Wednesday, January 9, 2008

And Monkeys Might Fly Out of My…..

Assimilating into the Army has at times been hard.

Some days I truly feel like a squid out of water. Everything is new: acronyms, jargon, tempo, phone etiquette, unit organization, staff culture, acceptable jokes, the system itself. Anyone who has ever been a guest in someone else’s system can relate to how hard it can be to get things done. The division of labor among the battalion staff members is similar to the Navy’s, and just different enough to screw me up. The S-3 is kind of like a Squadron OpsO, but there’s nothing equivalent to a FRAGO in a squadron. The XO is an XO, but is also the head Maintenance Officer. The S-1 and S-2 are junior to the S-3. The S-6 is one of the most junior officers, but has about 15 people that work for him.

Having said all that, my Army comrades have been accommodating and forgiving of my blunders, and patiently answer my bewildered questions, such as, “Where is the convoy schedule?” (There isn’t one) and “What does ‘scunion’ mean?” (Still don’t know). They don’t really know what I do. Maybe that’s good because it’s less they have to worry about. I prefer to work behind the scenes anyway.

But it can all be isolating. After all, not only am I the weird Navy chick, I’m also the New Guy.


And as the New Guy, I should not be surprised to find this affixed to the back of my IBA:
Ha ha, guys. As payback, you can clean my musket, because I suck at that.

So what does this have to do with monkeys? Well, nothing makes a person feel more remembered, loved, connected and anchored to reality than mail from home! Thank you to everyone who has blessed me with care packages, letters, and emails. They really help. I am really lucky to have such caring friends and family.

One particularly blog-worthy presento came from a good friend of mine who was also a Navy IA in Iraq. (Sherm, they still talk about you.)

He knew just what to send: A Handheld Flying Monkey Launcher!!!!



christine gerbode said...

Scunion (verb): Military term meaning to lay down heavy fire to suppress enemy movement.

christine gerbode said...



In Vietnam, and in the Western US, scunion, as in , to bring scunion, signified inflicting distress, injury or destruction.
Used in the late '60's

"Those gunships brought scunion on that 'ville!"

A ville was a Vietnamese town or hamlet."

also, i've got a letter for you in the works.

Anonymous said...

Really enjoy reading your blog! I'm about to head out on IA as EWO as well. Any tips on laptop/broadband/connectivity? What service is there? Thanks, and keep up the great dialogue. It's been a big help getting ready. See you in the sand box - The Bear (