Oldies but ‘goodies’…

Military staffer’s comments… STILL true, if not truer today! 🙁


“Please don’t laugh. This is my job.” Maj (EUCOM) from Protocol, explaining in great detail the approved procedures for dropping off VIPs

“If we wait until the last minute to do it, it’ll only take a minute.” MAJ (EUCOM)

“The only reason that anything ever gets done is because there are pockets of competence in every command. The key is to find them…and then exploit the hell out of ’em.” CDR (CENTCOM)

“We are condemned men who are chained and will row in place until we rot.” LtCol (CENTCOM) on life at his Command

“Right now we’re pretty much the ham in a bad ham sandwich…” GO/FO (EUCOM)

“Let’s face it: Africa sucks…” DOS representative (Bureau of African Affairs) at a conference on Africa

“I’ll be right back. I have to go pound my nuts flat…” Lt Col (EUCOM) after being assigned a difficult tasker

“OK, this is too stupid for words.” LTC (JS)

“When you get right up to the line that you’re not supposed to cross, the only person in front of you will be me!” CDR (CENTCOM) on his view of the value of being politically correct in today’s military

“There’s nothing wrong with crossing that line a little bit, it’s jumping over it buck naked that will probably get you in trouble…” Lt Col (EUCOM) responding to the above

“I may be slow, but I do poor work…” MAJ (USAREUR)

“Don’t ever be the first…don’t ever be the last…and don’t ever volunteer to do anything….” CDR (EUCOM) relating an ancient Navy truism

“Hey, somebody should really do that…” CDR (CENTCOM) on the CENTCOM tasking process

“Cynicism is the smoke that rises from the ashes of burned out dreams.” Maj (CENTCOM) on the daily thrashings delivered to AOs at his Command

“WE are the reason that Rumsfeld hates us…” LTC (EUCOM) doing some standard, Army self-flagellation

“South of the Alps and East of the Adriatic, paranoia is considered mental equilibrium…”

“The chance of success in these talks is the same as the number of “R’s” in “fat chance…”” GS-15 (SHAPE)

“His knowledge on that topic is only power point deep…” MAJ (JS)

“We have no position on that issue. In fact, your position IS our position. Could you tell us what our position is?” CDR (TRANSCOM) at a policy SVTC

“Ya know, in this Command, if the world were supposed to end tomorrow, it would still happen behind schedule.” CWO4 (ret) (EUCOM)

“Never pet a burning dog.” LTC (Tennessee National Guard)

“I need intelligence, not information.” Maj (EUCOM)

“‘Status quo,’ as you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in…'” Attributed to former President Ronald Reagan

“We are now past the good idea cutoff point…” MAJ (JS) on the fact that somebody always tries to “fine tune” a COA with more “good ideas”

“Nobody ever said you had to be smart to make 0-6.” Col (EUCOM)

“Accuracy and attention to detail take a certain amount of time.”

“No need to tip our hand as to how responsive we can be.” CDR (EUCOM) in a passdown to his replacement

“I seem to be rapidly approaching the apex of my mediocre career.” MAJ (JS)

“I just realized that this War on Terror might take a little longer than we thought, so I am developing a new system of hanging charts on walls to solve our problem and win the war.” LTC (EUCOM) after a review of long range Counter Terrorism (CT) plans

“Much work remains to be done before we can announce our total failure to make any progress.”

“None of us is as dumb as all of us.” Excerpted from a brief (EUCOM)

“It’s not a lot of work unless you have to do it.” LTC (EUCOM)

“Creating smoking holes gives our lives meaning and enhances our manliness.” LTC (EUCOM) at a CT conference

“Everyone should have an equal chance, but not everyone is equal.”

“I am so far down the food chain that I’ve got plankton bites on my butt.”

