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(Denver Post)   For 27 months, Ian Fisher, his parents and friends, and the U.S. Army allowed Denver Post reporters and a photographer to watch and chronicle his recruitment, induction, training, deployment, and, finally, his return from combat   (blogs.denverpost.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Denver Military Entrance Processing Station, U.S. Army, Ian, basic training, Gavino Barron, machine gun, half-hour, sleep deprivation  
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13941 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Nov 2009 at 11:40 PM (10 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



150 Comments     (+0 »)
 
 
2009-11-03 11:26:50 PM  
This was a very interesting article. Thanks for posting it.
 
2009-11-03 11:30:12 PM  
This makes the Fark subscription worth it. I'd have never seen this otherwise.
 
2009-11-03 11:43:00 PM  

dj_bigbird: This makes the Fark subscription worth it. I'd have never seen this otherwise.


Seen w/o subscript.

/still missing out, tho.
 
2009-11-03 11:43:11 PM  

dj_bigbird: This makes the Fark subscription worth it. I'd have never seen this otherwise.


Yeah, us liters had to wait, what ten more minutes?
 
2009-11-03 11:43:13 PM  

dj_bigbird: This makes the Fark subscription worth it. I'd have never seen this otherwise.


Unless it got greenlit.


/where's your five dollars NOW?
 
2009-11-03 11:45:38 PM  
WHAT IN THE HELL WAS HE DOING GETTING MARRIED?!?!?1

The rest of the story was awesome I just wanted to smack the hell out of the kid for the marriage. Jesus it was just two years and that was girl #3. At least girl #3.
 
2009-11-03 11:46:05 PM  
That was amazing.

simpsonfan: This article probably would never have seen the light of day if he had gotten killed over there.


Ummmm . . .awesome point?
 
2009-11-03 11:46:46 PM  
That is probably the best photo essay I've ever seen.
 
2009-11-03 11:49:13 PM  
I was shocked at how young he and the other guys at basic looked. They're practically babies.

Gwendolyn: WHAT IN THE HELL WAS HE DOING GETTING MARRIED?!?!?1

The rest of the story was awesome I just wanted to smack the hell out of the kid for the marriage. Jesus it was just two years and that was girl #3. At least girl #3.


And that. I hope he got the ring back from the first girl, too, seeing as he had to finance it.
 
2009-11-03 11:49:21 PM  

Gwendolyn: that was girl #3. At least girl #3.


the answer is always girl #3
 
2009-11-03 11:51:25 PM  
That guy went through more women than Dan Fielding.

/great link
 
2009-11-03 11:52:11 PM  
An amazing lack of BS. Pity there is no possible way for them to get a Pulitzer Prize for this.
 
2009-11-03 11:52:30 PM  
Don't tell me how it ended, but is there room left for a sequel?
 
2009-11-03 11:53:54 PM  

whammer: An amazing lack of BS. Pity there is no possible way for them to get a Pulitzer Prize for this.


Yeah when i started reading it I expected them to have chosen someone who would be perfect. I'm glad they showed everything, warts and all.
 
2009-11-03 11:54:18 PM  

whammer: An amazing lack of BS. Pity there is no possible way for them to get a Pulitzer Prize for this.


Really, dude? "Liberal media" rant time? Really?
 
2009-11-03 11:55:35 PM  
Maybe I can get a photo journalist to follow me through Officer Candidate School next June........I'll be 41 years old.
 
2009-11-03 11:56:03 PM  

simpsonfan: This article probably would never have seen the light of day if he had gotten killed over there.


Or it would have turned from a documentary into a fear mongering pile of shiat.
 
2009-11-03 11:56:14 PM  

Gwendolyn: whammer: An amazing lack of BS. Pity there is no possible way for them to get a Pulitzer Prize for this.

Yeah when i started reading it I expected them to have chosen someone who would be perfect. I'm glad they showed everything, warts and all.



Agreed....bet he's still paying for that ring for the first girl though.
 
2009-11-03 11:56:51 PM  

slidillon: Maybe I can get a photo journalist to follow me through Officer Candidate School next June........I'll be 41 years old.


Yes, but the photog will also shoot you while you're on Fark and you don't want that shiat out there, believe me.
 
2009-11-03 11:57:10 PM  

Gwendolyn: WHAT IN THE HELL WAS HE DOING GETTING MARRIED?!?!?1


1. He's young and stupid.
2. You get a pay raise.
 
2009-11-03 11:57:28 PM  

Gwendolyn: WHAT IN THE HELL WAS HE DOING GETTING MARRIED?!?!?1

The rest of the story was awesome I just wanted to smack the hell out of the kid for the marriage. Jesus it was just two years and that was girl #3. At least girl #3.


this but military troops are crazy about marriage.

cool article kinda nice to see somebody from my brother service getting this kinda coverage especialy when they dont cover up his problems
 
2009-11-03 11:57:53 PM  
Of course the dog is a pit bull.

/who edited that hot mess? A "vile" of medication?
 
2009-11-03 11:58:33 PM  
Those were some pretty crappy tattoos.
 
2009-11-03 11:58:43 PM  

dj_bigbird: This makes the Fark subscription worth it. I'd have never seen this otherwise.


at least you can still bask in the glory of all the litters doing a +1 when they have no idea what it actually means in TF.
 
2009-11-03 11:58:55 PM  

M0nkeyp0x: Or it would have turned from a documentary into a fear mongering pile of shiat.


Yes, because that's exactly what newspapers do.
 
2009-11-03 11:58:58 PM  
Gwendolyn: WHAT IN THE HELL WAS HE DOING GETTING MARRIED?!?!?1

The rest of the story was awesome I just wanted to smack the hell out of the kid for the marriage. Jesus it was just two years and that was girl #3. At least girl #3.


Grunts aren't known for their brains.
 
2009-11-04 12:00:08 AM  
You mean this guy right?

Link (new window)
 
2009-11-04 12:00:52 AM  
Thank the various gods he returned safe and sound.

I don't know him from Adam, of course, but am grateful to every soldier for their service, and thank the gods for all who come through it safe and sound.

Now I just want Gilad Shalit (a soldier from another country, currently a POW, always on my mind for personal reasons) to come home safe and sound, and all will be well.

Oh, and cool story, bro. Amazing how alike all the stories are, even if they're very different. A mom's worry is universal, I guess, it cuts across languages and cultures.
 
2009-11-04 12:01:10 AM  

Knucklepopper: M0nkeyp0x: Or it would have turned from a documentary into a fear mongering pile of shiat.

Yes, because that's exactly what newspapers do.


That's what newspapers try to do. It's what society does.
 
2009-11-04 12:01:40 AM  

keytronic: Gwendolyn: whammer: An amazing lack of BS. Pity there is no possible way for them to get a Pulitzer Prize for this.

Yeah when i started reading it I expected them to have chosen someone who would be perfect. I'm glad they showed everything, warts and all.


Agreed....bet he's still paying for that ring for the first girl though.


My husband let his first fiancee keep her ring because he's classy like that. She kept it, because she wasn't. I guess that happens a lot with young Army guys.

/married 12 years
//NOT an Army wife, either.
 
2009-11-04 12:02:27 AM  

M0nkeyp0x: That's what newspapers try to do. It's what society does.


Work on your arguments a bit more. Newspapers engage in fear-mongering? Yet in this 27-month project they didn't? Society does? Does what? What are you trying to say?
 
2009-11-04 12:02:28 AM  
That's quite possibly the first time I've seen someone actually use the back-hatch on a Bradley, and not just drop the ramp.

Seriously though, that was cool. Brought back lots of memories. I'm jealous that they're getting somewhat modern gear in boot camp now. We had Vietnam-era ALICE pack shiat.
 
2009-11-04 12:03:22 AM  
Dec. 15, 2007. 2:12 p.m. Kayla is excited as she talks about her engagement ring

March 31, 2008. 9:20 p.m. Ian is laying on his bed with friend Ashley Gillen of Denver.

July 24, 2008. 3:54 p.m. "I just want to go home‚ talk to my dad and be with Kirsten."

March 7, 2009. 8:57 p.m. Ian flirts with Devin Ervin of Highlands Ranch as they wait to go to a party.

Aug. 24, 2009. 10:14 a.m. Three days after his return from Iraq, it's a big day for Ian and Devin.
 
2009-11-04 12:03:50 AM  

JerseyTim: That guy went through more women than Dan Fielding.


A Night Court reference? How old are you?

And I got the reference? How old am I?

Cool story though, kid reminds me of many of those I went to high school with.
 
