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No BS here — this is frank advice on what a LOGCAP experience is all about.There have been countless scores of ill-prepared people seeking to better their lives, who whether by naïveté or wide-eyed innocence, have come onto the LOGCAP project with the misguided notion that there would be an atmosphere of patriotism, camaraderie, or esprit-de-corps of cooperation and professional consideration.
An environment in which one would interact with colleagues and enjoy support, mutual collaboration — even friendship. One team, one fight... that sort of thing.
LOGCAP is not this kind of environment.Anyone who arrives on the project with this Pollyanna attitude is an ingénue in denial and will quickly discover that, for the most part, the stark reality on LOGCAP is totally the opposite of a collaborative environment. Unquestionably, these people are destined to become fodder for the blood-thirsty opportunists who will step on the backs of whoever is necessary, in order to climb what they perceive as the corporate ladder. Are you feeling me?
Be Warned — You Will Deal With Very Difficult People.You will encounter people in positions of authority who could never be in comparable positions back in the so-called "real world", as they use bluff and bluster to cajole, threaten and intimidate those around them in an attempt to conceal their own ineptitude and inability to perform the job.
Compounding the problem is a system rife with favoritism, quid-pro-quo (this for that), back-stabbing, under-handedness and nepotism, in which those who possess genuine talent and leadership skills are dubiously viewed as a threat to be eliminated. This posse is popularly known as "the good 'ol boys".
You must change your approach before you arrive.To say this type of atmosphere can be challenging to deal with — particularly if you are a reserved person, with a quiet disposition — qualifies as the under-statement of the year. If you do not experience a paradigm shift in your thinking, you will be exploited and used as a scapegoat in an acrid atmosphere where culpability and blame are the defacto modus operandi.
A meek, humble, or contrite attitude will get you thrown under the proverbial bus.Moreover, you will find that many of the "powers that be" expect you to actively display an attitude of subordination, subservience, and tacit acquiescence to their will — and they expect this from all whom they scornfully view as somehow being beneath their station in life. This isn't like the caste system — this is the caste system.
You are a worm. Gelatinous, sub-microscopic amoeba excrement, there only to serve your master with blind allegiance, there only to carry out their every whim. You will find this attitude particularly rampant among long-tenured employees — thoroughly entrenched members of various cliques, possessed by a delusional sense of entitlement. Am I getting through?
Prepare yourself in advance — and there's one particular book that can help.Prior to coming onto the project, I highly recommend you read The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t by Robert I. Sutton.
If I didn’t know better, I could have sworn he had LOGCAP in mind when he wrote the book. It is an insightful analysis and practical guide in fore-arming yourself with knowledge — and it can mean the difference between being a successful survivor, or becoming a defeated, demoralized, inanimate statistic.
There's an inordinately high rate of turn-over in LOGCAP — don't add to it.
This is more than just keeping your head down and working hard.Much more. You must master the finer tactics of verbal Tae-kwon-do, becoming a virtual virtuoso of tactfully cutting your opponent off at the knees. You must become a veritable Sensei in the ways of presenting infallible logic in such a manner as there is no room left for argument. It is imperative to develop an enhanced sense of discernment in order to anticipate the cowardly attacks of your enemy, by employing impeccable timing in both presentation and setting.
One must know how to deflect your enemies’ pitiful attacks, causing them to use their own misguided inertia against themselves, thus conserving your energy and allowing you to focus and concentrate. You must know how to thrust and parry when necessary — when to press, and when to step back.
Is it all this bad?Not always. I'm not saying you won’t find some helpful, friendly people — you will, and when you do, you must form strong, strategic alliances, as there is power in numbers.
However, you will unfortunately encounter a large portion of individuals who are seemingly self-absorbed, disconnected and disinterested, with single-minded, wholly self-serving interests. Additionally, there is a plethora of individuals who are what I refer to as anal retentive, pseudo-intellectual eggheads, who, when given a small amount of authority, will invariably morph into boss wannabes.
A few of the fascinating kinds of people you'll meet on LOGCAP.According to the Meyers-Briggs personality indicator tests, people generally fall into 4 basic categories. These personality types are:
Then there are the passive types who are generally shy, introverted and will allow themselves to be treated like a doormat. The aggressive, bullying types (driven by their personal demons which involuntarily compel them) like to maintain a sufficient inventory of passives on hand, in order to vent their aggression on. Aggressives go about as a lion roaming the earth, seeking whom they may destroy.
A blunt word about background checks.The background check performed on LOGCAP candidates only goes back 7 - 10 years. Consequently, individuals with a criminal history preceding this statute-of-limitations are not required to reveal any charges, convictions, incarceration, jail time or time served in a state or federal penitentiary.
Can you guess what the implication of this means? That is correct. It means that some very bad people with no compunction can be found working on the LOGCAP project.
You’ve got your gang-bangers from the Bloods, the Crips and even one of the most notoriously violent gangs with world-wide associations — MS 13. The highly stylized Roman style of graffiti utilized to "represent" a gang's presence can be found everywhere on LOGCAP, especially (and appropriately enough), in the portable out-houses.
Don’t necessarily take my word for it, just run a search using the keywords "Iraq Afghanistan gangs" and you will find the facts confirming what I'm telling you here.
Why am I so direct about all this?It has been suggested to me that I'm not doing myself any favors — in terms of finding new clients — by being so forth-right and revealing in regard to some of the negative aspects of working on LOGCAP.
To the contrary, I believe that by giving people honest, straight-forward information and making no attempt to marginalize or conceal anything (which could conceivably cause me to lose revenue), this approach increases my credibility as an authoritative source for raw, unfiltered and unadulterated information that you can base an intelligent decision upon.