Borepatch has a link to a post that reminds me of a story of my own. Some of the details of this story have been altered, because I am not sure how classified all of it still is. Still a good story.

While doing time in the Navy, I spent some time temporarily assigned to security. I carried a 1911, and my job as an armed sentry was easy: Follow the orders of the security officer and his designees, and no one else. Since we had nuclear weapons present, the Marines guarded the nukes, we guarded everything else. I hated it.

The authority of an armed sentry is nearly absolute, otherwise a person intent on doing bad things would merely dress up as a general and order the sentry to let them in. The second principle when you are in a nuclear command is that there is no such thing as a hostage. We were instructed to shoot through intended hostages to hit the target, but the safety and security of the weapons was absolute. When a security alert is declared, everyone who is not on the security detail is trained to turn away from the security team and either go prone, or face first against the wall. I have seen marines strike and handcuff officers who didn’t want to be ordered around by enlisted. The Navy took this security seriously.

My best story was the time that my partner and I (we were in pairs) were told to go to the safe and escort this officer and his briefcase filled with classified briefing papers from the safe to the place where the briefing would be held. We were told that at no time was this officer and his papers to be allowed out of our sight, and deadly force was authorized to protect them.

When we arrived at the location where the briefing was to be held, we were told by the officer that he would call us when the briefing was over, so that we could escort him back to the safe. That was when I pointed out to him that my orders were that I not let him or the papers out of my sight.The conversation went like this:

Officer: “You are not cleared for this information.”
DM: “Sir, I have a security clearance, and I have my orders.”
Officer: “I don’t care what clearance you think you have, you are not cleared for this. I am countermanding those orders, and I order you to leave.” 
DM: “Sir, I cannot take orders from anyone except my direct superiors. I have to stay.” (my partner at this time is whispering in my ear that maybe we should just go, before we get  in trouble)
Officer: “If you do not leave, I will have the Chief Petty Officer remove you.”
DM: “Sir, it is my duty to point out to you that I am carrying a sidearm, while you and the chief petty officer are not.” (putting hand on pistol)
At this point, my partner is having a seizure, because I just threatened to shoot an officer. The officer grabs the telephone, calls the security officer, and demands that we be brought up on charges. That didn’t work, and we stayed for the briefing.

I was sent back to my regular job less than a week later, three months before I was supposed to be.

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Borepatch · May 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm


Ted N · May 18, 2012 at 4:19 am

Badass. Love it.

Anonymous · May 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm

So – Doing your job correctly resulted in you getting out of a job you hated….win/win

DaddyBear · May 18, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Reminds me of something I used to hear on occasion – "Don't mistake your rank with my authority". I've seen bird colonels get jacked up when they tried to bully their way into a SCIF in their AO.

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