It was past midnight Sept. 18 when an unidentified Army staff sergeant taking a smoke break was approached by a ninja on Iyokern Airfield, in California.
Yes, a ninja.
The unknown man, in “full ninja garb to include a katana sword,” walked up to the staff sergeant, who was assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, and asked if the soldier knew him.
“No,” he replied to the clearly masked-man, according to the leaked incident report posted to Reddit.
Maj. Chris Lancia, the 160th SOAR’s spokesperson, confirmed to Army Times that the report was authentic.
The unidentified ninja then asked, “Do you know where my family is?” Again, the staff sergeant reportedly responded, “no.”
The ninja then began to slash at the staff sergeant with a sword, striking his phone, knee and leg.
The staff sergeant “immediately began running through the parking lot trying to evade the unknown person,” the incident report reads.
He jumped a fence — fully taking advantage of his special operations training — and entered the administrative building.
Inside was another 160th SOAR soldier — an unidentified captain — who began locking doors and called 911.
Both soldiers were confirmed to be part of the elite 160th SOAR, known by their unit nickname, the “Night Stalkers.”
“The person in ninja garb was kicking and punching doors and windows,” the report read. The assailant then left, and returned moments later with a large block of asphalt, which he proceeded to throw through a window, striking the captain in the head.
The ninja then made a rather stealth-less getaway, and was subsequently arrested elsewhere by local police.
While the staff sergeant received multiple stitches to his leg and the captain received stitches to his head, both have been returned to full duty, Lancia confirmed to Army Times.
Lancia said that the unit is proud of how the soldiers handled the situation.
“We’re pleased with the way they responded to the threat,” he said. “By disengaging and allowing local authorities to handle it, they potentially avoided more injuries to themselves and to the assailant.”
Despite being an odd situation, “this was the best case outcome,” he added. “We’re able to joke about it because of how well [the soldiers] handled it and because no one was seriously injured.”
Lancia could not, however, comment on if the sword used was a katana or a ninjatō, nor on the authenticity of the assailant’s ninja garb.
The regiment’s public affairs officer also declined to comment on whether purple hearts would be awarded for the soldier’s injuries suffered in Mortal Kombat.
Despite one Reddit user’s comment that this was the Army’s attempt at taking tobacco cessation more seriously, Lancia confirmed that the ninja is not believed to have any sort of Army affiliation.
Rachel is a Marine Corps veteran and Master's candidate at New York University. She's currently an Editorial Fellow for Military Times.