Friday, July 6, 2012

On Combat

Well, we have been here for 7 months so far, deployed/mobilized for 11. This deployment has to be the most laughable waste of American military resources and tax dollars in history. I hope our situation is unique - if it's not then I am not even sure why any of us are here. We have made such little difference here that I am confident that the brigade (our battalion particular) could leave overnight and no one would notice that we were gone. We expend most of our manpower securing the base and driving our leaders to other bases for meetings. We rarely go on mission and when we do, there is no large scale impact. Sometimes we drive to a checkpoint and give AUP classes on how to be AUP. Sometimes we drive to a checkpoint and no one is there or they are too tired or busy and then we drive back. We rarely spend more than a few hours away from the FOB. Senior leaders berate junior enlisted soldiers for failing to perform duties way above their paygrade and then give each other Bronze Stars for pushing paperwork on the FOB all day. The base defense staff spends their time combing the FOB looking for people smoking too close to their tent, people having sex or catching someone without the proper uniform on instead of actually worrying about threats to the base. Our missions have evaporated as other NATO nations take over as we prepare to leave for good next year. The majority of the people in the company work 6 hours a day in some sort of base defense role on 2 week rotations, usually with 2 weeks off after. If someone is late to their shift, the Command Post staff get reamed - one of our responsibilities now is to wake everyone up 45 minutes before their shift so that they are not late. We are waking up 30 year old men because they cannot wake up on their own for anything. Bizarre does not even begin to describe this deployment.  Senior NCOs and Officers spend entire days in their tents sleeping or watching movies without any real responsibility.   Multiple times a day I have to ask myself "What the fuck are we doing here?" We are supposed to be helping the ANSF units in our area transition but most of them do not want our help or are already transitioned and we just visit them so that we can say we have a job to do. Guys attempt to write themselves up for CIBs for the smallest scratches on their truck or any number of random "noises". Missions are canceled so the battalion mortar team can fire off illumination rounds for a 4th of July party that no one attends because the meat was shipped from the United States and has spoiled long before it arrived here. Leadership chart themselves on the first flights home, leaving subordinates to run everything long after they are home with their families. Bizarre does not even begin to describe this deployment.


  1. It was brigade policy to put all E-6 and above in for Bronze Stars for the deployment. Not for anything special, just for going. Today's military gives out medals...for, get this...DOING YOUR FUCKING JOB!

    Couldn't agree more. Either way, stay safe and don't let them get the better of you, ever!

    Be good.

  2. Battalion started monthly APFT/weigh in over here (which I thought you couldn't do) in order to flag as many people as possible. There will be a small handful of junior enlisted soldiers who come back with any proof they actually served and fought over here. Everyone else will just get their time served annotated on their DD214.

  3. This happens in other theaters and time as well....especially when the mission is getting closer to being wrapped up.

    When I was in Bosnia the NCOIC put everybody in for an ARCOM, but he did give people the ability to write-up their paperwork. The Air Force actually has a stricter requirement for members getting Army medals than the Army does- go figure. In the end I was the only one to get an ARCOM because the write-up for every other single Airman was the same and the O6 said something to the effect of, "If they don't give a shit, neither do I...the can have achievement medals and like it."

    The thing is, much of the corporate world is just as effed up as the Army and you learning this lesson now may pay you big dividends later.