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12 thoughts on “Huh, never would have thought of that”

  1. I needed that light-bar laugh. Also on the top one, I’d like to have seen the whole “reward” poster. That is fascinating. Someone is in big trouble, that is for sure. If someone has the whole thing, please post it.

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  2. CID can be really professional, or a bunch of cack-handed idjits. I dunno which they are, in this case, without seeing the rest of the information about the incident. Given that this includes a SCAR, it’s gotta be from one of the Ranger battalions or an SF Group. No telling what went on–Those guys are legendary when they go off the reservation. The Rangers at Fort Lewis, 2/75 Ranger Battalion did a deal back in the late 1980s-early ’90s where one of their supply sergeants took advantage of their informal Ammunition Holding Area that they’d established illicitly and entirely unknown to anyone running Big Army functions on the base. What happened was that, rather than go through the nut-roll of turning in unexpended ammo, they’d just stuck it into one of the storage areas over on the Logistics Center, which units could sign for and use. Said storage areas were great big WWII-era oil tanks that they’d cut doors into.

    What went down was that the supply sergeant noticed that there was all this unexpended ammo laying around, and he was the only guy signed for the keys to the storage area and who knew what was actually there. So, when his contract was up, he backed up a U-Haul van to the storage area, and drove off with the contents. Nobody knew what was in there, and nobody knew he’d done it–Until he showed up on the radar in south Florida, trying to sell a truckload of ammo/munitions to the various groups down there doing business as fronts for the CIA and FBI. Needless to say, idjit boy got rolled up right quick–You don’t try to sell AT rockets like the LAW, AT-4s, and various other goodies without drawing attention to yourself, and he did.

    If they’d turned his ass over to us, the people who suffered the immediate counter-reaction to it all, he’d have been ritualistically murdered in some horrible fashion, probably wired to the gates of the Ammunition Supply Point as a salutary lesson to others. The result of his BS was that drawing and turning in ammo at Fort Lewis became exponentially harder, and you suddenly had to account for every round expended–Rules literally changed in mid-flight on us while we were in the field, and where it had been “Hey, if you recovered any blank brass, cool…”, for awhile there it was a one-for-one deal where you had to turn in as many expended blanks as you drew. Which, as you might imagine, put kind of a crimp on training… You really do not want to know what lengths we went to, in order to re-acquire the necessary brass to close out our ammo draws. I’m sure that there are former private soldiers out there who are still capable of being driven into catatonic stupors by the mere mention of those dark days, triggered by the memories. Hell, I’m vaguely disturbed just remembering having to make them do that shit from the road.

    Thank God I was an NCO, and a fairly senior one, at that point in my career. No low-crawling through the swamps of the South Rainier Training Area for me…

    Significant thing, here? CID at Fort Lewis had no idea about any of this shit until the BATF descended upon the base, looking for the how and why of the whole “How’d this guy get a truckload of ammo, in the first place…?”. That impromptu and entirely unauthorized AHA had been in existence since nearly the very beginning of 2/75, established when they stood the Batt up on Fort Lewis. Nobody knew about it, despite the fact that a couple of war’s worth of ammo had probably cycled through that fucker over the years, and that you’re kinda-not-supposed-to have copious amounts of high explosives stored casually like that near things you don’t want to blow up–Like, ya know, the Logistics Center.

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    • Kirk, I’ve been reading your posts for years and have always wanted to ask – what did you get up to in the military? I’ve pieced bits and pieces together, but it would be cool to hear your summary.

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      • Nothing really special. I was a Combat Engineer the entire time I was in, serving in mostly run-of-the-mill units. I did get to be in several “interesting” places and jobs during that period, but it was mostly a very run-of-the-mill career as a line dog in line units.

        I will say that just about anyone could have come out of it all with the stories I have, if they’d just kept their freakin’ eyes open to what was going on around them. The absurdities of daily military life were things I noticed and kept track of, mostly because I was steadily trying to figure out the “Why the f**k is this happening…?” of it all.

        And, I will have to grant this: There was often crap going on around me that I missed entirely, mainly because I just wasn’t running in the circles that were “…in the know…” about the BS. It’s always interesting to compare notes with people who were at the same place at the same time, because you’ll find things out years later that explain ohsoverymuch…

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        • I will confirm, with extreme prejudice, Kirks proposition that “just about anyone could have come out of it all with the stories I have, if they’d just kept their freakin’ eyes open to what was going on” or anyway, I came out with my own wee kit of stories, and my term of service was “only” three years. Absurdities, indeed.

