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What is the funniest/ Dumbest thing you saw or heard while in the service?


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#1 rooster77

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 01:30 PM

Greetings everyone.

I thought that it would be informative to shedd light on the seldom spoken of mishaps and foilbles dumbness and downright ridiculous things that you saw or heard while serving in any branch of the US Military in peacetime or in War. Cant take your job too seriously. Comedy keeps it real. Everyone who served has something that stood out.

 

"Its not the uniforms... Its the stories you tell."

 

I'l start off with something I saw once at a fuel stop during a convoy.

Army National Guard. I watched a guy from the motorpool, tapping a 3 pound sledge hammer on a spare tire that was mounted on a vehicle. I guess he was bored and passing the time.... He bounced it off the tire about 3 times and the next time he hit the tire, the sledge bounced back and smacked him right in the forehead.....

It is one of the dumbest things I saw in there.... That and people whizzing on the tires of vehicles.

 



#2 rooster77

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 02:12 PM

In all truth.. Theres a bunch more. I was only National Guard but my time in spanned 16 years and I spent a year in the Army Reserve.  Some of the best ones... I can t figure out how to tell on here without offending somebody!!! lol lol Meaning some stories from infantry training arent public fodder.

lol

 

Please feel free to contribute.


Edited by rooster77, 02 December 2019 - 02:15 PM.


#3 Flashlarue

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 02:17 PM

As part of the 1st AD was assigned to follow a tracked ambulance commanded by a 1st Lt. one night during Desert Storm, just his track and my hummer. Driving with only blackout lights he led us across the desert in Iraq. After quite a while of driving he came to a stop and admitted he was lost. He had been navigating using only a hand held compass from inside the ambulance without realizing the metal of the vehicle would effect it. While stopped we were approached by a large group of Iraqi soldiers trying to surrender. Unable to navigate to where we were going he decided we had to wait out the night there surrounded by dozens of enemy soldiers. I suggest a better solution might be turning around and following our own tracks back to were we came from. Fortunately he agreed and we did an about face and returned to the unit.

#4 rooster77

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 02:20 PM

As part of the 1st AD was assigned to follow a tracked ambulance commanded by a 1st Lt. one night during Desert Storm, just his track and my hummer. Driving with only blackout lights he led us across the desert in Iraq. After quite a while of driving he came to a stop and admitted he was lost. He had been navigating using only a hand held compass from inside the ambulance without realizing the metal of the vehicle would effect it. While stopped we were approached by a large group of Iraqi soldiers trying to surrender. Unable to navigate to where we were going he decided we had to wait out the night there surrounded by dozens of enemy soldiers. I suggest a better solution might be turning around and following our own tracks back to were we came from. Fortunately he agreed and we did an about face and returned to the unit.

 

As soon as I read that you had to follow a 1st lt I knew trouble was coming... lol

Good one!!! And smart too to follow your tracks back instead of sitting there! We used to follow people all over the woods who were holding their compass over their weapons... lol

At least he took your advice... Some of em wont.


Edited by rooster77, 02 December 2019 - 02:23 PM.


#5 rooster77

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 02:50 PM

We were training in the woods in Wisconsin late 1980's . Middle of June 33rd infantry Brigade.

We had a wierd thermometer they used to use to measure heat and humidity. I think theycalled it a wet bulb. When it got too hot../.

They were supposed to stop training.. Well it was reading in the Black 98 degrees high humidity... so we decided as a platoon to loosen the boot cuffs and loose the BDU shirt but retain

the rest of our gear because we had to keep training. We had the regular Army evaluators up from Georgia attached to us and this one Sergeant First class just was not happy about it. But since we were all in uniform he couldnt do anything. But he complained about how we should be wearing our BDUshirts.

Around dinner time up by where they were serving chow... I heard sombody ask him... Are you going to eat Sergeant?

He says real loud and all put out... Hell no its too hot to eat !!!

And he took his clean uniform wearing self back to the contonement to sleepwhile we stayed out there. lol lol

 

To Evaluate us..........

 

The Regular Army always sent us the people they wanted to get rid of for a while.