2009-11-04 12:03:51 AM  

Sgt Otter: That's quite possibly the first time I've seen someone actually use the back-hatch on a Bradley, and not just drop the ramp.

Seriously though, that was cool. Brought back lots of memories. I'm jealous that they're getting somewhat modern gear in boot camp now. We had Vietnam-era ALICE pack shiat.


And they only had to have two simultaneous wars going on for over 7 years to get it!
 
2009-11-04 12:04:34 AM  
My kid wants to be a Marine.

*headdesk*

Maybe this would make the Army look more than challenging enough.

/my BABY
 
2009-11-04 12:06:02 AM  
guy is getting a lot of poon.
and he works fast too.
 
2009-11-04 12:06:32 AM  
Please don't end up in a coffin...

Whew. That was a cool photo essay.
 
2009-11-04 12:07:17 AM  

Knucklepopper: M0nkeyp0x: That's what newspapers try to do. It's what society does.

Work on your arguments a bit more. Newspapers engage in fear-mongering? Yet in this 27-month project they didn't? Society does? Does what? What are you trying to say?


Oh, you're a writer. Who is arguing? I was simply doing what you do on a daily basis, stating my under-edumakated oppinion. I mean you guys never, ever, engauge in writing from a controversial side of things in order to persuade readers something is actually worse than it is.

My bad dude, rock on.
 
2009-11-04 12:09:37 AM  
Sometimes, I forget what real journalism looks like. Thank you subby.
 
2009-11-04 12:09:54 AM  
+1 for this best thing ive read all day
 
2009-11-04 12:10:18 AM  

Gladstell: Those were some pretty crappy tattoos.


For the Army, those are works of art compared to the crap I see guys around post sporting, like this winner:

[image from img.photobucket.com too old to be available]


It's hard to see, but it says: DAMBED IF I DO, DAMBED IF I DON'T
 
2009-11-04 12:13:06 AM  

Sgt Otter: That's quite possibly the first time I've seen someone actually use the back-hatch on a Bradley, and not just drop the ramp.

Seriously though, that was cool. Brought back lots of memories. I'm jealous that they're getting somewhat modern gear in boot camp now. We had Vietnam-era ALICE pack shiat.


everyone does that we used eightys era hand me down gear from the army in basic and tech school
 
2009-11-04 12:15:22 AM  

Sgt Otter: Gladstell: Those were some pretty crappy tattoos.

For the Army, those are works of art compared to the crap I see guys around post sporting, like this winner:

It's hard to see, but it says: DAMBED IF I DO, DAMBED IF I DON'T


That's turrible. I think if you are allowed to use a SAW, you probably are allowed to have swears in your tattoos.

/that guy is the Dean Venture of army guys
 
2009-11-04 12:15:56 AM  

dj_bigbird: This makes the Fark subscription worth it. I'd have never seen this otherwise.


And when Drew adds an option other than PayPal, I'll get my TF badge back.
 
2009-11-04 12:16:11 AM  

simpsonfan: This article probably would never have seen the light of day if he had gotten killed over there.


Thats what the newspaper wanted! & yes if he had been killed they would have published it with great joy.
 
2009-11-04 12:20:24 AM  
Inspiring.
 
2009-11-04 12:23:19 AM  
That is some of the best photojournalism I've ever seen, and on a wonderful and very human story, too. A Pulitzer would be well deserved.
 
2009-11-04 12:28:08 AM  

M0nkeyp0x: Oh, you're a writer. Who is arguing? I was simply doing what you do on a daily basis, stating my under-edumakated oppinion. I mean you guys never, ever, engauge in writing from a controversial side of things in order to persuade readers something is actually worse than it is.


No, consumer; most of the media doesn't do that. But you keep on clicking and opinionating. It's important.
 
2009-11-04 12:28:47 AM  
He looks younger than he is - kinda scarey to see a machine gun in the hands of a guy with a child's face - it doesn't look right.

Points to think about ....
the guy has been trained to shoot / stab /whatever people to death
he had a drug issue at one stage (hopefully all resolved)
no great educational qualification


Watch out civvy-street if this guy goes wrong after he gets out.
 
2009-11-04 12:30:30 AM  

slidillon: Maybe I can get a photo journalist to follow me through Officer Candidate School next June........I'll be 41 years old.


i'll do it. now all we need is sponsors for the project...
 
2009-11-04 12:32:42 AM  

Knucklepopper: M0nkeyp0x: Oh, you're a writer. Who is arguing? I was simply doing what you do on a daily basis, stating my under-edumakated oppinion. I mean you guys never, ever, engauge in writing from a controversial side of things in order to persuade readers something is actually worse than it is.

No, consumer; most of the media doesn't do that. But you keep on clicking and opinionating. It's important.


And you keep telling people the media doesn't fear monger on a site, made, and supported by a guy who wrote a book about the media fear mongering.

have a good night, brother.
 
2009-11-04 12:38:10 AM  
I was just shocked to see a bunch of really, really young looking guys with guns.

I don't know......it just seems like you should be past puberty before you are allowed to take up arms for any reason.
 
2009-11-04 12:40:41 AM  

M0nkeyp0x: And you keep telling people the media doesn't fear monger on a site, made, and supported by a guy who wrote a book about the media fear mongering.


I will. He's wrong. Enjoy the photo gallery.
 
2009-11-04 12:41:19 AM  

ModernLuddite: I was just shocked to see a bunch of really, really young looking guys with guns.


The fark? Did you just crawl out of an ice cave somewhere?
 
2009-11-04 12:46:50 AM  
Cool.

Other words would be superfluous.
 
2009-11-04 12:49:28 AM  

Knucklepopper: ModernLuddite: I was just shocked to see a bunch of really, really young looking guys with guns.

The fark? Did you just crawl out of an ice cave somewhere?


Blame Hollywood. People are used to seeing actors in their late 20s and 30s playing soldiers, and not the reality of 18-year-old kids who enlisted right out of high school.

My parents were shocked when they met my first Platoon Sergeant. Instead of the typical grizzled Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann type, he was a young-looking 33-year-old E-7.
 
2009-11-04 12:55:30 AM  

Knucklepopper: M0nkeyp0x: And you keep telling people the media doesn't fear monger on a site, made, and supported by a guy who wrote a book about the media fear mongering.

I will. He's wrong. Enjoy the photo gallery.


And I will disagree with you, because I can, and that is what I think makes your job great.

cheers friend.
 
2009-11-04 12:57:26 AM  

Sgt Otter: Blame Hollywood. People are used to seeing actors in their late 20s and 30s playing soldiers, and not the reality of 18-year-old kids who enlisted right out of high school


Not 18-year-olds, 19-year-olds, (new window)

/this was big when I served
//damn, does that means I'm getting old?
 
2009-11-04 12:59:36 AM  
I must say that was a most interesting photo essay.
 
2009-11-04 1:03:12 AM  

slidillon: Maybe I can get a photo journalist to follow me through Officer Candidate School next June........I'll be 41 years old.


your going through ocs? are you former enlisted?
 
2009-11-04 1:03:24 AM  
shiat. I think I counted 3 girlfriends, 2 engagements and 1 wife in that 27 month span. What's the damn hurry?
 
2009-11-04 1:04:15 AM  
Christian Bale: You forgot about his first girlfriend Ashley Hibbs. So, the full female timeline is:

June 12, 2007. Ian rides the Big Wheel with girlfriend Ashley Hibbs and other friends.

Dec. 15, 2007. Kayla is excited as she talks about her engagement ring

March 31, 2008. Ian is laying on his bed with friend Ashley Gillen of Denver.

July 24, 2008. I just want to go home‚ talk to my dad and be with Kirsten."

March 7, 2009. 8:57 p.m. Ian flirts with Devin Ervin of Highlands Ranch as they wait to go to a party.

Aug. 24, 2009. 10:14 a.m. Three days after his return from Iraq, it's a big day for Ian and Devin.

/Seriously...WTF?!?!
 
2009-11-04 1:04:51 AM  
He came back with a lower rank then when he started...
 
2009-11-04 1:05:35 AM  
Subtitled "How to guarantee you won't get stop-lossed by a PR-aware government".
 
2009-11-04 1:06:47 AM  

Philbb: Sgt Otter: Blame Hollywood. People are used to seeing actors in their late 20s and 30s playing soldiers, and not the reality of 18-year-old kids who enlisted right out of high school

Not 18-year-olds, 19-year-olds, (new window)

/this was big when I served
//damn, does that means I'm getting old?


I thought that song was about drafties.
 
