This week it has become overly evident how much people in and around the military like to over-compensate by throwing their rank and status around. Its actually rather annoying to me, given the fact that I don’t give a crap about rank. I give the extent of the formalities involved with said rank based on the fact that I, for the most part, like staying out of trouble, but ultimately, I don’t view rank as any sort of measure of a man. Three times this week has someone tried to flex their rank on me and other people and ultimately, they just wound up looking foolish. By letting your rank dictate how you interact with people you effectively allow yourself to look like a douche, an asshole, and worst of all, a motard.
Situation one: A 1LT during a simulator decided that my barely trained private was fucking up call for fire on targets and decided to act an ass and puff that little shiny thing on his chest. I let him say his bit and didn’t say a word, even during the next iteration when he placed one of his FO’s at our station to handle the call for fire for us. It took me all of two minutes to see this kid, who was just as new as my guy, didn’t know what the hell he was doing and this was his actual job. About 5 minutes in, they sent over yet another FO with a little more experience to coach him. It was still getting fucked up, and even worse than when my guy was doing it. Mind you, they invaded my station, so I stepped back and let these pro’s “handle it” while I drank coffee and laughed. Not only did they effectively fuck up their own fire missions, they also bogged down the reporting my guys were doing, which is our primary mission anyways. Good job, LT.
Scenario two: My damn private got hammered and has personal problems which I’ll refrain from discussing on here (his business, not yours). But while in the midst of doing the right thing and taking a cab back, he mentioned something along the lines of he didn’t deserve to live. Kudos to the cab driver for not letting it go, but he effectively caused me to have to make a trip to the ER to pull suicide watch on my guy at 0430 in the morning. That not withstanding, I didn’t have any coffee either.
I was more concerned with my guy’s safety than anything, because as much as they might piss me off, I none-the-less will not be known as the leader who didn’t take care of his guys and I’m generally just a good guy anyways. I show up at the ER and am escorted back to the triage rooms, walking past a whole flock of base civilian police and MP’s. They take me to a room where a guy is getting handcuffed. First thing in my mind of course, “ah, fuck, that’s just great.” The guy looks back at me and thankfully, it wasn’t my private getting arrested. Finally they figure out the right room and take me there. He’s out of his mind and just a mess, but I’m there ready to deal with it and get this whole situation sorted. I’m getting him calmed down somewhat, and then a nurse pops her head in and asks if I can step outside for a minute. Ever eager to help ER nurses, since my wife used to be one, I hopped up and stepped out into the hallway to see what she needed. Well it wasn’t what she needed so much, as what the civilian, base police LT with some shiny gold bars on his collar, and a pretty little SRT badge on his vest wanted. Apparently, this cop is gods gift to handling drunk people cause he sure wanted me to know it. Along the way in the conversation, in a very unnecessary tone, this officer let me know that if I can’t handle my guy, he’ll be back and he’ll restrain him to the bed, and his guys will take care of the situation.
Now, why, after being call out of bed at 0430 in the morning, would he think I gave a shat about who he was, or how important he thinks he is, is beyond me, but we’ll leave this at I was less than polite in return. My guy legally didn’t do anything wrong and having this clown there just exasperated the situation. My private, was none of his damn concern, and I made it known to him by asking the nurse, who was still standing there, how he arrived and what had happened thus far. None of which broke any laws, which I emphasized with a very lovely “raised eyebrows, go the fuck away” face.
Situation three: Same setting as the last one, shift change had occurred and to the night shift’s credit, they were very pleasant and cooperative. Thank you night shift. Day shift, you suck. The medic attending my guy was terrible, he slipped up on hooking up my guy’s IV’s twice, and was generally retarded anytime we would ask him questions towards the status of things. He would give us some half bullshit excuse and no real feed back. Eventually we started asking the hard questions of what’s up with the doctor keeping him this long, why hasn’t the doctor come and checked on him in over 6 hours, what is this doctor basing sober on if they haven’t done a blood draw the entire time, you know HARD questions. And then, in a very coherent manner, my guy asked him if he could talk to the doctor himself. Apparently, asking to ACTUALLY see the guy who is making medical decisions for you just stirs up a hornets nest.
The next thing we know we have some angry bastard barging in the room yelling “I am Staff Sergeant ——- (no need to say names, but I forgot it anyways), what’s the problem here?” Really, just really, was throwing that in there needed? Not a bit, he’s here for medical care, not training, step off guy. So once again, my guy asks, coherently, why he was still here and what we were waiting on. This guy snaps back with “You gotta be sober to talk to mental health” with every bit of a fuck you tone. Once again my guy asks, “Well how is the doctor determining that I’m sober or not if he hasn’t been in to see me at all?”
“He’ll let you know when you’re good.” The fuck kind of answer is that?
“Well can we at least take this IV tube out, cause it really hurts?”
“No.” And then he promptly turned and left, slamming the door on the way out.
Now, keep in mind, as all of this is happening, the guy tore the pants he had been given there, and we weren’t allowed to let him go to the bathroom, so he was using one of the urinal jugs. The last time it had been changed was right before shift change at 7. He filled it back up shortly there after. This thing remained sitting there, full of piss, for roughly 6 hours and was still there when we left.
What I was left to take away from this entire situation, is that our medical staff on base is more concerned with flexing rank, than making sure a soldier in need is taken care of. So good job, you one Staff Sergeant, you have successfully given me an ill taste for yet another Army hospital.
So given this week, I leave you with this:
A measure of a man isn’t in the things he has or doesn’t have, achievements he’s accomplished, accolades he’s rewarded, but rather the way he acts, and the actions he takes. Within that, is his true worth.