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

Sep 26, 2008

A Day Without NCO's

Well everybody, I have been sitting here at Ft. Bragg "training" for my eminent deployment to beautiful, sunny Afghanistan. I have been embracing the suck everyday but I have not been posting everyday like I was. It sucks, but the simple fact is the army has very strange ideas about what I am supposed to do while I am here. These pricks actually want me to work...wait check that. They want me to be occupied all day every day, but none of it is actual work. More or less we spend the majority of our time cycling through this station or that station to complete the ridiculously long checklist the army has for all the shit we are supposed to do in order to be deployed.

Basically, the attitude of the majority of the soldiers here has become one of bemused indifference. The phrase most heard around this place when soldiers are confronted with something that good ole' Uncle Sam wants us to do is quite simple, and yet quite appropriate, "What the hell are they going to do? Send me to Afghanistan." Normally in response to some officer or NCO informing them of the tremendous amount of trouble that awaits them if they don't complete whatever task has been presented them, which of course (in the minds of all the leadership) the entire world will come crashing down around us if it is not completed within the next 2-3 seconds. Whatever, its fun watching them getting all riled up over shit that will not really affect our deployment at all, then they run around like chickens with their heads cut off. Like I said, fun to watch.

However, when something actually comes up that will affect the deployment, or more specifically the deployment of an individual soldier they are exceedingly cavalier about that. Funny how it works, things that will affect their evaluations before the army are taken care of almost immediately or are given ridiculous amounts of attention until they are finished. Whereas, issues that only affect one or a small group of soldiers are left to fester until someone really gets ready to go postal...shitty part of this is, we've only been here for a little over a week. I wonder how much fun this will be to watch when we have been in country for 6 months or 9. Stay tuned, this is going to get a lot better.

So today was something that I have never seen in ten years in the army. A day without NCO's. Now for those of you who don't know, NCO's are the guys who run the day to day operations of the military. They get you up in the morning, feed you, keep track of you, (constantly, like you are 2 years old), they teach you, they discipline you and all of that shit. Officers sign papers and walk around looking for people to salute them. Small differences in the rank structure, but whatever. So today, they had to go to a class to learn about a new piece of equipment. (OPSEC rules prevent me from telling you what it is.) They were gone the whole day. No bosses, anywhere. I mean all of them were gone. Not one NCO anywhere. Oh, the fun that we could've had.

But noooooo, what do we do, we do laundry, pack our gear, and train. You see the army has changed in the last decade. A LOT. At one time the military was quite a good time, not to mention a hard fighting, hard training, bunch of hellraisers. Now we are populated with, well there is no real way to categorize what we are populated with now. But I will tell you this, they are not quite as fun as the ones I started off with.

I wish there was more fun stuff to tell you all about but this is ridiculously boring, so I am going to take a nap.

Love you mom...

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