Back in The Day. A Story from “The Old Army”

Good Morning Me Droogs and Droogettes!  Been quantifying ye olde memory banks and trying to remember some older stories from “back in the days”.
Then last night I was talking to the Old Lady about some of the stuff I got on display on the shelving in the Living room.  After the X-Bitcho bailed, I took these INSANELY long shelves that I had custom built (12 foot long, painted to match the wall and textured on the bottom to match, held up with some NICE wrought iron… I did a –really– good job on building ’em…)  So after XBitcho Bailed I took over the now-emptied shelves with allllll the shit she had -never- let me put on display…
Namely all my awards, military souvenirs and shit from all the time I spent in boots, civvie and military.  A “I love me” wall is what its called in the service.
Whelp, the Old Lady was checking out some of the stuff, and was wondering what one of the medals was, and I remembered the story behind it.  
So… back in the day, I got in trouble.  (Big fucking surprise to y’all I know.)  It was essentially my second FG-A-15 (Field Grade Article 15) that year.  LOL. (Yeah I was trouble back in the day… brawler and boozer…) A Field Grade Article Fifteen is defined as: “UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice, I.E.: “DA ROOLZ”) Article 15 is a form of non-judicial punishment that commanders use to promote good order and discipline without going to a trial by court-martial. When faced with a UCMJ Article 15, Servicemembers have a right to demand trial by court-martial, to appeal the non-judicial punishment, or to accept it. Their demand to have a court-martial terminates the non-judicial proceedings. When they appeal it, the punishment may not be increased, and the appeal goes to the next superior authority. Their acceptance means that they will accept the punishment.”  

Da Roolz

Needless to say, for this one I -wasn’t going for the court martial.  Rationale behind it is the Ay-One-Five max punishment was 45 Days Confined to Quarters, 45 Days Loss of Pay, 45 Days Extra Duty, and Loss of Two Ranks MAX.  A court martial?  Anything goes up to and including Hard Time/Dishonorable… and generally speaking, anyone who demands a Court Martial usually gets the fuckin’ book thrown at ’em as occifers usually prefer to deal with a fuckup in-house, rather than outside with other command elements.  In my particular case, if I had been stupid enuff to go for a General, they could have hammered my dick into the dirt but good.  However also, there were, shall we say?
Extenuating Circumstances.

The fact was that this was my second Article-15 in 6 months, (the first I walked away with a slap on the wrist, no loss of rank, no $$$ loss, just 30 days of Extra Duty… bar brawl against a sister unit) The second was a bit more serious, and I was ready to get really bent over (DUI on post… dumbass) In all fairness, the now ex-wife had just miscarried our first kid… I was a bit of a mess emotionally at the time.  Truthfully I sorta crawled into a bottle for many moons.

But anyways I got called up and hustled to the HQ.  I had been getting ready to go before “The Man” when the call to get fried came in.  I get there, and while I’m waiting for my turn in the barrel so to speak,  our S-1 PAC clerk comes over and calls me aside… he’s like “Hey! Big C! Got something for you!”
I was like “WTF Robins? I’m about to get fried! WTF could you -possibly- have for me at a time like this?” He was almost in tears and shaking from holding the laughter… He hands me one of those green awards folders… I opened it and surprise surprise!!! It’s the Good Conduct Medal…
 ( I had re-enlisted a few months earlier and the Lt Col hadn’t put a bar to re-enlist on my first Alpha-One-Fiver… apparently “Big Army’s Paperwork” caught up that day…) I was like “WTF ever… I’m toast either way, but to hell with it.” and tucked it under my arm. 
When I walked away, Robins our PAC Clerk (the S-1) started laughing his balls off. 
Sooooooooo…. I get into the Colonel’s office, the SMAJ (Sergeant Major… the senior NCO for the unit) is there, my Platoon Leader, the S-4 is there, and I report, render the salute and the SMAJ was all like “Just WHAT in THE FUUUUCK is under your other Arm Soon-to-Be-Private!!!???!!!” 
I figured Fuck it… in for a penny and all that… 
Me: “Its an Award Folder Sergeant Major!” 
Lt Col Battalion Commander: “Just who the hell gave you an award?” 
Me: “You did sir!” 
SMAJ: “What in THEEE HELL are you talkin’ about!?!” (grabs folder from me glowering, reads folder… starts smirking… starts giggling.) 
Lt Col BN CMD: “SMAJ, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot??? (Completely Confused) 
Me: (Barely holding in my own giggles while at attention) 
SMAJ: (Laughing out Loud now) “It’s his GCM Sir!”
Lt. Col BN CMD:  “GCM???  How in the hell… Oh Dear Lord… why me… why me? (Holds head in hands)
At this point everyone starts laughing in a sort of way that I –knew– despite my sins, I was in pretty good shape now… I managed to keep my rank, and only lost a bit of $$$ from it, as long as me and my now ex-wife got counselling for the loss of our kid… Turns out Robins knew the sit-rep and had saved my award -just- for this occasion… he knew the scoop, and saved my ass…. I bought him a really good bottle after that one… 
He drank it without me LOL
So… after that, I kept my shit straight.
For the most part.

Also, YAY!!! I got my first Patron!  My MANY THANKS!!!! 

Until later, I remain, The Intrepid Reporter

Big Country

By BigCountryExpat

Fuck you if you can't take a joke. No one gets out alive so eat me.


  1. Well at least you got yours in a (relatively) timely fashion – and at a most opportune time. I had to ASK (not quite beg but close) for mine – several years after the fact when I went back into the reserves in another branch. Never mind that ALL of the other troops that were ETSing in the same time frame got (at least) an ARCOM. Glad you got off (relatively speaking) lightly 😉
    Footnote: by the time I retired I 'somehow' managed to acquire 20+ individual and unit awards and multiples of most of those………….

  2. I laughed when they gave me mine, too. I already had 2 Company grade Article 15's under my belt. One of them would have been a Field grade (ordered by the V Corps commander to throw the book at me) if my CO had not hated me so much as to rush his Article 15 through first – so double jeopardy and all that.

Leave a Reply to Anonymous Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *