Friday, August 26, 2011

Final Day of Exercise - (Korea) Day 270

The front and back of the coins that our KATUSA gave me. The one on the left
is from the ROK 2-Star general, and the one on the right is from his
counterpart...the US 2-Star general.

Work call this morning was at 0430. Oh yes…last day of the exercise!!!! I picked up the augmentees and headed back to the office. We were planning to leave 15 minutes earlier that the previous days. As I was waiting in the SUV our KATUSA jumped in the seat behind me and then asked to see my hand. Strange request, but I put my hand back there and he promptly placed two coins in it. Evidently the reason he had to stay behind yesterday was because he was selected to receive a couple coins from a two star general. I told him I couldn't take them and tried to give them back, but he insisted that I keep them. He said he thought I worked the hardest out there and that I deserved them more than him. I told him no way…he worked his butt off too, but he would not take them back no matter what. To tell you the truth, having a co-worker notice the effort and work that I put in was worth more than a supervisor in my eyes. It was an awesome gesture and I think these coins will hold more meaning than any of the others I have so far.

We arrived at CP Tango and immediately started to prepare for the awards ceremony from the four star general. There were 5 people getting the "Joint Service Award" and 30 folks receiving the 4-star coin. This is a lot less than previous exercises, I heard the new general wants to give more value to his coins. Our KATUSA and I were proctors for the ceremony. Our KATUSA held the case with the awards and coins and I handed them to the general as the folks came up to accept their award. The funny part is that this put me in all the photos that the people took with the general…lol. I thought about making a funny face, but kept it professional. Our NCOIC was one of the people that received a coin.

After the ceremony we started cleaning the office. Our NCOIC and our KATUSA headed to breakfast at the DFAC. During their meal she kept asking to see his coins, that's when he told her that he gave them to me and why. She was pretty impressed and ended up telling the Major in our office, who in turned told another person in the command group. The Major then ended up giving our KATUSA a different coin because everyone was impressed with his gesture. What I found out later is that our NCOIC was also given two more 4-Star coins that she was going to give me and Special K, but since our KATUSA gave me his coins she gave one to an augmentee that did a great job the entire exercise.

We finished cleaning the CP Tango office and waited for the end of exercise announcement. Finally it finished…North Korea invaded, South Korea along with it's UN allies repelled the attack and took over North Korea…thus reunifying the Korean peninsula!

We headed to K-16 and picked up some individual pizzas for lunch, then had to wait for the generals to leave CP Tango before we could pack up the office and head back to Yongsan. When we did get back, we still had a lot to do before we could call it a day. We had to drop off all the weapons at the armory, then take all the supplies into the office and turn back in all the rented vans and SUVs we had. Once this was done we prepared for our own ceremony for all of our augmentees. This is a little different than previous exercise ceremonies because it was only for the augmentees getting their Certificate of Achievements. These are worth 5 promotion points. Usually they are all handed out to everyone in our office at the same time, I'm not sure why we are doing it separate this time…I hear ours will be next week sometime.

I was unable to see the little ceremony though because I got a call about a "spillage" in our admin department. Classified data had found it's way to an unclassified computer. When this happens we have to immediately unplug the machine from the network and report it to the folks who are in charge of the secret network. I then got a call telling me that our colonel was unable to access the network. Turns out that his computer still thought it was on the CP Tango network and there was nothing I could do to change the settings, so I had to call the help desk and submit an urgent ticket. The only problem is that all the help desk technicians had all left for the weekend. Ugggghh. I had to setup an alternate laptop for my colonel to use over the weekend, but it wasn't a great solution because he didn't have access to any of his desktop files. Grrrrr!

My NCOIC mentioned going to eat at Taco Bell and asked if me and our KATUSA wanted to go. I said definitely…it sounds good. We had to wait for our KATUSA though…the two weeks of eating an MRE every day for lunch had caught up with him and he was stuck in the bathroom with a major case of diarrhea. When he did come out he politely declined and said he was heading home.

After dinner I got back to my room and shortly after laid down for a nap, but that nap turned into sleeping all night…13 hours total…much needed!

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