Ballet-Dancer Turned Officer Pirouettes Into TOC
FORT HOOD, Texas — Capt. Todd Bolshoi, deputy operations officer at the 3-23rd Infantry Regiment (light) gave a battle update brief so laced with metaphor it rendered the scheme of maneuver incomprehensible and thoroughly confused the collected staff, witnesses have reported.
“Bravo Company 2nd Platoon will be the reserve unit with faint in a second position demi-plié, a kind of tableau if you will, before everything shifts stage right,” said Bolshoi, dramatically gesturing to a sand table. “And then, to put it clearly, the assault team jeté entrelacés a right flanking movement.”
While many had known about Bolshoi’s football scholarship in college, few knew of his love for classical ballet or his extended training in what he calls “that most disciplined of the performing arts.”
“Then we go all Baryshnikov on red team’s ass, and they frigging won’t know what hit them,” Bolshoi continued. “It’ll be like the New York City Ballet on January 17, 1958 all fucking over again! 1st Platoon, you’re the support-by-fire element. Operational tempo is really important here. I need you to keep up at allegro on those 240s. Drop it down to an adagio on order when the assault team clears the objective.”
“Mortar section, I’m really going to need you to be en pointe for this part.”
Bolshoi lowered his tone to dulce sotto, looking at his maintenance platoon with pas-de-duex intensity.
“HHC, we could never get to the coda without a hard-chargin’ corps de ballet. I’m counting on you.”
Staff attendees, most of whom lack a dance background extending beyond the Bernie or the Dougie, report they were puzzled by the choice to abandon the wealth of collected knowledge in FM 7-8.
“So, who’s the fullback?” Staff Sgt. Gabi Ramirez asked. “Does ‘en pointe’ mean we split wide, or seal off the crease? When’s the full court press?”
“I think most of the guys grew up catchin’ some Giselle or Swan Lake on a Sunday afternoon with the uncles or the guys from school,” said Bolshoi after the briefing. “I’m pretty sure the troops just want to be like Mike [Wyly]. If they’re like me, they spend hours sitting out in the field packing dip and talking about how Misty Copeland is revitalizing ABT.”
“This is just a great way to communicate with the soldiers on their level,” said Bolshoi.