Lieutenant just two privates in trench coat

FORT BRAGG — Confusion followed the discovery that Second Lt. Butch Stymie, an infantry platoon leader, was actually just a private sitting on another private’s shoulders inside a trench coat.

“I thought the trench coat was just some eccentric officer baloney,” said Sgt. 1st Class Alfalfa McFarland, Stymie’s platoon sergeant. “Other than that, nothing seemed out of place.”

Stymie’s commander, however, disagrees. “We were definitely suspicious when Stymie showed abnormally high tactical proficiency for a lieutenant during battle drills,” Capt. Travis Darla told reporters. “We just didn’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth.”

While posing as Stymie, the two privates conducted all duties to standard and even changed administrative records to reflect their new rank.

“I suppose all’s well that ends well,” Darla noted. “They received more total pay as a single lieutenant than they would have as two privates, so they have to return that money. On the other hand, their combined ignorance resulted in the blind confidence a fresh lieutenant needs. The unit was glad to have Lt. Stymie while he lasted.”