On the 13th, higher told us that we would be relieved in place on the 14th. They said we would be heading back to Camp Taji, and that we needed to be ready by 0800.
I stood out with Leo, Daggett, and SPC Haney that afternoon. Haney and Daggett were burning shit and stirring it. LT Schardt came out and took a turn with the stir stick. He commented that he could tell some parts of it were firmer than others.
I asked AB if he had heard anything about the promotion list, because it was supposed to come out today. “Yeah, you’re not on it,” he said.
I didn’t really expect to be on it, but I was still disappointed. It was my first look, and I haven’t been to Ranger School, so I didn’t really expect to be on it. Who makes Sergeant First Class at 8 years anyway?
Almazan and the IA squad leader had a short boxing match just before it got dark. It was actually pretty even, but I think that Almazan would have had no problem in a real fight.
I walked back to the Stryker after watching the fight.
It wasn’t long before a crazy wind and lightning storm blew up. The Iraqi NCO came out to my Stryker, and he was very excited. He told me that he could see explosions through his night vision. It was lightning.
I went into the tent, and they were having a hell of a time keeping it on the ground. Guys were holding on to the frame, and everyone was trying to keep it down.
Eventually the weather calmed, and guys were able to get some sleep.
We were told that 1SG is very pleased, impressed even, with the work we have done out here. It’s nice to hear that it is appreciated when we are out here busting our asses.
Around 10:30 A.M. on the 14th, tour brigade commander showed up. He wanted to know why the hell we were out in an open field before we had walls up for a perimeter. Personally, I had been wondering the same thing.
4th platoon showed up around 11 A.M. with breakfast for us, and 2nd platoon showed up to take over for us around 12:30.
We finally left the patrol base, but we were instructed to stop at every IA checkpoint along the way. Leo and Capelli got into an argument over the radio on the way back. AB got pissed off, and told them to cut the shit. He’s been in a bad mood lately. We had to go down some checklist to make sure they were doing what they were supposed to be doing and had what they needed. It was around 3 P.M. before we got back to base.
Once back at Taji, I cleaned my weapons and went to the CP to take care of some ADO (Army Direct Ordering System) orders. This system was put into place for soldiers to be able to replace worn and unusable uniforms. It is a great option, but the spending allowances on the website are use or lose, each month. So, we get bitched at if we haven’t placed an order by the deadline.
Today was the deadline, so I went up and ordered a few different things that guys had asked for.
While I was up there, 1SG was throwing a fit. He wanted to know why the hell 1st platoon was going back out on patrol the following day, after we had just spent a few days out at the new JSS busting our asses, especially when 4th platoon didn’t have a patrol scheduled the following day.
Finally, they put 4th platoon on our patrol, and pushed us back a day. We ended up with the 15th off.
I finished placing my orders and headed for the showers. After getting cleaned up, I went to grab dinner. I was annoyed; annoyed about the SFC list, annoyed at AB for being pissed off, annoyed that we had to stop at all the IA checkpoints, annoyed that Capelli and Leo got into it, annoyed that I had to rush to do ADO shit.
On the 15th, I took it easy. I watched a few DVDs on my laptop and wrote some letters.