The Afghan Plan: Where Dakota Gets Warrior of the Month Award and Then "Abandoned" by His PRT-mates in Farah

Our favorite FS blogger in Afghanistan who may or may not pen a book about his PRT adventure in that country writes in his blog about the departure of his Second PRT (November 2010-July 2011) and saying goodbye to his teammates. I’ll miss reading Dakota’s stories about these guys but I’m glad they’re coming home.

The Godfather — also known affectionately as Commander Killjoy; the new PRT Commander.

Commander Quixote — AKA Doc Quixote, the infectiously enthusiastic but somewhat ADHD head of PRT Medical. Hobbies include stargazing, playing the electric cello and tilting at windmills.

Captain Adventure — the tall and self-assured head of SecFor; the only person thus far allowed to pick his own nickname.

Engineer Lovesalot — a Navy lieutenant whose geographic separation from the female species appears to be causing him physical pain; Captain Adventure’s roommate.

Captain Harmony — the musically talented, multi-lingual Air Force officer from Public Affairs.

Captain Tomcat — the laid-back officer from Operations whom I wanted to name “Captain Peachy” for his habit of responding requests with “that’s peachy.”

Lieutenant ______ — A Navy Lieutenant who hounded me for months about getting a nickname; I refused — and continue to refuse — to bow to that pressure.

Lieutenant Granola — a midwesterner with a firmly crunchy-granola-esque Seattle mindset.

Lieutenant Dracula — the officer in charge of Supply whose first name — Vlad — was far too Transylvanian not to inspire his nickname.

Warrant Exasperated — a good-natured but habitually grumpy Warrant Officer from Public Affairs.

Sergeant Major Moralekill — the Senior Enlisted man from the maneuver unit we share the base with. Had the hoops removed from the basketball court to prevent injury.

Senior Chief Intimidating — the terrifying Senior Enlisted

First Sergeant McGruff — The PRT’s Rule of Law guy and second highest ranked Enlisted man, a 30-year veteran of the Michigan Police Department with a gruff, no-nonsense attitude.

Chief Blackboard — the PRT’s Communications Officer and Liaison to the Department of Education; an elementary school principal in Oklahoma City.

Chief Hammersmith — the PRT’s Seabee and resident all-around handyman; great with a hammer and a nice guy to boot — the kind of person you’d kill to have as a neighbor.

Petty Officer Moonshine — a Navy NCO in Supply who owns a distillery (which I always screw up and call a brewery) in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Sergeant CapsLock — A sergeant from Civil Affairs whose wife tends to update his Facebook page on his behalf, writing exclusively in caps.

Sergeant DoubleD — an NCO from SecFor; the DoubleD is for Domestic Dispute, taken from his habit of having protracted fights with his wife in the public arena of Facebook.

Specialist Masai — a Kenyan-American from SecFor, born and raised on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Wishing them all smooth landing back home.

And — before they left, they gave Dakota the following award, which he writes is “easily the greatest award that I have ever received.”

PROVINCIAL RECONSTRUCTION TEAM FARAH
THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT
COMMANDING OFFICER OF PRT FARAH HAS AWARDED THE

PROVINCIAL RECONSTRUCTION TEAM FARAH WARRIOR OF THE MONTH

TO

[DAKOTA]
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE

FOR

Professional achievement as Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah’s resident Master of the English Language and all things superfluous from February 1 through February 28, 2011. If wars could be won with ink, foes slain with the precise application of commas, comrades shielded by the eradication of dangling participles, and the disenchanted masses enthused by the transformation of dysfunctional phrases into self-sustaining sentences, then [Dakota] would be granted a place in the pantheon of American military heroes. However, since this is not the case, he is instead recognized as PRT Farah’s Warrior of the Month for February 2011. His expeditious and near perfect editing of 94 command awards ensured their smooth and timely progression through the military approval channels. If not for [Dakota]’s selfless dedication to the team, three times the number of man-hours would have been expended while producing inferior results. [Dakota]’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon him, and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Navy.

(signed)
COMMANDER J.P. KILLJOY
CDR, USN
COMMANDING OFFICER

Read the whole thing here.

Although Dakota is leaving PRT Farah before the summer is over, I’m looking forward to reading the nicknames of the new PRT members before he leaves; not sure he will have time to do that as he wraps up his assignment.  The question is — can he top, as nickname goes “Commander Killjoy” or “Engineer Lovesalot?” Stay tuned.   Follow him here.