Saturday, October 2, 2010

The 40-Hour Day

Most people in America, if they are lucky to have a full time job, work an average of 40 hours a week. Sure there is the occasional day they may have to put in a little overtime or take some work home to make sure they meet a deadline, but for the most part they know they will be gainfully employed from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.

The Soldier doesn’t work a 40-hour week. They start their day at 5am and may not get home until 6pm. This is an average day for most, it doesn’t include those in the combat zone or being on shift for 24 hours straight pulling guard much less going to the field for weeks at a time. These hours don’t even take into consideration those in leadership positions who show up before their Soldiers arrive and stay long past the hours Soldiers go home at night.


0415- wake up to shower, dress and grab a quick bite to eat

0450- take off from home to walk to work (I get to enjoy a few minutes to myself in the peaceful early morning and mentally prepare for the day)

0500- depart the battalion to drive up to Kunsan Air Base where one of our units is located

0730- call for directions because we have gotten lost on the Korean roads

0800- stop at a rest stop to call for more directions and get gas because we still don’t know where we are

0815-start heading back to base because we should have gotten on a highway we passed over an hour ago

0900- finally back on track to Kunsan

1025- arrive at Kunsan Air Base

1030- begin a brief to the unit in Kunsan with instruction on the command inspection we will be performing

1100- begin inspection, unfortunately the unit fails miserably

1200- go to the BX for lunch and exploring

1330- take off back to Camp Carroll

1645-arrive back at the battalion, thankfully didn’t get lost this time

1650- start going through the 30+ emails in my inbox I received in the past 9 hours

1800- brief the commander on the results of the inspection

1930- start my walk home

1934- receive a call from my boss asking who the officer on duty tonight was, I didn’t recall off the top of my head but it was someone who was excused from duty

1937- arrive back at work to begin my overnight shift as I chose to cover for the guy who couldn’t do it

1940-back in my office to try and accomplish work on my shift

2230- go on my rounds to check the barracks and motor pool

2330- try and take a nap


0130- get up for my next set of rounds, its peaceful to walk around at night while the base sleeps

0230- lay back down on my couch for another nap

0600- get up, freshen up and start working

0800- go to another inbrief for the inspection of the day

0820- sneak away to get some coffee

0900- stuck in the office working, it is becoming a long day already

1030- inspect the next unit, they pass based on my good graces

1300- go to a training meeting, I am the only staff officer to show up because the rest were doing there inspections

1301- I think to myself I should have scheduled my inspection during the meeting…bummer

1400- leave the meeting and head back to the my office

1604- caffeine run for a Mountain Dew

1800- outbrief to the commander about the days inspection

1945- finally on my way home

1953- stop at Subway for some food

2010- get to take off my uniform J

2030- unwind with some food and TV

2137- receive a call from a special someone back in the states

2304- lay my head down on my pillow

2305- SLEEP


0450- Alarm goes off , I get up, dress and head to the 0530 formation….and it all starts again

This week was one of the busiest and longest weeks of my life. Well maybe not but it feels like it right now. Heading home Friday night at 1940, I did the math in my head and counted 85+ hours I spent at work this week, just what I need at the age of 25, two full time jobs. Sometimes I look at my paycheck and think I make quite a bit for what I do. Not that I am complaining but I get paid salary and if I then try and figure out my hourly wage it turns out its not too much…oh well such is the life of the Soldier. We don’t do it for the money.

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