Straightforward

2006-2007, Hawaii: One of the things I could care less for during company meetings, was the complaints I had to hear about certain soldiers of mine from the higher ups. The most popular topic was overweight soldiers and pain-in-the-ass soldiers. As a new platoon sergeant, it was my duty to fix the problems. Luckily for me, I had great squad leaders who would support me through the process. One of the challenges of fixing certain problems was being the “hard ass” that nobody liked, especially when soldiers were set in their ways.

– For example, in the theme “Lack of Faith”, trying to get a soldier to lose 25 pounds, when she was used to losing a maximum of 3 pounds, was no joke. It was months of being the “bad guy” who my soldier hated. But in the end, it was definitely worth it, because she succeeded.

– One soldier was on the commander’s radar; apparently, the commander often witnessed him snacking on junk food; but yet, would fall out of runs. After the meeting, I did my usual rounds in the work area, and came across SPC Denial’s desk. Sure enough, he was leaning back on his chair, like he was on his living room couch, munching on a bag of chips. Granted, it was a small bag of chips…but there were a total of three bags. So I couldn’t resist but to ask, “So, you plan on eating all three bags in one sitting?” SPC Denial replied with a chuckle, “C’mon sergeant Blank, you act like I’m fat or something!” So at that moment, he gave me no choice but to be blunt, “Nooo, but you are chubby; and you’ve been falling out of runs.” SPC Denial worked with his squad leader and fixed the problem.

– During a surprise barracks room inspection, it’s not expected for soldiers’ rooms to be absolutely spotless and dress right dress. However COMMA the room shouldn’t look like a freaking tornado went through it. Basically, all the soldiers passed the inspection (one soldier excelled and won a free 4-day pass) with the exception of one…PFC Plump. To say that PFC Plump’s room was a disaster is an understatement. So, his squad leader told him to fix the problem. During the second inspection, his squad leader and I entered his barracks common area (kitchen). The immediate words that came flying out of my mouth were something like, “Wow, it smells like feet and ass in here!” I then looked over at my squad leader and asked, “Are you telling me that you don’t smell the odor?” He smiled and admitted that he did, but didn’t quite know how to say it without sounding rude. My squad leader’s action was understandable, because he’s a very nice person, but I had to remind him that he was not there to be his Soldier’s buddy; he was his leader. And if a soldier’s head is stuck up their ass, it is up to his leader to help him pull it out. I also informed him that when “nice” or “tactful” ways are no longer effective, it’s all about the foot in the ass. He became more assertive after his dealings with this particular soldier.

Anyway, we continued the inspection and entered his room. It was much better than before, but then I noticed that his closest was locked. I asked PFC Plump, “So what’s in there?” He replied, “Just clothes sergeant” as he gradually avoided eye contact. “Open it!” I ordered. He then hesitantly unlocked and opened the closet door…and a freaking avalanche of filthy clothes flowed out of the closet, along with an unbelievable wave of stench. I looked at him and was like, “Really? So you have time to play video games and shit, but yet you neglect your hygiene and government property? That’s strike three. You and your squad leader will be spending this weekend fixing this ongoing problem. Keep pushing my buttons and I will gladly take more of your precious, personal time. You will learn the easy way or the hard way…your choice. For the next inspection, it would behoove you to make your room and common area spotless. And one more thing…either use some dryer sheets or completely spray this place down. It smells like feet and ass.” PFC Plump passed the inspection thanks to his squad leader’s help. When I walked into his barracks common area (and room) again, it actually smelled like a field of lilies. “Now that’s what I’m talking about PFC Plump!”

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~ by Bobbie on November 11, 2011.

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