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Old 31 May 2008, 13:29
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Fort Lee, VA...AIT students out of control???

Ok, I’m looking for folks that can actually offer some incite here, not just comments on, “This is bullshit…etc.”

I would say I am a little lost as to the whole AIT thing now-a-days, because I’ve been talking to my brother that is at Fort Lee, VA preparing to attend Parachute Rigger Course (92R) there. The reports I am getting have me absolutely baffled as to how things run anymore.

He called and filled me in on what is going on in general in the barracks area. Apparently, the barracks are a conglomeration of all MOS’s, however the 3rd floor of the barracks are specifically for those attending the Rigger Course only. OK, that is cool. However, there are some issues. The Parachute Rigger students are not under the control of the school house, but are under the control of the other Quartermaster folks like cooks, mortuary affairs, etc. So, what you have is some serious animosity, that being the Airborne vs. Non-Airborne. This is nothing new to those of us that have been one of the many forms of Paratroopers in the military. There is always animosity there.

Besides the normal animosity that takes place between Paratroopers and Non-Paratroopers, there are issues of lack of control by cadre running the barracks in general.

Some of a couple of instances are as follows:

1) The cadre of the barracks were unable to maintain control of soldiers at night, because they would leave through windows at the top of the building and slide down the drainage pipes, so they placed concertina wire all around the top of the building. Instead of maintaining positive control of soldiers, they have instead tried to create what resembles a detention facility.

2) Due to the problems of AIT soldiers showing up in formation drunk, they have started conducting random breathalyzer tests on soldiers during the various formations. According to my brother, he has seen individuals that he knew were drunk taking the breathalyzer, but no action was taken.

3) One such case where my brother arrived in formation at the end of day on a Sunday, only to see one soldier holding a beer, another female soldier throwing up approximately four times to the side of the formation, and many soldiers completely drunk. These actions were all being done in uniform.

4) Other situations have involved my brother seeing soldiers leaving one formation and going into another formation to have an altercation with another soldier. This soldier was apparently threatening the other soldier for a comment that they had made. While this was taking place, the cadre did not do anything.

5) Apparently, the Parachute Riggers are a little out of control on the 3rd floor of the barracks, because there are group beatings that take place by various students on soldiers that they have chosen. These beatings have incorporated up to five soldiers or more grouping up and beating one soldier.

6) From what my brother has said, there is a list on the 3rd floor that people can sign up for that is for scheduled fights. If you want to fight someone, you write you name on the list and a fight will take place on the 3rd floor in a room.

7) 1SG making individuals that have serious injuries going to pick up trash. Example is a female soldier that is on crutches with stress fractures in her hips picking up trash and another soldier.

Another case is my brother who just had a hard cast put on his foot due to fractures he gained while attending Airborne School. I will say that I have to give my brother coodo’s for sucking up Airborne on a broken foot, but he is definitely paying for it now. Apparently, the doctor determined he had fractured the tibia on the part that bumps outward on the ankle and put it in a walking cast there on the spot. Then told him he was to return in a month. The doctor had him fill out a leave form for convalescent leave to take to his 1SG/CDR for 30-days and to return in 30-days to have the foot reevaluated. However, when he took the DA Form 31 to his 1SG/CDR, the 1SG is placing him on details that require him to walk, and his CDR told him he just needed to “walk it off and it would get better” instead of authorizing the DA Form 31 or even just putting him on a light duty such as CQ/Staff Duty.

8) Formations are more or less ran by the students and not the cadre. When I say this, I mean that the students determine how long the formation lasts. Apparently, if the cadre walk out and see the students talking, they just walk back in the building and come out later. If they come out and the students are talking again, they repeat the process. These formations can last up to an hour or more, just for this reason. In mentioning this, you can see where the students run the formation and not the NCO’s. What is difficult is that if any of the students try to correct another student, by telling him to “shut is mouth”, they run the risk of what was stated in point #5 above.

Now, these are just a few points that I am bringing up and I am only getting pieces and parts through very short correspondence by either phone or text messages. I personally do not like to get involved in this sort of thing, however none of this set right with me and I know as a former NCO, I would NEVER allow such activities to take place under me.

One thing I want to make clear is that I also went and looked in the regulations before I posted this. I wanted to make sure I was not off my “rocker” in thinking much of these activities were out of line.

Here are a few regulations that I quoted and provided the source for and are related directly to the points already mentioned.

