My orders came in. I'm officially out of the unit I deployed to Kosovo under. I'm under an entirely different command structure, in a completely different job field. They say that one of the things you should never do in the military is talk bad about your unit. I didn't really have a unit to talk up actually. I got along well with my commander most of the time, as well as the other soldier in my section who I shared an office with. I was kind of pitted against the other female soldier in the section, who according to my NCOIC, could do no wrong and he likely considered his prodigy. I was the fifth wheel, I never really belonged in the unit, I never meshed, and I felt like I had no real purpose. It was made very apparent early on in the rotation that I was not needed. The other two soldiers were quick to pick up my duties if need be. I only supplemented them on theirs.
And of course, there was my NCOIC. He was a gigantic Ass. I can say that, and I will say that, because he is no longer in my chain of command and there is no threat of him being put in my command again. I'd work with anybody in my section again if I had to, except for him. One of the things I do wish I had done however, is I wished I could have patched things up a bit.
I've had a tendency to make enemies in the past. People who weren't great friends on any account, rather I would call them arch nemesis. There was this one girl, Sarah, that owned horses while I was in Jr. High. I befriended her early because we had a mutual love of horses, only to learn that we didn't mesh well. In fact, we came to not like each other at all.
Jr High is not a time in my life that stands out greatly to me on any account. I don't think Jr High is a highlight of anybody's existence really. Regardless, when we moved away from there, I was still able to patch things up with Sarah so that I didn't have this lingering sense of grudge baring over my soul. And for the longest time I felt that this was one of my best attributes. That I didn't hold grudges against people. Although I would get frustrated and get enemies, as kids in school often do, I didn't really keep them as enemies. Not saying I made best friends or anything out of the fact, but at least we weren't cursing each other as we passed by. If nothing, we became indifferent to one another. I got on with my life, and that person got on with theirs.
That was always a gratifying feeling though, to get on with your life and knowing that you didn't leave hate mongering in your wake. I didn't like to bare grudges, I never did. I still don't, because it doesn't do much for you and the other person likely can care less.
Well, one thing I kind of wish I could have done is at least patch things up a little bit with my former NCOIC (sergeant in charge to you civilians out there). I would never consider him a friend or anything of that nature, but I didn't want the hostility between us to eat at me at the very least. So I tried to mend things a couple of times.
Turns out, he was even more childish then I was. I went to him trying to discuss the issues at large one on one, and he became hostile at me, told me I was whining and wouldn't let me get a word in edge wise. He threw things back in my face, I was wrong and he wouldn't admit that he was either, even though the Task Force XO, IG and whoever else came back to telling both my NCOIC and my commander that I had been in the right and they were in the wrong. I discovered then that once you got on this guy's bad side, he wouldn't give you the time of day.
That was the day I got out from under his command. He hadn't let me do my job as a Preventive Medicine Specialist since September anyway, so there really was no purpose of me being there. In fact, there had never been a purpose for me being in Kosovo. He never trusted me, relied upon me to do anything right. I was the crutch, the fifth wheel of that unit. And I had a blog that I was very vocal on. He did everything in my power to shut me up because he realized that it was his job to monitor me and being the lazy bastard that he was, he wanted less work to do. He got with the captain, they tag teamed me (like they had done several times before) and gave me an order that I didn't have to obey, as it impeded on my right of free speech. When I disobeyed that order, they tried to shut me down. That whole incident really proved to show this man's colors of what kind of person he was and his character. Getting out from under him was the best thing I could have done for myself, as I learned more about leadership when I was out from under him then I ever did from him. If anything, he taught me a lot about what not to be in a leader.
After I get out from under him, I did try a couple of times to make ammends. I even offered him Peanut Butter Fudge once (he didn't accept it) and then I learned that I would never make ammends with this person. He was pouty, and he acted increasingly childish, at one meeting at which we were both present, he offered everybody in the room some huckleberry taffy (except me, which he made it a point not to).
I think he got mightily offended when I decided to appeal the NCOER (sergeant evaluation report). I'm still in the process of appealing it, though it turns out I have to wait until I'm in my new unit to push it through.
After I tried to make some shabby ammends with the guy, I learned, while looking back, that he really didn't deserve the effort on my part. I think it proves that I'm a better person then he is, that I would even try to make an effort especially after all the crap he did to me. Regardless, he turned out to be a genuine Asshole and since he is no longer in my command, I'll say just about anything about the bastard that I want.
Unfortunately, I think I will have these feelings of ill-will to this man for the rest of my life. I will likely never see him again, and I have one suggestion to make to him and that is to turn in his 20 year letter because his staying in will not benefit the army one bit, at least, not as a leader, of which his leadership skills are absolutely zilch (two of his soldiers couldn't stand him by the end of the tour and the third was indifferent, only because he is a strong enough character that he'll get by regardless of how poor a leader his NCOIC is, otherwise I think he would have hated the guy too).
I can take some solace in the fact that I struck a major nerve with the guy, but fortunately I think I'll move on, learn the lessons that he unintentionally taught me about everything a leader shouldn't be or do, and see if I still have what it takes to be a soldier in the military. I like my new unit so far, I like what they do, the soldiering atmosphere they provide, and feel like I can get back in the swing of things again. Bad leaders are everywhere in the military, I don't think the military is helping matters by promoting everything to sergeant like they've been doing (as one thing I have learned with my time in the military, is not everybody is a leader) but if nothing else, I can try to learn some leadership traits and see if I still have the desire to stay in.
I'm going to give this unit a shot. If it doesn't work out, I'm out in a year and a half for good.