Sergeant Maier displayed very specific sets of aptitudes and ineptitudes. On active duty, James kept himself one mistake away from a dishonourable discharge. He lost most of his toes on purpose.
A General by the name of Baumgartner noticed his aptitudes, finally, when one day the Sergeant held his hat to his chest perfectly. It all just made sense. Thus James got the position, without ever having asked for it. Because, who asks for that?
Limping a little, hitching rides, James embarked on a fruitful career. He travelled the country, visiting the relatives of soldiers, bringing them the bad news.