Point 2 & 3:
Source: AR 350-6, Section 2-2(7)(b)
URL: http://www.tradoc.army.mil/tpubs/regs/r350-6.pdf

“Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products may only be used if the Soldier is of legal age. Alcoholic beverages will not be used within 8 hours prior to reporting for duty. Soldiers granted these privileges will not consume alcoholic beverages or use tobacco products in the presence of those Soldiers who have not been granted these privileges.”

Point 4, 5, & 6:
Source: AR 350-6, Section 2-3, a(1)&(2)
URL: http://www.tradoc.army.mil/tpubs/regs/r350-6.pdf

“(1) Hazing is defined as any conduct that causes another to suffer, or be exposed to any activity which is cruel, abusive, humiliating, oppressive, demeaning, or harmful. Soliciting or coercing another to perpetrate any such activity is also considered as hazing. Hazing need not involve physical contact, it can be verbal or psychological in nature. Actual or implied consent to acts of hazing does not eliminate the culpability of the perpetrator. Hazing is explicitly forbidden IAW AR 600-20, chapter 4 and applies to military members and civilian personnel. Hazing is an offense punishable under the UCMJ.

(2) This definition includes and is not limited to playing abusive tricks, threatening or offering violence or bodily harm to another, striking, branding, tattooing, any forced or coerced consumption of alcohol, drug, or tobacco product or causing the harmful, excessive, or abusive consumption of food, or any other substance.”



Ok, these are just a few points that I have listed. Like I said at the beginning, I’m just wanting clarification as to whether all of the activities I have mentioned are considered to be normal practices and procedures. What I see is a lack of control by cadre, lack of discipline and lack of the command to view soldiers as a key asset to the Army as a whole. Everything I have listed just does not seem right.

Any thoughts or advice?

Last edited by Tracker275; 31 May 2008 at 13:40.
  #2  
Old 31 May 2008, 13:48
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In regards to the reports of drinking, fighting, etc. -- this reads a bit unbelievable. But if true, then in this day's military -- isn't there probably a complaint hotline or ethics website?

In regards to his having to work while supposed to be on convalescent leave, I would imagine that he needs to visit his doctor again and explain that he is being ordered to walk on his foot -- most doctors I have met, military and not, don't take kindly to someone telling them they are not authorities in their field of medicine.

As to the formation stuff -- it reads as if this is still a "he said/she said" story. I just have a hard time believing that even a pogue holding unit would have such poor discipline. But if true, then I would think that perhaps a visit by the NCO Association might be better than anything else. Maybe that might be the answer to the whole thing -- have a couple of retired SNCOs drop by to see if this is true....
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Old 31 May 2008, 13:50
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Tell your brother to document the situation, to the greatest detail possible... names, times, locations, exact circumstances. Guesswork will not prevail. If he can get away with a little digital camera that takes video, even better.

Then go to the IG. He will not suffer retribution from the cadre if he tells the IG he's fearful of what the "drills" will do.

You're right... that is bullshit.

My BCT we were in Harmony Church, eating like refugees... I mean the messhall was giving us next to nothing. One of the guys called the IG, and within a week we were eating like kings, extras and all. Seems the drills were taking CASES and CASES of chow home with them. Needless to say a few of the platoons got new drills that same day.

Sounds to me like there is some seriously weak leadership going on over there... a situation more than a few people would be interested in fixing, with a size 14 wide desert boot.
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Old 31 May 2008, 14:11
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I know what you guys are saying. I can understand what you mean by unbelievable SOTB, because I thought the same thing. However, the story remains the same each time he calls and knowing my brother, he is a very by-the-book hard charger and does not believe in lack of discipline. I just can't see him filling me a fish story is all.

He is in his mid 20's and has already lived the life of a long haul flat bed trucker, so he has welcomed the Army since coming in, but the stories he keeps telling me just do not make any sense. Granted, I can not solidify that I can verify that these statements are true, however I know that my brother doesn't feed my family a line of shit on these type of things.

From my personal experience, I have seen such senseless activity in other AIT environments when I have reclassified to a new MOS. I saw some similar retardation at Goodfellow AFB with the cadre doing some totally retarded shit with the IET students and those of us that were prior-service there to reclassify. So, I definitely do not think that all is false by any means.

That is why I posted it on here, so I could see what the advice of some of you was. I agree with you SOTB, I think he needs to go over to the Doc and tell them the deal. I am not accusing anyone of anything right now, just wondering what the hell is going on over there. It more or less comes down to me trying to find out if any of this is true, and if it is is, what is the proper course of action to pass on to my brother for him to take. I can't do anything about it, because I am out and in a different federal department, nor do I want to get involved. All I can do is bounce what I have been told off of the rest of you, and pass it on to him.

