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Marching Jodies for Information Managers
My first assignment on active duty was as an executive officer (i.e. administrative weenie). During the gruelling 5-week IM (information manager) training course, I and some of my classmates came up with these jodies (marching songs).
I don't know, but it's been said
In my office, work all day
Scroll of silver on my chest
"Semper Scribus" is our creed
If I die while at my desk
Four-dash-fifty is OK
BITS is BITS and that is that
Shuffle those papers and run to the door
ten-dash-one is oh so fun!
If I go to a foreign land
More powerful than a battleship
I.M. commandos running down the isles
In the enemy's office in the dead of night
Locator roster on the wall
The Hotel Al-Kharj
Prince Sultan Air Base is the main U.S. air base in Saudi Arabia, located near Al-Kharj (alias "Al's Garage", probably arabic for "middle of nowhere"). This is sung to the tune of the Eagles' "Hotel California".
On a dark desert flightline, hot dust in my hair
Welcome to the Hotel Al-Kharj
Our hosts wear long white dresses, they got the Mercedes Benz
Welcome to the Hotel Al-Kharj
There are no curtains in the showers
The Origin of Rank Insignia
The U.S. decided it needed to create insignia for officers to show their rank and to distinguish them from officers of other countries, so they put a committee together.
Second lieutenants, since they are the future of the military, are very valuable, decided the committee. They are also very malleable, so their insignia shall be a gold bar.
First lieutenants are also valuable, but not quite as malleable, so they will be designated by a silver bar.
A captain should be able to do twice the work of a lieutenant, therefore, they get two bars.
They further decided that colonels hold lofty positions of authority, like eagles soaring overhead, so that should be their insignia.
Generals, they reasoned, are even higher than colonels, so they should be designated by stars, which are higher in the sky than the birds.
Then the committee thought about what device to use for majors and lieutenant colonels. They thought and thought, but couldn't come up with anything. After long deliberation, the chaplain on the committee spoke up and said "Well, since Adam and Eve's day, we've always covered our unmentionables with leaves..."
Feed the Pilots
an appeal from Sally Struthers and the Feed the Pilots Foundation...
It's just not right. Thousands of Air Force pilots in our very own country are living at or just below the six-figure salary line. If that wasn't bad enough, many of them may go several weeks or months without a bonus if they are forced to wait for Congress to pass needed legislation. Congress is just "sitting" on much-needed legislation to increase the pilot bonus (ACP) to $25,000 per year, and while we wait our pilots are going without any bonus payments at all!
But you can help! For $480 a week (that's less than the price of a 31" television set) you can help keep a pilot economically viable during his (or her) time of need. $480 a week may not seem like a lot of money to you, but to a pilot it could mean the difference between a vacation fishing in Florida or a Mediterranean cruise.
For you, $480 may be nothing more than half a month's rent or mortgage payment, but to an Air Force pilot, $480 a week is their god-given right for the hardships of having to fly a sleek fighter or a mission-critical transport plane instead of some old commercial airliner between La Guardia and Atlanta.
$480 a week will enable a needy pilot to upgrade his or her home computer, buy that new high-definition TV set, trade in the 6-month old Lexus for a Ferrari, or simply enjoy a dinner (with champagne) at The Mansion.
HOW WILL YOU KNOW YOU'RE HELPING?
Each month, you'll receive a complete financial statement report on the pilot you sponsor. Detailed information about his or her stocks, bonds, and real estate holdings will be mailed directly to your home. You will be able to watch your pilot's net worth grow. You will also have information on how they choose to invest their salary when they eventually separate to take a commercial aviation job.
HOW WILL THEY KNOW YOU'RE HELPING?
Your pilot will be told that he or she has a SPECIAL FRIEND that just wants to help. Although the pilot won't know your name, he or she will be able to make collect calls to your home via a special operator in case they need more funds.
So won't you please help these pilots in their time of need by sending your donation of just $480 a week by check or credit card to:
In the Personal Ads...
