Friday, March 31, 2006


It's an early morning. I've got a high speed senior joining the Army today. I wasn't exactly brilliant when I scheduled this. I'd forgotten that the other, lesser services aren't insane and use the last day of the calendar month as the last day of their recruiting months. How crazy is that!

So I've got a kid on the floor who's going to be down there with a ton of other folks. It'll be a long day for me. Oh well, I'd rather have a long day because I'm waiting for someone to sign, rather than a long day trying to make an appointment so I can go home. THAT can wait until Monday.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Truth in advertising

For some strange reason I found myself visiting an Anti-Bush apparel website. On there they advertised, and I'm not making this up, it's on the bottom of the page, scroll down to see it, anti-Bush thongs and thong bikinis under the hyperlink title "THONGS AND THONG BIKINKIS AGAINST BUSH".

First thing that popped into my mind was "why yes, they are."

New Jack

In honor of a new guy arriving in the station, SSG Tomas (as always, names are changed to protect the innocent), I added a new recruiter-blogger who's been kind enough to add his wisdom to my comments. Try not to hold it against him that he's a real, live station commander. He's not just someone on the dark side. He's someone on the dark side getting a cheap jolly from torturing Jawas.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Well, this is different

Today some spam slipped past the filter on my email. This is a first for me.

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nosso kit ajuda tambem a vc q sofre com ejaculação precoce.
adquirindo nosso kit vc ainda recebera 100% gratis um livro virtual ensinando passo-a-passo como conquistar uma mulher.

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What's the difference between "ejaculação" and "ejaculando"?

For a draft before he was against it

Jacob Weisburg from comes out in favor of a draft. He spouts the usual media bias that the military is unfair because it doesn't represent a perfect cross section of the population. The usual "mostly poor with no other opportunities" tripe. It's tired, it's old, it's wrong. It's such an old bias, I've been hearing it since I enlisted a decade ago. And I keep serving with smart, talented people who could have done so many other things, yet chose the Army and keep choosing it, not out of necessity but out of desire, passion, motivation, obligation. I wonder if it's ever been true that the Army was made of "mostly poor people"? Maybe it's one of those tired old wive's tales like how it takes gum 7 years to be digested, or if you masturbate too much you'll go blind.

A while ago I'd talked about my instinctive reaction to people who call for a draft. I stand by that. Only the painfully naive would want to conscript people as some form of "social obligation". One of the nice things about the volunteer Army is you get people who want to be in. Granted, sometimes you'll get people who change their minds, but it's part of the "volunteer" thing. It's not as easy to quit the Army as it is to quit McDonalds or Intel. But it can be done, you just need to be willing to accept some consquences (other than honorable discharge, etc). It's my opinion that the volunteer Army is going to, naturally, recruit more from the middle class of society. The upper classes would have no need to serve, beyond the ideals of LDRSHIP. And lower classes will have a hard time meeting procurement standards for any number of reasons (health, education, moral, [poverty is a killer]). The middle classes are where you'll find the people who are qualified, and can benefit enough from the service that it's is something they're willing to do. As we say in recruiting "you recruit in your own image" (that doesn't bode well for you and your 2 QTs there SGT Web). The Army is decidedly middle class, so it stands to reason that's where the recruits will come from. Plus, most of the country falls into that "middle class" category, so, again, most of the recruits will come from there. How is it the fault of the volunteer Army that some NYC writer doesn't think it's "fair" that the middle class volunteers the most?

If he's so distraught that there aren't enough "upper class" types in the service, why doesn't he pen a well-written piece about how the service is a noble calling? Maybe talk about how we're making a difference? Maybe not assume that the War of Terror is being waged to line the pockets of Halliburton? Maybe investigate some of the communist connections in the anti-war crowd? Maybe point out that Northern Iraq is a pretty stable, secure territory with a strong government and something vaguely resembling a politcal process? Myabe point out it took 10 years for them to get to that point, and were only able to make the big steps lately because the threat of Saddam has been destroyed.

If the media as it is existed in WWII we'd have never established a foothold at Normandy. The reporting would have labeled it a fantastic failure, and the question of "do Europeans deserve democracy?" would have been answered in the negative in the Op-Ed section every day.

