FT LEONARD WOOD, MO – As part of recent cut backs proposed by the Pentagon, the Army is being forced to ration it’s own vernacular to save valuable training time.
Everything from catch phrases to the proverbial exaggerated war story — and even standard expressions, are to be cut by 50%.
Phrases like “It ain’t rocket surgery!” and “You need to be at least three percent smarter than your equipment” are set to be retired permanently.
Hardest hit by the proposal are Drill Sergeants — and those responsible for training privates have been vocal in their opposition.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Sergeant Charles M. Gibbner, a Drill Sergeant with Echo Company 2/10 INF, a basic combat training unit.
“How am I supposed to intimidate privates if I can’t put the fear of God into them without a white elephant? Take the live night fire exercise for example. Sure, that’s live ammunition being fired over their heads, but privates don’t really keep their heads down unless I tell them a Drill Sergeant was once sawed in half during that exercise. Because you can be damn sure they don’t stay down unless you tell them that.”
Sergeant Major of the Army Ray Chandler was adamant about “cliche cutbacks.”
“While it’s best not to speculate on these cuts, training will proceed using the same equipment. The cadre will just have to tone down the rhetoric. Hell, we might be getting rid of entire brigades and I’d consider this to be the least controversial of the measures proposed,” said Chandler.
Chandler went on to say that the Army believes one too many non-sequitur stories has statistically reduced training time. Some Drill Sergeants claim however, that the telling of these stories are vital to training young soldiers.
“There’s no point if I can’t traumatize you.” said Drill Sergeant SSG Jay Allen. “I tell them we’ve lost privates who didn’t complete the land navigation course on time and some were found mauled by bears”.
“Sure enough, my platoon is usually the fastest out of the cycle. The stories make it happen. While there’s no substitute for good training, there’s also no substitute for traumatizing privates barely three weeks removed from the civilian world.”
Non-commissioned officers army-wide continue to struggle with the news and there are rumors of a possible class action lawsuit from the group on First Amendment grounds.