iraqistan

12/15/2006

Cobwebs, Dustpiles, and One Soldier

Filed under: — lana @ 1:10 pm

The contents of the corner where I have been told to stand several times in the past week for trying to make sense out of a nonsensical predicament and asking questions of practicality for planning purposes. Apparently no one in the echelons higher really appreciate it when asked questions to which they have not already thought of the answer, so they ignore your question, get angry at you for asking, and tell you to stand in the corner until you can come up with something useful to say.

Early in the week we got word that some of our fine unit-mates may be coming back from The Grand Land of Jihad. Even if putting when exactly they were due to arrive weren’t an operational security violation, I couldn’t say, because they were all just guessing anyway and no one had a real clue, only that all of a sudden everything had to be hectic and shoot from the hip and superplanned so that whenever they did finally arrive they would be all squared away and lined up for their briefings about not beating the dog and that all dark spots on the road are not going to explode.

As the main unit, located several hundred kilometers away thankgoodnessforsmallfavors, peeked out of their little spider holes (or whatever dark cavern into which they had crammed their heads, though I hate to make assumptions), they apparently realized that there were a few logistical problems with the reintegration of several dozen soldiers when dates were approximate, the holidays were fast approaching, their cars had been stored halfway across the country, and a multitude of other hassles. They then promptly went back into their holes and i do believe hung a sign on the door saying they were gone for the winter and the detachments were on their own, come see them again in the spring for all your logistical planning needs.

Over the past week, I have been told that the soldiers will reintegrate together, then individually at their detachment offices such as my own. I was told my commander would pick up all of the soldiers coming to our area. Then a staff sergeant from one of the nearby officers was assigned. Then all of us were told to go get our own soldiers. Then we were told to squat hold on the entire pattern as maybe they would be reintegrated together after all. Then (today) I was informed that no, plan was a go to pick them up… sometime.

Then there was the weather problem. When there is inclement and possibly hazardous weather and road conditions, in other words from November through April in Germany, roads are declared “amber,” meaning we are allowed to drive on them with caution and with a dispatch signed from God or his next higher counterpart, the rear detachment commander who resides and works halfway across the country. These dipatches can take several hours to procure his signature, since we have to fax or otherwise electronically send it, someone has to find it, lose it, throw it away, dig it out, spill coffee on it, lick the coffee off, wait until it is dry, lose it again, ask whether or not we submitted it in the first place, get it resubmitted, and eventually walk it to his office. Provided he can be found, which is another process in itself, he signs it and the reverse process ensues until it is finally electronically sent back to our office. Since many of our departures were scheduled prior to the start of the duty day, long before anyone in his office even wanders into work, it can put quite a damper on one’s plans for the day. So, silly me, I pointed out that it is supposed to snow/ice/hail/sleet/rain/other precipitation for the duration of the holiday season, so had anyone thought about how exactly we were supposed to drive out there to pick up the soldiers?

I was told to stand in the corner.

Not listening, I asked if we could get a preemptive amber dispatch, say, the evening before.

I was told to shut up and was I not told to stand in the corner.

I then asked them what we were supposed to do about the four-day weekend in which Christmas is encompassed, as there would be no facilities on our base open for reintegration to occur. I may have obscurely passed a reference about the poor planning skills and loose grasp on reality that appeared to be rampant in higher headquarters while pointing out some of the gross planning errors and the demands placed upon the offices, but I can’t seem to recall…

I further inquired about the automobiles of the soldiers, and whether there was a way to regain them without zig-zagging across the entire country several days in a row. This question was not even acknowledged with a response, so I will just take that as a “no.”

About the only thing that I have really ascertained this week is that we need to dust the corners of our office more often, particularly if I intend to spend much more time standing in them.

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