Vet Tales, a-woo-o!
When my husband and I were in Korea, we had a number of field exercises. That is, war games simulating tactical environments in which we actively pretended to do our war time jobs. We were missile defense, you see, and there aren’t generally a lot of missiles flying around, so make believe was necessary.
We could have a field exercise about once a month, though at least once we had two in one month. They tended to last for between five days to two weeks, though we sometimes had to extend due to personal failures that superiors felt warranted extra training.
I worked at battalion and happened to be lucky enough to stay in the general area during a field. Hubby worked in Bravo, a battery in my battalion, and they only needed about fifteen to twenty minutes to get to their site. Suitably, since their traveling was minimal, they had a pretty good track record as far as we were concerned: good at evaluations, on top of their comms.
Enter Alpha Battery.
Alpha was notorious at battalion for being a mess. They were the only battery on post who had to really travel to their field site, a two to three hour trip one way through Korea in a convoy at the asscrack of dawn every single exercise, getting yelled at the whole time from us (because they were always late and never got their comms working) and by their superiors for 1) not being careful enough with the equipment because they were going too fast 2) working too slowly with the equipment and wasting time.
Alpha had the highest number of accidents and incidents because of this. I really can’t even blame them; they were entirely the scapegoats of TOC, constantly the singled-out problem battery as far as fields go.
Finally, after a half dozen of quick succession fields, five or six hours of round trip travel per field, (this was after Kim Jong Un came to power, and our bet was that our command was jumpy) YET ANOTHER field exercise was announced, and that was it: they’d had enough. The night before the field was to start, an unknown number of soldiers snuck onto their site late at night and slashed Every. Single. Tire. On every piece of equipment they owned. Nothing was spared.
Due to the sheer work involved, we assumed at least a half dozen people were responsible, if not more, and we suspected that at least some of those involved were NCOs or even officers. As we never found out who did it, no one was ever charged, no significant punishment was ever given, and, happily enough for Alpha, they did not have to make their troublesome convoy that field. They did have an awful lot of tires to replace but except for the thousands of taxpayer dollars wasted on said tires, there were no repercussions.
Soldiers, even higher ups, can revolt if pushed, and they don’t always get caught. Fun things to remember for your story. -K