the guy on the left enlisted before the civil war, and is now serving in iraq with my unit. amazing, huh?
for those of you who have ever seen the movie '300,' you might remember a part where the spartan 300 meet up with a larger Acadian force. when asked what their professions are, they respond with the usual fare of the time: blacksmiths, farmers, etc. the spartans are all warriors, and respond in kind. the spartan leader quips that it appears he brought more soldiers.
the army is the spartans (kind of), and the national guard is the acadian force. we are a lightly trained force comprised of cops, bankers, and students. we train (read: drink together) two days a month and are still held to the same standard as professional soldiers. the epitome of this organization isn't the young soldiers who still cling to their ideals, but the ones who have been in for a quarter of a century. most of these relics have never served on active duty or been held to rigorous standards. they do, however, band together and ruthlessly protect each other. enter 'the good ol' boys,' a clique of 6 or so older gentlemen who have somehow gained control of my entire unit.
3 of these pals outrank me, and the rest are at my level. they have all been in for over 18 years, and have been promoted mainly through 'grandfather clauses' that allow now defunct regulations to govern their progress due to their unthinkable amount of time in service. this cracks me up mainly because some have been in the army as long as i have been alive, and they dont even have authority over me.
the camo-mafia that they run is tyranical in nature and completely unavoidable. their impact is far-reaching and demoralizing. they give each other entire WEEKS off, and act as if it isn't an issue. considering we work four long days before we get one off, having 18 consecutive days off without proper cause is just ridiculous. you might be thinking 'well Mr. America, didnt you just get 11 days off in a row?' the answer is 'yes,' but the whole point of this blog is that it is MINE, and i refuse to be put on trial here.
this band of clowns hold civilian occupations such as policeman, professionally obese person, mailman, and crackhead (i'm not joking). some of them like to pretend that they are accomplished leaders and shape the lives and ambitions of their troops. in effect, however, they are a detriment to morale and logic. i am resilient and refuse to be brought down by people who would compete on 'are you smarter than a 5th grader' as the 5th grader. no more petty confrontations, no more back-talk from me (unless it involves the well-being of my soldiers), and no more yelling at the wind. the end draws near.
recap: spartans kicked ass, i wish i hadnt enlisted, the 11 days off were doctor-ordered.