FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Fed up with the Army’s slow awards process, a Fort Bragg sergeant opted to submit his packet to Chinese hackers instead and was surprised to find success.
“I had run out of options,” explains Staff Sgt. James Patterson of the 82nd Airborne. “S1 was running me in circles about my ARCOM and I was about to rage-retire like Sgt. Maj. Chandler.”
Patterson escalated by copying China’s infamous Unit 61398 on his award request emails. Soon after the People’s Liberation Army had created a help-ticket and followed up with him.
“It was an unusual request,” penetration specialist Chin Liu said. “But honestly we’ve had some free time since Russia stole the show. Plus ARCOMs really only take fifteen minutes to do.”
Liu finished the award very quickly and even managed to upgrade it to a Bronze Star.
Patterson filed his award packet in 2008 after a deployment to Iraq but faced long delays. “They told me that since the Iraq War was ‘still kind of happening’ they couldn’t finish out the award yet.”
“It’s no big deal,” Unit Commander Col. Wang said. “We want the ones we’re tracking to promote and succeed, after all. We have big plans for him when he makes sergeant major.”