The first thing you learn in a formal journalism education, is that successful news stories are the odd and the example used is always the “man bites dog” type of story. Well, here’s one of those from the Duffel Blog sent to us by StrikeFO;
Second Lieutenant Doesn’t Get Lost
“I seriously couldn’t believe it during the first few klicks [Ed note: kilometers],” said machine-gunner SPC James Owens, “and then I realized that this wasn’t your average butter bar. He must have actually paid attention during his land nav training.”
For this historic feat — in which he was the first new platoon leader to ever successfully navigate a platoon on the first try — Bailey was awarded an Army Commendation Medal.
“It feels really good to be recognized,” said [Second Lieutenant Michael Bailey], “and there were times when I wasn’t sure whether I was looking at a contour line, a road, or a river, but that’s when adrenaline and my training really kicked in.”
Yeah, “training kicked in” like in Kindergarten when he learned his colors; contour lines being brown, roads are black and rivers are blue. See how tough that is?
The hardest part of being a platoon sergeant is keeping the new El-Tee oriented. I took it particularly serious teaching land nav to cadets so no platoon sergeant got saddled with a map-illiterate louie because of my neglect. I can definitely relate to the platoon sergeant’s comments in the article, though. Go read the whole thing.
But, 2LT Bailey receiving an ARCOM for not getting lost in a five kilometer movement might be a bit extreme, though. It took me 13 years to get my first ARCOM and I never got lost.
By the way, LT, things can only get worse from here.
ADDED: OK, you got me, it’s satire and I fell for it. But shit that’s funny always rings a little true.