Last edited by Tracker275; 31 May 2008 at 14:19.
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Old 31 May 2008, 15:23
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If that shit ended up on youtube and then on the news look out.
Even though they are a dime a dozen anymore, a congressional letter gets the Chain of Commands attention but you better be documented. This kind of discipline issue leads to soldiers getting killed just like to poor guy in Benning.
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Old 31 May 2008, 15:54
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Hey man- just see my thread on "So much for Morality Waivers".
Shit- they can barely keep quality people in the Army anymore with these ball busting 15 month tours- you really think they're going to risk hurting the feelings of shitbags?

I just got a letter from my younger brother- the one in the battalion with the murdered CQ kid. He said his drill sergeant was disciplined for cutting their Sunday pass from 8 hours down to 4 hours. And this is at Ft. Benning. Holy shit. When I was there, all we did was PT on Sundays. This is the price we pay for over-extending our military. Enjoy.
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Old 31 May 2008, 16:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOTB View Post
In regards to the reports of drinking, fighting, etc. -- this reads a bit unbelievable. But if true, then in this day's military -- isn't there probably a complaint hotline or ethics website?.
If your bro feels strongly about it enough he should use his CDR's Open Door Policy, and report the Hazing, and lack of Overall leadership.

Nobody likes to be the whisleblower or snitch, but a desperate situation as described, calls for something drastic.
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Old 31 May 2008, 16:58
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Simple problem to fix, there is an NCO chain-structure for a reason. I would have a hard-time believing he would find no assistance.

In this day and age of technology, tell him to start snapping pictures and record everything he sees. Have him find a buddy or two that will collaborate his story. When all else fails, do as suggested and contact the NCO Association. I am positive this problem will get cleaned up.
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Old 31 May 2008, 16:59
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See, shit like this is why some parents pressure their kids to go to college rather than enlist.......oh wait, this sounds like college as well......:D

"REMF's Gone Wild".......
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Old 31 May 2008, 18:56
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My brother went through Rigger School back in the early 60s. I got to watch him make a jump someplace outside of Ft. Lee. That was pretty cool for a 12 year old to see. I also remember him telling tales of jumping out of second story windows, trusting his straight from jump school to rigger training "PLFs" to save his drunk ass. I'm sure that the era I'm talking about is long gone, but if I do remember correctly, there were a bunch of guys so full of them selves they were about to bust and there HAD to be some sort of an outlet for them. Do they still wear the red baseball cap, or is there a beret?
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Old 31 May 2008, 19:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BKK View Post
If your bro feels strongly about it enough he should use his CDR's Open Door Policy, and report the Hazing, and lack of Overall leadership.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CV
Simple problem to fix, there is an NCO chain-structure for a reason. I would have a hard-time believing he would find no assistance.
I think you guys are missing the point. It is the entire chain of command that is the problem. If you refer back to what I posted, you will see they are some of the main culprits. This would include the 1SG/CDR both. Hell, the 1SG made him gimp around the barracks today to go look for the water bottle he misplaced, so he could go sit in his office. Sounds like taking care of your troops to me.

Last edited by Tracker275; 31 May 2008 at 22:49.
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Old 31 May 2008, 19:47
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This is how they are fixing the problem of Private escaping the barracks at night and scaling down the drainage pipes of the barracks.

My brother just shot me this from the camera on his phone. So, this would definitely prove they prefer to set up a detention facility that will hopefully keep the Privates in instead of disciplining them.

Sounds like a case of the NCO's/Officer's there not wanting to take care of the problem the correct way, but instead trying to create a method to just slow them down, so they can go home early.

This is just nuts that the Initial Entry soldiers can run crazy like this.
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Old 31 May 2008, 19:53
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Here is the second picture...
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Old 31 May 2008, 22:09
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Unhappy Its true...

tsod275:

I had a guy, that just graduated the 68W course at Ft. Sam and he relayed similar stories.

Stay safe.
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Old 31 May 2008, 22:35
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tsod275:

I had a guy, that just graduated the 68W course at Ft. Sam and he relayed similar stories.
Now, this is just dumb...What are the higher ups thinking about? How to have their resume ready for whoever becomes President and not what we are in the business of?

Yeah, I just can't understand what is going on with the Army. Just like myself, I currently have a Congressional investigation going on for $7,000 the Army owes me and keeps telling the congressman's office they are "looking" for all of the paperwork that has been submitted for the money that they owe me and it will take time. I talked to the Congressman's office and they told me that this is a regular issue that they get hit with, so they know what they need to do, because of repetition...Something sound wrong there???

