We have a new Sgt. Major here. He seems to be running the place like it is basic training. The rules he makes remind me of basic and some contradict each other. For example, we have a bathroom trailer about 15 feet from our building and the gym is about 150 meters from our building. We are supposed to have our weapon with us if we go to the bathroom but are not allowed to take it to the gym. Try and figure that one out! There is another rule that makes me laugh, no smoking within 50 meters of the buildings. Now I don’t have a yard stick to measure how far these building are from each other but I guarantee that there is no area on this FOB (base) that you can be 50 meters away from. I see people who are much higher ranking than me breaking this rule all the time. I don’t smoke so it doesn’t bother me any but what kind of message are we sending to the soldiers. The message to me is, break the rules that you don’t agree with and follow the one’s that don’t affect you.
Another thing that bothers me is the fact that they keep getting more and more strict here. When we first got here we could go to the chow hall wearing our pt’s (physical training uniform) and sit down and eat. That lasted a little while until they decided we could not eat in the chow hall with pt’s but we can get “to go meals”. Now we can not go to the chow hall at all with pt’s. When we are not on mission (which is rare) that day it is nice to relax and not have to wear boots, pants, long selves in the 120 degree weather here. Are they trying to make us more uncomfortable here? The thing that makes me even angrier is that U.S. civilian contractors making 3 times the pay can go in there wearing anything they want. And they wonder why the Army #’s are dwindling! They are trying to get people to join by increasing the signing bonus......here is an idea, stop treating us like jerks and you won’t have to flash money in our faces to join because we will stay!!!!