JAG-ged Edge
Trial Defense Services (TDS) Deployed
By: Andrew Efaw

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Friday, 7-Jan-2005 00:00 Email | Share | Bookmark
Random Ramblings

7 January 2005:

Today is a typical day in many respects. It is about 2100. I’ve worked a full day, mostly on organizing case files, handling the 5 (count ‘em five) more courts-martial that walked through the doors today, and chewing out one of clients who screwed up last night in his company. He almost blew our pre-trial deal which would’ve led to much more exposure for him when the day of reckoning comes. We now have about as many cases here as in Baghdad but with less than half the attorneys. But, hey, bring it. Anyway, after that full day, we are on our way 2 hours north to Navistar to drop off MAJ Schmitt so he can convoy north to Talil early tomorrow. I’ve been trying to coordinate this trip all week and everything was all set. Then at the last minute, I was told that to get him (a non-unit member) on the truck convoy, I had to get one star approval from the Transcom. So then it was a matter of tracking the general down. We finally got word about 2000 that we could do it. So here we are.

There are tons of stars here. I see at least two generals at every meal. I’ve even run into one a couple of times (literally at the coffee silver bullet—don’t stand betw. me and my java). This is the rear, so all the generals in charge of support units like Transcoms and Engineering Brigages are here. The funny thing is that the official organization in charge of Arifjan is CFLCC (pronounced C-flick) (Combine Forces Land Component Command). CFLCC’s command group is ASG-KU (Army Support Group-Kuwait) and they’re motto is “Always Forward.” Yeah, always forward of Atlanta maybe. They are definitely the rear. That’s why this place is so built up and why, I suspect, it is the place that VIPs tend to visit more than any other. One of the first days I was here, I saw one of the Senators from Missouri in the mess hall. Kitt Bond I think.

I’m getting fatter and fatter. I keep looking for new ways to eat less, but in place where you have the option of eating a cheeseburger and fries at every meal and where the cheeseburger is the best food available. And in a place where the dessert is really the only thing that tastes just like back home. Well, it results in fatness. So I am trying to exercise regularly—now that my schedule has evened out some. Yeah, right. I try to run a couple miles on the treadmill on one day and then run a 4 mile loop on the other days. I have this course that starts at the amnesty box outside my building and loops around from guard tower to guard tower around the outside of the camp and ends up at the amnesty box again. A couple of days ago, I was running out near the hospital and had a military ambulance speed up, stop, and block my way so that a hospital blackhawk could zoom in, dust swirling. Oh and if you are non-military and wondering what an amnesty box is, they are big red wooden boxes, surrounded by sandbags, with a mail-like slot on the front and they say amnesty. They are all over in theater and you see them at stateside posts sometimes too. Anyway, they are the Army’s solution to getting people to turn in contraband items, like ammo, grenades, drugs, etc. I know a guy who tried to turn in ammo a while ago and the arms room didn’t have record of issuing it, so he stuck it in the box. When I was about to run a couple of days ago, I look in the slot and there was an atopine injector stuck in it—which I shoved the rest of the way in. I saw a guy chucking something in there in the middle of the day the other day—not real bright. That’s an activity best conducted under the cover of darkness.

Mary, my erstwhile secretary from WTK, wrote and asked what exactly a 27D is. A 27D (say 27 delta) is the military equivalent of a paralegal/secretary. In its most basic form it is a soldier that has certain GT (roughly equivalent to IQ) score that has been through basic training and then has been to AIT (advanced individual training) for 10 weeks and 3 days, teaching them the fundamentals of justice military style. Beyond that, what you get is anyone’s guess. Some have a lot of rank and a lot of experience. Some have little rank and little experience. Some are motivated great soldiers. Some are something less than that. Our 27D is SPC Ellis, as I have mentioned before. He’s a baby 27D fresh out of AIT. But he has those key ingredients of being quick and being motivated. I have worked him like a stepchild and he keeps on keepin’ on. He does everything from give briefings on Article 15s to organizing my files to helping me interview witness. It’s not unusual for something to come up in a 32 that indicates that another witness may be involved. I’ll write him a note and he’ll charge off and interview the witness on the fly and bring us back the notes in court. A good Delta really is “combat multiplier”

Mark, I could tell you really liked me in a tiara. But I do not even know what some of those other accoutrements were that you were talking about, so . . . that whole thing seems to be much more your scene.

Terri, if it’s you keeping Mary under control instead of vice versa, we’re all in a great deal of trouble.

It’s well after 2200. We’re close to Navistar. Looks like I’ll see the beginning of another day before hitting the hay.

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