FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Keeping with the spirit and time-honored tradition of unchecked cronyism, unit commanders will reportedly be handing out awards to adorable lieutenants going door-to-door this Halloween.
While officers are spoiled all-year-long by receiving awards for doing the same level of work as their enlisted counterparts, Halloween is a time especially fun for lieutenants: Sources say it’s the best time for O-1’s to dress up like competent leaders that soldiers respect.
"I am going as Sgt. David Hackworth!" says assistant to the assistant personnel officer and multiple DUI offender 1st Lt. Marcus Grigson. Grigson, also a perpetual under-performer and infamous for his beautifully coifed, out-of-regs hairstyle, is sporting a high-and-tight wig to take his costume to the next level. Sadly, this year is his last as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
"Because of my mandatory promotion to captain!" Grigson exclaimed.
Event organizer and 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment commander Lt. Col. Henry "Hank" Monforton admits even he gets a little nostalgic every fall.
"These adorable lieutenants, all dressed up and engaging in fun that won't land them in jail or lost out in the training area — it really takes me back to when I was just 'that general's kid,'" said Monforton while sitting on his front stoop with a heaping bucket of awards.
"Sometimes their costumes are so good I mistake them for actual NCOs!" Monforton added, indulging in an Army Commendation Medal with Combat "V" from his bucket.
Although extremely popular among officers Army-wide, not everyone celebrates the holiday. 2nd Battalion's Sgt. Maj. Randall Calhoun sits in his house with the lights off in silent protest of the ritual, along with the rest of the unit's senior NCOs and warrant officers. He nearly reached his breaking point last year when the officer's "Trunk or Treat" in the unit motor pool resulted in dozens of after-hours calls asking him for directions.
"They all think I'm a Jehovah's Witness, but really I just sit in the dark and drink by myself," Calhoun told Duffel Blog, who admits he does it every night regardless of what day it is. "This shit-show is just another reason why."
Asked if there is a similar activity planned for enlisted soldiers, Monforton responded that, although he would consider it, the awards process is a tough road to navigate .
"When it comes to enlisted awards criteria, the interpretation is so subjective I can't guarantee anything will get approved," Monforton said, while handing out shiny Bronze Stars to a group of junior officers.
"Plus we basically do the same thing today, but with Article 15's."