Even though he's already a corporal!”

“As for my friend in another squad, he's not even being treated as a person.
He's a total worker ant of his squad!”

Jang Jae-Hwan nodded slowly.
“Our ahjussi does have the tendency to drive us mad, but he had never made our lives a living hell, did he? He managed to eliminate all the irregularities in our squad, but what will happen if they are revived? None of you idiots will get to breathe freely again, you hear me?”


“Our ahjussi was subjected to all sorts of nonsense, but he never once did that to us, his juniors.
Be thankful, alright?”

‘Of course, the seniors couldn't really bully Kang Jin-Ho, anyway…’

Jang Jae-Hwan's follow-up murmur to himself was too quiet, and everyone else missed it as a result.

The squad members chuckled and began to sing Kang Jin-Ho's praises next.

“Let's be honest here, everyone.
Our ahjussi is a certifiable legend in our company, isn't he?”

“That's right.
Just think about all the leave permits he had swept up for us… Uh-whew~!”

Kang Jin-Ho was like a vacation collecting machine.
Whenever he went off on a training exercise, he would come back home with leave permits.
It didn't matter whether he was participating in a combat ability assessment or artillery exercises; he aced them all.

“…And he's the real legend in athletics competitions, isn't he?”

Starting from soccer to basketball and even wrestling…
Kang Jin-Ho had participated in every category eligible and had figuratively hoovered up all the available prizes, which were leave permits.
He had won in everything he was in during the inter-battalion competition, then moved on to the inter-brigade competition to do the same.
He didn't stop there, though, as he had also cleaned house during the inter-division competition.

“Didn't the HQ want to change his assignment or something? To make him a commissioned officer?”

“I heard Sergeant Kang Jin-Ho refused, though.”

“…Well, he's one impressive specimen, alright.”

After winning all those leave permits, Kang Jin-Ho distributed them to his squad members.
He would have probably spent most of his military service on holiday outside the base by using up those permits for himself, but he didn't do that.

Every member of the 3rd Squad had at least enjoyed a free leave, thanks to Kang Jin-Ho's generosity.
That was why they all admired and respected him even if they whined and complained sometimes.

“Uhm… By the way, sir? When Sergeant Kang leaves us, wouldn't our squad instantly lose its standing in the company?”

Jang Jae-Hwan cocked an eyebrow.
“Say what now?”

“I mean, isn't that the truth? The absolute being in the company is about to disappear for good, after all…”

“Hey! I'm still here, aren't I!”

“Squad Commander, sir…
You alone ain't gonna cut it, sir.”

Jang Jae-Hwan's shoulders drooped low.
Having a too-good predecessor would only put the next-in-line in a tight spot.
Jang Jae-Hwan was already suffering from the weight of needing to fill the void Kang Jin-Ho would inevitably leave behind, so this cold dagger of truth stabbing straight into his heart left him staggering and moaning in anguish.

Jang Jae-Hwan tried to reassure himself.
“I-it'll be fine.
We've learned a lot, after all.
Let's just do our best.”

“Yes, sir.”

“And it's meaningless to pine for someone who'll be gone, anyway!”

“You're right, sir.
Although, it has been great that the brass didn't dare touch us with Sergeant Kang around…”

No matter what, it was a truly lamentable thing to lose the strongest weapon in the squad's struggle against insurmountable opponents.

“Sir! Shouldn't we throw a farewell party for Sergeant Kang? How about frozen foods?”

Jang Jae-Hwan held his forehead.
“Dude, I'm so sick of frozen foods already.
We have been having that every single day, but you still want to eat more of that stuff?!”

“In that case, should we get takeaways, sir?”

“We have to 'negotiate' with the duty officer first, but do you really think our ahjussi will allow that? Do you?”

“…Sir, let's just give up on that idea.”

Kang Jin-Ho disliked the idea of breaking the rules.
The unspoken agreement among the soldiers was to allow takeaways to be delivered, but that went against military regulations, which clearly stated that no outside food was allowed into the base.
So, there was no way Kang Jin-Ho would allow that to happen.

Jang Jae-Hwan groaned.
pack some Choco Pies, okay?”

“…Wow, we're really showing our gratitude with that, sir.”

“Urgh. No more free pass at the PX, I guess…”

Jang Jae-Hwan groaned again while listening to the complaints of his squad members.

It all started with him jokingly asking Kang Jin-Ho for a pack of frozen food some time ago.
Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head in confusion at that request and replied with a rather dumb-sounding and flabbergasting question, “Don't you have money on you?”

Jang Jae-Hwan not replying with, “Sir, I didn't ask you to buy me food because I don't have money,” proved to be a stroke of genius.
His actual reply, “Eii~, where would a broke soldier like me get money, sir?” was now the stuff of legend in the Charlie company.
Because that reply was met with Kang Jin-Ho taking his bank card out and handing it over to Jang Jae-Hwan.

Of course, the flustered Jang Jae-Hwan responded with, “Sir, this is unnecessary.
Just one packet of food will suffice.” Predictably, though, that response didn't work.
Kang Jin-Ho still entrusted his card to Jang Jae-Hwan and told the latter to “Use it whenever the squad members want to eat something,” thereby throwing the entire squad into serious turmoil.

Just like that, Kang Jin-Ho was instantly elevated to the status of the most-ideal gold spoon.
An example that all gold spoons should aspire to become!

At first, the squad members were not sure how to proceed.
Even if they had permission, it was still a bit weird to use someone else's money to buy whatever food they wanted, after all!

However, when Kang Jin-Ho learned that his squad wasn't listening to his order, he just left his card behind with the PX soldiers and ordered them to charge him whenever his squad members wanted to buy something.
Simply put, the 3rd Squad had been given free passes to the PX.

That was the start of the party time for them.
After all, people would even gladly accept battery acid if it were for free! Soon after Kang Jin-Ho made that decree, the 3rd Squad members began bombarding the PX.

One of the members was cheeky enough to bring along his mate from a different squad to buy lots of food from the PX, forcing Jang Jae-Hwan to summon the idiot in question and give him a stern lecture.
That was how 'bad' things had gotten.
Every evening turned into a 'feast' of frozen foods, eventually leading to the unforeseen side effects of 'Military Rations Rejection' syndrome and obesity in the squad members.

Jang Jae-Hwan glanced at his fellow squad members and their…
well-rounded frames and groaned deeply.
These idiots would start losing weight pretty soon.
The land of milk and honey was about to dry up for them, after all.

'Yup, they are gonna learn the hard way now.'

Soldiers ranked corporals and up already knew the truth, of course.
Unfortunately for the privates, though, they had enlisted after Kang Jin-Ho was done seizing the Charlie artillery company's seat of power, so they had no idea how cumbersome the military life could really be without Sergeant Kang's generous protection.

If only they knew how instrumental Kang Jin-Ho was in their wonderful military lives…
They would be crying their eyes out by now!

Thinking about the massive void about to be left behind by Kang Jin-Ho's departure gave Jang Jae-Hwan another case of migraine, and he had to hold his head.
However, he couldn't do anything about it.
He couldn't cling to a soldier about to be discharged, after all.

“Hey, you idiots! Just clean this mess, will ya? Tonight's our ahjussi's final night, so let's at least give him a nice farewell, yeah?”

“Understood, sir! We'll get right on it!”

The squad members all got up and began cleaning the living area.
Jang Jae-Hwan chuckled while watching them.

A person about to leave had no choice but to leave.
As for those left behind, their duty was to stay behind.

'…I'm also gonna pull my weight.
You'll see.'

This is supposed to be a riff on the Boy Scouts.
And yes, that's how the author wrote it. ☜

Field Manual ☜

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