Chapter Nineteen - Anniston Army Depot

	I mentioned already that I had arranged for a transfer to the
Depot Internal Review Office when I was with Army Audit Agency and James
McKamee was chief of the Depot Internal Review. When I reported in,
McKamee had transferred to Huntsville and John Stanton was Chief of
Internal Review. John told me he did not want me as he did not want
anyone McKamee would hire as he had no use at all for McKamee. I
promised him that if he would try me for just thirty days and he was not
fully satisfied I would quit and he would not have to try to fire me.
After a week, John told me to forget the thirty day deal as he was fully
satisfied and glad to have me on his team.

	Internal Review was the internal audit department of the depot.
We had what we called appropriated funds and non-appropriated funds. The
latter were organizations like the Officers' Club, Post Restaurant and
flower funds. The former were not only financial accounts of the depot
but also organizations like the Director of Supply and Maintenance and
Depot Property. We reviewed both accountability and responsibility,
planning, effectiveness, and just about anything we considered

	I found the Depot Executive Officer, a Lieutenant Colonel, was
involved in some way in every activity I audited. He was usually not
directly involved but was involved in some manner in everything. I began
to watch for indications of his involvement in everything I audited. I
was seldom disappointed in the search. I held an exit interview with the
people responsible for procurement and the Executive Officer attended
the interview and started making sarcastic comments about my audit. I
asked him what his responsibility was and he refused to say, so I asked
him to leave. He said I could not tell him what to do as he was the
Executive Officer and I told him if he had no direct responsibility I
wanted him to get out. He left but reported me to John Stanton, the
Comptroller and the Commanding Officer. John went to bat for me and we
held our ground. Ed Melton was Comptroller and wrote a memo to the
Commander accusing the Executive Officer of suborning his auditors.

	John Stanton had a year as a GS-11 and transferred to Huntsville
and I was selected as temporary Chief of Internal Review and promoted to
GS-09. The depot did this to stall until I got a year as GS-09 so they
could select me as Chief and promote me to GS-11. I continued to watch
the Executive Officer and learned he had a girl friend, a civilian
employee at the depot. I observed she could come to work when she wanted
and leave when she wanted and the depot time keepers were not allowed to
say anything about it.

	Regulations required that the Depot Commander or his designated
representative visit each post, camp and station in the Third Army Area
once per year. This amounted to a lot of travel and the Commander
appointed the Executive Officer to do all the visiting. I began to
compare the leave record of his girl friend with his travel and they
matched perfectly. She was on sick leave or annual leave every time he
made a trip, and always the same amount of time. I started calling some
of the posts he was visiting and found he seldom arrived there. He filed
travel orders and collected the travel money and made trip reports
covering his supposed travel.

	I went to the Commander, who disliked me very much, and told him
what the Executive Officer was doing. He ordered me out of his office
and told me I was a vicious damn liar and he had implicit trust in his
Executive Officer. The Executive Officer came up for reassignment and
left for California with his wife, enroute to a new station in Hawaii.
His girl friend went on a date with a member of a team from General
Accounting Office making a small audit at the depot. She gave him a book
where she had recorded every trip they made, with where he was supposed
to go, where they actually went, the name of the hotel they stayed at
and the names they registered under. The GAO went to the Commander and
asked that he have the Executive Officer brought back to the area. They
intercepted him in California and brought him back to Fort McClellan. He
was assigned there as Assistant Post Quartermaster while the audit was
finished. He was given the choice of resigning for the good of the
service or facing a court martial and he resigned and lost all benefits,
including veteran status.

	The Commander was asked if he had known what was going on and he
told the General Accounting Office and Army Criminal Investigation
Division that he had no idea at all. He was questioned further and
finally he said that the Chief of his Internal Review Office had told
him but he had just been totally unable to believe it. I showed them
what my discussion with the Commander was based on and things looked dim
for the commander for awhile. However, the Army takes care of its own
and he was cleared of responsibility for not taking action.

