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The Names Have Been Changed to Protect the Stupid

Who's on First?

Who's on First?

The following is an actual conversation that occured between two Majors in the United States Army…I was one of them.

MAJ G:  Hey this is MAJ G calling about the MRAP Training.

MAJ Schmedlap: Yeah that’s me.  What can I do for you?

MAJ G:  Well, my crew is already licensed on the MRAP.  Do we really need more training?

MAJ Schmedlap: Yes.

MAJ G:  Why?

MAJ Schmedlap:  Because it’s a division requirement.  On top of the 40 hours of training you received, you need another 17 hours.

MAJ G:  Seriously?  We have been driving these things for three months already.

MAJ Schmedlap:  Well if you had MRAP X (changed for security reasons), then you wouldn’t need the training.

MAJ G:  We have that variant of MRAP.

MAJ Schmedlap:  Are you sure?

MAJ G: Yes.  I sent you a copy of the certificate to make sure we had the training we needed.

MAJ Schmedlap: Oh yeah.  Well (Pause. Someone in the background says something inaudible), you still need the training.

MAJ G: That doesn’t make sense.  I did the training, I was trained on that specific type of MRAP, and we have been driving it for 3 months.

MAJ  Schmedlap:  Well it’s about maintenance.  If you had someone that had the extended maintenance course for the MRAP, you might be able to have him train you.

MAJ G: We did that.

MAJ Schmedlap:  Really?

MAJ G:  Yes, it was the course up inTaji.

MAJ Schmedlap:  Well, it would be better if you got the 17 hours of training.

MAJ G: Well, we did the required training, we did it on the right MRAP type, we have been driving it for 3 months, and we had one of our senior NCO’s (Non Commissioned Officer) complete the maintenance course and he gave us that training.

MAJ Schmedlap: Is he certified instructor?


MAJ Schmedlap:  Well, the 17 hours would be better.

MAJ G: Really?  I keep meeting all your requirements so I’m not sure how it would be better.  Here’s the problem; I have an 11 man team that runs 24 hour operations. We also do missions in the middle of all this. So you want me to shut down my operation for several days even though I have met all your requirements and completed the required training.  On top of that, you want me to risk the safety of my crew by driving from my little FOB (Forward Operating Base) in the middle of Baghdad to wherever the fuck you’re at?

MAJ Schmedlap:  Yes.

MAJ G: You do realize this doesn’t even come close to passing the common sense rule, right?  I’ll tell you what, why don’t you send someone here?  I have an office, with computers, PowerPoint projectors, and MRAPs I have been driving for 3 months. If it’s that important, they can risk their lives and come here.

MAJ Schmedlap:  Maybe, but you still need the training.

MAJ G: Are you hearing yourself?

MAJ Schmedlap: What?

MAJ G: Nothing.

MAJ Schmedlap: This training is a division requir…(inaudible yell from the back ground). 

MAJ G:  (Attempts to strangle this asshole through the phone are futile.)

MAJ Schmedlap: (Yelling to the person in the background) They don’t want to do the training.

Person in Background:  Just tell them to do the gawddamned training!

MAJ Schmedlap:  Hey, just do the training.

MAJ G:  Who the fuck was that?

MAJ Scmedlap: Lieutenant Colonel Dumas.

MAJ G: Ok, well, I have a brief with the division commander tomorrow morning. I’ll explain this situation to the General and let him know that…LTC Dumas was it?

MAJ Schmedlap: Yes.

MAJ G: …that LTC Dumas said to “just do the gawddamned training.” This is fucking stupid.

MAJ Schmedlap:  Oh. (pause)

MAJ G:  LTC Dumas, was it? And what’s your name again.

MAJ Schmedlap: Um….

MAJ G: Nevermind, I got it right here Schmedlap. You and LTC Dumas have a good day.


The next morning…

MAJ G: ….and when I explained all this, LTC Dumas told me to, “just do the gawddamned training.”

General:  That doesn’t even make sense.  I’ll take care of it.

MAJ G:  Thank you, sir.




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