Trombley keeps walking, past Pappy's team, where Poke's still talking. "I'll tell you what is fucked. Because of that Dylan Klebold wannabe, we got an inquiry on the whole platoon." Pappy points out that Two's not the only platoon with serious issues, looking at Kocher: "You all got your hands full with Captain America." Espera laughs: "Every time he hits a pebble, he thinks the whole company's being ambushed. Captain America's gone, Dog. You see that look in his eyes? Like he's afraid if he takes a shit, hajji's gonna crawl out of his ass." Kocher is sad and agrees. "We got the best platoon commander," Pappy complains, "And the whole fucking Battalion's on his ass because he did the right thing and stood up to Encino Man." Espera notes, not for the first time, that it's command that's going to get them all killed. "Maybe Brad's got the right idea, hiding underneath his Humvee." Brad keeps pounding. Rudy is quiet with him. Rudy knows best.
Team Three is hanging out with Doc Bryan -- Baptista's giving Holsey a Portuguese lesson -- when Casey Kasem and Encino Man walk up. Everybody gets ready to duck their heads and listen to Encino Man's blathering for awhile, instead of actually working and getting their shit together. I do love his little speeches. "Been through a lot these past few days. I know there's a lot of strong feelings. I want you to think of me as the kind of commander who's not only tough and aggressive, but who also cares." Baptista bites his lip with disinterest; Holsey doesn't look up, just waits for him to do whatever it is he thinks he's doing and go away again. "I want to hear exactly what your concerns are. What I mean is that I want you to talk freely. Forget my bars for a moment." Finally, he calls on somebody. Holsey asks if it's true the Battalion flag was lost with the supply truck that Godfather abandoned for no reason.
Casey Kasem is like, so sad. Because the important part, still, is not that they abandoned their food and ammunition for no fucking reason: not the supply truck for what it was and what it carried, but the meaningless thing that is on it. Life isn't easy when you're stupid, but it can be. I mean, there are a million reasons to join the military, and more than half of them are awesome. But if you join the military because you're so weak and dumb that you need somebody to tell you what to do every second of every day -- if you've realized that fact and have made choices such that you realize the only antidote for the chaos of life is to give up personal agency altogether -- then the Marines have a place for you. And all the motto bullshit in the world is pointed right at you, to make you feel good about it. And honestly, any machine works better if the cogs don't complain, so the system is developed such that this lack of individual thought is encouraged, and necessary. Without checks and balances, though, you have no self-correction. You end up with Encino Man and Casey Kasem in charge, swearing up and down -- and meaning it -- that flags > food. For them, this is true. It doesn't make them good leaders, but it does make them good Marines. "Hard as it is for me to say, the First Reconnaissance colors proudly carried into battle since Vietnam... Are reported missing. I can tell you the loss of these colors is something that weighs heavily on Godfather's shoulders."