A rant, of sorts

Want to know the BEST way to keep me from attending an FRG meeting? Make it 'mandatory'. I don't respond well to orders. I'm not in the Army. If you're going to make it 'mandatory', you might as well not hold the meeting at all.

As an FRG leader (or a commander, for that matter) I'd like to think I'd be able to come up with a way to encourage attendance at a meeting such as this without resorting to threats and brow-beating. Apparently that is not possible. So we have a 'mandatory' FRG meeting to discuss the upcoming training exercise.

Training exercise.

Not deployment. Training exercise. *sigh*

Prior to a deployment, soldiers go through a process called "SRP" (soldier readiness packet). It's a process that ensures that the soldier has the appropriate paperwork in hand and has taken care of the necessary tasks prior to deploying; things like powers of attorney, wills, banking arrangements, shots, dental checkups, etc. And prior to a deployment, this made sense.

Only now, soldiers go through the SRP process before they leave on training exercises. Good grief. What in the world have we become? How ridiculously incompetent must soldiers and their families appear to have necessitated this requirement? While part of the blame lies in the leadership for a knee-jerk reaction to a few isolated incidents of oversight in terms of preparation for a training exercise, the other part of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the soldiers and their families. Because the decision to require SRP prior to leaving for a training exercise didn't come about for no reason. Someone, somewhere, wasn't squared away enough and a problem arose that wasn't properly dealt with at the lowest levels of leadership. And someone complained to the higher-ups who decided to kill a gnat with a sledgehammer. And now we have SRPs for training exercises and 'mandatory' FRG meetings for the same.

How sad is it that our soldiers cannot leave home for a few weeks without preventable catastrophes happening that necessitate policies such as this? How hard is it to make sure that you (or your spouse...depending on what angle you're looking at this from) have access to the bank accounts? That the cars are adequately registered? That the LES is squared away? That you both have up to date wills? How hard is that? It's not that hard - I've done it. I did it as a junior enlisted spouse, an NCO's spouse, and as a warrant officer's spouse. I've done it with and without children. I've done it with babies and toddlers (at the same time). It's not that hard.

And yet, here we are - SRPs for training exercises and 'mandatory' FRG meetings.

We have no clue how to take care of ourselves anymore. Ridiculous.


- hfs


FHL said...

That is so silly it's laughable! I know ours has had mandatory meetings for the soldiers, but never the spouses! So, do you get sent to time-out if you're sick, have an appointment, play hooky....I think I'd consider calling in at a time when I'd catch a man and explain that I'd not be able to make it due to menstrual cramps ;o) let him pass that message along...heehee :D

Crista said...

The kinder gentler Army is so awesome. Everyone must be coddled and treated like they're two because nobody was taught any common after about 1992.

DL Sly said...

MH's command tried to *require* my presence at a function....once. I told MH he had a choice: either he told them that I wouldn't be there, or I would -- with visuals.
And really? I have to prove I'm not a robot twice!!! Just because I proofread before posting?! W. T. F. F.

Pogue said...

They're probably going to tell you not to bad mouth the National Guard on your blogs... I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist!

So how did they go about telling you your attendance was "required" for this meeting? My wife attended all of one FRG meeting prior to deployment, and it was tacked onto predeployment SRP briefs. She decided it wasn't for her and hasn't been back since. She would probably not respond well to a mandatory meeting. Are they having trouble with getting people involved?

Homefront Six said...

It's not necessarily mandatory for the spouse - just some member of the family. I should send The Girl in my place. That would be the last time they make it mandatory ;)

Sly ~ sorry - I'm having issues with spam, hence the word-verification.

Crista ~ common sense ain't so common...

FHL ~ no kidding! I should, just for kicks.

Pogue ~ this one's either a BN or BDE level meeting, not company level. Which makes it even more annoying.

I should be able to CLEP out of this crap. I could teach the class on how to assemble an "Oh $#!%" folder. That should exempt me from attendance. Seriously - just give me the Cliff's notes.

DL Sly said...

Pshah! Everyone knows ranting loves company, and I just didn't want you to be the only one....

Crista said...

Here's a thought....why not make it "mandatory" for the problem children only? Every command knows who they are. They wanna act like they're two, treat them like they're two. Simple enough.

Homefront Six said...

Because then they'd have to publicly identify the 'problem children'. And we can't do that...

Even the guys running the SRP looked at MacGyver and the rest of his unit that were there, laughed, and pretty much kicked them out.


Crista said...

So it's ok to use peer pressure on children in public schools but not okay with grown adults? *not arguing with you, just asking a rhetorical question...;) We can use peer pressure to make kids in schools behave but heaven help us if we do the same to grown adults. Makes.me.want.to.vomit.

How many years until retirement? Oh. Yeah. 3 years, 4 months.


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