By Jim Harris
Our unit was participating in Desert Warfare training at Fort Irwin, Ca. Our Bradley Fighting Vehicle had blown its head gasket and was sidelined; it was in the shop properly red-tagged while awaiting its turn to be repaired. Head gaskets are no quick fix, so we knew we would be without wheels while the mechanics did their job. We knew we were going to be on our asses for quite some time until we got the Bradley back; it turned out it was down for the whole training cycle.
We were well trained in the handling of unexpected obstacles in the way of our mission with the good soldier’s motto: Adapt and Overcome. We, or maybe I should say “I,” decided to commandeer (borrow) the Supply Officer‘s Deuce. A Deuce is a big truck, weighing over two tons.
My fire team was anxious to continue participating in our war games. This would be difficult if not impossible without the temporary acquisition of new transportation, e.g.; the Supply Officer’s Deuce. I commandeered (borrowed) the vehicle, and picked up my unit members and drove out to the mock battle field to continue our war games training.
Of course, as soon as the Supply Officer realized his vehicle was missing and he was currently on foot, he immediately contacted us requesting the Deuce’s return ASAP.
We informed him that we were doing what we were trained to do: Adapt and Overcome.
We went on to somewhat apologetically inform him that until our Bradley was brought back online, he, unfortunately, would have to manage without his Deuce. Unsatisfied with that disposition, the Supply Officer decided to reacquire the Deuce. While my unit was at an all hands brigade meeting, the Supply Officer took it back…Right from under our noses.
With this new situation presenting itself, we had another opportunity to Adapt and Overcome.
I quickly reasoned out a solution. I noticed that our Company Commander had graciously taken his own vehicle to make the trip to some unknown location. He had left His brand new, newly-delivered HumVee just sitting there looking sad and lonely. The vehicle seemed like it was wishing someone would jump in it and take it out to participate in the training.
I was tempted to commandeer (borrow) it for a couple of days.
Then I remembered a rumor that I had heard. One of the other NCO’s had overheard the Supply Officer asking the Company Commander if he had received his new Humvee. The Company Commander had replied in the negative.
I figured that the Company Commander couldn’t possibly miss something that he still understood that he had never received. I commandeered (borrowed) the Company Commander’s new HumVee., surmising that it wouldn’t be missed for at least as long as it took for my Platoon Leader and the Supply Officer to discover why it hadn’t yet been delivered. I also thought that this sharp-looking, brand new HumVee deserved to participate in the training.
We didn’t get busted until the next time we gathered at “all hands assembly.” The Company Commander immediately saw his HumVee, with us in it, and very quickly noticed the Supply Officer in our Duece. This resulted in the Supply Officer getting busted right along with us.
The Company Commander walked up to our window. We prepared ourselves to be reprimanded, severely.
Instead, he simply asked. “If I get that Deuce back for you, will you pirates leave my other vehicles alone?”
He then went to have a chat with the Supply Officer. We got our Deuce back and we never saw the Supply Officer drive in, or even ride in any other vehicle afterward!
My dismount team became well known during our training cycle because we would not quit!