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AndreF
08-28-2014, 01:55 AM
Hello

I have several short stories that are all about MCs in the military. But they all these stories have advanced armies and fleets. However I would still like to stay true to some things or make the inspiration of certain elements obvious of their roots and understandable.

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At what point would rank not matter? I understand that people work hard for their rank so it is a huge deal to show military courtesy. I was a reading a book about an MC that went into an aviation club where they wore civies and left their ranks at the door.

Would that be the same for on base officer's clubs? Laid back casual?

Also would/could high ranking officers be on a first name basis with a lower ranked person?

Speaking of hangouts where do the enlisted go to hang out? If officer's have the club what does enlisted have?

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For one of my work's the MC completes eighteen years of school. In this story the society if very militaristic and patriotic. So from K-18 a student is indoctrinated with military values (like the Spartans). When the MC graduates he's a Jr. Officer. Would this be something that many could go with? Yeah it takes a 4 year degree to be an officer but for 18 years the MC has been in training and learning tactics.

What are basic troop movement procedures? To clarify when pushing the friendly lines forward and advancing. Does the attack force advance to a point hold, get relieved, and come back to base for R&R or keep pushing forward?

Also for this story. My MC is part of a convoy so to say. This convoy is transporting a mobile base unit. The unit was supposed to have been set up 100 miles away from its current location but the convoy comes under attack and the only they have for protection was the base. MC orders the MBU to get deployed. The move saved their lives but enemy has been turning up intensity so moving the MBU is out of the question. Would he could his ass handed to him for setting up the facility or does that depend on who he's dealing with?

Same story. The MC is commanding officer of the base that's just how the cards fell he the most superior officer alive. Other high ranking officers (retreating from other locations) leave him and the others behind to cover their retreat. However a general does arrive. How would the general take command? Would he just basically say "okay I'm in command now get out of here"? How would that work? Would he review all the records, data and reports? Would the MC become an aide or revert back to what he was doing before he was forced to take command?

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Different story. The MC is too young to join however he can have a waver signed. The MC justifiably "forges" the documents (the signatures and thumb prints are legit but he acquires them on the sly). What would the military do if a parent said my kid forged this document so he could join? Would the kid get a DD? Jailed? Fined?

Can a member of the military have a business on the side? (i.e sell some things here and there and make some extra cash)

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Last question. I've been doing some research on the different colored shirts the flight deck crew on an air craft carrier wears.

I have Grapes, Ordies, Hanager Rats ... who else is there?



Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions.

badwolf.usmc
08-28-2014, 05:51 AM
I'll take a shot at the first one:

At what point would rank not matter? I understand that people work hard for their rank so it is a huge deal to show military courtesy. I was a reading a book about an MC that went into an aviation club where they wore civies and left their ranks at the door.

Would that be the same for on base officer's clubs? Laid back casual?

Also would/could high ranking officers be on a first name basis with a lower ranked person?

Speaking of hangouts where do the enlisted go to hang out? If officer's have the club what does enlisted have?

Rank is always important, but depends on the context. Here are a few examples:

1: In the USMC infantry, rank is God. You always talk to your seniors in a formal manor and there is little fraternization between ranks.
2: In the special forces community, informal is the norm. The lowest rank within a given team could be on a first name basis with the highest ranking member.
3: In the command element S and G shops, the only real formality is between different grades of ranks. For example, NCOs are informal to each other but more formal to SNCOs and Officers. Company grade officers are informal to each other but are more formal to Field grade officers, and so on.

At least for the Marine Corp, the military has been getting away from Officer and Enlisted clubs. They are seen as a relic of the past. While there are still clubs on bases, generally junior enlisted are encouraged to go to certain clubs and senior enlisted and officers go to other clubs.

Generally, a senior officer or enlisted individual would not be on a first name basis with a junior enlisted individual for several reason. First, it would be construed as favoritism. Second, it could be implied that the senior individual is abusing their authority over the junior. Either way, it could be a career killer.

One thing you have to remember, these "rules" are viewed as guidelines and have innumerable exceptions. What is tolerated in one unit would not be tolerated in another.

