By: Ed Creamer
Having done some limited research on the subject, I’ve found one of the things that are critical to successful operation of any Air Group was DICE. There must be multiple pairs of those ivories to train personnel in the intricacies of wrist action evasion and mathematical refresher training in addition/subtraction of numbers up to six.
It would appear those who dealt in the fine art of tactics failed to convince the power that be to include DICE tactics as part of either Boot Camp or OCS. Since it isn’t, literally thousands have gone to combat zones without this training. That meant precious flying time was being spent on teaching the new guys (newbes) those tactics in Ready Rooms.
The first class newbes went to normally consist of acey-duecy OJT . Instructors were both SLJO’s and seasoned veterans. Occasionally one of the Op’s clerks would slip in some flight planning classes while giving instructions while giving instructions in proper wrist turning techniques as the DICE flow to the table. This training lasted until an opening came in the night Medevac and Acey-Duecy Competency classes. While night tossing was not considered mandatory, old timers who knew about such things considered it part of the promotion process.
After those classes were completed and log book entry made, newbe’s were then qualified to select a DICE specialty. Depending upon your career path, you could elect either (1) Liar’s DICE or (2) Ship, Captain and Crew. Either was considered appropriate while attending Liquid Refreshment And Social Gathering sessions at the Club. The only requirement was having a goodly quantity of coins on ones person while attending these sessions.
If “Liars DICE” was the one selected, that generally meant the individual leaned toward a career in the JAG, SP’s, Weather Forecasting or Intelligence. Sometimes the game would be rather complex. You see, keeping track of your drink, the cup, five DI, and ones hat ass and overcoat was difficult at best. The quantity of refreshments consumed being the determinant factor. The skills learned while playing this game would later prove beneficial in life. Even if the DICE did not certify an individual as capable of passing the BAR or even finding same.
Now, those choosing “Ship, Captain and Crew” did so to prepare for future Command or an assignment as Maintenance or Avionics Chief. Here one learned to toss the five cubes such that there was an even balance of transportation, leadership and troops. For if the previously covered wrist training took, one could obtain cool ones all night without having to extract afore mentioned pocket change. This is known as using Other Peoples Money.
There was only one other DICE competition left for an individual combatant to reach SHAKE THOSE BONES certification. That is the weekly Staff NCO Biweekly craps game. Here deep in the bowels of the Staff quarters we can find classified operations in full smoke filled motion. However, due to the classified nature of these games, I cannot discuss it any further. Let’s say most learn some hard lesions in this DICE event.