Edited by rooster77, 02 December 2019 - 02:55 PM.


#6 CNY Militaria

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 04:25 PM

Too many stories to tell, but one that is sort of related to this forum...

 

I was a fairly new Second Lieutenant and had just assumed a platoon leader position. About a week into it we had a Friday where we were wearing our ASU's all day. My platoon Sergeant, an E-7 with about 16 years in, had his Bronze Star ribbon at the bottom and in the middle of his ribbon rack, along with some others out of place. I politely pointed out that he may want to correct it before the 1SG or CSM saw it, and he looked at me with a serious face and asked "Wait, there is an order for these?" He had a good laugh and said he just put them on however he wanted.

 

He honestly didn't know. Not sure how he made it past his DA photo for promotion, but somehow did!


Edited by CNY Militaria, 02 December 2019 - 04:26 PM.


#7 rooster77

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 05:26 PM

"He honestly didn't know. Not sure how he made it past his DA photo for promotion, but somehow did!"

 

Thats a good one Sir! I bet it was that Bronze Star !!!

 

 

My buddy in basic could not put his web gear together. Couldnt figure it out.

Thats what the buddy system is for!



#8 Brig

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 03:35 PM

I actually had a good one the other day...

 

My unit was a staff section of the base for the first year and a half I was here...a few months ago there was a realignment, and we are not a detachment of a unit out of Lejeune, and thus just a tenant of base. When we belonged to base, administratively we came under control of H&S Bn.

 

Fast forward three months to a few days ago...I get a call from H&S Bn asking if I'd consider moving from my section to another company, I told them my monitor would laugh if I tried to PCA to H&S for another three years. A little while later I get another call from H&S telling me they're no longer asking, they're telling...so I told them that's between them and my monitor. Why? they ask me. Turns out they didn't realize they didn't own me anymore and that I dropped off their morning report three months ago. Not sure how they could go an entire quarter not realizing they no longer owned a section that oversees an entire satellite camp...but can't make this stuff up


Edited by Brig, 14 December 2019 - 03:36 PM.


#9 mortarman

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Posted 15 December 2019 - 08:14 AM

In the late 1980's, after serving my 4 years on active duty, I decided to join the National Guard. In the Guard unit we had a Staff Sergeant who was Full Time NG (previously active duty). One night while in the field, my mortar section was given the task of being OPFOR and ambushing the rifle platoons on their patrols. The Staff Sergeant decided to come along with us and join the fun. We were given some bobby trap simulators to use during these ambushes. The SSgt asked me, " these things whistle for a while and then explode, right?" My answer "No they explode immediately when you pull the string. You are thinking of artillery simulators." He responded "Are you sure? I think there is a delay." My reply "They explode immediately." --- A few seconds later it did. Followed by him moaning and clutching his hand. He had pulled the string. My response "you dumbass."   The only time I am aware of a that Spec 4 got away with calling Staff Sergeant that to his face!!!

 

(He had blown his thumb nail off and was bleeding. When asked he said he was trying to pull the string and throw the device away at the same time.)



#10 JBFloyd

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Posted 15 December 2019 - 10:24 AM

Too many stories to tell, but one that is sort of related to this forum...

 

I was a fairly new Second Lieutenant and had just assumed a platoon leader position. About a week into it we had a Friday where we were wearing our ASU's all day. My platoon Sergeant, an E-7 with about 16 years in, had his Bronze Star ribbon at the bottom and in the middle of his ribbon rack, along with some others out of place. I politely pointed out that he may want to correct it before the 1SG or CSM saw it, and he looked at me with a serious face and asked "Wait, there is an order for these?" He had a good laugh and said he just put them on however he wanted.

 

He honestly didn't know. Not sure how he made it past his DA photo for promotion, but somehow did!

 At the 23rd NORAD Region, Duluth, Minnesota, in 1970, we had a second lieutenant show up wearing four rows of ribbons - in no obvious pattern or precedence.  When asked about it, he said that his wife had been at the Exchange and saw all these pretty ribbons, so she bought a bunch she liked and arranged them by color for him. He took substantial abuse for his wife's fashion sense and his lack of awareness.



