Updated: March 11, 2012

By RU Contributor Antonio Aguilar


Ah, Cherries, FNGs (Fucking New Guys), we all love them. The Army has an official policy of no hazing and that’s all well and good. Hazing can go too far, but that doesn’t mean you can’t welcome a new guys properly. When I got to my first active unit I didn’t get welcomed properly. Instead I was put in the driver seat of a standard transmission car and told that I was DD for a trip down the Autobahn to Kaiserslautern. It was my first time driving a standard and I drove so bad that the gate guards asked me if I was drunk. It didn’t help that my buddy “Head” was hanging his massive head out the door leaving a trail of puke up the hill to the front gate. Being the knuckle head that I was in my formative Army years, a good “welcoming” might have helped me adapt a little better, but who really knows?

Now I can neither confirm nor deny that the following really happened. If it did, I think it was funny as shit.

Sometime around 2003 or 2004 we might have gotten a new Lieutenant to replace the last one who had a real anger problem. Both were Rangers, and the first one soured me to the thought of another Ranger LT. I might have woken one morning to see some new person lying on a bed in our platoon AO with no blanket or anything else really. He looked like a little kid, and he was sporting a bandage over his chin. I can neither confirm nor deny that the night prior, part of our platoon might have gone on a raid to the unit he was formerly with, stacked in proper raid fashion, and crashing into his sleeping area to zip cuff and blindfold him. I can confirm that had this happened, it would have taken multiple people to wrestle him down and that might have explained the split chin. I can also confirm that he was the kind of leader to take it all in stride, in spite of possible joking threats that he could have been left in that condition in the middle of Haifa Street. He would have seen it as all in good fun, and after our layout, he came over and helped me and my gunner pack our BII back into the truck. Hey, it was better than being taped to the barrel of a tank and left up their all day.

Lieutenants don’t really count as FNGs. A real Cherry is a private, fresh out of basic training or someone still paying on their GI Bill. When three show up at once it’s great, great fun. Of course they would be welcomed in to the unit with all sincerity; my job often being to sit down with them and show them how to put together their MOLLE gear and get all their stuff set up right. There may or may not have been an elaborate plan to jack with these three new guys mind’s before this though. Junior NCOs may have ambushed them outside to make them do a layout, cursing and screaming the whole while. Meanwhile, our platoon sergeant, a self-proclaimed “dirty mick” may or may not have set up a Satanic looking service in our platoon AO, with all of us sitting around like diabolical worshipers, wearing chem-lights taped to our heads and listening in enthralled silence to our PSG as he explained to us that we were about to go raping and pillaging through an Iraqi village (something we never really would do).

“And we will kill their babies…” The FNGs may have stumbled into the dark, blacked out room at this point. “…and we will eat the burned babies and eat the burnt babies and WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU!” This may or may not have been the key word for everyone to leap from their seats and surround the wide eyes, terrified new guys, cursing and screaming and raging at them; chasing them into the LT’s sleeping area. This may or may not have been the same LT welcomed in a similar manner a short time before, and the new guys may or may not have found him seated at a computer, wearing a Stetson and a green wool tanker’s trench coat, typing away in big red font.

Continue reading Cherries

What is your favorite cherry story?




  1. RU Rob

    March 11, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    My first duty station was Berlin, Germany. On the Kaserne, there was a 10 story clock tower that stood above the Staf Duty desk. Our cherries were told that they had clock winding detail at 0900 on Saturday morning. Orders included reporting to the Staff Duty desk in Class A’s,Protective Mask (because of all the pigeon shit, and chemical gloves. They had to be fullly masked before reporting and the site of seeing a cherry Private walking down the hall in A’s and a pro-mask….priceless! The funniest thing was that the entire battalion was in on it and when said Private was walking down the hall, everyone already knew about it and would egg them on! Absolutely Hilarious! Nice Job Aguilar!

  2. Antonio Aguilar

    March 11, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    For my part, my first day in the motor pool involved collecting an exhaust sample from a HMMWV… yeah, it took me a second to even find the exhaust and once I did I found myself walking all over Baumholder to BDE maintenance with a bag full of hot air.

  3. MacPointMan

    March 13, 2012 at 9:09 am

    For the Cherry Private who inevitability screwed the pooch and was late and out of uniform or his uniform was ate the f up.

    Checking the NBC Clock at the Staff Duty Desk all weekend Full MOPP 4. Usually squared the Cherry private away. Was always fun for the Team Leader who was on CQ for the weekend. Hold on I got a cherry checking the NBC Clock at Staff Duty.

    Let that Cherry be late or in the wrong uniform. Can you say Front Back Go in full MOPP 4 for about 15 minutes straight. Glad it wasn’t me.

    Telling Cherry Privates tales of how your cheery was busted and what they will have to do to get theirs busted is always fun as well.

  4. Gunship Load

    March 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Years ago before I left the Army and joined the AF, I was stationed with 1/327 INF at Ft Campbell…

    I got two words for ya…

    Tornado Guard!

    We’d make the FNGs get on top of the barracks and perform “Tornado Guard” in full battle rattle with those old as POS elbow flashlights.

    Ahhh, Good times before all branches became softer and gentler.

  5. Jake M

    March 16, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Made one of mine try to find the keys to the ship, called a friend in the Engine spaces and had the kid running around for about half an hour. finally made him go up to the chief engineer, thankfully he was an salty old prick who said that they were already on the bridge and why was he bothering him right before we left port.

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