The draft is a strawman. It's an argument made by people who want to seem like they're supporting the troops by saying that they think it should be more "fair". Because the Army doesn't have enough rich people getting hurt it's not fair to the troops. Well, not enough rich people are morbidly obese, maybe we should shove chilled fryer fat down their throats. I suppose some people are greatly disturbed by people who make personal choices in their own interests. Whether it's to join the Army, or to not treat Buger King as it's own block on the food pyramid.

I'll be spending my time out of the office today. Hope everyone has a good one.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


For some reason I find the difference between Desmond Doss and Jeremy Hinzman amazing.

Desmond Doss was an avowed 7th Day Adventist who, since childhood, had a long standing, deeply held belief against taking another life. He also believed in a duty to his country. He refused to be discharged for being conscientious objector, even though his beliefs would have entitled him for one. While serving as a medic in the Pacific theatre he saved the lives of 75 of his fellow Soldiers, and earned the Medal of Honor, the only conscientious objector to receive the highest award America can bestow.

*UPDATE* Seems I may be mistake about that last line. SGT Alvin York had applied for CO status, and it seems that there is some question what is actual status was. Even if Doss wasn't the only CO to earn a MoH, he's the only total non-combatant to have earned it.

Jeremy Hinzman is a coward who joined the Army for college money, and was surprised that going through airborne training, and being assigned to the 82nd airborne, would mean he's going into combat. As near as I can tell he and his wife attended a meeting of the Quakers, and the next day he applied for conscientious objector status because of his newly found beliefs. While his application was being processed he served in non-combat roles in Afghanistan, and upon returning to the US renewed his application. The CO board was held, and found he didn't meet the Army's requirements since he wasn't completely against violence in all forms.

Orders come down for Iraq, and he high-tails it to Canada, where he proceeds to become a darling of the anti-war movement. Even teaming up with a PR firm to try and promote his beliefs and cause. It seems his efforts were for naught as the Canadian courts have ruled that he's not entitled to conscientious objector status for the same reason the Army said he wasn't. Canada's Federal court announced it will review his application. I haven't seen any report of them doing so yet.

I firmly believe that there is no problem on Earth that a Soldier can face that is improved by going AWOL or deserting. You hear it often that Soldiers feel it's their only recourse. All that happens is they're left with the same original problem, and NOW they're facing an article 15 or worse. Hinzman's a little coward who wanted everything his way, even though he wasn't entitled to it. The Army's (and apparently Canada's) standard for being a conscientious objector is you have to be a pacifist. You must be against violence and killing in all its forms. Hinzman isn't. He's even said himself that he would support violence, but only on particular terms. Because of that he's not a CO.

So now, he's in Canada, barred from his own country, and afraid to return because he doesn't wish to face the consquences of his actions. He's looking at a 5 year stint at Leavenworth and a dishonorable discharge. His kid is going to grow up and learn that his father was a honorless coward.

What I find funny is if Hinzman had simply done his duty, he'd be done and gone. He went airborne, I'd find myself surprised if he joined for more than a 4 year hitch. He joined in early 2001, and was supposed to go to Iraq in 2004. He'd have come back and his contractual term would have been up. He could have taken his honorable discharge, gone to the IRR, and spent the rest of his statutory obligation pursuing his CO status. Instead, he took the "easy way" and ran away leaving him facing jail. There is a lesson in there for someone.

I find myself not really caring what happens to Hinzman. I hope Canada orders him deported back to the US to face punishment. But if they don't, well, he's still a dishonorable coward, and he'll have to live with that for the rest of his worthless life. I'd actually be a bit more impressed to see him come back to the US and face his punishment. It would show a bit more backbone than he's done so far.

Desmond Doss found that his beliefs required him to serve. He did so honorably and courageously. He faced death countless times, and was wounded in combat trying to save his comarades. His name stands among the bravest to ever serve, and he did it all without firing a shot. Jeremy Hinzman isn't a fraction of the man that Desmond Doss was, and I can't help but feel that I'm dirtying the name of a great man by mentioning them in the same space. I also can't help but feel that Doss would be more... forgiving... of Hinzman than I am. But that's what made him a hero and me not one.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Surf and Turf

Last night I did something very out of character. I cooked.

Mrs. SFC B was her usual skeptical self when it comes to me and open fire. She was hushed as she chowed down on some wicked good shrimp. Alton Brown is a genius.