#11 Brig

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Posted 15 December 2019 - 04:33 PM

In the late 1980's, after serving my 4 years on active duty, I decided to join the National Guard. In the Guard unit we had a Staff Sergeant who was Full Time NG (previously active duty). One night while in the field, my mortar section was given the task of being OPFOR and ambushing the rifle platoons on their patrols. The Staff Sergeant decided to come along with us and join the fun. We were given some bobby trap simulators to use during these ambushes. The SSgt asked me, " these things whistle for a while and then explode, right?" My answer "No they explode immediately when you pull the string. You are thinking of artillery simulators." He responded "Are you sure? I think there is a delay." My reply "They explode immediately." --- A few seconds later it did. Followed by him moaning and clutching his hand. He had pulled the string. My response "you dumbass."   The only time I am aware of a that Spec 4 got away with calling Staff Sergeant that to his face!!!

 

(He had blown his thumb nail off and was bleeding. When asked he said he was trying to pull the string and throw the device away at the same time.)

Lucky he didn't blow his thumb off



#12 rooster77

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Posted 18 December 2019 - 10:16 AM

I have one, though I guess looking back now its not funny, but it sure was stupid from start to finish.

Weekend drill in the field in November. The mission that night was to send the company up a road

at 1AM in a snowstorm and react to being ambushed. Kinda lame but we really earned our money and trained.

The ambush was initiated by a Red Flare. So I hear the pop and see the rocket shoot out horizontally in the tree line along the road off to the left and hit something and go straight up through the trees.

Then the guys in the treeline start yelling endex and yelling Medic!! Medic!!!

Since I was an SSG squadleader, I left my people in place and walked up to where the victim of the ambush was.

It was some kid lying on his side groaning. The guy behind him accidentally fired the red flare into his back

and it bounced off. I never heard what the end result was for the kid who got hit.

Im guessing he had a good sized bruise. It had travelled a good 10 feet or so before it hit his back so it was moving.

 Another one I still feel bad about. I was range NCO on a small M203 range.

I was walking past a kid right as he was getting ready to fire and I saw he has the flip out sight flipped out right in front of his mouth and hes looking through the front flip up leaf sight...... and I yelled dont fire just as he pulled the trigger on a training round.

The thing kicked back and the sight post went right through his upper lip.

He was bleeding heavily. I made sure his weapon was clear tld him keep iy up and down range and go see the medic.

He prb needed stitches for it but his teeth didnt look busted. Kinda felt the blame for that one.

One more. One day after we got out of the field my squads at the PX and one of my guys in my squad tells me that a private in my squad has an atwis round on him. Its a good size plastic round like a big shotgun shell with a primer cap on the bottom.

You put them in Tow Missle Launchers etc t simultate the blast and fire for training.

Very Dangerous thing to be carrying around in your pants pocket.

So I walk up to Private snuffy and ask him straight up if he has the thing? He says yes. I say I want it., Where is it. He pulls it out of his pocket

and hands it over...

I did some really dumb thngs too Il have to admit... But I never played with fire!!! lol

Some of them wanted to play with unexploded tank rounds mortar rounds etc that were lying in the training areas!

Its a wonder we never lost anyone. I walked up behind a sgt in my platoon and he was hunched over kicking at someting in the dirt. I said whats up what are you doing? He bends down picks up something and turns around and hes hlding and unexploded anti tank round with a penetrator rod on the front.

I told hm to put it down... Reported it...

so the OD guys could get it.


Edited by rooster77, 18 December 2019 - 10:24 AM.


#13 T Ambrosini

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Posted 18 December 2019 - 10:53 AM

Mather AFB around 1981...  It was a training center for navigators and there were freshly-minted 2LT's everywhere.  I was a young E-2 in uniform and approached one of the young LT's outside the BX.  I noticed something about him, thought I'd have a little fun, and walked right past him without rendering a salute.  The ensuing brief conversation went something like this:

 

 

LT:  "AIRMAN!!!!!  Isn't it customary to salute an officer?!"

