1. Bad morale>>>>>>>>>>>>
3. Angry Leadership>>>>>>
4. New Rules>>>>>>>>>>>>>
That is how it goes. Bad morale amongst the troops leads to said troops bitching which leads to the leadership being angry all the damn time because they have inferiority complexes and can't do anything about it so they get pissed and make new rules that plunge the troops further into their state of low or non-existent morale.
And the circle continues...on and on and on and on, for fucking ever.
This is the state of affairs here at my beautiful FOB right now. I mean am I the only one who has ever noticed this before? Well I know that I am not because someone wrote that up on our platoon board sometime today and guess what happened.... The leadership got mad...
And what did they do...
They made a new rule that only the squad leaders or their designee could write on the platoon board!
I mean really, these guys who are supposed to be mature, intelligent and pragmatic individuals (that's why the Army chose them as leaders) went and in response to the "circle of suck" actually decided that they would follow the circle to a T and make a new rule.
Now am I the only leader around here (unfortunately a low level leader) who thinks that when soldiers do something like this, they are not only expecting a reaction, but also trying to goad one out of you. They even went so far as to spell out the reaction that they didn't want to see. I mean they LITERALLY spelled it out. And the leadership was still unable to take the hint and possibly do something that would've positively affected morale here. Nope, they decided that they would just make another rule.
Fucking dickbags. (My apologies for the language) Now, I love the Army, I just hate the people that run it and I am really beginning to question the vetting process used to determine and choose leaders in said Army. I mean where do they find these people? Do they actually hold recruiting sessions at "Grade school bully survivors" meetings? I could actually see the recruiting slogan. "Hey, he bullied you in school, now you can bully him” And pick up every small minded, ego maniacal, Napoleon complex having, piece of monkey spunk they can find and make them into officers. But now I am done about that, I do believe that that was enough vitriol for today. Some of them are really good. Most are nothing more than average, and some of them are just really bad. Unfortunately, their badness is amplified by the power of their position. A bad soldier can be lead, motivated and educated. A bad leader just causes trouble than they are worth. (Oxygen thieves, the lot of them)
So what else is going on? Well we have been making steady contact with Mr. Taliban Man, and he is really starting to get on my damn nerves. I wish he would just come out and fight, but given the numerical, technological, and training superiority he is facing I guess there is no real alternative for him. But it still pisses me off. However, I did just finish reading a military history of Afghanistan and I'll tell you what, these are some bad mama jama's out here in these mountains. I mean they waited out the armies of Alexander, they were able to withstand the onslaught of the Mongols, they kicked the British out (a couple of times), they forced the Soviets back to Russia with their tail between their legs and they survived a few decades of civil war and tribal unrest sprinkled throughout their history. I mean militarily speaking that is quite a resume. Especially since the only weapons you have are the ones that you plunder or are given to you by some rival superpower when you are fighting their chief adversary. (Read...the US when the Afghans were fighting Russia)
I guess all that I am trying to say is that someone, somewhere dreadfully underestimated these people when it comes to their resolve to not be dominated by any foreign power. The guys that live in the mountains could give a shit less about he government; all they care about is the Koran and their tribal elders. The government means little if anything to them. The only place that the government really means anything is in the cities. Out in the mountains, these people are on their own, and I'll tell you that is just they way that they want it. Which I have to say is admirable. I cannot help but have a small tinge of envy for the way that they live their lives.
I have always said that I was born in the wrong epoch of history. I would've been better suited to medieval times, or maybe the days of the pirates, or maybe back during the western frontier days of the United States. And that is the best analogy I can use to describe this place. THE WILD WEST. First of all it looks like Arizona with snow, and this place is about as lawless as the Wild West. The borderlands between Afghanistan and Pakistan have for hundreds if not thousands of years been the most lawless in the world. Tribal elders and the strongmen of any particular region mete Justice out here. Mountain passes are still taxed by whatever asshole has enough guns to control it. The people are still terrorized by bandits and what not roaming the countryside.
I guess this is what we are here to remedy. However, there is still part of me that wishes that there were someplace that I could go and live the romantic version of that kind of life. Surviving by your wits and living and dying by the gun. Don't get me wrong; I love all the little creature comforts that we have back home. Even more so now that I have had the majority of them taken away from me. But I can't help wondering if I could hack it in the life that these people have to live everyday. Pulling a life out of the desert with their own two hands and bearing their children along the way. (Last of the Mohicans reference)
But I guess I should be at least a little thankful that before I die, I was able to spend some time in the last untamed land in the world. Maybe I am romanticizing it a bit too much, probably so, but it doesn't change what this place is and it doesn't change the fact that I hope that there is always at least one place on earth that refuses to bow. That idea makes me happy.
All right, enough of that shit. What's next? The Army is scaling back reenlistment bonuses. It was a front-page article in the propaganda pages (Stars & Stripes) the other day. Why are they doing this? Well the economy has gone to shit, and we all know that there is no real problem finding meat for the grinder when the economy is in the toilet. So they scale back the bonuses because with no one able to find a job, people are going to be doing one of two things. One, flooding colleges and universities. Thinking that education, which has traditionally been insulation against unemployment, will save them. Or if they can't pull that off a bunch of them will sign up for the wonderful adventure that is military service. So given that the recruits are going to be a lot easier to get now, the Army cuts bonuses. It's the only logical thing to do. The thing that struck me as funny was that some officer said in an interview that the state of the economy has nothing to do with the bonus situation. HOLY O' SHIT, DID HE ACTUALLY JUST SAY THAT! Anyone besides me want to call bullshit?
Well I guess just about all of this stuff could be added into the circle of suck at one point or another. Anyone who would like to add their own or make up their own circle is more than welcome. I haven't copyrighted it yet.
So with that I will leave you today with a question for all the military men & women out there to determine whether or not you know your military acronyms.
What does this mean?
The first person to answer will receive a personally autographed "Embrace The Suck" poster...(kidding)
All right, I am done for now.
I love you mom...