Major awakens Balrog by delving too deeply into shared drive

From left, U.S. Army Sgts. Malcolm Evans, Luis Pellot, standing, and Kyle Iverson, all with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, look on as Spc. Eric Robinson verifies computer calibrations on an RQ-11B Raven unmanned aerial vehicle during training at Fort Carson, Colo., Feb. 7, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Porch/Released)

FORT CARSON, Colo. — Major Carl Vandemeer inadvertently awakened a Balrog this past Thursday, sources said, while delving into the 4th Infantry Division shared drive for an old product to reference.  

The Balrog, an ancient demon of flame and shadow, was found buried beneath dozens of nested subfolders, inside a file marked “old products.” Vandemeer, a division G35 staff officer, claims to have been searching for a phone tree template when he stumbled upon the servant of Morgoth.

“Never reinvent the wheel, is what I’m always telling these LTs,” said Vandemeer. “Now obviously there’s been some second- and third-order effects that we didn’t anticipate, but that’s why we as leaders have got to be adaptable.”

Some of the folders were password protected, but included a hint, “Speak friend and enter,” that allowed Vandemeer to correctly guess them, leading Division G6 to schedule mandatory Information Awareness (IA) re-training.

Division staff has reportedly vacated the first, second, and third levels of the Division Headquarters, barricading themselves inside a small chamber where staff officers have begun the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP).

“We’re developing several courses of action, including a tactical bridge collapse, and are confident we’ll have a WARNO out by COB Friday,” said Lt. Col. Darren Sneade, Division G3. But families have complained of conflicting messaging.

“We hear drums, drums in the deep,” said a Division newsletter Thursday evening. “We cannot get out. They are coming.”

Stephen Flowers
Stephen is a former US Army Transportation Officer (Spearhead of Logistics, Hooah!) and now a comedy writer based in Los Angeles, where he continues to improve his foxhole and update his SOPs.