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Thread: Taking Care of Field Grade Officers on TDY...NOT!!!

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    Thumbs down Taking Care of Field Grade Officers on TDY...NOT!!!

    I couldn't find what looked like an appropriate thread, but just had to get the word out on this one (and do some venting in the process)...

    The Army sends its majors and LTCs to CGSC-ILE which is now 16 weeks long at Fort Lee...it does not PCS them , but rather sends them TDY...in order to save money the Army has the students eat at pseudo-DFACs monday through friday (they house them 10 miles away in a Holiday Inn that is not near anything)...okay, I get it, you are saving money...now here comes the really fun part...

    The Army is about to pilot a program (how it got past the "that is a stupid idea" stage I will never know) that gives 70 army majors/LTCs 10 vans for the TDY...and will not reimburse them for rental cars or POV mileage (they now get 24 miles per day, which actually is less than the 40 they have to drive, but that is the best the Army can do)...what this means is...

    -car pooling into work everyday for 16 weeks
    -car pooling back and forth for meals every evening
    -car pooling to the gym (no longer are you able to make last minute decisions on when to study, go to the gym, eat, sleep, etc.)
    -oh, by the way, on the weekends when the DFAC is closed, you can not use the vans to go out on town
    -also, the vans can not go out on town even during the week
    -no rental cars authorized or POV mileage given

    So big Army, offer all the bonuses you want to keep people in, but this idea is as worthless an idea I have ever heard of...can someone explain the Army values to me again?

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    If money is an issue, then the free use of the rental vans seems like a reasonable amenity. If convenience is the issue, then they can dole out their own money to rent a vehicle for their personal use. I cannot count the number of times that, as a 1LT or CPT, I paid for a rental car and gas on my own dime because it was not authorized on my orders. I also recall a few occasions when I had to share vans with others - in the most recent case, 40 of us shared 3 vans, which required significant coordination between us.

    There are two things that I do not understand about this thread...
    1 - The reference to "trigger pullers". Are we talking about guys who fire their weapons or are we talking about CGSC-ILE students?
    2 - The question referencing the Army Values seems to imply that there is a conflict here between the Army's actions and the Army Values. If so, what is the conflict? If that is not being implied, then what is the question asking?
    Last edited by Schmedlap; 06-20-2008 at 08:10 PM. Reason: I made an grammar and spelling misteak.

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    It sounds like the Army's trying to prepare its folks for the realities of the working world outside the military with that arrangement.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Default van

    My unit currently has several NCOs at a TDY course at Fort Sill. The group was not authorized POV's, and carpooled together in a van. They stay at a hotel off-post, and all share the 1 van. Some of the GTC's do not work, so they have been sharing a GTC. They've been doing this for several months now. I do not envy them, as once they return, we will begin pre-deployment training.

    The Army is "saving" money across the board, where it can. I would prefer they readjust future purchases and developments (FCS) in the budget, and focus on Soldiers currently serving, but that is above my pay grade. I also have a hard time believing Majors at Fort Lee are the Trigger Pullers. As a former S4, I can attest that Logisticians do great things, but not that.

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    So Ft. Lee doesn't have enough on-base billeting for CGSC? That sounds like the problem there.

    FWIW, for TDY's in the AF one out of every five or so personnel gets an rental car authorized for communal use. It works out pretty well since there obviously aren't any of the government vehicle restrictions.

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    Default Holiday Inn...

    ....humm, and I bet the batteries don't work in the remote control either.

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    You have got to be kidding me right? You mean to tell me that you have the opportunity to go to an army school, sleep in a bed, eat real food and you are complaining?

    During my BNCOC course at Ft. Bragg in Febuary the heat went out in our WWII barracks and for the next eight weeks we learned to live without heat, just slept in our sleeping bags. Then the hot water heater died and we had to shower in the next building for the remaining seven weeks. Then an ice storm shut down post--including our mess hall--for three days and I had to buy food from the gas station in the nearby town, to this day I can't eat a lunchable.

    I got back from Iraq a couple of months ago and all I have to say is count your blessings, your living conditions could be much, much worse.

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    I'm going with arty here.

    Officer professional education is far above the scale on the quality of life issues when compared to WLC, BNCOC, and ANCOC. It's fairly embarrassing.

    So we don't make money off TDY anymore. I got it. As Arty says, there are worse things out there right now. Bring a car with you on TDY, write the milage off on next year's taxes. Majors and LTCs are far more capable of affording these incidentals when compared to the young E5 or E6 at WLC or BNCOC. They just aren't as vocal about it.
    Example is better than precept.

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    Default You don't get it...

