• April 2, 2009
  • 26

Herding Cats with Baseball Bats

This week is a painful endurance of pre-deployment madness. Not that the things that have to get done are non-sense. It just feels like non-sense.

For me this takes the form of cornering young Marines and explaining through clenched teeth the importance of getting their service record book audits completed before deployment and why doesn’t he have his family care plan turned in to the Family Readiness Officer?

Next, my fists begin to transform into jackhammers as I describe to the errant youngster my unfathomable satisfaction after ripping a person’s arm off and beating them with the sticky end.

Not surprisingly enlisted men are not the major violators at this stage.

It’s usually the odd Lieutenant that I have to hold down by his throat and groin while one of my Corpsmen administers a host of vaccinations that he had been brushing off.

In my battalion, missing a dental appointment is probably the number one reason why Marines end up needing dental work in the first place.

Then I have the awesome task of convincing my guys that all the liquor in the United States will still be here when we get back in seven months. Thus they really don’t need to go out and try drinking it ALL this weekend.

Here’s something that gives me cancer, Marines who haven’t let anyone in their family back home know they are deploying. Last year I had one of my platoon sergeants stand on a Marine’s neck as he dialed his mother. Hello mom? Yeah, um…just wanted to let you know I’m in Iraq. THAT went over greeeeeeeeeat.

Of course, two weeks before deployment everyone just HAS TO get married. It’s enough to make me want to hammer nails into my temples.

I just really need to deploy. Life is so much simpler. Sigh.

/ / / /


  1. Oh, I failed to mention the kid that drunkenly fell on some broken glass last night had to get stitches. When I am done he may need some on his forehead.

    Anndi, mommies do not head butt their children as a disciplinary measure. I am their DAD.

    Ake, Love? That sounds like one of those feminine emotions. We do not tolerate those in the infantry.

  2. It does seem a bit odd that someone in the military would not notify some/all of their family about being deployed.

    But all the other stuff? Head butts, standing on necks and the like? Do whatever it takes to get it done!

  3. Sugar, you should ask my Chicklet about disciplinary measures… besides, it sounds like any mom during PMS, cause you know, we marinate it that yucky sea of estrogen.

  4. OH yeah…the hubs laughed at this and said, “yeah and that’s just prolly the huck and suck guys, the line companies are even worse…”

    Get sleep, mike.

  5. coffeypot, they’ll probably part the seas with a loud, vicious oorrah, double-time it across the ocean floor, eat an occasional giant squid for a snack, then get to Crapistan early and surprise Tommy Taleban in time to wreak havoc before the first pot of morning joe starts brewing.

    Sound about right Burke?

    Please, no mercy on those young pukes in your unit. Prepping for deployment ought to be by-the-numbers. If we could do it right in the pre-9/11 peacetime disneyland years, they can do it now.

  6. To all; one of my functions is to miraculously appear in places of transition, friction, and failure. To ensure a fluid transition, reduce friction, and turn failure into glorious victory one must occasionally and in a loud auditory manner use the threat of grievous bodily harm.

    Today, let’s just say the job got done.

  7. This reminds me of O North’s bio when he said he could get all his Marines on a ship on time, but could not get his family to church on time.

  8. Even as a Corporal, I knew well how difficult it was to get supposedly smart young men to do the simplest things on time and properly. Can’t recall how many times I had to kick some PFC in the ass to get him to handle even the most mundane but necessary functions just so he could carry on with his regular duties. I know you have it a million times worse, but that’s why they pay you the big bucks.
    Semper Fi

  9. Holy f— Top, you’re giving me flashbacks now man….stop that. After my first “training” session in Bosnia, I was able to go through the Iraq deployment with my eyes closed (that helped alot) and try to laugh at the chaos that went on all around us.
    Some of your lads might be right though, they might outlaw alcholic beverages while you guys are gone, so they might try to drink it all now. When I was a 19 yr old Spec 4, that’s what I thought in Berlin…I had to drink everything…or until I ran out of money.
    Then, when the kids deploy, they’ll complain that nobody sends them anything…and I would ask: “have you written anyone back home yet to let them know what you need? The letter is free to mail, so go write a letter now and stop sniveling.”

    Then, there’s HOPE, who’ll send stuff to any of the troops because she’s cool.
    Anyway, let me know if you need anything form an old grunt Top…keep the kids safe.

  10. Gang, I am out the door tonight to the lovely and scenic Al Anbar province in Iraq. In the meantime I have a few canned stories that will be posted in my absence. Will resume your regularly scheduled programing as soon as I can.

    Semper Fidelis.

  11. Hey Gang-
    Heard from Mike last night. He said if he had access to the net he’d send some status reports. O

    Roller Dude, he sent me a response for you because for some reason the Blogger platform wasn’t responding to his physical threats of violence and hard looks…**laughing** …I’ll post his comment just after this.

  12. CI Roller, thanks for wishing me well. I am out the door tonight. Here’s to hoping IDF will be even less accurate and infrequent this trip. Semper Fi, America’s 1stSgt

  13. UPDATE:
    Mike texted off the tarmac in K-Bay at 210 CST…seems they got held up about 7 hours. What else is new? They should be getting into Detroit sometime tonight. If he checks in I’ll post.

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