Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It's about time

Civilian life is boring and I'm pretty much at my limit with it. I wrote a lab report for one of my classes, and in it, wrote the formula for force which is mass*acceleration: F=MA. Isaac Newton is credited with deriving this formula, but this is a universal truth. It has always been true and always will be true. I didn't cite this formula so I was accused of plagiarism by the lab TA. I say TA loosely, because the TA is not a professor nor does he have any degree at all. He is simply some kid that took this class before me and got a good grade in it, so he is allowed to teach it. I pointed out that it is not necessary to cite F=MA as it would be akin to citing 2+2=4. I was told to cite it. So I put in a footnote for it, then cited Newton in his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica and then cited the creator of the universe, whoever he/she/it may be for allowing such a natural constant like force to exist. This was apparently a mistake. I was told I am a troublesome student.

I had drill this past weekend. The CO informed us of an imminent deployment to Afghanistan in our future, sooner than expected. I wonder if I was the only one in the room who was excited to hear that. At least when we are on federal orders, I get paid. The National Guard's solution to my massive pay issue was to give it to me as a tax deduction. It sounds great except for the small issue that I'm single with no kids or house, so I cannot stack deductions up. So what I have is a piece of paper worth $0. I'm not sure if I'm even going to bother fighting this: it took 3.5 years to get this far. I don't think I have the patience or motivation to beg for this money anymore. This money was essentially stolen from me every month I went to drill, and now they are trying to scam me out of getting it back.

Speaking of scams, let's talk about the new stop-loss policy. Here's how it goes: If your ETS window (day of deployment - 180 to days to day of deployment + 365 days + 90 days reintegration training) is going to be during your deployment, you have two choices. You can not sign an extension and be immediately discharged from the Army, supposedly with a honorable discharge. There's no such thing as a free lunch, so that sounds way too good to be true. The second choice is to extend for a minimum of 12 months to whatever amount of months you need to ensure you will deploy for 1 year + 90 days before your ETS comes back around again. If you immediately sign this extension, you will get $500 a month extra on the deployment. If you hesitate and there are between 180 and 90 days to the deployment, you get $350 a month. If you decide at less than 90 days to extend, you get nothing but a handshake.

I thought about getting a job with Blackwater, but the job came to me without even leaving the military! Cash for war!