24 December 2008

Administrative madness

Is trying to push a soldier out on emergency leave on Christmas Eve.

We live with a battalion from the 4th Infantry Division. We support them, and they have operational control over us. Administrative control (promotions, leave, awards, UCMJ actions) is retained by the CA chain.

So, we can see how, when a distraught family member initiates a Red Cross message and sends it to the soldier's mailing address instead of command address, there can be confusion.

Now, just to make things more interesting, the battalion we work for has been chopped from 4th ID to another Division (25th). But elements of 4th ID are in Iraq. So the Red Cross message got...sidetracked.

But...you know what? Nothing on God's green earth will get soldiers moving like a Red Cross message. You can call the biggest asshole in the US Army and say, "I have a soldier with a Red Cross message," and he's suddenly helpful. The lazy sprecialist napping in a corner will wake up, get on the phone and start moving heaven and earth. The lost lieutenant gets a clue.

I used every one of those folks, and few more. Got the message, got my guy a ride. We'll get him where he needs to be, as fast as is humanly possible. It's nice to see this machine work once in a while, even if it's in the service of sad news.