I have had my fair share of pay issues as the last time was $6,000 that took them 18 months to reimburse me for.

Ok...so pay issues are one thing and we all know the Army is fucked up when it comes to pay. It has been since we did away with the lines many of us stood in to get our cash and later our money orders.

I say this, because they screwed up my brothers VERY FIRST paycheck. He hadn't been in even a month yet and they messed up half of his platoons pay, which still hasn't been corrected fully yet. So, some things are not changing.

Now I am hearing this and seeing pictures trickling in from his cell phone that he is using to send them to me regarding retarded disciplinary shit that involves Privates ganging up on others.

It is bad enough the Basic Training kid at Fort Benning that died due to stabbing a week and a half ago (http://www.*********.com/news/2008/0...bbing_052308w/), the SF guy who died in the shower in Iraq (http://www.*********.com/news/2008/0...kdeath_080108/), the barracks at Fort Bragg that the President even toured when he visited Fort Bragg, and now hearing this crap.

With all of this dumb shit going on, they focus on retarded ideas like Blackberry's with SIPRNET capability... (http://www.mit-kmi.com/print_article.cfm?DocID=1977). Why have secure areas anymore? Hell....use the concertina wire on the barracks and not on security of a building holding secure communications...Makes sense to me.

To me, it sounds like it is time to fall back to the basics.
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Old 31 May 2008, 22:51
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I'd last about a week as a 1SG. Come to formation drunk if you want too...

I'd run the entire formation into the ground!

Stay safe.
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Old 31 May 2008, 23:05
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IG is a good course of action, he needs a new Co Commander, 1sgt, and a few other leaders.
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Old 31 May 2008, 23:17
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IG is a good course of action, he needs a new Co Commander, 1sgt, and a few other leaders.
It isn't that he is pointing out himself. He is only mentioning what is going on down there. However, it happens that a few things have hit him in the last few days since he has been down there.

One thing I want to point out is it is not the individual, my brother, that is the entire focus here, it is the entire situation that is taking place down there from what I am hearing. So far, much of it is holding true. I would think the pictures speak for themselves in just the concertina statement.

So, don't look at just him, but the environment that your future Parachute Riggers are currently thinking is acceptable. It is bad enough that out of 40+ Parachute Rigger future bubba's that showed up to Airborne School with my brother were widdled down to only 9 that went on to Fort Lee after getting their wings. That is pathetic, especially since Airborne School is probably one of the easiest courses you can attend now-a-days.

One can hope they do not take this mentality to your units and pack your chutes with as little discipline as what is being displayed there currently. This is not to mention that these same people that are doing whatever they please are going to be your future supply specialists, cooks, and even mortuary affairs people.

Since we are currently in combat operations, it isn't the fact that people are bitching about how they are being treated. It is the fact that they are not being shown any discipline, nor are they proving they can be trusted in any manner at all. This is not being demonstrated by the cadre either.

Based on what has been presented so far, how many of you would trust the caliber of soldier coming out of this institution if this is all they know so far, especially if you were getting ready to be deployed?

That is all I am saying.
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Old 1 June 2008, 00:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsod275
I think you guys are missing the point....
I'm not -- which is why I stated that he should report this to an outside agency, one that maintains his confidentiality/anonymity. I would violate that in regards to his foot -- he should go to his doctor and state he is being told to ignore the doctor's orders (later on VA claims and such).

One thing I would add is that your brother is young. 20 or not, he is young. And he may be seeing things from a different perspective -- ie the concertina wire. I don't dismiss his claims, I just think that they are incredible. And as such, I think a professional org should look into it. I believe that reporting this to the NCO Association -- you can do that -- can make a difference. I would still keep some measure of anonymity for your brother -- no one likes a snitch -- as was pointed out above.

Bottom line, this is easily corrected. If true, the threat of disclosing this to the media will bring rapid repair to the situation -- I have little doubt of that....
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Old 1 June 2008, 01:32
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I think you guys are missing the point. It is the entire chain of command that is the problem. If you refer back to what I posted, you will see they are some of the main culprits. This would include the 1SG/CDR both. Hell, the 1SG made him gimp around the barracks today to go look for the water bottle he misplaced, so he could go sit in his office. Sounds like taking care of your troops to me.

He has a few more CDRs up the chain of command in the O-5 or O-6 pay grade that would be interested, and who have an open door policy. Since he is only going to be there for a couple of weeks, he should not have to worry about any long term retribution.

You could also contact your congressman. I am sure there have been plenty of third party congressionals started by Parents of soldiers.
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