Mature North American Superpower seeks hostile partner for arms racing third world conflicts, and general antagonism. Must be sufficiantly menacing to convince Congress of military financial requirements. Nuclear capablility is preferred, however non-nuclear candidates possessing significant biological/chemical warfare resources will be considered. Send note with pictures of Fleet, Air squadrons and Army to:
The Most Dangerous Things in the Air Force
Life in Thule
A military transport carrying important supplies across "the pond" lands at Thule Air Station in Greenland for refueling. The flight engineer, while doing his walk-around check, notices that the station's crew chief, an A1C, is smoking a cigarette on the flight line while the "honey truck" empties the plane's commode.
"Airman! what the hell do you think you're doing? You're going to be in so much trouble when I'm through with you!"
Hearing this, the crew chief fell to the ground laughing
"What's so funny?" demanded the FE.
The airman replied, "I live on a glacier where it's winter 12 months out of the year, I make less than minimum wage, and I'm unloading shit from an airplane. What do you think you can do to me?"
New Enlistment Oaths
U.S. Air Force Oath of Enlistment
I, Zoomie, swear to sign away 4 years of my useless life to the United States Air Force because I'm too smart for the Army and because the Marines frighten me. I swear to sit behind a desk and take credit for the work done by others more dedicated than me who take their job seriously. I also swear not to do any form of real exercise, but promise to defend the stationary bike as a valid test of fitness.
I promise to walk around calling everyone by their first name because I know I'm not really in the military and I find it amusing to annoy the other services. I will have a better quality of life than all those around me and will at all times be sure to make them aware of that fact.
After completion of my "Basic Training," I will be a lean, mean, donut-eating, lazy-boy sitting, civilian-wearing-blue-clothes, chairborne Ranger. I will believe I am superior to all others and will make an effort to clean the knife before stabbing the next person in the back with it. I will do no work (unless someone is watching me and it makes me look good), will annoy those around me, and will go home early every day.
I consent to never getting promoted (EVER) and understand that all those whom I made fun of yesterday will probably outrank me tomorrow.
U.S. Army Oath of Enlistment
I, Rambo, swear to sign away 4 years of my mediocre life to the United States Army because I couldn't score high enough on the ASVAB to get into the Air Force, because I'm not tough enough for the Marines, and the Navy won't take me because I can't swim.
I will wear camouflage every day and tuck my trousers in my boots because I can't figure out how to use blousing straps. I promise to wear my uniform 24 hours a day even when I have a date. I will continue to tell myself that I am a fierce killing machine because my Drill Sergeant told me I am, despite the fact that the only action I will ever see is a court-martial for sexual harassment.
I acknowledge the fact that I will make E-8 in my first year of service, and vow to maintain that it is because I scored perfect on my PT test. After completion of my sexual...er...I mean Boot Camp, I will attend a different Army school once every other month and return knowing less than I did when I left. On my first trip home after Boot Camp, I will walk around like I am cool and propose to my 9th grade sweetheart.I will make my wife stay home because if I let her out she might leave me for a smarter Air Force guy or a better looking Marine. Should she leave me twelve times, I will continue to take her back. While at work, I will maintain a look of knowledge while getting absolutely nothing accomplished. I will arrive at work every day at 1000 hrs because of morning PT and leave every day at 1300 to report back to the "company."
I understand that I will undergo no training whatsoever that will help me get a job upon separation, and will end up working in construction with my friends from high school. I will brag to everyone about the Army giving me $30,000 for college, but will be unable to use it because I can't pass a placement exam.
U.S. Navy Oath of Enlistment
I, Top Gun, in lieu of going to prison, swear to sign away 4 years of my life to the United States Navy because I want to hang out with Marines without actually having to BE one of them, because I thought the Air Force was too "corporate," and because I thought, "hey, I like to swim...why not?" I promise to wear clothing that went out of style in 1976 and to have my name stenciled on the butt of every pair of pants I own. I understand that I will be mistaken for the Good Humor man during the summer, and for Waffen SS during the winter.
