CRC, or, Permission to Go to War

Since I am whining a lot tonight I decided to describe the CRC at Ft. Benning.

Before you can go into a war zone working for the military or a contractor, all people are required to go through the CRC.  That stands for conus replacement center.  I have been there twice.  When it is decided by the military that you will go over to a war zone, (Iraq and Afghanistan in particular), you are required to go through one of these centers.  You also are required to do this if you are a civilian contractor.

There at the CRC you take classes, go through medical screening and get your field gear.  After all is done they fly you to Kuwait.

First day, Friday:  I arrived at Columbus, Georgia and took a taxi to the CRC on Ft. Benning.  Once there I checked in, got a bunk and found out that there was a formation at 9am the next morning.  Saturday morning I went to the mess hall then on to formation.  There we got a pep talk and they described the rules.  Again, I was done for the day.  That night I found a note on my door telling me to report to headquarters.   After reporting, I was told that they had many military people coming in that night and not enough beds.  They said I would have to move into a motel.  They waited until evening to tell anyone.  Cudos to C company at Ft Benning CRC for your lack of planning.  Not all of the civilians had to leave.  I ran into one guy that wanted to move off post into motel with his buddies, so we went in and talked to the sergeant.  He allowed us to change.  So I stayed and the other guy found a motel room.

Sunday formation, more of the same, nothing much.  A WHOLE lot of wasted time.  On Monday morning, we had classes, got paperwork together and used up half the day, then we were off again.  Come Tuesday everything went into high gear.  We went to the Medical facility for screening.  Before I left home I already had a complete physical and all my records so I expected it to be easy.  We were there by six am.  In a very long line out the doors and down the street.  We were mixed in with military personnel there for the same thing.  It was very cold, raining, and windy.  It took me 4 hrs of standing out there to get inside the building.  I went though like I expected.  The only problem I had was needing three booster shots, an anthrax shot and malaria pills.  I expected it, no problem.  Then I went over to CIF.  This is where you get your field gear issued to you.   I previously had field gear a few months back but it was turned in.  Just in case I had the receipts for when the stuff was turned in.  Funny thing, everything was cool except for the gas mask.  I had a turn in receipt but they would not accept it.  I found out later that they would not accept it because they had gotten it, they knew they had gotten it, but they could not find it!  Here’s your sign people.  On Wednesday we had required classes and training all day.  I did not have a chance to do any other stuff.    Thursday was a make up day for things you needed to do in order to finish up.   I went back to CIF, still no luck.  A very nice lady in company supply came over to me and we went in search of the mask they had but could not find.  Guess what?  We found the exact one.  They had it placed where it should not have been and why was I having to look through their crap?  I still do not know.  However, they were happy and reissued me all the field gear.  Then I took a taxi off base to get all the shots and stuff they wanted.  Pretty expensive but I got them.

Thursday evening they had a special checkout for people that had corrected things that had been problems.  I was there and all of a sudden, this doctor tells me I am on medical hold because I needed a waiver.  What!!   My doctors cleared me to deploy, who the hell are you?  At that point I was taken off the flight and told that I would have to stay until the next Friday to fly, if they approved my waiver.  The company then told me I could spend that night but would have to move off base Friday.  So Friday morning I immediately contacted the medical clinic.  Oh I am sorry, the request has not been requested yet, we are waiting on a meeting of some dickhead….  Well it did not happen.  They told me I would have to wait until Monday to get the results.  A long weekend in a motel in Georgia. Finally, Monday just before noon they told me that the waiver had been disapproved and I would have to wait a year after my surgery in November to go back.   I immediately called supply about turning in the field gear which I had such a problem getting.  I could not turn it in that day.  I had to wait until Tuesday in order to do that.  They told me to come back to the CRC, contact D company and te4ll them what happened.  They would take me to the CIF to turn in my field gear.  OK.   I should have known that there would be a problem.  On Tuesday morning, I took a taxi to the CRC and reported to the inprocessing center  at D company.   They were not happy.  I was told I needed a letter from medical, a letter from C company, and why was I there without an escort since I was not signed in?   I reminded them that C company was closed for the week.  Oh my, what do you think their response was?  They told me I would have to wait in a motel off base for a week or return in a week in order to turn the gear back in.  At that point my fun-meter pegged and I went ballistic.  I yelled for their 1st sergeant who verified what they said.  I told him he was an idiot if he thought I was going to spend another week here or return in a week with this stuff.  I told him he could give me an escort if he liked, but I was going to the gate to get a taxi to the airport.  I would take it all home with me and they could pound sand.

So, I still got all my body armor.  I guess I can crawl around outside and play army.  If they want to charge me for all of it, I will just give it back, but they have to come get it now.

OK, now that my whining is over, I got a few suggestions for these morons.

1.  CIF:  It is ridiculous that EVERYONE gets their field gear at Ft. Benning.  It is then carried by them to Kuwait, a very large safe military base their.  Then they travel from there to their duty stations.  Same for civilian or military.   If these idiots would take all the field gear to Kuwait and issue it there, they would save a fortune on space and fuel.  Not to mention convenience to all personnel.

2.  Medical:  I agree that screening is needed.  However it is a joke.  If a person has all their medical records and releases from their doctors, it should not be a problem.  The joke is this.  They have very overweight and unhealthy people go through there with no problem.  No one cares it seems like, no matter how large they are!

Last year in Afghanistan, I met a lady that had a colostomy bag!  What the hell?  I also met people over there that had physical problems, like walking.  They needed a crutch.

I got that off my chest, I have a tough time with stupidity.

Published in: Uncategorized on April 18, 2011 at 3:09 am  Leave a Comment  

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