The Sergeant

On completing some reconnaissance, a certain army platoon was headed back to base when the lieutenant received word that enemy forces had attacked a village and taken civilian prisoners. This platoon’s current location was nearest the village. The orders came for this platoon to engage the enemy as quickly as possible, rescue the captives, and bring them to base.

The lieutenant gathered the platoon and gave them the news. Many eyes gazed back at him steadily. He laid out a plan for engaging with enemy forces and rescuing the prisoners. Then he asked, “Who believes we can accomplish this mission?”

Many of the steady gazes faltered. But one of the sergeants stood. “I do, sir.”

“And do your men feel the same way, Sergeant?”

After scanning the faces of his squad members, the sergeant looked back at the lieutenant. “Yes, sir!”

“Then your squad will take the lead position in the attack,” replied the lieutenant. “You will clear the way for the other squads to ensure that the rescue is successful.”

“Yes, sir!” answered the sergeant with a firm salute. Likewise, his soldiers rose and saluted.

“Very good,” the lieutenant said. “Now head to the mess hall and then turn in early. We have a big day tomorrow. The rest of you stay here, and I’ll make the rest of the assignments.”

The next day, the mission went as planned and was successful. No members of the platoon were lost, though many suffered injuries.

The lieutenant saw to it that every member of the squad that expressed confidence in the mission received official commendations for their bravery and leadership.

Photo by Lukas on

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