previous post next post  

Photos that caught my eye this week.

Sometimes, it's just embarrassing to pick up your pay.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (July 15, 2007) - Aviation Systems Warfare Operator 2nd Class Johnny Garcia fires an M-240 machine gun from the cabin of an SH-60F Seahawk, attached to the

ATLANTIC OCEAN (July 15, 2007) - Aviation Systems Warfare Operator 2nd Class Johnny Garcia fires an M-240 machine gun from the cabin of an SH-60F Seahawk, attached to the "Dusty Dogs" of Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron (HS) 7, while flying plane guard for Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Truman is underway in the Atlantic Ocean participating in the Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMTUEX) in preparation for deployment to the Persian Gulf. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Matthew D. Williams

Of course, that's balanced by those moments during combat when you're seriously underpaid...

Dogs - they truly do like us, don't they? I'm trying to think what it would take to get one of the Castle Cats to do this without me looking like a scourged medieval monk...

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. David Hornsby and his special security dog Liza are hoisted into a helicopter during a canine-hoist training mission outside of Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, on July 15, 2007. Hornsby and Liza are attached to the101st Air Assault Division. DoD photo by Spc. Aubree Rundle, U.S. Army. (Released)

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. David Hornsby and his special security dog Liza are hoisted into a helicopter during a canine-hoist training mission outside of Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, on July 15, 2007. Hornsby and Liza are attached to the101st Air Assault Division. DoD photo by Spc. Aubree Rundle, U.S. Army. (Released)

10 Comments

What is this 'picking up' of a paycheck of which you speak, as if it were some physical object, something that can be touched?
 
Heh. You youngsters missed the fun that was "Pay Officer." Strap on your rattletrap Union Switch and Signal .45 pistol (now worth thousands) and a magazine with 5 rounds (never gonna get robbed by more than 5 guys, donchaknow), grab your jeep and driver, head to Finance in the dark of early morning, count out $250K in new frickin' $20s, and another $2K of german specie, then head off to a day of driving around the fog-shrouded, rain-bogged, windy blizzard-in-the-making, to cash troop's paychecks and do deutsche-mark conversions on the hood of your jeep, in the MKT, at the 1SG's table in his hex, etc, at battery positions, the FOs out at Bleidorn, down to Hohenfels to catch the battery supporting down there... etc. And don't be $20 short, or you'll be treated like Dillinger. And if you're $20 over (never happened to me) you'll get your butt removed by the battalion commander for shorting a soldier. Enjoy that direct deposit, bucko.
 
We only received pay from the Pay Officer when we were in Basic (I went in the summer of '93). I remember it was very formal, with lots of salutes and such. Two years later (I think) Direct Deposit was mandatory, but when I first went in the Army still let soldiers "pick up" their pay. :D
 
Of our two cats I think one (HairyCat) would not claw me to pieces during a pick up like that. Of course that's because he'd have his claws too deeply sunk into my flesh to move them. BuddyCat would, like most cats, being trying to get away and quite probably taking large chunks of me with him. Of course, I'm not sure I could even get the ever-indulgent wife to go through this without some blood loss on my part, so who could blame the cats.
 
Civilian S&R dogs and their partners practice helo pickups as well. I'll have to dig up the picture I have of one of the dogs bred by my MIL in harness with his handler/owner. Topper and his owner were on the ground at both the Murrah building in OK City, and at ground zero in NYC.
 
I too had a Paymaster, ever so briefly. I was none to happy when we went to mandantory Direct Deposit but I did get a Ft Lewis Credit Union account out of the deal ;)
 
The really fun part was explaining to female LTC Hospital Administrators that I really *would* like to remove my helmet liner while bringing a paper bag containing thirty grand into their nice, antiseptic hospital, but The Regs required me to remain covered while Under Arms. The rest of the fun was explaning the phrase Under Arms meant (pointing to ye olde M1911) that I had introduced a -- *eeek!* -- pistol into their sanctum and informing them that, yes, it was loaded. With "real bullets." At that point, they usually fled...
 
I was never embarssed a to collect my pay. Most weeks it was more like a SAR mission anyway. The pitiful amount we got was hardly enough to keep a man blind stinking drunk for a full weekend and half of Monday. We had to budget very carefully to make it happen.
 
Ah, Yes, payday. Pay chit in one hand and ID card in other for the for the supply JG you just stood watch with. Followed by.... Change your dollars to pesos at Carmen's Money Exchange. Authorized by the Central Bank of the Phillipines. Followed by change your pesos to .... as you wandered down Magsaysay. Old Sailors and Jar Heads know.
 
Ol' Major Unger, with whom I used to drink, once upon many times, was an officer back in the fifties, when the Army still paid the troops in cash. It was all done with due ceremony and correct ritual, with weapons. I do think that if there's one group of folks who should be paid in cash, it's sojers. I mean, think about it. Who guards Fort Knox? Do we pay soldiers by direct deposit, or check, because we're afraid someone will steal their cash? They are the guys who protect all of our money, among other things. I smell bankers, those nefarious machinators. Soldiers should be paid in real gold money. (as should everyone else)