There is a disturbance rippling through the junior enlisted ranks. Some whisper of a great evil, others endure an unspoken restlessness as rumors of an impending disruption to all that was once normal ignite universal consternation.

And they’re right to fret. After all, Chevrolet recently paused production on its famed — and Pfc.-preferred — Camaro after a microchip shortage forced the automobile company to consider exactly which models were critical to continue building and which were not.

Given the Camaro’s low sales numbers compared with Chevy’s trucks and full-size vehicles, General Motors, unlike the E-3 and below demographic, decided the vehicle was not paramount to sustained operational success.

“We continue to work closely with our supply base to find solutions for our suppliers’ semiconductor requirements and to mitigate impact on GM,” a representative told the Detroit News. “Our intent is to make up as much production lost at these plants as possible.”

The spokesperson did not specify, however, how GM would alleviate the suffering horde of base-dwelling enlisted who must now wander this Camaro-free life sans purpose.

Commenting about the broken relationship between junior enlisted and Chevrolet, author J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand... there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep...”

Non-commissioned officers now must shoulder the burden of their subordinates’ wellbeing, as shaken Chevy devotions threaten toxicity if ignored.

Should we simply expect one to turn to the competition and instead finance a Ford Mustang or Dodge Charger at 78 percent APR? Not if we’re to believe the sage wisdom of one Willie Junior Maxwell II, better known by those of us in his inner circle as Fetty Wap, who once declared, “My whole thing is loyalty. Loyalty over royalty; word is bond.”

Big facts.

Still, with Camaro production an uncertainty for the foreseeable future, the bonded word of this disheartened demographic may very well be standing on thin ice.

Recently sighted a gaggle of privates adrift amongst a sea of vehicles at a predatory auto dealer? Take note of the tragic cause. Stop and say hello — the hollow bunch could use a kind word. What they once found in a Camaro — purpose, clout, and financial ruin — they must now find elsewhere.

Observation Post is the Military Times one-stop shop for all things off-duty. Stories may reflect author observations.

J.D. Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.

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