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Former NCOs - Biggest "DOH!" by one of your troops

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Former NCOs (and I suppose officers too) - what's the most face-palmingly stupid thing done by one of your troops. You know what I mean -   the thing that gets you a phone call at home, and both of you standing in front of the commander the next morning.

1) I worked in a SCIF (a secure information facility). Inside our workspace we had individually assigned lockers, for personal things like books and work headphones. The lockers had to be kept locked at all times. While I wasn't there, one of my Airmen left his locker unlocked, and was caught. But, inside the locker, he had a glass bowl with one of those little Betta Fighting fish living in it. Had to walk him into flight commanders office (who had the fish on his desk at this point), and try to offer some kind of plausible explanation for this nonsense. As it turned out, the Maj got a good laugh out of it, and made the fish our "unit morale fish" for th rest of it's days.

 

2) Another one of my Airmen used the weekened to exceed the maximum allowable travel radius. Happens all the time. However, he "strethched " the radius by a few thousand miles. He was visiting CA, from GA. Furthermore, he used his time in CA to go for a run, on the beach... the beach that surroundeds Vanderburg AFB. Where he was prompty caught breaching the fence line by their Security Forces. My troop thought he'd be okay, since, after all , his CaC was on him. Nope.. that wasn't the case. Figuring out what to do with that colllection of bad choices took some time.

Edited by Presguy
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This happened at sea on an aircraft carrier.  It was the day of the Chief Petty Officer Navy Wide exam.  Almost all of the Petty Officer First Classes were on the aft mess decks taking the exam.  Directly beneath the aft mess deck was the Aft SASS (Special Ammunition Storage Space).  Special meaning nuclear.  The aft mess decks were on the second deck.  The Aft SASS office area was on the third deck.  The access trunk to the magazine was on the fourth deck, and the magazine was on the fifth deck.  The hatches to the third, fourth, and fifth deck were alarmed.  A marine sentry station was on the second deck to control access to the Aft SASS.  Now the stage is set.

I happened to be the senior person present in the third deck office spaces.  The officers and chief were off doing whatever it is they do.  The first class petty officers were all taking the chief's exam.  I told a couple of sailors to get the keys and go to the magazine to start the day's work.  This involved going up to the 2nd deck to get the keys out of the key safes and to have the marine sentry to deactivate the alarms on the hatches to the 4th deck trunk and 5th deck magazine.  I was setting at a desk going over some paperwork when the intrusion alarm sounded.  It's like standing next to a fire truck with the siren going.  The two sailors who I had instructed to go to the magazine had gotten the keys alright, but they had forgotten to have the marine deactivate the alarms before popping the hatch to the magazine.  On the second deck it was chaos.  Marines with M-16's and shotguns shouting for everyone to hit the deck, the rumbling of over 100 bodies hitting the deck, tables and chairs overturning, coffee spilling, test papers flying through the air.

To say we got command attention was an understatement.   The two sailors were called into the presence of the Commanding Officer.  The ship sent a request to the Naval Personnel Command requesting a do over for the test. (It was denied)  Over 100 first class petty officers had their chance for advancement destroyed.  Those of you who have experienced a Marine response to a SASS intrusion alarm will appreciate the seriousness of this.  Face palmingly stupid, O Yeah! 

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2 hours ago, aomagrat said:

This happened at sea on an aircraft carrier. ...

Oof. Yeah, I'd say that story takes the cake from mine. Sucks that Navy Personnel Command denied the retest request.

Oh.. we once had a disgrunted troop about to ETS send an email complaining about the lack of Diet Coke in the buildings vending machines. He sent the email to.. a very high ranking official. Wouldn't be appropriate to say who, but right up there with SECDEF.

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I was the ship Radioman.  My brand new Communications Officer was an new Ensign right out of OCS.

 

We had an abandon ship drill and he ran into the radio room, whipped his key into the crypto room door, and broke the key off.  He sat cross legged on the floor and cried.  We had to get BuShips to send a welder down who had a Crypto Clearance to cut into the room to verify that nothing was missing.  Took a while and got a lot of top level attention.

 

Some while later, same Ensign Communications Officer.  Had small arms practice at sea.  Two tables set on the bow with one for stick magazines for the Thompson SMG's which were on the second table.  Excited Ensign ran up to the tables grabbed a magazine in one hand and a Thompson in the other.  Slapped the magazine home and pulled the trigger while holding the Thompson with one hand...……  spun him around and he put three slugs through the canvas above the Captain on the flying bridge.  Confined to quarters, all in a couple of minutes.

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12 minutes ago, janice6 said:

I was the ship Radioman...

