As a sergeant in a parachute regiment, I took part in several night-time exercises. Once, I was seated next to a lieutenant fresh from jump school.
He was quiet and looked a bit pale, so I struck up a conversation. "Scared, lieutenant?" I asked.
He replied, "No, just a bit apprehensive."
I asked, "What's the difference?"
He replied, "That means I'm scared, but with a university education."
A young soldier was stationed at Myrtle Beach, S.C., where he spent his spare time fishing in the backwaters of the Intercoastal Waterway. Soon he became a guide of sorts for some senior non-commissioned officers.
Once, a chief master sergeant hooked a 20-pound striped bass. After he reeled the fish onto the boat, he slipped the hook out of its mouth and released it back into the water. He noticed the puzzled look on the face of the young soldier.
"Rank does have its privileges. I can't keep a fish that has more stripes than I do," he explained.
The commander of an army base had assembled all his troops for an exercise in combat. He told his troops.."When I give the order... fire at will!"
Just then one of the soldiers was seen running away. The commander barked out, "Who is that guy running away?"
"That's Will, sir!"
I was a new Army basic trainee at Fort McClellan, and one requirement was a demanding 12-mile march. We got started at 6 a.m. and were pumped up for the trek.
An hour later, feeling the heavy load of our packs, we wondered if the end would ever come.
"Men," our sergeant yelled, "you're doing a fine job. We've already covered four miles!"
Revitalized, we picked up the pace.
"And," continued Sarge, "we should reach the starting point any minute now."