Thursday, December 11, 2014

Red Herring

I was doing my normal lunch run today and a random memory came to mind. I thought I would write it down.

In 1993 I was a  young SSG on my first Special Forces ODA. I was on ODA 085 B Company 3rd Battalion 10th SFG(A)Fort Devens Mass. It was winter and my ODA was conducting our annual ski training at Cannon Mountain New Hampshire. We spent our days skiing and taking instruction and nights bunking at a Boy Scout camp, drinking beer and bullshitting. What a way to serve your country!!

My team was colocated with a sister team 081. We shared the same cabin and after hours we all kind of hung out together. One night after most guys had hit the rack, Myself, my teammate Jimmy Mac and two guys from the other team Jeff and Mike were up talking and drinking the last bit of Apfelkorn. Apfelkorn is a German apple schapps and is pretty potent. Jeff was from Alaska and while we were drinking he was munching on some smoked herring that he said was from his home state. Not being a fish eater it smelled pretty nasty to me although he swore it was delicious.

As we continued to talk Jeff and Mike got the idea that they needed to "share" this fishy loveliness with their Team Leader. Team Leaders in SF are Captains but despite that they are generally the least operationally experienced members of the team. Unfortunately once they do become experienced they are wisked off to a staff job somewhere and they are never on a team again. They only return to an operational position when and if they become a Company Commander. So many of the good officers are looked down on because they want to remain at the team level. The end result of this is that the enlisted guys spend years on the teams and they constantly harrass new team leaders until that team leader earns their respect.

Jeff and Mike called their team leader " Little Buddy" and they constantly tormented him. He took it all in good humor because what else could he do about it? Well anyway these two thought it would be nice if they put smoked herring in every orifice of Little Buddies gear and clothing. They even put some in his wallet. We all had a good laugh at their little joke and we went to bed. So the next day I had forgotten all about this little prank. About noon I was getting on the ski lift for another run and Little Buddy skis up and sits down beside me. On the ride up the mountain he tells me how he has been finding fish in his gear all day. He has searched all over but he can still smell it. He asked me if I knew anything about it. I was thinking " Did you check your wallet?" But I denied knowledge of any activity. Deny, Deny, Deny and make counter accusations. All the poor guy could do was look at me, shake his head and say " THOSE FUCKING GUYS!!" I laughed all the way up the mountain.

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