Afghanistan-A-Go-Go

A Reservist's Tale Of A Tour

It Starts So Simply

with 2 comments

As happens with anyone serves in the Reserve, the opportunity to deploy has been put in front of me a couple of times. The first time in 2009, when TF 1-10 of Op ATHENA was mounted by LFCA, Canada’s Army in Ontario. I put my name forward and thought I was going to be headed off on work up training in September 2009, but at the last minute it all fell through, and I just carried on with life. Then, last summer, as Canada’s combat mission in Kandahar ended, we shifted to Op ATTENTION, a training mission based in Kabul, and LFAA, the Army of the Atlantic Provinces where I now live was tasked to put together a contingent for the second rotation (Roto 1, as it’s called – the first is always Roto 0) and again, I offered my name up as is expected.

This summer, the initial positions were allocated, and I got a call from my OC (Officer Commanding – my Company Commander) telling me that my unit was given two positions, and I was not one of the people chosen. I accepted that and figured that eventually my time would come, but not this time. I knew that there are always other positions that come up so I figured I’d see what happened.

A couple of weeks ago, I was having lunch when my phone rang. Not wanting to interrupt my delicious pho, and seeing it was a military number, I let it go to voicemail. When I checked the message, it was the Chief Clerk of my unit, calling to inform me that my Personal Readiness Verification checklist was ready to be picked up for my tour. I was a little shocked, since I didn’t know I was going anywhere, but apparently, a position had come through for me. I headed down and got the paperwork and started a process we call “the DAG”. DAG stands for “Departure Assistance Group”, and actually refers to the clerks one is shuffled through just before heading off on a deployment of some sort. As you’ll come to learn following this blog, we use a lot of acronyms in a lot of odd ways, and I’ll try to decode it all for you as best I can as we go along.

In order to deploy, you need to “DAG Green” – each item on the PRV checklist can be coded Red (i.e, you’re not going anywhere), Yellow (i.e., in process, or no info), or Green (i.e., good to go). To be deployable everything must be green, and when that’s done, you’re said to have “DAGged Green”. [grammatical sidenote: in addition to massive numbers of acronyms, we turn some of them into verbs] I’m green for most things, all I needed was a social worker appointment, a dentist appointment, a medical appointment, and a visit to the immunization clinic. Nothing difficult. First up was the social worker, who signed me off after a humourous discussion of about 20 minutes. Next up, the dentist, and after a series of X-rays and so on, he too signed me off, with a warning that I probably grind my teeth and should look into getting some kind of mouthguard. The medical is booked for next month (!!!), and I just have to drop in on the needle parade, which shouldn’t actually require much since I went through the process in 2009 and got all the shots and tests needed for a deployment to Afghanistan.

I also informed my civilian employer, and was very, very happy to get a positive, supportive response to my leave request. That’s certainly better than previous experiences I’ve had. I was more than a little nervous about informing them, but it really was nothing.

Now I just need to get confirmation everything’s good to go for sure, and come November I start work up training. But I can’t say I’m sure it’ll all be that simple.

So that’s how it started, what happens next we’ll just have to see.

Written by Nick

September 7, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Posted in The Beginning

2 Responses

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  1. Was was the social worker thinking?

    Ross

    November 15, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    • I don’t know, but I can shine just about anyone on when I need to!

      Nick

      November 15, 2011 at 10:55 pm


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