Momma SFC B and Mrs. SFC B both said it was some good stuff. I disagreed a bit in that I undercooked some of the steak. I also learned an important lesson: olive oil has a very low smoke point. If I oculd have done it over I would not have marinated the steaks in olive oil for an hour before cooking them on a grill. Yeah, lots of smoke and fire kinda worried me.

Anyway, the shrimp were delicious. After tasting what broiling does to a shrimp I won't be boiling them any more.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Pathetic attempt at live-blogging

Figured I'd live blog my fantasy baseball draft.

9:30pm: Draft starts, I'm first. A-Rod. I now have 10 minutes until I pick again.

9:32: Start looking at my second and third pick. Figure I'll go for some positions likely to be tough to find offense.

9:33: Have my eye on Chone Figgins from the LA Angels. He's a pretty good player, and plays all the infield well. Hope he'll slide under some radars. I'm up in two.

9:34: Figgins taken by the guy in front of me. I go with Victor Martinez and follow it up with Chris Carpenter. BP figures Martinez to be the top offensive catcher in baseball. I can go with some poorer players if I'm producing from the catcher. So I figure.

9:40: Lance Berkman goes to start the 4th round. I didn't think he'd make it to me, but I was hoping.

9:46: My infield is almost finished as I pick up Adam Dunn and Marcus Giles. Shortstop is my only remaining infield position. Not much good left at the 6 spot so going to look to the outfield or a closer next.

9:47: Just realized I'm almost totally punting steals in my drafting. That might come back to bite me.

9:52: Jhonny Peralta is still available. If he's around in four picks I'll go with him and either Chad Cordero or Huston STreet. If no, Cordero/Street and then a SP, maybe John Patterson.

9:52: Moment I hit "publish" Peralta went to another team.

9:54: Street and Brandon Webb from the Dbacks. I figure with Orlando Hudson now at second the groundball-happy Webb should have a pretty decent year. I'll be wrong.

9:56: Barry Zito gets picked and three people bemoan losing their "sleep pick". WTF. Clemens is drafted next. Clemens is either going to be a total steal in the 7th round, or the guy is going to regret giving up a pick to someone who chooses to call it quits.

9:59: My turn. Jim Edmonds and Coco Crisp. Myself and two others immediatly make a comment about breakfast cereals. I still don't have a shot-stop but I'm hoping Crisp helps in my lack of steals. Of course he plays for the BoSox who shouldn't be running much.

10:05: Dan Haren and Julio Lugo are added to the Paper Contracts. A discussion breaks out about Alfonso Soriano and his value. The person who picked Soriano is trying to get Paul Konerko and Adrian Beltre for him. Needless to say he lives in a biazrro world.

10:18: I hadn't realized someone picked Jeff Francouer. Damnit. Was hoping to pick him up as a UT.

10:19: I'm coming up soon. Willy Taveras and Torii Hunter are still available. I'll get one or both and hopefully solve my steals issue.

10:21: My selection of Taveras and Hunter causes the first reaction to one of my picks. Apparently I ruined the draft que for the next five people who'd hoped to have one or the other of those two.

10:26: My relief pitching should be plenty ugly. Huston Street will be fine, but it's looking like Joe Borowski will be my other reliever. Ugh.

10:29: Looks like I'll be using the waiver wire to find a RP. I went with Scott Kazmir and Prince Fielder. I couldn't believe that someone, other than me, volunteered to draft Joe Borowski.

10:32: It's getting late. Some of the folks in the league start a screaming match, calling each other the usual assortment of genital-slang. As they bicker I consider where else to try and help myself.

10:45: Not much going on. Hard to get excited about the 17th and 18th rounds in a fantasy draft. Anything I'm missing I'll fill in on the waiver wire.

10:47: I go with Luis Castillo as a back-up and Francisco Liriano as a 4th pitcher and possible trade bait. He's got the potential to be a wicked good pitcher playing in the Metrodome, so hopefully I'll be able to flip him later in the year.

10:54: I make my final picks. David Eckstein and Dan Wheeler. Let the games begin.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Mrs. SFC B has mostly recovered. She's chilling in bed enjoying the sensation of keeping food in her stomach. I'm relazing in the La-Z-Boy, the cat curled up on my lap, his tail swiping across the laptop's touch pad moving the mouse, and Maroon 5's live album is playing on iTues. I've spent most of the day mulling over a couple of topics. I wasn't really able to focus on any one so I figured I'd vent them all and see which one makes my muse tingle in her nawty bits.

