‘I Grabbed the Wrong Box’: Chemical Specialist Makes Critical Error at Unit Color Run

September 20, 2022Eric Miller
Seriously though, how much cooler would these fun runs be with a little noxious gas tossed in here and there? U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl Natalie Mullin.

Seriously though, how much cooler would these fun runs be with a little noxious gas tossed in here and there? U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl Natalie Mullin.

It was a grave day for the United States Army after several soldiers were injured, with many more left eyebrowless and weird-looking following a mishap during a unit color run and cookout at Fort Polk, Louisiana.

Last Friday, soldiers from Echo Company, 2-12 Support Battalion, voluntarily participated in a mandatory unit color run and cookout meant to boost morale and finally get the chaplain off the commander's ass.

“They had just finished up a weeklong field training exercise and wanted to celebrate with a color run and cookout,” said Chief Warrant Officer Matt Olsen, who did neither the field training exercise nor the fun run, making him the only uninjured soldier in all of 2-12. “Yeah, I don’t go to that kind of shit. This is why.”

During the event, Pvt. Brian Coontz, a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialist assigned to Echo Company, was tasked by his squad leader with retrieving a container of pre-mixed yellow powder stored in the CBRN supply closet and dispersing it on participants of the color run. While details of the investigation have yet to be released, Chief Olsen told Coffee or Die Magazine that some “dipshit private” (Coontz) accidentally grabbed several dozen canisters of lethal mustard gas — mistaking it for the harmless yellow fun-run powder — and then sprayed it directly in the faces of exhausted runners just as they were crossing the finish line.

Several soldiers were severely injured, but Olsen has yet to provide any more details. He referred all further questions to the Echo Company executive officer to answer when the XO awakens from his coma. Most of the victims are expected to survive, but many were permanently disfigured by the mustard gas and left resembling a slightly less melted-looking Nancy Pelosi. One soldier was reportedly so dramatically transformed that his mother actually stopped loving him.

Asked how an expert on chemical and biological warfare could have possibly confused deadly mustard gas for powdered dye, Coontz was apologetic. “I'm sorry,” he said. “Guess I grabbed the wrong box, huh?”

Satire disclaimer: This article is a work of satire. It's fiction. The events depicted in this article did not actually happen and the soldiers pictured above are not drowning in mustard gas ... we hope.

Read Next: The Greatest Generation: 5 Essential Books About World War II

Eric Miller
Eric Miller

Eric Miller is a former Army Combat Medic from Parkersburg, West Virginia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and has worked with homeless populations and veteran services throughout the state. He is an avid outdoorsman and has recently become interested in woodworking.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Curtis LeMay
Curtis LeMay: The World War II General Who Firebombed Japan

Who exactly was Gen. Curtis LeMay? And how did he become the commander who razed more than 60 Japanese cities during World War II?

eric smith marine corps commandant nominee
Highly Decorated Marine Officer Nominated To Be Next Commandant

President Joe Biden has nominated a highly decorated Marine officer who has been involved in the transformation of the force to be the next Marine Corps commandant.

USS Arizona
Profile of a Ship: USS Arizona

When the USS Arizona sank, it took 1,177 crew members with it. Today it remains beneath the water as a memorial to all those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor.

b1 bombers bosnia
US Bombers Fly Over Bosnia in Sign of Support Amid Continued Secessionist Threats

A pair of U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flew low over Sarajevo and several other Bosnian cities...

SR-71 Blackbird
SR-71 Blackbird: The Spy Plane That Could Outrun Missiles

Lockheed Martin’s SR-71 Blackbird was a government secret for years. Now retired, a newer version plans to take its place.

medal of honor recipient remains returned
Missing 73 Years, Medal of Honor Recipient's Remains Return To Georgia

Soldiers of the 9th Infantry Regiment made a desperate retreat as North Korean troops closed in arou...

dear jack
Dear Jack: My Battalion Is Out of Control

In this installment of “Dear Jack,” Marine veteran and amateur life coach Jack Mandaville advises a lieutenant colonel on how to restore order in the lower ranks.

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved