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Why Specialist Anonymous Will Not Be Re-enlisting

June 24th, 2008 by SPC Anonymous

A Specialist who is currently still serving has written this and asked if he can share it with the world here. And since I am such a huge fan of having other people write stuff for my site, I have agreed. Pretty much anyone who has ever served can identify with at least some part of this list. It seems to be a list themed week so far. I may need to run with that.

  1. I am sick of shaving.
  2. I am sick of weekly haircuts.
  3. I am sick of military haircuts.
  4. I am sick of waking up at 5:30 am
  5. I am sick of formations.
  6. I am sick of running.
  7. I am sick of pushups
  8. I am sick of sit-ups.
  9. I am sick of PT.
  10. I am sick of layouts.
  11. I am sick of maintenance.
  12. I am sick of motor pool closeouts.
  13. I am sick of police calls.
  14. Addendum to 13: I am sick of picking up smoker’s disgusting cigarette butts because they are too lazy and ill-disciplined to put them where they belong.
  15. I am sick of waiting around for hours, doing nothing, but not allowed to leave work.
  16. I am tired of driving. I have never had any real interest in it, and now, thanks to the Army forcing me to get a military license despite never having held a civilian license, I view it more as another degree of enslavement to the whims and fancies of others to such an extent that I categorically refuse to get a civilian license any time in the predictable future.
  17. I am sick of downloading CONEXes to be inventoried, multiple times in a week.
  18. I am of being treated like a child, all the while being told that the military makes you a man.
  19. I am tired of mass punishment.
  20. I am tired of being accused, even only by inference, of being a thief any time anything goes missing.
  21. I am tired of being accused, by inference, of drug use when another person is caught using drugs.
  22. I am tired of doing nothing for most of a day, then being kept late because someone else realized that they didn’t know where something was, and therefore, I have to try and find it for them.
  23. I am tired of MREs
  24. I am tired of military food.
  25. I am tired of hearing cadences at 6:30 in the morning, especially when I have the day off.
  26. I am sick of mandatory “fun” events.
  27. I am sick of being told that I will enjoy something/have a good time, when it is plain that not only will I not have a good time/enjoy said activity, but I must participate in sports that I absolutely despise.
  28. I am tired of being asked if I want to re-enlist.
  29. I am tired of being asked why I do not want to re-enlist when I answer no.
  30. I am tired of waking up at three AM to sit on guard. I know it is necessary, but that doesn’t make me hate it less.
  31. I am tired of block leave being the only times I have available for leave.
  32. I am tired of details, big and small.
  33. I am tired of being tasked out to do other unit’s work for them.
  34. I am tired of the bullshit associated with jumps.
  35. I am tired of being told that if I PCS, I won’t have to jump again. I know that, but I won’t get a PCS approved without a re-enlistment contract, and that isn’t happening–see 1-33 inclusive, and 36-92 inclusive.
  36. I am tired of safety briefs that completely fail to apply to me (most notably, being told not to drink and drive–see item 16. Note that many other things completely fail to apply to me, but drinking and driving is very high on the list.)
  37. I am tired of hearing the same safety brief, three times in a day, from different people at different times.
  38. I am tired of CQ shifts.
  39. I am tired of Battalion Staff Duty Shifts.
  40. I am quite certain that even one Brigade or Division Staff Duty Shift will be more than enough to make me despise them as well, given the likelihood of seeing an important personage, and then having to do some trivial, pointless, task to satisfy their whim/ego.
  41. Field problems are aptly named–I am in the field, and that is a major problem. Camping trips are occasionally fun, but not when you have to repeat a task over and again, and then comply with standards that are completely disregarded in actual combat (e.g., safety stakes and safety Ts)
  42. Dress right dress is getting pretty damn annoying, especially when it applies to tasks (i.e. someone else is doing it, therefore, we must as well)
  43. Class A inspections. This would not be nearly so annoying if it wasn’t for the fact that they are the only reason that we have to wear them.
  44. The fact that jump boots are going away, so I’d be forced to look like a goddamned leg during 43.
  45. “E-5s and above, fall out of this formation. Battery, Attention! Half-right, FACE! Front-leaning rest position, MOVE!” every time someone makes their E-5 (or above).
  46. Being told, “You’re doing great things for your country,” in an disingenuous tone of voice during any of the above.
