The most dangerous creature in the world . . .

. . . is a newly-minted Second Lieutenant with a map, a compass and a plan. At least, that’s the lesson we learned in the South African military. I suspect a similar lesson has been learned (the hard way) by many US veterans as well.

It’s certainly borne out by this story of one Second Lieutenant in Korea, and his efforts to expend the balance of a year’s ammunition allocation – in one day. Here’s an excerpt.

“There’s only two f****** clackers!” Sergeant First Class Snuffy said. We had fifteen claymore mines, but somehow the detonators had all disappeared. It was time for another stroke of innovative genius, but I was tapped having used mine for the day. Seconds later I heard one of the few phrases I hope to never hear again.

“Don’t worry sir. I know how to get rid of them,” Sergeant First Class Snuffy said. Major Good Ideafairy’s guidance echoed in my head again – “Don’t bring anything back,” so I nodded my head weakly. It was time for a red-barrel ceasefire anyway, so off he went with two other troops and a bag of mines. What could happen?

Thirty minutes later I was halfway through an MRE when my eyes wandered over a densely foliaged part of the range. There I beheld our masterful Sergeant First Class Snuffy waving his arm over his head. “What is he . . . ” I said as I choked down a dehydrated beef patty. Suddenly he dove for cover and BOOM!!!

“Jesus Christ!” more than one of us yelled. While explaining himself to the Sergeant Major after lunch, we learned that Sergeant First Class Snuffy had daisy-chained all fifteen claymores to two clackers to detonate them. He told his two soldiers, “when you see me wave my hand and dive for my life, clack away.”

Oh. My. God.

At this point I figured I was too f***** to continue any semblance of a military career and started cutting my Lieutenant bar off my collar. But the mission wasn’t complete.

Go read the rest for a good laugh, and (for veterans) an occasional wince as you recall something similar.

(A tip o’ the hat to Firehand for the link.)



  1. It would be fair to include a warning to back away from the keyboard if holding any liquids. Damn that was hilarious! Thanks, Peter!

    And I think it was in Leckie's book, Helmet for My Pillow, that I just read that Lt, compass, map, plan quote a week or so ago. Wasn't news though. 🙂

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