Up in the air

For the record, I have a bad feeling about this…

Our replacement unit had need of a journalist. When their command staff came to Taji a few months back as a part of a “see what to expect” visit, they asked me to join them for a second year.

I wasn’t thrilled about the idea, but if they needed someone, why not? I was single and fairly good at what I did. I might as well put my money where the ol’ kisser is and do my part, as I’m always quick to chide slackers.

The whole enterprise would be easy enough—I would stay put. The new unit had an unfilled personnel slot—meaning they were “authorized” to have someone of my rank and job in their unit. I knew how to get in and out of different camps in theater. I had convoy experience, and I was already here. It seemed like an easy fix to their problem, and easy for me, as I’d be dealing with the same sort of unit in the same place.

But as any veteran will tell you, our governmental bureaucratic systems are hardly ever rational. It came to be decided that I would leave Iraq with my current unit, out-process theater, arrive in Texas, immediately in-process with the new unit, get on a plane and come back to where I started. The whole thing would take as little as a month or as many as four.

Strange? A huge cost to the government? Yes, it was, but I’d be able to get a little of a break from the whole scene, albeit a little expensive one with the car rentals, plane tickets and all; but a needed reprieve.

So I tried to be as “pro-active” as I could, emailing involved parties periodically and being just shy of a nuisance to my personnel office here.

The weeks and weeks went by with little progress. My current division wanted justification. My gaining division wanted a resume to show my qualifications. My corps-level command got involved, mulling over the decision of whether or not to grant permission.

Even my gaining unit—the ones supposedly glad to have the extra troop, has not answered emails or phone calls for the past month. What gives?

Am I staying or am I leaving? There are some things like—oh, I don’t know…packing and shipping of personal goods to consider. We’re sealing up the official containers in the next few days. I guess I’m still on standby. The whole reason for my insistence on getting this decision finalized weeks ago was to avoid this last-minute runaround.

So there it sits. Everyone is too busy for ol’ Salmons. I’ll just wait and see what happens. Regardless, I’m sure it will involve the maximum inconvenience—and, granted, we are at war; but these types of stressors can be easily sated with just the smallest of foresight. I am a sergeant, barely on the radar, prestige-wise, I realize; but I was hoping for a little help.

Anyone? Hello…this thing on? Beuler…Beuler…


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.

6 responses to “Up in the air”

  1. wally says :

    I’ve been out of the Army for 39 years and I see nothing has changed.

  2. beka says :

    oh for the love. do they not realize that there is a whole following here that needs an answer on this!?! we need to know what is going on!!! we need answers!!! we need to know what is going to happen to our fearless leader!!!!

  3. salmons says :

    wally: Amen, brother. Amen.

    Beka: Newest news is that I won’t be staying, that I’ll be going home.

    But then 10 minutes later they came back and said people were still working on it and it’d be a few days before an offical answer.

    If I was staying, I was hoping to just keep my room (w/o roommate…bonus!), but now I’ll probably have to move out and ship all my stuff to Texas with my own $$$, and then try to get it back here from the states when they say I’m staying.

    I’ll keep writing, by God. We’ll see how things go.

  4. beka says :

    their answer isn’t good enough for me. i, as a tax paying citizen, am not satisfied. boo. i am sorry that you are running in to so much bureaucratic camo tape. if there is anything i, as a measly civilian can do, please let me know.

  5. Shannon says :

    You need to run around with strings attached to your head, arms and legs screaming, “I want to be a real boy!” That might get the Puppetmasters attention.

    The Bureaucracy Motto: If you aren’t part of the solution, there’s good money to be made in prolonging the problem.

    Can we send you a care package with lots of cookies?!

  6. salmons says :

    Shannon: Mos def. Prolonging solutions to problems is the best way to ensure job security in bureaucracies. Amazing.

    Remember the Y2K commission? Well, they’re still around. Even after all the Y2K bug stuff was proved to be bunk, they decided to keep those cats on staff, incase something comes up in the future…I don’t know, like the Y10K bug.

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