EXT – NCO ACADEMY HQ – DAY
SSG Jones stands gazing at the architecture of the headquarters building for his new unit, pausing for a minute. He then looks at the trimmed rose bushes, sniffs the smell of freshly cut grass, and smiles. Briefly, he closes his eyes and takes in the light April breeze and enjoys a light mist that scatters about the area. He then approaches the structure, opens the door, takes off his beret, walks in, and begins talking to the unit’s secretary.
Hello ma’am. I have been recently assigned to your unit but was not handed orders.
That’s because you have to interview for this job. If you can have a seat over there, I’ll let the Deputy Commandant know you’re here.
Interview? Wow, I’ve never had to do that before. Well, NCO Academies only want a specific kind of NCO to teach future NCOs; so it minimized the potential for bad future leadership in the NCO ranks.
Sarah knocks on a dark wood door that leads to the office next door while the SSG sits in the hall. She proceeds inside without waiting for a response by sticking just her head inside. Her voice cannot be heard, but his can
I’ll be right with him.
SSG Jones continues to wait anxiously.
I hope I get this job. I hope I get his job. My next promotion will be in the bag if I do.
Just then, the door opens and 1SG Baird walks out of his office, looking first, then moves towards the coffee machine and pours a cup of coffee. He slowly puts sugar in the cup and adds cream. He then stirs it and takes a sip before going back into his office, closing the door behind him.
From inside is office
Sarah, send him in please.
Looking confused at first, snaps together and stands up proud. He then sharply walks to the 1SGs door and knocks three hard times before entering.
Good morning First Sergeant. My name is SSG Jones, and I understand you’re in need of another Small Group Instructor.
Squinting his eyes at Jones for a few seconds in disbelief.
SSG, we aren’t looking for instructors. NCOs are looking to be instructors. We don’t recruit our staff here; we select them. You would do well to change your outlook on that one. That said, I’m fine, thanks. So what makes you want to be an SGI?
Well, I’ve given it a lot of thought and I think it would help me get promoted.
You know, I’ve reviewed your records. You did a rather good job while serving as a recruiter. I’m guessing you recruited quite a few new soldiers.
Yes I did, First Sergeant, but I’d really like to put recruiting behind me.
1SG Baird raises his eyebrows and raises his head to look directly at Jones.
SSG JONES (cont)
Well, in order to do well and be successful, I actually sold myself out. It took one of my recruit’s dying in combat to make me see the light of my ways. That’s why I stopped
SSG JONES (cont)
recruiting and came back to the mainstream army. The lying just got to me. It didn’t feel right any more.
And now you want this job because it will “help you get promoted?”
Well, that and it’ll just feel like I’m giving something back. You know, making the NCO Corps stronger in any that I can, so others don’t sell out like I did. We should retain our integrity because only we can give that away.
That’s a damn good answer, Jones. I had my doubts at first, but I like that. Tell you what, Sarah will type up your orders and get you started. Welcome to the Academy.
Jones stands up and quickly moves towards the desk as the First Sergeant stands up. The two shake hands.
Thank you, TOP.
I need you to stop back by tomorrow morning at 9am.
HOOAH! I’ll be here, TOP. Thanks again.
EXT – SSG JONES’ APT – NIGHT
The camera is focused on SSG Jones as he stops and looks into a mirror. Images of his old days while talking to soldiers flash before his eyes. After 2-3 different prospects are seen shaking his hands, he sees PFC Johnson in a coffin with a flag over it. His eyes begin to water. Then he hears “another one bites the dust”.
That’s a dumb ass song!
He points into the mirror at his own reflection.
SSG JONES (cont)
You’ll never ever do that shit again. You is a dumb ass mutha fucka, and I don’t wanna know you anymore.
He closes his eyes and he bows his head in prayer.
He then pulls out a gun and puts the barrel next to his skull.
Blood spatters on the wall but cameras keep focus on the mirror reflection.
Head blown open with blood dripping, Jones’ eyes open and peer into mirror.
Screen turns red. Queen’s song ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST plays.