Lucky for me, Sergeant Gargantuan had a particular talent for strong-arming crafty adolescent soldiers, stopping them from freely running circles around me.
Although, I’m pretty sure every once and awhile he would let one escape through the fence just for kicks.
The first – and most memorable – time I was duped by the cunning of a young subordinate was during a weekend field exercise while on a routine nightly security check. Sergeant Gargantuan and I happened upon a shirtless buck private who was slothfully relieving himself on the side of a tent. From behind the unsuspecting soldier, Sergeant Gargantuan barked, “Hey!” Without missing a beat, the young GI turned around with his pants still wrapped around his ankles, his pickle dangling in the wind, and started grasping at the air, as if he was trying to catch lightening bugs, all the while murmuring, “Where am I?”
Panicked that he was sleepwalking – a health issue I knew nothing about – I started screaming, “Medic!” Unsure what else to do, I proceeded to run around like a chicken with its head cut off, yelling at the top of my lungs. When I finally returned with the drowsy medic, Sergeant Gargantuan was standing over the soldier who was now doing pushups, his pants still wrapped around his ankles.
Words were unnecessary to convey what Sergeant Gargantuan was thinking about me at that moment. His glower said it all- fucking noob. Making me stew in my shame for several minutes as he hovered over his kill, Sergeant Gargantuan finally pointed down towards the pantless soldier dripping in sweat and stated the now obvious:
“Ma’am, he was faking it.”