2009-11-04 1:06:49 AM  
Seventeen year old soldiers were so much older during WWII.
 
2009-11-04 1:08:12 AM  
interesting. I can't believe how young they all looked in training...And why in the world did he get married so quickly!?
 
2009-11-04 1:16:37 AM  
Marriage = Money

Kids will do dumb things for money and someone to send rolls of Copenhagen.


/Navy Wife of 12 years
//Salty Squid, too, for 14. Not for the money.
 
2009-11-04 1:16:40 AM  
This kid sounds ridiculously impulsive.

Engaged. Relationship. Lie some. Relationship for 5 months... get married in jeans. Awesome.
 
2009-11-04 1:17:14 AM  

Sgt Otter: Blame Hollywood. People are used to seeing actors in their late 20s and 30s playing soldiers, and not the reality of 18-year-old kids who enlisted right out of high school.


I love the counseling sessions. Also, note his rank. He is a PFC in basic, PV2 upon return from deployment. Those photos capture a lot about the modern military that most people will never understand.

Excuse me, I need to go do 500 cherry-pickers and some flutter kicks.
 
2009-11-04 1:17:17 AM  

Knucklepopper: ModernLuddite: I was just shocked to see a bunch of really, really young looking guys with guns.

The fark? Did you just crawl out of an ice cave somewhere?


I was wondering. This trope is older than time: "they're just boys!"

It was a point in at least 90% of the WWII movies I watched as a kid.
 
2009-11-04 1:18:18 AM  
In before the flamewar
 
2009-11-04 1:22:05 AM  

azmoviez: shiat. I think I counted 3 girlfriends, 2 engagements and 1 wife in that 27 month span. What's the damn hurry?


jesus said "no sex before marriage."
 
2009-11-04 1:24:38 AM  

oi_piss_me_off: interesting. I can't believe how young they all looked in training...And why in the world did he get married so quickly!?


To be completely cynical about it...

Single soldiers live in the barracks, which is about the size of a very small college dorm room. With a roommate, who is probably some stinky shiatbag who enlisted under a "morals waiver." Your Sergeant will be banging on your door around 0530, to do a room inspection, make sure you're awake, and will probably give you a hardtime about not taking out your trash, and mooch something out of your fridge.

If some drunken idiot pukes in the hallway and doesn't clean it up, or pisses on the pool table, or sets the couch on fire, and the First Sergeant or Sergeant Major finds out about it, everybody in the barracks get punished.
Jailbait in the barracks? Everybody gets punished.
One dude is caught smoking pot in the barracks? Everyone gets interrogated by CID and piss-tested.
One idiot breaks a washer or dryer? The laundry room gets chained shut for a week or two, as punishment.
Sergeant Major does a surprise inspection on the weekend and finds the barracks trashed? Everyone gets recalled back to the barracks and spends the rest of the weekend cleaning.

You also get a meal card, where you eat in the dining facilities on post, which isn't exactly fine cuisine.

Married? Here's an actual house on post, or an extra monthly stipend to rent an apartment off-post. Oh, and instead of a meal card, you get yet another monthly stipend for food. Now, when you deploy, you can invoke your military clause with your landlord, move your furniture into storage, and pocket that housing stipend. You also get an extra "Family Separation Allowance" payment every month you're deployed.

A lot of these guy marry some random skank, thinking they're gonna make bank off the Army.
 
2009-11-04 1:27:05 AM  

NewportBarGuy: I love the counseling sessions. Also, note his rank. He is a PFC in basic, PV2 upon return from deployment.


What does that mean?
 
2009-11-04 1:29:28 AM  

Phoenix_M: Philbb: Sgt Otter: Blame Hollywood. People are used to seeing actors in their late 20s and 30s playing soldiers, and not the reality of 18-year-old kids who enlisted right out of high school

Not 18-year-olds, 19-year-olds, (new window)

/this was big when I served
//damn, does that means I'm getting old?

I thought that song was about drafties.


Many were drafties, that was the way of things at the time. But the numbers are just averages. The point is, many people in the military are actually pretty young by societal standards. I worked with several, here and there, that were considered "grizzled old men" in their early to mid thirties.

My family experience: grandfather enlisted (Army) in WWII at sixteen by lying about his age, father enlisted (Air Force) right out of high school, at eighteen in '62, and I enlisted (Army) with parental consent, at seventeen in '83.
 
2009-11-04 1:33:31 AM  

Gwendolyn: NewportBarGuy: I love the counseling sessions. Also, note his rank. He is a PFC in basic, PV2 upon return from deployment.


What does that mean?


Demoted. Probably at least twice, or the Company Commander had to specify he was not going to be promoted.

E-1 = Private
E-2 = Private 2 (IIRC, this used to be "Private Second Class," but it was changed as it supposedly implied a "2nd class soldier."
E-3 = Private First Class.
E-4 = Specialist, or Corporal
E-5 = Sergeant

Pretty much anyone who deploys for a year should come back as an E-4, with some of the more motivated soldiers getting an opportunity to go to an E-5 board, where you are interrogated by the First Sergeants and the Battalion Command Sergeant Major, on certain regulations about the Army.

E-1 thru E-4 is a "calendar promotion," where the Department of the Army's computer will automatically promote you once you've accrued enough time in service. The Captain actually has to go out of his way to stop the automatic promotion.

Being in the Army over two years, and with a combat deployment under his belt and only being a PV2, this guy has some serious discipline problems.
 
2009-11-04 1:39:15 AM  

Philbb: My family experience: grandfather enlisted (Army) in WWII at sixteen by lying about his age, father enlisted (Air Force) right out of high school, at eighteen in '62, and I enlisted (Army) with parental consent, at seventeen in '83.


I enlisted at 17 in the reserves back in '03. I still graduated from college and used the gi bill to pay it off so I would actually recommend it to people in some cases. It's way easier to deal with the stress and especially all the running you have to do when your 17. I'm only 23 now and I've definitely slowed down to the point where I feel old running with new privates.
 
2009-11-04 1:39:59 AM  
Sgt Otter does the Army still call the M249 the saw?
 
2009-11-04 1:42:16 AM  

Gwendolyn: What does that mean?


It means he screwed up and was demoted, happens all the time. Nothing to do with being a good soldier or a bad soldier. Hell, I know a ton of people who won't trust you unless you had at least one Article 15 (administrative punishment for overextending leave, drugs, alcohol, etc etc)

Sgt. Otter answered your question on the marriage thing. A majority of problems in a unit stem from that bullshiat. Guarantee you this guy was "technically" AWOL because he was pounding some quality snatch. Good for him. A few people in the 10th Cav did the same thing. Unless you miss movement or deployment, no one cares. You just get to mow grass or pick up garbage for a few weeks and have a SGM or 1SG scream at you. That is not fun.

Meh, it's an awesome photo essay. It captures a LOT.
 
2009-11-04 1:44:17 AM  
Sgt Otter [TotalFark] 2009-11-04 01:24:38 AM
oi_piss_me_off: interesting. I can't believe how young they all looked in training...And why in the world did he get married so quickly!?

To be completely cynical about it...

A lot of these guy marry some random skank, thinking they're gonna make bank off the Army.


does it work or does it blow up in their face more often than not?
 
2009-11-04 1:45:11 AM  

Sgt Otter: Being in the Army over two years, and with a combat deployment under his belt and only being a PV2, this guy has some serious discipline problems.


THAT was my main point.

Even with an ARCOM, something doesn't jive.
 
2009-11-04 1:52:20 AM  

Knucklepopper: Yes, because that's exactly what newspapers do.


Yes, documentarians and journalists are well-known for honest and objective looks at their subjects, and rarely if ever sensationalize their topics, running them through with universalism and hyperbole, playing up any tragedy involved and tweaking on public fears and anxieties.

Except when they're conservative-leaning and/or when conservatives are in power.

Yes, yes, I know, "most don't," and I'm sure you believe that.

Otherwise, I second the confusion about people surprised at the age of many members of the military. I was considered one of the old-timers at 25.
 
2009-11-04 1:53:01 AM  

beowulf980: Sgt Otter does the Army still call the M249 the saw?


Yeah, at least informally. For a very brief period it was the M249 AR, for Automatic Rifle, but that designation got dropped pretty quick. Everyone still called it the SAW. The last M249 Field Manual I can find online is dated 2003, and it still has the SAW name listed.

I can't say for sure what the actual OFFICIAL Department of the Army term currently is, as that was probably the one pain-in-the-ass weapon I didn't get stuck dragging around.

I was an M240B Gunner, a Javelin Gunner, and a T.O.W. Gunner.

