Hondo over at This Ain’t Hell has a fun little story of an IG inspection. Normally, “IG” and “fun” don’t go together, but it’s a cute story.
Dave Hardin’s comment here about a LSoS former cook, fake SF, and congressional candidate reminded me of one of the funniest things that I ever saw in the military. So I thought I’d relate it here.
At Fort Bragg years ago, the XVIII Airborne Corps at one time had a formal IG Inspection – and no, I’m not talking about what later came to be called an “IG assistance visit”. This was a freaking formal, unannounced, full-blown no-notice inspection.
I understand the change to a different form of IG inspection (the IG assistance visit) happened during the early 1980s. However, my unit was one of the ones tagged for the formal hoo-hah before the change occurred. Lucky us. (smile)
Under the old-style IG inspection procedure, a unit would be called at 0500 and would be notified it was having an IG inspection that day. You might here a rumor that your unit was a “possible” beforehand, but the date was almost never known. Or you might get completely blindsided. That depended on how good your higher HQ was at working the “BRAGG RUMINT” pipeline.
That whole deal of layout inspections and in ranks formal inspections…
My first unit, the Wolfhounds, was very big on that. First, we had an inspection of sorts every single day. First call was at 0600 every morning. By 0605 (if not sooner) I could expect my team leader, at least, and usually my squad leader, to pop into my room and make a quick visual inspection of my room for cleanliness. My wall locker had to be open, and presentation ready. If my bed wasn’t made, it was because I was still in the process of making it.
At least once a month, we would have a full layout inspection of field equipment. We’d also have a (separate) in ranks inspection of dress uniforms. Normally, given the climate in Hawaii, we would wear a modified Class B uniform, ditching the dress jacket, and wearing ribbons on our short sleeve uniform shirt.
And every trip to the field meant first a formal layout inspection of every piece of kit on the packing list (down to displaying the pen, pencil and notepad required), followed by a formal layout inspection three days after returning, to ensure both that all equipment had been “recovered” (that is, cleaned) and was serviceable, or tagged for exchange.
As you might guess, this was a flaming pain in the ass.
On the other hand, the NCO leadership in that unit was outstanding. With the exception of an occasional “drive by” from the platoon leader or company commander, all this was NCO business. NCOs took seriously their job of providing their officers with trained and ready troops and equipment to fulfill the mission.
The IG held no terror for us, as we’d already been scrutinized countless times by NCOs who knew exactly what the standard was, and permitted no deviation from it.