Monday, November 19, 2012

Pretty much the gist of all of the "Welcome to Korea" briefs

Fortunately, I'm about done with US Army Korea's version of freshmen orientation. But some of what I learned was a illumintating - apparently we lead the Army in bad behavior out here (alcohol incidents, sexual assaults, suicides, etc). Lots of soldiers (to include NCOs and officers) getting in trouble, frequently in amusing ways (for anyone other than the parties involved). Sometimes in very unamusing, international incident ways (you can look those up on your own if you want to lose your appetite).

If you come here and endure all of the mandatory briefings and presentations desperately trying to keep you sober, alive, and out of prison, you quickly get the sense that, while standing guard against an unpredictable nuclear dictatorship, this is an army above all at war with itself.

And though I'd love to leave you on that poignant cliche, I'll quickly note that I've arrived at my unit, like the people I'm with, and will be living the glamorous and enviable life of an extra lieutenant on staff until I get a platoon in a few months.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Oh Yeah I'm Over Here Now

Remember when I didn't graduate R-school? Well, I spent so long doing that (or not doing that), that by all estimates I actually missed the chance to deploy with the 101st.* As you can imagine, this would be a rather disappointing turn of events for any new officer with ambitions of a successful career in the Infantry, or one, who, for the sake of argument, we'll say had taken the time to achieve some proficiency in both of the languages of Afghanistan. 

But, I digress. The point is that I decided it was high time I had a positive experience with the Army, and got the adventure I signed up for (not that six months of pooping in the forest and filling sandbags don't count as those). So, see map below:

I volunteered to go to Korea - I needed a change, and in all honesty, something to get me past the envy and guilt I feel when I see half my friends galavanting around Afghanistan without me (I guess I could have just gotten off Facebook, but changing continents was definitely the easier and more enjoyable option).

I haven't been here long, but I've had a grand time so far and it looks like serving in Korea will be a truly unique experience. And when the year's out, of course, I can go back and try my hand at all the really run stuff a second time.

Enjoy the new banner! (You noticed, didn't you?)

*And just about anyone else. Believe me, I put more effort into trying to get over there than just about anyone who's not a Pakistani militant.

Monday, November 5, 2012

LT Sully

This post is for a very dear friend of mine. He's downrange doing the real deal, and has been chronicling his experiences. As it so happens, he's a talented writer and the blog is a real page-turner (page-scroller?), so please take a look at this compelling, and ongoing account of an LT leading a platoon in combat (i.e. the opposite of my blog/career):