He goes around the base to give things an inspection, hoping he can make a few changes to improve things. Only half way through his inspection, he finds a private stood next to a bench, seemingly doing nothing.

Commander: Private, what are you standing around for?
Private: Sir! My orders are to stand here and make sure nobody sits on this bench, sir!
Commander: …Why?
Private: I’m not sure, sir! I was just told to do this by the previous commander!

Utterly confused, but unwilling to let the mystery lie, the commander makes a call to the previous commander, now promoted to brigadier.

Commander: Brigadier, sir. I just gained control of Fort Naimheer, and I was wondering why you ordered a man to stand next to a bench and tell people not to sit on it.
Brigadier: Oh, that guy? Yeah, I didn’t give the order to begin with. I just figured the other guy had a reason for it, so I left it alone.

Now even more confused, the commander makes contact with the general who led the base before him.

Commander: General, sir. I just gained control of Fort Naimheer, and I was wondering why you ordered a man to stand next to a bench and tell people not to sit on it.
General: Huh? Oh, that? It was a standing order. Before my time, you see.
Commander: Figured as much. Do you know who first issued the order?
General: Oh, I believe so. He’s retired by now, but I could get you in contact with him.

Finally, the commander makes contact with the veteran, a former commander like himself, who first made the order.

Commander: Hello, sir. Sorry to interrupt your retirement, but I just gained control of Fort Naimheer. Is there a reason why there’s a man standing next to a bench and telling people not to sit on it?
Veteran: …Is the paint still wet?

  • @mondo_brondo
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    349 months ago

    Poor guy has been carrying out his orders flawlessly for multiple commanders and is still a private. Someone give this guy a promotion.

    • @DontTreadOnBigfoot
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      99 months ago

      Nah, he’s exactly where you want him.

      A private is expected to follow orders, and he’s shown that ability in spades.

      What he has not shown is initiative, which is expected from noncoms.

    • @[email protected]OP
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      29 months ago

      Does he deserve one, though? He hasn’t done anything useful, he’s just been standing next to a bench.

      • Calvinball ChampM
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        18 months ago

        There’s a not entirely implausible chain of events from this private guarding the bench to a post-apocalypse cult centered around that same very bench.