HINESVILLE, Ga. — An incident which claimed the lives of 13 senior Army enlisted personnel has been declared a training accident, Fort Stewart Public Affairs Officers confirmed today, after fake "STAY ON THE GRASS!" signs were accidentally distributed and posted around the sprawling Army base yesterday.
While training new staff members to design and print base signage, the Fort Stewart Print Shop created dozens of the "stay on" signs as an attempt at a humorous practical exercise. Ordinarily, the shop creates signs directing pedestrians to "stay off" the grass.
Although the signs were never intended for distribution, according to Army CID investigators, they were misfiled and accidentally posted earlier this week.
"As a result," according to Kevin Larson, Fort Stewart spokesman, "nine sergeants major suffered brain aneurysms, three company first sergeants suffered major heart attacks, and one command sergeant major's head literally exploded," or thirteen fatalities within a 48-hour span. Three more senior NCOs remain in critical care for medical conditions ranging from "blown gaskets" to "flipped lids."
The signs, which had been posted outside of barracks, mess halls, and parade decks across Fort Stewart, were collected, arranged, and destroyed by Army Explosive Ordinance Disposal teams. “Ironically,” noted one EOD officer, the signs were “the only ones on post not entirely covered in penis-related graffiti.”
Also of note was the limited effect the clean, unaltered signage had on lower-enlisted soldiers.
“Let's be honest, when a specialist or private sees a 'Do Not' sign on the grass, the only place he wants to be is in, on, or with whatever is forbidden, in this case that sweet, sweet Kentucky Blue,” explained Thomas Mower, an Area Beautification Specialist and "Operation: Clean Sweep" veteran from Fort Bragg.
“But apparently, when you expressly tell them to take a ride on the Green Carpet, they just stick to sidewalks and paved roads,” he said.
According to doctors at Winn Army Medical Center, this behavior explains why casualties weren't higher. One Emergency Room physician suggested that, “If every junior enlisted soldier on base actually obeyed the new signs, there wouldn't be a single Senior NCO left standing.”
In lieu of flowers, the family of Command Sgt. Major Baxter Mosely has requested donations of cigarette butts, MRE wrappers, and other garbage be made directly to the nearest trash receptacle by 0500 Saturday morning.