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The Basement Diaries 25

[b]Kyiv - 17 January 2023[/b]

So, it is candidate three, the regular army Senior Lieutenant. Maybe my CO was fed up with a gifted amateur like me.

It is ok, I am happy for my team with either candidate. And it is not any longer really my team. It is the team I am saying goodbye to, leaving behind. I believe that they are a good, effective team, made up of good effective individuals. And I leave them in good enough hands.

I was at the bunker again at 07:30. The meeting with my CO was not prolonged. I did not sit. And no coffee. He told me what he had decided, that he had already informed my successor's CO and that the transfer was in motion. He will report here tomorrow at 07:00 for familiarisation and training. Three days... well, it's more than I got. In those days, not that long ago, we were very new, making it up as we went along, writing new rules and protocols every day.

My next three days will be full and long. I will give him everything I can.

I asked permission to tell my team today, so that they can go through the immediate adjustment before starting fresh tomorrow. My CO agreed.

I then went to the mess for an "heroic failure" coffee. And to gather my thoughts. With their varying shift patterns, the team would not be all together until 10:00. I called a full team meeting for 10:15 - "bring your coffee!"

With a couple of hours, more or less, to kill, I shut myself in my office and drew up a schedule of work for the next three days, covering all the programmes I detailed last night. I then made a few notes of what I wanted to say to the team. Not much, to be honest, beyond the facts of the situation. A few words of thanks, a few words of encouragement.

A few minutes before the meeting, I got another coffee from the mess and returned to the team room. All present, most looking fairly military... and all with coffees. Some orders are easier to follow than others.

I broke the news that I was leaving. I could see that this was not a total surprise to everyone, but the timescale was. When I told them that candidate three would join us tomorrow for three days of induction and familiarisation, and that he would be their team leader from Monday, they were genuinely taken aback. I gave them some of the background, in particular my own need for some pretty intensive training for my new deployment.

I then took them through the schedules I had drawn up earlier and assigned particular tasks to team members. This will give everyone a chance to work closely with their new leader from the beginning.

Finally, I emphasised that I am still in charge until 22:00 Friday, so bring any problems or concerns to me. Though, thinking back, I'm sure I said "any challenges or opportunities"!

Finally, finally, I ordered them back to work.

And did the same myself.

That was the day. At 18:00, I reported to my CO. Briefed him on my briefing to the team and on my induction schedule for candidate three - whose name, for what it is worth, is Andriy. I told him it will be a very busy three days to complete this week.

When I was dismissed, I checked with the night duty officer and the two guys from my team on late duty, before they stood down for their rest period. Then I went to take a shower, got back into uniform and walked home.

You know the routine. Coffee, change, coffee. Then start to think like a human. The basement is warm now, the wood burner has settled in and the others have a routine for lighting it, keeping it at an effective level. Sofiia has a cauldron of soup or stew on the go, I am not sure which, but it smells ok. She says it will be at least another hour. She is like a witch, fussing over some magic potion, stirring, tasting, adding, stirring, tasting. I suppose Sofiia is quite a witchy name.

We chat. We talk about the future. And the past. What we want to do after the war. None of us doubts our victory, if we have the weapons we need. None of us doubts that our defeat would be the end of Ukraine. As it would be the end of the west as a credible force in the world; we could draw up the Russo-German friendship treaty now. Goodbye nato.

When the soup/stew is ready - only Sofiia knows the criteria for readiness - we have bowls of it, with bread warmed on the wood burner and buttered, and slices of cheese. I cannot tell you if it was soup or stew, maybe we need another name, but it was very tasty. I open a bottle of Chianti.

We chat more. Sofiia, the most maternal of us, it would appear, wants an independent life, a career, to reach the highest levels of government service. Lesia, fiery, spikey Lesia, wants children and a husband - not any old husband but someone special for her - to build a family life together. Serhii, it turns out, has a girlfriend who he visits a couple of days a week, after work. I am surprised, but I try not to show it too much. Lesia and Sofiia seem to have guessed something like this, though they do see more of him than I do. I confess to my shitty, non-existent love life, and to the prospects of that continuing.

All this stuff I am learning, as I am about to depart.

