On my 17th birthday ('09) i walked into the recruiters office with my mother and father and i enlisted in the U.S. Army. Happiest day of my life.
One year later on my 18th birthday i was on a plane heading off to basic training. Basic training, for some is a horror story of screaming drill sergeants, grueling PT, and mental torture.
For me it was the biggest adrenaline rush, the biggest adventure of my life. I thrived in BT. I loved the camaraderie the teamwork that we had. I loved the training, the exercises. I loved everything about it.
AIT was okay. This wasnt the job i wanted but still, fresh out of bootcamp we still had the teamwork and the "hooah" to get the job done.
Im the kind of person, I'll stay hours late to get the mission done. if I'm doing something I put 110% into it.
But when i got here to HI it was all gone.
For junior soldiers, in order to get anywhere in your career, you have to kiss major a**. They don't see the good work you do on mission, they look for the 300s in PT tests, they look for the soldiers that brown nose, and kiss a** at company.
working where i work, we are a joint service mission. We have navy, army, airforce, marines, coast guard, even civilians working here. and every service does different things for promotion whatever.....
these people are some of the SHADIEST indiviuals ive ever had the misfortune of dealing with.
Thats not how i was raised. I dont personally care about rising in the ranks, i just want to do my mission, do it well, and protect my BB and my country.
I didnt enlist for the money (what money?) or to pay for college, or because i thought it would look good on a resume. I joined because i love my country.
Now my country, my army, is stabbing me in the back.
I have had the WORST NCO's (no names here) and worst supervisors (of other services). i cant even find words to describe how low life they are.
my old team/squad leader/mission supervisor (has to be the worst idea. you should never have a squad leader taht is also your superior in mission imo) used to be my friend.
back before she made E-5 (i refuse to call her by her rank. she does not deserve it) she was an E-4 along with the rest off us on her team. We hung out with the same people, went to movies on the weekends...
a navy E-1 (used to be E-4 but she got demoted for all kinds of problems) was very shady, she talked crap, started rumors, all kinds of things that made people hate her. She thought the world revolved around her.
well she started rumors about me saying i was talking crap about my team leader (the E-5). so this E-5 (ill call her SGT P) began using her rank to get me in trouble. She started rumors, lied go my Squad leader saying i did this or that.
one day during a chat conversation between me and my battle buddy, we commented on how horrid she was. later on she went to his computer and say it, and wrote me up for "disrespecting an NCO"
a month later she was kicked off of mission and moved somewhere else....needless to say that didnt make her like me more.
now i went on with life, doing my job. one day my 1sgt pulls me out n says IM being kicked off mission. the shady people on my mission once again started rumors that i was fighting with people, etc...and cinse it was Navy people, and we are Navy controlled i got booted off instead of the navy E-1 that was talking crap.
so now i am here in my new job, with another POC NCO who gets me in trouble all he can. he gives me orders, and i follow them to the T. but the orders are wrong. so who gets in trouble? me. even tough i have solid evidence saying i followed his orders....our CoC is so messed up. they automatically take the side fo the NCO over the soldiers.
So they are trying to give me an Article 15 (take away me E-4 and reduce me to E-3. also give me 14 days of extra duty)
when i went to legal yesterday they said...."no these are not valid charges they need to drop this"
My Squad leader (SSG H) is being entirely unhelpful because in his opinion i deserve it....how would he know...hes only worked with me for 3 weeks, and in that 3 weeks ive done EXACTLY what i was told to do, with proof. and hes tried to screw me over and say, no thats not his orders.
im just done. im tired of trying to fight this. I'm tired of constantly defending myself to a corrupt army, a corrupt unit. i cant watch my own back 24/7 for the knife aimed at it.
this isnt what i joined for. i joined so i could go over to the pit, and do highspeed army crap. so i could watch my battles back and protect my country.
not deal with shady people trying to get me kicked out for no other reason than they just dont like me.
Im not a bad soldier. I do my best in PT, i follow all lawful orders, i dont fight with anybody. I dont know how i got from loving life in Basic, to getting non-judicial punishment for minor mistakes? im human. everybody in the army is human. we all make mistakes.
they have 4 charges on my Article.
1. 5 min late for a PT formation (i slept through my alarm. sorry. it was my first week EVER on a mids schedule so i was tired. not making excuses just explaining)
2. 15 min late for work (my poc mazda broke down on the way and i didnt have my phone. im usually the first person there. im always a good 30 min early but when a car breaks down i cant just hoof it 15 miles to get there....)
