1st Sergeant Faces UCMJ Charges for Failing To Piggyback off What Commander Just Said

October 21, 2021Eric Miller
First Sergeant

A local first sergeant will likely lose his career after a botched safety briefing in which he failed to piggyback off of what the commander just said. US Army photo by Sgt. Ken Scar.

FORT CARSON, Colorado — A 4th Infantry Division first sergeant is facing UCMJ charges after failing to piggyback off of what the commander just said. 

Soldiers of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, were left confused and distraught following a botched weekend safety briefing last Friday evening. 

“It was all so surreal,” Pvt. John Martinez, an HHC soldier who was present at the safety briefing, said. “The CO made a point and then paused for Top to jump in and repeat it, only slightly differently, but … he never did. He just stood there.”

First Sergeant
Remember, safety briefings happen because someone did something stupid. Keep an eye on your buddies and stay away from tequila. US Army photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander Henninger.

According to a report released by the 4th Infantry Division inspector general, 1st Sgt. Michael Smale, the senior enlisted leader for 1st BCT’s HHC, failed to reiterate company commander Capt. Derek Johnson’s point during a weekend safety briefing. 

The IG report found that, at approximately 1730 on a Friday, Johnson instructed his company to consume alcohol responsibly this weekend and then took a customary pause to give Smale a chance to reiterate, or “piggyback on,” the commander’s point.

Smale, according to 15 witnesses the IG interviewed, kept quiet. After a lengthy period of silence, Johnson asked 1st Sgt. Smale whether he had anything to add, to which 1st Sgt. Smale replied, “No, sir.”

An officer renders a safety briefing as a first sergeant, not pictured, patiently waits for the opportunity to jump in and repeat what the officer just said. US Army photo by Spc. Randis Monroe.

“All hell broke loose after that,” Martinez said of the event. “The XO passed the fuck out. One of the new privates took off running toward the training area — we still haven’t found him. Two of the guys from supply just started punching people in the face, and I swear our platoon sergeant was crying. At this point, I think Top realized what he had done, but it was too late. The MPs had already shown up and put him in cuffs. It was hard to see.”

Smale faces charges under several articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including charges of disorderly conduct, riot or breach of peace, and treason. Fourth Infantry Division Commander Gen. Rex Forsythe said in a statement, “Accountability is a hot-button issue in today’s military, especially from our senior leadership. The 4th ID succeeds where others have failed by maintaining accountability at all levels — top to bottom. We emphasize equity here. There is no soldier, at any rank or stratum, who is exempt from the responsibilities of his station or immune from the consequences of failing to meet them.”

A buck sarge who clearly needs to work on his public speaking. He’s losing them. US Army Reserve photo by Master Sgt. Ryan C. Matson.

In a statement released soon after the incident, Command Sgt. Maj. Bart Matthis, 4th ID’s senior enlisted man, confirmed Forsythe’s statement was accurate, “just to piggyback off of what the general just said.”

Disclaimer: This article is satire — a work of fiction. To our knowledge, there has never been a first sergeant who has failed to piggyback off of what the commander just said. 

Read Next: ‘The Batman’ Trailer Glimpses Dark Knight’s Next Chapter, and It Looks Raw AF

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
Grizzly Forge BRCC shirt
Limited Edition: Grizzly Forge Blades on an Awesome BRCC Shirt

Lucas O'Hara of Grizzly Forge has teamed up with BRCC for a badass, exclusive Shirt Club T-shirt design featuring his most popular knife and tiomahawk.

BRCC Limited Edition Josh Raulerson Blackbeard Skull Shirt
From Naval Service to Creative Canvas: BRCC Veteran Artist Josh Raulerson

Coffee or Die sits down with one of the graphic designers behind Black Rifle Coffee's signature look and vibe.

Medal of Honor is held up.
Biden Will Award Medal of Honor to Army Helicopter Pilot Who Rescued Soldiers in Vietnam Firefight

Biden will award the Medal of Honor to a Vietnam War Army helicopter pilot who risked his life to save a reconnaissance team from almost certain death.

dear jack mandaville
Dear Jack: Which Historic Battle Would You Want To Witness?

Ever wonder how much Jack Mandaville would f*ck sh*t up if he went back in time? The American Revolution didn't even see him coming.

west point time capsule
West Point Time Capsule Yields Centuries-Old Coins

A nearly 200-year-old West Point time capsule that at first appeared to yield little more than dust contains hidden treasure, the US Military Academy said.

Ouija Board aircraft carrier
Low-Tech ‘Ouija Boards’ Have Helped Aircraft Carriers Operate for Decades

Since the 1920s, a low-tech tabletop replica of an aircraft carrier’s flight deck has been an essential tool in coordinating air operations.

Army vs. Navy mascot
The Navy Goat vs. the Army Mule: Mascot Origin Stories

For nearly as long as the Army-Navy football rivalry, the academies’ hoofed mascots have stared each other down from the sidelines. Here are their stories.

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
Contact Us
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved