One Way To Become A Scout


Active member
Here's a story from Vietnam about how one guy became an Army Scout. One day my Scout Platoon got a new replacement. This guy knew absolutely nothing about recon or patrolling or even basic Infantry tactics. Of course I had to ask him who he ticked off to end up out there in the middle of the crap with the rest of us grunts. Nobody ever volunteered for it.
I was right, he was no Infantryman to begin with. He was sent to Vietnam as a clerk. As soon as he got in country he was assigned to a sergeant that everyone called "Sergeant Pineapple" because he was Hawaiian.
Sgt. Pineapple had a reputation for yelling very loudly but not being understood. The first time our new guy (A.K.A. FNG for F'ing New Guy) was put on detail, Sgt. Pineapple screamed something unintelligible at the whole group of FNGs. After he left, they all tried to figure out what the guy said. All they could really understand was "burn the sh'tters". During those days that was the way latrines were cleaned out. There was a big metal tub under each latrine and every day the unfortunate detail would have to drag the tubs out from under the latrines, bring them to a designated area and pour gasoline in them and set them on fire to burn out the contents and slide them back under the latrines. The FNGs didn't know how to do this, all they heard was Sgt. Pineapple screaming "burn the sh'tters". So they found the fuel and sure enough they poured it on the latrines and burned them to the ground. Once everyone figured out that it was not incoming enemy fire that was doing this, it was the FNGs, Sgt. Pineapple made sure that the clerk became an Infantry Scout and was sent to what he thought was the worst area in country. BTW, that FNG/clerk became a damned good Scout too and he's been my friend ever since. Oh and he hates it when I tell that story.
I was at my local Military Surplus store today, and in with the Ranger, SEAL, Airborne, and other pathces was a "Sh*t Burner" patch with the image of a guy stirring the gasoline into the tub.
I'm lucky there's no medal for receiving an ass chewing. All the clusters would weigh me down to the point I couldn't move.