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Thread: Split Block Leave Post-Deployment... Crock of crap.

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    Angry Split Block Leave Post-Deployment... Crock of crap.

    Ladies and gents,


    Not sure if it's exactly an answer that I am looking for more than it is just me venting. Welp. I've seen my family twice over the past four years. I am an MP, I have worked every stinkin' holiday with the exception of Christmas exodus in Basic/AIT and I was home for one Thanksgiving which was in 2011. The other holidays were spent deployed in either Iraq or Afghanistan or working law enforcement at Ft. Drum.

    I don't ask for too much, but one thing myself and other junior NCOs and Soldiers want after this crappy 9-month deployment (no r&r allowed) in this craphole Kandahar is the option to take a consecutive 30 days of block leave.

    When I was in Iraq, I got my R&R as well as 30 day option for block leave. In Iraq, the leadership gave us at least three or four down days a month... I know, I'm probably sounding spoiled right now. But everyone came back from that deployment safely, no suicides, domestics, homicides, DUIs, NOTHING... We were fine for quite sometime after we redeployed--- because we weren't at each others throats, our leaders knew that we needed space and time to detox.

    Now I'm in this... err, without sounding too disloyal; less than adequate company... We spent the first third of our deployment living with Afghan Police in a craphole substation no bigger than a football field, living conditions sucked, constant tower guard and missions back to back; the missions don't even matter... it's being around the SAME people constantly, no breaks, no area other than an air conditioned M-ATV to go relax at... The most we had to get away from people was the Port-A-John by our ECP... Well we got lucky and all disembedded and moved to the Camp where our shitty "Commander's Squad" and all of our leaders were at... This place is pretty nice, but still for some everloving reason we don't get a day off? That is fine! I understand mission comes first right, and I can't really complain because the living here is so much better, we actually have rooms within the tents divided by plywood and we have a Green Beans and a bazaar. But, still... Same freakin' people 24/7, no days off. Luckily, my platoon is the best with not doing the dumb shit...

    Ok back on track... Basically what I'm getting at isn't that I want a pity party, our company has worked for 8 straight months so far in this craphole they call Kandahar, endured a bunch of BS from these Taliban ass motherf#@%ers and the worst part of it all is that... We can't get away from each other.

    That is fine, we're in our final 90 days you know people get crazy and shit-- Well, the fact of the matter is that our "leadership" for lack of better terms... announced that our block leave will start a month after we redeploy to Ft. Drum, NY and last two weeks. We will come back to Ft. Drum and do TRAINING (3 weeks long) for working the motherf#$^ing road and then have the option of taking an additional two weeks of leave.

    Are you f#$%ing kidding me? Does anybody else think that this is wrong or am I just being a pompous, prissy bitch? Can I just get the motherf#$%in option to take 30 days of leave and be away from peoples faces for more than two weeks? Lord have mercy. The fact of the matter is, well, what REALLY pisses me off is that my 1SG, CDR, all the top dogs in the company... Their families are AT Ft. Drum. Mine is not. I am a divorced, lonely mfing E-5 who has family in Miami. Lest we forget, that I have only seen my family twice in the past four years?

    A plane ticket for me usually costs roughly bout 700 bucks, now these f#$%s want to be like "don't blow your deployment money!!!!" Well, maybe if I didn't have to buy four freaking plane tickets for block leave I wouldn't blow my g-d deployment money.

    Why... The... Hell... Are they splitting our deployment leave you might ask...? Apparently it's a 10th MTN DIV standard now... Well you know what, how the hell? I don't see it in writing ANYWHERE. I don't see it in AR 600-8-10... I don't see any freakin' MILPER or ALARACT or Message in a freakin' bottle... Nothing. No proof. Nada.

    The point of the story is... I want consecutive leave dates. I want to be left the fk alone after this SHIT deployment with these SHIT people and SHIT leaders and SHIT local nationals.