  47. Being told, “You’re doing great things for your country,” in a genuine tone of voice during any of the above.
  48. Being told, “You’re doing great things for your country,” at any time, in any tone of voice, whatsoever.
  49. My chain-of-command’s probable reaction to reading this. Yes, sir, I beat you to it.
  50. Reward by punishment–while I am flattered that I am so highly thought of, I’d rather that you demonstrate it in a different manner than giving me more work to do.
  51. Waking up at 0330, to go to a battery formation at 0400, to go to a battalion formation at 0430, to go to a brigade formation at 0500, to go to a division formation at 0600, to be ready for a division run at 0630.
  52. Number 51 being the start of an exciting, fun-filled week filled with mandatory attendance of other team’s sporting events, as well as number 53.
  53. Standing at parade rest, while carrying M-4 with bayonet, for over an hour in the hot-ass North Carolina sun while someone who has never served in the division, let alone the military, yammers on about how great we are.
  54. Running back after 53.
  55. Performing retirement ceremonies for important persons from other units–where the hell are their units, and why can’t they be bothered to march around in a circle for their CO?
  56. The existence of Hooah!2O. That is crossing the line in terms of being entirely too full of one’s own propaganda; being a party to that shame is more than any man should be asked to bear, even if the complicity is only by association.
  57. I miss my dogs.
  58. I have a degree to complete, and no, I can’t complete it to the level I’d like to in the military.
  59. I would, at some point in the near future, like to have a long-term girlfriend/lover/wife. Being in the military is not conducive to maintaining such a relationship, especially with the current 15 month deployments.
  60. The fact that I can legitimately be questioned, and frequently am, about where I am going to and why I am doing that by people I have never met, have no connection to my unit, and I am unable to respond with the truth–namely, that it is none of their business, and that I resent the fact that I am being delayed in my errand by someone who does not belong to my unit for their own satisfaction– without serious repercussion.
  61. Along those lines, being berated for failing to salute an officer who was crowded by NCOs (in a breach of military custom and courtesy, as they should have all been to the left and behind by half a pace) when I could not see said officer’s rank. In a combat zone. By an NCO who was reading a newspaper while walking, and decided that junior enlisted were easier targets to satisfy his ego, rather than correcting a continued breach that caused others to fail to notice an officer walking by. Oh, and said NCO also failed to correct another nearby NCO who also failed to salute, for the same reason that we did.
  62. Being mandated to attend ceremonies for people who I have never met, are not in my unit, and otherwise unconnected to me by anything less tenuous than shared military service and proximity to their locale–often made close by their travel to my location from some other base.
  63. Being required to respect the rank of an NCO who does not deserve his rank, does not deserve respect as a person, and is wholly incapable of showing anyone who is not his superior any respect whatsoever. Yes, Hall, I’m thinking of you.
  64. I am far too available, for far too many people, to do far to many things for them, all the time.
  65. I am not a messenger boy, I have not worked as a messenger boy, and I will not seek employment as a messenger boy. Unsurprisingly, I must play messenger boy far too often.
  66. If I shoot someone in the face, I will get a medal. If I give someone who I am not married to an orgasm, I can go to jail. Go figure.
  67. When I show initiative, I invariably fail to do it the way my superiors envisioned it being done, despite them having no idea that it needed to be done in the first place. This is cause to chastise me and make me do it over again.
  68. When I learn the obvious lesson from 67 and not perform tasks without being given explicit directions, I am instead chastised for lacking initiative. Apparently, being right is not part of being junior enlisted.
  69. If I am right about something when an NCO is incorrect, said NCO will then begin going through various and obscure “general knowledge” questions until he finds one that I do not immediately know the textbook answer to–which is then used as a pretext for doing pushups or other form of corrective training. The state of being junior enlisted is that of a zero-sum game: NCOs win, Joes must therefore lose.
  70. Being told that becoming an NCO will remove the “junior-enlisted blues”. So will getting out, and it will also exempt me from the “NCO blues” and the “I have an idiot Joe, and must therefore get yelled at by 1SG and BC for his antics blues” that will inevitably come the instant that I become an NCO.
  71. There is more to medicine than Motrin and water.