So, my job in the Air Force meant I talked now and then with Navy CTIs and CTRs - many of the same people who work in that secure radio room. The stories I've heard about stuffing a couple of sailors into a tiny sealed secure box for 12 hour shifts make me very glad I joined the Air Force.

You know how to disarm a lietenant, right (I imagine it applies to Ensigns as well) - You take away their crayons.

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Not my crew, but two enlisted people decided to go upstairs and sun themselves on the silo door one weekend alert. Somehow they later convinced their crew commander to let them out the gate for a little walkabout around the missile site.

Of course, they got lost in the Arkansas woods. The commander was sweating bullets that they would come back.  After a while, he finally called the Wing Command Post and admitted he had lost two crew members.

They put Hueys up in the air and finally found them.

Did not work out well for their commander.

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3 minutes ago, willie-pete said:

...They put Hueys up in the air and finally found them....

 

I'm not sure you're of the era of bellicose, absurd EPR bullets, but, if you are, that'd be a great opportunity for the supervisor of the two who went lost. On their annual performance eval you could write something like:

"Conducted impromptu evalulation of critical search and rescue mechanism. Helped provide valuable contingency skills traning for partner-service rescue crews. Improved policy to ensure safety of future Airmen"

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1 hour ago, Presguy said:

I'm not sure you're of the era of bellicose, absurd EPR bullets, but, if you are, that'd be a great opportunity for the supervisor of the two who went lost. On their annual performance eval you could write something like:

"Conducted impromptu evalulation of critical search and rescue mechanism. Helped provide valuable contingency skills traning for partner-service rescue crews. Improved policy to ensure safety of future Airmen"

Well, their supervisor wasn’t their supervisor after that day. He did not get to write any more evaluations for a while after that.

The most accurate one I ever wrote contained this line.  “ Airman Jones is not a total loss; he can always be used as a bad example. “

This was soon after I had to go to Okie City with two Air Policemen to get him out of jail and back to the base in Texas.

I wondered for a while if I had crossed the line and written it in the heat of the moment, but then I thought

Naw

 

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Marine Infantry. We started a small grass fire with a pop up flare one summer. Almost had it under controll when one of my new kids comes running up with a black Jerry Can. Everyone screams NO!!!!  He yells back, I got this!

He proceeded to toss a 5 gallon can of diesel fuel onto the last bits of the fire. Minor burns to his hands but the fire he started burned a couple thousand acres over the next two days. Black cans were fuel. Tan cans were water.

To compound things someone commandeered a D5 Cat. They thought it belonged to a National Guard unit. It belonged to a civilian contractor working on base. We did some minor damage but the Corps ended up paying to rebuild the whole thing. 

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11 hours ago, Presguy said:

So, my job in the Air Force meant I talked now and then with Navy CTIs and CTRs - many of the same people who work in that secure radio room. The stories I've heard about stuffing a couple of sailors into a tiny sealed secure box for 12 hour shifts make me very glad I joined the Air Force.

You know how to disarm a lietenant, right (I imagine it applies to Ensigns as well) - You take away their crayons.

You are absolutely right.  Our Crypto room was the size of a very small closet.  Damn near only shoulder depth to the room.  It had a small chair, the machine, a few books and one light bulb.  The Communications Officer had to leave the door open to breath in the heat and humidity of Summer in Charleston, SC and South.  I always pretended that I didn't see anything.

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As a machine gunner (0331) squad leader, one of my Marines got some dirt in his eye shooting the 240 during training before deployment.

He was too much of a chicken-**** to deploy,  so he decided to fake an injury, actually injuring his eye in the process, and had to have surgery.  He didn't deploy.

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Nothing as fun as you guys, and I wasn't an NCO.

My NCO was the one that managed to get a couple of bases and a range facility locked down for three days because several cases of ammunition disappeared, and he was the one that was in charge of ammunition.

Mind you, this is in South Korea, so all of the ammunition bunkers are on ROK (Republic of Korea) army bases.

I drove the truck to the base to pick up the cases of ammunition.

I drove the truck back to our base to the small bunker we stored ammo in that was going to be used.

I drove the truck (LMTV) to pick up that ammo several days later, and take it up to the range facility, about 4 hours of driving away.

So I loaded the truck, unloaded it, then loaded and unloaded it again a few days later.  I'm easily bored, and slightly obsessive compulsive, so I counted the crates every time they go on and off the truck.  I knew exactly how many crates were transported (don't ask me now, it's been over a decade since this happened, but I think it was 52).  