    ...the "suck it up" mentality is completely incongruent with the realities of today...the "vanpooling" issue transcends convenience...it is about facilitating real education (not the death by powerpoint the Army usually calls education)...it is about treating young professionals as they should be treated...it is about a culture of taking care of your people...so what if you had no rental car when YOU went to school...I had to walk five miles through snow uphill to get to mine...

    This thread is all about the Army's culture...comments about the remote batteries and such are indicative of a culture that has put the Army thousands of officers and enlisted men short...

    And the person who asked if the CGSC-ILE students were trigger pullers...that also is a cultural norm that needs to be discarded...are not we an Army of one...have not the students done their time?...

    This thread is very revealing and I will use it to educate the students concerning the "suck it up" mentality that still exists out there...

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Based on observing the machine for more years than I care to recall,

    Quote Originally Posted by Sledge142 View Post
    ...This thread is very revealing and I will use it to educate the students concerning the "suck it up" mentality that still exists out there...
    I suspect that is probably a good plan on your part -- and they should bear it in mind for future consideration.

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    Take it as you will, but you'd also be advised to consider it training for what you'll encounter when you get out of the service. When your company expects you to move (without major compensation, if any), travel (with minimal reimbursement and no IG to turn to when your expense claims are delayed or disallowed), no cost of living adjustments or housing allowances...I could go on. And that's corporate culture. Complain as a young professional, and they fire you and find someone else who'll take the beating without complaining (and with the number of college graduates working in jobs they're over-educated for...the complaining young professional isn't hard to replace). Google-type jobs are the exception out here...not the rule.

    Think of this as a transition program...although the Army might not have intended it as such.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sledge142 View Post
    .
    And the person who asked if the CGSC-ILE students were trigger pullers...that also is a cultural norm that needs to be discarded...are not we an Army of one...have not the students done their time?...


    No, we're Army Strong. The Army of One touchy feely PBS Kids crap went out the window over a year ago.

    Some have done their time, a lot have not. When you look at the inside of the Pentagon with 60% of senior officers and NCOs in there who haven't been deployed during GWOT, I find it hard to be sympathetic. The CSA has done a great job peeling people out of their cubicles.

    I have a hard time being supportive of a bunch of field grade officers in Virginia when we, as an Army, can't take care of the wounded warriors in our WTUs. They are the one's who have done their time and done very little bitching comparatively speaking.

    Am I telling you to suck it up? You're damned right. You don't have it hard. Ask the E2 with two kids living onpost with a broken car on WIC deploying next month if he feels bad for the Major who has to vanpool with a LTC to his 16 week Army school.

    As for the culture of "suck it up" - I take a hell of a lot of pride in being adaptive and completing the mission despite what is thrown at me. I'm pretty sure I could find a work-around on this one.

    Use this as a case study. Throw it in the faces of students. Here's another idea - jump yourselves into your rental vans and hop on over to Walter Reed and tell the Soldiers in the wards how tough your life is. I'm sure they'll be pleased to give you their perspective as well.
    Last edited by RTK; 06-23-2008 at 05:43 PM.
    Example is better than precept.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sledge142
    ...This thread is very revealing and I will use it to educate the students concerning the "suck it up" mentality that still exists out there...
    It is revealing. I cannot add more than RTK has already stated pretty clearly. I am frankly disgusted by the behavioral tendencies indicated by the content of the post.

    In that regard, I have moved this thread from the Trigger-Pullers forum, because it certainly does not belong there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sledge142 View Post
    ...the "suck it up" mentality is completely incongruent with the realities of today...the "vanpooling" issue transcends convenience...it is about facilitating real education (not the death by powerpoint the Army usually calls education)...it is about treating young professionals as they should be treated...it is about a culture of taking care of your people...so what if you had no rental car when YOU went to school...I had to walk five miles through snow uphill to get to mine...

    This thread is all about the Army's culture...comments about the remote batteries and such are indicative of a culture that has put the Army thousands of officers and enlisted men short...

    And the person who asked if the CGSC-ILE students were trigger pullers...that also is a cultural norm that needs to be discarded...are not we an Army of one...have not the students done their time?...

    This thread is very revealing and I will use it to educate the students concerning the "suck it up" mentality that still exists out there...
    I led troops in a very simple way--give the troops as much as you can and give yourself as little as you need to survive. A bunch of O-4s and -5s who may not be able to go out and find some TDY fun because they don't have rental cars and get put up in a hotel 10 miles from anywhere does not really register on my "pain-o-meter."
    I'd be more interested in knowing whether the "saved" money is being used to better the lives of junior enlisted folks. I suspect from RTK's post that it isn't.

