7. October 2020
Military , Humor
At some point during my tenure with the 511th MI Company, I was requested by some high-ranking US military officials to help review the readiness of 11th ACR troops. The time was in the late 1980s, and a delegation could show up at any time for a surprise inspection during the drawdown of nuclear armaments in Germany. This was important work, and our senior leadership needed to know that our troops would do the right thing when the time came. On the other hand, they also needed to know that our troops would prevent bad things from happening, too.
With that mind, I was dressed in a Soviet Major's Uniform (from the Tank Corps), assigned a Russian "translator," and I was asked to pretend to be a particularly "difficult" guest during a faux inspection.
To be more specific, these high-ranking officials asked me to try getting into all sorts of mischief in order to evaluate how the unsuspecting 11th ACR troops would react. I'm the kind of guy that you don't have to ask twice - I could get into lots of trouble rather quickly, and my victims probably would have been seriously ticked off if they ever suspected that I wasn't who my official escorts said I was.
My translator was SPC Meyers, who was a good friend of mine from the 511th. We were both passably fluent in Russian, which was more than was necessary to fool our unsuspecting victims. All of our personal conversations in Russian were about what was going on, how much fun we were having, where to go for lunch after we were done, what we should do to mess with people, etc. However, whenever I would say something in Russian, my friend would "translate" something entirely different (and often exasperating) to our hosts.
Here's an example:
|Me ||[Saying something innocuous in Russian to my translator.] |
|Translator ||"The major would like to see inside an Abrams tank." |
|11th ACR dude ||"No, that's off limits." |
|Translator ||[Saying something innocuous in Russian to me.] |
|Me ||[Saying something innocuous in Russian, but louder and angrier.] |
|Translator ||"The major is very upset; he says that's part of his inspection duties." |
|11th ACR dude ||"I'm really sorry, and uh - can someone help me? What do I do now?" |
|Translator ||[Apologetically in Russian to me: "He'd kick our butts if he knew we were so full of crap."] |
|Me ||[Angrily in Russian: "Yeah, but this is so much fun. Still, we'd better not show our faces around here for a few weeks."] |
Ah, good times.