“Once you accept that a dog is a dog, you can’t get upset when it barks.” Lt Col (USSOCOM), excerpts

“That guy just won’t take ‘yes’ for an answer.” MAJ (EUCOM)

“When all else fails, simply revel in the absurdity of it all.” LCDR (CENTCOM)

“Never attribute to malice that which can be ascribed to sheer stupidity.” LTC (CENTCOM)

“I hear so much about Ft. Bragg. Where is it?” “It’s in the western part of southeastern North Carolina.” LCDR and CPT (EUCOM)

“I’ve become the master of nodding my head and acting like I give a sh!t, and then instantly forgetting what the hell a person was saying the moment they walk away.” Flag-level Executive A$$istant

“Mark my words, this internet thing is gonna catch on someday.” LTC (EUCOM)

“You’re not a loser. You’re just not my kind of winner…” GS-14 (OSD)

“He who strives for the minimum rarely attains it.” GS-12 (DOS)

“I’m tired of waiting on somebody who I know is just going to ignore me once they arrive.” Lt Col (EUCOM), while waiting to start a brief for a visiting VIP

“If I’d had more time, I’da written a shorter brief…” Derived from the writings of Mark Twain

“You only know as much as you don’t know.” GO (EUCOM)

“Hello gentlemen. Are we in today or are you just ignoring my request?” GS-15 (DSCA) in an email to EUCOM staffers

“After seeing the way this place works, I bet that Mickey Mouse wears a EUCOM watch.” Maj (EUCOM)

“That’s FUBIJAR.” COL (CENTCOM), Fu–ed Up, But I’m Just a Reservist…

“As far as I’m concerned, I’m the only one that matters in here.” COL (CENTCOM)

“This is all happening because we had the sympathetic detonation of a stress grenade.” Maj (EUCOM) after an insignificant issue became a theater focus because somebody used the “Reply all” function

“Nothing is too good for you guys…and that’s exactly what you’re gonna get…” LTC (EUCOM) describing the way Army policy is formulated

“The only thing that sucks worse than being me is being you…” LTC (EUCOM)

“I have to know what I don’t know…” Col (CENTCOM) during a shift changeover briefing

“No. Now I’m simply confused at a higher level…” Foreign GO/FO when asked if he had any questions following a transformation brief at JFCOM

“‘Leaning forward’ is really just the first phase of ‘falling on your face.'” Col (MARFOREUR)

“We’ve got to start collaborating between the collaboration systems.”

“We’re from the nuke shop, sir. We’re the crazy aunt in the closet that nobody likes to talk about …” Lt Col to GO/FO (EUCOM) in briefings

“We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much for so long with so little, that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.” Anonymous, but classic…

“The ‘L’ in CENTCOM stands for leadership…”

“At this Command, we have written in large, black letters: DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) on the back of our security badges.” Maj (CENTCOM)

“He cloaked himself in an impenetrable veneer of terminology.” Lt Col (JFCOM) describing the Jiffiecom alpha male

“Transformation has long been the buzzword for those that are dispossessed, dispirited and disillusioned…” Chaplain (EUCOM), allegedly talking about the Disciples…


Oldies but ‘goodies’… — 22 Comments

  1. Some REALLY good ones there sir, thank you for sharing them with us. A good way to start a Monday at work …

  2. Once upon a time, assigned the task of writing an AAR following a tricky mission, I was told that I had to run the finished product past the operations officer before I could submit it to the commander for final approval. Aforementioned ops officer’s favorite hobby was picking flysh*t out of black pepper. He nitpicked just about every single line, and I was beginning to understand why fragging had become fashionable, when an old Chief (E-9) said, “Don’t pay any attention to him. Until he gets a chance to pee in it, he won’t like the way it tastes.”

    It’s sad, but there’s way too many people like that officer in the world.

  3. My recollection — which at my age could be faulty — is that ““Everyone should have an equal chance, but not everyone is equal.” was President Kennedy, speaking on equality and discrimination. Not, of course, what the civil rights crowd heard or did. At any rate, the quote is on the wall in the lobby of the Kennedy Centre in DC.

