Case Study: Sun Tzu, III/31

Marauder06

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This is the start of a new case study. For those of you unfamiliar with how this works, I start a story loosely based on personal experiences and develop it based on your responses. This is a complete work of fiction and unless specified otherwise, none of the units, situations, or people mentioned are real.

The purpose of these case studies is to provide an entertaining venue to discuss military leadership. You should feel free to chime in with your suggestions, comments, observations and questions; that’s what really makes these fun for everyone. At the end of the case study, I’ll wrap it all up and talk briefly about how the case study compared to what happened (or didn’t happen) in real life.

These cases take time (in some instances, “a lot” of time:-/ ) so no promises on when it will get wrapped up. Part of the equation in how long it takes is how many responses there are, to help drive the plot.

The working title of this case study is “Sun Tzu III/31.” The events in this case study take place immediately after those in the case study “Karma.” Here is a rundown of some of the characters you are likely to encounter in this case study:

CPT Scott Faith: intel officer, former commander of the Military Intelligence Detachment (MID), now in the process of taking over as Group S2 from MAJ Dudley. Main character of the story.

MSG Will Reynolds: intel noncommissioned officer, first sergeant of the MID, good friend of CPT Faith. He is on the promotion list for E9 and will probably be moving on to another unit shortly.

MAJ Dudley: marginally-competent Group S2. Known as “The Dud.” He and Faith have a volatile relationship, in part because The Dud believes that Faith “stole” command of the MID from him, and because Faith believes that The Dud is a complete idiot.

CW2 Amanda Rollins: female counter-intel warrant officer; young, fit, attractive, highly intelligent and very good at her job. Also, ShadowSpear’s favorite case study character. (I don’t remember if I gave her a first name previously, so her name now is “Amanda.”)

MSG Paul Walden: Special Forces team sergeant, first encountered during the “Soul Plane incident.” Probably ShadowSpear’s most-hated character because he is dating Chief Rollins. ;)

CPT Mackenzie “Mac” Marshal: Young Special Forces team leader (Paul and Marshall are on the same team) first encountered in the “Soul Plane incident.”

The Group Commander: overall head of the Group. He is about to change command as part of a regular command turnover.

The DCO: the Group’s deputy commanding officer. Long-time SF officer, he was wounded in Afghanistan and is missing part of his right index finger. Complete hardass, but fair. Officers are as scared of the DCO as the enlisted and NCOs are of the Group command sergeant major. Currently slated to take another job outside of the Group.

The CSM: the Group command sergeant major. 24+ years of experience in SF. The Group commander’s right-hand man.

CPT Simon Criss: formerly the Group support detachment commander, he is now heading “across the airfield” to become part of the 16th SAVE, a special mission unit (SMU).

CPT Li Chen: Group surgeon.

CW5 Randy Michaels: CW5, one of the two senior SF warrant officers in Group, assigned to the Group S2 shop but works in the S3 shop.


MAJ Quintin Roberts: was CPT Faith’s battalion XO in a previous assignment. CPT Faith has a particular loathing for MAJ Roberts, for reasons which as yet are not clear. MAJ Roberts previously served in a number of different SOF units, including 2nd Group, before CPT Faith met him in Korea.

…more characters as I come up with/remember them.

All of the above individuals are assigned to the 2nd Special Forces Group (2nd Group) at an unspecified Army base located somewhere in the United States. Other units at this unnamed base nclude the 16th Special Aviation Element (16th SAVE) and a conventional Army unit, known only as “The Division.”

Before we get started, I wanted to try something. As many of you are aware, the names of some of the characters in these cases are based on ShadowSpear site members. I want to work a couple more into this upcoming case study. So, I will take nominations; post the username of a member, why he or she would be an interesting character in the story, and how he or she should be worked into the plot. (this should be interesting… ;) ). No self-nominations, please.
 