  72. If it is comfortable, then it obviously is not military wear, nor is it authorized for wear at any time.
  73. Being told about the “college option” for re-enlistment. I have a better college option–it’s called getting out.
  74. Room inspections. From my personal experience, it is frequently an excuse to find something wrong with someone, and then berate/smoke/counsel them.
  75. Legal extortion in the form of “voluntary” associations/charities, such as the 508th association, AER, and CFC–except that not contributing/joining results in, at the minimum, several stern lectures about supporting your unit, followed by a negative counseling statement. One would have thought that men in their thirties and forties would have grown out of taking the lunch money of those smaller and weaker to them.
  76. Most places will fire you when you screw up sufficiently. Not so the Army! They will make you work more for less pay. This isn’t hard to avoid happening to you, but that isn’t really the point.
  77. Stop-loss. When the previous 76 reasons kept someone from re-enlisting, the Army finds a way to make them stay in. You know, to piss them off.
  78. Stop-move. This is even more fun than the above. See, it happens when someone decided their unit was crap quite some time before deployment orders came down, and then took appropriate action, including re-enlistment, to guarantee that they are not part of that unit. Then the Army says, “Too bad. Stay with them for another 18 months,” before laughing evilly.
  79. “There is only one standard–the ARMY standard!” is a blatant lie. This wouldn’t be so bad, but it really applies to things like time off and leave/pass policies, where it seems some parts of the Army are geared to making the lives of their soldiers as miserable as possible on a division-wide scale.
  80. The tendency for the aforementioned units to make their soldiers so in love with them that they desire nothing more than eternal servitude with them. It’s like battered wife syndrome.
  81. The fact that the above 80 reasons are actually used by people to stay in because they love it so much. Do you really want to work with someone who enjoys absolutely everything you hate about your job?
  82. The fact that the division to the left of this sentence has turned me into someone who actually has incorporated 44 into his being.
  83. IRR recall as a means of coercion for re-enlistment. Yes, I have had several NCOs tell me that I was going to be recalled anyhow, so I may as well re-enlist. If that doesn’t make you love the Army, nothing will.
  84. The Army will teach you valuable skills for life is a blatant lie. Well, unless sweeping rocks and parking cars in perfect lines are valuable skills.
  85. Military logic is as follows: in the PX at Salerno (and others in Afghanistan) there is more Sergeant Major rank than there are Sergeants Major in Afghanistan–similarly with Colonels and CW5s, not to mention Major General. One can find no specialist rank. Not even a slot for them. You know, because that would make sense.
  86. Keeping in line with the above: General order 1-A states that any sex outside of marriage during a deployment to the CENTCOM AO will result in UCMJ action. This is fine. What is not fine is that they then proceed to stock large quantities of condoms in the PX.
  87. Another actual occurrence with the above: in the Jalalabad PX for a period of not less than a full week, there were the following items: three sizes of envelopes, two types of file folders, four types of paper, paper shredders–but not one pen or pencil.
  88. Somehow they managed to find space to stock vehicle cell-phone chargers.
  89. Being awoken less than two hours after I go to sleep after a 12 hour night shift to perform a detail that, and I quote, “won’t take long.” That phrase is a lie. If it wouldn’t take long, then why the hell are they waking up the night shift to do it when there are day shift guys sitting on their asses? Oh, and it did in fact, take long.
  90. The Army Times is the Army propaganda magazine. This is not the problem. What is a problem is that, increasingly so, it is showing how the Army is failing soldiers. If your own propaganda machine cannot make you look good, it makes one wonder just what in the hell you’re missing that would make them look really bad.
  91. Health and Welfare inspections: the reality of these is that they are not about the health and welfare of the soldiers. They are intended to catch someone doing something wrong. That is it. Things that actually affect the health and welfare of soldiers are a distant second. This includes decrepit barracks rooms in buildings that charitably should be condemned (see the Ft Bragg barracks incident. Also note that I live in one of those barracks). Catching someone with more booze than regs allow is more important than getting soldiers into decent housing.
  92. Continuation to the above: married personnel are apparently exempt from this, as are senior enlisted personnel.

