Since the first time I stepped foot into one of your air conditioned tactical tents as a lieutenant, I knew you were something great. You could be assembled and torn down rapidly. You could provide troops with reprieve from the elements. You could be designed and configured in a variety of ways because of your modularity. You could be a Tactical Operations Center (TOC), sleeping quarters, or even a soft-shell motor pool bay for vehicle maintenance. And thanks to the Army’s Standardized Integrated Command Post System (SICPS) Trailer Mounted Support System (TMSS) fielding, you came in a neatly contained trailer package complete with a generator, lights, environmental control system, and even tables.
You were everything a leader could want in a command post. Plus, you could be accessorized like the world’s most expensive Lego set.
Then, one winter day, we took our relationship to the next level, and I was suddenly signed for several of your TMSS systems. It didn’t take long for the honeymoon phase to wear off.
Inventorying you is a pain in the ass, and what the hell is a “gusset” anyway? When your endcap rods break, the tents suddenly become saggy messes that can’t keep in the cold or hot air from the ECU.
And everyone who didn’t have you wanted to borrow you. I get it, for all the cool reasons mentioned above. But you always came back worse off than you left (though you probably left in bad condition anyway).
I always marvel at how a group of motivated soldiers can break camp and pack up at lightning speeds once someone hollers “ENDEX,” but marvel turned to alarm when I learned how easily parts could break on you if done carelessly and too fast.
My point, DRASH, is that I love and hate you at the same time.
Someone else is signed for you now, and I’m okay with that. Going through your things before you started your relationship with a new commander was painful and arduous, and afterward I didn’t miss you one bit. Good riddance.
But now, it seems like all I can remember are the good times. Remember that time there was a bad storm in the field, and that old raggedy GP large partially collapsed on a bunch of sleeping troops (luckily no one was hurt)? You remained perfectly intact, proving your worth and providing shelter for the night shift.
Or how about that time you became my unit’s home away from home for Operation Key Resolve in South Korea? Snow piled up by the foot, but you gave us a dry and warm place to work and only asked that we knock the snow off the roof every once in a while.
I know we’ll run into each other again one day, DRASH. We’ll spend time together, I’m sure, and maybe we can even be friends. But we’ll never have the same relationship as when I first signed for you and your pages of COEI and BII.
Thanks for everything,
A former commander
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