The following is an abject lesson loosely based on events that may or may not have happened.
The inevitable side effect of having rules, regulations, and standard operating procedures is that somewhere, someone will feel these things do not apply to them. Take for example the sad tale of Lieutenant Navel Lint. This Navy O-3 was a fireball of scholarly and gentlemanly pursuits with a job to do. Unfortunately Lt Navel Lint failed to follow proper procedure and was not listed on any access roster given to FAST Company Marines charged with port security in support of various goings on in the AO. Thus the fine Lt and his vehicles were vigorously searched by intrepid young Marines intent on executing their duties because if they didn’t their 1stSgt would have flayed the living flesh from their bodies.
These laborious activities always occur in ideal weather. The events (that may or may not have happened) recorded here (allegedly) took place during a time of year conservatively described as hot. Of course “hot” and “The sun is touching me!” are both subject to interpretation. Scientists have proven the Kingdom of Bahrain is the geographically closest Middle Eastern country to the Sun. Westerners may scoff, but they are usually convinced the first time they nearly lose their head ducking the odd geyser of plasma. In addition, the port was constructed of a material that somehow conducted magma right up through the soles of the boots directly into the brain.
Lt Navel Lint (who was not once seen in anything resembling a uniform) felt he was special and demanded to know why he couldn’t enter, why he had to turn away from his vehicle, why he had to be wanded with a metal detector, and why he was being treated this way. He’s a Navy O-3! He shouldn’t be treated like a recruit! Having skipped proper procedure, tact, or any common sense, Lt Navel Lint continued to go with blustering and bullying Lance Corporals in an attempt to have his way. He soundly failed every time.
Here’s an example:
Lance Corporal Belt Buckle, a fine American on all counts, was standing post at the port security mission. He was manning a position at a waist high gap in the barrier surrounding the portion of the facility where U.S. Naval vessels were anchored. The opening is there to give the Marine an open line of sight along his left and right lateral limits.
Lt Navel Lint: “I’m coming through.”
Lance Corporal: “No sir, everyone has to go through the Entry Control Point (ECP) around the corner.”
Lt Navel Lint: “But my tent is right there.” Pointing to his tent and equipment staged on the pier.
Lance Corporal: “Everyone has to enter through the ECP around the corner, sir.”
Lt Navel Lint: “I’m coming through anyway.” Begins to climb over waist high barrier.
Lance Corporal raises his open hand: “Sir, if you attempt to enter through here force will be used against you.”
At this point Lt Navel Lint showed a glimmer of rational thought and grudgingly went around to the ECP where he was searched again. If a U.S. Marine with a loaded weapon recommends you do something, it is generally considered wise to do it.
After standing six hour posts in the 116 degree sun wearing full body armor, young Marines continued to endure the verbal abuse of Lt Navel Lint. Marine officers working logistical matters on the pier, not even in the FAST Company chain of command, became uncontrollably outraged at the Lt.
One one occasion Navel Lint was behaving so badly in the Vehicle Check Point (VCP) that a Marine Captain, who had patiently endured being ID’d, checked, wanded, etc, like everyone else, completely snapped. He vaulted the barrier separating the VCP from the ECP and invited Lt Naval Lint to participate in various acts of violence best not described in mixed company. It was reported the Captain, who forever will be thought of kindly by FAST Company’s 1stSgt, actually thrust his entire head and shoulders into the driver’s side window of Navel Lint’s vehicle to ensure he was heard correctly.
Not long after, when Lt Navel Lint was allowed on to the pier with his vehicle, a logistical type Marine was ground guiding the Lt’s vehicle. Because Navel Lint was a Navy O-3 he felt no reason to be constrained by the slow pace of a ground guide and kept attempting to go around him. The Marine kept stepping in front of the vehicle (because ground guides walk in front of vehicles). This stupid game kept on until Lt Navel Lint clipped the Marine’s leg with the bumper. Insane with fury Marine logistical officers began to head butt each other and excommunicated Lt Navel Lint from the pier.
The next day Lt Navel Lint discovered he was persona non grata and began another tirade of asinine, tackless behavior. Failing to grasp the concept that higher authorities had approved his banishment, he stubbornly refused to move his vehicle out of the VCP.
Lt Naval Lint: “Fine, I’m not moving and you can wait all day in the hot sun while I wait in my air conditioned vehicle.”
Corporal of the Guard in full kit: “Sir, that’s ok with us, we stand around in the sun all the time. It’s our job.”
During this entire debacle Lt Navel Lint would threaten anyone and everyone by claiming he was going to call his Commodore and let him know what was going on and how he wasn’t allowed to do his job. It was just another sign of his narrow vision considering the FAST Company Commander worked for a Vice Admiral and was guarding a port in support of a Marine Expeditionary Unit commanded by a full bird Colonel. [As a side note, Lt Navel Lint is invited to play poker with the FAST Company 1stSgt any time.]
The next morning Lt Navel Lint was seen entering the office of the FAST Company Commander with his apology. The FAST CO accepted his presence calmly, unlike the FAST 1stSgt who had to be locked into his office where he impotently strangled a sea bag full of dirty laundry while more diplomatic minds orchestrated events. Lt Navel Lint was informed officers are given special trust and confidence, that his actions were rather unprofessional to say the least, and he did not owe an apology to the FAST CO but rather to the young Lance Corporals who were sweating their guts out all over the pier. Suffice it to say that apology never manifested itself. Navy O-3s do not apologize for their behavior after all, no matter how despicable.
Not long after, Lt Navel Lint disappeared under a dark cloud. His final fate remains unknown but certainly isn’t enviable. The Marines on the pier were lauded for their quiet professionalism, particularly for not butt stroking Lt Navel Lint right into a dentist’s chair. Personally no one would have blamed them if they had. FAST Company’s reputation as a disciplined, squared away outfit was only enhanced and everyone who secured the pier received a letter of appreciation.
I present the above merely to say this:
If you do what is right, maintain your bearing, and remain a professional you will come out on top no matter how badly some clown is taking a dump on you.
Write that one down.