FORT BENNING, GA — Capt. Mohammed (No Last Name), Afghanistan's first student to attend the U.S. Army Maneuver Captain's Career Course, has received a B+ on his capstone planning exercise, for what his instructors are hailing as an exceptional scheme to kill every single one of them in a mass shooting and subsequent bombings, sources confirmed today.
The exercise — dubbed 'Battle Forge' — is a grueling six-hour test which requires young company-grade officers to conduct all aspects of operational planning, then deliver a successful mission brief to their small group instructors while meeting a strict set of grading criteria.
"Mohammed, or Mo as the guys called him, was really impressive," said Maj. Tom Durwood, his small group instructor (SGI). "The way he planned to sweep the corridors of American officers using both a combination of small arms fire and funneling improvised explosive devices was just brilliant."
The Maneuver course is a necessary step for the progression of any junior officer, and an absolute must if that officer wishes to someday command a company of soldiers. Mohammed's attendance was hailed by both the U.S. and Afghan governments as a step towards reconciliation after a series of bitter diplomatic exchanges regarding both the U.S. military pull-out from their country, and subsequent unilateral negotiations with the Taliban in Qatar.
The fact that the officer received such high marks is seen as a positive reflection on the tactical competence of the Afghan National Army and their junior officer corps.
"At first I was a little skeptical of his plan to lock the doors of the library and use a homemade incendiary bomb to ignite a firestorm, but after he explained in clear and concise detail how the resulting lack of oxygen in the building would actually kill more officers than just by flames alone, I was convinced."
The Major looked down at Mohammed's scoresheet from Battle Forge.
"There was one issue, where he requested an MLRS strike against the 'Fort Benning Housing Area', but after discussion with my counterparts in the other sections, we decided to let it slide after we realized it was probably just a language issue, and what he really meant was fire the MLRS from the Housing Area, which would make more sense."
"The young officer really has a lot of promise," added Durwood. "He brought stuff to the table that American Captains wouldn't even think of. While our officers were fretting about echelonment of fires onto Bull Hill, Mohammed was drawing detailed diagrams of foot traffic patterns based on the time of day you pulled a fire alarm, and had kill-zones prepared for each of his COAs [Course of Action], which were all war-gamed to perfection using the schoolhouse approved cross-walk method."
Still, Durwood was somewhat disappointed he couldn't award Mohammed an A for his briefing.
"I have to tell you, there was a significant amount of pressure from higher to do so," Durwood said. "But I hold myself to a higher standard than that. I wanted Mohammed to feel as if he actually earned his score and improve from there, rather than just be handed a passing grade because of diplomatic considerations. That's why I had to dock him 15 points for failing to plan an IED strike or some type of secondary ambush on the back doors leading to the parking lot. By failing to do so, under Mohammed's plan almost a third of the officers in this place would have escaped with their lives."
The Major then stood, pointing to a framed picture of himself and Capt. Mohammed at the conclusion of his brief. "Either way, I really feel honored to have been this outstanding young man's SGI. I can't wait to see what he does with his military career."
Editor's Note: Upon graduation from the Captain's Career Course, Mohammed was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Certificate, along with an Army Achievement Medal, which were both shipped to his home in Quetta, Pakistan.