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38 Responses to “Why Specialist Anonymous Will Not Be Re-enlisting”

  1. Stickfodder Says:

    OK that covers reasons not to reenlist or better yet to never join the army, but what about the Air Force?

    Reply

    Ihmhi reply on June 25th, 2008 1:25 am:

    It’s the same bullshit, but with jets instead of tanks sitting around.

    Reply

    AFSgt reply on July 28th, 2011 7:20 pm:

    No, it’s not.

    Reply

    JoeSchmo reply on July 29th, 2011 1:48 am:

    I have to second this. Going down the list, I didn’t even know what most of the stuff was. Most of your top 10 didn’t even apply to me.

    Trust me. The Air Force is barely “military”. That’s why I joined. ;)

    Raptor Chief reply on August 16th, 2011 2:31 pm:

    Being in units that never even go TDY, being forced to show respect to people you don’t, and 12 hour days when you haven’t flown in 3 months; Just to name a few…

    Reply

  2. AFGeek Says:

    Over the last several years I’ve had to “counsel” my troops about re-enlistment. Usually, I tell them to weigh the pros and cons. Whatever course they choose is the right one for them.

    On the flip side, I’ve also been asked by young men and women if I would recommend a career in the service. Sadly, I generally don’t. Having said that, though, I tell them to give it one good tour. It’s the only job you’ll ever have where you win by following the rules. If after the first tour, decide whether you want to stay or go. Move in the direction of choice.

    Reply

  3. Keri Says:

    “It’s the only job you’ll ever have where you win by following the rules” isn’t really true across the board. There’s plenty of racism, anti-racism, and sexual harassment to go around, and reporting it like they tell you to only gets you in deeper crap.

    Reply

    AFGeek reply on June 24th, 2008 11:47 pm:

    Promotions through E-4 are time-in-grade promotions. For the duration of the first four-year enlistment, generally, if you stay out of trouble and do your job you will get promoted. End of story. After that, promotions are competitive and all bets are off.

    As far as sexual harassment, racism, etc…, that happens in the “real” world as well. You just have to learn to deal with it.

    TCOBG, I agree. There are good and bad assignments. One of my best assignments had the worst living conditions for me, to include water standing inches deep and spraying 30 feet down the hallway. I ended up loving that assignment and would go back in about two seconds if they’d allow it.

    You’re also correct that some people are just not cut out for military service. If we’re lucky, we catch these people prior to admission or at least before they finish basic or advanced training. Otherwise, we wait to see if they leave after the first enlistment.

    Reply

    SKD reply on June 25th, 2008 5:02 am:

    The “real world” is only better in that the crap generally smells sweeter.

    Reply

    SFC B reply on June 25th, 2008 5:48 am:

    “Anti-Racism”

    If Racism is the belief ones own race is superior to all others (that is what it means) then isn’t anti-racism the belief all other races are superior to ones own?

    Which could be a reason to add to this list

    93. Re write the rules of the English language whenever it seems like a neato idea. Like capitalizing soldier.

    Reply

  4. A B Says:

    Specialist Anonymous is my kinda dude.

    In high school my father asked me repeatedly if I wanted to do ROTC. I kept reminding my dad that if I dont do what he tells me to do, what in God’s name does he think I’ll do it some fatass with a chip on his shoulder screams at me…

    Eventually I got my point across… easy A or no. (Incidently, I graduated HS with a 3.8)

    Reply

    john reply on July 9th, 2008 3:42 pm:

    I told the marine recruiter much the same.

