Thursday, October 11, 2012

LandNav - (Germany) Day 289

This morning we didn't have PT, instead we formed up at 0730 in the bowling alley parking lot at PHV. 0730 of course means 0720, so I headed out from my house and walked there so my wife could have the car for the day. I arrived at 0718 to find everyone already formed up, but at least I wasn't the last person…there were a couple more that arrived a few minutes after me. Once we all formed up we were told that we would be heading to 2nd Platoon in Mannheim for training. SPC Mac and I caught a ride with SGT Mex and we headed off for the half hour drive.

Training was in a very old building that was literally crumbling apart. There was a small pile of rubble near the entrance of the building, it looked like there may have been an earthquake, perhaps a few stray bullets, or maybe a truck backed into it…who knows? So we go in the old building and climb up to the top floor where there is a conference room complete with tables and a projector. This is a very fine training room compared to the small office with even smaller monitors that we usually train on. Large maps were handed out along with protractors for the LandNav training we were to have. The training was broken up into small blocks with practical exercises thrown in after each block. We did things like find what was at various grid coordinates, give coordinates for various cities, measure distances, and plot our point given two or more landmarks using a reverse azimuth. All in all the training was done well and it kept everyone involved. It was much better than a lot of the sergeant's time training that we are forced to do. With that said, I'm not sure how much use the training will be in the real world now that everything uses GPS, but I guess if I happen to get lost and also happen to have a map with a compass, I may be able to find my way around.

We left around 1130 and both SPC Mac and I were dropped off at PHV for lunch. I ate at my house which was nice. It's always nice to eat lunch in the comfort of my own place. I was able to plop down on my couch, eat my lunch and watch a show. SPC Mac gave me a ride back to the office were I sat in a chair and looked at the wall. Unfortunately all the computers were taken. There was some idle talk, but it was truly boring as hell. Even all the computers were being used on the maintenance side of the office. I ended up going out and taking my time checking my mail, but that can only take so long. Finally I was told I could head to the gym and workout, since we did not have PT this morning. I had brought in civilian PT clothes, so I headed to the gym and rode the stationary bike for 45 minutes, then did some of the weight machines before being released for the day. I was not actually released though because after speaking with SPC Mac today, I volunteered to take his staff duty shift this evening. His kid is sick and his wife has to work tonight, so he would have had to send a sick kid to a babysitter. No worries I told him, I know what it's like to have sick kids.

So I headed to the staff duty desk after showering and stopping by the shoppette to pick up some staff duty supplies (drinks and snacks). I had my wife bring by my laptop and drop it off, so I am set to sit at a desk and watch movies all night. I guess there have been issues with people sleeping and also not completing all the required checks, so we may get a visit by the CSM in the middle of the night to check on us. Oh joy. The "new" staff duty desk does not have a computer for the "runner" (me) to use, only the NCO. So if I want to surf the internet to try and pass the time, I have to use another one on the other side of the office.

Sitting here at staff duty I've been thinking how much I just don't like being in the army. I can't remember the last time I woke up for work while being in the army and actually looked forward to heading into the office. A person should enjoy their job, or at least feel like they have accomplished something when they spend a day at work. They should have pride in what they do. Me…I used to have that at my previous jobs, but this is something totally different. My only hope is that perhaps when Heidelberg closes, that Wiesbaden will be different and better. I cling to that hope because imagining another 3 years of the same old thing is very depressing. I have enjoyed a few things in the army. I can't say that basic training was enjoyable, but it was interesting and had a lot of funny things happen. It's one thing that I'm glad I was able to accomplish…especially coming in much older than everyone else. AIT was not enjoyable at all, but I was proud that I was able to graduate at the top of the class. I am glad of all the places I've been able to see and the great people that I've met, but the army is not for me. I just hate all the extra crap that goes on. If I could just come in and do the job I signed up for, then go home I think I would be fine. That is kind of what I envisioned when I signed up to be an I.T. Specialist…but is definitely not what I ended up with.

I was given a dinner break at 2000 until 2230, I had my wife pick me up and take me back home to eat dinner and relax a bit before heading back to staff duty. When I headed back to my star duty shift, I ended up watching two movies "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "Defiance".

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