SAND HILL, Fort Benning, Ga. — Many soldiers and family members are angry over reports of controversial remarks from the Commanding Officer of Fort Benning at a recruit graduation.
Speaking to an assembled crowd of new soldiers and their families at basic training graduation, Maj. Gen. Robert Brown was reported as "extremely hostile."
His speech began with the "standard fluff" about duty, country, and the privileges of serving when such a small percentage of the country chooses a career in the Armed Forces. The speech took a turn, however, when the General reached a point in his remarks, obviously reused from previous ceremonies.
"Look to your left and right towards your brothers in arms," said Brown. "You're all now members of a proud warrior class, and heroes like your fathers before you who-"
The General stopped, took a deep breath and crumpled the sheet before flinging it to the ground.
"Fuck it! I can't read shit like this anymore. Listen up you little bald bastards."
The newly minted soldiers — trying to stay awake throughout the ceremony — shifted uncomfortably in their seats at the sudden change in tone.
"Some of you fucks won't make it past AIT [Advanced Individual Training]. You'll wash out with the rest of the weakness that never should have been here in the first place. Most of you who do graduate will immediately go to combat units and deploy overseas. Many of you will threaten to kill yourselves to get out of real work, although you wont have the balls to actually do it!"
Brown's tone got softer as he attempted to clarify.
"Don't get me wrong here. Many of you will actually go fight and engage the enemy in close combat. For that I salute you. It takes a hard motherfucker to go kill people you've never met just because we say so."
The General then resumes his "motivational speech" to what he referred to as "the rest of you shit-stains."
"You'll most likely spend your deployment sitting on a FOB, manning guard towers, or waiting to go on patrols that get cancelled. I have a reality check for you all. Not everyone in this room is a hero. I don't give a shit what the beer commercials say. You drag your buddy out of a grape hut after you've stabbed two Taliban in the eyes with a broken MRE spoon then you're a motherfucking American Hero. You clear a trench with nothing but a sack of hand-grenades and your giant brass balls, then you're a motherfucking hero! But walking through the desert for three months without hearing a shot fired in anger and posting pictures in your combat gear doesn't make you a goddamned hero! I don't care what your family says. They're not heroes. Neither are your fucking wives. Hardest job in the Army, my ass! Damn it, I'm too old for this shit. Fuck you all."
Gen. Brown then threw up his middle finger to the crowd and stormed off the stage, hustling into his waiting staff car.
The silence after his speech was soon broken by wild applause from the assembled Drill Sergeants and Officers responsible for training the young soldiers over the previous ten weeks.
Less enthusiasm was displayed by the families and the new graduates, who stormed the stage and attempted to destroy the auditorium to express their displeasure. The ensuing riot caused over a half-million dollars in damage, and Drill Sergeants were forced to kill 11 Privates in self-defense.
An Army spokesman has said that General Brown will not be scheduled as the keynote speaker for next week's graduation ceremony.