NewportBarGuy: Sgt Otter: Being in the Army over two years, and with a combat deployment under his belt and only being a PV2, this guy has some serious discipline problems.

THAT was my main point.

Even with an ARCOM, something doesn't jive.


Looking at it again, he got knocked down from PFC to Private Velcro, so yeah, he farked up. I also noticed he had PV2 when he went home on mid-tour leave. If you look really close at his Patrol Cap when when he's hugging his fiance' at the end of his tour, he got his PFC back.
 
2009-11-04 1:54:54 AM  
I noticed the rank demotion too haha, especially after they pointed out he was practicing for a promotion test. He just proved my initial assessment of him being a dim bulb. No way he should have came out less than E4.
 
2009-11-04 1:55:29 AM  

oi_piss_me_off: does it work or does it blow up in their face more often than not?


At least 4 of my friends got sham married for our upcoming deployment to Iraq... which ended up getting canceled after Obama got elected. So now a few of them stayed married and the others are going to need divorces. Getting married like that isn't a great idea since a lot of girls cheat on guys that deploy.
 
2009-11-04 1:56:18 AM  

Sgt Otter: I was an M240B Gunner


I love that gun even if I did melt my gloves firing it.
thanks for the info tho nobody in the AF calls it that even when we use it for the same things
 
2009-11-04 1:56:30 AM  

Sgt Otter: Gwendolyn: NewportBarGuy: I love the counseling sessions. Also, note his rank. He is a PFC in basic, PV2 upon return from deployment.


What does that mean?

Demoted. Probably at least twice, or the Company Commander had to specify he was not going to be promoted.

E-1 = Private
E-2 = Private 2 (IIRC, this used to be "Private Second Class," but it was changed as it supposedly implied a "2nd class soldier."
E-3 = Private First Class.
E-4 = Specialist, or Corporal
E-5 = Sergeant

Pretty much anyone who deploys for a year should come back as an E-4, with some of the more motivated soldiers getting an opportunity to go to an E-5 board, where you are interrogated by the First Sergeants and the Battalion Command Sergeant Major, on certain regulations about the Army.

E-1 thru E-4 is a "calendar promotion," where the Department of the Army's computer will automatically promote you once you've accrued enough time in service. The Captain actually has to go out of his way to stop the automatic promotion.

Being in the Army over two years, and with a combat deployment under his belt and only being a PV2, this guy has some serious discipline problems.


Being a medical civilian in the army, I had a big learning moment when a person coming in with a plethora of crazy complaints (that I was about to run with) was solved when my commanding officer pointed out that the person in question, despite being in the army for more than 5 years, had a thick chart and a rank of E-1. I was told "you graduate basic higher than this, you have to be a screwup to still be there."

And yes, the medical problem was non-sensical. She was a Private Benjamin, looking for a med board or section 8.
 
2009-11-04 2:04:08 AM  

Sgt Otter: Knucklepopper: ModernLuddite: I was just shocked to see a bunch of really, really young looking guys with guns.

The fark? Did you just crawl out of an ice cave somewhere?

Blame Hollywood. People are used to seeing actors in their late 20s and 30s playing soldiers, and not the reality of 18-year-old kids who enlisted right out of high school.

My parents were shocked when they met my first Platoon Sergeant. Instead of the typical grizzled Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann type, he was a young-looking 33-year-old E-7.


I remember reading something by Vonnegutt, either an interview or a correspondence or something where he talked about WWII movies making everybody too old. He called everyone he served with (including himself) something like "absolute babies." That always stuck with me.

I almost enlisted at 26, took the ASVAB, the physical and would've been on a bus in 48 hours if my eyes hadn't needed a waiver. I was the oldest guy getting the physical by at least five years.

/got cold feet afterwards
//and a job offer
 
2009-11-04 2:07:38 AM  

Sgt Otter: If you look really close at his Patrol Cap when when he's hugging his fiance' at the end of his tour, he got his PFC back.


Gotcha... He's working his way back up. I hope he sticks with it. The people who seem to do best are the ones who screw up and learn from their mistakes. I wish this guy the best of luck. If, for nothing else, he let people take a peek into a system that few understand.

He must've really regretted that decision along the way. Can you imagine allowing that kind of access into your life?
 
2009-11-04 2:08:06 AM  
RicosRoughnecks
oi_piss_me_off: does it work or does it blow up in their face more often than not?

At least 4 of my friends got sham married for our upcoming deployment to Iraq... which ended up getting canceled after Obama got elected. So now a few of them stayed married and the others are going to need divorces. Getting married like that isn't a great idea since a lot of girls cheat on guys that deploy.


ah, thanks.
 
2009-11-04 2:09:04 AM  

Sgt Otter: Being in the Army over two years, and with a combat deployment under his belt and only being a PV2, this guy has some serious discipline problems.


NewportBarGuy: Gwendolyn: What does that mean?

It means he screwed up and was demoted, happens all the time. Nothing to do with being a good soldier or a bad soldier. Hell, I know a ton of people who won't trust you unless you had at least one Article 15 (administrative punishment for overextending leave, drugs, alcohol, etc etc)

Sgt. Otter answered your question on the marriage thing. A majority of problems in a unit stem from that bullshiat. Guarantee you this guy was "technically" AWOL because he was pounding some quality snatch. Good for him. A few people in the 10th Cav did the same thing. Unless you miss movement or deployment, no one cares. You just get to mow grass or pick up garbage for a few weeks and have a SGM or 1SG scream at you. That is not fun.


Thanks for answering the question. The majority of people I meet from base here seems to be a "Chief" and are called Chief. I have no freaking idea how they keep that straight with everyone having the same nickname. People under them are E-somethings. I can't tell what the hell pilots are supposed to be because they are always running around in flight suits and all look the same. lol

As you can tell I pay a lot of attention. Thanks again for answering.
 
2009-11-04 2:09:38 AM  

RicosRoughnecks: At least 4 of my friends got sham married for our upcoming deployment to Iraq... which ended up getting canceled after Obama got elected. So now a few of them stayed married and the others are going to need divorces. Getting married like that isn't a great idea since a lot of girls cheat on guys that deploy.


I read an article in Slate a few years ago written either by a counselor or a guy who talked to one in Germany. He said the worst part of his job wasn't the PTSD cases, but the guys who didn't get their Dear John letters until they were coming back home. Can't find the article right now though sorry.
 
2009-11-04 2:10:53 AM  

oi_piss_me_off: RicosRoughnecks
oi_piss_me_off: does it work or does it blow up in their face more often than not?

At least 4 of my friends got sham married for our upcoming deployment to Iraq... which ended up getting canceled after Obama got elected. So now a few of them stayed married and the others are going to need divorces. Getting married like that isn't a great idea since a lot of girls cheat on guys that deploy.

ah, thanks.


NOT SAFE FOR WORK LANGUAGE (new window)

Someone posted a song about that the other night.
 
2009-11-04 2:14:00 AM  

oi_piss_me_off: Sgt Otter [TotalFark] 2009-11-04 01:24:38 AM
oi_piss_me_off: interesting. I can't believe how young they all looked in training...And why in the world did he get married so quickly!?

To be completely cynical about it...

A lot of these guy marry some random skank, thinking they're gonna make bank off the Army.

does it work or does it blow up in their face more often than not?


I'd say almost never. Their master plan usually falls apart when they realize that they have to buy furniture for their empty apartment and groceries. Or a second car for her, unless she wants to get up with him at 0500 to drive him to morning formation and drop him off.

Then they usually get sucked into one of those Rent-A-Center scams and get even further in debt.

Then he wants to go out to the strip club or the bars with his single battle-buddies, while wifey is at home sitting on the floor of a barren apartment, with a jar of mustard in the fridge.

Suddenly, his promise of letting her sit on her ass while "they screw the Army" doesn't look so rosy. So she'll need to get a job, and with just a high school education, and the typical middle-of-nowhere locations the Army has its bases, means she'll be working fast food or at the local Wal-Mart.

So they need to get a second car just to get to a minimum wage job.

Once he deploys, they'll probably close out their lease and she moves back in with her parents. But she can't go out and have fun, because they're usually small town girls, where everybody knows her husband is off at war, and she can't go out and get drunk, and take home some random redneck to give her snatch a good pounding.

But she'll eventually hook up with some deadbeat loser, and start spending her husband's combat pay on said unemployed loser. He starts seeing all these odd withdrawals from his checking account, and he starts getting upset when she's evasive about what she's spending it on.

