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Boxing Match Between a US Army Woman and a Male Marine Infantryman

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3catcircus:

--- Quote from: oggsmash on December 02, 2021, 05:15:13 PM ---Did you want fast attack?  I never met anyone who wanted one.  Every sub guy I knew or talked to went subs to be on a boomer...and some of them got a surprise.

--- End quote ---

I wanted a boomer on the Left Coast and the only availability was East Coast.  Then an "urgent need" came for reactor operators - for a fast attack.  That was going into decomm in 6 months.  Lots of local target services ops until the PCS from SD to PH.  Decomn sucked for the first half (Pearl Harbor took over a year to decomm).  Shift work with no days off for like 4 months straight.  Days spent the entire time getting paperwork signed off so that swings could set initial conditions so that the midnight boys could do the work.  Things for better for awhile after all of the preps were done but sitting there in Maneuvering on a shutdown watch breathing in welding slag for 6 hrs wasn't fun at all.  Nothing like tasting metal knowing that you're being poisoned...  After we were able to secure watches in the plant, things got a lot better - until they started loaning us out to other boats so we could "maintain proficiency." Even though there were no 594s in Pearl and all the 637s weren't in need.  So - how do I "maintain proficiency" in an entirely different plant other than spending the time getting qualified?!?!  I lucked out (I guess) in that the boat they loaned me to was the one I got sent to after my first boat was far enough along decomm that they could release us, so I was further along in quals then I would otherwise be.

Kyle Aaron:
3catcircus, I have to say, your comment is a really great example of why in game groups I've found the ex-military guys don't care much about skill systems. Whatever you're qualified in you won't be posted to do, and whatever needs to be done you won't be qualified in.

thedungeondelver:

--- Quote from: Kyle Aaron on December 02, 2021, 10:03:41 PM ---3catcircus, I have to say, your comment is a really great example of why in game groups I've found the ex-military guys don't care much about skill systems. Whatever you're qualified in you won't be posted to do, and whatever needs to be done you won't be qualified in.

--- End quote ---

And whatever you ask for you absolutely positively will not get.  The US military will go out of their way to put you as far from that as possible.  Case in point: a friend of mine was activated when ODS kicked off.  He wanted a transfer to a field unit; the conventional wisdom of the time said that there'd be CBRN flying around, and his specialty (medical and viral pathology) would be a hot commodity in theater.

They sent him from Florida (where he lived at the time) to a hospital in Spokane to wash out test tubes and beakers for 7 months, then cashiered him in the big post-cold-war/post-ODS draw-down.

Ghostmaker:
I am reminded of a line from Heinlein's Glory Road:

"Major Ian Hay, back in the “War to End War,” described the structure of military organizations: Regardless of T.O., all military bureaucracies consist of a Surprise Party Department, a Practical Joke Department, and a Fairy Godmother Department. The first two process most matters as the third is very small; the Fairy Godmother Department is one elderly female GS-5 clerk usually out on sick leave."

3catcircus:

--- Quote from: Kyle Aaron on December 02, 2021, 10:03:41 PM ---3catcircus, I have to say, your comment is a really great example of why in game groups I've found the ex-military guys don't care much about skill systems. Whatever you're qualified in you won't be posted to do, and whatever needs to be done you won't be qualified in.

--- End quote ---

It's not so much this, as it is the sheer incompetence by the mid-grade officers - those too scared to get out after their 5 year commitment and not senior enough to have experience, that made it suck.  Much less of that in the submarine community than in Big Navy.

That having been said, you do learn the art of the skate, and to wield the power of the E-4 Mafia, when you're newly onboard.  On a submarine, it's a bit different in that E-5 and E-6 really aren't more liferesque, and even the chiefs aren't terrible.  Vastly different being able to just knock on the CO's door and say "Hey, boss, I need to talk to you about..." than being on a carrier where you aren't even allowed to be in certain passageways or certain decks so the O-gangers don't have to see the peasants...  The CO on my 2nd boat would occasionally just quietly come down to the engine room at the end of the workday when inport and plop down in Maneuvering or wander into the roving watchstander - disconcerting at first until you realized he just wanted a chance to get away from his Dept Heads and find out what the real issues were and what things he could instantly fix. Because, usually, officers mangle the CO's orders. A "hey Eng, can you get E-Div to dial up the temperature a few degrees on my hot water heater?" by the time it got down to the guy tasked with the work, became "The CO's hot water heater is broken - you can't leave for the day until you fix it." Or worse "CO secured showers until further notice." The CO knew it was easier to grab one of the EMs and ask them to dial up the temp - he could do it himself, but it was E-Div's gear and going to the guy who would be doing the work directly got him hotter water in 5 minutes instead of taking all day and possibly not having hot water...  Big picture things went through the normal chain of command.  This guy knew what was the best way to get things done.

There are certain intangibles that manifest in tangible ways that make the difference between military leaders that are worth a damn vs the "politicians in military uniforms" just punching tickets.

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