Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Some Observations...and an Excuse

OK, I am back to blogging. Two weeks of fun at Fort McCoy are over. I was the acting S-3 (operations officer) for our Brigade - a role I have not assumed before. Interesting, but I am glad it is over.

First, the observations:

Fort McCoy is slowly turning into quite the mobilization station. The training facilities are much improved from when I went through them in February 2004. The civilians working there continue to be very helpful, knowledgable and good at coping with the off and on again flow of soldiers.

The soldiers I saw were more ... serious? I am at a loss as to how to describe their demeanor. But after several years of war, it seemed like everyone was either on their way to deploy, coming back from a deployment, or had already done one (or more). Don't get me wrong - there was plenty of, um, high spirits (like the 2/106th CAV's guests - 100 soldiers from the Coldstream Guards) and it wasn't like people were walking around depressed. There just seemed to be a background impression of seriousness in soldiers' attitudes and actions. For those of us who were in the National Guard back in the mid 1980s, it is still a source of wonder, and makes me proud of the Guard today.

Now the excuse - I am tired. I have been slack in my blogging, in my reading of the blogs linked here, and slack in my commentary at some of the blogs I frequent. I guess I am feeling my age, having turned 40 a short time ago, heh heh. I did manage to go out and run a couple of miles this morning - so there is hope I am pulling out of this. Just be patient while I get back into the swing of things (like dealing with 2 weeks of e-mails, and items placed in my 'in-box' at work). Hopefully this Friday will see the triumphant return of the News of Afghanistan.


Blogger Inner Prop said...

Welcome back.

So what you're saying is that even the National Guard are professional. I am reminded a something I read in a Sharpe book. One of his superiors was thinking about Sharpe as one of those "lean hard men." Are we all heading that way?

With that in mind I am terrified of our impending APFT and jealous of your oppurtunity for unrestricted PT.

I have a funny story about the Coldstream Guards at McCoy. I'll tell you later.

I don't think I upheld our end of things here while you were gone (my post combined for less comments than your one post) and I hope I didn't drive anyone away.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Citizen Deux said...

Welcome back, I won't say that the Navy takes better care of its own, but I would be remiss if I did not remind my Army colleagues about the qaulity of our chow.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Major John said...

Food was never a complaint. Being in a job I had not done before, and the hours...were.

2:22 PM  
Blogger haji-o-matic said...

I have had many friends process through Ft. McCoy and Camp Shelby MS...yes it seems we're in it for the long haul.
What is the future of the ARNG?? Who is gonna join/re-up if all you do is deploy year after year?
Who in thier right mind would hire a Reservist?

2:29 AM  
Blogger maggie katzen said...

Who in thier right mind would hire a Reservist?

well, H-o-M, that's why there are anti-discrimination laws about that.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Major John said...


Believe it or not, there are a large pool of guys who cannot wait to redeploy, or are trying to get over there for the first time. The 1/178th INF and 2/106th CAV were all but climbing the walls to get picked. We haven't had any retention problems at all, and recruiting has been gang-busters since the G-RAP program started. I am a little surprised, but pleasantly so.

8:31 AM  

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