The Rifle

Sergeant Major (SGM) Behr called a meeting at the Jump Tactical Operations Center (TOC), just after midnight on the last day of our exercise.  We were all tired but looking forward to heading back into garrison. The SGM wanted to make sure we all knew the priorities of work for clearing the field and once we were back in the unit area.  Smart Business.

As Headquarters Company (HHC) First Sergeant (1SG), responsible for the largest company, much of the work fell to me.  To keep my company focused and organized would take all my skill and attention to detail.

As the SGM, the other 1SGs, and I huddled around the SGM's vehicle, I leaned my rifle against it while I pulled out my map and notebook.

The meeting over, I packed up my notebook and map, moved back to my vehicle.  The driver and I headed back to the company area.  About a quarter of a mile down the trail, I realized I had forgotten my rifle.

Big Thing.  If it was found, I would be the 1SG who forgot his rifle.  If it was lost, the whole Battalion would have to stay in the field until it was found.  Either way, my career was over.

I told my driver to turn around and head back.  I spotted the tree the SGM's vehicle had been parked under, biggest one in the area, but the vehicle was gone.  Uh-oh.

I had my driver park and I walked to the tree. 

As I moved in the dark to where the vehicle was parked, I tripped over my rifle, right where it fell when the CSM drove away.

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