Back in 1992, when I was 14, I very much enjoyed seeing Sharon Stone showcase herself in Basic Instinct. Ms. Stone was a very hot 34 year old who made a young man's heart stop. She's now a very hot 48, but I'm not a young man. The fascination and rapture which a woman's body can hold me remains, however I cannot help but think that Ms. Stone's time has passed. I'm sorry, but I just can't bring myself to accept that Basic Instinct 2 is a good idea. And her recent press tour to pump up the "kinky" factor just seems to smack of desperation.

Dreadcow hits on a topic that drives me insane. He's currently in Iraq and the main source of information he receives is Stars and Stripes. S&S is a publication that's been around since at least WWII. It's role has been to provide information to the troops overseas, and he feels, quite rightly I'd imagine, that he's just being fed propaganda. He is. All information is propaganda at some level. What amazes me, and drives in insane, is that the stories he's reading in Iraq, building of schools, finding of weapon's caches, successful raids, etc, are the very stories we're denied by the press in the States. There is a minimal, seemingly grudging, reporting of progress in Iraq by the press here in the US. It's not right that Dreadcow is only able to receive reporting about the "good", but I can tolerate the command deciding that daily reports of suicide bombings, casualities, and seeming failure might be something that could be harmful to morale. I can't tolerate the media making the collective decision that the only information I will receive in my home are the daily reports of suicide bombings, casualities, and seeming failure.

Dreadcow's situation kinda feeds into the next topic, and the one that's really been sticking in my mind for a couple weeks now.

I'd received an email from the PAO of CENTCOM a whil ago asking me to link to their website and to post and comment on any stories I'd found interesting enough to comment on. CENTCOM's area isn't exactly my speciality so I kinda let the request fall into my "I'll do it later" basket of blog changes.

My opinion is that recruiting loses the information battle in the war for public perception. Every positive contribution made by recruiters in their community, and reported in the Recruiter Journal or any number of small town papers and other local media, is destoryed by a single New York Times article about recruiting improprities. A kid in Denver with a tape recorder and an investigative nature did more to damage recruiting efforts than any number of whining blog posts could ever dream of. It's almost a year later and that story is still one of the top Google results for "army recruiting denver".

We cannot control what gets into the press. The NYT will run their stories. KHOU in Houston will broadcast what they wish. CBS 4 in Denver will air their own hidden camera footage of recruiters taking kids to the head shop to buy a questionable masking agent. The only counter the Army gets is a single paragraph about how those recruiters are the exception, not the rule. We don't get a fair response.

Jeff Jarvis has made his mark on the blogosphere by calling for everyone to share their stories (I'm simplfying his stance, but I'm a simple man so I'm allowed). The very nature of military operations means we can't share everything, but sharing more can't hurt. The most effective source for positive news coming out of Iraq have been the blogs run by Soldiers, or blogs that act as a clearinghouse for Iraq reports. Stuff that would never see a 3 paragraph blurb in the Chicago Sun Times get front-page coverage on Blackfive or Smash. Glenn Reynolds provides more coverage to operations in Afghanistan through his various emailers then most national media outlets do.

Every person in this country, age 17-21 has has some experience with a recruiter. Even a high school senior bound to a wheelchair has gotten a phone call so that a recruiter can get that senior contact. It's a single phone call, but it's made. Of all those hundreds of millions of experiences the one that gets national press is the one where a kid tape records a recruiter sacrificing their integrity. That's the experience that the general public is left with, that recruiters will do anything to meet mission.

When recruiting was falling short it was a front page story. Endless reports of how the Army failed to meet mission for the nth month in a row. Editorializing about how it's an inditement of the war, or President Bush, or whatever. The Army's been meeting mission now, and the reports aren't headline-grabbing anymore.

We were helpless against such one-sided reporting five years ago. I firmly believe that a big reason the Iraq=Vietnam meme didn't take root is because people interested in the story can easily go online and find facts-on-the-ground that run counter to the media reports. Those facts are so easy for the masses to locate that it makes it difficult for the useful idiots of the world to push an alternative agenda. The "Iraqi Civil War" triggered by the bombing of the golden dome in Samarra lasted less than a month, and was mostly a matter of the reporters filtering the usual assortment of demonstrations and insurgent attacks through the veneer of a Civil War. Instead of it actually being a civil war, the political forces in Iraq came together, as best as they can, and managed to head it off at the pass. What could have devolved into a bloody civil war was instead recognized for the horrific act of desecration it was. But "Iraqi government prevents Civil War through rational discourse" doesn't make for as good a headline as "Bush's War leads Idillyic Iraq to Civil War".

