of my husband's duties as a novice drill instructor at Fort
Jackson, S.C., was to escort new recruits to the mess hall.
After everyone had made it through the chow line, he sat them
down and told them, "There are three rules in this mess
hall: Shut up! Eat up! Get up!" Checking to see that
he had everyone's attention, he asked, "What is the first
rule?" Much to the amusement of the other instructors,
60 privates yelled in unison, "Shut up, Drill Sergeant!"
As the family gathered for a big dinner together, the youngest
son announced that he had just signed up at an army recruiter's
office. There were audible gasps around the table, then some
laughter, as his older brothers shared their disbelief that
he could handle this new situation. "Oh, come on, quit
joking," snickered one. "You didn't really do that,
did you?" "You would never get through basic training,"
scoffed another. The new recruit looked to his mother for
help, but she was just gazing at him. When she finally spoke,
she simply asked, "Do you really plan to make your own
bed every morning?"
A drill sergeant had just chewed out one of his cadets, and
as he was walking away, he turned to the cadet and said, "I
guess when I die you'll come and dance on my grave."
The cadet replied, "Not me, Sarge...no sir! I promised
myself that when I got out of the Army I'd never stand in
As a member of the organization that installs computer systems
aboard Navy ships, I am mindful of how important the off-ship
e-mail capabilities are to sailor morale, especially when
some vessels are deployed for up to six months. One day while
shopping at the base commissary, I noticed another crucial
aspect of my job. I was behind a frazzled mother with two
active children, and as I watched, she stalked over to where
her young son had perched himself on the rail of the freezer
case. "If you don't get off there right now," she
commanded, "I'm going to e-mail your father!"
This is one of the best comeback lines of all time. It is
a portion Of National Public Radio (NPR) interview between
a female broadcaster and US Marine Corps General Reinwald
who was about to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop visiting his military
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: So, General Reinwald, what things are
you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base?
GENERAL REINWALD: We're going to teach them climbing, canoeing,
archery, and shooting.
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Shooting! That's a bit irresponsible,
GENERAL REINWALD: I don't see why, they'll be properly supervised
on the rifle range.
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Don't you admit that this is a terribly
dangerous activity to be teaching children?
GENERAL REINWALD: I don't see how. We will be teaching them
proper rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: But you're equipping them to become violent
GENERAL REINWALD: Well, you're equipped to be a prostitute,
but you're not one, are you?
The radio went silent and the interview ended.
Airman Jones was assigned to the induction center, where he
advised new recruits about their government benefits, especially
their GI insurance. It wasn't long before Captain Smith noticed
that Airman Jones was having a staggeringly high success-rate,
selling insurance to nearly 100% of the recruits he advised.
Rather than ask about this, the Captain stood in the back
of the room and listened to Jones' sales pitch. Jones explained
the basics of the GI Insurance to the new recruits, and then
said: "If you have GI Insurance and go into battle and
are killed, the government has to pay $200,000 to your beneficiaries.
If you don't have GI insurance, and you go into battle and
get killed, the government only has to pay a maximum of $6000.
Now," he concluded, "which group do you think they
are going to send into battle first?"