In the Army I was a pretty squared away soldier. I was what was called a hooah soldier. I will say I did catch a small case of slacker when I was a Specialist but I blame that on my enlistment time running short and I was going to leave the Army. But I fixed that myself. I decided with 10 days left in the Army to reenlist because 11 days before I left the Army the 4th Infantry Division in Fort Hood, TX received orders for Iraq.
I went to Iraq and after my time I was sent to the 10th MTN DIV at Fort Drum, NY. That’s what I requested in my reenlistment contract. Why 10th MTN DIV? Because they were “hooah” light fighters. Once I got there I was informed that 41st Engineer Battalion was presently deployed to Afghanistan. So I went around finding out what the different companies were doing and I requested Alpha Company( A Co). Why? Because I felt they were doing the most “hooah” missions and I wanted in that fight. Unfortunately someone noticed that I had not had my leadership course after becoming a Sergeant and I was actually pulled from the flight shortly before I was scheduled to depart for Afghanistan. Therefore I got stuck in Charlie Company(C Co). Now there is nothing wrong with C Co except at that time it was what’s called Rear Deployment Company(Rear D). We were the guys doing absolutely nothing while our brothers were overseas putting boot to ass. But, Rear D is easy. There’s nobody really around. There’s no real work to do except welcome the other new soldiers that for one reason or another are not being sent out to join the others in Afghanistan either. So Army life gets a little lackadaisical. No formations most days, no training ever, and waking around while talking with our hands in our pockets. In my opinion it shouldn’t even be called Army life.
I finally ended up going to my leadership school which was 30 days long and once I completed it there was little time left in the deployment that I was not going to get orders to Afghanistan. Instead I had to stay in Rear D. So yes, I got lazy. I was still hooah, but I was lazy.
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Photo courtesy of the author Joseph Gross