The 182 soldiers stand at attention in the main meeting hall. Jason Bjorn, First Sergeant and commander of this training camp, limps onto the stage with his familiar dragging gait. He looks over his trainees with the tired eyes of someone who has seen too much. With a heavy sigh, he begins his speech.
“At ease. Today… Today you will all receive your first mission. Many of you will find your first deployment… disappointing, considering how anxious you are to engage the enemies in combat. Though I admire and encourage your enthusiasm, I feel the need to temper your naievity with these warnings: ‘Your enemies are powerful. Your enemies are dangerous. Never underestimate your enemies, or you will die.’ But you have something to stand against these enemies; you have your allies, your friends, and your training here. Keep these close to your heart, and you will find yourself safe, even in the most dire of times.”
He heaves another heavy sigh, catching his breath from the speech. “Platoon one, meet outside the mess hall at 1100 for deployment information. Platoon two, meet at the shooting range at 1100 for deployment information. Platoon three…” He continues on for another minute, issuing orders. “… And remember, you are not to speak with the other platoons about the details of your deployment. The less people who know where you’re going, the less likely an enemy ambush will await you en route. Dismissed!” He hobbles off stage, his grey hair and multitude of scars making him appear much older than his tender 63 years.