Whew I made it back to my room. Traveling outside has become very hazardous, not from enemy fire, but the threat of Article 15s – the military’s “shame shame, you knew better” Uniform Code of Military Justice article.
You get one of these babies for disobeying an order or instruction and usually are given out to soldiers who have a discipline problem and need a wake-up call.
Supposedly our seniors are starting to hand them out like candy – like some gang of traffic cops waaay behind on their ticket quota.
You see, there was a new memo from our command: after a certain time in the afternoon, no one can travel outside without a “battle buddy.” This makes heading home from the office for guys who aren’t blessed with a nine to five “fluff” job an adventure, as I’m one of the last to leave my office.
“Battle buddy,” “fighting friend,” whatever the hell you want to call it, is the Army’s way of reducing what’s called “non-battle injuries.” By traveling in neat pairs anywhere and everywhere, soldiers will, among other things, cease to be raped or robbed or hurt in any way – at least that’s how it’s briefed in meetings.
Ok, ok fine. Instructions received, “just get it done” and all that. Hooah!
So, if I have to use the latrine (down the street), I should wake up my roommate?
What about going to the gym? I’ve tried to ask around the past few days, but people are lazy, so I’m out of luck. Does that mean no exercising for me?
Shoot, I need to take my laundry to the drop-off point…anybody going? Hello? You? How about you? Not today? No? Crap.
I need some money for some toiletries…anyone going to the PX? I need a buddy. You? Going to finance first to get some money? No? Don’t need to go? Ummm, how about you? Shoot.
Take this down to battalion? Um, it’s past the magic time. So? Well sir, that means you need to send someone with me — two in fact, if I need to stay down there, so they’ll have someone to walk back with. Yes sir, I’d love to “just get it done” but…Hooah, getting it done. Roger.
Taking care of personal business just got a whole lot more complicated. So how are the seniors handling it? Oh yeah, they are exempt. It’s just the lower enlisted that has to deal with it, and the lower NCOs that get to answer “why?” every time I stop someone outside.
Look friends, I’m just trying to run my section. If some judicial action has to be taken against me because I was trying to perform my Army mission and do my part in defending freedom, liberty, and “Dancing with the Stars”…well then, I’ll just take my licks.
To the older veterans out there. Has the Army always been this way? How did we ever win any wars?
Between composite risk management worksheets, command climate surveys, equal opportunity gender sensitivity courses, chaplain sessions, mental health awareness training, sensitive item daily checklists, NCO professional development meetings and safety stand down classes…and then the seventeen briefings every week…I just don’t see much time for fighting the bad guys
Heaven help us if we ever fight an enemy that doens’t stop attacking us because it’s nighttime or raining.