Fat Cats Fighting The Hard War...

By: An embarrassed and shamed officer

SUBJECT:  Shameless Officers 08/21/03: 

The Commander lives off base with his wife in a nicely furnished three level villa protected by some kind of 24/7 security force.  His staff / directors have similar accommodations, some include their children in addition to their wife.  At least one has his 14 year old daughter in a summer employment position handling classified documents. They enjoy the benefits of leased vehicles, some for the spouse as well, and complain if their satellite, cable or internet is not functioning.  Such is the life for the ARCENT-KU senior leadership(?) as they set the example to explain that the ever present dangers in Kuwait are what restricts soldiers form some R&R  in Kuwait.  The Commander emphasizes this danger by explaining to us that he has only been out for dinner with his wife four times.  And such is the concern, that if soldiers leave Camp Doha for a night of shopping or dinner, and are caught they will be subjected to counseling, one way tickets home, and will need to find a new job.  Thus, a mad rush to the gate is imminent.

These privileges are considered Command Sponsored.  Presumably this is different from taxpayer sponsored.  Perhaps some of this funding is sponsored by the Host Nation.  Whatever: this is money that may better serve getting water, food, hygienic supplies, repellants, mail maybe even spare parts and so much more to the  service men and women.  This is simply another example of the wrongs committed by senior leaders, supported by even more senior leaders and allowed to continue because the more senior leaders are doing the same thing and if their subordinates get caught they might too. 

If there is fear in Kuwait it must be primarily with these great leaders.  As just mentioned, the fear that other leaders up the chain will be found out. Fear that some congressman may learn of these government expenditures.  Fear that if they are still collecting housing or family separations allowances the double dipping may end and result in paying back some of that hard earned tax free cash.  And the fear that if this nonsense were discovered a kind of "relief in place will ensue", and perhaps subject Kuwait to being removed from any income tax exclusion list so the punishment can trickle to the lowest ranks.  RHIP, yes fine, but to what extent do these conspicuous abuses continue to be allowed in bringing moral, respect and esprit de corps to new lows? Does this RHIP give license for exemption from being morally and ethically responsible? 

And this egotistical Commander further demonstrates his concerns by directing security / intelligence assets to the PX.  Host Nation support personnel, and PX employees cannot use that facility due to the tax free nature of those sales.  Where is this concern for taxpayer dollars given the issues discussed above?  And where is the concern for any security or force protection if PX patrons are a more important mission than something like area recon's, rout recon's, area assessments, security reviews and other essential tasks.  Interesting to note here is how the Commander insists that there is nothing you can buy downtown, that you cant buy at the PX shops.  You think he and the wife have been out shopping?  How many Cuban cigars and Iranian rugs will make it back to his house?

We are somewhat fortunate at Camp Doha, and we make no complaints of our living conditions as we know it can be worse.  The point sought here is to demonstrate how the inconsistencies, the self righteousness and the abuses of authority, effects the soldiers. It highlights questions that enlisted soldiers are screened from asking by the CSM prior to their meeting congressional visitors (its not just "when are we going home" anymore), and it demonstrates the great waste in officer education programs; especially the sections on leadership and setting the example, fiscal responsibility, showing concern for the soldiers and establishing a command climate and credibility.  Camp Doha is also used for forces leaving or moving onto the Iraq AO.  As such, why can it not be either the first opportunity in months, or the last opportunity for months, for soldiers to have some R&R.  For those leaving the theater, it would also facilitate relieving stress, and provide an introduction to the forthcoming decompression training they will receive in the Army's efforts to eliminate the potential for repeating the tragedies that effected Fr Bragg not too long ago. 

So here we have another example of fraud, waste, abuse, and poor leadership and management all to no avail.  It may get read, but will it be by anyone that really cares or anyone that will have the initiative to initiate corrective action. Does a person like that exist in either the political, civilian or military sector?  Thus the reason for why it will continue and spiral at an increasing rate in the wrong direction even more.  The abusers can continue to march because they know that person does not exist and the system is self protecting by the abusers above them.  Ultimately we complete the circle and learn where "no fear" is derived from.  Leadership and fiscal responsibility is delegated only to the lowest levels,  That is why the steel plates for the second chance vests, or even flak jackets, uniforms, boots and more are not available - unit budgets (apparently the only echelon required to have any financial responsibilities) are busted and yet higher Commands can have their families, leased vehicles and furnished living quarters in a duty zone with a threat level the same as the US, where there are more cells, terrorist and other bad guys.

Rightfully pissed off in Kuwait

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