JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. — In an effort to join the E-4 mafia, a local soldier has instead joined the actual mafia, sources confirmed today.
Newly-promoted Spc. Rafael Hernandez first realized something was amiss when, according to his testimony in court, he stuck a hastily-constructed shiv into the base of an old Italian man's skull.
"This just didn't seem to be in line with the Army Values," Hernandez said.
Hernandez attempted to establish contact with the E-4 mafia in the traditional way, according to witness testimony. He placed an all-day appointment on his calendar, indicating that he would not be available for any additional duties. Then, Hernandez stood in front of a bathroom mirror and recited the words "I don't know anything about that, sergeant," three times. According to urban legend, after doing this, a specialist passes out and finds himself sleeping in the back of a vehicle in the motor pool while the lower-ranking enlisted do all his paperwork.
"I really thought it was going to be that easy," Hernandez said. "I mean, nobody ever told me outright how you join the E-4 mafia, but I've heard stories. It made perfect sense to me at the time."
Instead of passing out, however, Hernandez was met by a man in a seersucker suit who kept adjusting his tie as he looked at himself in the mirror. He wore an unbuttoned striped coat, and did not meet Hernandez's eyes. The man asked him if he'd be willing to give an "associate" of his a "very close shave."
"Seemed normal," said Hernandez when asked how he felt about the approach. "I thought maybe it was one of the specialists from medical hinting that he could write me a shaving waver. I always wanted a beard."
As it turned out, it meant slitting someone's throat.
"Shit, I thought 'these E-4 fuckers are hardcore,'" Hernandez said. "But alright, whatever it takes to get out of KP duty I guess."
"Normally it starts with small tasks, favors, stuff like that," FBI Agent Tricia Patel, head of the Newark Organized Crime Unit, explained in an interview after the trial. "But in this case Hernandez just went right for murder. It got him fast respect, and respect is the only currency these guys deal with."
The spree that followed involved three bank heists, two more murders, and one extremely complicated case of horse theft involving swapping a prize racehorse with a Shetland pony wearing stilts. Hernandez rose through the ranks of La Cosa Nostra in mere days, catapulting himself to lieutenant of a smaller capo.
"I thought the people calling me lieutenant were being cute," Hernandez said, "you know, because LTs don't do any work either, right? I guess I was wrong."
Hernandez was finally arrested not by local authorities, but by army MPs, after it was discovered that he had missed a mandatory urinalysis appointment.
"What's funny is that I was actually peeing at the time anyway," Hernandez said. "Just not in a cup."
Hernandez is currently out on bail and sleeping in the back of a vehicle in the motor pool.