3. disrespect of an NCO ( the whole chat thing)
the last one they rescinded which was not following a direct order to contact the 2 soldiers im in charge of...which i did. and i had phone records to prove it so they got rid of that one.
the 3rd one (disrespect one) Legal is saynig isnt even a valid charge. Everybody at some point or another is gonna complain about their boss.
It was a private chat that she illegally read in on, and so it has no standing.
in fact all 3 things on my article are things she complained about.
just another example of an NCO misusing their power/authority
so i quit. i dont even care anymore whether i get kicked out.
i wanted to stay in and reenlist to go to the 1st Cav Horse Detachment. and ride horses for the Army.
all that drive is gone. i just want to finish my tour, go home, and see my horses. im burnt out. i just cant even put into words how i feel...im done
p.s. if you made it through all that kudos, and i applaud you. because its a long tale.
I saw your post yesterday, but wasn't sure how to respond. Still not, but...
I spent 25 years in the Air Force, but it was different then. In part because it was the USAF & because I was an officer, but in part because the military culture has changed from the 80s and even the 90s.
My two oldest kids enlisted. My daughter went into the Marines at 17. Entered very gung-ho, and emerged hating the USMC. She mostly liked working the flightline, but she was then put in an office & her description matched yours.
My son is still in the Army Guard, but this is his last time. He isn't exactly a model soldier, but his NCOs haven't exactly been model NCOs either. He came back from Afghanistan feeling particularly bitter because he felt the officers were totally clueless. He felt the officers and senior enlisted were betraying the junior enlisted.
That is why I said the military culture has changed. When I was a young Lt, everyone emphasized getting out and seeing what was going on for yourself. When I was in Afghanistan in 2007 on my final combat deployment, the idiots in Bagram thought email was reality. They also had no interest in what happened outside of Bagram. The last thing they wanted to hear was that their policies wouldn't work.
When I started, honesty was prized. There were some butt-kissers, but most of the commanders I had early on despised them. Later on...well, there was far too much of it. By the time I retired, it seemed no one wanted to tell a senior officer the truth.
On a positive note, your current feelings and treatment could change dramatically with a PCS or change of assignment. I had it go in both directions more than once during my career. During my tour in England, I had 3 commanders in 3.5 years. The first was stupid but honest, the second was outstanding, and the third desperately wanted to court-martial me but couldn't get his hands on the evidence needed. And each change in commander completely changed the atmosphere of the squadron, down to the lowest enlisted. The first guy was laughed at but liked. Under the second, people looked forward to coming to work. Under the third, everyone wanted out. All in 3.5 years.
I'll also add that it also happens in the civilian world. My wife is an RN who was verbally reprimanded for being 10 minutes late. What happened? Well, someone had fired a few shots at the Interstate, so the cops closed the Interstate down while trying to find the shooter. She hit the backup between exits, so it took her an extra 30 minutes to get to an exit and then wander her way to the hospital. The only reason she didn't get a written reprimand was because the shutdown was on the news, and her supervisor probably didn't think she could make it stick.
The same unit cut RNs by 25% while increasing their number of patients, and then started complaining that the remaining nurses were putting in overtime. Ya think?
She was also given a written reprimand for telling a patient care tech to stop texting and get to work on a patient. She was told she needed to file a written complaint and work it thru channels. She asked how that was going to help the patient who needed care immediately, but she didn't get a reply. Unless you consider "That is our policy" a reply...:-x Of course, the written reprimand doesn't include an actual description of what happened, only that she knowingly violated hospital policy.
So some of what you are encountering is simply life. Even if you are your own boss, you will encounter it. The friend I bought Trooper from had an allotment with the BLM. He was running only 20% of his allotment. The BLM announced they were cutting everyone 50%. He said that wouldn't affect him, since he was only using 20% - but THEN they told him the 50% cut applied to whatever you were running, not what you were authorized. So he paid 100%, was only running 20% while he built up, and then ended up with 10% of what he had paid for - thank you, Washington DC. And no, the guy making the decision had never visited the allotments he was cutting...
Good luck to you. I know it is difficult.
