US ARMY GARRISON WEISBADEN, GERMANY - Sources confirmed today that the upcoming mandatory Christmas party for the 66th Intelligence Brigade is "completely voluntary", according to statements made by the Command Sergeant Major.
"Hey listen gentlemen, it's totally up to you to attend," said CSM Marc A. Scott during the course of an hour-long briefing. "We want people there that actually want to be there and have fun."
Scott was eager to show his understanding that the holidays were a time for family and soldiers shouldn't be coerced into attending parties.
"That being said, we'll be having a quick accountability formation in front of Vapiano at 1925," he said. "Yes, I know this might be a bit of inconvenience for an accountability formation being at the venue and not on post, but it's still expected."
The grizzled soldier also made other important announcements during his talk.
"Also, don't forget, there's a mandatory recall for clean up detail at 2130. You might want to show up ten minutes early for that. Sober. Sergeant Major doesn't want any DUIs now. You all know the Polizei doesn't play. The MPs and Sergeant Major don't either. FYI, those attending will be given a four-day. Those not attending will have a room inspection with full field lay out. That's for your own good, because I care about not only your hygiene, but your preparedness for the field. Don't think Sergeant Major won't issue TA-50 for that, because I will."
A telltale snicker from the assembled troops knocked CSM Scott off his soft sell.
"Now come on guys. Sergeant Major's being straight with everyone. Frankly, the only thing I hate more than Christmas is all of you. I wasn't kidding when I said this was voluntary. But given your options, you can decide what's the best thing for which to volunteer. I will be attending only so I can enjoy your unhappiness in person. Matter of fact, I can already tell you who is definitely attending. There are plenty of you who broke tape this last APFT, so I'm going to start with the fattest of you and work my way down."
CSM Scott then singled out Private First Class Jay Renaldo and made an example out of him.
"Renaldo, you're going to play Santa. I don't give a fuck that you're black, this is America. Either way, if the CO's kids aren't delighted with you, I'll run you so ragged that you'll look ready to play Jesus next Easter. Oh, don't look so fucking offended. You don't think Jesus was black? Well who's the racist now? Bottom line: fucking be there."
There was outright laughter at the line and that finally tore what civility CSM Scott had left.
"Okay, that does it. Everyone listen to me real good, you better get their asses online and buy a new PS3 game for the CO's kid, and you better make sure there ain't no duplicates either. If there is I'm going to do just like Herod did and kill all the male children on post."
The Command Sergeant Major later told Duffel Blog reporters that he was proud to say that "100% of my soldiers volunteered to attend the party."