Second day at the range facility we get put on lock-down because 4 crates of small arms ammunition is missing from the range depot. Our base we came from is also put on lock-down.   

Pretty much every inch of the barracks area of the facility, and all of the vehicles get a thorough inspection.  I'm sure they did a thorough inspection back at our base as well.  ROK army apparently doesn't do any type of lock-down or inspection when this is happening.

They bring in some investigators (not sure where from) to take statements and do their investigating type stuff.  

They finally get around to my statement a day or two after the lock-down started..  Up to this point all I know is they're telling us that some ammo crates are missing, but no other details.  

I write out a statement.  Takes 2 pages because I put a lot of detail into it, as it was MY load of ammo that somehow had those 4 crates disappear.  Investigators even commented that I put in more detail than they normally get.  Apparently there was enough detail in my statement for them to get the ROK army to go back to the bunker we picked up the ammo from, and sure enough, there were the missing cases.    If someone had just thought to ASK me how many crates were on my truck we could have been through it several days faster, but you know how it goes.

My NCO signed for more cases of ammo than he had us load onto the truck.  It's been over a decade now and I still sometimes think about that NCO and feel sorry for anyone else that was in his section.  

 

 

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When I was SSGT (E-5) with the Oklahoma Air National Guard I was in the Security Police. We were sent to Gulfport Mississippi several times for training missions and readiness inspections. We got practice in deployments and the pilots got some flight time. During off time and away from home, young airmen tend to act more foolishly than they would at home. 

As luck would have it, I was the Flight Shift Supervisor on duty during a real readiness inspection with inspectors from another base when one of our off duty young airmen, who was obviously drunk, snuck onto the flight line in civilian clothes, jumped into a maintenance truck and told the driver he was being taken hostage. The driver (who was former Army Infantry during Vietnam)  promptly threw him out of the truck and commenced thumping him which attracted the attention of the ramp security patrol. 

I was called (quietly) to the scene to handle the situation. I called for another patrol and when they arrived, he was put in cuffs and transported to his room with orders not to leave till he was scheduled to report for duty again. His supervisor was contacted and took charge of him and kept close supervision of him for the remainder of the deployment. Nothing was ever mentioned about the bruises when the unit commander performed open ranks inspection before we left.   

 

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When I was in Germany, they troopies were doing the cigarette game. Burning themselves and timing it.

we had a driver that showed up on Monday morning PT with the burn shaped like the bottom of an iron on his cheek. Steam vents and all.

it got to the point where the CO had a meeting in the day room with the entire unit and told them that they were destroying government property if a trip to the aid station is involved and he would be passing out Article 15s

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Never had much exciting happen except one night I was doing CQ duty at Battalion HQ and the next morning the 1ST SGT caught me before I could change clothes and disappear.  Seems we had this one guy that would forget to come back from town on a regular basis.  At the time lots of guys were getting transferred to the big Red One for the build up prior to going to VN.  Guess where he was going, only I had to spend the day escorting him to each personnel station.  He did get razzed buy a few guys since he had a armed escort.  The only good thing was we didn't have to wait in line since I was escorting him.  Other than that I was with a pretty good bunch of guys.

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I was in communications.  A Damage control man on the deck crew went missing the day we were to deploy to the Mediterranean and join the 6th fleet in Beirut, Lebanon.  since I was the radioman, I always knew what was happening.

It seems he went AWOL because he didn't trust his wife in GA while he was going to be gone.  He climbed into the second story bedroom window and found his wife in bed with a guy.  He then proceeded to empty a 1911 by walking it up the guy from his feet to his head.  HIs wife was put in a hospital for mental problems cause by this.

So, he didn't report since he was being held in jail charged with murder.  Our ship's Captain got notices some time later when we were overseas of the disposition of the case.

He went to trial for murder and the jury declared it "justifiable homicide".  I'm not from the deep South so I didn't know this could happen.  Turns out that since he was let off, and he was incarcerated by law enforcement, he couldn't be AWOL while being held against his will.

The Navy cleared him and he went to another ship for duty.

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Slept with captain's daughter.

Not sure what he did after being posted to the artic.

Edited by Historian
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Had to read all of the above before I answered.  It wasn't an NCO with an idiot child, it was ME who was the child.  That being said, I'll hang around awhile (and judge the water) before I do any 'splainin'

Tinyman

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Had a Lt. catch the clap. Back then a officer who caught it was in deep poo. He had to talk to the battalion commander and Brigade commander about it.

Turns out he caught it from the Brigade commanders daughter, everything was shut up!

This was the Army back in 1970 or 1971 at Ft. Bragg, NC.

Edited by DWARREN123

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