Thanks for the reply. (and for making through me entire rant)
I totally get what you are saying. I've had the good and the bad....In fact my last Co. commander is the one that told me about the 1st Cav. deal. we literally had a 2 hr conversation on horses and how we both grew up with them and wanted them in oour lives etc. he was by far the best commander i have had.
I dunno maybe it would be better in Hood (where i want to go next if i get to reenlist)
but with the army downsizing, with the way theyre changing, i just dont know if it would be worth it.
i want to stay in, because 1. theres no real civilian work out there, 2. all i have now is a high school diploma so i know i would be going to college and i cant afford it, i know my parents cant afford it, so i need my G.I. bill. and 3. everybody in the unit says "oh just wait till your next station, this isnt the real army the real army is better...." but you can never really know.
yesterday was just an all time low for me. i dont trust my CoC, i cant really go to my friends with this because theyre all gossip mongers (not condemnig em its just the truth haha) so yall got the brunt of it.
I'm sorry, I have absolutely nothing to say that will benefit you in anyway, as I can't even begin to relate. I just wanted to let you know that myself, and I'm sure plenty of others are reading this and hope that things will soon change for the better soon. Something will have to give soon enough and I'd be hoping things go in the right direction for you.
Also, I may not be from the States, but people like you are what keeps the world ticking. You should feel proud of yourself that you are strong enough to go down this route which many (including myself) would avoid at all costs.
Im not trying to sound whiny, or make the army look bad...this is just my personal experience with it, i know everybody in the army has a different experience and everything
just needed to vent.
i hope things get better soon too...i have till Feb of 2015 here and i really dont want the rest of that time to go the same track as this!:shock:
on a bright note....i havnt heard anything about the article since wed. so hopefully theyre in the process of dropping it. and tomorrow i get to go ride so at least theres that haha
We all need to vent every now and then, and I know myself that often it's hard to find somebody to speak to who will understand what your trying to say. I came home today venting about work to the hubby and 30 seconds later he said "why are you grumpy".
Vent away, if well earned and I dont think you have come across as whiny at all. :)
I'm so sorry to hear you're having a difficult time.
I'm in the Army as well. Don't get me wrong: I love the military, what it stands for, and my country. But I can tell you that everyone who serves are not the best of people. At all. Believe me, I have to deal with jackwagons very often.
There have been times when I am disliked by my peers simply for the fact I was successful or able to get into a class they wanted. It's petty and immature. There is a huge lack of respect in some areas of the Army and it often goes unnoticed. And respect IS a two way street. NCOs need to respect subordinates and vice verse. Officers need to respect enlisted and vice verse.
I'm not sure it will help you, but my only advice is to hold on. Keep to yourself a little more until things settle down. If you're feeling down in your career, just do your job. Sometimes it's too overwhelming to go above and beyond continuously. I know I wore myself out doing it, trying to impress my seniors. After a while I just couldn't keep doing it. Catch yourself, settle down a bit, then when the time is right you can go above and beyond once more.
Good luck to you. I hope things improve.
I got my article today...i had been hoping legal got it dropped, it was supposed to happen on friday but we never heard anything so i was going on the hope that it was dropped....no joy.
i was reduced to PFC, got 14 days of extra duty, and had 1/2 months pay suspended for 90 days. if i get in trouble again in those 90 days they will take that pay. if i dont, they wont.
im really tired of being pissed off, n hating the army. im tired of being screwed over by corrupt NCO's so im just taking it. im not gonna say a word about my punishment. even though it is completely over kill...they should not be dishing out the max. punishment of a company grade article for 2 minor mistakes. but whatever. im just gonna do my work, do my corrective training, and keep my mouth shut. then ill take whatever weekends i get and go to the ranch.
i have over 2 yrs left here. its gonna suck, but im not gonna quit, i cant afford to quit.
Sorry to hear the news. Life is often unfair, but it sure hurts when it hits.
Sorry, Op, and I am hoping you have little time left, and perhaps will get a new duty assignment.....or they will.
BSMS-having been a nurse manager, I would suggest your wife go to Human Resources and discuss things with them. I also would suggest that reprimands are not just given for the first offense, at least normally. In other words-I would guess there is more to the story. Legally, in the private sector, you HAVE to follow protocol or get sued. That is just the way it is. I know she is your wife, but I assure you, there is more to it. THe manager has no more time for crap than your wife does, and there are very few people who just love getting up in the am to find something to reprimand folks about.
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