FORT CARSON, Colo. – A 4th Infantry Division squad leader burned to death after his first sergeant told soldiers at morning formation that they should immolate good leaders if they wanted to be successful, sources confirmed today.
Staff Sgt. John D. Arc, a two-time non-commissioned officer of the year, had just returned from mentoring troubled lieutenants when his squad approached him in the motor pool with matches, gasoline, and tears in their eyes.
“When first sergeant tells you to do something, you execute,” Pfc. Doug Malone said as he swept Arc's ashes into a pile in the motor pool. “Staff Sgt. Arc was a great squad leader — someone you should really try to be like.”
Before meeting his tragic end, Arc patiently tried to explain to the soldiers what the first sergeant actually meant to say at formation. When he realized the troops could not be dissuaded from turning him into a human road flare, Arc provided helpful tips on how to preserve fuel and matches.
1st Sgt. Brandon Moore, who holds a PhD from American Military University and a GED from the state of Texas, called a formation to clear the air and prevent any future misunderstandings.
“Staff Sgt. Arc was a good man and a stagnant leader. This was just a fortunate mistake,” Moore said, shaking his head. “I guess I could have conjugated more clearly, but dwelling on it is just a mute point. Hindsight is 50/50, you know.”
Moore ended the formation after providing tasks for the company to complete before they could be released for the day.
While a few soldiers in the formation appeared to be confused, they all gave a confident “hooah” when Moore asked if they understood.
“Sometimes top has us do some strange things,” said Spc. Alan Balderman. “But the Army wouldn’t continue to promote people and put them in charge of soldiers if they were idiots.”
At press time, soldiers in Moore’s company were seen searching for a lost set of “MVGs” at a “mount” training site.