The Routing Sheet: How do they win wars?

Well, the news out of Afghanistan on this latest “offensive” has been good. Resistance has been light, though sniper activity is on the rise. Regardless, the Marines (and of course NATO and Afghan forces to keep everyone happy) may be adding more tallies to their “Win” column.

So how does the Marine Corps win wars? After seeing what they call the “routing sheet” we are stumped. What percent of these warriors have met this tank ditch? How many have labored under this value-sucking system of 8 ½’x11” sheets with oddly spaced lines and a nonsensical and inconsistent codes (unbroken by the Navajo Code Talkers, they say). It is a demon that destroys creativity and strikes fear in the hearts of once-valued risk takers.

We say very few have spent much time with this cursed convention.

A routing sheet is a cover document for some body of work. It summarizes the information contained within. So why not write a summary? Why? We have routing sheets! Maybe they facilitate staff work and coordination? Hardly. This trail of tears is a means to an end: Those who stand in the path of progress shine (and they alone). These few choke the life out of the bold and the beautiful demanding another space here and one fewer line there. Collaboration via the hallway, phone call, or late-night tryst? Not in this route-sheet hell. It better be on the routing sheet (so heinous an act that the Geneva Conventions dare not mention them). Formatting alone may take more than a week, but the information (the reason that led the doe-eyed and bleating to this slaughter) is ignored.

At first you may shout, “Content! Has anyone read the content?” but you quickly learn few care about the substance and value of your work and see it as a means to your end. On the up side the routing sheet ensures you are either more crafty accomplishing the Corps’ work or you are never again so weak-minded as to take up the fight. (Sadly, the latter may prove true.)

The Routing Sheet. How many will be lost to this crime against substance and efficiency? It may keep the masters and mistresses of the gate relevant, but the talent heads to Wharton.

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