I admit it, I lost a piece of government property. I knew it almost as soon as I lost it. I informed my chain of command immediately. The response at that time was to hold off until returning to the States and then file the proper paperwork. Fine. No problem.
Today, is the fourth revision of that paperwork. The item missing is a throat protector assembly, government cost is exactly twenty dollars and six cents. It is very possible that I could find another at a surplus store or online, but why? Especially, if I have to pay more. That is the reason we have these nifty forms in the first place. I have probably wasted in manpower, paper and ink the cost of this item by now, not to forget the individuals that need to review said paperwork.
Originally, my statement was simple and to the point. "It was lost sometime between Kuwait and Iraq on the journey into theater." According to my chain of command that wasn't good enough and required me to inform each person on the way through where the item was lost. So I rewrote it on the second revision.
On the third revision, I apparently had used a few words that required people to use dictionaries and was asked to use more common words.
On the fourth revision, I was asked to take full responsibility for the item and state explicitly that I will pay for the item. In the form, it states the word "wish" which to me is exactly that, a wish. Either way it really does not matter to me, so I agreed and redid the circling of the appropriate word to to inform my superiors that "I do wish to reimburse".
The following is my fourth and hopefully my final version:
"I, XXXX, state that during the Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08 the throat protector assembly was missing from my gear inventory. Prior to deployment a complete inventory of my gear was done. After arriving in Kuwait, our stick stayed there for several days. Once departure was imminent to leave for Iraq an inventory of the gear required to don was done and the throat protector assembly was missing. After arriving in Iraq at Al Asad, another complete inventory was done to ensure the throat protector assembly was missing or potentially pilfered. Upon conclusion of inventory, the throat protector assembly was still missing. At this point in time I contacted the S-3 shop and informed them of my missing gear. Once returning to Marine Corps Air Station New River after the deployment I conducted another inventory of my gear. At the conclusion of this inventory my throat protector assembly was the only item missing from my inventory. "