The Quest for Stripes: Catching Up
Where is the personnel service battalion? What are their hours? Closed on Mondays? Lunch at 1130? What documents do I need for an update to my Enlisted Records Brief? Do you need my diploma? Where’s my weapon’s card? You don’t have copy paper? They say you can’t buy any? Where’s the commander? Well, do you know when he’ll be back? Try back tomorrow? Where’s Staff Sgt. E? Dentist? When’s a good time to catch him? Hello? Is he there today? Do you know when he’ll be back, I had some papers to give him? Will you call me? Do you know when the board is? Has there been any guidance as to what will be asked on the board? Are you even planning on having a board? Okay, can you let me know when you find something out? In fact, I’ll just call back in a few days, okay? What will the uniform be? Will I need to get my dress uniform ready? It’s going to be in ACUs, are you sure? Is there someone who is sure? Well, the board should be in just a week or two, shouldn’t someone know? They’ve left for the day already? What time will they be in tomorrow? Meeting’s until when? What about after lunch? Is there something I’m missing? Yes I went to the personnel service battalion, yes they updated my stuff, is there something else? Okay, are you going to be there for a few minutes? Well, don’t leave just yet, I’ll be right there.
So I sprinted next door to the battalion once I heard Staff Sgt. E’s voice on the phone.
“Here you go,” I said as I plopped down a stack of papers.
“This everything?” he asked, flipping through the papers. “Weapon’s card, PT card, awards, transcripts…everything?”
“Yes, and those are for you, I’ve already made copies.” Should I slip the guy a $20 for “safekeeping”?
“Alright, we’ll let you know when we hear something.”
Whew! Got the paperwork in for them to START the packet. Now, the naive soldier would just go back and wait for the call, but I’ve been burnt that way before. Come Monday, I’ll continue pounding on doors and making phone calls to ensure nothing was lost along the way and everything is tracking.
Hopefully I won’t have to resubmit the paperwork; but, from past experience, I’m ready to do so if needed.