There will probably be a domestic disturbance within a week of him getting back, as his bank account is empty, and his wife is pregnant with some crackhead's kid.

Now, with the domestic violence charge, comes the Lautenberg Act, where if convicted of DV, you can't own or operate a firearm. Even for official duties. What's an infantryman without a gun? Nothing. So now he's looking at a Bad Conduct Discharge, and he's going to convince himself that it's all her fault.

/Seen this a million times.
 
2009-11-04 2:18:31 AM  

Sgt Otter: oi_piss_me_off: Sgt Otter [TotalFark] 2009-11-04 01:24:38 AM
oi_piss_me_off: interesting. I can't believe how young they all looked in training...And why in the world did he get married so quickly!?

To be completely cynical about it...

A lot of these guy marry some random skank, thinking they're gonna make bank off the Army.

does it work or does it blow up in their face more often than not?

I'd say almost never. Their master plan usually falls apart when they realize that they have to buy furniture for their empty apartment and groceries. Or a second car for her, unless she wants to get up with him at 0500 to drive him to morning formation and drop him off.

Then they usually get sucked into one of those Rent-A-Center scams and get even further in debt.

Then he wants to go out to the strip club or the bars with his single battle-buddies, while wifey is at home sitting on the floor of a barren apartment, with a jar of mustard in the fridge.

Suddenly, his promise of letting her sit on her ass while "they screw the Army" doesn't look so rosy. So she'll need to get a job, and with just a high school education, and the typical middle-of-nowhere locations the Army has its bases, means she'll be working fast food or at the local Wal-Mart.

So they need to get a second car just to get to a minimum wage job.

Once he deploys, they'll probably close out their lease and she moves back in with her parents. But she can't go out and have fun, because they're usually small town girls, where everybody knows her husband is off at war, and she can't go out and get drunk, and take home some random redneck to give her snatch a good pounding.

But she'll eventually hook up with some deadbeat loser, and start spending her husband's combat pay on said unemployed loser. He starts seeing all these odd withdrawals from his checking account, and he starts getting upset when she's evasive about what she's spending it on.

There will probably be a domestic disturbance within a week of him getting back, as his bank account is empty, and his wife is pregnant with some crackhead's kid.

Now, with the domestic violence charge, comes the Lautenberg Act, where if convicted of DV, you can't own or operate a firearm. Even for official duties. What's an infantryman without a gun? Nothing. So now he's looking at a Bad Conduct Discharge, and he's going to convince himself that it's all her fault.

/Seen this a million times.


Can you make someone a double favorite?
 
2009-11-04 2:24:26 AM  
Dang. I'm glad he came back safe.
 
2009-11-04 2:29:16 AM  

RicosRoughnecks: Philbb: My family experience: grandfather enlisted (Army) in WWII at sixteen by lying about his age, father enlisted (Air Force) right out of high school, at eighteen in '62, and I enlisted (Army) with parental consent, at seventeen in '83.

I enlisted at 17 in the reserves back in '03. I still graduated from college and used the gi bill to pay it off so I would actually recommend it to people in some cases. It's way easier to deal with the stress and especially all the running you have to do when your 17. I'm only 23 now and I've definitely slowed down to the point where I feel old running with new privates.


Good for you. My father used the GI Bill, Chapter 31, to get his degree. I joined during Chapter 32 and wasn't smart enough to keep that active. I cashed out early to help finance my family. I too would recommend it to people in some cases.

In fact I recommended it to two of my children. They both decided that they knew more than Dad and didn't take advantage of the opportunity.
 
2009-11-04 2:35:21 AM  
I went to basic training [and airborne, and recalled] at Ft Benning, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies.

...and the article.

/Delta, 1/19, biatches.
//I hated Georgia.
 
2009-11-04 2:47:19 AM  
This is a photojournalists dream ... hope to one day chronicle someone's life like this.
 
2009-11-04 2:57:04 AM  

Sgt Otter: Gladstell: Those were some pretty crappy tattoos.

For the Army, those are works of art compared to the crap I see guys around post sporting, like this winner:

It's hard to see, but it says: DAMBED IF I DO, DAMBED IF I DON'T


How is that farkin' reg? That HAS to be sharpie...

/The Corps would have jumped on his ass.
 
2009-11-04 3:01:00 AM  

beowulf980: Sgt Otter: That's quite possibly the first time I've seen someone actually use the back-hatch on a Bradley, and not just drop the ramp.

Seriously though, that was cool. Brought back lots of memories. I'm jealous that they're getting somewhat modern gear in boot camp now. We had Vietnam-era ALICE pack shiat.

everyone does that we used eightys era hand me down gear from the army in basic and tech school


Think you had crappy hand-me downs?

/Marine Reserve
//We got the crap the Army threw away, Fleet Marine Force pulled out of the shiat-can, then passed down to National Guard until they just tossed it out at the side of the road.

/"Cool... at least my shelter-half is duct-taped up!"
 
2009-11-04 3:03:11 AM  

Fano: Sgt Otter: Gwendolyn: NewportBarGuy:
Being a medical civilian in the army...
And yes, the medical problem was non-sensical. She was a Private Benjamin, looking for a med board or section 8.


Your story... it seems familiar. Korea right?

bentcorner.comView Full Size
 
2009-11-04 3:13:15 AM  
Good story.
Sad reality.
He's not over there fighting for God and country, he's fighting for the richest 1%.

I would never reenlist, I would never allow my children to enlist.

Not unless there was a cut and dried reason like WWII.

Poor dumb slob. Glad he's still alive though. Glad I'm still alive.
 
2009-11-04 4:04:22 AM  
As an Initial Entry Training (IET) instructor and squad leader I have to say that this kid is the same as about 10 to 15 percent of what I see come through this place (Ft. Gordon, GA). Basically the undisciplined, misguided, fark the world type that has to be taught a lesson several times before it gets through their head.

A good 5% are worse. The type that will take a swing at an NCO, piss hot multiple times on a urinalysis, rape females in the barracks, etc...

The rest fortunately are better. They are the ones that want to learn and, on the whole, keep me from giving up on the future generations. I must say though, I don't know if it's because I'm getting a little older (I'm 26), or if a shift in mentality is taking place, but the overall quality is going down noticeably.

With that aside, this was a good view of a side of the Army most don't get to see. We aren't all professional, well disciplined troops. Hell, it's been said many times "You can't make Sergeant Major without at least one article 15 (nonjudicial punishment) under your belt," and it's true.
 
2009-11-04 4:29:16 AM  
The quality has always been down, Breeze; you just didn't see it before now.

This kid, other than getting through his training and deployment, and completing his enlistment without either getting thrown in the brig or killed, is a no go.

His problem is he's not very bright, and it's obvious.

Too bad he doesn't appear to be a hard worker or a person of character. Things could get ugly for him in the next couple years, I'm guessing.

Interesting story. Thanks, subby.
 
2009-11-04 5:01:25 AM  

ModernLuddite: I was just shocked to see a bunch of really, really young looking guys with guns.

I don't know......it just seems like you should be past puberty before you are allowed to take up arms for any reason.


Guys and girls just barely into adulthood have enlisted or been conscripted for a really long time now. Nothing new or surprising.

upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size


10 years old and fighting the Japanese.
 
2009-11-04 5:26:17 AM  
Excellent read. Thanks subby
 
2009-11-04 5:29:46 AM  

Sgt Otter: oi_piss_me_off: Sgt Otter [TotalFark] 2009-11-04 01:24:38 AM
oi_piss_me_off: interesting. I can't believe how young they all looked in training...And why in the world did he get married so quickly!?

To be completely cynical about it...

A lot of these guy marry some random skank, thinking they're gonna make bank off the Army.

does it work or does it blow up in their face more often than not?

I'd say almost never. Their master plan usually falls apart when they realize that they have to buy furniture for their empty apartment and groceries. Or a second car for her, unless she wants to get up with him at 0500 to drive him to morning formation and drop him off.

Then they usually get sucked into one of those Rent-A-Center scams and get even further in debt.

Then he wants to go out to the strip club or the bars with his single battle-buddies, while wifey is at home sitting on the floor of a barren apartment, with a jar of mustard in the fridge.

Suddenly, his promise of letting her sit on her ass while "they screw the Army" doesn't look so rosy. So she'll need to get a job, and with just a high school education, and the typical middle-of-nowhere locations the Army has its bases, means she'll be working fast food or at the local Wal-Mart.

So they need to get a second car just to get to a minimum wage job.

