In the Texas Army National Guard, company-level full time armorers ran supply rooms during the week, with supply sergeants in charge during drill weekends.
Sgt. Johnson took to his job as armorer, but even more so as de facto supply sergeant. He studied the Army’s microfiche lists of supply items and found many listed as “expendable.”
Among the expendable items were bags of cat litter, for use on small oil spills in the company maintenance bay. Sgt. Johnson ordered 20 five-pound bags.
A few days after the requisition went in, First Sgt. Abercrombie, armory NCOIC, got a call from a supply friend at USPFO at Camp Mabry in Austin. After the usual catching up, the state-level sergeant said, “What kind of oil spill do you have at your armory?” When Abercrombie asked what he meant, the friend said, “Well, I’ve got a requisition here for twenty bags of cat litter. It comes in 100-pound bags, so I was wondering why you were ordering a ton of cat litter.” The order was changed to one bag.
A training NCO at another company decided his soldiers should have meal trays to eat from instead of the usual paper or plastic plates. Not a bad idea, except for likely doubling of KPs for washing the trays. The sergeant ordered 120 trays. That’s 120 each, individual trays.
The trays didn’t come as each, but by case. Fifty in each case. At a battalion meeting, the NCO said he had enough trays to feed the battalion, so if the other companies wanted some … Nobody took his offer.
Civilians make the same mistake.
A woman at my wife’s office several years ago ordered 60 free cookie tins. She was surprised when 60 cases of 70 tins each arrived.