Tuesday, June 26, 2007

bitch session

For the time being, I am stuck in Taji, which is about 20 miles NW of Baghdad. Compared to the IZ, Taji has much more open space and is more country-ish, albeit a brown, junkyard country. I say I am stuck here for the time being because we all know that in the military, jobs can change at the drop of a hat. SO I hold out hope that my job will change . . .

It's not that I hate my job; I just don't like it. There are some people here who make it a little worse - One person has a tendency to try and belittle people and their rank, which makes us ineffective and pissed off. Especially me, because I am the type of person who likes to be proactive and make decisions. I guess I have to be careful because this blog is a public forum and anyone can read it, but in actuality I don't care so much. It's not like my Army career will be ruined - that happened 2 and half years ago when I tried to quit. (insert laughter here). I didn’t actually quit - that's just the running joke amongst us IRR call-ups. In reality, I ended my service career over 2 years ago on a good note after four years in the 10th, a period of time I am very proud of. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of what I'm doing now, it's just . . .different. The camaraderie we had in the 10th just isn’t there, although, we are starting to develop some . . .

So what is it that we do? In short, we advise the Iraqi Soldiers and officers at the National Supply Depot. There are over 100 large warehouses that store everything from vehicles to weapons to uniforms and body armor. I should use the term store very loosely; I would do more justice by describing these supplies as thrown into the warehouses. When I was a kid we used to have the dreaded "playroom closet". It was where we would chuck all of our toys, games, sports equipment, and sometimes clothes when we "cleaned up" our room and playroom. It was dreaded because cleaning this closet was a thing of nightmares for me and my sister. Well, Mom, I am getting paid back for this closet now - I have over 100 "playroom closets" here in Iraq and now I am the one trying to do the convincing to clean it up!

It is a tough job. The Iraqi's are pretty set in their ways, and often don’t see a need to change anything. During the summer, they take lunch from 11:30am - 3:30pm, and are typically done by 6pm. This bothers the crap out of me. I've done combat logistics in Afghanistan, and my motto then was always that we support the customer 1st, worry about ourselves last. I think some of these guys have an opposite mentality, and I find myself getting heated trying to explain that combat units face enough resistance on a daily basis, they don’t need to come here to get re-supplied and face it from their own people! I think, though, that I am starting to get that message across. It might really sink in when I start requiring my advisees to roll out on a few missions with me and the combat units, just so they can see what these guys face and change their perspective a bit. That will be an uphill battle, though, but one that I think will pay off in the long run.

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