The Government Cares About its Employees – right?

Your government doesn’t care about you “Member’s Responsibility”.

Today we are judging the priorities of government bureaucracies based on their own actions and we’re going to see if they add up to them giving a shit about you…

This is going to be a heated rant today. Let’s start off with the fucking bane of my existance… Military Officers. They get paid more, they have a better quality of life, their own offices and computers, and more, because they are “Smarter?” and have more responsibility? and are … held to a higher level of accountability? So are you surprised when I’ve worked for officers who even at small units I have worked for for over 2 years and they don’t fucking know my name when they see me, in uniform? Because they care right?

Excerpt: “Step 1 when you are in a new supervisory position. GO FUCKING INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND LEARN THE FUCKING NAMES AND FACES OF THE PEOPLE THAT DIRECTLY WORK FOR YOU!”

ADMIN STAFF

The hallmark of every bureaucracy is obviously the bullpen of administrative-only personnel right? Filing and adding and subtracting and sucking up pay checks? How about the fact that they don’t DO the mission? How about the fact that if you ask ANY military person ever they will tell you that military admin personnel often have JUST AS MANY or MORE ribbons and awards as the people that risk their fucking lives on a daily basis.

That aside… Would you be surprised to know that many operators don’t have their own computers or offices or even desks but that the administrative staff does? How about the fact that the fiscal and pay admin personnel often are NOT responsible to make sure your pay is correct. They often are also NOT responsible to make your travel plans or to ensure you get paid correctly for your travel expenses. In 10+ years of military service I’ve probably filled out requests for over 100,000 dollars worth of travel fund requests, that I rightfully am entitled to, using a VERY complicated system of checks in boxes, drop down menus, acronyms, number-letter combos, and more of which I have NO clue what they mean. Our admin staff has had extensive training on that system and they are the ones that fix our travel claims when they go wrong… BUT we (the ones that have no clue and have received no training on the system) have to use the system to file our initial claims. Often a long and confusing process where it is likely that we are NOT receiving our full compensation because we lack the training and knowledge and support on how to effectively use the system.

“TRAINING STAFF”

When I got to my tier-one counter-drug unit and I was fast tracked to go on my first deployment I remember being at the swimming pool on base. I had JUST been issued my heavy armor and gun belt and boots and Oakley glasses etc. I had to have ALL my gear on and jump in the pool and not drown so that I could be qualified to deploy.

I saw two guys in SPECIAL uniforms that were a different color that everybody elses. They had cool clipboards and they had the power to pass or fail you. They spoke with authority about the requirements for the swim test and why it was important. They were the ones that when you received your swim test certificate it was the Commanding Officer of the unit, and the Training Staff Member who signed off on your qualifications. Come to figure out…

I deployed for about two years and got several big ass drug busts and put a bunch of people behind bars. While on deployment I alone was the one person tasked with helping to manage the entire deployed-training-program for my whole team (and I was NOT the highest ranking person). I brought a ton of great info to my team members and I never got a complaint like “This training is stupid”. And very often I heard the praises of “Wow, I had never known or tried that! Thanks for teaching me something new!”

This whole time that I had been giving training I also had to occasionally come back to home base in the U.S. and see our “Training Staff” and have them sign off on several different qualifications like weapons qualifications at the range (they signed my paperwork), more swim tests (they signed my paperwork), Physical Fitness Tests (they again administered the test and signed my paperwork). Get the picture? Well, they continued to wear special uniforms, and after a mission overseas where my boots were wrecked from drug residue and disel fuel etc the TRAINING STAFF that DID NOT DEPLOY had brand new Oakley Boots for free, and there wasn’t money in the budget for the operators returning home to get new boots. The training staff approached me, honest to God, because they heard about what a great job I was doing training my team overseas. They asked me to join the training staff “The best of the best”. I smiled and asked them “Why the fuck would I do that?” they were offended. Wonder why. They said “Well, it’s ‘training staff’ and you’re apparently a great trainer” so I asked them very seriously… “When is the last time… that ANYBODY on training staff… actually trained someone in how to do something instead of signing off on a test like a swim or a run or a shoot”? There was no answer. I said politely that I’d rather provide ACTUAL training to my friends and coworkers and that if I were on “Training Staff” I would be prohibited from actually training people. …ok j/k I did not say it politely hahaha. I told them to go stock up on blue pens for all the paperwork they sign and that I’d be busy overseas…operating and training for real.