Once he deploys, they'll probably close out their lease and she moves back in with her parents. But she can't go out and have fun, because they're usually small town girls, where everybody knows her husband is off at war, and she can't go out and get drunk, and take home some random redneck to give her snatch a good pounding.

But she'll eventually hook up with some deadbeat loser, and start spending her husband's combat pay on said unemployed loser. He starts seeing all these odd withdrawals from his checking account, and he starts getting upset when she's evasive about what she's spending it on.

There will probably be a domestic disturbance within a week of him getting back, as his bank account is empty, and his wife is pregnant with some crackhead's kid.

Now, with the domestic violence charge, comes the Lautenberg Act, where if convicted of DV, you can't own or operate a firearm. Even for official duties. What's an infantryman without a gun? Nothing. So now he's looking at a Bad Conduct Discharge, and he's going to convince himself that it's all her fault.

/Seen this a million times.


Mate, that was a hell of a sketch.
 
2009-11-04 6:24:26 AM  

Sgt Otter: Gladstell: Those were some pretty crappy tattoos.

For the Army, those are works of art compared to the crap I see guys around post sporting, like this winner:

It's hard to see, but it says: DAMBED IF I DO, DAMBED IF I DON'T


That should say "DUMB IF I DO, DUMB IF I DON'T". It's probably within regs because people have no idea what "dambed" is. If it been spelled correctly (damned), he might have had some problems. I hope that douche gets made fun of on a daily basis.
 
2009-11-04 7:53:59 AM  
Nice photo essay. As someone about to enter the Army in January (the time is still uncertain, but the actual act is not), I'm getting a kick out of these replies...

/71B
//Actually looking quite forward to OCS
 
2009-11-04 8:03:26 AM  

Sgt Otter: oi_piss_me_off: Sgt Otter [TotalFark] 2009-11-04 01:24:38 AM
oi_piss_me_off: interesting. I can't believe how young they all looked in training...And why in the world did he get married so quickly!?

To be completely cynical about it...

A lot of these guy marry some random skank, thinking they're gonna make bank off the Army.

does it work or does it blow up in their face more often than not?

I'd say almost never. Their master plan usually falls apart when they realize that they have to buy furniture for their empty apartment and groceries. Or a second car for her, unless she wants to get up with him at 0500 to drive him to morning formation and drop him off.

Then they usually get sucked into one of those Rent-A-Center scams and get even further in debt.

Then he wants to go out to the strip club or the bars with his single battle-buddies, while wifey is at home sitting on the floor of a barren apartment, with a jar of mustard in the fridge.

Suddenly, his promise of letting her sit on her ass while "they screw the Army" doesn't look so rosy. So she'll need to get a job, and with just a high school education, and the typical middle-of-nowhere locations the Army has its bases, means she'll be working fast food or at the local Wal-Mart.

So they need to get a second car just to get to a minimum wage job.

Once he deploys, they'll probably close out their lease and she moves back in with her parents. But she can't go out and have fun, because they're usually small town girls, where everybody knows her husband is off at war, and she can't go out and get drunk, and take home some random redneck to give her snatch a good pounding.

But she'll eventually hook up with some deadbeat loser, and start spending her husband's combat pay on said unemployed loser. He starts seeing all these odd withdrawals from his checking account, and he starts getting upset when she's evasive about what she's spending it on.

There will probably be a domestic disturbance within a week of him getting back, as his bank account is empty, and his wife is pregnant with some crackhead's kid.

Now, with the domestic violence charge, comes the Lautenberg Act, where if convicted of DV, you can't own or operate a firearm. Even for official duties. What's an infantryman without a gun? Nothing. So now he's looking at a Bad Conduct Discharge, and he's going to convince himself that it's all her fault.

/Seen this a million times.


Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!
 
2009-11-04 8:13:14 AM  
Cool.
 
2009-11-04 8:15:43 AM  
"June 19, 2007. 12:18 a.m. Arriving at Fort Benning just after midnight, the new recruits line up in formation outside Johnston Hall as drill sergeant Jackie Etienne briefs screams at them on all they have yet to do that night about how worthless they are and how they are going to get kicked out of the service for being such panty-waists."
 
2009-11-04 8:27:04 AM  
If some drunken idiot pukes in the hallway and doesn't clean it up, or pisses on the pool table, or sets the couch on fire, and the First Sergeant or Sergeant Major finds out about it, everybody in the barracks get punished.
Jailbait in the barracks? Everybody gets punished.
One dude is caught smoking pot in the barracks? Everyone gets interrogated by CID and piss-tested.
One idiot breaks a washer or dryer? The laundry room gets chained shut for a week or two, as punishment.
Sergeant Major does a surprise inspection on the weekend and finds the barracks trashed? Everyone gets recalled back to the barracks and spends the rest of the weekend cleaning.


/having flashbacks of my time in the Marine Corps.
 
2009-11-04 8:31:58 AM  

dondanz: Christian Bale: You forgot about his first girlfriend Ashley Hibbs. So, the full female timeline is:

June 12, 2007. Ian rides the Big Wheel with girlfriend Ashley Hibbs and other friends.

Dec. 15, 2007. Kayla is excited as she talks about her engagement ring

March 31, 2008. Ian is laying on his bed with friend Ashley Gillen of Denver.

July 24, 2008. I just want to go home‚ talk to my dad and be with Kirsten."

March 7, 2009. 8:57 p.m. Ian flirts with Devin Ervin of Highlands Ranch as they wait to go to a party.

Aug. 24, 2009. 10:14 a.m. Three days after his return from Iraq, it's a big day for Ian and Devin.

/Seriously...WTF?!?!


Yeah, that boy is in for some trouble. It's one thing to hop from girl to girl under 'normal' conditions, but he seems to be going through chics between rotations in Iraq...

I see a kid, wife cheating with an Army buddy, divorce, etc in this dude's future...

Reminds me of a lot of idiots I knew in the Army that ended up being F ups...
 
2009-11-04 8:35:26 AM  

Sgt Otter: oi_piss_me_off: Sgt Otter [TotalFark] 2009-11-04 01:24:38 AM
To be completely cynical about it...

A lot of these guy marry some random skank, thinking they're gonna make bank off the Army.

does it work or does it blow up in their face more often than not?

I'd say almost never. Their master plan usually falls apart when they realize that they have to buy furniture for their empty apartment and groceries. Or a second car for her, unless she wants to get up with him at 0500 to drive him to morning formation and drop him off.

Then they usually get sucked into one of those Rent-A-Center scams and get even further in debt.

Then he wants to go out to the strip club or the bars with his single battle-buddies, while wifey is at home sitting on the floor of a barren apartment, with a jar of mustard in the fridge.

Suddenly, his promise of letting her sit on her ass while "they screw the Army" doesn't look so rosy. So she'll need to get a job, and with just a high school education, and the typical middle-of-nowhere locations the Army has its bases, means she'll be working fast food or at the local Wal-Mart.

So they need to get a second car just to get to a minimum wage job.

Once he deploys, they'll probably close out their lease and she moves back in with her parents. But she can't go out and have fun, because they're usually small town girls, where everybody knows her husband is off at war, and she can't go out and get drunk, and take home some random redneck to give her snatch a good pounding.

But she'll eventually hook up with some deadbeat loser, and start spending her husband's combat pay on said unemployed loser. He starts seeing all these odd withdrawals from his checking account, and he starts getting upset when she's evasive about what she's spending it on.

There will probably be a domestic disturbance within a week of him getting back, as his bank account is empty, and his wife is pregnant with some crackhead's kid.

Now, with the domestic violence charge, comes the Lautenberg Act, where if convicted of DV, you can't own or operate a firearm. Even for official duties. What's an infantryman without a gun? Nothing. So now he's looking at a Bad Conduct Discharge, and he's going to convince himself that it's all her fault.

/Seen this a million times.


Sounds very familiar except I've heard a lot about wives that hold on to the picture of their husband off on assignment adoring him the whole time only to find out he was banging strippers and any girl he could find while gone then when she gets upset about it he starts getting physical. Yes, they're anecdotes but I've heard a lot of them.
 
2009-11-04 8:49:18 AM  

echocamp: Sgt Otter: oi_piss_me_off: Sgt Otter [TotalFark] 2009-11-04 01:24:38 AM
To be completely cynical about it...

A lot of these guy marry some random skank, thinking they're gonna make bank off the Army.

does it work or does it blow up in their face more often than not?

I'd say almost never. Their master plan usually falls apart when they realize that they have to buy furniture for their empty apartment and groceries. Or a second car for her, unless she wants to get up with him at 0500 to drive him to morning formation and drop him off.

