FORT BRAGG, N.C. — A Department of Defense-wide labor strike by Explosive Ordnance Disposal soldiers began this week after negotiations failed to achieve a repeal of the ban on storage and consumption of alcohol in unit facilities, sources confirmed.
The stalemate comes following a recent joint DOD directive ordering all EOD formations to shut down and physically remove their unit bars from day-rooms. Meanwhile, EOD unit headquarters across the services have been shut down due to an “Occupy”-like appropriation by foul-mouthed, drunken bomb technicians sporting tattoos and genital piercings.
Leading the loosely-affiliated, and unimaginatively-named, “Techs For Booze” coalition, which initially called for the strike, is Master Sgt. Ed Zwick, an operations NCO and EOD Team Leader in 192nd Ordnance Battalion (EOD) at Fort Bragg. Zwick spoke with reporters at a small press event minutes after the strike officially began.
“Until recently, all EOD units had a bar right in the dayroom, which was stocked with plenty of beer and liquor,” Zwick said. “And that worked out great. But recently, Big Army started paying more attention to us, and suddenly we couldn’t wear civilian clothes and call each other by first name anymore. We had to start pretending to be soldiers. And the worst part was that they came in and made us tear out all our bars.”
Echoing Zwick’s concerns and elaborating on them was Gunnery Sgt. Raymundo Perez, an EOD Marine at Camp Pendleton, Calif. He agreed to speak briefly with reporters after leading his Marines in a singalong of “We Shall Overindulge” while they executed some regulation light swaying.
“Look at the Wall,” Perez said, referring to the EOD Memorial at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., “and tell me: where do the overwhelming majority of our recent casualties occur? In theaters like Iraq and Afghanistan, where they don't let you get hammered. Coincidence? I say thee nay!”
EOD servicemembers all over the world have joined in on the strike, staging sit-ins at unit areas, singing protest songs, and playing Xbox. Their refusal to work has led to many instances of training being shut down and public areas being evacuated, since nobody has been responding to render safe the ordnance and IEDs constantly being discovered around the country.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff refused to comment directly on the matter, but when confronted in a bathroom stall in the Pentagon’s E-Ring, Army Chief Gen. Raymond Odierno did explain the DOD’s position.
“Those assholes need to get with the program,” Odierno said. “Drinking during lunch? Civilian clothes? Fucking first-name basis? I don’t give a shit how many of them get killed, and nobody buys that bullshit about how ‘adherence to rules and regulations creates patterns which can be exploited by bomb makers.’ That’s an excuse to slack off. So they can go ahead and strike, and I’ll be happy to give their mission — and funding — to the fucking Chemical Corps. Now can I have the damn toilet paper, please?”