Oxymoron of the day : "Mandatory Fun"

Because of the changes with MacGyver's unit (they moved from one Batallion to another) and the upcoming deployment, there was a "Family Day" planned. I didn't plan on attending until MacGyver came home and told me it was "mandatory".


"Mandatory fun" usually isn't. Reason number 362 on the list of why I am not in the Army...I don't do well being told what to do. Ask my mother. But MacGyver had to go so I figured we'd go too. Several of our friends went as well which was nice. MacGyver's unit has some good people in it and it's nice to hang with them for a while.

The food was decent. They chose a park that was off the beaten track (i.e. no traffic to worry about with the ankle-biters around) and plenty of space for them to run around. There was also a playground and a sandy volleyball pit. So it wasn't so bad.

After everyone finished eating, they broke out the computer, the projector, and the screen. Yup - a PowerPoint presentation at the park. Gotta love the alliteration...

I didn't catch all of the details - hopefully the Bn Commander will e-mail the PowerPoint slides to the FRG leaders - but he gave a general timeframe (i.e. his best guess since the dates of deployment are still classified) for training exercises, NTC (National Training Center) dates, and block leave dates. I'm still having trouble getting my three most important questions answered though, which is somewhat frustrating :

1.) When is the deployment to take place and for how long?

2.) What, if any, training exercises will MacGyver's unit be involved in and when?

3.) Will the Army/DoD/whomever do as they did LAST deployment and pay for non-temporary storage of household goods while continuing to pay BAH to the families, even if they leave the island for the duration of the deployment.

I understand that #1 is classified and #2 was vaguely answered today. But I'll be damned if I can get any kind of an answer to #3. Grr.

The other thing that makes me scratch my head and wonder if there is a special filter that is given to commanders as they ascend through the ranks. Here's what I don't get...

Your division is tight on funds (which, leading up to a deployment worries me) but plans to go to NTC anyway (makes sense, given the environment in the middle east...kind of makes you wonder why we send anyone to JRTC in the bayou of Louisiana...). BUT, because you are tight on funds, you only plan to take a handful of Chinooks as opposed to the entire unit.

I'm at a loss to understand HOW this helps ANYONE. If you can't send the entire unit and give them the experience of working together - AS A UNIT - in an environment similar to that of the middle east, WHY BOTHER? Why not use the funds for something else? Something that might benefit the ENTIRE unit?

I just don't get it. Maybe someone could explain it to me? I don't know. There are times when I truly wish I could sit down and have a "chat" with the Brigade Commander or even the Division Commander and ask these questions (without making my husband's life more difficult the next day). Maybe I could just send them the link to this blog...? Heck, they probably read it already anyway.

Yeah, right.


- hfs

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