Playing Too Much Call Of Duty

| Working | February 1, 2016

(We’re outside for field training for the day. Both the instructor and me are in charge of a group of conscripts.)

Instructor: “Group, fall in! We’ll practice turn-over advancement!”

(Everyone gets into combat position, lying on the ground. The instructor orders covering fire. I’m a bit bemused as I see that some of the recruits actually pull the triggers on their empty rifles. The instructor and me bark orders for single soldiers to fire at imaginary enemies. Two of my boys suddenly let out what I can only describe as a war-cry. Not to be outdone, the instructor’s group tries to out-yell us. This goes back and forth and some of our boys start making crude gun noises as they “deal” covering fire. With a feeling of satisfaction I notice that the recruits seek out, on their own, what little cover they can get and generally show what they’ve learned so far.)

Instructor: *as his group runs past us* “Fire in the hole!” *throws a rock*

Me: “D*** it, wish I’d thought of that!”

(Everyone is jacked up on adrenaline; by now, everybody screams as they charge.)

Recruit #1: “I’m out, switching magazines!”

Recruit #2: “Cadet [My Name], they’re trying to flank us!”

Me: “Affirmative; [Recruit #2], [Recruit #3], length of a hand to the right. Birch tree behind low wall. Two targets. Fire!”

Recruit #3: *in a high-pitched voice* “Pew, pew, pew!”

Me: “What the f*** is wrong with your gun, [Recruit #3]? What kind of rifle goes “pew, pew’?”

Recruit #3: “Don’t know, sir!” *he thinks for a second* “Oh, right, uh… suspecting malfunction! Disassembling rifle!” *gets to cover behind the dam and starts dismantling his gun, panting and at amazing speed*

Instructor: “They’re retreating! Objective secure! End of exercise! Fall in!”

(We all are entirely out of breath. Some of the men have worryingly red faces, but everyone is hyped. The instructor takes a few deep breaths, and then looks at us sternly.)

Instructor: “While your training was obviously a success so far, if I ever hear anyone of you yell ‘pew’ or ‘bang’ or anything of the sort again, I will rip your a** so far apart that you’ll blow-dry your hair when you fart. However, gentlemen: That was the most amazing s*** I’ve ever done in my career. Let’s never do that again. Break for five minutes, dismissed.”

(And this story proves that sometimes, just sometimes, the Army is nothing more than a club for big boys playing little boy games.)

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