23 January 2013

Never Bring a Flashlight to a Knife Fight

On a recent dark and stormy afternoon in mil-contracting Cubistan, the electricity started going on the fritz. The few operable overhead lights suddenly flicked out, and everyone's Uninterruptible Power Supplies (U.P.S.) chirped on. Someone yelled: "Save early, save often!" After a couple of minutes, the power came back up.

Five minutes later, we ran through the same cycle. Then again. "My dad used to say that the third time the power goes off, it goes off for a long time," another co-worker said, out there in the darkness. Dad turned out to be right.

Once again, my cushy stateside office job echoes working in a Tactical Operations Center ("TOC") downrange. The comparison is particularly appropriate, given the number of fellow 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division veterans with whom I now work daily. The only difference now is, we don't play rock-paper-scissors to see who gets to fuel up the generators.

I took the opportunity to take a powder, finding my way using small L.E.D. flashlight I carry in my satchel of tricks. A fellow Red Bull veteran was conducting a similar operation, illuminated in his task using a similar device. "Why is it that only the Army guys bring headlamps to work," one of us asked.

Out of the darkness came the disembodied voice of another Red Bull, a current member of 1st Battalion, 194th Field Artillery (1-194th F.A.): "I only have a knife," he said, "but I'm pretty sure I could use it to get at least two flashlights pretty quick ..."

Point taken!


  1. HahA. Love that! On another note...my dad said the same thing about electricity.

    1. I don't know about you, but I keep finding out my dad was right about a lot of things. Not that I thought so back in the day, mind you ...


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