26 February 2013


There are different types of Fobbits.  I suspect that at this point in my career I will be a fobbit for the forseeable future.  A normal career has this progression, you sign up, get to work where the rubber meets the road and do exciting things outside the wire, then you get more rank and get pulled up to a supervisory position, or placed on staff (which is kinda like limbo, not sure if you are in hell or not).  Eventually you get out of limbo and get to go do real work again, or you end up being a permanent fobbit who remembers what life was like outside the fob.

There are other normal career progressions.  One of which starts fobbit and stays fobbit.  Some of these people are incredibly dedicated, brave, and have their heads on straight.  On the other hand you have the "Pirates of Pogadishu" who could fuck up a wet dream.  I knew a supply sergeant who wouldn't let his underlings take breaks until all the water was loaded for transport because he knew the Infantry wouldn't get breaks in the shade, and running a forklift isn't strenuous enough to warrant a cooldown period on the heat index scale.

My experience in Bagram was much the same as the other Captain who wrote "Pirates of Pogadishu".  And my experience with people being denied access to flights (after they've already been flown somewhere) also extends to US Soldiers with a particularly islamic sounding last name (yes it happened, yes we straightened it out after we got him back from the fobbit Air Farce security goons).

One thing that I've learned to loathe in my career is a petty bureaucrat who has the power to totally fuck with mission accomplishment and delights in doing so.  I don't care how damn important your paperwork is, when peoples lives are at risk you fucking take the goddamn time to help me get things straight. 

Some people think that by putting on this uniform we all become knife in the teeth patriotic commandos willing to scale Point Du Hoc to lead the charge against fascism.  There are plenty of fascists and petty blockwarts in our own organization.  Some of them even quote doctrine like it was holy script instead of a mutable document that should change with lessons learned.

Anyone remember all the "no sunglasses will be worn with a wraparound appearance" crap that went on in the 90's until we realized that wraparound ballistic eyewear makes a lot of sense?  Now I have Soldiers who get yelled at for wearing Aviators (which are still specifically authorized by AR-670-1).  You can't win with the Pirates of Pogadishu, simply small minded people struggling for relevancy.


Peter said...

Oh, yeah . . . we called them other names back in my days in uniform, but the type is unmistakeable. Small minds, gorging on their minimal authority and even more minimal knowledge and experience, trying to push around those who know and have done far more than they'll ever know and do.

I wrote about one such encounter:


Not quite fobbits, but a very similar mentality. We managed to cure them - at least temporarily . . .


K@CSG said...

Had to re-post the "Pirates.." piece...felt very familiar...