Posted on Nov 17, 2013
CPL(P) Cyber Threat Intelligence Consultant
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Military is a huge organisation with several moving parts. Unlike corporate sector, there are lot of uncertainities, which the organisation realises. The organisation assists its members with tools, checklists, briefings, pre-post mission brief-debriefs, AARs and a multitude of checks and balances to make sure that the SM and his interests are always protected. 

Despite all the support, major goof ups do happen. Have you see or heard or any such goof ups and what was the lesson learnt from the goof up ? Please do not post classified/ other unclas incidents that may impact the org reputation.
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SSG Pete Fleming
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This is long story sorry... I was an MP, SSG. (Actually got promoted right before this in mid- 01). Oh if I get few things (terms) wrong please be understanding, as this was 12/13 years ago and a lot has happened in my life since then.

In 2001 we were activated to go to Kosovo, we were issued all the latest and greatest gear. Up armored trucks, some of the toys I thought were movie props. Even issued the latest ballistic vest with plates. We were sent to almost any school you wanted. The train up was ridiculous, but in the good way. And the Box training in Polke was as close to being there as they could get, with actual local nationals as role players (perhaps my memory is slightly inflated but you get the point). We were charted a plane and flew from Washington via Canada to Macedonia and bussed up to Camp Bondsteel. The meals were just amazing I can't begin to tell you (for those who deployed after the cutbacks you have no idea what you missed out on). During that 6 month deployment I could tell you some silly stories...

So this doesn't sound bad, right? Not bizarre? Well be patience...

Then comes about the fall of 2002 and they are talking about Iraq. Well since my unit had deployed we were not going any where. Because of that they came in took everything, I think if they new we had latest version of thermal underwear they would have taken it to! We looked the epitome of a third world military. National Guard units in the 70's were better equipped. They even took volunteers, stripping us of our E-4 and below, not all but still we were under staffed.

Then in I think early '03, might have been later '02, they decided we might have to go as well. But because our numbers were low and we lacked equipment they changed our mission, and we became a POW unit. (because everyone remember the first gulf war, right). Plus it better suited our depleted equipment and unit strength (though we were E-5 heavy)

So, in March we go to Fort Leonard Wood. When we get there, basically they are like, "who are you?" and "why are you here?" "Well we're MPs and rumor has it there is a war over in Iraq..." They didn't have actual accommodations for us, remember this was training base not a transition base (or whatever the correct terminology is). So we stayed in basic training barracks, with strict instruction to not interact with the trainees. If that wasn't bad enough, we had to keep moving every couple of weeks to accommodate a new training cycle, though I am sure this was just out of spite. We rotted there for a long long long time... Finally in early May some genius remembered us and we were shipped off to Kuwait.

Now I finally come to the bizarre part...

When we get there, basically they are like, "who are you?" and "why are you here?" "Well we're MPs and rumor has it there is a war over in Iraq..." So they sent us to some forgotten corner of no where. We stayed there about 3 days and then were told to go to Baghdad. So we put on our old school flack vest, loaded up our 998's and non-armored turtle-shells, along with a couple deuce and a half's, a tow truck, mess kitchens, TOC, etc, we looked more like a bunch of good ole boys going for a weekend drunk... but away we went.

After getting lost we almost went to visit Jessica Lynch's ambush site, but some less than friendly British soldiers informed us we were wrong and sent us our way. We camped over night at what was the coolest thing ever, an radar or satellite center (not sure to be honest). I just remember looking and seeing nothing but stars, never knew there were so many... Sorry anyway...

We get to Baghdad, close to what became the Green Zone, near the parade field with the famous cross swords. When we get there, basically they are like, "who are you?" and "why are you here?" "Well we're MPs and rumor has it there is a war in Iraq..." So, they weren't sure what to do with us. We were not up to standard... so they reassigned us to another battalion.

The 82nd has seized an old business center/factory and were gracious enough to give us a small piece to call home. There we ate MREs and whatever concoction came out of the mobile field kitchen (man I missed Kosovo). But there was no real need for a POW unit, as that was well cover over at Cropper (the backside of the Airport). So our mission evolved and we were assigned to work with the Iraqi police. We had several police stations all over Baghdad.

Initially we controlled access, using our 998's we build wooden gunners mounts to conduct static post, patrols, and escorts. As our mission evolved we worked with the police, the Major Crime Unit (MCU), the Academy, collected prisoners, usually non-combatants instead murders, rapist, thieves, and other social degenerates. We would go from station to station, load them into the Deuce , when it was full take them to BYOP/Cropper fro processing. Later when Abu Ghraib was opened we would take them there. (I often wonder if any were used in that scandal?) As a side not we start eating local food (say it wasn't so) I ate many a hamburger but never saw a cow...hmmm... anyway...

By November we were better equipped with up-armored vehicles, ballistic vest with plates, etc. And the Contractors had arrived and the bombed out factory was turned into a military base. They even built actual barracks and parking areas. It literally grew up around us, much like a small town. The best part was a proper mess hall, Thanks Giving dinner from and actual kitchen... well me and about a 1000 other guys got food poisoning, not from the local food but our food! (did I mention missed Kosovo's food)

In April, we were supposed to go home, and loaded all our connexes, washed and inventoried our gear, called our families... all that. But then the Spanish got overrun in An Najaf and instead our deployment was extended. We unpacked, and loaded everything onto our trucks. This time we looked a little better, and headed off to FOB Duke... and guess what happened when we arrived...

There were actually expecting us!!!! After a short stay there were headed in An Najaf and worked with the local police there until July when we were finally sent home... 14 months later.

Though I left a lot out I hope this story was both entertaining and falls safely into the bizarre or goof up category.
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SSG Satellite Communication Systems Operator/Maintainer
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Well, one Battalion went out to the field and leadership decided to do a midnight recall to kick things off. Everyone driving out to the field on 2-3 hours sleep? Who did that risk assessment?
Luckily no lost lives; the worst incident was a head on crash between two military vehicles with troops in the rear thrown about. Of course one was badly injured and because they weren't wearing their helmet they were not only badly hurt they were in trouble for disobeying orders.
--IT BURNS!
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SSG Pete Fleming
SSG Pete Fleming
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I think we all have convoy stories... that is so typical isn't they disregard rules and punish other who get hurt because of it!!!
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CPL(P) Cyber Threat Intelligence Consultant
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The most bizzare story I heard first hand from an impacted solider is summarized. 
>SM (SPC) deployed to combat zone. While he was deployed, spouse developed medical complication. 
>"Everyone assumed" Tricare Prime will cover hospital admission and medical management. Spouse undergoes surgey and spends some 20 days in hospital.
SM and family shocked with a quater million hospital bill. 
>While SM is deployed, SMs family residence is foreclosed and family files bankruptcy. 



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SSG Satellite Communication Systems Operator/Maintainer
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That is totally jacked up; do you know any more details or is this an urban legend?
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