During the training we were reminded that when sleeping in the woods at night, be sure to sleep at the base of a large tree. Drivers may or may not be wearing night vision equipment, and may or may not be familiar with the roads. Sleep next to a tree, and you will wake up in the morning. Even the most misguided driver will avoid a large tree, thus assuring your own safety. This reminder was repeated in light of recent events.
An Army Major had been assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division as an Observer Controller. One night he decided to bed down on what he deemed to be an unused old trail. Perhaps the random driver took a wrong turn in the darkness, or perhaps he took a shortcut from point A to point B, but somehow this driver found himself on a road with a few disconcerting bumps. He continued to drive on.
A young private assigned as the Major's radio operator roused himself from sleep--at the base of a large tree several feet from the trail--to discover the body of his charge. One poor decision took the life of the Major--a man with a college degree, a commision from Congress, and years of responsibilities including reminding trainees to sleep away from roads.
He was pronounced DRT (Dead Right There).
Eric B: "What happened to the sergeant who was assigned to keep the major out of trouble?"
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Ben writes, skeptically: "I did OPFOR for 4 years. The only time OCs are without a HMMWV is if they're observing a particular platoon. There's just no point for an O/C to be by himself, or with just one other person. Also, big tracked vehicles that could squash someone are really, really loud, so the kid who was supposed to be with him would have woken up."