Monday, September 21, 2015

The Joint Task Force Combat Commando Pillow Brigade of Fluffy Death

Lawrence Hall

The Joint Task Force Combat Commando Pillow Brigade of Fluffy Death

During the American Revolution, West Point, nee’ Fort Clinton, nee’ Fort Arnold, was fortified in order to keep the British Navy from controlling the Hudson River. The position was so important that the British paid General Arnold a great deal of money and a generalship in the British Army to betray the soldiers in his command. The plot failed but General Arnold got his British general’s uniform and maybe a nice pillow.

The matter of the Great West Point Pillow Fight of 2015 seems to have gone to sleep in the past few weeks. The thoughtful reader will remember that West Point ends its summer training with a pillow fight, just like the Marines, the 300 Spartans, the Samurai, the SEALS, the S.A.S., and the Spetsnaz.

The West Point Ye Olde Army Pillow Fight is said to be a century-old tradition. Several West Pointers from the 1970s report never having heard of it. Maybe West Point is like other schools, inventing brand-new old-time traditions every week or so.

One does not easily imagine Meade, Sherman, Lee, Patton, Pershing, Eisenhower, Abrams, Clark, Merrill, Ridgeway, and Haig pillow-fighting. Or their commandant ordering them to do so.

This year some of the lads decided that placing hard objects such as their helmets into the pillow cases would add to the merriment. Emergency room admissions followed. Nothing says Army Strong like breaking a fellow soldier’s arm or skull through a Benedict Arnold-ish dirty trick. In future wars these young officers will certainly know how much they can trust each other.

Since this is how future officers of the U.S. Army go all frat boy on each other, will they respect the service and dignity of the young enlisted men and women under their command?

The Russian army and air force are now active in Syria, and the Chinese navy is poking about in the ocean off Alaska. Russian bombers play double-dog-dare along the air spaces of free countries in Europe. In response, West Point is training the future leaders of the American army through Cub Scout hijinks.

Perhaps that’s in Sun Tzu’s The Art of Pillow.

“This is my pillow. There are many like it. But this one is mine.”

No doubt our young soldiers posted to Whose-Stupid-Idea-Was-This-Istan make their way into camp after exhausting patrols and small-unit action in the dust and heat and then amuse themselves with a jolly pillow fight.

Just like their superior officers.

The superintendent of West Point, a modern, sensitive sort of general who refers to soldiers as teammates, promised a full investigation, followed by short-sheeting the perpetrators.

Jokes aside, the New York Times reports that thirty cadets were injured in the pillow fight, with twenty-four of them suffering from concussion. In a pillow fight.

A pillow fight.

Thirty casualties.

In a pillow fight.

What would the odious Benedict Arnold think of that?


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