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Posted: 11/21/2003 4:36:03 AM EDT
When i came home on leave once, my mom met me at the airport. We them proceeded to luggage pickup.

Mom took 1 look at my duffel bag and announced we'd get a Skycap to haul it. She looked to our left.

And then hailed an AIR FORCE COLONEL!!!!

This guy must have been one hell of an officer with a great sense of humor, because he gave me a quick, sharp STFU look and picked up my bag and actually hauled it all the way to our car!

He refused my mom's tip, saying that it was an honor to carry the bag of one of our young fighting men, yada yada yada.

Needless to say, I was in shock for weeks.

That was thirty years ago, and I never did tell my mom.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 4:38:40 AM EDT
you didnt tell your mom that story??>?
you have to tell her, thats some funny sh#t!!!
Colonel Skycap at your service.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 5:00:56 AM EDT
Never told Mom.

It wasn't until months later when I told my Battery commander the story that he pointed out that the Colonel probably loved to tell that story to generals on the O-club.

<half in the bag> "You should have seen the look on that little doggie PFC's face!!!"
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 7:45:21 AM EDT
They too (the colonels, etc) remember and really do tell stories like this. Dad is a retired Army Colonel. He and another Colonel (family friend) came to my Basic Training graduation (also 30 years ago, both are still alive by the way).
You should have seen the cadre jump when they showed up. Needless to say, I caught the dickens for a while (had to stay for a court martial proceeding) but it was all in "fun".
The family friend said it was fun to watch them dance. He then related how he use to "dance" when he was a company grade officer. This from a man whose most significant achievement was earning a silver star!


They still tell those stories, with affection.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 10:15:06 AM EDT
That's funny.

But then, I guess that explains a lot of what you do now-a-days.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 10:26:38 AM EDT
Classic, Goddamn, Classic!

Scribe, take note!!

Semper Fi
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 10:34:32 AM EDT
That is the kind of Col. that deserves to be General.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 3:29:31 PM EDT
My Dad used to carpool to his Army Reserve unit meetings. (The unit has evolved to the 311th Corp Support Command I think.) But it had a unit formation of one company of Field Grade officers and a platoon of Company Grade officers and a platoon of enlisted. One MGen, 2 BGen, etc. they passed in review when he retired. The BGens were Platoon Leaders, Squad leaders were full birds.

They were going to a meeting one time in fatigues and came across a car of young enlisted Marines in Dress Blues with a flat tire. So they stopped and changed the tire so they wouldn't mess up their blues. Said the Marines were in shock just seeing leaves and birds.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 3:41:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PaDanby:
They were going to a meeting one time in fatigues and came across a car of young enlisted Marines in Dress Blues with a flat tire. So they stopped and changed the tire so they wouldn't mess up their blues. Said the Marines were in shock just seeing leaves and birds.




Buy your old man a beer for me, will you? That's too cool.....
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 4:45:18 PM EDT
This is a fairly common occurrence in the fleet, but I didn't know it at the time: On my first Marine Corps Birthday, at the chow hall at Camp Kinser, Okinawa, the steam table was manned by three Sergeants Major and three full bird Colonels all in mess whites.

LCpl Jarhead_22: "Good afternoon, Sir."
Colonel Chowhall: "Happy Birthday, Marine! Mashed potatoes?"
LCpl Jarhead_22: "Yes Sir, thank you."

SgtMaj Chowhall: "Happy Birthday, Marine! Shrimp cocktail?"
LCpl Jarhead_22: "Yes Sergeant Major, thank you."

That was a cool Birthday.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 4:56:45 PM EDT
It goes both ways.

Some years back when I was still active duty AF, and was an E-3 at the time, I encountered a retired bird colonel with a flat tire on his Cadillac. He must have been near 70 and his wife was about the same age. They were about to call for help as in call a tow truck. I volunteered to change their tire and had the job done and them on the road in maybe fifteen minutes, tops.

It's just what you do. You help when you can.

CJ
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:02:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Jarhead_22:
This is a fairly common occurrence in the fleet, but I didn't know it at the time: On my first Marine Corps Birthday, at the chow hall at Camp Kinser, Okinawa, the steam table was manned by three Sergeants Major and three full bird Colonels all in mess whites.

