The following is an opinion piece written by Army Sgt. Daniel Monahan.
So there I am in the SCIF [Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility], just making sure everybody in the brigade is completing their Periodic Reviews in eQips on time and putting the final touches on the O&I Brief for the colonel, when there was this loud knocking on the door. It was a very annoying, unintelligent knock, as if the supplicant were crashing his head against the door in an ursine fashion.
I checked the camera feed, and sure enough, it’s that arrogant jerk from the S-3 section, Maj. Rohl, the Assistant S3. That guy. Jeez. He thinks he is so funny, always making jokes about Battlestar Galactica when everybody knows that Babylon 5 was far superior.
So I closed down what I was doing — because everything in my office is highly classified — and went to open the door.
Maj. Rohl immediately tried to stroll past me. I had to physically place myself in the doorway to stop him. Can you believe it? The nerve of this guy, just thinking he can waltz right into my shop without asking.
Trying to shoulder his way right past me. Me! The senior E-5 in the whole S-2 section. Right away I could tell that upset him. Stupid people tend to get angry when their stupidity is pointed out to them.
“Uh, can you let me in?” he asked.
“What’s your business, sir?” I replied, trying to keep my tone as obsequious as possible. Officers: you have to pretend they are like gods or something.
“I need to see Sgt. Atwell,” he said, and again tried to shove past me.
“Sir? sir?” I interrupted, blocking his way again. “Your business with Sgt. Atwell?”
“What does it — I need to go over the AT plan with him,” he said, waving the brigade anti-terrorism plan under my nose like I’m an idiot. When he, HE, is plainly the idiot.
“Let me check whether he can see you,” I said, and began to close the door, but the jerk stuck his foot in it! “Sir,” I continued, “can you move your foot?”
“I can see him,” Rohl said, pointing, “sitting right over there. Can you let me in? Like, now? Please?”
“I can’t let you in the SCIF without an escort, sir,” I reminded him.
“An escort?” he asked me, blinking dumbly. “My classification far exceeds yours. I’m read onto programs you’ve never heard of. I was killing hajis in Sadr City before you got your pubes. Let me the fuck in, right now, or you and I are going to have a problem.”
Can you imagine! Cursing at me! And please, with the clearance thing. I get generals in here trying to pull that crap all the time. How do they think Petraeus got busted? You might have a higher clearance than me, but if you want access to the SCIF, you better learn who has positional authority over whom.
“Sir,” I replied, still remaining polite and courteous (the true sign of my own superior intellect), “you’re not on the unaccompanied access roster.”
“The fuck I’m not,” he said, checking the roster posted on the door. “Hey! Who the fuck took me off the damn roster?”
“I submitted a new roster to the commander since it’s the new fiscal quarter,” I explained patiently, as if to a small child. “You weren’t deemed to rate unaccompanied access.”
“I wasn’t deemed to — you little shit, you let me in there right fucking — ” but he was interrupted by the arrival of Sgt. Atwell, who saved him from a serious OPSEC infraction by offering to escort him.
Lucky for Major Rohl, Sgt. Atwell was there to save him.
I even saw Atwell roll his eyes over how stupid the major was and how immaturely he was acting — and would you believe it, the stupid major thought it was some inside joke, and rolled his own eyes back, snickering! The nerve!
I went back to work, secure in the comfort that the nation was again saved from an Edward Snowden-level breach of natioanl security.
It’s the quiet professionals — like me — that keep this country safe.