MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — Maj. Rick Jones, an artillery officer assigned to the U.S. Central Command, is openly and loudly hoping he is selected for separation from the Army as part of the ongoing Officer Separation Board, sources confirmed.
Jones, a decorated veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan, is not afraid to tell his officemates in the J3 Plans section that he is eagerly awaiting a call from “some GO (General Officer)” informing him that the Army is done with him.
“I’m ready to quit this bitch,” Jones told Duffel Blog. “The Army rode me hard and put me up wet, but I used the hell out of the Army, too. They paid for my master’s degree, sent me to all kinds of special schooling, and paid an ass-load of money to stay in [under the Captains Retention Bonus program]. Now they’re trying to boot the exact same people they paid to stay in?"
"If Uncle Sugar is dumb enough to send me packing after spending so much money making me an Iron Major, that’s the Army’s own damn fault," he added.
Co-workers do not share Jones’ desire that he be separated from the Army as a result of the recent retention board.
"Rick is a rock star. The dude churns out [operations] plans quicker than my daughter writes text messages," Navy Commander Linda Bogdan told Duffel Blog in an email. "He briefs senior leadership all the time and was recognized as the CENTCOM Joint Officer of the Quarter last year. Why would the Army want him to leave service?”
Jones, however, pointed out possible reasons the Army would want to part ways with him.
“I have 13.5 years in the Army. If they hurry up and boot me now, they won’t have to give me retirement pay for the next 40 years or whatever. That’s a big chunk of change. Instead, they’ll throw maybe a hundred-twenty grand at me to go away…and let me get a new job with the skills they’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars teaching me.”
Lt. Col. Wade Holloway — Jones’ immediate supervisor — called Jones a "stud."
"This dude has been top-blocked since he was a lieutenant, works crazy hours, and understands strategy better than [Carl von] Clausewitz," Holloway told reporters. "Why the hell would the Army kick him out rather than those shitbag slick-sleevers I see all over the Pentagon?”
Asked about how his strong board file affects the chances he will be selected for early separation, Jones expressed some concern.
“Yeah, my record is pretty good. The top blocks are challenging and the Bronze Star with “V” device certainly won’t help. Still, I went out of my way to make sure my file would get noticed for the wrong reasons. I didn’t shave for two days before I took my photo and all my awards were jacked-up: out of order, not spaced evenly, the whole nine."
He continued: "I certified my [Officer Record Brief] after making sure it didn’t match my photo. I also tried to fail a PT test before my last OER [Officer Evaluation Report], but I am in an older age group than before and I accidentally did too many sit-ups.”
Regarding the difficulty of transitioning to the civilian world, Jones was again upbeat.
“People say the economy is shitty and it will be tough finding a job. Hmmm, I think a master’s degree from the [Harvard] Kennedy School of Government paid for by U.S. taxpayer dollars might open up a few doors. If it takes a little while to find the right employment, I guess I’ll just have to figure out a way to make do with the hundred-twenty grand the Army gave me to get out plus the thirty thousand they gave me to stay in back in 2007."