Grumpy Old Ganz

The Official Form or Item

There are always “official” forms and items we seem to need, but are they always worth the time to try and find them? In my opinion, sometimes the answer might simply be “no”!

One day I had a Corporal in my office who was just “in the way”. To speed up the paperwork I asked him to get a form that was in the administration office. It wasn’t a common form, but on occasion was needed. He asked what the form was and I explained it was the BA-1100-N requisition form. Hours later over our radios he announced he couldn’t find it for everyone to hear. I acknowledged the comment by saying I had found an extra one in the office.

On another occasion, my Platoon Sergeant came to me and asked if there was something a fellow Marine could do to help? I said, “Absolutely”, and told the Marine I needed 100 feet of flight line and a gallon of camouflage paint. He left immediately. The Sergeant looked at me in bewilderment. After hours of searching, the Marine returned saying he couldn’t find the items I had requested. I explained they were found at the MAW (Marine Air Wing) Unit a mile away. Off he went. My shift ended and I headed for home.

The following morning during formation our Sergeant Major pointed directly at me…“If this Marine ever sends you looking for something, ask me first from now on”. I later found out that they thought the Marine went UA (unauthorized absence) and the Sergeant Major received a call wondering why we had a member of our unit at the MAW Unit looking for flight line and camouflage paint?

I was summoned to the Company Commander’s office after formation and surprisingly it became a very informal conversation. The Commander asked if I had any more forms or tasks? I did, and he asked if I had one for the Sergeant Major? He quickly added I was under full protection and safe from punishment.

It was near the end of my shift and time for the Sergeant Major to leave so I called down and explained I needed an “intake form” for an inmate and I couldn’t process him without it. I said I needed the ID-10-T Form. He said it would be there in a few minutes.

Upon arrival the next morning, I was sent to the Commander’s office. As I entered he asked me to close the door, breaking military bearing he began laughing to the point of tears. He told me the Sergeant Major never left the night before and he asked him before I arrived if he knew what the form was?

So...if you are sent looking for something “official” you might want to consider the source...

Note: Did you figure out the underlying code words used by the Marine in this editorial? If not, here is the translation—flight line is a landing strip, not a rope or line, camouflage is made up of a variety of paints, the BA-1100-N (balloon) Form, and the ID-10-T (idiot) Form.


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