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Old 01-09-2009   #1
jkm_101_fso
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Thumbs up Troops in Iraq allowed to drink beer on Super Bowl Sunday!

GEN Odierno is awesome.

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For One Night, GIs in Iraq Get a Taste of Home: Football and Beer
By Ernesto Londoņo
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, January 9, 2009; Page A12

BAGHDAD, Jan. 8 -- Of all the missives the top U.S. military commander in Iraq has signed, probably none generated more cheer than the one issued this week authorizing all U.S. troops to drink beer.

Two catches: only two per person and only on Super Bowl night.

The waiver, issued Wednesday by Gen. Ray Odierno, marks the first time all American service members in Iraq will be allowed to break the ban on liquor in combat zones without risking being court-martialed.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...=moreheadlines
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Old 01-09-2009   #2
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Its sad when the only thing you have to celebrate is 4-hour ceasefire in the beatings.

We don't have to be an alcohol-fueled army like the ones that fought every war in the history of man prior to the first Gulf War; but there is no excuse for not having 2-beer a day ration for our soldiers to consume in the quantitiy and manner they choose, as reasonably controlled and supervised by their immediate chain of command.

Perhaps this is a chink in the armor of this long enduring travesty.
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Old 01-09-2009   #3
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Perhaps this is a chink in the armor of this long enduring travesty.
travesty of which you speak? Just idly curious.
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Old 01-09-2009   #4
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the no alcohol policy
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Old 01-09-2009   #5
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the no alcohol policy
The long takeover of the Army by the Women's Christian Temperance Union?


As late as 2002 we were allowed to have beer @ Tank Table VIII following a successful qualification run. Then MG Sanchez in late 2002 prohibited drinking while training in Bavaria under any circumstances. My BN CO tried it anyway at our Jan 03 gunnery and got reamed for it.

I have a forever lasting respect for MG Zilmer and the USMC for allowing all the Army troops serving in 1 MEF to have 2 beers in celebration of the USMC birthday. It obviously has taken until 2009 for the Army to consider the same.

Hopefully the pendulum is swinging back some.
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Old 01-09-2009   #6
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Default Agree with both of you

Not a particularly wise policy. It really needs a relook.

I recall no alcohol related problems in either Korea or Viet Nam. In the Dominican Republic, for three days, everyone drank beer when the erroneous word got out the rebels had poisoned the water...

The Table VIII tale doesn't surprise me, IIRC the same guy went into Kosovo, found the 82d had platoon leaders and even occasional squad leaders out being de facto Mayors of villages and doing a good job of keeping the peace, pulled them in, insisted on building the 900+ acre Fort Bonehead Apache (which was almost as dumb as occupying former Saddam palaces in Iraq IMO) and put out the diktat that all patrols would have a field grade accompanying -- and issued G.O. Number 1, no booze...

That is beyond travesty...
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Old 01-09-2009   #7
Schmedlap
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I don't think this would have been possible on any of my deployments, simply due to the logistics, unless beer is palletized like bottled water and there were a super special LOGPAC run on Super Sunday. It seems foolish to even ponder it - a special beer shipment to the FOB/LSA at least one day before Super Sunday. I am sure this requires guards and accountability procedures almost akin to arms room SOPs. Bn support platoon makes a special trip to receive it, unless it happens to fall on the day that they normally go to the FOB/LSA, then they bring it to the Bn. Unless there is a scheduled LOGPAC for that day from Bn to Co/Plt (generally not the case), then it sits at Bn and probably requires someone to guard it. When it finally does get sent to company/platoon, I suppose the guys on "red" cycle consume their 2 beers as they rotate off of guard duty. And the guys out in sector (strongpoints/ambushes/sniper recon/etc) - I guess we call them in early (beer first, mission second) or just let them drink it on the following day and don't tell anyone (especially not the General)?

Talk to someone currently serving in a staff billet in theater and I guarantee many units have tasked some Captain or Major to honcho this effort - to coordinate the special trip to pick it up, to figure out the distribution time/place/quantity, accountability procedures - this is a good solid 20 PowerPoint slides with lots of potential for flashy images, probably including 2 or 3 slides that have animations and at least 1 with sound.

This sounds like one of those ideas that some folks on the FOB cheer for, but the guys in the patrol bases and outposts react to in the same way that they react to "TGIF!" Seems like a morale booster for people who really shouldn't need one.
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Old 01-09-2009   #8
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Smile Hilarious, Schmed!

