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Old 29th July 2007
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Default The Power of Zero - GI Joe Back in the Desert #4

My good friend Joe is back in the desert. He got lucky this time and is in Kuwait where it is relatively safe.

Le Frapper has been writing a series of stories while in the Desert and has authorized me to post them here.

Joe is US Army Major and combat veteran of Afghanistan. He has a 1969 XL that will someday be taken out of its boxes and put back together.

Please keep Joe and all other US Military and their their allies in your thoughts daily.

Story #4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Frapper
The Power of Zero

Hi All, its time for another letter on the deployment and the bureaucracy that exists in a small area of the military. I am in a Base not a Forward Operating Base or FOB but a base none the less. Technically known to most military personnel as a guy who is “ In the rear with the Gear” and not using any of it, the gear that is, in other words away from the front and in the land of logistical sustainment. Most of the people here are responsible for getting the units in country, outfitting them, and sending them forward to the fight. Most soldiers refer to them, in a completely enduring fashion of course, as REMFS or Rear Echelon Mother Truckers you can figure out the real word on your own. Yes it is crude, rude, and lude but that is what they are called. I, unfortunately at the moment, am one of those guys right now. Normally I am in what is called a Combat Arms branch of the up front war fighter guys but in this tour I am a REMF in the rear. Yes it is a rough job, pools, three PXs, three mess halls, movie house and a whole bunch of amenities that the guys at the front just don’t have access to such as real plates and silverware to eat with. Its actually been this way for every war throughout history. The guys here are mostly logisticians or Loggy Toads another term of endearment, and supply people.

Now that you have the background here is the story. I was sitting in a meeting the other day when the conversation turned to the dreaded and often misunderstood TMR or Transportation Movement Request Form. This form has been the bane of many a unit from the guy who needs his tank taken to the front to the poor slob who needs the one water trailer that will save the war effort brought to the front line. This form helps schedule the movement of personnel and equipment to and from the front. So I am sitting in this meeting not really paying attention when the Power of Zero descended on the meeting in small little particles of dust. Actually the air conditioning unit coughed and dislodged a bunch of gunk from the filter but that is neither here nor there, stick to the story dude.

For those of you that don’t know Zero is the most power full number in the universe, without it you could not say words like nada, none, or zip, zilch or what have you. Zero is the meaning of all these and many other words, In North Polish (the language of the north Pole that is) it refers to the little fuzz balls, err I mean snow balls double err I mean well never mind what I mean, they are made by snow snakes when they shed their skin when it is breeding season, but that’s another story. Yes Virginia there really are Snow Snakes.

Anyway there seemed to be a major problem with units that were requesting movement using the TMR for. There were about 35 requests that could not be processed because, and I am not making this up, the line for the requested piece of equipment did not have or start with a Zero. Pause for effect. I blurted out without really thinking what I was saying which is what a blurt is, “You Got to be Bleeping kidding me." "Your keeping units from sending their equipment to the war because of a stupid Zero on a form that some REMF is to lazy to get off his or her butt to put in the computer cuz its not their JOB???" Well it was actually much more colorful than that but you get the point. My combat Armsness was kicking in, finally and breaking through the shell of idiotic REMFness that had encircled it. Several of the Loggy Toads looked at me like one of my alternate personalities had taken over for a few seconds as they are want to do. Stupid multiple personalities anyway.

Then out of the great ball of dust that had settled on the room, probably because I scared it off of the lights when I loudly blurted out my comments, the air began to clear a little. Then the Capitan of all Loggy Toads (Loggy Toads is a term of endearment for all logistical types in the military) I think I all ready said that oh well it was repeatable, (yes there is always one in every crowd) spoke up with a complete explanation of why the zero was so uber important and omnipotent with regard to the processing of the TMR. At this point I stopped listening as I can only stand so much crap. I was ready to slap several people in the room over this zero crap, and crap my friends is what it really was. Actually I grabbed a loggy toad and slapped em just to relieve the frustration of the situation. The I had to publicly apologize in front of the troops in France, uh wait that was Patton, er… never mind.

Then another Captain spoke up who had tried to fix the problem by asking the different agencies involved with the form who was supposed to or allowed to put the zero in the correct slot. She mentioned that of the two key units she talked to each one emphatically assured her that it “WASN’T THEIR JOB TO PUT IN THE ZERO”. That kind of comment to a combat arms guy would cause his spleen and several other key organs to burst upon hearing it, which mine did, I slapped another loggy toad out of reflex. “ Not your job huh, well it is now cupcake, move out and draw fire and while your at it put that stupid zero in there afore place where the sun does not shine before I rip your lips off, got it soldier??? End of discussion problem solved the combat arms way.

Unfortunately the Loggy Toads work just a liiiiiiitle differently. After much talk, hand waving, drawing on a white marker board and coffee and cookies they said they would look into fixing the issue. The power of Zero was summarily ignored for the time being.

Meanwhile there is some guy out there who submitted the form without the dreaded zero, who has no idea that he is not going to get his stuff moved because of the Curse of Zero. Gentleman we need a young priest and an old priest to exercise the Demon Zero, quick call the Vatican, request an exorcist, typewriter, and tanker full of holy water and don’t forget the stupid zero on the form when you request it or we will never see them in our life time. I am sure they will correct the issue soon but man what a bunch of rear echelon frivolity. Eventually a general officer, an Ex Combat Arms Guy fixed the issue directing a certain unit to put the zero in and avoid all of the red tape, get the units moving and do not get stuck on the silly zero issues. My name was mentioned after the meeting. Some one commented, “Sir that’s similar to what the USAREUR LNO said” NO kidding sunshine! Man I need to slap another loggy taod like right now. Aahhhhhh….

There are a bunch of other things you can only do with a Zero, count to ten or any other number that requires it, say a million, billion gazillion, googlegillion and lots oh these things all need Zero in order to work. There are many answers to questions that require Zero –

So how much am I getting back on my taxes this year, uh oh never mind. Zero.

Hey honey whats the chances of a little snuggle time to night? Zero? dang…..

Hey dad how much will you pay me to cut the grass, Zero, really that much huh, double dang.

Yes officer I was speeding but I pulled over before you got here what’s the chances of just giving me a warning? Zero! Oh that bad huh.

How many times have you won the lottery? Zero.

What number comes after negative one? Zero, yep you guessed it.

The number of times I met the president of the US. Zero

How many times have I driven a race car? Zero.

Well you get the point. Zero is a powerful number and in the Army it controls the dreaded TMR and your life if you not careful. So praise Zero toady in your daily duties, you never know when it is going to jump up and bite you in the well you know where.

GI JOE IN THE desert yet again…..
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Old 29th July 2007
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Man! That's a messed up story.

I'm glad GI JOE slapped some sense into those fools
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Old 29th July 2007
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That was great.. Its amazing anything gets accomplished.
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