Discussion in 'On Topic' started by tom37211, Dec 4, 2009.
Received a Facebook link to my former base commander so I decided to drop him a note.
The complete opposite of what I was expecting.
X2 I thought it was going to be a F You you mfer type of thing..
X2 its nice to know u had a good commander. but i was looking for some action!
your anger will fade once you get out
That was the exact opposite of what I was expecting as well, but it was really cool.
I've only been out for just over a year. I went to the ball this year with a couple buddies who got out when I did as well. Showed up in jeans, hoodies and I myself had a beard. We were greeted by the company immediately and it was really great to see some of the pfc's/lcpls under me during our last tour. It was nice to see that they really missed having YOU as their NCO/team leader/ whatever. Shit was motivating.
I told a couple Marines of a higher rank that I really appreciated their service and that they were kind of an idol throughout the years I knew them. It was good to get that off my chest as there were times you wanted to tell them but never did because it would be unprofessional and I didn't want to suck anyones dick. Gunny Vance was one guy I spoke too. He was one of the best Marines I've ever met.. a former Recon guy..always very mysterious. It was nice to tell him some things I never could when I was under his command. I may have come off like a huge faggot, but whatever..that chance will probably never come again and I think they appreciated it.
please explain more.
I am out....technically....went Active to Reserves.
The base I was on was in the country with a lot of farms around it. My room mate and I really liked the oranges so we would buy a case a week and go to town on them. One afternoon, we went to a local farmer for our weekly purchase. He then talked us into buying some of his wine. So we brought back 4 bottles as well. When we got back, I put the oranges on my bed and we decided to hit the bottles. Later on, I passed out and apparently, I flipped the case of oranges all over myself in my sleep.
The next morning, the base commander along with my First Sargent did a surprise dorm inspection. When they opened our door, there was me passed out on the bed surrounded by oranges everywhere.
My roomie never let me live that down. It's funny my commander remembered that. Just proves it's not the ordinary things one is remembered by. It is the extraordinary things!
I could nit pick until dooms day about all the stuff I had to go through in the military. But after 22 years, it's all lower deck nonsense. I served under 2 different commands in my 4 years in the USAF. My 2 years at Barksdale was a study in military politics. My 2 years at Comiso was a study in teamwork and getting the job done.
I always believed that a unit was only as good as it's CO. (For that matter, that belief translates rather well in civilian life.) When I was in Italy, we had the tools, the time and the leadership to get shit done. Comiso was the closest NATO base to Libya when we bombed them way back when. I personally did about 170 odd strait days of 12 on and 12 on standby at that time. I never complained because I knew that I was doing my part to carry out our mission. (During that time, I HATED being in the dorm. If something happened, I wanted to be there for my bros.)
In the grand scheme of things, our base CO never fucked with anyone who did not ask for it. From where I sat, he was only about the mission. Accomplish that and one had a wide latitude as for as how strict the UCMJ was enforced. (Case dependent of course.)
I knew a few airmen and Marines who got on the wrong side of that. But if they were good soldiers, that carried a lot of weight. Stateside, one was only as good as the distance they put between them self and their last fuck up. At that base in Comiso, being a team player carried a lot more weight. Perhaps that was the result of being on a remote base. But for me, rather, I think it to be the result of a CO who looks at things other than just the strict letter of the law.
For that alone, I hope he lives a long, happy and prosperous life. I believe that because of his mission orientated command as opposed to a strictly by the book command, he ensured that my life as a mere peon in the machine was worth something. He made sure I had the tools needed to do my job and that I would be as safe as could be while I fulfilled that responsibility.
For that, I have nothing but genuine and heartfelt respect and love for him.
I suspect that if today's soldier boils away all the bullshit they have to put up with, most will see the bottom line. No one is trying to fuck with you. All they want is to give you the tools necessary to, as safely as possible, fulfill your responsibility.
This man speaks the truth. Or even go on leave for 35+ days sometime.