There was the time one of our platoon commanders, Lt Y we will call him, had an MRAP slide into a canal. This happened to us a time or two and illustrates the dangers of driving 5 ton up armored vehicles on soft dirt roads along rivers and other bodies of water. The soft earth would begin to crumble under the weight and the vehicle would slowly, tortuously, begin to slide into the drink. Nothing short of a vehicle designed to tow a tank would be capable of dragging it out.
In the meantime, the Regimental Combat Team (RCT) commander, a colonel, was visiting our OP. He visited us regularly and by now had enough confidence in our company he mostly hung out and smoked cigars. Puffing contentedly, he lounged near the front of our COC, lord of all he surveyed.
Lt Y, returned to the OP to report the current situation to our company commander. As he came rolling in, our young Lt spied the RCT commander and gave him the proper greeting of the day. The Colonel remarked: “How’s it going Lieutenant?” Most of us get this is just a pleasantry and understand the next logical step is to break contact and leave the Colonel to his cigar. Lt Y took this as some kind of invitation and proceeded to spill the entire days events. Happily Lt Y went on his merry way to the COC. The Colonel finished his cigar and headed back to the FOB where with much mirth, he began badgering our battalion commander about the MRAP in the drink. As our battalion commander had not yet heard about it he was somewhat wroth.
Water isn’t the only thing headed down hill. As my company commander and I castigated the Lt for spilling his guts to the RCT commander he lamented: “But I was told when I see a senior officer I should greet him!”
“Yes sir, you say hello, he says hello, then you get the hell out of there. You don’t blab to the RCT commander you’ve been careening his MRAPS into the canal like a dune buggy!”
After this incident, Lt Y was banned from speaking to any officers above the rank of captain. Whenever the RCT commander was in route, Lt Y was to make himself scarce.
All in all, not a major incident in the grand scheme of things. Still, this provided an abundance of low hanging fruit in the weeks to come.
“Sir, what happened last time you spoke out of turn? Hmmm?”