I will strive to use a different language than the rest of the English-speaking world, using worlds like "deck, bulkhead, cover, and head" instead of "floor, wall, hat, and toilet." I will take great pride in the fact that all Navy acronyms, rank and insignia, and everything else for that matter, are completely different from the other services and make absolutely no sense whatsoever. I will muster (whatever that is) at 0700 hrs every morning unless I am buddy-buddy with the Chief, in which case I will show up around 0930 hours.
I vow to hone my coffee cup handling skills to the point that I can stand up in a kayak being tossed around in a typhoon, and still not spill a drop. I consent to being promoted and subsequently busted at least twice per fiscal year. I realize that, once selected for Chief, I am required to submit myself to the sick, and quite possibly illegal, whims of my new-found "colleagues."
U.S. Marine Corps Oath of Enlistment
I, state your name, swear... uuhhhh... high-and-tight...cammies... uhh... ugh... Air Force women... OORAH!
So help me Corps.
Because the husband had just gotten home from a six-month deployment in Saudi Arabia, the husband and wife were furiously making love when, all of a sudden, the wind slammed a door shut somewhere else in the house.
The husband says, "Oh no! That must be your husband coming home."
And the wife replies, "No. He's off in Saudi for six months."
What Pentagon officials say - And what they really mean:
Risk is high but within acceptable ranges of risk:
Potential show stopper:
Serious but not insurmountable problems:
Basic agreement has been reached:
Results are being quantified:
Task force to review:
Not well defined at this time:
Still analyzing the requirements:
Not well understood:
Requires further analysis and management attention:
Results are promising:
HOW TO OPERATE A HELICOPTER MECHANIC
By William C. Dykes
A long, long time ago, back in the days of iron men and wooden rotor blades, a ritual began. It takes place when a helicopter pilot approaches a mechanic to report some difficulty with his aircraft. All mechanics seem to be aware of it, which leads to the conclusion that it's included somewhere in their training, and most are diligent in practicing it.
New pilots are largely ignorant of the ritual because it's neither included in their training, nor handed down to them by older drivers. Older drivers feel that the pain of learning everything the hard way was so exquisite, that they shouldn't deny anyone the pleasure.
There are pilots who refuse to recognize it as a serious professional amenity, no matter how many times they perform it, and are driven to distraction by it. Some take it personally. They get red in the face, fume and boil, and do foolish dances. Some try to take it as a joke, but it's always dead serious. Most pilots find they can't change it, and so accept it and try to practice it with some grace.
The ritual is accomplished before any work is actually done on the aircraft. It has four parts, and goes something like this:
After the ritual has been played through in it's entirety, serious discussion begins, and the problem is usually solved forthwith.
Like most rituals, this one has it's roots in antiquity and a basis in experience and common sense. It started back when mechanics first learned to operate pilots, and still serves a number of purposes. It's most important function is that it is a good basic diagnostic technique. Causing the pilot to explain the symptoms of the problem several times in increasing detail not only saves troubleshooting time, but gives the mechanic insight into the pilot's knowledge of how the machine works, and his state of mind.
Every mechanic knows that if the if the last flight was performed at night or in bad weather, some of the problems reported are imagined, some exaggerated, and some are real. Likewise, a personal problem, especially romantic or financial, but including simple fatigue, affects a pilot's perception of every little rattle and thump. There are also chronic whiners complainers to be weeded out and dealt with. While performing the ritual, an unscrupulous mechanic can find out if the pilot can be easily intimidated. If the driver has an obvious personality disorder like prejudices, pet peeves, tender spots, or other manias, they will stick out like handles, with which he can be steered around.