Actually reading some of the headlines you can find in major newspapers makes me wonder if J. Jonah Jameson writes them.

I'm biased, I know it. I just can't help but think that allowing, even encouraging, more recruiters to take their stories to the public can help recruiting. I've written some things that are not flattering. I've written some things I regret putting out there. I've also written some things about how I love the Army and, occasionally, enjoy putting people into it. My frustration with recruiting doesn't come from the act of having to put people into the Army. It comes from dealing with the many, many hoops we have to go through to accomplish that vital mission. Sometimes it seems that the agencies that are supposed to help us enlist people exist only to prevent it *cough* (rhymes with heps) *cough*.

I can imagine a scenario where a kid, say, 20 years old, in college, and looking for what they want to do when they graduate, goes online and starts looking around. They see something about the Army and think it's something they might want to do. They, of course, go to to Go and see some jobs and programs that appeal to them. Now, the only thing Go does to help them contact a recruiter is give them a form to input their zip code and find a local recruiter. This kid remembers when he was in high school and would get all these phone calls from recruiters asking if he wants to join. Always said no, they kept calling and being annoying. That persistance is why he didn't join, it turned him off. He doesn't want to contact a recruiter yet. He doesn't know these recruiters. He doesn't know what they're about, or what they'll tell him. He worries that they'll try and make him an infantryman, he doesn't want to do that.

Now, this is where my scenario gets a bit unlikely.

Just suppose that, in addition to giving the phone number and address of the recruiting station, it also links to a recruiting station website, or the blog of an assigned recruiter. The kid can click on the link and see the recruiters in the area. He can read their stories, hear what they're about. Maybe he's interested in MI and sees that one of the recruiters is a 96B, counter-intelligence agent. Maybe one of the recruiters graduated form his high school, or plays the same sport, or has a character in EverQuest on the same server that the kid does (I'm a 66 Iksar Beastlord on Bristlebane btw). But the kid sees something out there that makes him decide he'll call this recruiting station.

I'm not saying that recruiter blogs will solve all of recruiting's problems. They have a whole array of issues all their own. Ones that need to be addressed. But I think that CENTCOM has it right. They seek people out and encourage them to link to their stories. They're working on getting their story out. It's what Jeff Jarvis encourages. Recruiting is the most public involved part of the Army. We are in the civilian world. We're not on bases. We're not off on the sidelines. Our own regulations tell us to get into the community. The community I'm best able to get into is the cyber community. This is my chance to do so.

This blog isn't a recruiting asset for me. I didn't start it with an eye to aiding me in recruiting, but by mere chance it has. I've had people email me about joining. I've directed people to from outside my area to local recruiters. I've talked to people who were confused or frustrated by the process of enlisting. I'm not so egotistical as to think that my responses alone got people to join. It's a single email in many cases, but I'm not so self-depreciating as to think I didn't help. I've even had a couple people who were local email me, I've conducted the appointments but they haven't joined. However, it was two appointments that I made by mere virtue of doing what I was going to do anyway. It's the cyber equivalent of making an appointment with the kid chcecking my groceries on a Sunday shopping trip.

Blogging can work for recruiters, if we want to use it. I'm not the person to make it happen, and I have some concern that my suggestion for such action will get me in a bind, but someone has to ask the question. I guess I might be the person to ask it.

This has gone on too long. The muse has left the building and I'm following it. Mrs. SFC B and I are going to have lunch.

Monday, March 20, 2006


I spent most yesterday being very, very sick. I managed to catch myself a 12 hour stomach flu. Very low fever, wasn't actually "sick", but I was unable to keep anything in my stomach. Made for a very unpleasant night.

I'm on leave this week and having to help around the house, do some cleaning, and other chores, in preparation for Momma SFC B to come visit.


In the spirit of my birthday gift this year, I gave Mrs. SFC B just the gift she wanted for our anniversary. The gift that keeps on giving. The gift of the stomach flu. Too bad I'm on leave this week cause I know that SFC SC2 would have loved for me to try and get out of working today by saying my wife was ill. It's the sort of poor excuse to miss work for which SFC Peter was famous.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Whiskey Tango Fox

Some people, myself included, are getting unauthorized to view this page errors. I have no clue what's going on with this. Hopefully I'll be up and running again sometime soon.


