Summertime 2014. Some of the best stories come from the time between 2011 and 2015.
As the sun rises over the back 40 of Fort Hood, TX we are already out conducting dismounted maneuvers. We are clearing objectives and handling business as usual. We complete all objectives and complete all tasks to the Commanders intent. So, it’s about 1100 and we are packed up ready to go. Of course the normal shenanigans of leaving the field ensue. 473 rounds of equipment accountability, 1928429 radio checks and finally, 39 convoy briefs. So, we make it back to the rear and start unloading everything.
Now, if you recall from the previous episodes, this was a time where half of the Battalion was deployed and half stayed for a bogus ‘prepare to deploy’ mission that never happened. Even on the official rear detachment, we had a secondary rear d that came from us. It was unreal. We had this one guy who had broken his hip or leg or something in reception when he got to Fort Hood. It was not a huge deal but after he was cleared from medical, he continued to “hurt” it. It became a huge issue and he was then being investigated for malingering. Anyway, despite all of that he had to stay attached to us.
Time to give some backstory on this guy. He continuously had an issue with keeping his room clean. So, we had a few G.I. parties that finally took effect. A weekend passes and we continue to check. For some reason there are these fruit flies just infesting his room. How he stayed in this, we do not know. We continuously had him G.I. his room numerous times. To the point where the platoon even did it because we couldn’t figure it out.
We realized a few times back that it wasn’t him but we had to find the issue. One day, we were conducting a check and we heard a cough from the opposite room through the bathroom. (The way these rooms were set up, there was one room on the east and west side with a bathroom shared in between.) So, we finally get the guy to open up the door.
What we witnessed next was incredible. A guy opened the door in what seemed to be 4 day old clothes, shaggy hair, and a very Joe Dirt like beard. As we noticed him we noticed his room. Pizza boxes filling the floor like tiles. Full giant trash bags (the ones you get from supply) covering the pizza boxes. A locker full of TA-50. Piles of dirty clothes on the second bed in the room.
What we figured happened was when the unit deployed, they had a bunch of vacant rooms. This guy ETS’d out around the time of the deployment so he was off the books. Somehow he slipped through the clearing process and was still out processed from the unit. There was a MASSIVE failure on a lot of leaderships part. His previous Battery and even the rear detachment leadership blundered this one. Somehow, it turned into our fault. No big deal because what happened next was hilarious and incredible.
Despite all the failures and everything, the rear d leadership got angry and pretended like it wasn’t their fault. The rear d NCOIC went up there and immediately lost his mind. We were waiting on final formation in the quad when, in a loud and thunderous voice, we heard “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! THIS IS THE MOST DISGUSTING SHIT I’VE EVER FUCKING SEEN! WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK?!” At that point, we gathered to watch.
Not even a moment passed and things started flying. Everything that was thrown was non barracks issue items (dressers, lockers, beds, etc.) But what did fly were plastic shelving units that he bought. Clothes. Huge bags of trash. TA-50. Everything that didn’t come with the room. It was insane. At this point the rear d NCOIC refused to allow the guy to turn in his gear to CIF, so this career E4 decided to sell it all to the crowd below. When I say he had his TA-50…I mean a full CIF issue. IOTV, ACH, wet weather gear, cold weather gear…everything. He made probably $900 because he didn’t have a way to get home. Now? He had $900 to get to his next destination.
While I say this situation is completely fucked; and it is; this guy had no plan, no anything. I fully believe before someone gets out they need a plan. And as leaders they should help their Soldiers get set up for the future….at the same time, as a grown ass man, YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO DO THAT ON YOUR OWN AS WELL!
So the facts. This guy ETS’d and stayed in the barracks for over 90 days with no one knowing. He built a self sustaining landfill inside the room and maintained an internet connection. He spent literally all of his time in the barracks and snuck out to Walmart and the 24 hour shoppette during the night time hours to get supplies. He truly harnessed the power of the E4 mafia after he was done with the military.
Until next time
The Ball Pit