NORTHCOM cubicle farm grows record number of colonels

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The 2019 growing season produced a bumper crop of cubicle colonels, U.S. Northern Command announced today.

“We’re proud to report that this year’s harvest resulted in a 12 percent increase in colonels,” said Maj. Roberta Daisy, an Air Force public affairs officer. “This means that NORTHCOM out-produced all other combatant commands in growing desk, watch, and retired-on-active-duty senior field-grade officers.”

Daisy attributed the growth to an unusual number of sunny days accompanied by the hard work of officers logrolling each other. She also credited the NORTHCOM commander, Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, who she described as a career talent farmer.

“The commander put on his coveralls—you’d call them a flight suit—and went to work,” said Daisy. “Just like near-peer farmers in the Heartland, he focused on increasing the amount of nitrate and potassium, but pumped through the headquarters’ HVAC ducts instead of tilled into the soil. And water, lots of irrigation. The general installed 35 new water fountains in the building, which is a record.”

O’Shaughnessy—regarded among senior military leaders as mostly focused on career-gardening—was enthusiastic about the effect his agricultural expertise has had at America’s most-beloved headquarters, which is located at Peterson AFB.

“Let me tell you something,” O’Shaughnessy told reporters. “This is a chemical-free agricultural field station I’ve got here. Chemicals will kill all your earthworms, and earthworms aerate your O-5 soil. I’ve subscribed to all the farming and manpower journals for years, you know.”

As highly productive NORTHCOM employees rushed outside to eagerly clap-in the new colonels, O’Shaughnessy was already plowing up the headquarters parking lot to create a warrant officer farm.

“My biggest failure as a general-farmer is that I’ve never been able to grow—or even see—a chief warrant officer five,” he said over the noise of the John Deere 6120E tractor that he was expertly piloting. “I’ve looked in all the books, and even took leave in France, where unicorns were first documented.”

“If I do nothing else for homeland defense, I’ll grow us a CW5 that everyone can see, plus children can ride on family days.”

At press time, O’Shaughnessy—known as Oh Shag Nasty to his devoted subordinates—was overheard on a phone call with the U.S. Southern Command boss, asking him whether his command soil is acidic or alkaline and offering to mail a copy of “How to Grow Relevance in Your Headquarters Garden.”