What happens after a Gunner chews a Gunny?
At the smoke pit, Staff Sergeants Ariel Puzo, Samantha Caan, and Sergeant Frederico Ruiz enjoyed their last few moments of their smoking breaks. Suddenly, the hatch to the shop burst open like a flash grenade had exploded.
“What the hell?” Ariel said.
“Goddamn,” Ruiz said low and raspy before taking another pull off of his cigarette.
“Is that the–”
“Gunner and Gunny McClinton,” Staff Sergeant Caan said. “They’ve been at it all morning, about what I do not know.”
Gunnery Sergeant McClinton stood at parade rest as Chief Warrant Officer Tyree Winters lambasted him. They stood a good eighty yards away from the staff sergeants and the sergeant.
“I know what they’re arguing,” Samantha said. “The Gunner’s all like, ‘I told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times only docs on these grounds, Gunny!’”
Sergeant Ruiz stomped out his square. He said, “No, it’s more like, ‘If I ever see you trying on these red and gold bars without earning them, there’s going to be hell to pay!’”
The Gunner continued to shout the breaks off of the Gunny. The trio of NCO and SNCOs had all finished their cigarettes, but not their breaks. “You’re both wrong,” Ariel said. The Gunner is chewing Gunny because he didn’t have his report on his desk on time.”
“Really? All that because he missed a deadline?”
“We all know that the Corps favors the punctual.”
“Indeed,” all of them said in unison.
“There’s still going at it. This is more than just some report. This is damn personal,” Ruiz said.
Finally, the Gunner blew past the gunnery sergeant and reentered the building. Gunny collected his cover which had blown off in the wind and dusted it off a bit. He slowly went back inside the shop.
“Whoa!” Said Samantha. “That was some goddamn fireworks and it’s not even noon!”
“I think that we should tread lightly around both of them. The Gunner’s obviously still ticked and we all know with Gunny, it rolls down hill,” Ariel said.
“That’s right. I’m not about to have my head taken off because I missed a belt loop on my trousers,” Ruiz said.
“Look! There’s Gunny now!”
“Yes, Gunnery Sergeant!”
The staff sergeant quickly knocked any ashes off of her cammie blouse and straightened her hair before running to the shop. Ruiz and Puzo looked at each other and kept faces as cold as an ice pick in a freezer.
“What do you think she’s going to get?”
“Something worse than what the Gunner gave Gunny.”
Inside the shop the Gunny looked at the Gunner and smiled. They had planned the whole chewing session as a mind game to get their SNCOs and NCOs squared away and and instill a sense of fear and urgency into the lower ranks. Once the levels of anger had thoroughly piqued, it was like an avalanche falling on the junior Marines.
“Wait, Ruiz! Where are you going?” Ariel asked.
“I’m going to my car. I’m going to wait this one out. But you can go ahead and get yelled at if you want to!”
Samantha ran the rest of the way to the shop hatch. She caught her breath and then looked at the gunnery sergeant straight in the eye.
“Staff Sergeant, what did you see out there?”
The Gunner was in the other room trying not to laugh.
“Out where, Gunny?”
“Out from the side of Everest. I saw you out there by the smoke pit. You were the most senior Marine out there and you couldn’t move your little nicotine fix buddies to somewhere more proper?”
“That is all,” Gunny said waving a hand. He went to the Gunner’s office where he and the Winters shared a silent laugh.
Samantha then rushed over to her corporals and lance corporals and began yelling at them.
Gunny McClinton then walked back to the hatch. “Puzo!” He motioned his finger towards him. The hatch slammed and the Gunny walked into the room with a slight grin on his face.