LCpl Jarhead_22: "Good afternoon, Sir."
Colonel Chowhall: "Happy Birthday, Marine! Mashed potatoes?"
LCpl Jarhead_22: "Yes Sir, thank you."

SgtMaj Chowhall: "Happy Birthday, Marine! Shrimp cocktail?"
LCpl Jarhead_22: "Yes Sergeant Major, thank you."

That was a cool Birthday.



Man, that just put a smile on my face! Semper Fi brother.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:07:11 PM EDT
It only shows relativity of the branches. AF Col subordinate to an Army PFC. Sounds about right.

Just kidding...

Actually, what experience has taught me about officers is:

1: O1-O2 Sanctimonious pricks
2: O3-O4 Starting to chill
3: O5-06 Cool and like to have fun with the troops
4: General officers Privates with power. Totally cool and have been around more than long enough to realize that it is the enlisted that get the job done. They have realized that my chart is accurate and try to remind the O1-O4 that the NCO's rule the world.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:28:01 PM EDT
Funny, I had just taken a MATS flight into New Jersey in '66, from CA, after my first deployment. Was heading to Boston, took a bus, and here's this AF Colonel next to me.... I spent quite a bit of time with pilots, (Avaition Ordnanceman), so we had a nice chat...

I must be bored, WTF does what I typed have to do wif anything.???

Oh, yeah, Air Force Colonel.....

Anyway..... back in the (Great), blizzard of '28...... ah... ....[:\]
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:30:33 PM EDT
When I was a RADAR tech with VMFAT-101 at Yuma, I worked mid crew for several months. We were briefed that the Commandant and SgtMaj of the Marine Corps would be having breakfast at the enlisted chow hall one fine morning after work, and our Gunny wanted us to be on our best behavior if we were going to eat breakfast.

I was in the chow line, right behind my buddy LCpl Fatturi. Fatturi was going on and on about how nervous he was due to the possibility of making contact with the two VIP guests.

I told him not to worry about it. That the CMC and SgtMajMC were most likely ficticious characters, and we had a better chance of bumping into the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. Two seconds after I made that comment, someone patted me on the back and said, "How are you doing today Devil Dog?!". That cold pit in my stomach let me know who it was even before I turned around. Sergeant Major Cleary, 10th SgtMaj of the Marine Corps. The look in his eye let me know he heard my Tooth Fairy comment, but the faint smile on his face let me know he was not offended by it either.

Fatturi didn't know whether to shit or go blind.

I thought the Gunny was going to have a stroke when he found out about it a few days later.


Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:44:07 PM EDT
I'd agree, in general, with the previous assessment of the various officer's grades and their general attitudes.

While it's by no means written in stone that an officer has to learn to chill out in order to succeed (certainly there are many who become MORE sanctimonious and MORE prick-like as they advance in rank!), I'd say that this is USUALLY the case.

Some of the officers I've met who advanced in the ranks fastest were the ones who caught on to the need for a harmonious working relationship with their enlisted personnel soonest.

I've met one or two really outstanding young 2lt's who started their active duty careers by meeting their staffs and introducing themselves by saying "Hi. As you can tell, I'm fresh out of the academy and these two pieces of metal on my shoulders say that I'm an officer and allegedly in charge here, but I know better than that and you do too. Please help me figure out what MY job REALLY is while I learn what YOU are doing, and I'll stay out of your way and let you do your jobs, which I'm sure you know and have been doing for quite some time."

These good young lieutenants, who realized quite early that their degree and their gold bars don't make you a great officer, and saw that their enlisted personnel were almost all more experienced in their jobs, learned to do their jobs efficiently and were very well respected and liked by the enlisted people around them. And the officers were rewarded for their respect and clear understanding of the true situation by the enlisted crews busting their asses to the benefit of the entire organization.

Knowing your place is a wonderful thing.

CJ
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:50:56 PM EDT
I was in Army Basic Training at Ft Jackson in 1966. My best friend was also from Florida and his Dad was a four star Air Force General. I think he was in charge of the Southeran Command at the time and was in charge of McDill Air Force Base. I knew the family pretty well before going into the Army.

