Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pinpoint Orders - (Korea) Day 2

My new home while in-processing
Today I woke up in the hotel at 5:00AM before my alarm went off (which I had set for 5:30). That was an awesome night's sleep since I went to bed a little after 8:30 last night. I took a shower and checked my Facebook and email. I got ready at a leisurely pace and then headed down stairs. We had the option of getting on a bus to the DFAC or just eating in the hotel. Me and a few others that I went to AIT with decided to just eat at the hotel. Even though it cost us a bit of money, it was nice to have the extra time and the food was good. I had a breakfast burrito and some Starbucks coffee….nice.

We then all walked to the briefing room and started a long day of brief after brief. A lot of power points with different presenters. Some were on the rules here in Korea, CID did a report, Military Intelligence did a report (lots of spies around so be careful who we talk to and what we say), finance (filled out a bunch of forms to make sure we get all our pay), and health. I ended up having to get my second anthrax shot, but that was it. Some folks who didn't get their smallpox shots back in AIT had to get them at this time.

We were told today we would get our "Pinpoint Orders". Basically everyone's orders to Korea are pretty general, but the pinpoint orders show where exactly we will be stationed. There are times when the pinpoint orders show something different than the original orders people received. A number of people were called up and told they are going to "area 1" which is up by the DMZ. These people left shortly after the briefing started. A number of other people got their pinpoint orders throughout the day, but mine never came up until the very end. When I got mine I checked them out and was pretty disappointed. Without going into specifics, my orders said basically I'm going to Korea and that is about it. They were about as generic as it gets. I had been waiting and waiting to get my pinpoint orders so I could finally see where I would be going and what unit I would be in. To my surprise my pinpoint orders said the exact same thing as my original orders. They don't even say what area I'll be in. What gives? I'm the only one who doesn't know where exactly I'll be going. I guess I'll find out when they put me on a bus and send me there.

We also found out some more unfortunate news. We were all told that we would be staying in the barracks from this point on until we are through in-processing. We were all hoping we would be staying in the hotel again, what a bummer. When we arrived we found out the barracks are really old and crappy. What a difference from the hotel we just came from. Our room can fit 8 people, but there are only four assigned to it right now which I am grateful for. Unfortunately there is no internet available, so there will be no updating the blog or any other internet surfing while in the barracks.

We ate dinner at the food court by the PX which is only a short walk away. The food court has all kinds of American food establishments (I had some volcano tacos from taco bell). The food court also has free wireless internet available (I know where I'll be going this weekend!). I was able to take advantage of it from my iPhone and check out some the internet. My iPhone with it's service suspended has now basically become an iPod touch that I can use for everything except calling which is nice.

A few side notes about being here so far. The base itself is not quite what I expected. I had pictured a remote location, but this base seems like it's right in the middle of the city. There are walls all around it, but there are city streets all around it. Everywhere you look there are city buildings. Another thing I've noticed is that so far the cadre here are very different than any that I've experienced so far in the army. They are actually nice and treat us like normal people. I'm so used to being treated like crap in all the training I've been in, this is such a nice change. Hopefully it stays this way!

Tomorrow we have a formation at 5:20AM and the uniform is civilian clothes again. They said it's a no paperwork day, all we are doing is learning about the Korean culture. Sounds like it could be a pretty cool day.

The postal box outside the PX...LOL

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