    Now please enlighten me with all of your "Well when I was in Kosovo...." stories and tell me how much worse you had it, I am only writing this to hear how bad everyone else's experiences with Leave dates are... as it will make me feel so much better.

    Thanks lots

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    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    I understand your gripe and rant as a former MP squad leader who did a tour in Iraq but mostly worked in a tactical MP position than a garrison. In my 4+ years as an MP, I was in the field most of the time and on patrols in humvees, did PSD later on and worked the road for about 2 months during that time.

    Just understand, there is a garrison mission when you return. I just started my 30 day block leave today after three-weeks of re-integration training. I was up in RC-East for my second Afghanistan deployment and was in Kandahar for a few times in 2009-2010.

    Roll with the punches and express your concerns to your squad leader. How much time you have left before you eligible to PCS?
    Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran (OIF V & OEF X & XIII)
    101st Airborne Division & 4th Infantry Division combat vet
    Serving overseas

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    Moderator MPclk2006's Avatar
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    All I gotta say "that is 10th MTN standard", as in it is 10th MTN standard to come up with stupid policies, standards, etc...this is the only place I have seen where everything is last minute, everything is a priority and things like what you mentioned are routine operations LOL...I am sorry this is happening to you, I have not heard of this "standard" they are talking about but it sounds more like its due to being an MP than just b/c you are coming back from deployment...stay safe out there!
    It is difficult to be a good noncommissioned officer. If it had been easy,
    they would have given it to the officer corps.- SMA William A. Connelly

    "If someone that outranks you tells you to go jump in a lake, I want you to come talk to me...but you better be wet!"

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    Thanks for the support, I just wanted to vent... I'm just f@#$ed off that I can't take 30 consecutive days and they're splitting it by a month and conducting training in between, it's senseless and is causing unnecessary personal budget expansionsssssssssss


    errr!!

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    Senior Member Army Strong's Avatar
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    I work in a small FOB in the battalion TOC, got the best dfac in afghanistan, great gym, I like my battle buddies and leadership, I like the locals, and I'm doing awesome shit; I'm loving life here, basically. We redeploy in about a month. And we get 30 consecutive days of leave.

    Yup, I have it better than you. Just thought you should know.
    "No Mission Too Difficult, No Sacrifice Too Great—Duty First!"

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    Senior Member Exo1's Avatar
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    MJAE, I feel for ya man... Given your mission, decompression is a must for you and your guys.. As the Chief has said, I would rely your concerns to your supervisor and see where it goes...

    I would also say that you are being very hard on yourself, I agree with the Chief, you are experienced enough to "roll with the punches" as the Chief has said, but its harder to do in practical terms.. try to accept the orders as a welcome thing that has to be done, even if it smells to high heaven.. rolling into the duty will lessen its toll on you cos especially if your efforts with your supervisor come to nothing.. Rolling with the punches through the crappy times takes practice and time and some never get the hang of it.. but if your one of those guys whom gets benefit from reframing your mind to the problem in that light, then isnt it worth trying?

    Good luck with your supervisor, as 30 days block leave for me is not only a reasonable request, it should be enshrined in your orders for next post as decompression is not only good for mental health, its good for next post productivity and home life balance aswell.

    Best Regards
    Exo
    Tenants of Bushido;

    ‘We should never obsess about if we are going to die, but instead focus on how we live as those whom live an honorable life will always die a glorious death.’

    Rectitude (義): Courage (勇氣): Benevolence (仁): Respect (禮 ): Honesty (誠): Honour (名誉): Loyalty (忠義)

    ...ergo veneratio est vires.

