Dear ‘Pissed Off’ in Kandahar…

I need to vent….I really don’t want to be here today…. I suspect it is probably mid-rotation blues but I am really asking myself what I’m doing here.  There is so much bullshit flying around and I don’t feel like I’m doing anything worthwhile.  I’m supposed to be taking a ‘strategic view’ but every time I try I get slapped down by HQ, comfortably ensconced in their office in Dubai, who keep sending people in to, seemingly, second guess me and my team here on the ground.  Imagine if a G3 on a Div HQ was reaching down to a company commander and you get an impression of what it’s feeling like.

HR is coming in to quiz me about 3 dismissals I made with the Country Manager a week or so ago. I expect I’ll have to break out the tissues and get a lecture on ‘natural justice’ – the fact the three of them were bent and largely incompetent seems to count for nought. Country Int are being sent in to ‘debrief’ me re 27 April (12 days after the event) and write an analysis of what the target was and why – Higher tells me my attempt was speculative (as if Int is ever anything else) and I feel that my being the guy on the ground that night counts for nothing. I even have the client’s security guy sending me insurance paperwork for completion for the KIA – as if my Ops Spt Manager and I are not on to that – as well as reminding me to put wire on top of the hescos for fuck’s sake….

Reading this, I realise how precious I am sounding and I know I’ll probably regret posting this but this blog is the only ‘person’ I feel I can ‘talk’ to (and I don’t want to burden L and the kids with my whining). It sure is lonely in command sometimes. I’m really not happy right now and could easily get on the next plane out.  Hopefully it will pass…

Pissed-off in Kandahar


~ by Centurion on May 9, 2010.

16 Responses to “Dear ‘Pissed Off’ in Kandahar…”

  1. Your blogs are good and full of info on whats going on. The small info like the dogs, food and what the other people you work with are doing in the stan is brill. Keep your pecker up mate.

  2. Chin up mate , just remember your doing the best job u can. Many thanks for a great blog its interesting an read.

  3. History is full of good men doing their damndest to fulfil a seemlingly futile task. Sophocles comes to mind but all I really want to say is that your words are read, and felt, and remembered.

    I cannot begin to fathom the task(s) you face every day, thank you for your efforts – as a citizen of the world and as a man. I can only assume that much is at stake and help is not very forthcoming. But know that the struggle is worthwhile. Excellence is achieved within. Persevere.

    • Sean, thank you for your kind words. I am touched. You speak of Sophocles and of words, which reminds me of an elder contemporary of the great Greek – Aeschylus – and, at the heart of it, my reason for writing this blog. “Words are the physicians of a mind diseased” (or something like that). It is my words, and this blog, that help me every day. I hope you enjoy them in some small way. Best regards, Centurion.

  4. Centurion, great way to lighten your burden by sharing. I really look forward to your posts since they are very honest and emotional. Unlike other people in your field, you write without the fear of sounding emotional. Goes to show that showing your true feelings does not make you less of a man. Have a great day and I hope your family is doing fine back home.

  5. Thanks for keeping up this blog and letting some of us on the outside peer in. Never fear about sounding precious. This is your blog, and it’s good you have some place to vent. As long as you keep posting, we’ll keep reading!

  6. Sucks mate, after catching up on your blog (Found you via Knights of Afghanistan) it seems you have your head on straight and a little more faith in you would help your state of mind a hellofalot.

    Keep up the good work mate, and I will continue to read your blog with great interest.

    • Thanks Dale. I appreciate it. To be honest, scratching my head a bit for the next entry – things all a bit hum-drum at the moment (Touch wood!) Stay well.

  7. Cent, thank you for the blog and your words. As a REMF, I am here to support and pray for the best for warriors like yourself. I may be heading to Bagram soon and I would be an honor to be in the same area as a great man, such as yourself. Keep your head up and realize the importance of what you are doing.

  8. I am years younger than you and infinitely less experienced but I know exactly how you are feeling. Having the 1-star come to visit you out at the sharp end and tell you how it is from his cozy billets 200 miles away is so infuriating it is impossible to put into words.

    I’m not in ‘command’ but I can sympathize. I wouldn’t even attempt to console one such as yourself but please know that any officer who has ever truly led understands your situation to a ‘T’.

    Please email me if you’d like to discuss the actual physical requirements of your defense (as I’m an engineer and not infantry).

    • Thanks LT – much appreciated. I’d take you up on the offer of some fd defences advice (ex Assualt Pioneer myself) but I’d only be frustrated knowing what I can’t have. Stay safe.


    • Hi Mark
      Thanks for reading and for the vote of confidence. I don’t know that I’m that brave a geezer… to be honest, there are times when I have to physically swallow down the rising fear of when / where the next attack will come from. Hiding that from the lads who look to me and keeping busy helps.

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