July 25, 2014

July 25, 2014

In the Rear with the Gear

[Note: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of any country’s armed forces in any capacity. Mistakes in this piece are my own.]

There’s this thing the military uses called “Military Occupational Specialties” (MOS). Everyone from pilots to chaplains to missile repairers has one of these 3-digit codes to classify their job. (That is, the thing they do in addition to SUPPORTING AND DEFENDING THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC, HOOAH.)

I assume the MOS codes are important for paperwork purposes, like a Dewey Decimal System for people. Say what you will about the Department of Defense; they certainly know how to run an operation. After reviewing the many (many) options available to our soldiering men and women, I remain convinced that I would be best utilized as an Automated Logistical Specialist (92A) and/or Unit Supply Specialist (92Y).

(Not that I would ever make it in the military. I’m weak, outdoors-averse, nearsighted, and left-handed. There are people born to survive in the wild, and then there’s me. But let’s pretend.)

The Quartermaster Corps (as I gather the 92As and their ilk are called) actually run in my family. My grandpa* was in the QC during World War II, and my dad during the Vietnam Era. You could say that ordering, transporting, and organizing supplies runs in my blood. The quartermasters apparently are also known for keeping the best supplies to themselves. The technical term for this is “win-win.”

Let’s take a look at some of the duties:

- Review and verify quantities received against bills of contracts, purchase requests and shipping documents. (I manually reconcile all my credit card receipts every month.)
- Unload, unpack, count, segregate, palletize and store incoming supplies and equipment. (I worship at the altar of the Container Store.)
- Construct bins, shelving and other storage aids. (I’ve assembled two apartments’ worth of Ikea furniture.)
- Maintain automated supply system for accounting of organizational and installation supplies and equipment. (Spreadsheets ftw.)
- Operate unit level computers. (I’m basically doing that RIGHT NOW.)

Really, I’m concerned with just one task: Issue and receive small arms. Um. What am I supposed to do with the rest of the Barbie?

Should our future robot overlords reinstate the draft, I think this is the route I would take; it utilizes my skillset while limiting my ability to inflict actual damage. The worst I could do would be to eat the entire battalion’s supply of Nutella.

Peruse the list (Army’s is here) and consider your own plan of action. Whatever you do, don’t click on “Ask Sgt. Star” because that li’l fella is smack dab in the middle of the uncanny valley.

*Paternal. My maternal (Korean) relatives were all too busy fending off the Japanese.

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