Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Blown up in the boondocks, then busted in Bagram for not wearing a reflector belt

While Tom Ricks is away from his blog, he has selected a few of his favorite posts to re-run. We will be posting a few every day until he returns. This originally ran on December 7, 2011. Another episode in the department of "shit you can’t make up," from a guy I know: "I had ...

Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr
Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr
Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr

While Tom Ricks is away from his blog, he has selected a few of his favorite posts to re-run. We will be posting a few every day until he returns. This originally ran on December 7, 2011.

Another episode in the department of "shit you can't make up," from a guy I know:

"I had a company commander (Spring '09) who was in the remotest part of our province and had been medevaced after getting blown up and knocked unconscious. They sent him up when the medevac came for a more seriously wounded soldier. While he was on Bagram, he was feeling better and they let him go walk the main to go to a DFAC for dinner. He was in the only uniform he had, complete with burn marks.

While Tom Ricks is away from his blog, he has selected a few of his favorite posts to re-run. We will be posting a few every day until he returns. This originally ran on December 7, 2011.

Another episode in the department of "shit you can’t make up," from a guy I know:

"I had a company commander (Spring ’09) who was in the remotest part of our province and had been medevaced after getting blown up and knocked unconscious. They sent him up when the medevac came for a more seriously wounded soldier. While he was on Bagram, he was feeling better and they let him go walk the main to go to a DFAC for dinner. He was in the only uniform he had, complete with burn marks.

He was stopped by MPs who were posted and writing tickets to soldiers who were not wearing a reflective belt. When that story got around, we were wondering what world he had just come from because it wasn’t the same as the units who were fighting the war.

I think you understand how crazy it seemed to us (the line guys) that someone (definitely a CSM!) posted MPs for the specific purpose of writing tickets to soldiers not following the asinine policies that had no basis/grounding for the war we were/are fighting. Think about the implications of that on US manpower –how much the nation invested in getting those soldiers trained to deploy to combat, what it takes to sustain those soldiers over the course of the deployment … and this is what we are going to use them for? It struck me as a terrible waste and I remember talking about it with the company commander. We both commented on how we had requested MPs to help mentor ANP but we couldn’t actually get any real MPs to do that mission."

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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