    Reply

  5. TGOBG Says:

    I have 26 years in so far, Active duty and Reserves both Air Force Enlisted, I have one son in the AF and the other leaves for basic in less than a week. The grew up as AF brats, they have seen the good and the bad and they made the choice to enlist. Some people are just not cut out for the military, The Army is extremely structured so that those who cant think for themselves, dont have to. The Air Force (for the Most part)encourages their people to think and take the initiative. Sometimes you get an old school NCO who doesnt like smart Airmen, especially when they are smarter than he is, but as a SNCO I like my Airmen to be smart and take initiative. As for making it a career, there are good assignments and bad assignments, and even bad assignments can be decent if you take it one day at a time, and dont let the bastards win

    Reply

    Samus reply on June 25th, 2008 3:47 am:

    Phew. “Some people just aren’t cut out for the military.” I’ve said it myself, but thank Gawd you said it man, I feel much less guilty.

    I try to think of ways to protect my country without going into the military, and fail. Other than trying to protect civil liberties and whatnot.

    Reply

    Stickfodder reply on June 25th, 2008 7:59 am:

    I’ve actually been thinking about joining the Air force myself, and it’s good to hear that the Air Force for the Most part encourages their people to think and take the initiative. That sounds like it would be great for me.

    Reply

  6. Donny Says:

    i agree with this one fully.

    Legal extortion in the form of “voluntary” associations/charities, such as the 508th association, AER, and CFC–except that not contributing/joining results in, at the minimum, several stern lectures about supporting your unit, followed by a negative counseling statement. One would have thought that men in their thirties and forties would have grown out of taking the lunch money of those smaller and weaker to them.

    and also this one.

    The Army will teach you valuable skills for life is a blatant lie. Well, unless sweeping rocks and parking cars in perfect lines are valuable skills.

    captcha: more invisibly

    aint that the friggin truth

    Reply

    TGOBG reply on June 28th, 2008 12:37 am:

    The AF used to “encourage” you to volunteer/join the club/CFC etc… but they can’t make it mandatory, nor can they use it against you on your EPR’s. An Airman I know, was enouraged to “volunteer” for a bunch of things his NCOIC found important, he politely declined since he was too busy with upgrade training, teaching swim lessons at the gym, coaching the swim team and doing all the freaking scut work in the shop since he was the only Airman in a shop loaded with NCO’s who are too busy to actually do maintenance. I used to belong to the NCO Club, until I found out the money that was supposed to be supporting the local club we all signed up for was being diverted to the Main base club. A good NCO will offer opportunities for his/her Airmen to excel, but not try to intimidate them into volunteering for the NCO’s pet projects.

    Reply

  7. Gunfingers Says:

    Oooh! J-bad! I know J-bad! I was there!

    Reply

  8. SrA Says:

    “Being required to respect the rank of an NCO who does not deserve his rank, does not deserve respect as a person, and is wholly incapable of showing anyone who is not his superior any respect whatsoever.”

    wow i think you just described my last ssgt.. i would love to watch him get courtmartialed, possibly publicaly flogged.

    Reply

    TGOBG reply on June 28th, 2008 12:57 am:

    That goes along with saluting Staff Cars, it is the respect for the RANK not the individual, I have met quite a few Officers and NCO’s that got rank because they tested(KISSED *SS) well, looked good in uniform and wrote their own glowing performance reports. I knew at least one guy who got a STEP (STripes for Exceptional Performance) promotion by writing his own package, and using work done by other people to justify it. PISSED OFF everyone who found out about it, but he got it while TDY with another unit. Our Commander was livid and actually made the comment that the other unit could damn well keep him, because he was F’n useless to us. Our Commander at the time was an O-6 and shipped the NCO right back to the unit that gave him the STEP. On several other occasions, I saw where an NCO was so F’n useless that the Commander refused his reenlistment and discharged the individual with 12 – 16 years in. I think we had a fairwell party for that Individual, about 2 weeks after he was gone.

    Reply

  9. keri Says:

    Maybe it’s different now in the military, but having been labeled and ostracized by the chain of command for complaining that my squad leader tried to accost me in a sexual manner doesn’t quite make me agree with the “learn to deal with it”. You never ‘learn to deal’ with attempted rape.

    In the “real world” complaints actually get handled in an appropriate manner, and that behavior that I was forced to experience would get you slapped with a restraining order, or jail.

    Following the rules only counts when others follow them too.

