Living… apathetically. John Winger had a job, a girlfriend, and an apartment. He just doesn’t care enough about any of them, though, causing him to lose all three within the span of a day. Depression quickly settles in and John realizes that his life has been a failure. He decides to join the army to find a sense of purpose.
Visiting… Fort Arnold. Shortly after their visit to a recruiting office, John and his best friend, Russell Ziskey, are sent off to complete basic training. They meet their fellow soldiers and their commander, the strict and grumpy Sergeant Hulka.
Profession… soldier. He used to be a taxi driver. John quit his job after an encounter with an especially cantankerous customer who called him “a typical low-life character” and “a bum.” Unfortunately, she wasn’t too far from the truth.
Interests… lounging about and relaxing. John Winger likes to mess around and finds ways to put in as little effort as possible in his day-to-day life. Unfortunately, basic training is no place to slack off. That doesn’t stop Winger from trying, though.
Relationship Status… single. His girlfriend dumped him because she thought he was a loser. His response: “You can’t go. All the plants are gonna die.” Now in the military, Winger has his eye on a pretty MP named Stella.
Challenge… surviving basic training. John is lazy, unfit, and unmotivated, so military preparation is going to be rough. Plus, Sergeant Hulka has taken a special dislike to his indolent, authority-flouting ways and is determined to set him straight. Yet Hulka does notice that Winger is effortlessly charismatic and seems to draw his peers to follow him. In Hulka's mind, though, that only makes Winger more dangerous unless he can learn to lead others down the right path rather than the course of least resistance.
Personality… sarcastic and languid, yet oddly charming. John Winger is the most lethargic smart-ass you’ll ever meet. His pre-military routine consisted of sleeping until noon, watching Rocky and Bullwinkle, ordering takeout, and listening to Tito Puente albums until 2 in the morning. His military routine consists of doing push-ups, trying to find short cuts through drills, and mouthing off to Sergeant Hulka. But if Hulka and the army can help John put his natural charisma to a positive use, he might be a useful soldier yet – or even an excellent one.
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