Marine Killed By Complacency In Afghanistan

Complacency Kills
Complacency Kills

CAMP LEATHERNECK — 24-year-old Marine Cpl. John Felton from Galveston, Texas died from complacency in Afghanistan last week, according to a statement released by the Department of Defense. He was a radar technician stationed at Camp Leatherneck, the largest Marine Corps base in the country.

A Public Affairs spokesman for the Marine Corps held a press conference because of some unusual details surrounding the tragedy.

“We are still investigating the incident,” Capt. Tony White told the assembled group, “but it does appear that the Marine in question died due to complications resulting from complacency. We do not suspect any foul play at this time.”

It’s not entirely clear what the incident means for the war effort, or its medical ramifications for deployed personnel. While many people are shocked, senior enlisted Marines reacted to the news with a noticeable lack of surprise.

“Of course you can die from complacency,” said a Master Gunnery Sgt. who chose to remain anonymous, “I say that to my young Devil Pups all the time. Why in the hell do you think we had all those blast walls spray-painted?”

This may not be the first casualty from complacency either, according to several insider sources. Congress, concerned about unconfirmed reports of complacency deaths, authorized a $42.6 million study on the problem, which is slated for release in early April 2013. It reportedly describes numerous incidents where soldiers, sailors, and Marines mysteriously died on forward operating bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What this means for the effort in Afghanistan remains unclear, but Marine Corps leadership is promising swift action.

“Expect to see two or three times as many stenciled signs as you’re used to,” said one senior officer, “and at least one more sign at every main chow hall.”

Preliminary estimates for the safety precautions range from $72 million to well over $100 million.

President Obama also released a brief statement on the White House blog, saying that he promised a global war on complacency. In the statement, he said, “any forward base that continues to harbor and support complacency will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.”


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7 Comments

  1. It happens in the workplace, too. Our former supervisor dropped dead during coffee break. The coroner said he died from “complications due to complacency”. We were all pretty shocked because outwardly he didn’t seem like a very complacent guy at all. Quite the opposite, actually! But… in a way his passing was a good thing; since the new supervisor took over six months ago our productivity has quadrupled, and our department is on track to set a new company record for Days Between Complacency-Related Deaths.

  2. The article contains an error. The President did not declare war on complacency – the actual quote from the WH press briefing on the subject was that this would be a contingency operation. What the contingency is was not clear. This is damn important stuff and I’m glad to see we’re finally stopped ignoring the problem. One question – was he wearing his reflective belt?

  3. Unfortunate timing about the Marines and Leatherneck. Praying for their loss. Still think you guys are great and appreciate your work. Shake it off and keep it coming.

  4. I have seen it many times a joe just bee bopping along like he is back on the block and boom just falls over dead from complacency. Only had the joe been walking with his head in the game this tragedy could have been prevented.

    • The problem is our early childhood practices. We take our children to the beach or the park and they play all day with nothing worse than a sunburn or maybe stepping on a shell. The Marines get to Camp Leatherneck see all that sand and they are right back to little Johnny at the beach with nana making sand castles. Worse, they are subconsciously looking for the waves. All they can smell is diesel fumes and human waste when they have been conditioned to expect Coppertone, coca-cola, and salt water. The cognitive dissonance sets the stage for the complacency.

      The obvious solution is to start them young by screaming at the kids, setting off fireworks randomly, and having the preschoolers ‘PT’ at the park until they puke.

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