2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Call of Staff Duty: Nap Ops

Powerpoint Ranger nails yet another one...

For those of you not in the loop on the joke...generally in the military there is always someone by a phone at every level of command, that way if something pops up...like a war or some knucklehead in the unit getting arrested after starting a fight at a strip club...the chain of command in the organization can be notified. As not to make the unit commander sit there waiting for such a call 24/7..the tradition of staff duty was created. The number of people given this duty varies by the size of the command involved. At a minimum 2 individuals..normally a junior enlisted person (E1 - E4) and a NCO (E5 - E7) gets to pull this duty. After duty hours these soldiers get to sit around the headquarters and perform duty. Generally you will fill out a duty log at least once an hour, do some housekeeping, maybe check on other guard posts and try to do what you can to stay awake.

I am hoping the nature of the parody means that at least in some commands, playing video games to pass the time is no longer frowned upon.

Depending on your unit the policy for compensated time varies, some units will give you the duty day after pulling it off, some will give you the afternoon before and morning after off to recover. Eventually someone, somewhere pulling staff duty will fall asleep, its only natural. Pulling an overnighter is not normal to our circadian rhythm and our body will fight the urge to stay awake..especially in the early hours of the morning. That is where the other dreaded tradition in the Army comes from...stand to...thats where you get up before dawn (thats when the French and Indians attack according to Rogers Orders) and guard your perimeter.

During my "deployment" right after 9/11 to Fort Knox during Operation Noble Eagle the headquarters unit for the 148th Infantry I was in were tasked with performing staff duty of course. Normally a battalion would also get soldiers from its subordinate units to pull staff duty in addition to its own personnel. Not us. Most of our companies were deployed to other security sites across the nation (Rock Island Arsenal, Army Motor Material Command, ect) and the the one rifle company we had at Ft. Knox had their own security mission. So it was up to our Headquarters company to pull it ourselves. With the limited number of personnel we had on hand to begin with it came down to a duty we would each pull about once every 6 to 8 days! Talk about messing up your sleep pattern..just try staying away one day a week and see how bad your sleep habits get. Even if things were slow and we could take turns catching a couple of hours of sleep on a couch it still messed you up. Some of my younger troops were able to hack it better than I was...being that I was in my early 30's at the time and a civilian soldier to boot at the time of mobilization, my body was just starting to slow its metabolism as I "gracefully" entered middle age.

So, a round of Snappy Cow to all the dog faces out there that are forced to face the horrors of a boring night on staff call!

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