Sunday, February 01, 2004

Oh, frabjous day! Calloo! Callay!

I've been liberated from the soul-deadening job of "nighttime battle captain." Basically, I spent 12 hours a day running the tactical operations center, urinating on small fires throughout the battalion area of operations (and frequently beyond it.)

Essentially, I was tied to a desk and a bank of radios and a bunch of maps on a wall--all the while fretting about this big redeployment movement that I wasn't working on while I was in the TOC.

Well, the regular battle captain--a police officer in civilian life--finally returned from his detail teaching classes to Iraqi Police officer recruits in Fallujah and Al Qaim last week.

(Hey, don't we have MP sergeants SOMEWHERE in Iraq who are perfectly capable of teaching these classes without having to detail a lieutenant and a major to lead the most overmanaged squad of instructors in the history of man?).

Anyway, that detail is over, which means I am once again a free man, and can concentrate on getting HHC ready for a move.

Which means I'm also free to roam around and do what I love to do--talk to soldiers. Conduct spot inspections. Slip out to the guys manning the gate at 2 in the morning and see if they have their kevlars on. Look at the undersides of vehicles checking for leaks. Quiz guys on PMCS. Ask pointy questions. Catch people doing good things. Catch people screwing up and fix it. Counsel. Plan. Teach. Solve problems. Do anything that keeps me away from the flagpole and my troops invisible.

I'm also free to set my own hours, which I like.

Managed to start running again. I hadn't done it since I was detailed to the TOC. It was just hard to get motivated.

I'm not running convoys up and down the Euphrates River Valley much anymore. But with a mission coming up and pretty much free reign to work on it, I feel very much alive again as a soldier.

Splash, out


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