	Shortly after that I found the commander was traveling in his
depot sedan and collecting mileage for driving his personal vehicle. I
also found he was being overpaid on many trips. The depot Finance and
Accounting Officer refused to take action so I prepared collection
vouchers and took them to the commander. He wrote a check each time and
finally asked what percentage of travel vouchers I was auditing. I told
him I was auditing one percent across the board and one hundred percent
of his. He took exception to the one hundred percent but told me to
finish all of his and he would write one check for the total. The
Finance and Accounting Officer flatly refused to do his job. I did it
for him.

	I made an audit of the Officers' Club and found a note where the
Commander had asked for a price for a party and then had changed the
price to a much lower price and sent the note back saying these were the
prices he would be billed. I wrote a note to the Club Secretary asking
if club members were allowed to set their own prices and stated it
looked crooked to me. He took my note to the commander and I was called
in and asked if I questioned his honesty. I told him there was no doubt
about his honesty and I was just trying to ascertain the extent of his
dishonesty. He was so angry he tried to come across the desk at me. He
was only five feet six inches tall and could not get his knee up on the
desk. I remarked that when he grew up he would probably be able to get
across a desk and hurt someone. He was furious and ordered me out of his
office. He called me in the next day and asked that I prepare a bill for
the difference in the original prices and what he had paid. I did and he
gave me a check for the club.

	The audit of the club had twenty six major findings and each of
the twenty six began with the phrase, "The Commanding Officer failed to
properly perform his duties in that ... ." I was required to get the
signature of the commander and forward the report to the Chief of
Ordnance. The Comptroller refused to take the report to the commander
and I took it myself. He read every word and asked if I expected him to
sign it. I told him I expected him to but did not really think he had
sufficient integrity to do so. He looked at me awhile and signed it and
threw it at me. He then asked what I would have done if he had not
signed it and I told him I would mail it anyway and explain he had
refused to sign it. He said that if I ever did that, it would be the
last report I mailed from his depot. I told him I may have been born
poor white trash but I was born with integrity and would always do my
job regardless of the personal impact on me.

	Several weeks later the report was returned by the Chief of
Ordnance and I was commended for the job I had done and the commander
was commended for his integrity in signing a report in which he was
cited twenty six times for failing to carry out his responsibilities.
Signing that report was a large factor in him being promoted to
Brigadier General.

	I became eligible for GS-12 and all previous chief auditors had
left the depot at this point. I went to the personnel office and asked
them if the job would support a GS-12. They did a survey and said it
would, and upgraded the job. The comptroller prepared the paper work to
promote me to GS-12 and the commander refused to approve it unless I
would agree to support him one hundred percent. I took the paper to his
office and asked him what was the bitch. He said I must agree to support
him one hundred percent before he would sign it. I told him I would
always support whatever I considered to be in the best interest of the
government and I was sure he had to be in agreement with that. He said
he was not satisfied with my response and I told him I would support him
as well as the comptroller and personnel officer supported him and both
those jobs were higher than GS-12. He sighed and signed the paper and
tossed it to me and said, "I don't like you but you are the only one on
the entire depot I can trust to tell it like it is instead of what they
think I want to hear, so I want to keep you here."

	This particular commander had a report prepared for the Chief of
Ordnance before he left. Every organization on the depot had to prepare
a portion of the report and state how poorly they were operating when
this commander arrived and how much improvement had been made under his
command. I wrote a small paragraph stating that Internal Review had been
operating very well before he got there and there had been no change. He
would not accept that so I wrote a paragraph stating that life in
Internal Review had been very routine before he came but with the
problems he had created our life had become much more exciting. He would
not accept that so I wrote one more stating that Internal Review was
able to operate before he came, only if we obtained the best and most
outstanding people, but we had become so proficient under his
administration that we could now lose all our people and the depot could
get half a dozen monkeys from the zoo and they would be able to perform
our jobs as well as we did. He gave up and wrote the Internal Review
section himself.