Another S-300 missile strike today, in Kharkiv Oblast. No casualties reported but a further education college badly damaged. Russia must be desperate to be using these air to ground missiles in a ground attack mode. They are indiscriminate, terror weapons.

Deaths from the strike on the Dnipro apartment block have risen to forty five. Many still missing.

There we are. Now just after 01:00 on 18 January. I am in my cell. I will try to post this now.
Rutterman46-50, M
[quote]None of us doubts our victory, if we have the weapons we need. None of us doubts that our defeat would be the end of Ukraine. As it would be the end of the west as a credible force in the world; we could draw up the Russo-German friendship treaty now. Goodbye nato.[/quote]

Absolutely true. The US needs to go all in with its support of Ukraine now. Ukraine's defeat would have horrible consequences for the Western democracies, as well as your country. I'm not sure if everyone gets this. Worse, I'm not sure if everyone cares.

Best wishes on your new deployment. 馃 馃挋 馃挍

Slava Ukraini. 馃嚭馃嚘
Yulianna22-25, F
@sarabee1995 馃嚭馃嚘鉂わ笍馃嚭馃嚫 if we fail, you will know... but will enough of you care?
sarabee199526-30, F
@Yulianna The problem with liberal democracies is that people are free to say and think and care about what they wish. You are right... Some of us will care. Danny will care. I will care. Others will care. But will enough others from Europe and North America care enough to prevent the fail. 馃檹
Yulianna22-25, F
@sarabee1995 we shall see...
KiwiBird31-35, F
So Candidate Three. I would love to know the CO's reasonings. No nonsense chain of command type? Anyway it is done. I wonder how your ex-team will handle the change in command. Probably going to be harder on them than anyone else. I hope they are enabled to be as creative and productive as you had them. Guess we will never know.

Three Days of Handover and your training requirements for your deployment. You are going to be flat out like a lizard drinking. (Aussie slang for as busy as fuck) On the bright side the Major knows where the better coffee is.

I think you will miss "the others" more than you realise....although I am sure you will keep in touch and visit if you are able.

Kia Kaha W膩hine-Toa (Stay Strong Warrior Woman)
Yulianna22-25, F
@KiwiBird 馃嚭馃嚘鉂わ笍馃嚦馃嚳 well, one day left in the bunker, two days to wrap up my worldly affairs, and then throw myself into the grinder...

the team is fine, they will do ok 馃
sarabee199526-30, F
Transition plan in place. This is good. Your CO will miss you. I've had no less than seven calls from mine and one short recall. Technically, although on leave, I am still his until end of month. What will he do then??? 馃ぃ

Your plan for the week sounds good. Better that your people didn't have too much notice. And good that they will experience a very different leadership style. Neither is necessarily good or bad, but there is value for them in experiencing both.

So are you looking forward to the new challenge yet? Apprehensive a bit?
Yulianna22-25, F
@sarabee1995 馃嚭馃嚘鉂わ笍馃嚭馃嚫 [quote]So are you looking forward to the new challenge yet? Apprehensive a bit?[/quote]

if anything, i am frustrated by the delay in getting on with it... i know i need the training, and i know there is a lot of other stuff going on in the background to make this challenge real, not just for me but for all the other personnel being deployed, through all the ranks. the next five weeks will be hectic for me, but i do hectic....

and then? let's just hope everything else is in place.

the team is in good hands... i can leave them with confidence.

馃
sarabee199526-30, F
@Yulianna And you do hectic well. Look around you for those who do not and help where you can. Important days are coming. 馃檹
Yulianna22-25, F
@sarabee1995 that is for sure...
Thinkerbell41-45, F
馃 Good luck in your new assignment! 馃

馃 馃嚭馃嚘 Slava Ukraini! 馃嚭馃嚘 馃
Yulianna22-25, F
@Thinkerbell 馃 thank you 馃
馃枻馃 Love you.
@Yulianna I know. 馃枻馃
Yulianna22-25, F
@DarkHeaven 馃鉂わ笍 so our motto remains, [b][i]be careful when you can, take chances when you must[/i][/b]
@Yulianna 馃枻馃

 
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