Teufelhundes And Crappers
A fellow Drill Sergeant was teaching a Field Sanitation class in a wooded training area at Fort Ord, California. It was during the Vietnam era and Fort Ord was at its peak as a military training center for basic training and advanced individual training in military specialties. The Drill Sergeant was instructing the company about what the military (all branches) call a cat hole for needs beyond urination in the field. The cat hole doctrine was to take your entrenching tool (small folding shovel) and dig a hole twelve inches deep. One inquisitive trainee shot up his hand and asked, "Drill Sergeant, how wide do you dig the hole?" Think about that one logically for a brief moment. You have a small, folding shovel and you are going to dig a hole twelve inches deep. How wide? The dynamics of digging a hole with a certain type of tool dictates that answer. Still a good question deserves a good answer.
The Drill Sergeant let his professional composure slip for one brief moment and sarcastically replied, "Wide enough for a big one, Trainee." Little did he know that the Lieutenant Colonel commanding our Battalion was creeping through the woods for an unannounced inspection. The Drill Sergeant spotted the Colonel and sensed impeding doom. Nothing was said and the class continued. I wasn't there. I am reporting second hand. I did not know a thing about the incident until I received the invitation.
I received a personal invitation to attend the dedication ceremony for the "Captain _____ Memorial Crapper" at a certain time on a certain date. Don't worry Captain ____ your secret is safe with me and I will not disclose your name. I actually helped to set up the ceremony out back in the wooded training area. The Drill Sergeant miscreant had to take a detail out to the site of his error in judgement. They dug a hole and used a steel pot to mold a concrete crapper in the ground. They inscribed around the lip of the concrete crapper "Captain _____ Memorial Crapper."
Prior to the appointed hour I took a flat bed truck full of equipment and a few trainees to prepare for the ceremony. We had a podium, sound system and folding chairs for the guests. We had several iced sheet cakes from our Mess Hall. We had a large container of coffee. We had another one with a punch. The Company, invited guests and VIPs assembled at the appointed hour. The Brigade Chaplain was there for the invocation and benediction. The Company Commander gave the dedicatory speech and cued the Drill Sergeant miscreant to unveil the memorial crapper for all to admire. Then our Colonel took the podium and gave us a piece of his mind. Everyone enjoyed their cake, drink and gazing at the memorial. It was the most memorable ceremony, out of hundreds, that I ever attended at Fort Ord.
Thank goodness the Colonel never caught Drill Sergeant Big Bubba with one of his s**tbirds up in a tree, flapping his arms, shouting "I'm a s**tbird, I'm a s**tbird." He would have come unhinged.