US Army

I am easy to amuse

In which Sig accomplishes a thoroughly meaningless task that he set for himself. Huzzah!

At least we're doing something

In which Sig discusses [activity] which is supposed to be [adjective] but is actually [less flattering adjective], assuming it all isn't rendered moot by [issue] or [problem] or [well-meaning but chaotic entity].

"MI Ranger?"

An interesting proposal for getting proper training for the grunts of the MI community.

Katrina and the National Guard

I find it interesting and rather offensive that certain elements are using Katrina to attack the conduct of operations in Iraq. The argument goes that we could be doing much better to respond to Katrina relief efforts if only our National Guard were not so heavily deployed to Iraq.

Not so much.

T Minus 1

My beloved wife arrives here this afternoon. My room is packed up. My outprocessing will be finished within two hours (hopefully). I check out of the barracks this afternoon. I graduate about this time tomorrow morning, and then I'm on my way home.


Three more days

In which Sunbeam has car troubles which are overcome, and Sig delays the inevitable return to the civilian workforce for at least another six weeks.

FTX report

50 hours of training. 6 hours of sleep. 400 rounds. 8 billion cacti. 1 second-degree burn in the shape of an M-16A2 barrel and front site post.

Good times.

Gettin' my kill on

It's a lot more fun when you can just assume that everyone you meet is trying to put holes in you and act accordingly (i.e. reciprocate with enthusiasm).


From an article about the Defense Advisory Committee on Military Compensation, which is looking at fundamental changes in how the military pay structure might work in the future:
[quote]Panel member Frederic W. Cook, chairman of a consulting firm on executive compensation, noted that the idea of someone retiring at age 38 with full benefits doesn’t exist in the private sector.[/quote]
Also not existing in the private sector, for the most part: Training virtually guaranteed to cause you permanent physical damage over the course of 20 years--if it doesn't kill you instantly while in progress--and getting sent places where you have to kill them before they kill you.

I'll count myself very lucky if I am fully unimpaired and able to work at age 38--and I didn't join until age 25.


Faux Doughboy

Killing me. My feet, that is.

Friday is the Army's 230th birthday, which means that it's time for the Army Ball. Shiny! I love the Army Ball--not as much as my wife, and not as much without my wife (she wanted to surprise me and show up, but we just can't afford it), but it's still cool. Here, the battalion does something pretty cool for the streamer ceremony: they borrow 9 historical uniforms from different periods of the Army's history, and soldiers from the battalion wear them to carry the streamers up to be hung on the Army flag.

I'm number 5, a.k.a. World War II soldier.

Today was our first and only dress rehearsal, and I hadn't made it to the fitting the other day (or rather, hadn't been told), so today was my introduction to the uniform in question. My respect for the WWII-era fighting man--already quite high--has gone up a few notches. Just getting the thing on made me ready to surrender; I can't imagine fighting a war in it.

It is pretty sharp looking, however, or would be if the jacket were not faded from the olive drab to a dingy yellow. But hey, it's 60 years old, and it'll be dark anyway.

The boots even fit, but WWII brown leather combat boots are not the Gore-Tex and leather beauties that I normally put on my feet, so after three hours, I was really feeling it.

In closely related news, it was in the 90s today. Guess how happy I was to be wearing wool trousers and a wool shirt plus a jacket for three hours, even in an air conditioned conference center?

It will be a really moving ceremony, though, and I count myself lucky to be a part of it. The only down side, really, is that we have an open bar at the Ball this year, and I won't be able to partake at all until after the ceremony--which is the last scheduled event. So I'll have some catching up to do when I'm back in my own uniform, circa 2200. I'm not a heavy drinker by any stretch, canoe tales notwithstanding, but it's sort of obligatory for the Army Ball to take a few for the team, and on behalf of those currently serving in dry regions.


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