Sunday, September 27, 2015

Savings Bonds

When I was in the Army I was under constant pressure to have savings bonds deducted from my pay. Commanders were partially rated on how many in their command participated in the savings bond deduction program.

Shortly after I reported to Ft. Riley Kansas as a new 2nd Lieutenant, I was called into my Battalion Commander's office. He informed me that his battalion had a 98% participation rate in the savings bond deduction program. Apparently I was one of only a few who hadn't signed up.

I said, "Sir, if they couldn't get me to sign up in Basic Training, Advanced Training, or Officers Candidate School, what makes you think YOU can get me to sign up?"

He said, "All right then, I'll make you the new Savings Bond officer". This meant filling out and filing some annoying monthly reports on battalion participation rates. I'm sure he thought he was making the punishment fit the crime.

Armed with this new responsibility, I went to see the Battalion S1 (Army HR) clerk. I asked, "What do you have to do to have the Army stop deducting savings bonds from your pay?" He gave me a sideways glance and said, "You have to fill out a form and submit it to your commanding officer."

He pulled one of the forms out of his desk and showed it to me. I said, "I'd like to have copies of those forms along with instructions on filling them out distributed to all the enlisted men in the barracks. Could you help me with this?"

The clerk sat up straight, gave me a conspiratorial smile, and said, "Consider it done, sir!"

The next month when I filled out the savings bond report, the battalion participation rate had dropped from 98% to 80%.