Lifeless corpse almost buried with military honors—then they realized it was a living GS-15

ARLINGTON, Va. — Whoa. We knew the military made mistakes from time to time, but we never thought it could gaff up quite like this.

When coworkers found this lifeless corpse apparently dead at its desk in the Pentagon, their first thought was that it must have been a soldier who was courageously killed in the line of duty while preparing a PowerPoint slide on readiness. Sure, it looked a little old and decrepit, but who knows how long it had been rotting there in the bowels of the puzzle palace?

Mourning this brave service-member's fate, they went through the whole process of planning for a military burial, with an honor guard detail and everything. They even ordered it a new dress uniform and were about to lay it down in a flag-draped casket when it suddenly sprang to life and said it had to leave because Friday was its flex day.

Turns out this wasn't a dead soldier at all, but a living GS-15.

Who would have thought!

"Even though it's alive, I'm still kind of worried about the GS-15," said Master Sgt. Patrick Hughes, one of the soldiers who found it. "It hasn't replied to emails or answered its phone in months.

"Although it does occasionally 'reply all' to all-hands emails with a vague and incomprehensible one-line message, so I'm convinced it's alive."

These soldiers certainly learned their lesson, but if you come across a lifeless corpse in your office will you be able to tell if it's a dead body or a living GS-15?

"There's really no sure way to tell," said coroner Melvin Burke. "The best you can do is assign it some work and see if it magically disappears. If that's the case, you have a government civilian on your hands."