Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Duck Tape and Bubble Gum

I'm trying as hard as I can and I know I am a little....okay maybe a lot melodramatic, but it seems to be getting harder and harder to hold everything together. I am seeming to lose control of my guys, at least it seems that way to me.

One of my NCOs has taken it upon himself to disregard bits and pieces of what I tell him to make happen or even to do himself. He doesn't communicate well with others, but I knew that coming into this mission. He is a "doer", and he figures he can do it faster himself than get anyone else involved. Sometimes that is a good thing and some times it is detrimental to the TEAM. The biggest place it has become a problem is when there has been an issue when I wasn't there and he doesn't tell me anything about it and then I get blind sided by it later on, and look stupid because I have no idea what happened. The picking and choosing of which instructions of mine he will follow and which he will not is really getting my goat however.

He's not the only one either though. The other day Smiley got a speeding ticket on the compound. It could have happened to any of us, but regardless of who it happens to, it reflects on me.

Mo as found a new way of getting under my skin. He is no longer looking for someone to kill every minute of the day, at least not visibly. He is now pushing every limit of my uniform standards. He is also becoming a "sharpshooter", in other words he is constantly telling me how he would do things differently. Now I have been known to have a hard time dealing with constructive criticism, but I can accept a logical suggestion when one comes along. Let's just say not of his have been anything remotely close to logical.

This morning our way back to camp from shift the garrison commander paced our vehicle at 160kph. Yup that's right around a hundred miles an hour. Needless to say he was none to thrilled and he called in our license plate and vehicle to all of the camp gates. We got stopped as we were pulling into our home camp and received the lovely news. As it stands right now the driver got a citation and all of the rest of our names have been sent up as being in the vehicle. I was not driving but by position I am responsible for the actions of my soldiers. Now I was asleep at the time of the occurrence, so I had no control over the situation, but that is no excuse. Even if I had been awake I probably wouldn't have said anything. I wanted to get to bed as badly as the rest of them.

I know this sounds like a vent session, but it really isn't. I accept full responsibility for everything that I have mentioned above. I let the actions take place and for that I am wrong. I need to get a tighter grip on what is going on out here. I had it good for a while, but I am getting worn out and that control is slipping through my fingers. I think the bottom line is it is just time for me to call the whole Army thing quits. I don't enjoy any aspect of it any more, and I have always believed that if something doesn't make you happy, don't do it.

This month I have two years left on my current enlistment and I have less than any intention of continuing my service. Until then I just hope I can scape up enough duck tape and bubble gum to hold this worn down soldier together.


Blogger Papa Ray said...


None of my buz wax, especially since you have said you have trouble accepting "advice".

But, here goes.

Stop trying to "BE IN CONTROL" all the time. Pick and choose the important things to keep on track, in line or how ever you want to put it.

You should not accept bad behaviour from anyone including yourself, BUT, your not going to make everyone over into your image of a "good soldier".

People are not like that, everyone is different and it takes different ways to get them to toe the mark or do something "your way".

Even if you could, all you would get is resentment and behind the back sabotage.

Speeding, ticket, take it easy there, thats not even anything to worry about. If there had been an accident...then you should worry.

In other words, back off a little here, press here but communicate very well with everyone.

A great NCO I knew, never yelled, Never talked down to anyone but instead somehow made them WANT to please him or at the very least not to cause him any disappointment.

Hang in there. Life is short, don't get dragged down by the details.

Papa Ray
West Texas

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Art said...

At least you are very serious about accepting responsibility for whatever happens under your command. That's really commendable and should stand as an example that might educate leaders at the top of the chain, if they paid attention.

7:33 AM  

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