Marauder06

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Even though the deaths of MAJ Ripley and CPT James now weigh heavily of the minds of many in 2nd Group, life continues. The Group is continuing to make preparations for their next major deployment to Iraq, where they will relieve 9th Group, a sister unit from out west. While a bit of a rivalry exists between 2nd Group and 9th Group, both units tend to work together well at the tactical level. That cohesion will be tested during this deployment, however, because the headquarters of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force (CJSTOF) will be moving from a palace in Baghdad to a dusty, austere airfield in Balad. 9th Group has been tasked with constructing the new CJSOTF facilities, which 2nd Group will then occupy.

But the construction of a new headquarters in Iraq is a distant concern for many of the commanders and staff in 2nd Group. More short-term, and therefore more pressing, is the upcoming annual inspection. The inspection was already postponed once, and the rescheduled date is in two weeks. All staff sections will be inspected by a team from US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). Far from being a typical, low-consequence “paper drill” inspection, a poor showing on this kind of inspection can have real consequences. The results of these inspections are shared throughout the SOF community and are presented (as part of a larger briefing) to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Commanders have been relieved, and staff officers fired, for extremely poor performance on these evaluations in the past.

As the incoming Group S2 for 2nd Group, CPT Faith’s primary concern is the part of the inspection that covers intel responsibilities. Key among these are physical security, intel oversight, and handling of classified information. Faith is due to take over as Group S2 immediately after the inspection is over, so the responsibility for the intel portion of the annual inspection falls on the current S2, MAJ Dudley. Or, as he is known, “The Dud.” It is not a term of affection.

CPT Faith and The Dud are not friends, and the issues between them go back a long time. When Faith first arrived at 2nd Group, approximately two years ago, he was briefly assigned as one of The Dud’s assistant S2s. After a few weeks of mindless drudgery working for someone who was at best only marginally competent, and who was certainly universally reviled by the entire Group, the initial enchantment of actually being assigned to a Special Forces unit wore off, and Faith began looking for a way out.

At the time, Faith was also greatly annoyed that he had not been deployed yet, and because he worked for a complete clown, no one was particularly interested in getting Faith out on a deployment. The Dud’s reputation colored the reputation of the entire Group S2 shop, and the battalions felt that they would rather go it alone than have “help” from The Dud. The deployment issue was particularly irksome to Faith, who was convinced that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would be over any minute, and that he would be the “only kid on his block” without a combat patch. Even from the short time he had spent at Group, Faith realized that the Group S2, his entire shop, and by extension the entire intel operation in 2nd Group was completely marginalized, and that he would likely not get to do anything more meaningful than inspecting arms rooms and handing out maps as long as The Dud was the face (and annoying, stuttering voice) of the intel effort in 2nd Group.

One night shortly after he arrived at Group, after a long day of doing… well… a bunch of needless busy-work for The Dud, Faith picked up the phone and called a friend of his over in Division.

“Mike, hi, it’s Scott,” Faith said when the phone connection was made.

“Scott!” his friend said excitedly, “I heard you were in town. How are you liking 2nd Group?”

“Actually,” Faith replied, “it kind of blows. I was hoping you could find me a job in Division.”

“Seriously?” Mike said in genuine amazement. “You’ve only been over there what, like a week?”

“Two weeks,” Faith corrected, “two LONG weeks.” Faith then went on to explain the problems in the Group S2 shop, and why he wanted a transfer.

“Damn, that sucks,” Mike conceded, once Faith was done. “Yeah, I think we can work something out, I’ll talk to the Division G2 tomorrow, and we’ll see where we can slot you. But just so you know, if you come to Division, it’s a guaranteed ticket to the two-way range.”

“That’s exactly what I want,” Faith replied, confidently.
 

SkrewzLoose

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At the time, Faith was also greatly annoyed that he had not been deployed yet, and because he worked for a complete clown, no one was particularly interested in getting Faith out on a deployment. The Dud’s reputation colored the reputation of the entire Group S2 shop, and the battalions felt that they would rather go it alone than have “help” from The Dud. The deployment issue was particularly irksome to Faith, who was convinced that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would be over any minute, and that he would be the “only kid on his block” without a combat patch. Even from the short time he had spent at Group, Faith realized that the Group S2, his entire shop, and by extension the entire intel operation in 2nd Group was complete (completely?) marginalized, and that he would likely not get to do anything more meaningful than inspecting arms rooms and handing out maps as long as The Dud was the face (and annoying, stuttering voice) of the intel effort in 2nd Group.

