Days Rated: 156
Average Day: 1.57
A day in the life of a Rear D soldier:
Formation is at 0630. Typically, in the Army, you are supposed to be at least 10 minutes early for everything. I used to wonder why they didn’t just say 620 if they wanted you there then, but I now realize, it’s so if someone forgets their hat or something, they can run inside and get it and not hold everyone else up. If you show up at 623, nothing has gotten started yet, you just have to run up while everyone else is in formation and you get a lot of dirty looks.
Of course in the airborne infantry, the brigade commander will decide that a brigade run will be at 0630. The battalion commander, looking to shine in the eyes of his boss by not having anyone late, puts out that the run starts at 0615. The company commander tells everyone to be there at 0600. The platoon sergeant, hearing the formation is at 0600, tells the squad leaders to have their men there by 0545. The squad leaders tell their team leaders that there’s a 0530 run tomorrow. The team leaders want the men there 15 minutes early, so they play the game and, to be on the safe side tell them it’s at 0515, because you can’t trust joe. Joe hears 0515 formation and shows up at 0505, ten minutes early, like he’s supposed to. Except for the one guy who forgets his hat. He comes running up at 0508, and gets dirty looks from everybody. But, surprise, the run doesn’t actually get underway until 0700 because the brigade commander had a meeting, and this is why all you ever do in the airborne infantry is stand around in formations.
Anyway, I just had to vent about that. This doesn’t take place on Rear D. I was there at 620, and the place looked like a ghost town. At 627, people started getting out of their cars, which were double/triple parked all over the parking lot. Apparently, no one planned to stay here long. At 628, a few late arriving vehicles came careening into the parking lot, discharging privates who hit the ground running, still putting on their PT uniforms and smelling like booze. At 629, SFC Sappa, who’s in charge of this motley crew, arrives, and the milling crowd becomes something resembling a formation. We are standing 50 yards from the cannon they shoot off every morning at 0630 and again at 5PM for the raising and lowering of the flag. The roar is deafening, but very cool. We salute, and I notice that the cannon is pointed directly at our barracks.
At 631, SFC Sappa mutters something about details, and releases us to go to PT. At 632 everybody is driving away in their cars. Basically no-one but me in the formation can do PT, since everyone else is sick, hurt, or their shoelaces have been taken away already. I intend to do PT on many of these mornings, but this is a very early time of day to be running around an army base. Sometimes I go to the gym later in the day. By 635 everyone is back in bed at the barracks. We are supposed to clean the barracks, but since only four people live here now, they got cleaned yesterday and they are shiny still. Everybody just hides in their rooms until someone calls the CQ with some sort of work to do, and the dreaded knock comes, which mean you’ll have to put your pants on today and do some task for an hour or so. Some days, this knock never comes and around 3 PM, we emerge from our rooms fearfully like cave-dwelling animals being exposed to sunlight, and ask someone if we’re off “work” yet. The answer is invariably either “Yes” or “F*ck if I know, SSG Lugo left 6 hours ago, so technically, you’re in charge, Coach.”
Today I actually had a job to do. Some body armor had to be moved to this warehouse. Three privates and I moved it, and then a discrepancy in the number of armors arose between the sergeant in charge of the detail, and the people at the warehouse.
Total time it took to move the armor: 20 minutes
Total time I spent sleeping on a pallet while the sergeant and the clerk argued about missing armor: 2 hours, 10 minutes.
In the afternoon, I went to see a movie with Amanda. We saw “Lucky Number Slevin”, unless I’ve already seen it and written about it, in which case I saw something else. It was all right, pretty savage, and Lucy Liu was cool in it. I would say what I didn’t like about it, but that would spoil the ending. It was nowhere near as good as “Pulp Fiction”, despite what people said.