I don't know why, but I'm loving the look of the latest cartoon on VG Cats. There's just something about the color or the shading or something that makes me really, really like it. I'm sure my brilliant, artistic sister could explain it better, but I'm not her.

And the problems anyone might have had accessing the site this morning were because of a problem with Blogger. All seem to be fixed now, and that's a good thing.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Process

Joining the Army is, at least on paper, a simple process. Commit, test, physical, counselor, swear-in. Sometimes it is as easy as it seems. Others, it is not. Today the woman who had caused me no end of issues joined. Of course it didn't go easy, computer systems errors delayed what should have been a 10am thing to become an 11am thing, but after the trouble I've had before, I'll take it.

She's happy. She got the job she wanted. She'll get trained quickly. And she can move on with her military career. It allowed me to relax.

This has been an interesting couple of days. I've been writing this blog for closing in on a year, and I've started and stopped a couple others prior to this. I've said a lot things over this time. Some of it not stupid, most of it stupid. However there have been a couple things I've said that I would take back, or have said differently if I'd given it some more thought. This issues BWC had mentioned dealt with that (thanks for covering down man). He's a good buddy of mine, and I'm keeping the invitation open for him to remain around. His choice.

Anyways, messages have been received and I'd like to thank those who have been supportive and encouraging. SSG Rage, don't you have some 1059's to complete or something?

Phoenix's 140+ days without rain came to a drenching end today. Which was able to ruin a softball game we'd had planned. Oh well. There will be other days.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Concerning SFC B

Hi, I'm a friend of SFC B. He asked me to come online and give everyone an update. Seems that there are some issues he's facing that he'll know more about this weekend. It's nothing serious, but it'll keep him offline for the time being.

BWC out

Military Entrance Prevention Station Revisited

Yesterday was a uniquely sucky day.

Last week I'd been amazed that the Guidance Shop and MEPS had managed to accomplish the very simple task of approving a person to take the physical. On their SOP it says a 72 hour turn around. It only took 43 days. But I'm digressing. Last week she went downtown, took the physical, passed with flying colors, and was ready to join. I was actually surprised she'd passed the physical. I don't have a lot of confidence in older folks getting through the phys. Too much can go wrong. Hearing goes, eyesight goes, blood pressure goes up. All sorts of things that happen as we age will prevent someone from passing the physical. But she did. Rejoice.

The applicant, Ms Chef, had about 8 years in the Army and got out back in the early 90s as part of the drawndown. I've been working with her for about 4 months now. She spent about a month toying with the idea of going AF, but since they're not offering PS bonuses, and it's the Air Force, she decided to stop toying with my emotions and join the Reserve. It's been nothing but pain since.

The whole fiasco with a 43 day med read. Lost 2807s and 214s. 680s being misplaced. Wrong social security numbers (totally my fault). Through it all she managed to remain interested and committed. Granted, sometimes it took some work on my part, but I've found that a little self-depriciting humor can go a long way to helping someone through a rough spot w/ the Army's system.

Yesterday broke the camel's back though.

All of the projections I've submitted. All of the actions I'd done through Guidance and Med. No one noticed that she didn't have any test scores in the system. I'm guilty of the grave crime of assumption. I've worked a lot of prior service applicants, and every one of them have had a test score on the system. You have that happen every time for a year you start to assume that someone who has prior service will have test scores. I did. My bad. I'm not the only link in this chain though.

A person is not supposed to be allowed to take the physical if they don't have test results. She was projected for the physical, reported for the physical, went through the physical, and completed the physical, all with no one noticing that the "ASVAB Results" portion of her 680 was blank. She was projected to join with no test results. She reported to Guidance with no test results.

Things got ugly.

She had to take the ASVAB. She was willing to take the ASVAB. ASVAB starts at 1400, or at least it always had before. If she is able to take and complete the ASVAB by about 1530 she will be able to join that day still. Granted, she had only taken the morning off from work to do this, so losing the whole day was bad, but if she joined it would have been worth it to her.

