FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Following the highly public July 2nd arrest of a Fort Bragg soldier, base officials have canceled Fourth of July passes and festivities in favor of mandatory “Self-Awareness” training and updated safety briefs.
In a statement issued this morning, Fort Bragg Spokesman Tim McCall wrote, "It has become apparent to the Base Commander that some of our soldiers lack critical, basic self-awareness, a skill which benefits both the individual, and the Army as a whole. Because 'Not Looking like the Headquarters for Asshole Division' is a top priority for Fort Bragg this year, it has been decided that the best way to teach soldiers how to use their freedom, is by taking it away."
On July 2nd, Fort Bragg Sgt. Bryan Scott Wolfinger, 25, was arrested at the Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville, N.C., when police responded to calls about an armed man wearing a plate carrier entering Macy's. He was apprehended without incident, and it was later revealed he was simply there to have a series of tasteful glamour shots made of him with his AR-15 rifle, literally hours after the Navy Yard in Washington reported a possible active shooter. Fort Bragg officials have suggested that, "even an ounce of Self-Awareness could have prevented this incident from occurring."
McCall spoke to Duffel Blog reporters about the new training module.
“Soldiers will be briefed like toddlers, because apparently they can't fathom being goddamned normal human beings for 10 fucking minutes without drawing all possible attention to themselves," McCall said.
"Last month, we had a guy literally rain on a Memorial Day Parade. He stood on the curb, spraying spectators with a garden hose, because he thought they shouldn't be enjoying themselves."
Soldiers and veterans alike have increasingly embroiled themselves in major news stories recently, perhaps most notably in a widespread social media campaign that argued, "Caitlyn Jenner isn't brave, only soldiers are brave."
The goal of the new training is to teach service members “how to just be normal,” according to Master Sgt. Laurence Tabor, Fort Bragg's newly appointed Self-Awareness NCOIC, who allowed Duffel Blog reporters to observe a lecture given to members of the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Infantry Division.
“Is it OK to post signs around your neighborhood asking people to respect your military service by not using fireworks this Fourth of July?” Tabor asked the mostly-awake auditorium of angry junior-enlisted soldiers.
“No,” he continued, pointing to a slideshow presentation. “Because that's not what normal people do,” he said, emphasizing the word "normal."
Moments later, one private first class asked, “Is it still acceptable to write 'I already paid for your freedom' in the tip line instead of leaving a monetary tip at a restaurant?”
“Do push-ups,” answered Tabor. “You are the worst kind of person.”
At press time, soldiers participating in the training could be overheard discussing lessons they had learned, including how to react appropriately to companies that don't offer military discounts, and why rainbow-colored American flags aren't necessarily "a despicable attack on our patriot dead."