Thursday, August 16, 2007

Brutal Summer, Brutal Heat, Brutal Recruiting...

It has been a loooong hot summer. Recruiting has been down all across the state. No one wants to even think about going to Basic during a heat wave. I don't blame 'em. But that doesn't stop the Recruiting Train. MSG Ranger got "the *ss" and we have had ours chewed. I have been working on losing a little weight so losing 5 pounds of flesh wasn't as painful as it could be.

My partner is SFC Hooah Infantry. I didn't pick him as a partner. He was given to me or rather I was given to him. I don't know who got the short end of the stick! As far as the Army or National Guard goes...he is the perfect soldier. He is very tall, slim with piercing green weathered eyes. He has steel grey hair cropped very close. He doesn't have a heart. I can't decide if he ever did or if he had it surgically removed. You can't tell if he is looking directly at you because his eyes are screwed up. He says it is because of "too many things going boom too close to my head". I don't know if he is joking or not. He is missing a finger on his left hand and I am afraid to ask about it. He doesn't talk much but when he does it is all Infantry. He talks about growing up knowing that all he ever wanted to do was Infantry.

So. Here am I "Miss Navy" paired with Hooah Infantry. The scars from having my tentacles removed are still fading. I do my job very well but I am not as Gung Ho as he is. I wear my uniform with pride but I am not accessing lines of fire (or whatever) when we go somewhere. I am very good at accessing peoples needs while he is busy accessing their motives. I am busy trying to find a way to enlist them while he is busy finding reasons they shouldn't. Heavy Sigh.

The first time we went to a school lunchroom is burned indelibly into my memory. I stood smiling and nodding at the kids walking by while he stood with folded arms glaring at them. Finally a brave soul stopped by the table and I began to converse with him. I asked him about his plans for the future and he shrugged his shoulders. WRONG!! Wrong thing to do in front of SFC Infantry. "WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON'T KNOW? WHAT'S IT GONNA BE? Hmmmm? WHAT YOU GONNA DO? HUH? TELL ME, I WANT TO KNOW!" My eyes about bugged out of my head! My head snapped around and I stared at him with my mouth hanging open incredulously. I finally turned to see the kid RUNNING from the table! I ran after him and shoved my card into his hand saying "We aren't all like that!!".

I returned to the table and hissed under my breath "What in the living hell are you doing???" Hooah says "I KNEW what *I* wanted to do when I was that age. If they don't know what they want, I have no use for them!" He glared down at me over crossed arms and a chest full of badges. Lord help me! Brutal Recruiting! The kid never called me.

Fast forward 8 months and he has mellowed somewhat. He comes in handy when I have a problem child. He gets them where they need to be in a hurry. He *is* mentoring me to be a little tougher. He stands with hands on hips instead of crossed. He still doesn't smile, but he is more patient with the kids.


And we work well together. I force him to lighten up and not be so intense and he makes me work on my military bearing. We have been working our schools and bearing lots of fruit. Hmmm. Maybe MSG Ranger knew what he was doing.


Blogger SFC Guard Recruda said...

Yes, we all have to live with oyr office partners in Guard recruiting. My office is two PS navy, (includes me) two PS marines, and one 4th ID Army guy. Out of all of us, only the 4th ID guy has been to Iraq this war, I was in the first one (old man). But we all have our quirks and work well together. Thats why finally they are moving us out of the Ghetto and giving a storefront next FY in the cozy suburbs, where our walk ins won't be high on crack!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007 3:57:00 PM  
Blogger SGT Lori said...

SFC Hooah Infantry has been to BOTH Iraqi conflicts, Panama, Kosovo,and I think Somolia. When he is in his dress blues he looks like a Christmas Tree "Highly Decorated". He got out of the Active Army because his wife wanted him to stay home more.

Friday, August 17, 2007 8:31:00 PM  
Blogger Politics of a Patriot said...

Hehe... For some reason I could actually picture the lunchroom scenario. When I was in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program, our station commander reminded me a lot of your description of SFC Hooah Infantry.

One day he came to my high school to get something, which I'd left in the coach's office, and we had to walk all the way across campus from the front of the school to the gym, during lunch hour. Everyone was hissing at me, "OMG Who was that mean looking guy? You weren't scared of him?!" :D

Sunday, August 19, 2007 7:09:00 PM  
Blogger SGT Lori said...

ROTFL. Yeah, he is pretty intimidating! I told him once "you have spent the last 16 years cultivating that persona, it won't disappear overnight, but you *are* going to have to work on it." He glared at me.

Sunday, August 19, 2007 8:46:00 PM  
Blogger spc romo said...

Sgt Lori,
I just discovered your blog and I have to admit, I really wish you had been my recruiter! :-) I have a question for you about AGR. How do you go about requesting to get a position in this? I'm new to the Guard (just enlisted in the OHARNG in June, leaving for basic/AIT in sept), and am very interested in getting a full-time position in the AGR when I get back. You can email me at jrroma2 at yahoo dot com if you want. Thanks in advance!

SPC Romo

Monday, August 20, 2007 2:43:00 PM  
Blogger The Hermit said...

Maybe your friend is looking at an individual and thinking "would I want this person beside me when the shit hits the fan." Only someone who has experienced it can appreciate what that means. You have to make quota, so you want to be nice to everybody and that's understandable. I see his point, though. I was in aviation but for the grunts, there's "grunts" and then there's everybody else, the REMF. It's how it is.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007 1:51:00 PM  
Blogger SGT Lori said...

Hermit, you are right. Plus he tells me "I hate kids". OH JOY!

Saturday, September 01, 2007 8:46:00 PM  

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