Case in point, Kharmah, Iraq 2007:
“Lieutenant! What the %#[email protected]* is wrong with your face?”
“Oh, uh, I had a little accident last night 1stSgt…” said Lt X sheepishly as he tried to hide his scuffed up nose and forehead behind some communications gear in the COC one morning.
More often than not I announced my presence in the COC each morning with a comment about why the coffee resembled toilet water. I would immediately blame the nearest watch officer for his utter failure in what is arguably his most vital function while standing watch: the production of hot, dark, liquid perfection. Generally if the coffee met at least two out of three of those standards I would go relatively light on him. This particular morning something else caught my attention.
Lt X had a massive scab on his nose and forehead. Actually, one on his forehead and another on the end of his nose. It wasn’t there the day before. The scabs forming were fresh and hideous, indicators of recent idiotic behavior. Being the Company 1stSgt, it was kind of my thing to find out why and how Marines got hurt.
“Sir, what kind of asininity were you up to last night?”
My young motivated Lieutenant (we don’t call them “El Tee” in the Corps. If you do, they get to kick you in the groin. It’s a rule) had visited the porta john during the night. He instructed the Marine on radio watch to come get him if there was a counter fire mission while he was gone. Naturally, because he was using the head, a counter fire mission came blaring over the radio.
“Sir! Counterfire!”, yelped the Lance Corporal as he banged on the side of the porta john.
Lt Brain Surgeon, in his desire not to miss anything he is supposed to be in charge of, decided running in the pitch blackness outside the CP was a good idea. At a full sprint he missed a hard right turn and got a quick period of instruction on the laws of physics. He plowed face first into the concrete wall just outside the door. This no doubt hurt, a lot even.
This information prompted me to declare Lt X would carry a flashlight on him 24 hours a day. He also was no longer allowed to run, particularly with scissors. Someone ended up drawing a chalk outline of a body on the vertical surface of the wall in question.
Oh, and the entertainment doesn’t stop there. More next time.