FORT JACKSON, S.C. — The Army forcibly removed soldiers from three barracks clusters last night to preserve a recently discovered species of toxic black mold, sources confirmed today.
“We can confirm that a high-value mold species was positively identified last night,” said Army spokesperson August Corda. “[Non-commissioned officers] were conducting the first barracks check since South Carolina rejoined the Union and noticed a creeping colony spanning one and a half blocks.”
Garrison leadership sprung into quick action to maintain safety. Basic trainees were escorted into a school bus driven by an unlicensed sergeant on his twenty-third hour of staff duty to an empty barracks on the base.
“We were conscious about COVID-19 protocols as well,” Corda said. “The backup barracks has been condemned since 1918, so it was easy to spread out and maintain six-foot spacing of the recruits.”
Army officials are well-versed in environmental safety issues. Just as it does for the sage grouse, the Army is prepared to modify training and limit harmful activities to ensure the safety of this delicate organism and its ecosystem.
“Trainees can be replaced,” one drill sergeant said on condition of anonymity. “But mold and other endangered species didn’t ask to be here. They’re innocent, for God’s sake.”
The Army plans to invite a cross-functional team of biologists, historians, and logistics specialists to evaluate and transport the mold colony to an appropriate resting location. The final location is still under consideration, however, since Fort Bragg, Camp Shelby, and Carlisle Barracks cannot fit any additional mold in their existing buildings.
Meanwhile, Army budget officials continued to discuss whether additional military construction funding can right-size and address this gap.
“Safety is paramount, and we will not rest until we get this right,” said Sgt. Maj. Brian Dade. “That is why we are turning over the operation completely to third-party contractors.”