speech to try to get me to re-up basically consisted of screaming at me that I might as well shoot all of my Joes in the head because I was abandoning them and condemning them to death, and that I was sure to be a complete failure in life because the only thing I was good for was the Army. Great guy.

ETA: this was in Mahmudiyah
 

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Surprisingly, most (but not all) of the E8+ dick heads I came across in the 101st in garrison toned it way down in theater. One notable exception comes to mind.

On my second tour our CSM we deployed with (who was pretty damn awesome) was sent back to Campbell after a pretty nasty truck accident (not combat related) and he had messed up his back. He tried his best to stay, but they forced him to go back stateside. His replacement was a complete jackass. Spent almost all of his career as a DI, then a Senior DI, then a training company 1SG, then senior staff in a training battalion, by some god damn Army miracle a training battalion CSM. He hadn't been in a line unit in something like 18 years. I thought there were systems in place in the Army to prevent something like this from happening, because needless to say, this guy was completely ruined with regard to being a senior NCO in a line unit. He came to us slick sleeved, and very pissed off at the world that he hadn't yet heard a shot fired in anger. He made it a point to enforce the most ridiculous uniform standards he could think of, up to and including wearing PT belts while in PT gear on the FOB in the middle of Iraq. He and I crossed paths when he decided to drop in on a PCI I was conducting on my squad prior to a dismounted patrol. Started telling my Joes to wipe all of the lubrication off of their weapons, getting upset that there were "irregularities" in how things like camelbaks, ammo pouches, etc. were setup on our armor/chest rigs, you name it. We literally had to stand there at the position of attention and go through a f'ing basic day 1 type inspection. Of course, he didn't actually go on the patrol. :jerkoff:

When we got back to Campbell he expected us to be conducting PT the day after we got off the bird, stating that he didn't give a shit what the regulations said about the first 48 hours. Then he made sure to shitcan BAH for anyone who was married, but had to spend a couple nights in the barracks. All in all a real winner. His little speech to try to get me to re-up basically consisted of screaming at me that I might as well shoot all of my Joes in the head because I was abandoning them and condemning them to death, and that I was sure to be a complete failure in life because the only thing I was good for was the Army. Great guy.

ETA: this was in Mahmudiyah
This doesn't say much for your Battalion Commander or XO. That was a complete leadership failure, especially the end of the deployment. Although I have not seen many favorable results from I.G. Complaints/Investigations, the effort should still be made, especially in an extremely toxic leadership situation with absolutely no support/intervention by the chain of command.
 

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This issue of the Stars and Stripes 15 January 2004, made me smile enough to send it home with note to my wife, "Check out Page 11, It'll explain a lot about being here! ''(Iraq)

IMG_5039.jpg

The point is page 11 is printed backwards(the one to the right with the Tikrit ''Poker Run"). Being a CW 3 at the time, it made me chuckle and shake my head East and West.
This probably belongs under Stupid Stuff from Deployments but it is all good I guess.
 

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I was freezing my butt off in the shower, the water was ankle deep and it was like february or so, I reached up to turn off the air conditioner that was blowing freezing air...
Yeah, I stopped right there just before that Darwin moment. I don't know how many guys got smoked doing that.
The Blackhawk I was flying in took some ground fire as we approached Camp Liberty and I had the best roller coaster ride of my life until we touched down. I grabbed my gear, unloaded it at the CHU and headed for Chow, then Laundry then a haircut. As my hand touched the doorknob of the barbershop 3 rounds of .50 cal stiched the door just above my head. Someone forgot to clear a weapon and leaned on the butterfly.
Glad I had clean shorts.
 

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This doesn't say much for your Battalion Commander or XO. That was a complete leadership failure, especially the end of the deployment. Although I have not seen many favorable results from I.G. Complaints/Investigations, the effort should still be made, especially in an extremely toxic leadership situation with absolutely no support/intervention by the chain of command.
I agree, but to be honest I was in a really bad place in my life (was at the end of a nearly 20 month stop loss, and things were falling apart with my soon-to-be-ex very quickly) and I just wanted to get the hell out. Not that a lowly E6 could do much about it.
 

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I agree, but to be honest I was in a really bad place in my life (was at the end of a nearly 20 month stop loss, and things were falling apart with my soon-to-be-ex very quickly) and I just wanted to get the hell out. Not that a lowly E6 could do much about it.
Please do not think I was chastising you. You could not have been the only soldier/NCO/Warrant Officer/Officer in a Battalion of 800 Soldiers that dealt with this douchebag. I can not believe no one from the LTC down was blind. He is the guy I would have left on the side of Tampa just outside Samarra!
 

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Please do not think I was chastising you. You could not have been the only soldier/NCO/Warrant Officer/Officer in a Battalion of 800 Soldiers that dealt with this douchebag. I can not believe no one from the LTC down was blind. He is the guy I would have left on the side of Tampa just outside Samarra!
It's all good Brother! I didn't think that at all. No, I was certainly not the only one with problems with this guy, sadly the BN CO, XO, and S3 turned a blind eye. It's pretty sad. The 2 CSMs we had before this clown were some of the finest men I have ever known, in the Army and out. One had spent years on the trail, and could crew ass like no one's business, but he was an outstanding soldier/NCO/man. Not sure what happened with this guy...
 
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