Now that that's done. We'll get on with the story. My wife and brand new daughter had remained on at Kadena for an additional year while I was at school. Our thought process was that we would then be looking for an assignment at the same time, making it much more likely (not certain mind you) that we could get assigned together.
Then, as with all military plans, the enemy ( in this case the personnel folks) got a vote. Since she'd been promoted BTZ (below the zone, early, marked for great success in future career) and she was a personnel officer, the personnel brass wanted to ensure her career stayed on the fast track. So, they selected her to go to the Army's Command and General Staff College.
That screwed up our plans, two years separation followed by an out of sync assignment, we'd be lucky to take leave together. Then I came upon an opportunity. The Army had a one year follow on program called School for Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) where they produced Jedi Knights.
I applied for the school and was accepted. This was right at the time that Saddam had vacationed in Kuwait and been evicted. SAMS graduates had been a big factor in planning the right sweep while at the same time the Air War had been highly successful.
No, Sarge, I do not believe Air Power won Desert Storm, nor do I believe the ground forces could have done what they did with out the success of the Air Campaign. The US led coalition won and the politicians, as usual, threw it away. Anyhoo enough on that.
After Desert Storm, the Army was very interested in studying the role of Air Power in the war, and the Air Force was very interested in studying ways to better coordinate the integration of air and ground combat. (No, Sarge, not a discussion of JFACC either, but I did have to write a monograph about that. My advisor was a Marine O-6 select infantryman. I'm sure you can imagine our discussions.)
The Air Force also decided they needed their version of SAMS, and stood up SAAS. So, they were enthused that I was selected also. I was enthused because my family was going to be together again.
The first three months were called the Book a Day club. Classes were held in the morning and we were released in the afternoon to prepare for the following day. By prepare, I mean we were given a Military classic, such as “On War” and told to read and understand it, in time for discussion in the morning. By the time this section was over, we were pretty tired and looking for a way to relax and blow off steam.
My wife and her class had a similar situation in that they had just completed the operations portion of CGSC and were similarly tired. One of the aspects of that section of training was a tour of the Disciplinary Barracks, the formal name for the military prison on the Fort. Since Army Officers sent to CGSC were typically going to command positions on graduation and would have judicial authority over their subordinates, it was considered useful that they would have visited the facility.
|USDB at the time, since torn down, this will always define prison for me.|
That visit went a long way towards keeping me on the right side of the law.
Anyhow, it's October and the curriculum pace has lightened, actually not, we were just learning how to cope, which was exactly the point of Staff Officer training. Perfection is the enemy of Good Enough.
But as we perceived a lightening of the load, the Air Force Students decided that we should have a party. A couple of the guys, single at the time, had rented a large house and offered it for use. The original party theme was to buy some beer, bring some food and sit around and drink and eat and watch football.
The wives vetoed that idea. No, we would have a costume party.
We'll have some beer, eat some food and watch football in a costume. We decided that we would have a contest with some trophy for the best male and female costume. Voting would be taken from the opposite gender. The women would pick the best male costume and vice versa. The wives knew that injecting a bit of competition would encourage a more active participation on the part of the guys.
The winner of the best female costume came dressed as a nurse. Nurse Goodbody to be precise. As soon as she came in the door, there was a collective groan from the crowd. The women because they knew who won, the men because well…
The winner of the best male costume was a much closer held decision. The trophy was eventually handed out to the wearer of an orange jumpsuit with a brown ski cap. This was the uniform worn by the Disciplinary Barracks Trustees as they performed chores on the post.
You could get your car detailed for about 5 bucks by them. They did all the lawn mowing. You could even get your groceries bagged and carried out to the car by a convicted murderer. They were always very polite, because even the slightest complaint meant loss of trustee status and back into the cell.
In any case, the Ladies thought that costume showed imagination and effort and so awarded the gentleman the trophy. Shortly thereafter the party breaks up and we head home.
One of the attendees is driving home when he drives over a nail or something and has a blow out. He's busy changing the tire when a police officer happens to drive buy and shine his spotlight on him. Seeing the winner of the trophy in his bright orange jumpsuit with Prisoner stenciled on the back and a brown ski cap on (it was cool, he was trying to stay warm!), well, let's just say things got exciting for a bit. And he didn't get much sleep that night.
The following Monday, the Commandant felt it necessary to put out a memo stating that the trustee uniform was in fact a uniform and not a costume, and if someone felt the need to try one on, that could be arranged.
Now, in this day and age, an incident like that would be the death knell for a career. However, this guy is still on active duty and is wearing three stars. No, I won't name names, He's a pretty good guy.
On a personal note, I'm going to be on vacation for the next 3 weeks. In fact, by the time this posts, I'll be in the air. I've decided I've had enough of Fall, so we're going where it's now Spring and the locals tend to say G'Day instead of Howdy.
I've got my Monday posts scheduled although I'm changing the nature of my posts for a bit. I hope you will enjoy the change. I've learned a lot in doing the research.