Then they usually get sucked into one of those Rent-A-Center scams and get even further in debt.

Then he wants to go out to the strip club or the bars with his single battle-buddies, while wifey is at home sitting on the floor of a barren apartment, with a jar of mustard in the fridge.

Suddenly, his promise of letting her sit on her ass while "they screw the Army" doesn't look so rosy. So she'll need to get a job, and with just a high school education, and the typical middle-of-nowhere locations the Army has its bases, means she'll be working fast food or at the local Wal-Mart.

So they need to get a second car just to get to a minimum wage job.

Once he deploys, they'll probably close out their lease and she moves back in with her parents. But she can't go out and have fun, because they're usually small town girls, where everybody knows her husband is off at war, and she can't go out and get drunk, and take home some random redneck to give her snatch a good pounding.

But she'll eventually hook up with some deadbeat loser, and start spending her husband's combat pay on said unemployed loser. He starts seeing all these odd withdrawals from his checking account, and he starts getting upset when she's evasive about what she's spending it on.

There will probably be a domestic disturbance within a week of him getting back, as his bank account is empty, and his wife is pregnant with some crackhead's kid.

Now, with the domestic violence charge, comes the Lautenberg Act, where if convicted of DV, you can't own or operate a firearm. Even for official duties. What's an infantryman without a gun? Nothing. So now he's looking at a Bad Conduct Discharge, and he's going to convince himself that it's all her fault.

/Seen this a million times.

Sounds very familiar except I've heard a lot about wives that hold on to the picture of their husband off on assignment adoring him the whole time only to find out he was banging strippers and any girl he could find while gone then when she gets upset about it he starts getting physical. Yes, they're anecdotes but I've heard a lot of them.


Nah...Sgt Otter has it down, I'd say he's seen the same things I saw while I was in.

Rarely is it the guys cheating, they're busy in the field, on deployments, etc. The wives are the ones staying behind, with other wives, they get bored, see free money pouring in every month, time to party.

We'd go to a few bars right outside Hinesville, GA or even in Savannah, and you always knew when a unit was deployed because you'd see the suntan ring on women's fingers. Damn skanks couldn't wait to get out and hop on some other dude.

Had more than one guy in my unit get his accounts drained while on deployment or in the field. He'd go to the field thinking stuff was good, then the wife would clean him out, pack up and leave.
 
2009-11-04 8:54:20 AM  

beowulf980: Sgt Otter does the Army still call the M249 the saw?


Squad Automatic Weapon...'tis it's name.

/SAW gunner
//well, not anymore obviously
///loved that thing, except carrying it...
 
2009-11-04 9:10:33 AM  
Out in 27 months? Fake...
 
2009-11-04 9:16:24 AM  

Ontos: Sgt Otter: Gladstell: Those were some pretty crappy tattoos.

For the Army, those are works of art compared to the crap I see guys around post sporting, like this winner:

It's hard to see, but it says: DAMBED IF I DO, DAMBED IF I DON'T

How is that farkin' reg? That HAS to be sharpie...

/The Corps would have jumped on his ass.


It's real. I took that photo myself, at the dining facility at Fort Riley, Kansas. You can't really tell from the photo, but it's definitely real. I've seen him around before, usually at parade rest while he's nervously explaining to some glowering NCO, that "No S'arnt, it doesn't wash off, it's permanent. Yes, S'arnt, my First S'arnt and my S'arnt Major know about it. Yes S'arnt, I got a waiver from my recruiter for it."

The Marines recently tightened up their tattoo policy, while the Army relaxed theirs.

You can now have tattoos on the hands and on the neck, as long as they are racist, sexist, obscene, etc.
 
2009-11-04 9:24:45 AM  
sooooooo he joined because of "god" and country and because he had a lowly 2.0. oh and of course desperate to get married young. typical troop...
 
2009-11-04 10:04:47 AM  
Great essay. Glad to see it was abjust a normal joe, not some superstar.

Lot of comments about the number of girlfriends & quick marriage. I grew up in a little farming town, and that was the plan for most of the kids: get out of high school, find a wife, get a job, start a family. If you weren't married by 21, you were the odd one out. So yeah, it wasn't unusual to get engaged a couple times right after high school.

I think the Army does a huge service for those kids. Experience, responsibility, dropping the "fark the world" attitude, and maybe even some usable skills. If a kid's going to get married & have a kid at 19, I suspect the one who actually made it through basic is going to do a better job, on average, than the one who spent those same 2 years smokin' out & working at the quickie mart.
 
2009-11-04 10:16:49 AM  
Interesting read - thanks.

For anyone who liked this essay I highly recommend watching Carrier, a PBS series about (wait for it)...a Navy carrier.
 
2009-11-04 10:34:37 AM  

So Fark So Good: Interesting read - thanks.

For anyone who liked this essay I highly recommend watching Carrier, a PBS series about (wait for it)...a Navy carrier.


I saw that too. It's really good. I think it's available to watch on the PBS web site. One thing I noticed from the documentary is the terrible backrounds some those sailors come from. Abandonment and abuse seemed to be common themes.

BTW I have heard that some people can go into the military as commissioned officers or go straight to OCS. What determines that?
 
2009-11-04 10:39:13 AM  

Pentaxian:

BTW I have heard that some people can go into the military as commissioned officers or go straight to OCS. What determines that?


A Bachelor's Degree.
 
2009-11-04 10:56:10 AM  
Rock_Strongo: azmoviez: shiat. I think I counted 3 girlfriends, 2 engagements and 1 wife in that 27 month span. What's the damn hurry?

jesus said "no sex before marriage."


Obviously you never served in military. You're lonely. you're under constant duress. You feel like nobody gives a shiat about you. So, when a female actually shows you some attention, you instantly fall in love. That's why there's so many quick and, usually, failed military marriages.

Congratulations on being a retard. Go post in one of the zillion anti-religion threads on fark and show some respect to someone who has actually has a pair and sacrificed more than you'll ever know.

/yes, i fed the troll and i feel better
//USAF
 
2009-11-04 11:02:27 AM  
Pentaxian:

BTW I have heard that some people can go into the military as commissioned officers or go straight to OCS. What determines that?

A Bachelor's Degree.


And the ability to fog a mirror.
 
2009-11-04 11:07:00 AM  
This was great, thanks.
 
2009-11-04 11:07:53 AM  
Pentaxian

I felt so bad for that baby faced kid with the, um, situation (don't want to give anything away) with his idiot gf. He looked exactly like my dad did when he was in the Navy about 40 years ago.

I think one of my favorite parts was the hot female fighter pilot. :D
 
2009-11-04 11:08:03 AM  
after I read the headline I was much relieved that it did not have a SAD or Hero tag. It would have been so F'd up.

Great article. tear to eye.
 
2009-11-04 11:41:35 AM  
I've never seen a bigger piece of white trash in my life. And a 2.0GPA in high school....the Armed Forces are perfect for this maggot.

/quit breathing the same air as me please
 
2009-11-04 12:48:39 PM  
Wow - was that depressing - just seeing how F'ed up this kids life was/is. Tattoo sleeves at age 18, married to some random chick at 19, HORRIBLE advice from his dad.
Best/worst part was how he spends 90 min working out every other day, instead of improving his feeble mind.

Jeez - is this is America's representation in the Middle East - no wonder they hate us. Uneducated kids, making machine gun noises with assault rifles.
 
2009-11-04 1:07:12 PM  
I'm an army officer and I would say this kid is pretty typical of new privates. I've tried to convince many of my troops not to get married so young, but most doesn't listen. Too many of these marriages don't last one deployment and a lot of them get their bank accounts and credit wiped out while they are gone. Fun.
 
2009-11-04 1:13:13 PM  

orthofrancis:
Jeez - is this is America's representation in the Middle East - no wonder they hate us. Uneducated kids, making machine gun noises with assault rifles.


There are many young troops over there that certainly aren't the best diplomats, but I can say this has improved quite a bit over the last several years. There is now a much greater emphasis on cultural awareness than there used to be. There is only so much that can be expected from an 18 or 19 year old kid, but that is why they have older, wiser NCOs there keeping them in line.
 
2009-11-04 1:43:12 PM  

NewportBarGuy:
I love the counseling sessions. Also, note his rank. He is a PFC in basic, PV2 upon return from deployment. Those photos capture a lot about the modern military that most people will never understand.

Excuse me, I need to go do 500 cherry-pickers and some flutter kicks.


If you look at some of the pictures he wasn't wearing any rank in some of them which would indicate a bust to E1. Granted I would do the same with my Soldiers if there were doing some of the same stuff.

