Saturday, February 9, 2008

Too much input CAN be a Bad Thing

A little lesson in comm;

Of course, mileage on this will vary, depending on the unit, mission, and branch of service...

My Company was a Weapons Co., acting in country as a MSR/ASR security element. That is to say that, instead of utilizing the 81mm mortars that my platoon was trained for, we would be traipsing around the roads and dunes in Hummers, as sort of low-tech mine/IED sweepers, convoy & raid security, and general (or General's) beyotch/gopher.

Go figure.

Mission Accomplishment and Adapt, Overcome, & Party (or something like that), we needed a way to effectively communicate between our squads, the Company, Battalion, and any other units that were in the area. When it came time to suggest radio handles, we had plenty of suggestions.

Unfortunately, 'Pork Sword of Death', 'Gunslingers', 'Big Johnson', & 'Jihadi-Fu*%ers' were all nixed as call signs.

Someone decided that since we were split up into MAPs (Mobile Assault Platoons), we would just KISS, and go by MAP 1, MAP 2, MAP 3, etc.


Being that there were multiple vehicles in each MAP, the call was made that the MAP would internally go by a color designator.

For example, MAP 1 might be designated 'red', so if one were to get a radio transmission from, say, 'Red 2,3, or 4', you would know what vehicle in the MAP was calling you. If you got a call from 'MAP 1', it was automatically known that the MAP 1 Patrol Leader was on the other end.

When it came time for color selection, the only thing that the Staff Sergeant wanted was that no two MAPs had the same color, to avoid any possible confusion between MAPs in the field. He approached me with the color assignments to date when I was meeting with a few of my Corporals. I paused our vital conversation on the importance of maintaining a lint-free pooper when out in the dunes for extended periods, and thought of a color.

ME: Uh, if red is already taken, guess I'll go with... white.

SSGT: Nope, that's MAP 2.

ME: Uh, alrighty then-

SSGT: Map 3's blue.

ME: Hmmm, ok.

[Turning to my Corporals]

ME: Any recommendations?

Ever helpfull, they responded.







I gave them the hand and arm signal familiar to all Marines, that of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman's, 'choke yourself', and responded, "Black will do fine, Staff Sergeant."

He grunted something unintelligible, and left the tent.


Anonymous said...

Fuchsia would have been my personal choice, but "stripeys" shows a certain originality. LOL

Old NFO said...

heh... at least you didn't have to deal with daily changing callsigns! Although my all time favorite was MF069 :-)

Snigglefrits said...

I'm surprised y'all didn't go with Skidmark Brown. :-P

threadbndr (karla) said...

Mehe - why didn't they let you get creative? DaBrass is taking all the fun out of it.

PS - Dad was "dumbo" (not a comment on his IQ - you'd have to see a picture of the man's ears to understand THAT one). The Marine!goth is "Goodyear". And me - well, I'm still using a variation on the theme.

Anonymous said...

How could you not go with stripeys? That would have been fun!

techie said...

But what about plaid? How could they have forgotten plaid?

I'm surprised that black wasn't the among the first colours to go.

Murphy said...

'Skidmark' might have been a good choice later, a couple of times, actually...

mfo69? *giggle*