Jibber Jabber – The hardest working man on Fort Meade


Chad T. Jones, Public Affairs Officer

I’m writing this week from a new perch on the second floor of 4551 Llewellyn Ave., aka Hodges Hall, aka Garrison HQ, aka the “head shed.”

Yours truly is officially the acting-acting deputy garrison commander through Veterans Day. And let me tell you something: The view over English Avenue is nice, though some of you fools need to slow down through the crosswalk.

Now acting for the man who is next to The Man comes with a lot of responsibilities. For example, Command Sgt. Maj. Cullen’s first order for me was to make sure I brought him coffee Monday morning. Unfortunately, CSM forgot a civilian’s alarm clock is set a little later than the average sergeant major’s, so he ended up grabbing his own cup of Joe.

Then there’s the meetings and caring about the things that make government bureaucracy so swell and efficient — metrics and staffing sheets and time and attendance and payroll, and so on and so forth. Not to mention, unlike my spot in the PAO building, the DGC’s spacious office doesn’t have a television. So I’m stuck listening to Pearl Jam through the phone and a whizzing desk fan.

The days have been long, but Mr. Albright did leave a stockpile of breath mints, so at least I have something to suck on while doing all this important stuff, which included attending the bimonthly Commander’s Call.

Wednesday’s Commander’s Call was also the garrison’s annual costume contest, and per usual, our outstanding director of DFMWR, Martha McClary, went all out. But somehow, her ghoulish costume came up short in the judging. This year’s winner was dressed in a cougar suit like high school mascots wear.

The get-up was plenty awesome and it had to be hot, but not quite McClary good in my opinion.

Anyway, the best part about any Commander’s Call as both acting deputy and PAO is running into my man, Al Lawrence. Big Al does all things VI and is easily the hardest working and nicest man I’ve met in my time here.

He also knows a thing or two about basketball, which is why after the friendly, “How are the babies?” Al’s next question is usually, “Who do you got?”

The question has spurred a lot of discussion and friendly debate. For example, Al was really big on Oklahoma City before they lost Kevin Durant, whereas I’d go for someone like San Antonio or whatever team LeBron was on.

The debates were fun. However, ever since KD left OKC, there has been no debating Al’s question. “Golden State” is the only answer either of us give.

“They are the most complete team in the league,” Al rightly points out.

Not having anything to disagree about may cut our debate a bit shorter than normal. Sometimes we may dabble about who is second, but normally we just jabber a bit before he has to get back to work.

Regardless of what we talk about or how long we talk about it — and now, whatever role I’m playing for the garrison — conversations with Al always remind me of how good people can be and why I like Fort Meade so much.

Guess it’s time for another meeting. So until next week, Inshallah.

If you have comments on this or anything to do with sports, contact me at chad.t.jones.civ@mail.mil.

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