Barracks Life: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Humor

Unless you are married or came in as a Staff Sgt, you will probably spend a fair chunk of your time living in the dorms. Oh, did I say “dorms”? Apologies, I was in the Air Force, so for the sake of preserving the comment section, I’m referring to the large filing cabinet-like buildings full of enlisted personnel as barracks.


Living in the barracks, at least in my experience, did get better as time went by. When you first arrive, it’s probably under a training command, and those guys are dicks about everything — especially how clean and regulated the rooms are. But as you progress in rank and out of the training nut grinder, things get a bit easier, and a bit looser.

Besides those perks of communal living, you also tend to see insane shit, including OSI raiding a dorm room; an Airman's $10,000 computer system that totally wasn't used for pirating media; an airman in his underwear holding two beers and yelling at a tornado as it passes a half mile away (Good ol’ Oklahoma). Not to mention all the times an underage drinker decides to make a run for it when the MP’s walk by, ensuring that you will all be yelled at in a large amphitheater sometime on Monday.

But of course, there are the good things about barracks living. First off, you don’t have to cook your own food, which is a godsend if you’re a terrible cook like I am. A full-fledged breakfast every morning? Bacon and eggs? Sure we can all complain about the quality of the food and the cooks, but if it didn’t exist you’d be going into work paying 5$ for a coffee and cramming a donut into your mouth hole with extreme prejudice.

Another perk that’s often overlooked by those of you who got stationed in nice climate:if the power goes out for an extended period of time due ice storms or hurricanes or some other apocalyptic bullshit, the on-base barracks maintain power since most large bases have their own tiny grid (One time after a brutal ice storm, I walked into a day room on a Saturday a bit hungover to find about 20 NCO’s watching TV and charging their phones. Another time, an NCO getting his beer pong on)

The final perk is a simple one: the convenience of having a pile of people who were forced to be around you. Pick up games of football were easy to organize. And for the nerds out there they could play dungeons and dragons, Stranger Things style, to their heart's content. And at least for me, the best times in the barracks could easily be traced to playing Call of Duty close enough to your fellow players that every win or loss resulted in audible howls of victory or defeat from across the hall.

Barracks life sucked, but in retrospect, there were some pretty solid perks to the whole racket. Until you got married to some stripper and started getting that sweet, sweet BAH. But that’s another story.

A enlisted thinktank brought to you by Task & Purpose

Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will retire as a chief petty officer now that President Donald Trump has restored his rank.

"Before the prosecution of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher, he had been selected for promotion to Senior Chief, awarded a Bronze Star with a "V" for valor, and assigned to an important position in the Navy as an instructor," a White House statement said.

"Though ultimately acquitted on all of the most serious charges, he was stripped of these honors as he awaited his trial and its outcome. Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified."

The announcement that Gallagher is once again an E-7 effectively nullifies the Navy's entire effort to prosecute Gallagher for allegedly committing war crimes. It is also the culmination of Trump's support for the SEAL throughout the legal process.

On July 2, military jurors found Gallagher not guilty of premeditated murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter to death and opening fire at an old man and a young girl on separate occasions during his 2017 deployment to Iraq.

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Maj. Matthew Golsteyn in Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Philip Stackhouse.)

President Donald Trump has ended the decade-long saga of Maj. Matthew Golsteyn by ordering a murder charge against the former Green Beret dismissed with a full pardon.

The Army charged Golsteyn with murder in December 2018 after he repeatedly acknowledged that he killed an unarmed Afghan man in 2010. Golsteyn's charge sheet identifies the man as "Rasoul."

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(Screenshot from 'Leavenworth')

President Donald Trump has signed a full pardon for former 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, who had been convicted of murder for ordering his soldiers to open fire on three unarmed Afghan men, two of whom were killed.

Lorance will now be released from the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he had been serving a 19-year sentence.

"He has served more than six years of a 19-year sentence he received. Many Americans have sought executive clemency for Lorance, including 124,000 people who have signed a petition to the White House, as well as several members of Congress," said a White House statement released Friday.

"The President, as Commander-in-Chief, is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the law is enforced and when appropriate, that mercy is granted. For more than two hundred years, presidents have used their authority to offer second chances to deserving individuals, including those in uniform who have served our country. These actions are in keeping with this long history. As the President has stated, 'when our soldiers have to fight for our country, I want to give them the confidence to fight.'"

Additionally, Trump pardoned Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, who was to go on trial for murder charges next year, and restored the rank of Navy SEAL Chief Edward Gallagher, who was found not guilty of murdering a wounded ISIS prisoner but convicted of taking an unauthorized photo with the corpse.

Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth first announced on Nov. 4 that the president was expected to intervene in the Lorance case was well as exonerate Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, who has been charged with murder after he admitted to killing an unarmed Afghan man whom he believed was a Taliban bomb maker, and restore Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher's rank to E-7.

For the past week, members of Lorance's family and his legal team have been holding a constant vigil in Kansas anticipating his release, said Lorance's attorney Don Brown.

Now that he has been exonerated of committing a war crime, Lorance wants to return to active duty, Brown told Task & Purpose on Wednesday.

"He loves the Army," Brown said prior to the president's announcement. "He doesn't have any animosity. He's hoping that his case – and even his time at Leavenworth – can be used for good to deal with some issues regarding rules of engagement on a permanent basis so that our warfighters are better protected, so that we have stronger presumptions favoring warfighters and they aren't treated like criminals on the South Side of Chicago."

In the Starz documentary "Leavenworth," Lorance's platoon members discuss the series of events that took place on July 2, 2012, when the two Afghan men were killed during a patrol in Kandahar province.They claim that Lorance ordered one of his soldiers to fire at three Afghan men riding a motorcycle. The three men got off their motorcycle and started walking toward Afghan troops, who ordered them to return to their motorcycle.

At that point, Lorance ordered the turret gunner on a nearby Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle to shoot the three men, according to the documentary. That order was initially ignored, but the turret gunner eventually opened fire with his M-240, killing two of the men.

But Lorance told the documentary makers that his former soldiers' account of what happened was "ill-informed."

"From my experience of what actually went down, when my guy fired at it, and it kept coming, that signified hostile intent, because he didn't stop immediately," Lorance said in the documentary's second episode.

Brown argues that not only is Lorance innocent of murder, he should never have been prosecuted in the first case.

"He made a call and when you look at the evidence itself, the call was made within a matter of seconds," Brown said "He would make that call again."

The new Call of Duty Modern Warfare takes gaming to a new level. In fact, it's the best damn video game of 2019 (in my humble opinion).

You can watch video of the awesome gameplay for CoD above, and make sure to follow the Task & Purpose team on Twitch here.

This post was sponsored by GoatGuns.Com. Use the code TP15 for 15% off your next order.

A new trailer just dropped for the upcoming World War I action flick The Great War.

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