    Reply

    SKD reply on June 25th, 2008 4:59 am:

    “In the “real world” complaints actually get handled in an appropriate manner”

    They do? Since when? And how is your experience with your chain of command likely to be any different than a similar situation in the real world? If you were sexually harassed and/or assaulted then it is reprehensible that you were told to just “learn to deal with it.” However the sad fact of life is you would likely receive just as much ostracism in the real world due to the fact that company higher-ups do not like whistleblowers/tattle-tales/narcs and the only major difference would be more subtlety in the process of moving you along and out of their hair.

    Captcha “Bachelor chapter” ironic enough that I am not even going to try to define

    Reply

    Stickfodder reply on June 25th, 2008 8:08 am:

    In the real world a lot of companies deal rather strongly with sexual harassment, because in the real world people can sue companies for millions.

    Reply

    SKD reply on June 25th, 2008 9:16 am:

    And I never said anything to the contrary of that point, however dealing strongly with personnel who could cost the company large sums of money in fines and settlements and “helping” personnel move along to other venues who have cost the company money by bringing suit against it are two different things. In an ideal world there would be no repercussions for calling someone out and holding them accountable for their wrong behavior. However in an ideal world that behavior wouldn’t have happened in the first place. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world. And those who do the right thing should realize that there are often others who are going to dislike or even despise them for doing it. True courage is doing the right thing, not because it is easy but because it is hard and often as not unpopular.

    And Keri, I do not mean the following comment to in any way imply any kind of accusation against you(unfortunately it might explain partly why there was resentment against you doing what was right) it is only an observation as to what I have witnessed in the past. Just as we have laws to protect us from sexual harassment there are also those who will take advantage of those laws and the fear many in positions of authority of merely being accused, as an accusation alone can ruin a persons reputation, to extort favor(I wish i could think of a more apt term than favor at the moment) from those placed over them.

    Captcha “CANTER warranted” – does that mean I get my money back if my horse only trots?

    Andrew reply on June 27th, 2008 6:26 am:

    In the “real world” you don’t have to rely on MPs and your chain of command to solve a problem. You can call real cops, and if those cops are corrupt there’s this handy federal agency that investigates things like that- I’ll give you a hint, its 3 letters starting with an F.

    So while your stuck in the military, serving with people who have either tried to rape you or turned a cold shoulder to that crime there’s still one thing you can do- call your congressman. Doesn’t always fix anything but its better than nothing.

    Reply

    SKD reply on June 27th, 2008 9:12 am:

    The FBI is available to those in the military as well. As far as real cops goes….. MPs are real cops, only exception is that their authority is only over military personnel(on and off base) and what takes place on base. Last I checked corruption was more prevalent in the ranks of the civilian police than the military police. And extremely seldom has been the case, in my experience, that calling your congressman has acheived anything. I think there are actually more avenues available for resolving problems such as sexual harassment in the military. I can think of four off the top of my head, 1) your direct chain of command, 2) the Chaplains office, 3) the EO(Equal Opportunity – deals with matters of discrimination and harassment based on race, sex, etc) office and 4) the JAG(Judge Advocate General- military lawyers) office. There are others but those are the four that immediately come to mind as the most likely avenues.

    Acronyms defined for those who do not know what they are.

    Captcha “Berger Hazelton” – wasn’t he in that one movie….

  10. Minkis Says:

    << agrees with alllll of those… (is currently a spec 4 at bragg)

    Reply

  11. PO3 Thpbbb Says:

    Adherence to wholly arbitrary rules that aren’t spelled out clearly in any official piece of documentation and are therefore subject to intepretation. My interpretation is, of course, never the correct one. It’s always the guy with stars on his collar and a stick shoved somewhere unpleasant whose interpretation matters. And I promise you, the guy with the stars does not care about my morale or welfare.