	The commander finally left, as they all do eventually and we got
a new commander. The new one had been in procurement and had been burned
badly by auditors. He made it clear that he disliked all auditors. He
called me to his office and said he had read all my audit reports for
the past two years and they all had one thing in common - they all
stunk. He said he wanted to make it clear that the first report I issued
he did not like he would reduce Internal Review one personnel space. He
said, "There are seven of you. The seventh report you issue that I do
not like is your job. Regulations say I have to have an Internal Review
FUNCTION, not an Internal Review OFFICE, and after you are gone I will
assign the function to the Management Office." He was serious and if I
stuck to my guns I would cost six other people their jobs.

	We made our audit schedule and made our audits. We put
everything we found in the working papers. We then issued a report
stating that we had made an audit of such and such an organization and
we had no findings we wished to report. Eventually he called me to his
office and said he was concerned we were not finding anything wrong as
he was convinced there were a lot of problems at the depot. I told him
that we were finding plenty wrong and were documenting it but did not
care to report it as we did not want our jobs eliminated. I told him the
working papers were available and I was sure external audit agencies
would review our working papers and provide him reports later on. He
insisted that I must report all findings  but in a manner that would not
be objectionable to anyone. I refused and  he wrote a new job
description for my job. The personnel officer reviewed  the job
description and told him it was not a job description but a performance
standard. We were still in the middle of this one when he was selected
for Brigadier General and reassigned.

	I will refer to the next commander as Colonel Bob Baler. Bob
got all the key people together and made a little speech. He said
basically that the last two commanders had broken our butts making
general and that we should relax as he had been told fifteen years ago
that he would never be anything but a third rate Ordnance Officer. He
said we were not going to try to set any records while he was commander.
He said we would try to stay as good as we were but if it got in the way
of having fun and enjoying life and our jobs, then by damn we would have
to just slip a little. He said there was more to life than being the
best damn depot in the system.

	Bob was as good as his word. He would chew you out when you
messed up and then laugh and buy you coffee or ask you to stop by his
house for supper. He would load up his station wagon with depot
employees on the weekends and take them to his place in Florida. He told
them anyone mentioning the depot or treating him like a commander would
have to walk home, because they would conduct no business there. His
bark was terrible but he would not harm a fly. I loved Bob Baler. And
guess what? People just busted their butts for him and we had a better
depot than we had ever had.

	Our Comptroller took a job with NASA as Financial Manager for
Cape Canaveral. Bob called me in his office and told me I would be the
new Comptroller. The paper work was all set to process but on the day
before the promotion a man named Fred Hollister called from Benecia
arsenal and said Benecia was closing and he had been notified he had
transfer rights to our Comptroller position and he was accepting it.

	It did not really bother me. I made a very in-depth analysis of
our Internal Review program and prepared a detailed report and gave it
to Fred when he arrived. I could tell in a week that Fred Hollister was
the best Comptroller in the system and was more effective than I would
have ever been. He was a natural born Comptroller and no one could beat
him at the job. Bob Baler was upset about Fred coming in and taking what
he referred to as "Tom's job." I told him to cool it and support Fred.
He told me he would but the next damn promotion that came open was mine.

	Fred Hollister called me in and said he had a problem as he was
setting up a deputy comptroller position and I had given him more
support than anyone on the depot but I had no budget experience. I told
him I would be angry if he selected anyone but John Edmondson, Chief of
the Budget Office, for the job. He selected Johnny and the two of them
made an outstanding team.

	The only two problems Fred Hollister ever had were stuttering
and spending his personal money. He stuttered so bad it was almost
pitiful and he spent money like it was going out of style. Fred would
make a trip to Washington and if he ran out of underwear would go out
and pay $75.00 for a set. His evening meal often was more than three
hundred dollars for two or three people. Fred's philosophy was "Nothing
but the best." Everyone was reluctant to travel with Fred.