I'll give you a last example. While at my reserve unit, I am Sgt. <insert last name here> to my junior Marines. I know more than few of them outside the unit, since we go to the same school, and I have them call me <insert first name here>. The guys I deployed with, we call each other by our first names, while everyone else we call them by their last name.


I hope that answers more questions than it raises.

AndreF
08-28-2014, 07:07 AM
I'll take a shot at the first one:


Rank is always important, but depends on the context. Here are a few examples:

1: In the USMC infantry, rank is God. You always talk to your seniors in a formal manor and there is little fraternization between ranks.
2: In the special forces community, informal is the norm. The lowest rank within a given team could be on a first name basis with the highest ranking member.
3: In the command element S and G shops, the only real formality is between different grades of ranks. For example, NCOs are informal to each other but more formal to SNCOs and Officers. Company grade officers are informal to each other but are more formal to Field grade officers, and so on.

At least for the Marine Corp, the military has been getting away from Officer and Enlisted clubs. They are seen as a relic of the past. While there are still clubs on bases, generally junior enlisted are encouraged to go to certain clubs and senior enlisted and officers go to other clubs.

Generally, a senior officer or enlisted individual would not be on a first name basis with a junior enlisted individual for several reason. First, it would be construed as favoritism. Second, it could be implied that the senior individual is abusing their authority over the junior. Either way, it could be a career killer.

One thing you have to remember, these "rules" are viewed as guidelines and have innumerable exceptions. What is tolerated in one unit would not be tolerated in another.

I'll give you a last example. While at my reserve unit, I am Sgt. <insert last name here> to my junior Marines. I know more than few of them outside the unit, since we go to the same school, and I have them call me <insert first name here>. The guys I deployed with, we call each other by our first names, while everyone else we call them by their last name.


I hope that answers more questions than it raises.

First and foremost thank you for service, even though I'm non military, something about Marines just make me want to say Semper Fi.

Your answers made perfect sense and gave me direction with certain elements too. Thank you.

Duncan J Macdonald
08-28-2014, 11:29 PM
For one of my work's the MC completes eighteen years of school. In this story the society if very militaristic and patriotic. So from K-18 a student is indoctrinated with military values (like the Spartans). When the MC graduates he's a Jr. Officer. Would this be something that many could go with? Yeah it takes a 4 year degree to be an officer but for 18 years the MC has been in training and learning tactics.

What that eighteen years of training gives him is 'book learning', but not much in the way of experience or maturity. Could you set your world up that way? Sure. Would I bounce off of it? Yup.


What are basic troop movement procedures? To clarify when pushing the friendly lines forward and advancing. Does the attack force advance to a point hold, get relieved, and come back to base for R&R or keep pushing forward?

Toops like structure. The orders for troop movement are explicit as far as they can be -- after all, no plan survives contact with the enemy. I'd suggest searching for what is known as the five paragraph order. The US Marines use them a lot.


Also for this story. My MC is part of a convoy so to say. This convoy is transporting a mobile base unit. The unit was supposed to have been set up 100 miles away from its current location but the convoy comes under attack and the only they have for protection was the base. MC orders the MBU to get deployed. The move saved their lives but enemy has been turning up intensity so moving the MBU is out of the question. Would he could his ass handed to him for setting up the facility or does that depend on who he's dealing with?

It depends. If the enemy is in sufficient strength to force the deployment of an MBU, and prevent its further movement, then the entire operation failed (likely due to an intelligence oversight). Your MC could be court martialed or given a medal -- whatever your story needs.


Same story. The MC is commanding officer of the base that's just how the cards fell he the most superior officer alive. Other high ranking officers (retreating from other locations) leave him and the others behind to cover their retreat. However a general does arrive. How would the general take command? Would he just basically say "okay I'm in command now get out of here"? How would that work? Would he review all the records, data and reports? Would the MC become an aide or revert back to what he was doing before he was forced to take command?

Is this in the face of the enemy from above? If so, the general doesn't have time to review all the records, data, or reports. He should be already familiar with the overall strategic plan, and he'll issue orders to either 1) advance that plan, or 2) bug the hell out.


