Thursday, April 20, 2006

US Army and fluffy forest creatures

The move didn't help the morale problem. It didn't really hurt it much - well, until the officer showed up one day to announce that rats had been found in the dining hall and the single soldiers could either a. continue to dine with the rats or b. switch to eating MREs. The really scary thing was the poor sods were going to obediently vote for either option a or option b until Kirk pointed out that neither one was acceptable. When he raised a stink (of course as a married guy he ate at home) the officer reluctantly decided that maybe - maybe - it would be possible to get in an exterminator and get the dining hall back up to minimum standards.

It sort of outlines the whole problem. Kirk's company was filled with highly intelligent, thoroughly educated and trained people, who were treated like herd animals of limited value and ability.

What the army didn't realize was that when you do that to highly intelligent people they tend to come up with their own methods of improving their outlook.

Take Bob. It wasn't his name, but I always think of him as Bob. He spent a quiet evening working very hard over his BDUs using iron-on camouflage patches and a pair of scissors. For hours he cut and pressed - the very image of a conscientious soldier. Next morning in formation Kirk was directly behind Bob, and was staring blankly at his back. He said it was quite odd. Everything looked totally normal for the first 15 minutes or so, then suddenly... 'wait a minute... F... U... ' all beautifully and subtly picked out. Apparently he had modified his entire wardrobe to include scatological and genealogical references.

This is the same guy who absconded with all the unit's tank helmets one night and got creative with a pot of paint. The next morning the officer found everyone lined up wearing forest creatures on their heads - he'd even put little tails on the back. They were getting ready for an exercise that morning so there was no time to do anything about the artwork. Kirk said he would never forget Bob standing up at the end of the briefing, throwing his fists in the air, with his little grey rabbit falling over his eyes and shouting: 'Let the silliness begin!!'

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