FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — After two years on the brigade staff team as the operations officer, Capt. Joshua Moore is fed up with fellow soldiers coming to tell him that the toilet is clogged again.
“Do these people realize just because they aren’t an engineer by trade, they can still pick up a fucking plunger and push their shit down the drain themselves?” said Capt. Moore. “No, instead, they come to me with a smug grin on their face just to tell me something is wrong with the bathroom again instead of picking up the phone and calling in a work order.” Moore said. Department of public works (DPW) usually handles faulty items around military installations and will respond within 48 hours after a work order is called in.
“It’s not my fault that every logistics officer chose some occupational specialty that doesn’t require them to do anything more than work on excel sheets and PowerPoint presentations” said Moore. “But because my title ‘brigade engineer,’ these idiots automatically assume that I’m ‘Bob the fucking Builder’ and will gladly fix every leaky faucet and clogged shitter with a smile on my face,” he said.
Every echelon of command in the Army has staff teams built to encompass the overall battlefield, which includes a combat engineer position. “COMBAT engineer, with the key word being combat, but I guess I can only reminisce about the good old days when my job actually mattered.” said Moore.
Other staff members around the building have become accustomed to informing their engineer about the faulty items instead of calling DPW due to the turn around time it takes to be fixed. “I don’t get it, people come to me when medical information is messed up, you don’t see me complaining about that,” said 1st Lt. Jake Areola who serves as the brigade’s medical operations officer. “If I went through training to be an engineer, I would be happy to be able to help fix things around the building, because I’m sure that’s what they’re trained to do.” said Areola.
“You know how much training we got at basic officer course to unclog toilets? None,” Moore said. “You know how many leaky faucets we were taught how to fix during captain’s career course? You guessed it, fucking zero.”
Both enlisted soldiers and officers attend multiple leadership enhancement schools throughout their career in order to be prepared to operate at higher levels of leadership. “The bottom line is that it boils down to a safety issue when things like a faucet or toilet are broken,” said Maj. Marcus Johnson, the brigade safety officer. “If that toilet or faucet clogs and then causes a leak, then we could have major flooding in the building and someone could slip and fall and hurt themselves, and I would have to send out more safety bulletins.” said Johnson. “I know my job is pretty pointless, but if I had the same skills as our engineers, I’d gladly fix the toilets.” he said.
“I basically feel like a plumber with a degree in astronomy, overqualified for a shitty job that no one wants to do anyways. But at least the clogged toilets give me a break from the countless warning orders I get from division that are even more broken than our plumbing.” Moore said. “I guess I’m just constantly surrounded by shit, both literally and figuratively speaking.”