    I expect leaders to suck it up if that's what it takes to make life better for their troops. I also expect leaders to suck it up if that's what those they are leading have to do. That is the message I would hope you impart to the students.
    Last edited by wm; 06-23-2008 at 07:43 PM.
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    Stupid question, is this the distance ILE at Ft. Lee? I didn't know we did ILE there?
    "A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    I cannot add more than RTK has already stated pretty clearly. I am frankly disgusted by the behavioral tendencies indicated by the content of the post.
    I'll second that. Honestly, it reminds me of "the dog ate my homework" . Leaving the Gen Y stuff aside, however, there is a very good point make which is why wasn't there any housing on base? It strikes me that it would be much more cost efficient to have base housing than pay for vans and Holiday Inns.

    Getting back to the Gen Y stuff, this attitude is quite common and, if the research on it is right (and I suspect it is), a lot of it has to do with low birth rates and kids being raised that they were "special". Corporations are paying billions of dollars to get and keep Gen Y, which has got to be he most self-centered generation since the Golliard poets!

    [/ rant]....

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    In that regard, I have moved this thread from the Trigger-Pullers forum, because it certainly does not belong there.
    Well, don't forget the "trigger" on the PowerPoint projector .
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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    I'll second that. Honestly, it reminds me of "the dog ate my homework" . Leaving the Gen Y stuff aside, however, there is a very good point make which is why wasn't there any housing on base? It strikes me that it would be much more cost efficient to have base housing than pay for vans and Holiday Inns.
    TDY billeting is often in short supply at Ft. Lee. I spent my first month in OBC living in the Comfort Inn. With all the log schools there, and with the other log branches moving in, I can imagine there not being enough room with existing facilities. There's a lot of construction going on, but I imagine it will be awhile before everything's built and adequate capacity is available.

    Hopewell and Petersburg are depressing crap holes, maybe that psychic burden was the real cause behind this snivel?
    He cloaked himself in a veil of impenetrable terminology.

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    Red face

    I really should apologize for that anti-Gen Y rant. I'm afraid I've been spending too much time dealing with them both as research subjects and as students (no, not the same ones ).

    Hopefully Ft. Lee will get the needed accommodation built soon. Until the, I suppose I could always donate a tent or two ...
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
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    Default I see a lot of problems...

    It amazes me the kind of ire that my posting has produced

    As for the "real world" jobs...the majority of my friends are pure civilians (always have been) and I have discussed for 26 years the treatment of military personnel versus the treatment they have given to their charges or have received themselves...they ALL got outstanding treatment...but then again, they all work for or have developed extremely successful businesses...if you are getting treated poorly in a civilian job, perhaps you are working for (or worked for) the wrong type of company...

    the fact that there are many people who receive substandard care or live in substandard conditions in the Army is not an argument that everyone should suck it up...perhaps the culture should become a culture of taking care of as many people as possible instead of one that wears substandard treatment, equipment, and conditions as a source of pride

    I hope you have tremendous pride that you can get the mission done regardless of what you are given...while that is admirable in most cases; in other cases it means not really getting the mission done, what it probably means is that you did something short of the mission...that significant shortfalls (not immediately apparent) most likely will arise down the line because you were not given appropriate resources...however, that is not your problem, you will have moved onto another job (after receiving your top block) and the long term problem is someone else's...another cultural weakness of the military (short term thinking)

    I find it humorous that this posting was moved...why is the postiion I have taken "not worthy"...Generation Y (or whatever the vogue term for younger officers is) is not a perjorative term...just think what your senior officers thought about you...I bet we could save a ton of money if we didn't air condition our office buildings, allowed soldiers to live off base (even if they are married), and allow accompanied tours overseas...you guys really have it soft...I think you need to suck it up...

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    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sledge142 View Post
    It amazes me the kind of ire that my posting has produced

    As for the "real world" jobs...the majority of my friends are pure civilians (always have been) and I have discussed for 26 years the treatment of military personnel versus the treatment they have given to their charges or have received themselves...they ALL got outstanding treatment...but then again, they all work for or have developed extremely successful businesses...if you are getting treated poorly in a civilian job, perhaps you are working for (or worked for) the wrong type of company...

    the fact that there are many people who receive substandard care or live in substandard conditions in the Army is not an argument that everyone should suck it up...perhaps the culture should become a culture of taking care of as many people as possible instead of one that wears substandard treatment, equipment, and conditions as a source of pride