Near the end of Basic he came to visit his son on a training day. You should have seen all the Army brass falling all over themselves trying to accomodate his every whim.

The one star general of the base showed the guy around. The drill sgts were as nervous as could be. He took his son and invited me for a beer at the Officer's Club. We had a nice visit. After that the Drill Sargents didn't mess with us at all.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:00:46 PM EDT
That's one thing that was cool about being stationed at Wonderful Walter Reed in DC. I went drinking with a few Colonels several times. I was on a first name basis with all the 0-4 and up in the ER. They were all Docs and really cool guys. I had a reserve General get in my face once in the ER, and my friend the active duty West Point graduate Lt. Colonel in charge that day kicked the General out of the ER! I was in shock and awe. Cool guys those Army docs. We had an intern that was a Captain, they all start out that way, that got in my face once and proceeded to chew me out in the middle of the ER, had me stand at attention. Afterwards a few of the Captains told me to send the incident to the Major above them. The Captain ended up getting a SEVERE reprimand from a full bull Colonel. The Major told me all about it the next day. Never saw that Captain again. That Captain may not have finished her training.
A friend of mine blackmailed a Major and a SFC once over an affair they were having. He had E-mail proof. He got out of an AWOL charge, and was given a four day pass.
Lucky bastard!
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:04:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
These good young lieutenants, who realized quite early that their degree and their gold bars don't make you a great officer, and saw that their enlisted personnel were almost all more experienced in their jobs, learned to do their jobs efficiently and were very well respected and liked by the enlisted people around them. And the officers were rewarded for their respect and clear understanding of the true situation by the enlisted crews busting their asses to the benefit of the entire organization.


I was lucky enough in my time in the Marine Corps that at least the first officer in my chain of command was always a mustang. When I was a comm tech at the telephone office on MCAS Yuma, our OIC was an LDO Captain. He personified the officer you describe, only he had been a comm tech himself as an enlisted man. He literally could do our jobs, and we knew it. We also knew what he expected from us, and since he had done the job we were doing, knew his expectations were realistic.

We busted our asses for him; he and our NCOIC took great care of us and never let anyone break our balls. The Colonel never called and broke the Captain's balls because we made sure that wasn't going to happen.

When I was promoted to Sergeant, he came to my wet-down at the strip club there in Yuma...or so I heard. I don't remember much of that night.

Last I heard, he was a Major and CO of 2nd ELMACO at Camp Lejeune.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 7:54:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/22/2003 7:58:37 PM EDT by DocH]
During the PGW, as a Navy LT flight surgeon, I had to transport a critically injured Marine off our ship (USS Nassau LHA-4). It so happened that the Surgeon General of the Navy, VADM Zimble, and his entourage were on the ship as part of a tour around the Naval medical assets deployed for Desert Shield / Desert Storm. It also happened that the admiral's party and my patient were headed the same direction, to Masirah Island; the admiral to meet a C-9, and me and my patient to meet an Air Force medevac C-130.

So, we all boarded a CH-53 and took off from the Nassau. At Masirah airstrip, the CH-53 landed tail-to-tail with the C-130, which was waiting for us impatiently, engines running, with the ramp down. As soon as the '53 crew chief dropped our ramp, I hustled over to the '130 to make sure this was indeed our ride. It was, and the Air Force crew chief started waving over to our '53 in an impatient "let's go, let's go" motion. Before I could do anything else, VADM Zimble shrugged, and motioned to his staff (all O-5's and O-6's). They all latched on to the Stokes litter, and hauled my Marine over to the back of the C-130. You shoulda seen the the faces on those Air Force types when the litter party climbed up the ramp!

All I could stammer was "Thanks, Admiral!" He waved, mouthed a "Good Luck" over the noise of all the engines, and they all headed out across the tarmac to the pax terminal.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 8:13:20 PM EDT

We had been operating with a carrier task force for a couple of weeks when the Admiral on the carrier decided he wanted to visit a submarine. I was standing by the aft hatch when this guy pops down the ladder, sticks his hand out to me and says "my name's Miller what's yours ??"

That Admiral that was a welcome visitor !
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