FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Second Lt. Miguel Herrera, an infantry platoon leader with A Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, is a man of great confidence but has a growing sense of doubt. The 23-year-old Miami native has begun to question his decision to get a tattoo of his OCS class motto.
“It seemed like a really hooah idea at the time,” said Herrera. “A bunch of us were in Hotlanta for a long weekend, and the White Claws were flowing free. Then we passed a tattoo place.”
Sources in Fort Benning’s Officer Candidate School report Herrera reported for class the following Monday showing off his new tattoo — an American flag adorned with crossed Infantry rifles and a Punisher skull, with their platoon motto emblazoned across the top.
“Every day in formation, we’d shout it,” said Herrera. “’WE’RE AMERICAN SOLDIERS, SO YOU BETTER STEP BACK! WE’RE FIRST PLATOON AND WE CUT NO SLACK!’ I mean, how frikkin’ motivating is that? It’s like the Ranger Creed, but more compact.”
“Ha. I just realized. ‘Compact’ rhymes with it, too.”
Herrera, who did not successfully complete Ranger School for reasons he declined to explain, reported to Fort Campbell in September and feels confident he got the best platoon in the division. He has since begun to doubt his tattoo choices.
“I guess I expected me and the other Warthogs — that’s what we called our platoon — would be a lot tighter now,” said Herrera morosely as he went over an upcoming training plan. “But I guess most of those guys are staying pretty busy.”
Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Tomlin, Herrera’s platoon sergeant, had little to say regarding his platoon leader’s tattoo except to note he thought it was “some patriotic boot shit like the privates usually get.”