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Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
I don't think this would have been possible on any of my deployments, simply due to the logistics, unless beer is palletized like bottled water and there were a super special LOGPAC run on Super Sunday. It seems foolish to even ponder it - a special beer shipment to the FOB/LSA at least one day before Super Sunday. I am sure this requires guards and accountability procedures almost akin to arms room SOPs. Bn support platoon makes a special trip to receive it, unless it happens to fall on the day that they normally go to the FOB/LSA, then they bring it to the Bn. Unless there is a scheduled LOGPAC for that day from Bn to Co/Plt (generally not the case), then it sits at Bn and probably requires someone to guard it. When it finally does get sent to company/platoon, I suppose the guys on "red" cycle consume their 2 beers as they rotate off of guard duty. And the guys out in sector (strongpoints/ambushes/sniper recon/etc) - I guess we call them in early (beer first, mission second) or just let them drink it on the following day and don't tell anyone (especially not the General)?

Talk to someone currently serving in a staff billet in theater and I guarantee many units have tasked some Captain or Major to honcho this effort - to coordinate the special trip to pick it up, to figure out the distribution time/place/quantity, accountability procedures - this is a good solid 20 PowerPoint slides with lots of potential for flashy images, probably including 2 or 3 slides that have animations and at least 1 with sound.

This sounds like one of those ideas that some folks on the FOB cheer for, but the guys in the patrol bases and outposts react to in the same way that they react to "TGIF!" Seems like a morale booster for people who really shouldn't need one.
I was thinking they could just get it from the Iraqis...
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Old 01-09-2009   #9
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I was thinking they could just get it from the Iraqis...
I don't think that's an image that we want to project: beer swilling Americans swarming the local grocer for his booze.
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Old 01-09-2009   #10
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Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
I don't think this would have been possible on any of my deployments, simply due to the logistics, unless beer is palletized like bottled water and there were a super special LOGPAC run on Super Sunday. It seems foolish to even ponder it - a special beer shipment to the FOB/LSA at least one day before Super Sunday. I am sure this requires guards and accountability procedures almost akin to arms room SOPs. Bn support platoon makes a special trip to receive it, unless it happens to fall on the day that they normally go to the FOB/LSA, then they bring it to the Bn. Unless there is a scheduled LOGPAC for that day from Bn to Co/Plt (generally not the case), then it sits at Bn and probably requires someone to guard it. When it finally does get sent to company/platoon, I suppose the guys on "red" cycle consume their 2 beers as they rotate off of guard duty. And the guys out in sector (strongpoints/ambushes/sniper recon/etc) - I guess we call them in early (beer first, mission second) or just let them drink it on the following day and don't tell anyone (especially not the General)?

Talk to someone currently serving in a staff billet in theater and I guarantee many units have tasked some Captain or Major to honcho this effort - to coordinate the special trip to pick it up, to figure out the distribution time/place/quantity, accountability procedures - this is a good solid 20 PowerPoint slides with lots of potential for flashy images, probably including 2 or 3 slides that have animations and at least 1 with sound.

This sounds like one of those ideas that some folks on the FOB cheer for, but the guys in the patrol bases and outposts react to in the same way that they react to "TGIF!" Seems like a morale booster for people who really shouldn't need one.

I will say I wrote the OPORD for our BCT to impliment the USMC birthday beer.

Yes, it had lots of admin and security implications along what you descibed.

However, It was very well received in the BCT. No one was unhappy after 11 months of deployment (with 4 to go) at getting 2 beers, extra LOGPAC or not.
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Old 01-09-2009   #11
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I was thinking they could just get it from the Iraqis...
We actually had some Iraqi beer captured in OIF1 during a cache sweep. It didn't look that great.

For the USMC drink, they brought in Warsteiner and Heiniken, as I recall.
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Old 01-09-2009   #12
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I don't think that's an image that we want to project: beer swilling Americans swarming the local grocer for his booze.
I thought that maybe we could hire some "resourceful" Iraqis to deliver beer to FOBs, JSS, etc. I'm confident in their ability to make it happen.

Plus, we will help Iraq's struggling beer industry!

For the many times as I was offered booze by terps, jundees, contractors, local leaders, etc, I know it's readily available...
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Old 01-09-2009   #13
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Something else to consider, the convoys with the beer in them would be the most closely guarded and safe in all of Iraq, safer even than the Green Zone. Need something safely delivered in Iraq? Put it on the beer convoy, Joe will make absolutely sure that it get there.

