Used car salesmen convince young people to take out loans with obscene rates.
Shady mechanics convince ignorant customers to authorize unnecessary repairs.
And the Navy has detailers.
Don’t get me wrong. Some of my best friends have been detailers. They manage literally thousands of people’s lives and somehow get them all where they need to be.
But like they say, where there’s smoke there’s fire. And now that I think about it, a lot of those detailers got some pretty sweet orders after their tours at the Military Personnel Command.
My first real exposure to detailers was after my first tour of duty. I asked for recruiting duty in Colorado or, “…anywhere there are mountains.”
I got orders to St. Louis.
When I was at the Pentagon, I served with a Captain who on his previous tour had been the Commanding Officer of a capital ship (one of the big ones). When I met him he was sitting in a cubicle in the basement trying to get his government computer to work. Oh to be a fly on the wall when he talked with HIS detailer.
Detailer exploits are not limited to officers, by the way. Sailors have them too. In fact, their experience with the Military Personnel Command begins before they even enlist, when they sit down with a Classifier to figure out what they will be doing for the next few years.
Marines have detailers as well, but they are called “monitors.” Discussions with monitors would include all the elements of a Navy detailer discussion, with the added complication that everyone they deal with knows how to shoot a weapon.
Detailer stories rank right behind
tall tales liberty exploits and pay complaints in popularity among Sailors and officers around the world. I think it has something to do with the fact that no one is completely comfortable putting his/her life and career in the hands of a total stranger.
To be fair, they have a job to do and it can’t be easy filling all the holes that need filling; especially when the needs are constantly changing.
As for me, it took a few years but I finally figured out a way to have absolute control over where I was going to live and work, regardless of the needs of the Navy or end-of-year funding constraints.
[Updated Aug 9]