	The chief of equipment management was a man named Frank Gilliam
and Frank stuttered worse than Fred. He asked me one day if I would tell
Fred that he stuttered. I asked him why and he said he wanted to meet
him but was afraid if he went in Fred's office and started talking Fred
would hit him before he knew he was not mocking him. By the way, Frank
went to Florida once and said he was almost out of gas and finally found
a lone station in the country. He said he pulled in and the owner said,
"Wha wha wha what ca ca can I do do do for for for for you you you you?"
He said he told him, "Fi fi fi fill it it it it up up up up up." He said
the guy got red as a beet and said, "Ge ge ge get ou ou out, you you you
sma sms smar smart assed S S S O O O B B B." He said he tried to tell
the guy he stuttered too and the guy got a shotgun and he had to get
out. He ran out of gas before he found a station.

	The Chief of Management was a large pink skinned character who
had a bad twitch in one eye. I used to go in Fred's office for a branch
chief's meeting and I would start stuttering like Fred and twitching
like Pinky (the pink skinned one). Fred knew I loved and respected him
and took it good naturedly but Pinky would get furious.

	The depots finally reached the computer age and all depots were
to get IBM 305 computers, with all card input. Charlie Heard, the Depot
Civilian Executive Assistant, went to Washington with a proposal to put
a more advanced tape system at Anniston. He took a slide projector
loaded with his proposal but no one would let him in their office.
Charlie took a sheet from the hotel and had two guys to help him. He
started nabbing people in the hall and two guys would hold up the sheet
and Charlie would make his pitch in the hall. He nabbed the right man
and Anniston was approved for the best computer system in the world at
that time.

	Most depots put the computer organization under the director for
services and a couple put it under the comptroller. Anniston and
Sacramento put it under the Director for Supply. The Chief of Stock
Control at Anniston was given the job of getting it going and after it
was installed elected to move from Stock Control to Chief of Data
Processing. The big problem was that he was an alcoholic and a lush and
a thief and much more. Charlie Heard pulled some strings to get him
offered a higher paying job in Huntsville. The next day Bob Baler called
me in and said, "Congratulations on your promotion." I asked him what he
meant and he said I was going to be his Chief of Data Processing. I told
him I knew nothing about computers and did not qualify and Bob
replied, "You qualify for anything I tell those crooked SOB's in
personnel you qualify for." He called the personnel officer in and told
him what he wanted and he thought awhile and said that since the future
of data processing would be mainly financial applications that I
qualified. At that time, Charlie Heard was over both supply and
maintenance operations at the depot and the rightful selecting official.
I went to Charlie and told him what Bob had told me and that I did not
want to take the job as he was the one who should be making the
selection. Charlie just smiled and said, "I did make the selection, I
just let Bob think it was his idea."

	With much trepidation and a tremendous feeling of insecurity and
inadequacy, I decided to accept. Before I did, I went to Data Processing
and talked to all those who qualified for the job. All but one told me
they did not want the job and would like to see me take it and would
support me fully. The other one said he wanted it badly but knew he
would never get it and the one that would get it if I did not take it
was not capable of handling it. He said he would support me fully if I
took it.

	Charlie Heard, the best boss I ever worked for, told me that he
would send his Deputy, J.L. Smith to take over Data Processing until I
got my feet on the ground and as soon as I felt I could handle it I
could send J.L. home. J.L. was responsible for the maintenance end of
the Directorate for Supply and Maintenance. J.L. went to Data Processing
early the first morning while I was processing in the Civilian Personnel
Division. I finished about ten A.M. and went to Data Processing. J.L.
was sitting at my desk and I just told him, "You can go home now, J.L.
and thanks for helping out." I think J.L. had thought he would be there
about three months but as far as I was concerned, it was now or never.

	I introduced myself to the people and everyone seemed to accept
me initially. I started checking out the operation. My office walls were
lined with charts, including one they referred to as the blood chart as
it took blood, sweat and tears to make it. I asked what external or
internal reports were made from the charts and found that none were. I
reviewed all the charts and called Charlie Heard and asked him if he
used any of them. Charlie did not need them and I did not need them. I
found one person was spending full time making and updating the charts.
I called Doc Brown in and talked to him. Doc made the charts. I told Doc
to take them all down and dump them in the trash can and to quit making
them. He asked about the blood chart and I told him he could have it if
he wanted it. I found during my discussion that Doc was a bright person
capable of doing much more than making charts. I told him to not worry
about a job.
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