“The only reason this is included in the daggon’ weekend safety brief is because some daggon’ knucklehead has daggon’ done it before.”

The sentence has been bellowed by every staff noncommissioned officer who has ever stood at the center of a sit-kneel-bend school circle. Inevitably, it follows an outlandish statement at which most in the formation scoff, the sheer absurdity seemingly too alarming to be authentic.

“Don’t get hammered and then try to drive your car through the base gate on just your rims after blowing out your tires.”

“Don’t smoke weed, good to go? But definitely don’t keep full-grown marijuana plants in your barracks room.”

Or, don’t do any number of things that might end up in the news, such as: flying your attack helicopter to pick up your phone that you left at the bar; skipping out on your Waffle House bill and then damaging a display aircraft; or breaking into someone’s home to drunkenly cook a meal in their kitchen.

Valid points all. Now, following an incident in July during a training rotation to Fort Johnson’s Joint Readiness Training Center in Louisiana, Hawaii National Guard soldiers can add “Keep a safe distance between you and coyotes” to that timeless weekend spiel.

This is because on July 21 soldiers assigned to the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team were injured in an isolated training incident when two to four coyotes “interacted with the soldiers due to the coyotes’ territorial nature and potential den in the area,” according to an Army spokesperson.

“But staff sarnt, what does ‘interacted’ mean?” a private first class may ask.

In this case, there is no pleasant connotation. The Guardsmen, who were training with blank ammunition, suffered bite marks in the skirmish, the release said. Each individual was soon cleared after an evaluation, however, and subsequently released from medical care that same day.

Whether the coyote ugly interaction was incited by the soldiers or the animals was not specified. Local game enforcement, meanwhile, neutralized one coyote, the release said, which was then sent to be tested for rabies.

Now, in light of this most recent incident — which is not the outlier you might think it is — senior leaders across the Army can add this to the safety brief and warn doe-eyed junior enlisted that it’d behoove them not to mess with daggon’ wildlife.


Observation Post is the Military Times one-stop shop for all things off-duty. Stories may reflect author observations.

Jon Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.

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