FT. HOOD, TX – A commissioned officer fresh from training and recently arrived at the 1st Cavalry Division made a promise to “not screw up” to soldiers of the wrong platoon, sources confirmed today.
Eyewitnesses barely restraining laughter reported that the visibly flustered 2nd Lt. Matt McGuffin, assigned to 3rd Platoon, stood in front of the 40-strong Headquarters Platoon for several seconds before being able to speak, attempting vainly to wipe his glasses on his ACU blouse.
McGuffin first tried to open his speech with, “Gentlemen it is an honor –er – uh” before noticing a female soldier in the front rank and lapsing into embarrassed stuttering. Finally mustering the personal courage to attempt a salvage of his deteriorating command presence, McGuffin launched a forlorn hope into the breach.
“I am a soldier, I go where I’m told and I win where I fight! Sun Tzu said that,” stammered McGuffin, misquoting General George S. Patton to the amusement of his soldiers. “I’m your new platoon leader, Lieutenant McGuffin, but you can just call me 'Sir'! I promise that I’ll take really good care of you and I promise not to screw up!”
At this point, Specialist Tom Richards could not resist raising his hand and asking McGuffin where he went to school, leading to a torrent of verbiage from the socially awkward officer about his time spent at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
“I was a member of the Infantry Tactics Club at West Point, which is kind of like being in Special Forces,” explained McGuffin in detail while the HQ platoon sergeant made threatening motions at Specialist Richards behind his back. "I remember this one weekend when we went out to the field and the guy assigned to bring the MREs forgot! Boy, we sure were hungry that Saturday, I guess that's what it's going to be like being deployed to the old sandbox, right?"
"You kind of feel bad for the lost little guy," said Private First Class Joshua Ehrenhart of Headquarters Platoon. "I mean, we just got a new PL like, five months ago, so we knew he was talking to the wrong group, but it would have destroyed him if any of us said anything."
"Once he figures out which platoon is his, I'm sure they'll square him away," said Specialist Kyle Peppers as he and another soldier attempted to force a penny into an electrical socket.
2nd Lt. Jesse Davids, the actual Headquarters Platoon Leader, was in fact standing behind the platoon during McGuffin's introduction, though he remained quiet.
"I'll be honest," said Davids, "it surprised me when some other Lieutenant came up to my guys and started talking about how he was going to be in charge from now on. I just assumed he knew something I didn't, so I didn't say anything."
At press time, sources report that 2nd Lt. McGuffin is still obliviously pontificating about "just and unjust wars" and how he will always "lead and calibrate his moral compass in the right direction" even though he got lost numerous times during land navigation training.