She doesn't sit at the testing computer until 1500. She stood in a line from 1330 until 1500 waiting to take the ASVAB. This woman had been downtown ALL DAY waiting to take the ASVAB, and testing can't get her onto a computer unitl 1500. Granted, even if she'd sat down at 1400 it was no guarantee that she'd have finished the test in time. But by taking their sweet time to get her started the guaranteed she wouldn't make it. And she didn't

She's pissed now. I don't blame her. I'll take the brunt of her anger. I'll tell her it's all my fault. I want her to blame me, and not the Army. But honestly, this was bullshit. This was something that should have been caught by any number of people (myself included), and it wasn't. How the hell could she have been allowed to phys w/o test scores. How did this not get caught until yesterday?

She is supposed to join on Saturday now. I hope she does. I wouldn't actually blame her for being a bit disenchanted and bitter. She'd been jerked around a lot by the system.

It was a very bad, bad day. One that makes me question my sanity. I think Shiner is on the menu tonight.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Attention please


More to follow.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled reading.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Well I'll be

It's been a while since I've had to deal with MEPS. The previous time didn't go well for me. Last week though something strange happened. A med review I'd been waiting to be completed for a month was finally done. The woman was approved to phys. She went downtown, took the physical, and she passed! I was amazed.

I wasn't even ready for that. I thought for sure she'd be RBJ'd for something. She wasn't. I actually found myself a bit behind the 8-ball because I didn't anticipate her passing. Had to finish up her packet in short-order because of the unexpected good news. She'll be joining tomorrow, hopefully.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Some time ago I'd lamented the need to get some sanity to the people I work with and refer to. So I figured I'd post a cast of characters so I can get my name's straight for myself, and the six people who read me. All the name's but mine are pseudonyms.

SFC B: That's me Sergeant First Class John Bradshaw. I'm a member of the Army Reserve on active duty for recruiting. I'm here on a "detail" which means that the Army tapped me on the shoulder and said "your role in the War on Terror will be to provide the strength, and no matter how much you whine we'll own you for the next three years."

SSG George: One of the regular Army recruiters I work with. Nice enough guy when he isn't stepping on small dogs, dodging irons, and using high school LRLs as Little Black Books.

SGT W^3: The other Reserve recruiter.

SGT Curtain: Only female in the station. Nice woman, and I'm sure she's a good NCO to work with outside of USAREC. Her existance in anethma to the Recruiting Gods. They cannot punish her enough to care. You could make her work 20 hours a day and she'll still make no appointments. Love her to death for it. She's my hero.

SGT Tree: Another of the RA recruiters. Painfully outgoing personality, and eternally optimistic. Everyone he meets is going to be his next contract, if they could only pass the test or refrain from beating people with baseball bats.

SGT Patient: New guy. Still has the impossible to open CD sticker on him he's that new.

SSG Rage: Angriest Person Ever. He attacked a kid for complimenting his hair. My desk is as dimpled as a golf ball because he used to sit here and punch the doors when he got mad. But he was almost always right about how things would actually happen. Damn him for that. He's going to owe me $100 bucks at the end of the baseball season. I will accept it in the form of a Western Union money order because he'll be in Iraq. He served four years as a detailed recruiter and was returned to the Army earlier this year. Everyone in the station activly prospects for the stupidest, least qualified person ever to send to him. We'll let him know about it too.

SSG Peter: He's outprocessing as I write this. I'm convinced he joined on the very last day of the recruiting year. The guy used a SERIOUS CAT4 slot to join. Nice enough person, but just not that bright.

SFC SC2: Last, but certainly not least. He's the station commander and the big man in charge. He rides a Harley, but I don't hold that against him. I could probably remain in USAREC for 20 years (AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!) and never work for a station commander I wanted to succeed for more. Too bad we all let him down month after month. I'm sure that before he drops is retirement paperwork he will hit me. I'm also sure I'll do something to deserve it.

That's pretty much it. Now I have something to go by so hopefully I'll be able to keep this straight in my mind.


I had started a post about the Planning Guide that all recruiters are required to use and maintain. I deleted it because I realized that the event that prompted me to write about it was stupid, and I was going to be a whining twit to complain about it. I don't have a problem with being viewed as a whining twit, but I do try and avoid it when possible.

Something I've noticed as I've been writing this blog is that if I don't finish a post when I start it, I won't finish it at all. My passion to write is very fleeting. It's why I don't do long posts like Steven den Beste used to. Well, that and I'm no where near as smart as SDB. Dude's an effin' genius and the world is a poorer place for him having moved his focus to anime. Although the anime world is better for it. I'm sure that makes my super sister very happy.