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          • It’s why I kept re-enlisting. After my first contract, I was certain they couldn’t possibly top the crap I saw, but every damn time… They did. After a certain point, I think I just kept on re-enlisting in order to see how far it would go, in terms of the surreality of it all.

            Swear to God, I still catch myself thinking that I might possibly have been the unknowing star of a TV series written by Franz Kafka. Were that true, it would explain so very much…

  3. By the time I was drawing my battalion’s small arms ammo in the late 90s-early oughts, they’d lightened up so you could have a 5-10% by weight shortfall, including packaging. Except for blanks, nobody cared about them. Main issue from my POV was that they wanted all of the ammo cans back 🙁

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  4. As a carpenter will try that glass cutting method for windows in homes for cable and such,shoot a hole/install wires/caulk hole and done!

    I will say years back we were replacing a large picture window with a hill about 20 from the inside behind as a backdrop,customers on vaco and no nearby neighbors.

    I asked me boss you care how window gets broken out,he smiled and said no as long as was safe and left at lunch saying he would be gone till tomm.

    All guys on crew armed but as I was left in charge set out tarps on the land and “broke out” window with a 230 grain.

    Keep in mind this was done before it seems everyone had cameras covering their homes with cell phone access,today this probably would not go over well.

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  5. Sure, you’d get more than $5000 if you put it on Gunbroker. But you won’t get a nickel if your dirtbag roommate puts it on Gunbroker. You will get $5000, however, if you dime out your dirtbag roommate and send CICD his Gunbroker links.

    That “Wanted” poster is explicitly not a “no questions asked” lost & found poster.

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    • Circa 1984-ish, at Fort Sill, one of my fellow armorers got hauled off by CID. There were something like five missing M16A1 rifles in his arms room, and how they got that way was illustrative of some very creative social engineering on the part of the previous armorer.

      What had happened was this: Previous armorer was a skeevy bastard, unbeknownst to all and sundry. He’d begun by making sure that whenever the monthly serial number inventories were done, that he was involved. Technically, you’re supposed to have a third party do it all, with no armorer involvement at all. The way he’d do it was to be the guy reading off the serial numbers, and that would save the officer or senior NCO doing the inventory having to bring in one of their own people. He short-circuited that, and when he departed the unit, it had been their SOP to let the armorer read off the numbers and then the officer would verify the paperwork.

      What our skeevy character did was purchase some of those model M16 rifles that were always available back then in the back pages of gun magazines, and swapped them out for real ones, which he disposed of. Since he was “helping” with the inventory, it was an easy thing to pull the fake off the rack, read off the real serial number from memory or a label, and then the guy doing the inventory would think the real rifle was in the rack. He pulled that trick with his replacement armorer, as well. The conned replacement didn’t figure out how screwed he was until the next month, when he was the guy reading out the numbers, and he just kept on keeping on, while desperately trying to get in contact with the old armorer who’d departed for points unknown with around five rifles… This went on for about three months, and then a new LT was tasked to inventory the arms room, and he went by the book and brought in his own guy to read the numbers off the inventory sheets while he verified them physically on the rifles themselves–Which is precisely how it is supposed to be done, because when you sign off on the monthlies, you’re verifying that everything is there and/or accounted for.

      Naturally, when he discovered the missing weapons, the feces hit the fan at max speed. The final outcome was that they never found the old armorer or the missing weapons, to my knowledge, and that the entire chain of command for that company all went away to Career-endsville. I think a couple of them got charged with sufficient malfeasance and mopery such that they were court-martialed, and may have even gone to jail for falsification of government documents, in that they’d said they’d personally verified the presence and serial numbers of the missing weapons on multiple occasions. And, since the old armorer had been doing the inventories “his way” for at least a year or two… Nobody knew when or how the weapons actually went missing. Huge ‘effing mess, and one that turned me into an anally-retentive detail freak about weapons accountability for the rest of my career. It makes an impression on you when someone you know is led off by the nice CID men in the throes of an emotional breakdown, and that’s precisely what happened to the new armorer and his equally new supply sergeant supervisor.

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