Thursday, August 11, 2005

Sea Story

During OCS in the middle of winter, I was team leader during a team movement exercise. You remember the drill: “Rifleman, prepare to rush, rush!” It was mid afternoon, and very cold, and we had been running drills for a couple of hours in below freezing weather. Right at the end of the drill, with the finish line practically in sight, I yelled “Assistant automatic rifleman, prepare to rush, rush.” I looked over, and did not see any movement. So I yelled it again, thinking that he had not heard me. This time, he looked back at me, and said, “I’m too cold to move.”

At this time, the Sergeant Instructor came up behind my Assistant Automatic Rifleman, and told him to get up and move. “If you don’t move, I am calling the corpsman up.”

AAR yelled, “No Corpsman, I don’t want the silver bullet!” The silver bullet was slang for the rectal thermometer that Corpsmen use to take core temperatures to determine the extent of a Marine’s cold injury. The indignity of the procedure had been the topic of endless barracks discussions.

The Sergeant Instructor told him to shut his mouth, then turned to me, and told me to get my fireteam moving. As we continued our team movement away from our fallen AAR, we could hear him still yelling about the Corpsman: “I don’t want the silver bullet, don’t give me the silver bullet, I don’t need…AAAAAAAAARGH!” Turns out, they gave him the silver bullet.