Sorry, it's the grammar nazi in me, Sir.
 

x SF med

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Not far from the south of Canada, 'Murica!
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No Kiwi!

I'm going to go write my own case study that involves a handsome NZer with sharp wit, chief Rollins and a waitress from the Blackhorse.

I may be some time.

At least Mara's case studies have some basis in truth, not the delusional babblings of a deranged flightless bird.... now back to Mara's fictionalized account of the truth.
 

Marauder06

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Does everyone understand that my last post was a bit of a flashback? I'm not sure I did a good job of making that clear.
 

Marauder06

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Yes.

Now get on with it. :D

lol

"Faith woke up and realized it was all a dream. But turning towards his dresser, he saw something that hadn't been there before- a tan baseball cap with a subdued US flag sewn onto it. Was it real? Was it imagined? Was he ever even in the military to begin with? The world will never know..."

THE END

;)
 

LimaOscarSierraTango

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lol

"Faith woke up and realized it was all a dream. But turning towards his dresser, he saw something that hadn't been there before- a tan baseball cap with a subdued US flag sewn onto it. Was it real? Was it imagined? Was he ever even in the military to begin with? The world will never know..."

THE END

;)

Sewn? I thought it was supposed to be hook and loop? Oh wait, my bad. Facts are skewered to protect the innocent... or guilty. LOL
 

Marauder06

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After he hung up the phone, Faith heard a voice in the hall.

“Hey, S2!” someone shouted, condescendingly.

Faith, realizing that at this time of day he was probably the only officer from the S2 shop still at work, replied, “In here!”
A face soon appeared at his door. “Hey,” said an overweight civilian that Faith hadn’t met yet, but recognized as one of the civilians who worked in the Group S3 shop, “Scampi’s out.”

Annoyed by the man’s tone and manner, and not having the slightest idea what the man was talking about, Faith raised his hands in a “So…” gesture.

“Hey, I told you,” the man shrugged, and then disappeared before Faith could find out what he meant.

What was it that he said was out? Scampi? That’s some kind of shrimp dish, right? Maybe there was a spread of food somewhere, some units would have chow delivered if they were working late. After he gathered his things to go home, Faith looked in the break room and in the Group S3 office, but the doors were all locked and no one seemed to be around. Maybe that’s what the guy meant by the “scampi is out,” the food is gone. Which was a pity, because Faith was pretty hungry. Faith made sure the doors to the building were secure, and then he went home.

Because he was in no hurry to get to a job he was slowly coming to hate, Faith spent extra time doing PT the next day. Coming in to work, he made a mental note about all the things he didn’t like about 2nd Group. To begin with, the buildings were old; paint peeled from the exterior walls, and brown stains, looking like rust, emerged from the paint and spread like bloodstains down the walls. The grass needed to be mowed. The trees needed to be trimmed. Bits of trash blew across the compound. Uniforms were shoddy; headgear, and military courtesy, appeared to be optional.

Faith sighed as he entered the barracks that doubled as the offices of the Group staff. He went to his office, tossed his maroon beret onto the desk, and turned on his computer. Leaving his office door open, he walked down to The Dud’s office, only to find the door locked and the light off. Faint checked his watch. Five after nine; The Dud was late for work again, figures.

Faith stopped off at the water fountain to get a drink. He saw a man, who he recognized as the “scampi guy” from last night, coming storming past the water fountain and into Faith’s empty office. Seeing no one inside, he exited the office and rushed back the way he came, passing Faith in the hallway. While Faith recognized Scampi Man, it was clear that he did not recognize Faith.
Faith decided to kill the time he was spending on waiting for The Dud by reading the policy letters outside The Dud’s office. Faith absently wondered why, if the purpose of an Army was to fight and win a nation’s wars, that the first couple of policy letters of just about any commander were 1) open door policy, 2) equal employment/equal opportunity and 3) sexual harassment. You had to get out of the top ten in order to get to anything warfighting-related. Interesting.
 
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