[Note: The original incarnation of ST’s classic tale involving “Lt. Dangerous” is not currently in my possession, sadly. What follows is a synopsis by a grateful reader. ~D’NP]
Howdy ST, ‘Ettes, ‘Sieurs, and All!
Various conversations here in the past week or so have brought me to recall with pleasure early encounters with the humor and wisdom of His Graciously Unleashedness. I’d ask your indulgence with inconsistencies in my account of one of “Lt. Achilles” experiences of command. I recall it because it showcases his grasp of command (including the physical health and safety of those in your charge), his inventiveness, and his impish humor.
This episode begins with the routine discussion (briefing) given by Lt. Achilles to his platoon before a scheduled hike. Since weather conditions were hot, and the hike was a longer one than his men had experienced previously, particular attention was paid to several items in their packs: several pairs of clean, dry socks, first-aid ointment for possible blisters from fairly-new boots, snack bars, and most-importantly to this event, 10 full canteens of water each, to prevent dehydration and other serious heat-related maladies. All good-to-go [G-2-G], or so it seemed.
Sometime in the midst of the pre-hike briefing, several members of the platoon decided to jump-start their preparedness by drinking half of the water from all 10 canteens they were to carry. Because our intrepid and shrewd lieutenant had the 360-degree vision and second-sight granted to many platoon commanders, he was aware of the pre-emptive activity of these wiseacres.
Sensing a need to reinforce the importance of paying attention to information conveyed in briefings (as well as the structure of command), Lt. Achillies went into action. He ordered the miscreants to drink what remained in their canteens, refill them to the brim – and drink them all to empty again – before actually setting out on the scheduled hike.
Mercifully, ST spared his readers the ensuing misery of some, but he shared a surprise that greeted him the next morning:
When he opened his office door, he found his desk festooned with a banner that read (in Spanish): “El Teniente Peligroso” or “Lieutenant Dangerous”….
Imagine my surprise and delight while reading a lighthearted take on what was – and is – a life-and-death matter. Hope readers have enjoyed this as much as I did (and still do).
Thanks for reading! and: Semper Fi, ST.