    Reply

    TGOBG reply on June 28th, 2008 2:07 am:

    Where does it have to be spelled out clearly that you don’t play chicken with Spinning Propellers, or juggle blasting caps or light the JP-8 on fire? Some people need to have rules enforced hard and yeah the guy with the Stars doesnt always have your personal morale or welfare on his mind. One selfish individual who wants to do his own thing and the rules and regs be damned, can royally screw many many people. How would you like it if the cooks in the dining facility didnt wash their hands or change gloves after hauling the rancid grease out to the dumpster? Or maybe that guy on the flightline that decided that the propeller blades on the C-130 really didn’t need to have the bolts safety wired on, and that 6 bolts out of 24 is enough. Or maybe the guy who packs your parachute decided that a granny knot was secure enough since this was only a training chute, and you werent going to be jumping from that high anyway. Or perhaps those individuals at the CDC really need not concern themselves with cleanroom proceedures since its only a mild strain of Ebola. The guys with the Stars have Thousands of peoples welfare on thier minds, Most Individuals dont see the BIG Picture, Airman Zippy might not worry about securing the door for the evening, and yeah most times no one will be hurt and Monday will roll around and all will be well with the world, But it only takes one time for the wrong ordinace to get loaded on the Aircraft, and the safety pins to be fitted incorrectly and the wing pylon bolt to crack due to a pencil whipped inspection, or a safety strap to fray or something and a Nuke or something falls off or out of a plane or off a ship, and your momentary inconvinience turns into a world of hurt for a multitude of people. You ned to think of the big picture, we Military members are not just responsible for ourselves, our actions could possible affect the safety of the entire world. But yeah some rules are stupid and possibly left over from the days when the Navy was still sailing wooden hulled sloops. If the rules are outdated, it is up to the individual to try to change them, but until such time as they are changed/recinded they need to be followed.

    Reply

  12. Cris Says:

    Man it sounds like you got a shitty unit. I felt that way about my 2nd unit and did not re-enlist because of how much I despised the XO. He was a cock with feet. I tell you it’s not like that in all units. Also getting married does have it’s perks…just a matter of working on the marriage…and deployments. Good luck to you in whatever you do.

    Reply

  13. CCO Says:

    It seemed like the 82nd or the 101st was gone every Thanksgiving or Christmas in the ’90s — you know “peacetime” when I was at Ft. McClellan, AL (now closed).

    Reply

  14. Jon Says:

    Well, from a Navy perspective, I had much the same experience as TGOBG did with the Air Force. I only spent six years in the fleet, then got out because it just wasn’t for me. That being said, I saw a lot of good people stay in for whom it was a good idea to stay in. I also saw a lot of shitbags stay in who were absolutely useless… my division chief being one of them.

    Let’s put it this way… when I hear the phrase “Trust me” it gives me shudders, because it brings me back to when he would say that, at which point we all knew we were screwed.

    Recently I watched the entire series of “Carrier” on PBS. Now, I can’t tell you if that is truly life on a carrier or not, because I was stationed on a cruiser, but the five minute segment in the fourth episode concerning the nuclear power division was spot on! Nukes (and I was one) are a completely different breed from the regular sailor, and we really could get away with stuff that the regular sailors would go to mast (i.e. UCMJ punishment) for. We were trained from the very beginning (even boot camp!) to think about what the hell we were doing, and we were allowed to call a situation screwed up if it was in fact screwed up. In boot camp we even managed to get away with it, because our PI’s knew that we were nukes in training and they would just shake their heads and walk away when we screwed something like marching up. It may have had something to do with us demanding to go back to the gas chamber for screwing things up… we hit them with reverse psychology and they just didn’t know how to deal with it. They never called us on it, for some reason… and I would have happily gone back to the chamber just to screw with them that much more.

    We also had protection from our officers if we were brought up for actually thinking about things in the fleet and calling things exactly what they were. If a topside officer got all pissy because we would state something as being stupid, it would get back to our officers and they would calm the topsider down. We would catch a bit of flak from our officers, but it was better than going to mast, and we knew that they agreed.

    Oh, but one thing about being a nuke enlisted… You basically make E-4 from the get-go, so you get out to the fleet as an NCO, which means squat… you are still the bottom of the barrel as an E-4 nuke, and get all of the scut work up through E-5. Only when you make E-6 do you get out of the crap work.

    I really should come up with a naval version of this list, as there are plenty of naval parallels to it. :)

    Reply

    CCO reply on July 19th, 2008 2:16 am:

    I’m going to open a can of worms here; Skippy may want to delete this since this is not a fun topic, and I don’t know if talking about it will help.