Different story. The MC is too young to join however he can have a waver signed. The MC justifiably "forges" the documents (the signatures and thumb prints are legit but he acquires them on the sly). What would the military do if a parent said my kid forged this document so he could join? Would the kid get a DD? Jailed? Fined?

In the US, that scenario is Making False Official Statements, and could result in an administrative discharge under other than honorable conditions. I doubt he'd get a dishonorable discharge -- there would have to be additional circumstances. Check out the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).


Can a member of the military have a business on the side? (i.e sell some things here and there and make some extra cash)

Yes, as long as the business does not interfere with his military duties, or put the military in a bad light (negative public image).


Last question. I've been doing some research on the different colored shirts the flight deck crew on an air craft carrier wears.

I have Grapes, Ordies, Hanager Rats ... who else is there?

See this link (http://www.navy.mil/navydata/ships/carriers/rainbow.asp).


Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions.

No problem.

AndreF
08-29-2014, 05:38 AM
Thank you for taking the time to answer all of those questions. Thank you.

The link you posted for the different color shirts was perfect (I was looking for that) but I was also wondering what they're affectionate nicknames were too. Grapes=Purple Ordies=Red I couldn't find that.


Same story. The MC is commanding officer of the base that's just how the cards fell he the most superior officer alive. Other high ranking officers (retreating from other locations) leave him and the others behind to cover their retreat. However a general does arrive. How would the general take command? Would he just basically say "okay I'm in command now get out of here"? How would that work? Would he review all the records, data and reports? Would the MC become an aide or revert back to what he was doing before he was forced to take command?
Is this in the face of the enemy from above? If so, the general doesn't have time to review all the records, data, or reports. He should be already familiar with the overall strategic plan, and he'll issue orders to either 1) advance that plan, or 2) bug the hell out.

That makes sense. However I was wondering how that would play out after the base had been set up for some time (let's a say a week or two).

Once again I thank you for taking the time to answer all of those questions.

Squids
08-29-2014, 07:49 AM
At what point would rank not matter? I understand that people work hard for their rank so it is a huge deal to show military courtesy. I was a reading a book about an MC that went into an aviation club where they wore civies and left their ranks at the door.

Rank is strange. It depends on the branch, and even different areas within the same branch. For example, rank is pretty important in the surface Navy. There are certain officers and chiefs who do not place a lot of weight on rank (many of those officers are former enlisted), but customs and courtesies when it comes to rank is pretty important for the most part.

Now, when everyone goes out to a liberty port (in, I don't know, Taiwan...), things are different. Depending on the crew and the people involved, rank can almost vanish once the civvies come on (and the booze starts flowing).

My buddies who are pilots place far less weight on rank. Rank is also different in special programs. Not unimportant, just different.

And just so you know, not everyone works hard for their rank. ;)



Would that be the same for on base officer's clubs? Laid back casual? Personally, I would never go to one of those places, officer or enlisted. I'd rather go home and spend time with my wife. I can spend all day and night with those people on deployment.



Also would/could high ranking officers be on a first name basis with a lower ranked person? Depends on what you mean by high ranking and in what circumstance. I call my wife's cousin Will at home, but he's Senior Chief at work. Same thing with any of the other guys above me. Drew in town, Lt. at work.



Speaking of hangouts where do the enlisted go to hang out? If officer's have the club what does enlisted have? There are enlisted clubs. We don't have any of them on this base. There used to be an O club and an enlisted club, but they shut them down. Personally, I go home and hang out with my wife.

At the end of the day, when we're stateside, it's just a job. We go in, and then we go home at the end of the day. I'm not trying to hang out on base all day and night. I spend enough time here.

When I was single and didn't know my wife, I hung out at the pub sometimes on base, but mostly I went and hung out at a few places out in town. Most people just want to get off base whenever they can.