  4. Flew back with a perky O-6 that was a Protocol officer for the JCOS. She was very nice but said during a convoy in Iraq she was placed in charge of a fire extinguisher. I guess they didn’t trust her with weapons.

  5. Worked for an O-6 during Desert Storm who had a needlepoint on his office wall. “Never let the bureaucrat win.”

  6. Julio- Thank you!

    RS- OH so true… I was OIC for a 26 day det, and had the same issue with ‘my’ Ops O.

    Ian- Yes it is, I’ve seen it!

    Gerry- LOL, I can believe that!

    Paw- If only… Sigh… They usually win because they outlast us.

  7. Hey old NFO;

    Those are funny as sh*t, pardon the pun. I have experienced quite a few of those commands and they are soo true. My favorite was “no plan survives the first contact with a staff meeting.”

  8. may favorite, “I am so far down the food chain that I’ve got plankton bites on my butt.” Exactly how I felt as an E-2 reporting aboard ship after boot camp. The lowest of the low and the newest of the new. And it seems that all wise-ass officers are transferred to EUCOM – the Happy Work Place.

  9. Thanks for the list of some very funny stuff! Makes for a nice lift in the evening after all the “other” news.

  10. That “sympathetic detonation of a stress grenade”… There were a couple of people at work that simply DID NOT KNOW how to reply to an email without using the “reply all” function. The rest of us would watch for any even mildly controversial email to come out from above and then get the popcorn going, because their replies absolutely always made for great entertainment.

  11. I’ve always added “forever” to the end of:

    “We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much for so long with so little, that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.” Anonymous, but classic…

  12. Bob- We ALL have… sigh

    CP- And they were well deserved… LOL

    Gassius- Thank you sir!

    Pedi- Oh yeah… LOL

    David- That probably dates back to the ROMANS…LOL

    SPE- You were the J-2? 😛

  13. Only heard a few of those.

    Considering the source(s), I bet they’re all 100% true!

  14. Chuckling, if some of those words were changed, the phrases would apply to a T some Engineering and Ops officers I knew back in the day.

  15. I’ve no doubt those sentiments were originally expressed in Latin, eh OldNFO?
    From my old place of employment:
    “We didn’t win the Cold War, the Soviets lost it.” – SOVA analyst.
    “Technology is no substitute for skill.” EURA analyst who pushed aside his Delta Data (remember them?), put down a 1928 Underwood upright (look it up) and ran of a 10 page report … perfectly spaced, spelled and formatted.
    “With any luck one day he’ll forget to look both ways before crossing the street.” – about a GS-7 who had been in grade a very, very long time.
    “I wonder if I’ll be posted to France, Switzerland, or Belgium.” – eager new young thing not realizing her French skills would soon land her in west Africa. Should have majored in history or geography.
    “Fuck you! I quit!!” NOC upon being told his P.C.S. to a 3rd World Hellhole had been cancelled and, no, the Company was NOT going to reimburse him for the year’s supply of canned food.

  16. ““Please don’t laugh. This is my job.” Maj (EUCOM) from Protocol, explaining in great detail the approved procedures for dropping off VIPs”

    I got “volunteered” to pick up a Admiral from a meeting in Palm Springs and transport him to March Air Force base where his plane was waiting. A Captain from the CG’s office came to the motor pool and gave the 3 drivers a lesson on how to open the door, salute and generally take care of our flag officers.

    A hour before we were to leave, I get called into the Gunny’s office. It seems there is a top secret message for the Admiral that can’t wait. The Gunny smiled and informed me that there were 2 enlisted people with top secret clearances in the motor pool and he wasn’t going.

    So instead of driving the Admiral, I took the station wagon and delivered his message. I got to haul his luggage to the plane. When I got there, I helped the crew unload everything and got invited to stay and get the grand tour. The Admirals plane was a old DC-3. I got to leanr how to play Backgammon and before I left the flight crew got me on the jump seat between their seats and slightly rear and let me watch them do the pre-flight. Including running up the engines.

    I had a lot better experience than the other 3 that were driving the officers.