Still can't let the NCO in me die, been a officer for 18 months and still have trouble.

Also an OCS grad for those interested and believe me you can't follow an officer candidate and get an interesting story.
 
2009-11-04 1:49:28 PM  

Mr. Breeze: As an Initial Entry Training (IET) instructor and squad leader I have to say that this kid is the same as about 10 to 15 percent of what I see come through this place (Ft. Gordon, GA). Basically the undisciplined, misguided, fark the world type that has to be taught a lesson several times before it gets through their head.

A good 5% are worse. The type that will take a swing at an NCO, piss hot multiple times on a urinalysis, rape females in the barracks, etc...

The rest fortunately are better. They are the ones that want to learn and, on the whole, keep me from giving up on the future generations. I must say though, I don't know if it's because I'm getting a little older (I'm 26), or if a shift in mentality is taking place, but the overall quality is going down noticeably.

With that aside, this was a good view of a side of the Army most don't get to see. We aren't all professional, well disciplined troops. Hell, it's been said many times "You can't make Sergeant Major without at least one article 15 (nonjudicial punishment) under your belt," and it's true.


I'm stationed at Ft. Gordon as well. Get your privates whipped back into shape! I'm tired of seeing some of these dirtbags on post.
 
2009-11-04 2:06:58 PM  

Sgt Otter: Gwendolyn: NewportBarGuy: I love the counseling sessions. Also, note his rank. He is a PFC in basic, PV2 upon return from deployment.


What does that mean?

Demoted. Probably at least twice, or the Company Commander had to specify he was not going to be promoted.

E-1 = Private
E-2 = Private 2 (IIRC, this used to be "Private Second Class," but it was changed as it supposedly implied a "2nd class soldier."
E-3 = Private First Class.
E-4 = Specialist, or Corporal
E-5 = Sergeant

Pretty much anyone who deploys for a year should come back as an E-4, with some of the more motivated soldiers getting an opportunity to go to an E-5 board, where you are interrogated by the First Sergeants and the Battalion Command Sergeant Major, on certain regulations about the Army.

E-1 thru E-4 is a "calendar promotion," where the Department of the Army's computer will automatically promote you once you've accrued enough time in service. The Captain actually has to go out of his way to stop the automatic promotion.

Being in the Army over two years, and with a combat deployment under his belt and only being a PV2, this guy has some serious discipline problems.


If you read the full (separate) text article, he went AWOL twice, had to go through rehab for Vidodin addiction, and failed his PT three times, just to name a few black marks on his record.

This article frightened me; here's a kid who barely graduated high school and joined the Army because he thought it would be "cool" to shoot at people. He screws up many, many times and would've been dishonorably discharged during any other war, but the military is short of bodies right now. So they keep giving Pvt. Pyle another chance, and all the time he has a machine gun in his hands. Oh, and after he gets out of the service he wants to be a cop. No doubt he'll eventually get that job, too.
 
2009-11-04 2:10:36 PM  
fark me, do their mums know they signed up?
 
2009-11-04 2:26:38 PM  
As an army veteran it was nice to see this photo essay, but it also makes me concerned at the level of stupidity and weak "Counseling" the army has had to stoop to. The idea of going UA and only getting extra work and a $300 fine seems really weak. I didn't see much in the way of maturing from the kid, and his decision making skills were just terrible. I remeber that there was always one or two screwups in a platoon. It would have been nice to follow one of the non-screwups.
 
2009-11-04 2:37:05 PM  

Ouisch: Oh, and after he gets out of the service he wants to be a cop. No doubt he'll eventually get that job, too.


Of course he does. And of course he will. And that is why that video, The Largest Street Gang in America is the scariest movie I have ever seen in my whole life.
 
2009-11-04 3:39:35 PM  
It was very odd to read this and see someone that I knew from home. Small world.

/I know, cool story bro.
 
2009-11-04 6:38:20 PM  
Sgt Otter:

You are now on my favorites list. Thank you for being a Farker who provides real information.

Is Green 1 okay with you?
 
2009-11-04 7:16:07 PM  
Yea, seems like the shadowed the wrong person. Not a great snapshot of the military
 
2009-11-04 7:46:55 PM  
Every time I see Joe getting ready to marry some skank I want to punch some sense into the idiot.

Almost always ends the same: he deploys, she farks around on him and empties his bank account, they divorce.
 
2009-11-04 8:58:59 PM  
Sgt Otter
oi_piss_me_off: Sgt Otter [TotalFark] 2009-11-04 01:24:38 AM
oi_piss_me_off: interesting. I can't believe how young they all looked in training...And why in the world did he get married so quickly!?

To be completely cynical about it...

A lot of these guy marry some random skank, thinking they're gonna make bank off the Army.

does it work or does it blow up in their face more often than not?

I'd say almost never. Their master plan usually falls apart when they realize that they have to buy furniture for their empty apartment and groceries. Or a second car for her, unless she wants to get up with him at 0500 to drive him to morning formation and drop him off.

Now, with the domestic violence charge, comes the Lautenberg Act, where if convicted of DV, you can't own or operate a firearm. Even for official duties. What's an infantryman without a gun? Nothing. So now he's looking at a Bad Conduct Discharge, and he's going to convince himself that it's all her fault.

/Seen this a million times.


holy crap! How descriptively bleak. Thanks for the thoroughness of all your replies, i'm sorry i didn't see this until tonight.
 
2009-11-04 10:42:56 PM  

RehcamretsneF: Yea, seems like the shadowed the wrong person. Not a great snapshot of the military


No it's not, but I would imagine it's all too common. At least it was when I was in the service. Just because these people decide to enlist doesn't change the fact that they're just kids. Look at the 18, 19, or 20 year-olds you know, heck look at yourself and your friends at that age. The only real difference is that these people wear uniforms.
 
2009-11-05 3:57:14 AM  

ibwahooka: Mr. Breeze: As an Initial Entry Training (IET) instructor and squad leader I have to say that this kid is the same as about 10 to 15 percent of what I see come through this place (Ft. Gordon, GA). Basically the undisciplined, misguided, fark the world type that has to be taught a lesson several times before it gets through their head.

A good 5% are worse. The type that will take a swing at an NCO, piss hot multiple times on a urinalysis, rape females in the barracks, etc...

The rest fortunately are better. They are the ones that want to learn and, on the whole, keep me from giving up on the future generations. I must say though, I don't know if it's because I'm getting a little older (I'm 26), or if a shift in mentality is taking place, but the overall quality is going down noticeably.

With that aside, this was a good view of a side of the Army most don't get to see. We aren't all professional, well disciplined troops. Hell, it's been said many times "You can't make Sergeant Major without at least one article 15 (nonjudicial punishment) under your belt," and it's true.

I'm stationed at Ft. Gordon as well. Get your privates whipped back into shape! I'm tired of seeing some of these dirtbags on post.


HA! Talk to JAG. We're hamstringed by the brass who are continually taking away our power and the tools we use to deal with shiatbags.
 
2009-11-05 10:15:29 AM  

Mr. Breeze: ibwahooka: Mr. Breeze: As an Initial Entry Training (IET) instructor and squad leader I have to say that this kid is the same as about 10 to 15 percent of what I see come through this place (Ft. Gordon, GA). Basically the undisciplined, misguided, fark the world type that has to be taught a lesson several times before it gets through their head.

A good 5% are worse. The type that will take a swing at an NCO, piss hot multiple times on a urinalysis, rape females in the barracks, etc...

The rest fortunately are better. They are the ones that want to learn and, on the whole, keep me from giving up on the future generations. I must say though, I don't know if it's because I'm getting a little older (I'm 26), or if a shift in mentality is taking place, but the overall quality is going down noticeably.

With that aside, this was a good view of a side of the Army most don't get to see. We aren't all professional, well disciplined troops. Hell, it's been said many times "You can't make Sergeant Major without at least one article 15 (nonjudicial punishment) under your belt," and it's true.

I'm stationed at Ft. Gordon as well. Get your privates whipped back into shape! I'm tired of seeing some of these dirtbags on post.

HA! Talk to JAG. We're hamstringed by the brass who are continually taking away our power and the tools we use to deal with shiatbags.


I live and work about 20 miles from a military base. Jesus Christ, they will take anything in the Army. While some of the young men are very polite (usually the Southerners) and say please and thank you and use ma'am and sir in conversation, most of them are loud, rude, and profane. Additionally, there is a lot of violence and DUI. I will never understand parents who try to marry their daughters off to trash like that, then act shocked when abuse and pregnancy ensue.
 
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