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March 30, 2006

Observations on Military Latrines...

Back in the day, when I was 13 and Dad was a battalion commander in Germany, I could keep an eye on battalion morale by reading the walls of the stalls in the Sheridan Kaserne (Augsburg) snack bar latrine (I also got my first porn from his troops who manned the gate to the Fryar Circle housing area and got into R Rated movies (woo-woo! How 'bout that Mrs. Robinson? The pasties on that dancer? Yowza!)) because the troops who worked the theater didn't care...

I also learned a lot about other people, especially the unpopular ones. And got really confused about sex as seen from the troop's perspective. There were some anatomically dubious suggestions to be found there. (No, SWWBO, I have *not* asked you to do any of those things - shush!)

Saw interesting (and quite good, if, um, impolite) art. Especially some improbable sexual suggestions for NCOs and officers.

When I went to college, the same thing was true, except rather than the post snack bar, the best graffiti was in the library. Well, if I could hang out long enough to read it without sending the wrong signals to those, um, "alternative lifestyle" types who kinda hung out there, so to speak. The best stuff was in the building where the student newspaper, the The Maneater (hey, the mascot of the school is a tiger) was located. Juicy gossip and artistic graffiti by the staff cartoonists. It was there I learned what a "diamond cutter" was...

As a young Lieutenant in Germany in the early 80's, back into the latrines to keep an eye on which NCO or Officer was most likely to have something rude done to their cars. Sadly, in my battery there wasn't much creativity, just rudeness, lewdness, crudeness and bile. Um, remind me to tell you about the time I went on leave and came back to find my Mini-Cooper was parked upside down by the Pinder Theater. Apparently I was reading the wrong latrine - it was troops from the *other battalion* who did it...

It's been a while since I've been in an area that has a large concentration of troops (as opposed to my later years, spent in TRADOC or on higher staffs with very few troops). So, being stuck in a place with lots of troops with nowhere else to go, I had high expectations of entertaining graffiti.


Standing at the urinals, what did we have to read? The CP Tango Public Affairs rag, with the usual cheesy statements from the Commanding General on being safe during the exercise, or wonderful little snippets of useful info like kimchi having been designated one of the top 5 health foods, or useful Korean phrases that I was going to get a lot of use out of, such as "How old are you?" Um, no, I didn't memorize that one, since I wasn't intending on doing any hunting for jailbait. SWWBO's reach is long.

I also now know the ranks of the ROK Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy. Except for some of the colors, and minor variations in *some* rank titles, well, lets say I'm pretty sure that I can navigate the Korean Army, Dai-we. No worries, Cho-sa. And most 'Nam vets can, too, oddly enough. Learned what FROKA, SROKA, and TROKA mean, too, but that's a different, and much more boring (how could that be, you wonder?) post.

So, my last hope is the stalls.


Oh, it's not sterile. There's something to read all right.



*Detailed Travel Itineraries & Schedules
*Exercise Scenarios, Events, and Results
*Force Composition and Locations
*Unit Movement or Intended Movement [hmmmm, that *is* why I was there, so I prolly shouldn't talk about it. The movement, I mean]
*Location/Movement of Major Logistics Caches, or Re-Supply Operations. [hey, I was involved in a Class I download, but howinthehell was I gonna keep *that* secret after all that kimchi?]
*Presence/Use of New/Improved Technology [Nope, I didn't have to, Pacific Stars and Stripes did that for us. Well, that and the Spouses Tour that went through getting all the Good Stuff briefings...]
*CFC Vulnerabilities/Weaknesses [Hey! That's why I - oh, never mind, there's nothing to read here, move along! Hi 1st IO guys!]
*Effectiveness of Operations [*I* was successful, I assure you]
*Intel Collection Capabilities/Purposes/Intent. [They still here? Yep. Hi guys! (waving vigorously)]
*Comm Equipment/Procedures; Frequencies, Callsigns, UserID/Password [Mmmph! Argle! Bleaah! (if you have the right comsec key, you'll know what that says)]
*Personal Info: SSN, Financial, Legal, Family [Heh. That's all on Google anyway]

With cute color graphics, too.

While I quite frankly would much rather go to war with this Army than the one I grew up in, there are *some* things I miss about the old Army.... And I'm being nice, btw. There was a whole 'nother placard of stuff up that I'm not bothering to post... You're welcome!