Me:  "I'm sorry, Sir.  I didn't recognize you as an officer...  You have your cover on backwards"



#14 kfields

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Posted 20 December 2019 - 07:09 AM

Basic Training at Ft Polk in 1975 and I made a big mistake!!!

We were in line in a building with a longggg table. The Supply sergeants were on one side handing out our different issues of Army clothing - fatigues, hats, jackets, boots, etc. 

As I moved down the line, they handed me my two pairs of Army boots. That was when I made my horrible mistake!

I asked the Supply Sergeant what I should do if my boots didn't fit properly. His reaction frightened the crap out of me.  He screamed for all to hear saying he NEVER made mistakes. Furthermore, since I questioned his abilities, I had to be his go-fer/slave the rest of the day!



#15 72psb

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Posted 20 December 2019 - 10:50 AM

This is a second hand account from a Guadalcanal vet.I knew In the 60's he was Platoon Sergeant in the Illinois National Guard.The new commander wanted a full dress inspection.

He wanted all the members to wear ALL awards issued to them.You know where this is going.Sure as anything there stood a soldier with a Knights Cross on a neck suspension.A German WW2 vet following orders.

True or not a good story.



#16 Brig

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Posted 20 December 2019 - 04:38 PM

I just signed my reenlistment papers today...they asked me what day I wanted the contract to take effect, I told them I don't care, so the kid made it effective Christmas Day. So my new EAS date falls on Christmas Eve



#17 BryanJ

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 12:09 PM

The funniest:  As an MP stationed at Fort Gordon, Ga., 1982 - 85, on the midnight shift on Friday and Saturday nights, we’d get really board and start patrolling the parking lots looking for fogged up windows and mysteriously bouncing cars.  We’d wait until the very happy couples inside were deeply engaged in getting to know one another, then we’d tap on the window and shine the light inside.  Sometimes, we’d get their attention and they would very frantically disengage and begin searching for clothing.  Often times, they didn’t give a rip what we did, and they just kept driving the train.  However, when we finally got their attention and asked them what they were doing, their response was always the same, “we’re just talking.”  We always let them go...

 

Dumbest:  An MP who locked himself in the back of an AWOL apprehension van, basically a paddy wagon.  Don’t ask me who the MP was, but he probably deserved it based on what he did to the very happy couples mentioned above.



#18 willysmb44

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 03:34 PM

Drag racing an M1A1 tank against a Bradley to resolve a dispute over which could accelerate faster. The M1 left the Bradley far behind right off the bat. Guess why was at the controls of the M1? Only four people were there to see it, and nobody talked afterward.

 

One time at a 3-week forward logistical element at Yakima Firing Center (where "To Hell and Back" was filmed), my driver and I were following a map up a ridge to the north of the range road. I was looking at the map, looked up and saw he'd driven us into a field of expended projectiles! They were scattered all over the ground, with a road going right through them. I later went back to range control and asked why a marked road went into an unmarked impact zone (they claimed to have no ide there were projectiles in there). My driver, a SPC, had earlier said nothing a LT could do would scare him. I got out, looked around and saw a few projos that I couldn't tell if they were training rounds or not. So I opened the back of the hard shell, stood behind the Humvee and guided him back over our tracks. Just as we got out of the field for what I could tell, I saw two 105MM canister rounds, clearly marked in light blue (training). I picked one up and without saying a word, dropped it onto the deck of the back of the vehicle. my driver went totally bonkers and screamed words not of any language. I then did it again. Once he regained the ability to speak English again, I walked over and showed him the round. He had no clue ordnance was color-coded!

I still have mine as a door stop at home. My driver kept his. The following day, we found three track links from a Bradley that a unit had left. I used that as a door stop at my office for while. That's in my shed now...



#19 Brig

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 05:01 PM

Drag racing an M1A1 tank against a Bradley to resolve a dispute over which could accelerate faster. The M1 left the Bradley far behind right off the bat. Guess why was at the controls of the M1? Only four people were there to see it, and nobody talked afterward.

