CAMP SHELBY, Miss. — In a bold act of incompetence, Army Capt. Justin Bergstrom was relieved for turning in his readiness report on a lethality form last Tuesday.
“This is a careless oversight,” said Lt. Col. Meg Watson, Bergstrom’s battalion commander. “What if that readiness information got routed over into the lethality chain? That readiness might get lost. And then our soldiers wouldn’t be lethal. You understand what I’m saying?”
The error began last week, when a private in the motor pool mistook a high mission-capable rate on the vehicles as being an indicator of lethality and placed the data on a readiness reporting form. That data was rolled up in a PowerPoint presentation on lethality, which was transcribed into a readiness reporting lethality report by the operations sergeant major. Capt. Bergstrom, eager to increase his unit’s readiness, overlooked the error.
“We take these readiness negligent discharges very seriously,” Watson continued. “We all learn when we get our first lethality that if any amount of readiness spills over into lethality, the whole system has to shut down. This error could have really hurt our readiness. Which obviously would have decreased our lethality.”
“In an era of great power competition, what if we couldn’t trust that we had 72 percent readiness against Russia and 67 percent lethality against China?” asked Watson. “There’s no way I can train for 73 percent lethality with all the other training requirements we have to maintain readiness.”
The operations sergeant major has elected to retire amid rumors that this was not his first mistake. Earlier this year, he mistakenly told a group of soldiers that a high APFT score would improve their lethality, when it was actually part of the commander’s focused readiness initiative.
The private in the motor pool, who originally “crossed the streams” has expressed that he was never trained on readiness in school and still isn’t sure where the readiness forms are kept—but he is an expert in modernization.