We received a newly promoted staff sergeant. His first day on the job, he told us how much he didn’t like us and how much he didn’t want to be in our platoon.
So obviously, he wasn’t a platoon favorite from day one. As a result he tried to make our lives more difficult because, well, what else could he do.
We had just restructured our platoon after getting a new company officer. This meant we also got new weapons cards, meaning new serial numbers on rifles to memorize.
Suddenly we started hearing panicked calls for our platoon to form up. We dropped what we were doing and got into formation. After a couple of minutes of standing by, the door kicked open. It was the staff sergeant and he was livid.
“Whose rifle is this?” he growled through his teeth while holding a weapon above his head.
It was the ultimate sin, a Marine leaving his rifle unattended and it was going to cost us dearly.
“I found this rifle just lying around, and no knows who it is? So one more time, whose is this?” he barked louder.
He was getting more agitated by the minute. By this time squad leaders and fire team leaders had started the scramble of searching for the unlucky Marine.
As they checked, the platoon received a very lengthy monologue on what kind of a Marine loses his rifle. The staff sergeant told us we lacked discipline and leadership, how he never wanted to be associated with a Marine who could lose his rifle and not know about it and how much work he had to do in order to clean our sh!t up.
A quick check of our gear and serial numbers indicated that everyone in our platoon, not only had their rifle, but had the correct rifle, too.
“So let’s do this the hard way” replied the staff sergeant, “Obviously someone is lying to me.”
He instructed one of our squad leaders to get out the platoon weapons list, which had everyone’s name and serial number on it. He then read off the serial number, and told the squad leader to find it.
After a couple minutes of searching the list, the squad leader said, “I found it.”
The staff sergeant said, “Well who the h3ll is it?”
The squad leader paused, then said, “It’s yours, Staff Sergeant.”
A subdued chuckle started. But as the staff sergeant’s face turned more and more red, the chuckle grew into a roar of laughter.
It was a tiny victory in the day of the life of this Marine.