Good day, Grunts.
On this glorious Saturday, I bring to you the very first edition of my mind. Yes, the dark and twisted bowels of the dome piece belonging to a career Artilleryman. Before you get all up in arms about hearing from a redleg…get your own blog.
The tale I bring to you today is a story that I will never forget. It was when I first assumed duties as a Howitzer Section Chief on the M777A2. Previous to this I was located in another section within the same Platoon, as a Gunner. Probably the best job I ever had. Given my formal duties, I was the resident pit bull for my section (squad, for you grunts) and my Commander took notice. He saw the potential in me and gave me a shot, despite everyone else’s opinion…because fuck ‘em, that’s why.
The section I was set to take over was one with few problem children. I was excited for the chance. I was ready to be set up for success in the best way possible. The deck couldn’t have been stacked any better. Then again, all of our sections were hot shit and ready to rock. At least 1 issue Joe per section. No big deal. When I signed for everything and assumed duties, I came to realize the brand new private was a special type of stupid. He buffered, much like the America Online we all knew and loved in its heyday.
Rewind a short while. Yeah, I’m going to Tarentino this bitch. For the sake of keeping his name out of the news, I’ll call him PVT Dangle. Dangle was your typical brand new joe at first. He knew only what the outstanding instructors taught them at A.I.T., which wasn’t much, hardly even the basics of the job. In fact, they would even train them on the wrong piece for which they were about to fall in on.
So, Dangle decided it was smart to go and get married before joining the Army. Nothing wrong with that, but my opinion on it is, if you can’t drink, you shouldn’t be allowed to get hitched. Trust me, you’ll need to be allowed to drink. Dangle didn’t only get married, he married an ogre of a woman. We will call her Princess Fiona. When Dangle arrived to the unit, we were out in the field so he hadn’t drawn his C.I.F. yet. He was stuck on the rear detachment. Well, during that timeframe, the ever so asinine order of ‘no drinking’ was put in effect. He decided that even though he was under the age of 21, a beer or two would take the edge off after Fiona whooped his ass for some odd reason. We never did find that out.
At any rate, Fiona whooped the shit out of him. She then exited the home, and he drank a few brews. No big deal, right? Wrong. She came back and did it again, but this time the ever so curious dependapotamus was outside smoking in her lavish on-post, 2 bedroom, 1 bath home that housed herself, her husband, and their 4 kids. She decides to notify the M.P.s…the right thing to do, but in the mind of Dangle, it certainly was not.
The cops arrive, find out Dangle is underage, notify his chain, and he is then brought out to the field after receiving a counseling statement with recommended UCMJ. We finish our time in the field, return to the rear, he is read, and is now on stint 1 of extra duty.
Let’s fast forward a few weeks when I’m about to take over. I’m receiving my brief from the outgoing chief and as I’m about to walk out, he says to stand by. I sit back down and he grabs a giant packet. My jaw drops. To spare you non essential details, he gives me the meat and potatoes. Those being that he is under investigation by C.I.D. For what? Oh, I’m glad you asked. He was selling molly, you know, that synthetic version of ecstasy or whatever the parallel was. Spice, weed…you know the deal. Anyway, he was selling it. The barracks, around town, his neighborhood (yeah, on post), anywhere there was a buyer for it. All the while, he was injecting himself with watered down cocaine. Fucking stellar!
Clearly this guy is done with the Army just like they’re done with him. Well, let’s fast forward to about 4 months down the road. I just return from BNCOC and am informed by my subordinate NCO that he was late multiple times, disrespected a few NCOs and was currently serving a third stint on extra duty…Field grade yet again. You would think that they would’ve let him get chaptered out, but the investigation was ongoing so there wasn’t much they could do.
Dangle decided that he was going to skip about an hour of extra duty on Saturday afternoon for some afternoon delight…a nice fatty on the barracks balcony. Apparently he decided to say fuck it all and not go quietly. Well now he’s on line of sight. The Battery command decided that, for sleeping purposes and privacy reasons, he could use an office with the door open to rack out on a cot. It was about 30 feet away from the C.Q. desk, so no big deal. A week of this goes by.
It is now Monday morning. I show up for PT at my regular time, which is early as shit because once I’m up, I’m up. I walk in to go wake up Dangle and he is gone.
Me: “Hey, CQ, where is Dangle?”
Me: “Where the fuck is Dangle?”
CQ: “He was in there last night, SGT.”
Me: “When’s the last time you checked in on him?”
CQ: “About 3 hours ago.”
Those fuckers were supposed to check every 90 minutes to make sure he was still there. PVT Dangle took it upon himself to roll out the nearest window and high tail it from Central Texas to Southern Virginia.
Fast forward 18 months later and I’m coming back from NTC. I get word they caught him. I chuckled and went to go see him real quick, just to laugh. But apparently my Battalion wised up and had him gone, out-processed, and chaptered within 2 weeks of his triumphant return. I was sad.
Anyway, that’s your feel good for the weekend. Stay classy, and drink it dry!