Why we have battalion duty

This is a story from a few weeks ago that I intended to write but never got around to. 

The battalion has been on our asses recently about getting stupid random shit done – shit like annual training that nobody takes seriously (including Information Awareness – ie, don’t send classified information over the internet, don’t be an idiot, etc). We had to go down to the admin section at battalion one of these days to do some more pointless work (we filled out an information sheet that contained really basic stuff – name, rank, date of birth, social security number, and then made up some “security statements.” I have no idea what this for mwas used for) and it took way longer than it should (as these things always do).
We (being myself and Echo Three Sierra) were standing in line with Echo Four Papa, who has proven to be a pretty humorous guy. Sierra and I keep mostly to ourselves, eavesdropping every now and again when Echo Four says something fantastic. He is mostly speaking to Echo Four Alpha, so we have little reason to butt in. It comes up that Sierra, in the typical fashion of getting fucked for being the new guy, has to stand duty at the battalion office the next day.
Standing duty at the battalion office sucks. Really bad. You have to get dressed up in your Service Bravo uniform, which means you have to make sure you look shit hot. Your ribbons have to be just right, the creases on your shirt needs to be perfect, your trousers need to be pressed, and your shoes need to reflect the glint in your Sergeant Major’s smile, because you can bet your ass he’s going to look you head to toe to make sure your shit looks good. Did I mention that duty at the battalion is a 24 hour post, with seemingly no purpose? This becomes the focus of my discourse with Sierra – exactly why the fuck do we stand duty at the battalion?
It is common for senior personel to inquire as to either your purpose on base (going answer according to the Sergeant Major that briefed us upon arrival: to defend Japan. I would have naturally answered to be a ready response force for any conflicts in the Asian region, but whatever) or your purpose for standing duty. I jokingly tell Sierra that he should respond in classic boot Marine fashion, with POPPER – “The purpose of my duty is to preserve order, protect property and enforce regulations, Sergeant Major!” He thinks I’m being a douche, but I was kind of serious.
Again, there seems to be no reason to stand duty at battalion, but Echo Four Papa is there, and it’s his job to know more than us, and he’s kind of funny, so why not ask him. His first response is, “Well, you see…” Before he could get into his story, Sierra and I laugh. We can tell this is going to be good.
“Someone, who will remain unnamed – cough Echo Nine Papa cough – thought it would be an excellent idea to leave the battalion building completely unsecured after he left at midnight one night. Furthermore, as if leaving the building unsecured wasn’t enough, he decided it would probably be wise to leave the fence around the perimeter wide open too. So the battalion CO decided that a duty needed to be established just to ensure that the battalion was secured every night – because Echo Nine fucked up.”
Well, isn’t that a doozy? But wait, it gets better! The reason we have to stand it in our Bravos is because some junior Marine fucked it up, and the CO decided to punish everybody. Stellar! Furthermore, it is now the duty’s responsibility to field day (non military readers: clean to white-glove inspection standards) the entire battalion headquarters also. Smells like horseshit!
So that’s why we stand battalion duty.

2 thoughts on “Why we have battalion duty

  1. Reminds me of the time I pulled duty at my battalion, only they DO have a purpose for us: Duty Phone Orderly and Duty Driver Orderly. I love listening to officers ask for things I know nothing about and don't know the proper channels for finding that information. The second, yeah, sucks more. Driving ranking officers on errands that can be some of the dumbest crap ever. Never had to do it in dress uniform, though, so thank God for that.

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