    I hope you have tremendous pride that you can get the mission done regardless of what you are given...while that is admirable in most cases; in other cases it means not really getting the mission done, what it probably means is that you did something short of the mission...that significant shortfalls (not immediately apparent) most likely will arise down the line because you were not given appropriate resources...however, that is not your problem, you will have moved onto another job (after receiving your top block) and the long term problem is someone else's...another cultural weakness of the military (short term thinking)

    I find it humorous that this posting was moved...why is the postiion I have taken "not worthy"...Generation Y (or whatever the vogue term for younger officers is) is not a perjorative term...just think what your senior officers thought about you...I bet we could save a ton of money if we didn't air condition our office buildings, allowed soldiers to live off base (even if they are married), and allow accompanied tours overseas...you guys really have it soft...I think you need to suck it up...
    I think it's been explained why the post was moved earlier.

    So are you a student? It just dawned on me that you've been a member for 2 months and still have yet to introduce yourself.

    Since when do we do ILE at Ft Lee?Disregard: Googled my answer. It's becoming much clearer now.

    ILE Curricula

    ILE consists of two segments: a core course and an advanced FA qualification course. All majors, regardless of their branch or FA, study an identical core curriculum within ILE. When an officer graduates from the ILE core course, the Army awards him Military Education Level 4 and Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Phase I credentials. [JPME is a two-phased system designed to qualify joint specialty officers. Phase I is taught as part of the curricula of the intermediate and senior service colleges in both resident and nonresident formats. Phase II is taught only in residence through the National Defense University.] Then, depending on his FA, the officer receives additional FA education, which, in effect, provides him with branch-qualifying educational credentials.

    Operations Career Field ILE

    All Operations Career Field (OPCF) majors attend ILE in residence at CGSC. OPCF officers are those who continue to serve in their basic branch and that branch is part of the Army Competitive Category (ACC). OPCF also includes officers in three FAs, regardless of their basic branch: Psychological Operations (FA 37), Civil Affairs (FA 38), and Multifunctional Logistics (FA 90).

    The ACC excludes officers in the Chaplain Corps, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, and all Army Medical Department branches (Medical Corps, Dental Corps, Army Nurse Corps, Medical Service Corps, Medical Specialist Corps, and Veterinary Corps). So, with a few exceptions, these officers do not attend the CGSC in residence at Fort Leavenworth. These exceptions generally are limited to Medical Corps officers who will serve as division surgeons or Medical Service Corps officers who also are FA 90 officers (such as those serving in the medical companies of brigade support battalions).

    Other-Than-OPCF ILE

    All “other than OPCF” majors attend ILE core in-struction at what are known as “ILE course location sites” rather than at Fort Leavenworth. Course location sites currently exist at four places in the United States: Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Fort Lee, Virginia; Fort Gordon, Georgia; and the Navy Postgraduate School at Monterey, California. The Army selected these sites because they are located at or near large concentrations of other-than-OPCF officers who are serving or attending school.

    Who are other-than-OPCF officers? They include officers in the—

    • Medical Department (other than those having FA 90).
    • Chaplain Corps.
    • Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
    • Operations Support Career Field (OSCF), includ-ing Foreign Area Officers (FA 48) and the Army Acquisition Corps (FA 51).
    • Information Operations Career Field (IOCF), including Information Systems Engineering (FA 24), Information Operations (FA 30), Strategic Intelligence (FA 34), Space Operations (FA 40), Public Affairs (FA 46), Information Systems Management (FA 53), and Simulations Operations (FA 57) officers.

    Institutional Support Career Field (ISCF), including Human Resource Management (FA 43); Comptroller (FA 45); Academy Professor, U.S. Military Academy (FA 47); Operations Research and Systems Analysis (FA 49); Force Management (FA 50); Nuclear Research and Operations (FA 52); and Strategic Plans and Policy (FA 59) officers.

    It is apparent that other-than-OPCF officers are less involved in the direct, operational combat actions of the Army on the battlefield. They are more likely to be involved in aspects of supporting the Army from within a theater of operations, from the strategic base in the Continental United States (CONUS), or from power-projection platforms between the theater and CONUS.

    However, it is quite possible to find other-than-OPCF officers working within divisions, corps, Army component commands, various joint organizations within a theater of operations (such as a joint task force or joint force land component command), or on the staffs of any of the various combatant commands, such as the U.S. Central Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Joint Forces Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, or U.S. Transportation Command.
    Wth the exception of FA 48, this should make it even clearer why this was pulled out of the trigger puller forum. I heard they don't have the course in the fall, because the students would starve to death with all the leaves on the ground.
    Last edited by RTK; 06-23-2008 at 08:00 PM. Reason: research
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