For one of my work's the MC completes eighteen years of school. In this story the society if very militaristic and patriotic. So from K-18 a student is indoctrinated with military values (like the Spartans). When the MC graduates he's a Jr. Officer. Would this be something that many could go with? Yeah it takes a 4 year degree to be an officer but for 18 years the MC has been in training and learning tactics.Are there no enlisted people in this society? Who do you think actually gets the work done? Officers are like management in most cases. They deal with the CEO (Commanding Officer) and his cronies, and they tell the senior enlisted what needs to get done, and they make it happen. They say Chiefs run the Navy for a reason. I'm sure it's similar in all the branches.



What are basic troop movement procedures? To clarify when pushing the friendly lines forward and advancing. Does the attack force advance to a point hold, get relieved, and come back to base for R&R or keep pushing forward?Big "depends" on this one. It's good to have a plan, but the plan usually goes to shit as soon as you make contact.



Also for this story. My MC is part of a convoy so to say. This convoy is transporting a mobile base unit. The unit was supposed to have been set up 100 miles away from its current location but the convoy comes under attack and the only they have for protection was the base. MC orders the MBU to get deployed. The move saved their lives but enemy has been turning up intensity so moving the MBU is out of the question. Would he could his ass handed to him for setting up the facility or does that depend on who he's dealing with?I've seen people get run up the mast for doing nothing wrong and get medals for being cowards. Anything is possible.



Same story. The MC is commanding officer of the base that's just how the cards fell he the most superior officer alive. Other high ranking officers (retreating from other locations) leave him and the others behind to cover their retreat. However a general does arrive. How would the general take command? Would he just basically say "okay I'm in command now get out of here"? How would that work? Would he review all the records, data and reports? Would the MC become an aide or revert back to what he was doing before he was forced to take command?Depends. If he wants to take command, he can simply say I relieve you of command, and that's it. As long as it's a lawful order, there's nothing much to be done about it.

But, it's also likely that he could see that the current CO is in the shit at the moment and knows what's going on, so it would be better for him to provide oversight and assistance rather than directly take over and fuck things up.



Different story. The MC is too young to join however he can have a waver signed. The MC justifiably "forges" the documents (the signatures and thumb prints are legit but he acquires them on the sly). What would the military do if a parent said my kid forged this document so he could join? Would the kid get a DD? Jailed? Fined?That's called a fraudulent enlistment. Article 83 of the UCMJ. He would at least get discharged. They could take money and even lock him up for a bit, though I doubt they'd go that far. I've seen people do far worse than that and just get the first two.



Can a member of the military have a business on the side? (i.e sell some things here and there and make some extra cash)Technically, you need permission. You also need to disclose the income. If you make too much on the side, there is a chance you could be administratively separated for making too much money outside the military. But if you're just selling some stuff on your own, no one will know.



Last question. I've been doing some research on the different colored shirts the flight deck crew on an air craft carrier wears.

I have Grapes, Ordies, Hanager Rats ... who else is there?
Never been on an aircraft carrier, never want to. No thanks.

AndreF
08-31-2014, 04:58 AM
Thank you for time and your answers. Most importantly thank you for service.

Its nice to get answers from various branches of military. You guys are really help me get some things established and rounded out. Keep them coming please.

badwolf.usmc
08-31-2014, 06:24 AM
Hello

For one of my work's the MC completes eighteen years of school. In this story the society if very militaristic and patriotic. So from K-18 a student is indoctrinated with military values (like the Spartans). When the MC graduates he's a Jr. Officer. Would this be something that many could go with? Yeah it takes a 4 year degree to be an officer but for 18 years the MC has been in training and learning tactics.

What are basic troop movement procedures? To clarify when pushing the friendly lines forward and advancing. Does the attack force advance to a point hold, get relieved, and come back to base for R&R or keep pushing forward?

Also for this story. My MC is part of a convoy so to say. This convoy is transporting a mobile base unit. The unit was supposed to have been set up 100 miles away from its current location but the convoy comes under attack and the only they have for protection was the base. MC orders the MBU to get deployed. The move saved their lives but enemy has been turning up intensity so moving the MBU is out of the question. Would he could his ass handed to him for setting up the facility or does that depend on who he's dealing with?