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    Senior Member Nightflyer's Avatar
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    Good Luck out there brother, it does sound f@#*ed up but look on the bright side, it beats looking at you're mother-in law all freaking day. I just wanted to throw that out there for laughs and giggles and make you laugh. Stay Safe brother.
    Congratulations Night, Welcome to the team and back into the game, different department, agency, the same game. You'll roll over your days and be golden. Welcome back to the continental breakfast highway, lol. - Del The S**t.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Army Strong View Post
    I work in a small FOB in the battalion TOC, got the best dfac in afghanistan, great gym, I like my battle buddies and leadership, I like the locals, and I'm doing awesome shit; I'm loving life here, basically. We redeploy in about a month. And we get 30 consecutive days of leave.

    Yup, I have it better than you. Just thought you should know.

    Haha, thanks you're the best... happy holidays to ya

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    Exo, yeah I'm having a problem with resiliency lately... Usually I'm the tennis ball, not the egg... But I think my tennis ball has lost it's ability to bounce--- I'll definitely try workin' on "rolling with the punches" some more. There's only so much shit one person can take, I'll take all the shit in the world at work but when it comes to my personal life (leave) come on!!! But thanks for the uplifting message it has truly brought my spirits up.
    Night, thanks lol my ex mother-in-law was a Nazi.

  • #10
    Senior Member Exo1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MJAE View Post
    Exo, yeah I'm having a problem with resiliency lately... Usually I'm the tennis ball, not the egg... But I think my tennis ball has lost it's ability to bounce--- I'll definitely try workin' on "rolling with the punches" some more. There's only so much shit one person can take, I'll take all the shit in the world at work but when it comes to my personal life (leave) come on!!! But thanks for the uplifting message it has truly brought my spirits up.
    .
    MJ, anytime brother.. I hear ya and can relate.... For me, its all external stressors that build over time and without you knowing it, it builds up and draws down your ability to sustain high cognitive function... The resulting frustration can churn negative emotions which fuels the stress taking more and more "bounce of your tennis ball" so to speak leading to a runaway stress effect if not checked.. Having a high risk deployment in poor conditions along with management making poor decisions which hits your "hot bottons" on home life is not helpful and adds to the normal mental compression making that runaway stress effect more likely...

    From a guy who's had to deal effectively with stress management and get his roasted ass out of the stress melting pot, I would say that finding your sense of control over the way forward, and getting an ally in your supervisor is important. I would also say that facing into whats driving your stress levels outside of the normal "stuff" an operational AO brings is important, so you can work through them by quiet self reflection. I would do so by slowing your mind to a relaxed state and self reflecting once relaxed. Remember, your mind needs a break and REM sleep normally throws out the bad stuff the un-concious mind keeps. In a continuous high stress environment, sometimes the barrel flows to the brim and its very important in such a case to empty it in an awake state as REM sleep might not be able to cope with the high 'stress water level'. I would recommend meditation on the basis you can open your mind but don't let your brain fall out. If not (and many cant), then I would stick with self reflection a quiet and relaxed space. Either way, a problem shared is a problem halved.. always chat with a buddy about such woes..

    And onto the good news, take it form a guy who's being through more shitty deals then many, what doesn't kill you makes your stronger, and things will get better brother.... especially when those "external stressors" are removed which I think for you will be completing the deployment with the ANP and ANA and getting through a questionable divisional policy on post deployment block leave. The decompression will occur by simply being out of that environment and the stress water level of the "barrel" will lower and rather quickly initially. Just remember the basics through this time which are good eating, good sleeping, great connections with your fellow soldiers, family and friends. Then onto the next level which is regular exercise, plenty of water and daily self reflection (or meditation for about 30 mins) where you get some "me" time in a "we" environment.

    Keep us posted brother, and keep the head up.. The only easy day on deployment is yesterday!!.. but they don't last forever!!..

    Best Regards
    Exo
    Tenants of Bushido;

    ‘We should never obsess about if we are going to die, but instead focus on how we live as those whom live an honorable life will always die a glorious death.’

    Rectitude (義): Courage (勇氣): Benevolence (仁): Respect (禮 ): Honesty (誠): Honour (名誉): Loyalty (忠義)

    ...ergo veneratio est vires.

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