Medical Support

You may think that people join the military to help people, at least the medical personnel. You’d be right. Until they got to their real jobs and started acting like the bureaucratic robots and command extensions that they actually were. The last 100 or so times that I walked into a military medical clinic, as an In Uniform active duty member not a single nurse or doctor had an ounce of concern and I have several horror stories that all include laziness, blind policy following, cancelled appointments, doctors on vacation, misrepresentations, coercion and the like. I almost don’t even want to start typing this medical section out because I may never stop. Do yourself a favor. In this country I can’t believe that any single civilian doesn’t know a single military service member. So go find at least ONE service member that you know and ask them how their experiences were with the military health care system… grab a beer (or ten) and sit back. I’ll wait. This is going to be enlightening for you. 🙂

Gear Management

You may think that “Aw man! The military guys get issued such cool gear!”. Come on… you know what I’m about to say don’t you? It’s not good. But instead of beating THIS dead horse too let me bring you some actual value. So here is a lesson that you can keep in your pocked and use as your own:

Quote: “Imagine walking up to the cage at your unit with a ballistic helmet that is past it’s expiration date, it’s been worn and beaten by guys before you, it’s in rough shape, you absolutely need a new one. You get to the front of the line and say to the Gear Bunny “Hey, this helmet is expired and it’s in bad shape, I need a new one”. They don’t ask how your day is, they don’t tell you that they’re going to go to the end of the earth to make sure you don’t get shot in the head, what they DO do is they look back at a rack full of brand new helmets, look at you and say, “Sorry, I can’t get you a new one yet. Try back some other time” and they hand you back your helmet. They explain that the expiration date is really just a suggestion, and arguing is futile.

HERE is how you fix that. You walk outside into the parking lot, you set your helmet behind the rear wheel of your personal vehicle, you reverse your vehicle right over the fucking helmet about 6 times until it looks like a fucking kevlar pancake. You walk back into the gear cage the next day and say “Listen, someone must have gone into the locker room and broken my helmet. It is completely in 3 different pieces now and it’s fucking garbage.” And the gear bunny says “Ok, fill out this form” and you get a brand spanking fucking new helmet. …..take that fucking shit and run with it. This can be used and adapted in several different ways.

POLICY AMOUNT

First of all, it is ALMOST impossible to even READ and comprehend the total of all of the military manuals that a military member falls under the operation of.

Second, there is no fucking possible way that you are going to MEMORIZE all of the policies that you currently operate under or the policies that will change or that your position changes in regards to future policy that you fill fall under.

Third, often you don’t even KNOW which manuals you fall under or how the fuck to find them!!!

Fourth, big fucking surprise, if you do something that is outside the operation of a manual, and your supervisor didn’t even know and he didn’t give you any guidance, guess who gets in trouble? You and your supervisor? Nah bro. Just you. And they will say to you “It’s the member’s responsibility to know, to do etc…”

Oh, and by the way. Are these policies there to help the military operators out there risking their lives? Do they leave any room for on scene situation changes that require non-standard responses? And do they make the job EASIER for the operators? Your guess? The answer is a resounding fucking NO.

If you stay in any bureaucracy long enough to ever be in the room when policy is being judged, written, or re-written than please please please fucking ask a few of these questions to the people in the room:

“How does this proposed policy make the job easier for our operators doing the job?”

“If we are adding a new responsibility to the operators, which responsibility are we taking away, because we can’t keep adding new responsibilities for forever”

“How does this policy help PROTECT our operators?”

“How long will this policy be in effect until we can objectively assess its effectiveness and determine if it should stay active?”

And my favorite “What major problem is the enactment of this policy DESIGNED TO FIX? And if it doesn’t fix it, when do we take it off the books?”

#TERRORISM

It’s a crazy world out there. Let’s run a FAKE AND INEFFECTIVE terrorism drill on base… you know, to help us prepare and defend ourselves. The drill is done on paper only. Even though it is a resounding fail, it is written up as a pass. The members learn nothing from the drill. We don’t even know who the fuck to call if someone is suspicious on base. NOT TO MENTION if someone IS suspicious on base, and they even have a tiny pocket knife, or a machete, or a gun, what are we supposed to do… YELL THEM DO DEATH??? because we are NOT allowed to bring personal weapons on to base…

…even though we are tasked with carrying explosives and fully automatic machine guns overseas to do the will of the king. And the Coast Guard, who also deploys overseas with machine guns, can and does often enforce federal law here at home domestically inside the US and also does so with light machine guns and fully automatic rifles but can’t be trusted inside their own bases to have their own personal weapons in their vehicles, and we also don’t even carry our GOVERNMENT weapons around on base. Because #gunfreezone.

“But we care about you. See? We did this terrorism prevention drill. Oh no, we didn’t learn anything or change any policy or decide to arm anyone though. But really, we do care.”

TERRORISM IS A REAL THREAT… FOR SOME OF US

If you are important enough though, you get armed guards.

This could, and maybe will, be a book. But today just a taste (That’s what she said). If you enjoyed this then PLEASE share it with some of your friends and feel free to shoot me an email through my Contact page and leave us a comment! Thanks so much for spending some time with us today!

-Pat

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