They Said It Better Than I Ever Could...

These words that I write, they keep me from total insanity. -Charles Bukowski

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Aug 6, 2008

Back To The Bullshit...

Well the US Army is up to its old tricks again. So here's the situation. (and yes I am unabashedly bitching here) We are leaving for this deployment sometime within the next month or so. (Actually like 3 weeks) And we can't even get our command group to tell us how much shit we are allowed to take with us!

I'll get into all the other stuff later on down the line in this post, but just think about that for a minute. We are leaving to serve our country for what will probably turn out to be a year or more. And they won't even tell us what to pack. Am I the only one that thinks that this might be an important piece of information that we would need...preferably at least a month or two prior to leaving?

So we are going to a foreign land for a year and they haven't even told us how many pairs of underwear to bring. What a crock of shit this is shaping up to be.

It really makes me laugh to, because I came from one company to another one for the purposes of this deployment. When I got to the unit the first day I was there, late no less, I got a good, long speech from the First Sergeant. Outlining amongst other things the fact that this is the best company in the state and we would always have the information that we need and the equipment that we need. Well Top, I've got to call bullshit on that one. We are 20 some days out and I don't even have a packing list.

Even worse, one of my bosses has called the unit several times trying to get information for us, and you know what he got from those fuckers? An order from the 1SG to stop calling the unit unless it is an emergency. They even went so far as to tell him that he will know when he needs to know! Motherfuckers! This is about as chewed up as it gets. Completely and utterly unacceptable. Failure of leadership and failure of the chain of command to do its fucking job.

Now if anyone of us, meaning those of us in the line platoon were to neglect our duties in this fashion we would be swiftly and harshly dealt with. However, so long as you have a little bit of rank on your collar or with the new uniforms your chest just above your gut, you don't have to worry about being held accountable in any way, shape, or form. I'll bet you my left nut that the commander and 1SG and all their boys know exactly what to pack. They know how much they can take, what to take, how to pack it and where to stow it. Meanwhile we are all sitting here with our thumbs up our asses and all of our shit laying all over the garage waiting to see if it has to go or not.

Not to mention, when we get to the Mobilization station we are going to get a whole mess of extra shit to take over there with us, and we are going to get even more when we get in country. You think this might cause a little bit of a problem? I do. A company full of soldiers trying to pack enough stuff to get them through a year and not have to shell out a mountain of their own cash buying stuff that they should've either been issued or been able to bring with them prior to deploying, and then being given a shitload of extra stuff when we get there. Where the hell are we going to put it all? How's it getting over there? When do we have to have it in to get it shipped and on and on and on...

So far my command group has lived into every stereotype that there is about higher ups in the US Army. Which wouldn't really bother me that much, I mean they are who they are. And I'll tell you this you don't make it very far in the US Army being a good person and taking care of troops. You make it up there by making everything look right on paper and making your superiors look good. And it is a tried and true fact that making your superiors look good involves making your subordinates feel like shit.  However, this bugs the shit out of me because they told me that they were different.  They lied.  A liar is the worst kind of coward.

Now they'll defend themselves with the standard line of shit.  The whole, "We're sorry, but the guidance hasn't come down from battalion yet.  We'll let you know as soon as we can."  Yada Yada Yada.  Blow it out your ass.  You are telling me that the Army has been sending soldiers to Afghanistan for oh, about 7 years now and there is no cookie cutter list of the shit we need to bring?  How full of shit can you be?  

But I digress on that.

Now, remember that whole extra week firing weapons that I told you about? Well we got a lovely email from our Platoon leader about what would happen to us if we didn't go. Which makes me laugh because they already know that this is fucked up and that a good portion of those told to go wouldn't show up. They said that we would have to live with our decision and would be dealt with harshly. OK, so what does that mean? I figure it means that anyone that doesn't show will probably lose some rank and probably lose any shot they had at getting promoted within the next year. Like I told you before thank the good, good Lord that I don't have to go, but this. Actually resorting to threatening your soldiers on the cusp of being deployed to a war zone with them for a year. Well they can do that simply because, they aren't going to have to go outside the wire at all, ever.

None of this means anything to them. When we get there (and any one who has ever been in the military knows this is true) the command group is going to be shacked up in some nice well air-conditioned tent and they will hold their little meetings and fill out their paperwork and issue their orders, but they never actually have to do anything. Why would they care about ordering us to another week or training right before we leave? They are going to be home eating good food, and being with their families, and doing whatever else they do. All the while these guys who have to go are going to be firing weapons they already fired and will fire again before we leave. Away from their families and loved ones. But who cares at least the bosses don't have to do it right?

The Urban Dictionary contains a phrase that applies here, it is defined as follows:

1. A common situation, experience or every day activity that inexplicably becomes disorganized, confused or grossly fucked up.  Similar to but more severe than goat rope.
2. Being in a situation SO screwed that there is no hope of recovery or clean withdrawal. also see FUBAR.  Next stage up from Cluster Fuck is simalar to goat rope.
3. A reaction one has when he knows when he or she will eventually get screwed. Or already has been screwed.

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