A Day Like Many Others

Several people have asked, “What is a typical day like for you?” Well here goes…don’t worry, a minute-by-minute summary of life won’t be the norm for this blog.

0600

I wake up, standing in formation. What? What day is it? Oh, Monday. Lovely. It’s dark and the first sergeant is talking with the platoon leaders again. The rest of us stand by, waiting to hear what joyous wonders await us.

Before long shadows shift around and I’m bumped on my right: the signal for me to scoot down one spot in line. With the rightful leader of the group back in power, we go from standing at ease to attention, then to parade rest, which is a sort of at ease, but not quite.

0630

Sing, damn you! We sing the Army song. We sing the 4th Infantry March. Afterward for desert, a soldier is elected to run to the front to lead the group in reciting the soldier’s creed. Whew, done with that for another day.

0642

Announcements are given. The platoon sergeant spits out what we’re going to do today. The trick is that no one really receives any specific instructions, and before I know it…

0650

…we’re released to go get breakfast. Be back by 0830, or else!

0834

I wake up again in formation. Did I leave? Am I hungry? First sergeant calls the platoon leaders to a meeting.

0845

Announcements are given. The platoon sergeant spits out what we’re going to do today. The trick is that no one really receives any specific instructions, and before I know it…

0853

…we’re released to our sections to complete the work we need to do. My NCO is on leave, meaning I’m in charge. And I say I have work to do at the office. So long suckers! Have fun sweating all day in the motor pool!

0907

I unlock my office door, start up my laptop and check my emails. Some guy named PhantomDistro emails me like 40 times a day. At first I thought it was some sort of cool scuba-ninja club, but it turns out it’s just a glorified post announcement service…sort of like cable access for email. Oh well.

0915

I begin to write my story on up-armored humvees, due to division by 1200. Now it’s a race against the clock! Start the engines!

1030

I finish my story and look over it a few times. Some other cats have arrived in the office and I chat for a bit. I remember that I have to process some photos to go along with the story and start in on that.

1100

Staff Sgt. Barlow and I run next door to grab some A&W goodness. Alas, I had munched a Rice Krispy Big Bar just a few minutes earlier, and it had killed my hunger. Goodbye, sweet grilled chicken sandwitch, I pine for you.

1128

I send off my story to division, but come to a realization: People take lunch from 1130-1300. Not much I can do until then. Time to read CNN over and over, since most websites are blocked from my government computer.

1301

I head over to division to check on my story and inquire about what’s going on with a planned media day on Wednesday. I’m told it’s my show, and I’ll have to coordinate with local media to get them to a specific part of post, where my colonel will be on hand to answer questions about how up-armored humvees are winning the cause for freedom and democracy.

Simple enough.

1304

I ask how I’m supposed to do all that.

1415

I meet with my XO to tell him what’s being expected of the colonel for this shindig. The colonel is on leave, and won’t be available to make any decisions until late Tuesday. The other speaker, a chief warrant officer, is in the field, and I don’t know if he even knows he’s being interviewed by the media on Wednesday.

Hrmmm.

1735

I wake up and find myself in a conversation with the rest of the office. It’s technically after hours, and we’re just joshing around until it’s time for the enlisted personnel to head to the 1800 formation. After a few minutes, we leave the officers to their evening and head back to the motor pool.

1820

There we stand, in formation again. Lovely day/evening for a formation, eh? The first sergeant is talking with the platoon leaders…

1824

The battalion sergeant major takes the stand and begins a pep talk about how we need to pay attention or die a horrible death in Iraq.

1906

Feet aching, the sergeant major finally calls us back to attention and hands control back to the first sergeants.

1907

It’s getting dark and the first sergeant is talking with the platoon leaders again. The rest of us stand by, waiting to hear what joyous wonders await us.

1913

The leaders are released, the unit comes together again. We’re snapped to attention, and the E4s and below are released.

Uh oh. Sucks to be a sergeant.

1917

We’re instructed that the NCOs will be cleaning the motor pool. There were some sightings of cigarette butts and empty water bottles somewhere, so it was up to the mighty NCOs to rock that stuff out. Booya ka-sha!

2030

We finish with the cleanup and are let go. Hooray!

###

About salemonz

Born in San Diego, Calif. Raised as a Navy Brat, I jumped ship and crossed over to the Army. Served as an enlisted journalist for a bunch of years, then helped the DoD figure out what the hell to do with social media. After the Army, now I drift down the river of life, trying not to be a jerk.

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