Thursday, August 15, 2013

Month 12 Day 15

Notebook entry
10 reports given, teleconference one showed up, Munir thinks base his responsibility.

Journal entry

Today I met up with Munir in the morning.  The XO has told him that he
personally needs to leave the wire every day to check on what is going
on outside, make sure the contractors are not a threat, etc.  I told
him this is not his job, he is supposed to be paying attention to the
entire AO, and that local security is the job of the garrision support
unit.  He said the GSU is too busy stealing to worry about security.
Either way, it is emblematic of some of the problems we face here, the
officers remember what it was like to be Lts 25 years ago under the
Russians, but have no idea what it is to be field grades.

I did the teleconference in the morning.  Up here Salim, Qais, and the
GSU CI guy showed up.  Only one of the kandaks showed up.  After we
were done they spoke up and said "what is the purpose of this, they
just pass the same reports we already have."  I agreed it was
pointless.  So we had an impromptu class on how to run a meeting.
They learned a new word, 'agenda' (the same in Dari as in English),
and I talked about what we coudl do to make it better next week.
Remind the kandaks, it is happening, send them and agenda, talk about
the things on the agenda, and then send out the minutes/taskers.  That
took an hour.  Salim went internal and kept trying to go to sleep.

Munir didn't show up at the time he said he was going to show up for
class, 1400.  I'm not shocked.

In the afternoon I worked on that opplan and tried to rally the
Marines. To come have fun by taking back some of the stolen gym
equipment, only three Marines had the balls, Lekic, Doc Kirell, and
Capt Arthur.  My sentiments on this are well expressed in those

I'm disappointed that the USMC has become so career-oriented.  I just
sent a good E-mail to Erik Sand encapsulating my feelings.  He wrote
about he had the same problem in the Navy.


Yah we didn't get to talk much, but I do vaguely remember you.  I hope
I didn't say anything nasty about the senior service.  Perhaps it is
something we can rectify our lack of conversations if you ever park
your boat in San Diego.

Since I live in a glass house, I won't throw any stones, but I do
think a lot of things would be better if the pension system were
removed.  I see three types of Marines.

First, Basically everyone on their first tour who believes in service,
is still having a rough go of it--real Marines

Second, The High-fliers, they are brilliantly suited to their jobs,
and well-exceed the expectations put on them, the future flag
officers--real Marines

Third, The rotten middle, those who stay in because they are scared of
the outside world, don't know what they would do, and really want the
pension.  They are willing to do anything for a pension, bend the
truth, forget about the country, forget about what is right.  Once
they hit sanctuary, or are guaranteed retirement you see their true
colors come out, they generally don't do anything.  These guys rapidly
expanded in the last ten years, and they are dragging us down.
America would be better without them.  If we cut the pension-leash I
believe they would roam free.

I bring this up with a lot of the pensioners here, but I think they
are confused.  They don't see the conflicted lives they lead.   I
think that is because everyone starts off in the first category, a few
press on to the second, but the majority of those who stay in are
absorbed into the third, and the absorption is slow.  They still hold
an idea of service in their mind.  They believe it when people say
thank you for your service, but they are living a lie.  I don't blame
them entirely.  I feel the pull, I've got a mortgage, a wife, and I
can't just do whatever I want and I think about my fast-approaching
pay cut and am occasionally given to bouts of fright, for some people
who just scraped through college, have lesser skills, have kids, have
a true 'dependant.' the prospect of leaving must be terrifying.  I
just wonder if that is the right thing for the country.


Rock on,

The Marine Corps I once knew is dead, replaced by mercenaries.

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