Monday, January 7, 2013

Month 5 Day 7

Notebook Entry
Thirteen reports to the Afghan National Army, weather, got one report, camouflage thrown away.

Journal Entry
Spoke with Samir in the morning about the weather, gave him some reports and talked ot him about uniforms being thrown away. Went to the hospital and passed out a couple of coloring books and some more balloons for the kids there. I brought along Capt Brawny and a terp from Marjeh who had been shot. They were pretty useless, Capt Brawny has a couple of little boys, but couldn’t seem to get down and play with the kids, he just kind of passed stuff out to them and didn’t realize that they didn’t give a shit what you give to them, they just want some human contact from someone who is not changing their dressings/making them go to the toilet, or something like that. Tried to go to MWR [Morale, Welfare, and Recreation tent], but it was shut because of river City [i.e. a Marine was killed]. Maj Rod Nordland, the ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces] development guy asked me if I could recommend any officers for legacy. Clearly, he has not been reading anything that I have been putting out because if he were, then he would know that I am at like 15% manning and I am having enough trouble finding literate officers for the regular S2 [intelligence] billets. If they want literate, good guys why don’t they draw from President Karzais Capital defense/personal defense corps, they are well staffed with competent officers in true nepotistic fashion. Came back and watched Gran Turino. Maj Hesco asked me whether it was proper to refer the the Afghans as Afghans or Afghanis, I told him the former and didn’t think much of it until I came into the CoC and there was a sign that says “What have you done for your Afghan today?” posted on the HVAC unit—I don’t know, sir, I have seen mine, spoken to him and we have exchanged reports. I don’t think you have even seen your guy now have you? As Capt Nowak says, if you are going to talk about it, then be about it…Ah well. The meeting was a little painful. We got onto the subject of this Combined Combat Operations [CoC] center. Capt Brawny and Capt Nowak brought up the important point that it is a terrible idea (we basically have to move the Afghans over to the [Marine Regimental] headquarters every day and this long-distance CoC is supposed to be their primary CoC. The Afghans don’t want to do it, but Col Schmitt wants to be able to tell his Bn Commanders that he has one and that they should get one too. Capt Brawny brought up the point that they never asked us about it, but that doesn’t matter, that is what the Colonel wants, and none of the Majors/LtCols have the balls to tell him it is a bad idea, so that is what he will get. I would tell him, but he wouldn’t give a shit if it came from a Lt who clearly doesn’t know what he is talking about. The cherry on top is that Col Schmitt puts out his guidance about how we should all be partnered with the ANA and this is his number 1 priority, well if it is why have you only been here like 3 times since the deployment started outside of the 3 combined staff meetings. If you are going to talk about it, then be about it, you don’t even know your counterpart’s name Brigadier General Mohammad Ali (Shujai).

Reverse Cell-phone tower.  The Afghans stood on the tallest thing around (the armory) to try to get reception.

Motivation from a man who had barely seen 'his Afghan'

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