Continuing my previous post into some of the oddities of military life…

Eye in the Sky.  All day long, hovering above the post, is a blimp.  Technically, they call it an Aerostat (Latin for “just sits up there in the air”, I believe).  It’s about 70 feet long and is tethered to the ground.  It’s a drone with cameras, and can see everything that’s going on for miles around.  Those with an inclination towards privacy might find that daunting.  Unfortunately for them, these may be coming towards an American City near you.  Word is civilian models will be available to police forces soon enough.

Work.  Must of my work could be described as pretty parallel to what a prosecutor would do in the normal world.  However, there are some aspects which sound perfectly ordinary in your head until you actual have to explain them to someone not wearing a uniform.  For instance, Operational Law and Law of War.  Part of my time, I go around and teach people who they can and can’t shoot, so to speak.  This results in all manner of bizarre conversations I feel law school never really prepared me for.  For example:

“So to conclude, you can shoot the woman with a bomb strapped to her.”

“What if insurgents planted the bomb on her against her will?”

“That’s unfortunate for her.”

Jargon.  All day long, I speak in acronyms and slang.  The Army force feeds you a thousand acronyms, and you spend a god portion of meetings speaking in code, or pretending you understand the acronyms the logistics officers and the pilots are using.  Downrange means deployed, DFAC means dining facility, PT means physical training.  It’s not until I’m back on leave that I realize just how much it’s crept up on me.

Transition.  Day in and day out, the flow of people is fast.  People are only in assignments for three years or so, so every month, there’s a hail and farewell for the new and exiting people.  In the three years I’ve been with this unit, my social group has had a 99% turnover rate.  For someone who’s always been slow to find his lasting friends, that’s a bit unnerving and can force me beyond my comfort zone.    It can feel like you are on the clock all the time.  One eye is always on who’s going out the door, and who new is arriving.  While any job has some transition, the military accelerates those trends rapidly.