Breaking twenty years of carefully guarded silence, the Pentagon’s chief medical officer, Army Maj. Gen. Anne S. Thesia, admitted today that research has been conducted since the 1980’s at Ft. Detrick, the Army’s secret biowarfare laboratory, on stem cell technology, and also that the Army has successfully cloned 150,000 combat ready troops from a single female sex cell. The soldiers turn eighteen in January and are set to begin basic training in all branches of the service by spring.
“We’re very excited,” Gen. Thesia said. “Their mother was a Marine officer in Vietnam, a green beret. If only half of them take after her, our recruitment problems are over.” The General referred to recent reports that the US military is fighting desertion, recruitment shortfalls and legal challenges from its own troops.
The stock of several Halliburton subsidiaries rose sharply on the news. Because all of the new soldiers will wear the same size boots, eat the same food, like the same sports and recreation, and are in all respects eerily uniform, the cost of providing services is expected to plummet, making war by far the most profitable commercial sector in the US economy in 2005.
“We expect this to do for war what interchangeable parts did for capitalism,” said Elizabeth Cheney, spokeswoman for Kellog, Brown, and Root. Not only can uniforms and armor easily be exchanged between damaged and functional clones, but blood and organs can be transplanted without the usual, sometimes fatal, screening delays.
“Because clones fall under the rubric of materiel rather than personnel,” she explained, “they can simply be scrapped if they malfunction.” The clones will not be assigned fixed tours of duty, and that will preclude the need for the stop-loss retention and other forms of back-door draft that have caused so many legal problems for the Pentagon in recent months. “We can just keep sending them into battle until we run out,” Gen. Thesia said.
When asked what the clones were called, Gen. Thesia said that each one had been assigned a number from 1 to 150,000. She said that research had determined that names were bad for morale. “Individual names tend to breed individual thinking and individual personalities, and pretty soon launching an offensive becomes a little like herding cats. The only identity you need in the Army is your rank and your rating,” she insisted.