So, I've spent all of yesterday and today "Outprocessing", which is the Army's term for standing in lines and doing battle with surly civilian GS employees (who recognize that they get paid the same whether they do any work or not, and who I think are mad at you for spoiling their free ride by making them actually perform their job). The purpose of this is to ensure that soldiers are squared away, medically and administratively, before they leave Ft. Bragg and go back to their home duty stations (who will then put the soldiers through the exact same medical and administrative checks again at that post's SRP site). By the time I'm done re-inprocessing at Leonard Wood, I will have completed certain portions of an identical health screening and medical record review 3 times at 3 separate locations.
Nothing stands as a better example of this potent combination of long lines, lazy/surly/inefficient civilian employees, and repetitive procedures better than the SRP, or Soldier Readiness Processing center. This is a site where large groups of soldiers are shuffled through multiple stations to ensure that they've had all the shots/labs/hearing tests that they need before and after deployment. I'd love to give you a full description of what this inefficient, often comical process is like, but someone else has already done it better than I ever could. So, check out the link below. (Those of you who are my friends on Facebook may have seen this link there as well, I posted it up a few months ago.)
Home Fires: On Readiness
As a great philosopher (Homer Simpson) once said: "It's funny because it's true!"