A bunch of units are here right now for annual training, which means that machineguns can be heard barking in the distance, cannon fire rattles the the window of my cushy one-man room, and Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters buzz around, practicing landings, sling loads, and take-offs, day and night. I like being around the panapoly of the Army war machine, because it reminds me that there’s more to this organization than filling out forms and arguing about how much network disk space to give the civilians in the HR office. (About 120 gigabytes, in case you’re wondering. I argued for more.)
Today’s class went much as expected – a day-long session of “sexual assault will not be tolerated” and “sexual harassment and discrimination is unacceptable” (to which I couldn’t help but hear Joe Soucheray’s foghorn). Most of the stuff was straightforward – don’t do this stuff! – but of course it was accompanied by the vast weight of regulation and lawyerly text that only a huge organization like the Army could produce. One real howler, though (emphasis mine):
As a leader, you should be attuned to the climate in your section or unit. As you develop your impressions over a period of time, you may decide that training is in order to raise the sensitivity level within your area of responsibility.
What? Are we talking about a WoW-like grind to level up our sensitivity stat? “Sergeant Delobius! Sensitivity levels critical! What do we do?” “Johnson, get that EO presentation on the plasma TV, ASAP!”
We more or less breezed through the stuff in the morning about the Army’s mission in a time of war and the ethics and values of leadership – unfortunately, substantive discussion of intellectual topics like that is not exactly a high point of the NCO school system.
Actually, we breezed through everything – we were out by 1500, so I took my bike up to Baxter and rode about 18 miles, then ate dinner at the Chinese buffet. I think I’m cracking under the stress!