Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Language, Self Control & Improvement, and a Human Counter

I had a Staff Sergeant back in the day that decided to turn over a new leaf. Attempting to do this while still in the Corps was an admirable effort.

Some might say futile, but admirable nonetheless.

I want to say that the reason for the new outlook on life was that he had 'found Jesus'. Good for him, I say, but the transition from the guy that we all knew and loved to the 'new & improved' Staff Sergeant made for a few interesting moments.

Before going out to the field one day, and as an addendum to the training ops brief, he announced that he was going to stop cursing.

'You gotta be fuckin' kidding me', was the universal response from the platoon.

He was serious, and as a show of his intent, he assigned a PFC the additional duties of counting the number of times that he let the bad words slip by.

You could tell that the man was struggling when it came time for the final head count before leaving garrison. Most of the platoon already had their packs staged and were just hanging out, waiting for the word to load vehicles. The sooner we take off, the sooner we get back, sort of thing. The Staff Sergeant walked up to where we were waiting and asked for the gun team leaders.

"I need all fu-er- all NCOs up here right now!", he bellowed in his customary voice. Once we were assembled he asked if we were up on bodies, gear, and weapons (all numbers of personnel, serialized gear, and weaponry matching what he had on paper). "Ok gents, do we have all our go... ...ll-darned mortars ready yet? No? Well why the fuck - damn - why not?" (One mortar had a problematic sight and we were arguing with the armorer to issue us one that actually worked). "Ok, ok, I can deal with that. Tell all your Marines to get their shit - shit! - stuff together, load the vehicles, and stand by to stand by."

After a short time we had loaded all of the packs and Marines on the vehicles and were... standing by. One Marine had launched into a particularly lurid accounting of the previous weekend with a particularly dirty (and affectionate) stripper of questionable intelligence. As the Marine was getting to the 'climax' (Har!) of his story, the Staff Sergeant came around for some last-minute instruction.

"All right, all right. Shut yer pie holes and listen up! We're gonna be bustin' our balls during this evolution ... better see y'all move with a purpose... not any assholes gaffing off the training... so, when we get to the range I want all Marines to get their crap... shit. Fuck! *sigh*... [pause] Hey, where's my lackey?" "Lackey, Staff Sergeant?" someone asked. "Yeah, you know, my human cuss counter." The PFC responded from down the way.

PFC - Here, Staff Sergeant!!

SSGT - What's my count right now?

PFC - The whole thing, Staff Sergeant, or you want the count for 'fuck', 'cocks', 'shit', 'sweaty balls', 'grab-ass','crap', 'mother fu-

SSGT - The whole thing, damnit!

PFC - Wait one, Staff Sergeant... ... ...

*rustling of paper, pencil scratchings, and... was that a calculator?*

SSGT - Well? I ain't got all fucking day, you know!!

*one last pencil scratch*

PFC - 55, Staff Sergeant!

SSGT - 55?!

PFC - Roger that, Staff Sergeant!

SSGT - [under his breath] Fuck...

PFC - 56, Staff Sergeant!

While most laughed, I thought that it was kind of remarkable that the Staff Sergeant had made quite a significant dent in the average of his colorful commentary in the few hours since making his announcement...


Kaerius said...

Oh lawdy, haha.

If there's anything we humans are, it's creatures of habit. Loved how he'd swear again when he caught himself cursing. ;)

The Captain said...

I did the split training thing one of the first years in which the army offered it. I did Basic the summer before my senior year of high school and AIT the year after.

When I came back from Basic, my language shocked my poor parents. It took me months to clean it up.

The Enforcer said...

Murphy, Awesome story way too funny.
Captain- Same thing happened to me during the police academy. Im not sure my parents recovered from the shock

Old NFO said...

(blink)A Marine clean up his language... no fu...er... ain't gonna happen!

Same with the Navy, you talk nice, nothing gets done!
Good post :-)

Snigglefrits said...

Hilarious as always. Thank you Murphy!

Murphy said...

He did pretty good, eventually, save for the rare occasion like when we happened to take a particularly close barrage of incoming whilst he was sitting in one of the port-a-johns - I think he can probably be forgiven for that one.

Karla (threadbndr) said...

The people in my office hardly ever hear me curse. I'm one of the older ladies and several of them are about the Marine!Goth's age. So to them anybody over 50 is just NOT supposed to cuss.

They soon figured out that when my language goes south, one of two things is happening. 1) I'm having a REALLY bad day or 2) JC's home on leave! That boy is a BAD influence LOL.