Good Morning.  Yet again, I’m here, ranting in your ear about something well before the Sun comes up.  That’s kind of the point to this one, people.  Part of my job seems to be ensuring that the sun properly rises on a daily basis.

I might have put something up last year on this date, I don’t know and I don’t care (am I stupid or apathetic?) but after a painful bout in the gym to remind me of my impending mortality and some woodworking to make me reflect on deeper topics, this post came to mind.

Twenty-one years ago today, I sat sweating in New York while wearing a lot of excessive wool as I graduated and then received my Commission in the United States Army.  That’s kind of a long time.  I passed the retirement marker a year ago, but I’m staying put.  I keep getting interesting things to do, and the people – for the most part – are great to work with.  That day so long ago was the most significant event of my life at the time, but it has long since been eclipsed by other events, successes, and abject failures.

Twenty-one years.

We’ve been at war for just over half of that time, and I’ve been promoted twice since 2001.  That fact is not significant unless you understand the byzantine methods by which our Army promotes dolts like me forward to bigger, better and more cataclysmic mistakes.  Point is, I’ve seen a lot and done a lot.  This isn’t boasing or pride speaking.  Rather, I felt compelled to mark the day.  I’ll get back to my job now.

I just wanted to share that.  Thanks for listening.

68 Responses to “Twenty-One”

  1. That’s a big deal! I have a friend who has been promoted a few times too and it certainly takes an act of congress to make it happen. You should be proud…and even prouder that the decision you made 21 years ago isn’t one you regret, and are actually happy you made. How many of us can say that?

    With that said, you’ve seen some shit in those 21 years…I feel like an ode to the weirdest is in order to commemorate the event!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing. J.

  3. hello and thank you for your 21 years of service…and counting.

  4. The Elite of Just Alright Says:

    I’ve always respected you for your service and we’re lucky to have you defending us, so thank you.

  5. 21, that´s more than half my life, joined at 22, how you manage to stay put for so long, never figure it out. Hope you train well the new little bastards like me when they get there. I saw in some news that recruitment has dropped, any fact to support that?

  6. As a non-serving citizen, thanks for staying at it for 21 years.

  7. Rants,
    Congrats on 21 years and I’m glad that you made it back safely from two tours. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like over there, and, frankly, don’t even want to try.

    Thank you for your service, and thank you for sharing.

  8. Thanks for saving my butt, taking care of some big bad guys & paying for my freedom to be able to wish you Happy Career Anniversary. You may not serve my country, but your service serves humanity. Mwuah (big kiss)!

  9. Congrats on the 21 years, Rants and best wishes for healthy and happy future years/months/days…

  10. Twenety. One. Fucking awesome. Thanks for your service, Bro. The sacrifices you have made in service to the USA do not go unnoticed.

  11. Wow–I can’t wait to share that milestone with my son who graduated from high school yesterday; he has little concept of the fact that the world actually existed before he did, and that it also does not revolve around him. The idea that someone has done something for longer than he has been alive will trip him out 🙂 Besides that, congrat’s and thank you so much for all you do as a serviceman.

    • I’m honored to be an example for such an important idea, thank you. Tell him about typewriters and correction fluid. That will overload him.

      • For sure! He’s just about passed out when we talk about “life before cable, internet, and video games”…amazing how the world has turned since the 1960’s…

        • Here’s one: “Son, used to be that all phones never moved from their place on the wall.” Brain bomb.

          • Got it! We keep a terribly hideous princess phone (football shaped, corded, but push-button, darn it) in case things go weird and EMP-ish so we can still make calls to phones no one can answer (I might have to write a story about such an occasion).

  12. You know, the saddest part of your whole spiel isn’t the unrecognised excellence or the unpromoted expertise you possess, it’s the fact we’ve been at war for almost half your career. Yeah, I know dang well Army guys are supposed to fight, otherwise you make as much sense as a V-12 engine in a Prius. 😉 It’s a pity that the world can’t behave nicely. Then again, that would’ve meant you having a different career – and you as a game show host would be too much! 😀

    • Good point, but it’s a war we have to see through.

      • Well, you’re the closest thing to a military expert I have available, so let me ask you – just why the heck DIDN’T we start rebuilding infrastructure sooner? (More so in Iraq, where there WAS something of an infrastructure – in A-stan, it was starting over from scratch, or whatever the Soviets left, whichever is lower…..)
        I hope we close Afghanistan properly – I have nightmares about Chinooks hauling people off the roof of a building in Kabul while the Taliban drives through the city on a victory lap. (Yes, I know – I didn’t serve in ‘Nam, but I have bad dreams about it. Go fig.)

        • We won’t leave AFG properly because at the National/Strategic levels, our hearts simply weren’t in the effort. My opinion, for the record.

  13. Happy Armyversary (see what I did there?) Here’s to many more good years—as long as you stay safe. And thank you for your service, sir.

  14. Congratulations on your anniversary! Now go back to bed.

  15. Congratulations and thank you for your service. Without people like you wimps like me wouldn’t be in the places we are – and I for one want you to know that i know that and respect that.

  16. whiteladyinthehood Says:

    Some days you just never forget….21 years – awesome!!

  17. It occurs to me that your army career can now walk into a store and buy booze all by itself now. It doesn’t need to take you along anymore.

  18. Daniela Says:

    I have seen some armies and some wars … twenty-one years is a long time … a long time on duty. Respect is the word that comes to mind.

    Take Care,
    Daniela (of the Lantern Post)

  19. Im glad you shared it, experinces that are important and never forgotten, should always be shared

  20. Rants surely you’re not that age 😉
    Thank you for the moving and interesting piece. xxx
    -ps: all monitors shorted out, only have Ipod. Forgive my late readings and comments

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