 

One time at a 3-week forward logistical element at Yakima Firing Center (where "To Hell and Back" was filmed), my driver and I were following a map up a ridge to the north of the range road. I was looking at the map, looked up and saw he'd driven us into a field of expended projectiles! They were scattered all over the ground, with a road going right through them. I later went back to range control and asked why a marked road went into an unmarked impact zone (they claimed to have no ide there were projectiles in there). My driver, a SPC, had earlier said nothing a LT could do would scare him. I got out, looked around and saw a few projos that I couldn't tell if they were training rounds or not. So I opened the back of the hard shell, stood behind the Humvee and guided him back over our tracks. Just as we got out of the field for what I could tell, I saw two 105MM canister rounds, clearly marked in light blue (training). I picked one up and without saying a word, dropped it onto the deck of the back of the vehicle. my driver went totally bonkers and screamed words not of any language. I then did it again. Once he regained the ability to speak English again, I walked over and showed him the round. He had no clue ordnance was color-coded!

I still have mine as a door stop at home. My driver kept his. The following day, we found three track links from a Bradley that a unit had left. I used that as a door stop at my office for while. That's in my shed now...

It's alarming how many service members don't understand what blue means on ordinance...I have a stock of spent LAWs at work we use in the ISMT. One goes down, pull the computer guts out, stick them in a tube where they sights haven't snapped (because that's 99% of the time the issue). Every time someone comes through, I have to explain to them what properly de-milled means.



#20 zzyzzogeton

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 07:20 PM

Funny only in an exasperating way.

 

I was a LTjg about to make LT on an aircraft carrier.  When our ship pulled in to San Diego, the ship was assigned X # of trucks for supply runs.  The Engineering Department was assigned a "3 on the tree" Dodge pickup.  I was sitting at my desk writing Evals when the 1MC blared -

 

"Any Engineering personnel that can drive a standard transmission, report to the Engineering Office."

 

After the 4th time the announcement was made, I wandered down to the office.  The conversation went something like this...

 

CHENG :: "Why are you here?"

 

Me :: "Well, Sir, I can drive a standard, so here I am.? What's up?"

 

CHENG :: "Great.  You're our duty driver until Facilities can get us an automatic transmission truck."

 

Me :: "Huh??"        OK, so I'm not always the sharpest knife in the drawer.

 

CHENG ::  "Apparently, out of over 700 people in Engineering, you and I are the only 2 who can drive a standard transmission.  I'm an O6 selectee and you're an O2.  Guess who's the Duty Driver?"

 

I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised since over 30 of my 130 electricians were from New York, Chicago and Boston and didn't even have driver's licenses.  So for the next day and a half, I had to squeeze in a couple of dozen runs taking loads of equipment to and from repair shops, making supply runs, etc while trying to get my "real work" done.



#21 MattS

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 06:39 AM

First Class A inspection of our newly formed unit, circa 1991, and our 1SG (highly decorated Vietnam vet) comes onto the field with a ribbon rack up to his shoulder strap. A lowly E-2, awestruck at the variety of ribbons, asked, "What's that one, first sergeant?" Top was a very calm and even keeled guy and quietly responded, "Purple Heart". Private Snuffy said, "Gee top, what'd you have to do to get that?" 1SG Hawkins squinted (a la Clint Eastwood during a showdown) and said quietly, "Get shot." Fast forward 25 years and Private Snuffy retired as a first sergeant in the 10th Mountain. 

 

Another one that sticks out, Friday afternoon formation, everyone expecting to get released for the weekend, when the senior NCO up front announces command has determined we need to work on Saturday. After some grumbling and cursing, a voice in the formation asked whose idea this was. The NCO stammered, "The brigade commander said so, you know, the colonel, oh, what's his name?" to which a voice behind me yelled out "Klink?" 