There is a proper way to operate a mechanic as well. Don't confuse "operating" a mechanic with "putting one in his place." The worst and most often repeated mistake is to try to establish an "I'm the pilot and you're just the mechanic" hierarchy. Although a lot of mechanics can and do fly recreationally, they give a damn about doing it for a living. Their satisfaction comes from working on complex and expensive machinery. As a pilot, you are neither feared nor envied, but merely tolerated, for until they actually train monkeys to fly those things, he needs a pilot to put the parts in motion so he can tell if everything is working properly. The driver who tries to put a mech in his "place" is headed for a fall. Sooner or later, he'll try to crank with the blade tied down. After he has snatched the tailboom around to the cabin door and completely burnt out the engine, he'll see the mech there sporting a funny little smirk. Helicopter mechanics are indifferent to attempts at discipline or regimentation other than the discipline of their craft. It's accepted that a good mechanic's personality should contain unpredictable mixtures of irascibility and nonchalance, and should exhibit at least some bizarre behavior.
The basic operation of a mechanic involves four steps:
As you can see, operating a helicopter mechanic is simple, but it is not easy. What it boils down to is that if a pilot performs his pilot rituals religiously in no time at all he will find the mechanic operating smoothly. ( I have not attempted to explain how to make friends with a mechanic, for that is not known.) Helicopter pilots and mechanics have a strange relationship. It's a symbiotic partnership because one's job depends on the other, but it's an adversary situation too, since one's job is to provide the helicopter with loving care, and the other's is to provide wear and tear. Pilots will probably always regard mechanics as lazy, lecherous, intemperate swine who couldn't make it through flight school, and mechanics will always be convinced that pilots are petulant children with pathological ego problems, a big watch, and a little whatchamacallit. Both points of view are viciously slanderous, of course, and only partly true.
The General's Physical
The General goes to the flight surgeon for his physical exam. The surgeon says, "General, what kind of problems are you having?". The General says "None whatsoever".
Surgeon says "What about your sex life, when was the last time you had sex?"
The General says "1959".
The Surgeon says "Wow, that's a long time ago".
The General says "But it's only 0830."
Most of you are probably familiar with John Gillespie Magee Jr's famous poem. You may be less familiar with its FAA Supplement, or its counterpart for low-level flying...
Federal Aviation Administration Supplement 1:
Oh! I've slipped through the swirling clouds of dust,
The New Colonel
Having just moved into his new office, a pompous new colonel was sitting at his desk when an airman knocked on the door. Conscious of his new position, the colonel quickly picked up the phone, told the airman to enter, then said into the phone, "Yes, General, I'll be seeing him this afternoon and I'll pass along your message. In the meantime, thank you for your good wishes, sir." Feeling as though he had sufficiently impressed the young enlisted man, he asked, "What do you want?"
"Nothing important, sir," the airman replied, "just here to hook up your telephone."
An airman finds a barber shop near the base and goes inside for a haircut. After getting a nice, short flat-top, the airman asks how much he should pay.
"No charge, son" replies the barber, "Your dedication and sacrifice in the service of our nation is payment enough."
The next day, as he opens shop, the barber finds a squadron T-shirt and a thank-you note left by his customer. Later that day, a staff sergeant comes in, asking the barber to take a little bit off the sides. When the haircut was complete and the NCO reaches for his wallet, the barber again says:
"No charge, sergeant. Your dedication and sacrifice in the service of our nation is payment enough."
The next day, as he opens shop, he is pleased to find an Air Force hat and a squadron coin by the door, with a thank-you note. Later that day, a colonel comes in, asking if the barber can do something to cover his bald spot. The barber obliges, and when it comes time to pay, he again says:
"No charge, sir. Your dedication and sacrifice in the service of our nation is payment enough."
The barber comes to work the next day and finds on his doorstep ... three more Air Force colonels.
Message from Starfleet
The loadmaster on a USAF C-130 was invited to take the engineer's seat for awhile. He started jabbering away, not realizing that he was trans- mitting on Uniform instead of over the ICS: LM: "Hey, this is great! I see why you engineers like this seat so much -- you can see everything from here! This is just like the starship Enterprise! All ahead, Mr. Sulu, warp factor ten!"
Followed shortly afterward by: "You wanna get back on intercom, Captain Kirk? You're transmitting on my frequency!"
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Last Update: Sep 2001