THE PENTAGON—Greg Jenson, a government contractor working on the Army staff, has yet to tell his coworkers, supervisors, or the ladies running the snack bar in his corridor that he is a retired colonel.
Jenson retired from the Army after more than 30 years to spend time with his family, travel to non-third-world countries, and begin studying civil war battles in earnest. Sources close to Jenson say he turned down a promotion to brigadier general because he is a decent human being and was too adept at making decisions.
"Most of the contractors here introduce themselves with an aggressive handshake, a comment about which brigade they commanded, and a small squirt of urine on your chair to establish dominance," said Lt. Col. Sean Maxwell, one of Jenson’s coworkers. "Greg was different. His first day, he just shook my hand and said he looked forward to working with me. He helps out without being asked and he’s really just a positive guy. I’ll be the first to admit, I thought he was probably just some burned-out retired major."
According to sources close to Jenson, he prefers to let his work performance speak for itself rather than to wear his former rank, awards, and select military badges on his lapel. While most coworkers feel Jenson’s casual attitude and approachable demeanor are a breath of fresh air, some view his disregard of tradition with suspicion and disgust.
“How will people know that you are better than them if you don’t set them straight when you first meet them,” seethed Col. (Ret.) Steven Crandall (USMA class of ’86. Go Army! Beat Navy!). “He probably didn’t even command a brigade like I did—2nd Brigade 101st. ‘STRIKE!’ I mean, he doesn’t even wear a class ring. Dude probably went to OCS.”
At press time, Jenson was seen helping Maxwell wipe down his chair after a new contractor reported to their division.