SFC W
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Old 01-09-2009   #14
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Default Memories...

Amazing the value of common sense/decency...

Causes me to remember how a good friend had two mini-bottles of Jack shipped in the mail and subsequently saved, so as to toast the birth of my first daughter in the middle of the Iraqi desert during Desert Storm.

Cheers Lew!
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Old 01-09-2009   #15
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I will say I wrote the OPORD for our BCT to impliment the USMC birthday beer.

Yes, it had lots of admin and security implications along what you descibed.
Count that among the reasons that I got out. No unit that I was in would have had the time, inclination, or spare manpower to jump through the hoops necessary to make this "morale booster" happen for the same reasons that I doubt this unit would have. On the contrary, it would have just pissed us all off that higher echelons would concern themselves with such foolishness when we're busy focusing on the mission.

Everytime that someone 6 degrees of separation away from the guys on the line came up with some bright idea that would be "good for morale" it was almost universally met with anger. For example, a Sergeant Major on one of my deployments who always seemed to have a fresh clean uniform and an interceptor that looked like it was fresh out of the plastic thought it would be a "morale booster" to pull a fire team away from our company for 48 hours at a time and send them off to a giant FOB to "decompress." Aside from the trip being a several-hour hassle each way, and aside from the unneeded additional strain that this put on an already undermanned and overtasked unit, one fire team did it and they were so disgusted upon seeing the Fobbit lifestyle that they requested to never be given such an opportunity again. Fortunately, the chain of command stepped in shortly thereafter and veto'd future trips because it was too much of a logistically intensive nutroll to justify. And they also realized that this was just an opportunity for 3 or 4 guys at a time to get a glimpse of the people who, instead of repairing their weapons and filling their supply orders, were going sunbathing and shopping for condoms and CDs at the PX. I am sure that Sergeant Major, afterwards, told his fellow FOB dwellers (over a relaxing dinner at the KBR DFAC) that he came up with an ingenious plan to assure the morale of the troops, but that it was quashed by some out-of-touch officer.

These gestures sound really neat in the palace that they're written in. But the message so often received is that the guy who wrote it is out of touch. I can envision how my Soldiers would have received the two-beer message: "wow, two beers. Should I drink one before I help the mounted crews change track on the Brads and then the other right before I head out for a 48-hour shift on a 3-man OP? Or should I shotgun both before I get my 4 hours of rack and hope that we don't get attacked for 30 minutes or so?"

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However, It was very well received in the BCT. No one was unhappy after 11 months of deployment (with 4 to go) at getting 2 beers, extra LOGPAC or not.
My hunch is that the farther removed from the flag you got, the less well received it was. But hopefully I'm completely wrong. If I were concerned about FOB morale, then I would push a beer night, too. It's probably the only amenity that they don't have. But for the guys in the PB's and COP's, numerous other options come to mind.
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Old 01-10-2009   #16
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My hunch is that the farther removed from the flag you got, the less well received it was. But hopefully I'm completely wrong. If I were concerned about FOB morale, then I would push a beer night, too. It's probably the only amenity that they don't have. But for the guys in the PB's and COP's, numerous other options come to mind.
True, but Super Bowl Shower Night doesn't have quite the same ring . . .
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Old 01-10-2009   #17
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I recall no alcohol related problems in either Korea or Viet Nam. In the Dominican Republic, for three days, everyone drank beer when the erroneous word got out the rebels had poisoned the water...
You wouldn't have any special knowledge of how that "erroneous word got out," would you?
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Old 01-10-2009   #18
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You wouldn't have any special knowledge of how that "erroneous word got out," would you?
I'd thought of it.

We heard it was a Navy Corpsman with 6 MEU...
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Old 01-10-2009   #19
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Unhappy There's a catch though...

The WaPo didn't get the full story. Stars & Stripes had an article on this back before Christmas. At the time, it only applied to MND-Baghdad. They followed up recently, with reactions from other units. From the sound of it, MND-B will be the only command allowing its members to drink beer. Even MND-Center soldiers living on the same bases as MND-B won't be allowed to drink. Luckily, I'm in Qatar for a pass, enjoying my 3 daily beers.
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Old 01-10-2009   #20
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Default According to my source...

lift on the beer ban will only be in the Green Zone.
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