Saturday, October 22, 2005

Having the Fox watch the Hen house

About halfway through my enlistment my duty MOS (military occupation specialty) changed from Mech. Infantry (11M/C2) to that of an Automated Logistics Specialist (92A). The unit was short two PLL clerks, the positions were suddenly empty a couple of rocket scientists that tried to perform an armed robbery in broad daylight with their uniforms still on that showed not only their names but unit. I took to this like a duck to water, within six months I was better at the job then the other clerks who were specifically trained to do this job.

After our unit’s rotation to the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin, CA (outside Barstow), the Battalion Maintenance Technician, a Chief Warrant Officer (CW4) noticed not only could I type fast and accurately from home row but could use the keypad as fast as an accountant. He quickly snatched me up and I became his clerk, handling all his daily reports.

To gather the info for these reports that went up to Battalion and Brigade levels, I had to do some leg work to other parts of the unit. Very often I would run into others, mostly NCOs but some officers who had an over inflated value of their rank and position. While they initially would pull rank on me and turn me away, it would be a short while before I was back and usually had someone much higher in rank in tow to tell them to help or get out of my way and cooperate in any way I needed. As you can imagine, that went over as well as a turd in the punch bowl, a lowly E-2 pulling rank on nearly everyone bellow Major (O-5).

I might as well have had CW4 rank on my collar instead of the “mosquito wings” that I did. If I ran into problems, first phone call I would make was back to either the BMT or BMO and saying “so and so is giving me grief about getting this stuff done for you.” Usually their next call was to said person’s direct superior to tell them to get out of my way. It was great.

That job was a cake walk. The fella who held the position before me had a Master’s degree in accounting and it was him who created the reporting system we were using. Since he had an MD and figured he was pretty sharp, they naturally figured that those reports always took all day to generate, since that’s how long it took him. Shortly after I took over, the BMO (Battalion Maintenance Officer) and I sat down and reworked the system in Excel. I’d known him a little when we were both in Delta, he was 3rd platoon’s Lt when I was a SAW gunner for 1st platoon.

This Excel spread sheet reported the same stuff, was easier to read, easier to create, soon I had the whole process of the daily reports boiled down to about ½ hours work. Very often I wouldn’t show up to the office until 3/4 an hour before the report was due and began it, which was basically due by COB.

There was a few times the section NCO would try to rein me in, figuring I was getting out of control in my discipline. He tried to bring up the fact that I wouldn’t show up until late in the day, but he always tried to do that when I was actually in the office and was gone on a mission for either the BMO or BMT

Basically I played one side against the other. Got to the point if I wasn’t in the office the office NCO figured I was doing something for the BMO or BMT, and visa versa, since I was often the driver of the HUMVEE that was sent to pick up repair parts.

Oh, parts run, now that was fun. I would very often take riding tours of post, and if you ever visit Ft. Hood in Texas, you’ll see that can take a very long time :)

Not much could really be said against me, my jobs were always done on time, done right and I always looked busy anytime anyone was paying attention.

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