 

Last one, I was driving a truck on a night tactical convoy course around Bragg as part of a training exercise. The route was pre-planned and had to be followed, some on road, some off. It was a pleasant evening so I had the window down and was leaning out trying to follow the off-road portion of the trail through an open field using only blackout drive. I saw what looked like water ahead as it shimmered in the moonlight, but it didn't sound like water when my tires hit it. I stopped, slightly confused, and noticed what looked like lines to the left coming off the 'puddle' I was parked in. Those lines led to a scared paratrooper standing 10 feet from my Deuce holding his risers who asked me why I was driving through an active drop zone blacked out. A frantic radio call to EndEx ensued and every truck went full lights on and stopped as troopers dropped in around us. Brilliant planning. 



#22 Flashlarue

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 07:53 AM

1975 and I was in the National Guard at Camp Chaffie in Nevada, Missouri. I saw a platoon of construction engineers reroofing a shower building. The next day I saw them removing the shingles from one side of the roof. They had roofed up one side and down the the other so rain could run under the shingles on the one side. 



#23 0bx

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 08:35 AM

3rd Armored Division, 1961(Germany). We are out on winter maneuvers, cold and snow. We would usually eat dinner about 6-8pm unless we were on the move. It is about midnight and we are not planning to move for 4-5 hours, but still no dinner. An OCS 2nd Lt was leading the chow trucks to our location but got lost and could not locate us. He was radioed additional directions more than once, but apparently could not read a map? Eventually, someone was sent to find the chow trucks and guide them back to our location. We ate at about 2am. HQ was not happy. This was not the first incident with this 2nd Lt and he eventually lost his commission and was discharged from the Army.

 

I am in no way anti OCS officers. A couple of the best platoon leaders and/or company commanders I had were in fact OCS grads. I am not sure how this particular individual managed to graduate from OCS.



#24 Jim McCauley

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 12:43 PM

I swear this is true.

 

I was flying a UH-60 out of Al Kut Iraq with a 1LT.  I was on the controls so he was handling the radios. He keyed the mic calling the control tower for taxi and keyed the mic again answering himself! When I questioned him he swore it was the tower that answered. 

 

Of course, when I asked the tower if we had been cleared the answer was, "Negative"! 

 

The kid was a dope. As the senior instructor pilot I kept getting stuck with the dolt.


Edited by Jim McCauley, 25 January 2020 - 12:44 PM.


#25 gwb123

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 01:54 PM

Mather AFB around 1981...  It was a training center for navigators and there were freshly-minted 2LT's everywhere.  I was a young E-2 in uniform and approached one of the young LT's outside the BX.  I noticed something about him, thought I'd have a little fun, and walked right past him without rendering a salute.  The ensuing brief conversation went something like this:

 

 

LT:  "AIRMAN!!!!!  Isn't it customary to salute an officer?!"

Me:  "I'm sorry, Sir.  I didn't recognize you as an officer...  You have your cover on backwards"

 

I had a couple of Ordnance / maintenance NCO's that worked for me.  Both of them had gone back to Aberdeen for some manner of advanced technical training.  At the time the Ordnance school also hosted the basic course for brand new 2nd Lieutenants.  They would wait outside the ice cream bar until they spotted a newly minted officer carrying his ice cream cone in his right hand.  Both of them approached and rendered a sharp greeting and military salute.  Sure enough, they had one poor victim snap a return salute and plant his ice cream cone right in the center of his forehead!

 

It might have been these same jokers who got me as well.  The CW4 who ran the direct support shop had a morning meeting each day with the NCO's to plan out the repair jobs for the day.  I came walking into the meeting late and everyone was munching down a fresh doughnut from the base doughnut shop.  That and a cup of coffee made the perfect start of the day.  There was one doughnut left in the box, and they all smiled and offered it to me.  If I had been thinking I would have realized something was up.  I no sooner pick it up and take a bite out of it then SSG Jones comes walking through the door and says "Hey, where's my doughnut?"  Without missing a beat three of them immediately chimed in "Oh, the LT just grabbed it!"  And I am standing there with the doughnut in hand and the most embarrassed I had ever been in my life!  I started stammering a combination of an excuse and an apology, and of course they all had a good laugh.  I seem to recall dropping what I was doing, driving to the doughnut shop and buying a replacement for my disappointed NCO.  And I seem to recall I never accepted another doughnut or anything else from those guys again!




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