A couple of weeks ago all of the new students had a reception with the post commander. He shook the hand of every student – there were a couple hundred of us, probably – and did what all generals do, which is talk. He was more engaging than most, though, and one comment in particular earned him much credibility.
Because of its role in training new soldiers, as well as providing MOS training for existing ones (like me), Fort Gordon is what is known as a TRADOC post. This means that operations are overseen by Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), which has a stigma of applying an extra layer of administrative overhead and general silliness to the already-absurd functions of an Army base.
In his talk, the post commander discussed some of these challenges, and said that he had to learn to speak “tradocian,” (pronounced tray-doh-sheean), and that one had to speak this language well among the denizens of the world of Tradocia. And in that moment, a new term was born, and a new understanding; for we are truly living in Tradocia, perhaps a synonym for my Demon World terminology. (This also brings to mind what would be my album title, or band name, for my Army career: “Postcards from Tradocia.”)
He also showed a weird propaganda video for Fort Gordon, highlighting its “best-in-Army” features, and the amazing things about the local community. What was most bizarre, though, were the 3-D models of the general and his command sergeant major featured in the video that were voiced by each man respectively, and were utterly creepy and terrible-looking. He made light of the weird avatars after the video was done, but if I was him, I would probably use my powers as a general to get that weird shit removed.
Speaking of weird videos, we also had to attend the graduation ceremony of another WOBC class. While waiting for the graduation to start, we had to watch a Signal Corps video (YouTube link), which seemed like another vaguely lame Army video, but then a laser beam shoots out of space and makes Signal Towers explode, which made it the best video I’ve seen in my 11 years of enlistment. Then a soldier talks about fighting our nation’s greatest enemy, which turns out to be mildew, and also a radar dish glows blue and vibrates, so it’s basically the crowning achievement of the Signal Corps.
After that, we watched another video about Army families, and how they’re really great and we’ll take care of them. Maybe I’m cynical, but saying that people love their families isn’t exactly new or hard-hitting stuff, and was a weird choice of video for a graduation. It used a slower version of the song from the Army Strong commercials, which was a good choice – it’s a great theme – but I would’ve preferred something to get me a little more pumped up. I guess now that we’re a “peacetime Army,” getting pumped up isn’t our goal anymore.
Indeed, my life here in the Demon World has become one of such indolence that I’m afraid I might never be able to work again. To continue the graduate school analogy from my previous post, it’s much like being in school (well, it is school, technically), except I already know most of the material. That means that my days largely consist of thinking about something else; any mental refuge will do as long as it can allow me to maintain consciousness. Evenings and weekends consist of relaxing, playing video games, drinking, whatever – with no responsibilities other than class, it’s a veritable vacation for one who comes prepared to entertain himself.
The problem is, it’s poor preparation for doing anything in the Human World.
At least I’m lucky that I didn’t get hit with the mind-control rays that are apparently flying around this place, like this woman (YouTube).