That Was 17 Years Ago!

I’m riffing off of Amy here.  This started as a comment on her post about streamlining the number of acronyms, but I think it can be its own post. Here’s how I started:

Ha, I’ll believe it when I see it. The problem is that the military can suggest that we eliminate redundant terms, but that’s not gonna get people to stop using them! The Army has a collective memory like an elephant.

We moved to Bragg seven years after the grand opening of the new Womack hospital. They turned the old hospital into the inprocessing building. I can’t even tell you the official name of this place because everyone calls it “old Womack.” It hasn’t been the hospital for over a decade, but newcomers show up to the post and people act like they should know which building used to be the hospital!

And it was worse on our post in Germany: people would refer to one building as “the old Shoppette.” I finally asked a civilian who had worked on post since the dawn of time, and apparently it hadn’t been the Shoppette in like 17 years or something.

Military types are set in their ways. If an acronym once existed, half the people are still going to use it anyway, which will continue to confuse new recruits. And if a building ever at one point used to be something else, it will still be referred to by its old designation. Despite the fact that the population turns over at these places every three or four years, the names stay the same. Twenty years from now, people will still be calling that dilapidated building “old Womack.” Heck, maybe someday they’ll build a new hospital and Bragg will then have buildings called “old Womack” and “old old Womack.”

And the problem is that, as stupid as I think it is, I too call the place “old Womack.” I perpetuate the problem.

Encountered this on other installations?

About Sarah

Sarah has been married to her soldier for a bit more than 10 years. In the past decade, they've been at six different duty stations in four different branches of the Army. They've also endured three deployments, six miscarriages, and a failed IVF. Sarah's blogging focus has shifted some in the past five years, from common military issues to something more personal: the difficult intersection between the military and infertility. It's hard for some couples to start a family; it's even harder when one person spends a lot of time on the other side of the globe. But Sarah was lucky enough to declare Mission Accomplished when their daughter was born 10 days after her husband's return from Afghanistan. And she tries to remind herself how irreplaceable and cherished that daughter is now that she's entered the terrible two's. In her free time, Sarah is a pioneer housewife: knitting, crocheting, and cooking ... and sometimes even firing a weapon.