Monday, February 15, 2016

The most dangerous man in the world

There are people out there who will spend a life time trying to convince you that the most dangerous men in the world are Navy SEALs, Green Berets, delta Force, or Marine Recon. Do. Not. Believe. Them. Not for a moment. The most dangerous human alive is a newly commissioned 2nd Lt with a compass, a map, and a 45.
I started my military career in the Minnesota National Guard. Part of that commitment is Annual Training. On my second AT we went to Ft Carson Colorado. Our host unit was a Mech Infantry Company, and today's story is about their cadre.
Our first morning there, I went to the orderly room for something. Seated inside was a big guy, they called him Maverick. He looked like he could whoop ass on any long horn from his home state, Texas. He had one slight defect though, a hole in his thigh that I could have fit my head into.
Being young curious, and not overly infected with military courtesy, I asked him what had happened.
It seems that Payroll Officer had fallen to the newest 2Lt, and Maverick was designated as his guard. Back then payroll was done with cash. You got your check, then reported to the Pay officer and he would cash it for you instead of having to go to the bank.
Bright and early on the 31st, payday was at the end of the month back then instead of on the first of the following month, They reported to the arms room to draw weapons and ammo, the classic 1911 and seven round of ball ammo.
The LT drew his first, rank has it privileges, and as Maverick was signing for his, the LT loaded a mag, inserted it into the weapon, jacked one into the chamber, then dropped the hammer. He'd pointed it to the side, directly at Mavericks leg.
At eight feet, it nearly removed the leg completely. Maverick still managed to remove the weapon from the LT's grip, and beat him unconscious with it before collapsing. That was three months prior.

Young lieutenants make mistakes, and it is part of the learning process. The following month he was again made pay officer. This time he did not shoot any one. According to a PFC who will remain nameless, simply because I don't remember his name, he did even better the second time.
The PFC claimed that when he got to the front of the line and presented his check and his ID, the officer examined them, returned the check for endorsement, witnessed the signature, counted out the cash, then slid the check and the money over to the PFC.
Well, aint that grand? The PFC, being no fool, got back in line and went through a second time. Upon examining the check, the 2LT scolded him  for endorsing it before arriving at the table, made him sign a second time, then again slid the money and the check back to him. No use pushing the odds, the PFC then took his check to the bank and deposited it.
at the end of the day, Maxwell Smart was short some where north of $200,000. The only reason the Army kept him was to get their money back, or at least part of it. That LT got No Pay Due on his LES for the rest of his six years.
Seven years later, I was a short timer on active. My duty at that point was picking up AWOLs and returning them to their unit for Court Martial, then transporting them from Ft Riley to Ft Carson for discharge. I bumped in to a guy who had been in that unit and asked him if the LT had done any more damage. he said the guy stayed real quiet after that. He was discharged about two years prior. His record was such that he never got assigned over seas. The Pentagon probably was afraid he'd start WW3.

1 comment:

Dean said...

As a retired USAF NCO, I maintain the most dangerous person in the world is a 2nd Lt or an Ensign. Be there guiding a platoon, flying and airplane or in charge of a ship at sea, they have all the book knowledge and none of the practical smarts accumulated yet. Granted, there are few exceptions, but mostly because they are former enlistees.