Ask the Barracks Lawyer
Volume I, Issue 2
Each week soldiers approach me in order to get advice on everything from reprimands and counseling statements, what kind of lingerie to buy for the wives of guys who are deployed, to the best way to get a profile. As the senior E-4 in my company, I’m happy to mentor these young millennials on basic life skills because, let’s face it, living in the barracks is hard. Since I get so many requests, I thought I’d post some of the questions and answers here for the benefit of everyone. Think of this as a frequently asked questions section for all the ways a soldier can get in – and out – of trouble. For your convenience, my PFC placed a drop box next to the DFAC where all can anonymously ask questions you’re too afraid to ask. Consider it like an Amnesty Box for life.
I am the last Generation X Specialist in the United States Army. I’ve held five military occupational specialties, I’ve been reclassed four times, I’ve received three Article 15s, and I’m still here so you better listen up. And before you ask, I could be a noncommissioned officer anytime I want; I just don’t want to.
The question for this week comes from a dumb ass private (DAP) in the RSTA Squadron. It reads as follows:
Dear Barracks Lawyer:
I just dropped my pistol into the porta-shitter. It was supposed to have a lanyard attached to it pursuant to the company SOP, but mine was not attached. I was practicing moves that I saw Keanu Reeves do in the movie John Wick, and it slipped out of my hand and in between my crank and the toilet seat. I’m usually pretty good at this, and I’m not sure how it happened. Maybe there was still some Vaseline on my hands from before. Anyhow, it’s sitting in there barrel down in a great big turd like the freakin’ sword in the stone (except it’s a Beretta in shit!) and I’m not sure whether I should dive in after it or what. I’ve never been in trouble but my squad leader calls me a dumb-ass private all the time even though I’m a specialist. Please help, I’m not sure what to do.
Well, DAP, you are not the first soldier to drop his pistol into a porta-shitter while imitating John Wick. Well, actually you might be. I know hand and arm fatigue can be a serious issue during cleanup after a porta-shitter visit. For more on that topic see my pamphlet: ‘Blue Balls – don’t be a victim.’ But nevertheless calm down. The first thing you need to do is to secure that area so that your pistol doesn’t suffer further fecal trauma.
Second, there are a couple of things you need to know. If you don’t recover your pistol you could be punished under Article 108 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which means that if your pistol is worth less than $500, you could face one year in jail and a bad conduct discharge. Once they punish you, however, they’ll take your money using a process called Financial Liability Investigation of Property Loss, or FLIPL. So, if you don’t retrieve your sidearm, you could be looking at some pretty serious consequences. So, this is BL Rule 3, retrieve your pistol if it falls in the blue juice.
So much for your legal advice. Now, let me give you some life advice young man. There is a guy named Alvarez in Engineer Company who can make a toilet seat that fits the end of an ammo crate exactly. He made me one, and I take it with me whenever I’m in the field, so I don’t use the porta-shitters. One time, at NTC, I dropped a Maxim magazine in the juice and I never went back. If you don’t want to go that route, then you could always just follow the company order if it isn’t too much trouble for your dumb ass. You also have to understand basic tactics to survive in the Army. If you can’t find cover or concealment you need to have unlimited visibility. In a porta-shitter everyone outside can see you – but you can’t see them. You’re a sitting duck for FOB cow-tipping. Don’t be a victim!
Finally, you might want to check out Michael Biehn and Val Kilmer in Tombstone if you want to see some real skilz. Wick is for amateurs.
Friends, keep sending me your questions, or just put them in my dropbox by the DFAC. If you need me I’ll be with the medic getting my profile reviewed.
Annex A – Barracks Lawyer Rules
Rule 1 – With some exceptions, don’t believe anything you hear at West Point.
Rule 2 – Officers don’t do paperwork because they are busy doing officering. They make NCOs do it instead.
Rule 3 – If you drop a sensitive item in the porta-shitter, you have to retrieve it.
Article 107 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice covers “false official statements.” As our name implies, we are a satire site and you shouldn’t take anything we say seriously. You should, however, mercilessly mock anyone who does. If you’re looking for real new, feel free to visit our sister site, The Havok Journal. And if you’re looking for real legal advice… never ask a barracks lawyer.