The U.S. Army is once again sending me to fabulous Fort Lewis, Washington for a week of high adventure and hijinks during the Warrior Forge Planning Conference 2009.
I am attending as the Operations Officer of last-year's Patrolling committee, who will give advice and augment the continuity books for this years' Tactics Committee Operations Officer. This year's OPS Officer was my Intel Officer last year, and we worked all of six feet apart.
Hey, it's five days of TDY, meals and per diem, lodging at the almost two full star King Oscar Motel and convention center (where my room was burgled last year and my meds were stolen.) But best off all, it's the meetings! We are going to spend the better part of four days discussing last year, this year, and what we will do the same, but different!
The end product I have to produce is... wait for it... nothing! As a "former" I am simply in an advisory role. (Honestly, that's the best part of the trip.)
Hey, there's folks out there who'll claim this is unnecessary travel and a waste of Army money. Sorry bout that, but the best way to make any system better is to review what worked and what didn't, and go from there. Having the formers and the currents all in one place at one time actually does help, especially since we come from all over the country and execute with very little lead time once we are on the ground.
Get mad that 535 members of our congress and one executive haven't figured out that giving billions of dollars away to ACORN, NASA, DHS, and a bunch of other agencies under a "stimulus" bill is going to do zilch to help the economy.
Wanna make the economy rebound REALLY fast? Have the Federal government operate within budget. "You have X dollars as of 1 OCT. when X=0, you have no more money for anything, including your own salaries, until the following October. The lights and heat are going to be turned off in fifteen minutes, you'll have to pay for your own ride to the airport and your own airfare home. Your secret service details will not be accompanying you either, because their salaries are also halted. You spent it on the National Endowment For the Arts. Please feel free to grab a replica of Serrano's "Piss Christ" to use for cover on your way out of town. The good news, however, is that you won't have any problems at the airport, as TSA has no more funds to operate with. Enjoy yuor Break, see you in October!"