While the rest of the unit was out doing more convoys, I was in the rear working on the fine piece of poor reporting called the Unit Status Report (USR). The USR is a report that is filed every so often with the Department of Defense showing each units’ readiness for their directed operation, whether it is a combat deployment or some other sort of contingency operation. I have been doing this report, in various formats, over the past four years in my civilian job, and while this turn-in was by far the easiest I have ever experienced, I still have issues with doing a report that is not an accurate reflection of our current readiness.
To help explain, each unit in the Army has what is called a Unit Identification Code (UIC). A UIC is the Army’s way of knowing what a particular unit is required and authorized when it comes to equipment and personnel. Since we were alerted of this deployment, one of the reasons we have been asking for a derivative UIC is strictly for USR purposes. Without a derivative UIC, we are going to be forced to report all the people and equipment that will remain in the rear while we deploy forward, instead of simply reporting our people and equipment that we take with us. Therefore, I had to determine the status of equipment that we are not taking with us and report the deployability of people who are not with us as well. It makes for a very frustrating day.
As I said, we have been requesting a derivative UIC from the 316th ESC since we were alerted because the people I work with have experienced this very issue on previous deployments. Unfortunately, the 316th ESC, in all of their infinite wisdom, kept telling us that we didn’t know what we were talking about and that we didn’t need a derivative UIC, which leaves us to report inaccurately for the next few months while in theatre, or requiring us to take a break from our mission overseas so we can contact our rear element and ask them about the trucks that they have been driving. Another fine example of 316th ESC wisdom.