Schrödinger's Specialist baffles philosophers and platoon sergeants alike
What is a sham but a perception?
Schrödinger's Specialist: Is this a regulation haircut or a refusal to cut hair at all?
FORT MEADE, Md. – In an unprecedented blend of quantum physics and shamtacular reality, a Specialist has become the subject of bafflement for both philosophers and warrant officers, alike. The enigma? Schrödinger's Specialist, a soldier who simultaneously exists and doesn't exist within the confines of the military space-time continuum.
The experiment was the result of years of study by the E4 Mafia, long thought to be fruitless until the day that Schrödinger's Specialist simultaneously vanished and manifested from reality while clearly both sleeping and playing Fortnite; both activities accomplished while he was supposed to be the duty runner on staff duty.
Leading theoretical physicist Dr. Albert Wazingburn remarked, “This Schrödinger's Specialist paradox defies all classical logic. Beyond the now infamous thought experiment with the cat, this Specialist is in a state of being both present and absent. He appears to be able to exist in both states, even when observed.”
Others in quantum physics have weighed in on the phenomenon, proposing complex theories involving entanglement and entrenchment. “It's as if the Specialist exists simultaneously in a superposition of duty stations and non-duty stations, a constant state of sham and non-sham,” explained Dr. Hank Greene, while scribbling half-formed equations on a whiteboard and running his hands through his hair.
Reports suggest that the E4’s leadership experiences a fluctuation in mental stability when dealing with Schrödinger's Specialist. “I thought I assigned him to pick up MREs for the upcoming field problem, but when I arrived at the pick-up location to supervise he wasn't there. And then, out of nowhere, he appeared, saluting a wall as if he'd been there all along,” said Sgt. Raymond Johnson, one of the perplexed platoon sergeants.
The Schrödinger's Specialist phenomenon has ignited a philosophical debate within the military community. Does the Specialist's existence depend on being observed by higher-ranking personnel? Is his duty status in a superposition of present and AWOL? How have warrant officers not figured out how to make this happen?
Officers have had no luck in dishing out punishment for the rogue E4. Every attempt to execute UCMJ actions appears to be deleted from existence.
Dr. Sophia Choicler, a philosopher of science, pondered, “Perhaps Schrödinger's Specialist embodies the ultimate expression of military bureaucracy – where existence and non-existence coexist in a realm where accountability is both absolute and nonexistent, while neither really matter.”
Fellow soldiers have been alternately awed and frustrated by the Specialist's ability to evade the bounds of traditional accountability. "I mean, I misplaced my canteen once, and it was a whole thing. Hands across America for two days because my platoon sergeant refused to do the paperwork on it,” said Pvt. Leon Davis. “This guy just disappears for hours, and no one does a thing. Man. I can’t wait until I become a specialist.”
Attempts to solve the paradox have been met with mixed results. Platoon sergeants have experimented with observing the Specialist through field glasses, night vision goggles, and even divining rods. “I thought if I observed him through infrared vision, I'd be able to catch him sneaking away,” Sgt. Annette Thompson admitted. “But he just laughed and said he was on quantum leave.”
Sergeants major across the army are devising plans to address the existential question, with one proposal exceeding all others: get a reflective belt onto Schrödinger's Specialist. “We believe that the glow belt is the key to most issues regarding reality and the space-time continuum,” Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Weimer said. “Sometimes the best thing you can do is bring back the classics.”
As the military's collective brainpower is channeled into comprehending Schrödinger's Specialist, one thing remains certain: the universe of military absurdity continues to expand, pushing the boundaries of what is known and unknown in the world of enlisted enigmas.
As For Class is a boy named Sue, named Ashley. When he isn’t writing for Duffel Blog he also writes fiction.