    I have a question that has *nothing* to do with this post, but has to do with the “Carrier” episode with the Hong Kong shore leave. Apparently, an E-4 female and an E-6 male had sex in the vicinity of the docks and the female was (and this is almost a quote) too drunk to remember if she consented or not and therefore did not file charges since she couldn’t remember. I remember that one of her friends said that she was crying afterwards.

    When I was in Basic at Ft. Jackson in ’93, they told us that per UCMJ that if the female is drunk, then it’s rape — and (in theory a capital crime). Is that still the case? A better question would be, does our discussing it help anyone?

    Reply

    Jon reply on July 19th, 2008 4:00 am:

    Hrm… not sure. I was in at about the same time as you, and while that topic never really came up, I expect that had something like that happened, mast and court martial would have been in the near future of that sailor.

    I do happen to know that if you happen to write a letter to your now ex-girlfriend who sent you a Dear John letter while you were on deployment, basically telling her how worthless she happens to be, then go out and get drunk that night and decide that you really don’t want that letter to go to her, thus deciding that you need to break into the base post office to retrieve the letter, then get caught while trying to climb the fence around the post office by Shore Patrol, you only go to mast and get 45/45 (45 days restriction, 45 days extra duty) instead of going to jail for interfering with the mail (a federal offense). The best part about this story (no, it wasn’t me, just another guy on the ship) was that the letter hadn’t actually left the ship yet and he was at the wrong post office to get the letter in the first place. :)

    Yeah, some of the stuff that happens in that series is kind of depressing, but it is nice to see a fuller view of life in the Navy.

    Reply

    PO3 Thbbppp reply on September 19th, 2008 9:30 pm:

    Whether or not it’s rape is based on whether or not all participants can legally consent. Sobriety is a factor. If someone is drunk, unconscious, underage, or otherwise impaired, then they can call it rape and the law is on their side.

    Reply

  15. Former Spc. 19K Says:

    wow, never was I that concise when describing to all and sundry why I wasn’t going to re-up in August of 2002. Wish I had been. I still have to disagree that the Army is the one job you get ahead in by following the rules. rules often contradict. such as: “you are required to go to anger management classes.” and “You may not leave the barn during CQ duty.” This contradiction got me kicked out of the 1CD Horse Cavalry Detachment. Thank you Sgt Fish.

    Reply

  16. Ariestaurus Says:

    Well let me write on the Air Force because it ain’t always greener on the other side.If people are saying the Air Force is the elite service compared to the others.The other services must be Shyte cause frankly all military is the same.They take away your freedom,when you’re grown treat you like a child,they have the same silly rules that they throw in your faces like one of the biggest issues for the Air Force was not tucking in your PT shirt.It was hilarious watching these grown ass ppl looking like the nerdy, “special” bunch .The backstabbing is the same.People going off on power trips and abusing their ranks.Being thrown under the bus constantly,superiors taking credit for their subordinates work.They act like a cult and anyone acting outside the clique are ostracized.The racism is strong.Stalking happens alot.Lots of quickie marriages and divorces.Only the ASS KISSERS will survive.Can’t always complete school unless you’re tricky.More extra duty that you don’t get paid for.Alot of shit talkers with too much time on their hands.There’s sexual harassment my supervisor when we were tasked to clean the kitchen came in late and threw the fridge door against my ass twice and didn’t say sorry just acted like a retard.I was scared to be around him.The Air Force is not all peaches and cream but I can see where it could be said to be better than the other services.But anything you sign your life away to in a contract .That’s constantly tracking you and you are constantly working under duty and if you mess up or get sick they come down on you like a vulture and use the contract against you to instil fear.Aint great.You fighting for a freedom you don’t have.I’ve gone through so much bullshit the Air Force it’s hard for me to not call out the ass kissers,and manipulators acting like it’s a great Air Force.One phrase I’ve learned from the AF that’s the biggest screw you is when you here “We’re trying to set you up for “success” disclaimer as long as you kiss my ass the way I want.Most of them mothasuckas are full of hot air and shit.

    Reply

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