Same story. The MC is commanding officer of the base that's just how the cards fell he the most superior officer alive. Other high ranking officers (retreating from other locations) leave him and the others behind to cover their retreat. However a general does arrive. How would the general take command? Would he just basically say "okay I'm in command now get out of here"? How would that work? Would he review all the records, data and reports? Would the MC become an aide or revert back to what he was doing before he was forced to take command?


Onto question 2:

Part 1: Is this school required? If so, then making them a junior officer does not make sense. If everyone went to this school, then everyone would be officers? Yes, the US military requires a 4 year degree to become an officer, but in generations past other military cultures had the requirement that officers be nobility.

Part 2: Battle lines are temporary and fluid things. There are many ways to advance troops. Some examples are leapfrogging, where one unit advances and then stops, while another unit advances past them and then stops. Another method id call bumping,where one unit advances and then stops until the rear units catch up before advancing again. It is all determined by mission requirements.

Part 3: I don't know what a "mobile base unit" is, but a convey carries enough firepower to complete its mission. Lets say that it would need to deploy this "mobile base unit" for defense, if it were easy to deploy then it would be easy to pack back up. If it couldn't be packed back up, why is that?

Part 4: It would depend on the personally of the General, but most senior officers are used to giving big ideas and having juniors figuring out the details. A general wouldn't tell a sergeant how to do his job, he would expect him to know how.

blacbird
08-31-2014, 06:31 AM
In addition to all the comments posted previously, there's a historical element involved. Things like rank structure and amenities have changed in some branches of service. The U.S. Army has simplified rank structure some, eliminating higher-level speicalist ranks post-Vietnam. And you probably won't have clubs, for any rank, serving alcohol, in Islamic nations we now have servicepeople deployed in. So your setting matters a lot.

caw

Duncan J Macdonald
09-01-2014, 07:56 PM
Thank you for taking the time to answer all of those questions. Thank you.

The link you posted for the different color shirts was perfect (I was looking for that) but I was also wondering what they're affectionate nicknames were too. Grapes=Purple Ordies=Red I couldn't find that.
To be honest, during the year I was a staff officer on the USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) the only ones I heard were 'Grapes" and 'Ordies', and only 'Ordies' was considered affectionate.


That makes sense. However I was wondering how that would play out after the base had been set up for some time (let's a say a week or two).

Some confusion here. How is this base set up? Does someone push a button and it deploys, or do they have to unload the bulldozers and dig out a laager, build the landing strip, and set up a perimeter?

If the base has been set up for a week, and it's the first type, if the enemy is still investing the site, you'll need to either push them back so you can hit the button to pack up the base, or decide to abandon the position. At that point, the original destination is moot.

If the second kind, one week is not enough time to get all the various parts of the base completed, so you could just load everyone back up on the trucks and move out. Still need to push the enemy back though.

From your description of the action, with other more forward deployed folks advancing toward the rear through the base's location, I'd say pushing the enemy back is a non-starter, and you'd be doing well to keep the base acting as a plug to prevent the enemy from advancing past you too rapidly.

In either case, the general is too busy to spend the time to review all the reports and background information past what is needed to keep the base operational. As others have noted, generals made the policy decisions, and the senior NCOs (non-commissioned officers) make it happen. The officers in-between are middle management, making sure the general's directions are translated to the right degree for the forces they directly supervise.

Take a look at the US Army's Field Manual 1 (http://www.army.mil/fm1/).


Once again I thank you for taking the time to answer all of those questions.

No problem. Getting the details right is important if you don't want folks who do know the details to snicker.

Ringading
09-03-2014, 06:51 PM
I went to a military academy. I may be wrong, but it sounds as if on of your mc's leads that kind of life. You can PM me if you want any details on life as a cadet. When I graduated, I was a young, tiny female officer "in charge of" nearly a thousand enlisted soldiers. Nearly all of whom had more experience in everything. Luckily, I had a chief (who served more years than I was alive) rescue me and take me under his wing. If that kind of sounds like what your MC is getting into, let me know. I will gladly answer any questions.

And yes....officers don't do much work at all. Unless you count doing paper work 12 hours a day and jumping through hoops trying to get their troops the basic necessities. Worst. Job. Ever.