Friday, December 14, 2012


One of the first things I learned when I got to Fort Benning - Home of the Infantry - were these words of wisdom, posted on the wall of the barracks:

"All hands shall be awake, alert and ready for action before dawn. Dawn's when the French and Indians like to attack."

The story about the French & the Indians motto goes W-A-A-A-Y back to before America was a country - I've written about it before. The British were having a war against the French up in Canada. A force of American Rangers was stood up - irregular light infantry - to conduct raids and reconnaissance against the French forces and their Iroquois allies. This organization was called Roger's Rangers after their commanding officer, Major Roger, and they were the first in the direct lineage of today's Ranger and Special Forces regiments.

To this day, Standing Orders, Roger's Rangers are posted on the walls of every US Infantry unit.

Rule Number One: " Don't Forget Nothin' "

There are a few other beauties in there -

#2. Keep your musket clean as a whistle, hatchet sharp and scoured, sixty rounds powder and ball, and be ready to march at a minute’s warning.

#4. Tell the truth about what you see and do. There is an army depending on you for correct information. You can lie all you please when you tell other folks about the Rangers, but never lie to another Ranger or to an officer.

That rule about "Tell the truth about what you see and do." - the way it was explained to me:

"You can say whatever you want to some blonde bimbo in a bar, but never lie to another Green Beret or a Ranger."

Having said that, let me tell you about the biggest institutional lie we've got in the Special Forces:

I went to the Special Forces Underwater Operations school in Key West, Florida. I was a Combat Diver. Our badge was this little US Navy Scuba Diver badge - nothing like the heroic Navy SEAL badge, it is the most humble of all the dive badges - and we were prouder than pigs in sh*t to wear that little thing on our bona fide freedom fighting barrel-chests. The thing really is so goofy it looked like some kind of space suit from a B-grade 1950s science fiction movie:

Now then, there are so very FEW of us Combat Divers in the US Army, that what would happen was INEVITABLY some blonde bimbo would point to it and say, "Excuse me Sergeant, what is that badge?"

And that would open the door for the stock answer: "Army Astronaut Badge, Ma'am!"

Bimbo would go, "R-E-A-L-L-Y-?-?-?"

The Lie continues: "Yep, back in the late Eighties they had this program to put Green Berets and Rangers on the Space Shuttle."

By this time the girls eyes are going B-O-I-N-G out of her eye sockets and that's when you really knew you had her.

"The mission was to man those solar-powered laser cannons and the electro-magnetic pulse rifles they have up there."

The bimbo is totally hooked by now . . . she's going, "OH . . . MY . . . GAWD . . . DID YOU DO THAT?"

At this point to make it TOTALLY believable you'd have to vector off, "Naw. We went thru the training and earned the badge, but they never put the plan into operation; because of the strategic treaty agreements with the Russians you know . . . but this was the part of Reagan's Star Wars strategy that REALLY led to the fall of the Berlin Wall . . . nobody actually knows that to this day - it's Top Secret so don't tell anybody what I just told you . . ."

When they introduced the new Special Operations Combat Diver Badge it looks snazzy with those daggers and sharks but kind of blew it for the Big Army Astronaut Lie.

Some people might say this is not good for the karma. I'd say that's only if you took advantage of the young lady's naïveté . . . and I would NEVER do a thing like that.

The rule is out there:

"You can lie all you please when you tell other folks about the Rangers, but never lie to another Ranger or to an officer."

or more aptly stated:

"You can say whatever you want to some blonde bimbo in a bar, but never lie to another Green Beret or a Ranger."

And of course, it's not really taking advantage, if she really wants to be taken advantage of . . .

In my work there's more than a few of us ex-SFers around - one of them like myself put a lot of time into the organization. Well, the other day I was telling the Door-Gunner-on-the-Space-Shuttle whopper to one of the girls in the office and I kept glancing over to catch my buddy's eye. Was he going to bust me out, or was he going to get in line like a good wingman? Everybody knows your always supposed to cover your buddy's 6, but buddy's only half a word:

Sure enough my buddy starts honking: "DOOR GUNNER on the SPACE SHUTTLE - that's no big deal!"

Inwardly I'm dying here - oh man, he's not going along with it - I'm busted!

Then he continues: "When I was on the HALO Team, we pulled off the world's highest military freefall - sub-space parachute infiltration - but they had to keep it off the official record books because the Air Force broke all kinds of regulations to take us that far up ! ! !"

That's the lie the military freefall guys get to tell the bimbos.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!



  1. TomR armed in TexasDecember 14, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    I have never been proficient with tales like those. I always just asked if they would *** for God and country. Nope, it seldom worked, but saved a lot of time. In my days the green beret did help attract some ladies. Now that the entire frigg'n Army is wearing berets I guess the sensation has been watered down a lot.

  2. OK. True story from a while back. I have to admit a WAS a blonde bimbo, only I was also a Navy pilot. My female friends and I went in the the O Club and had this stuff you mention happen to us all the time when we were in civilian clothes, only it was the male aviators in their flight suits hitting on us with all sorts of inflated stories. We would do the big eye thing, twirl our long blonde hair, ask really dumb questions until they totally humiliated themselves. Then they would be stuck at the brief the next morning looking at us in our flight suits, ready to be their adversaries, knowing that WE knew what fools and liars they were. It was fun to watch the smoke coil out their ears.

    So the new rule is: be careful that the bimbo you lie to isn't going to be flying the jet that kicks your butt the next day, or something.

  3. "Its all fun and games until somebody gets an eye poked out . . ."

    . . . or something . . .

    Cheers - S.L.

  4. TomR armed in TexasDecember 16, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Anonymous - that is just funny as hell. What self promoting male woulda ever thunk that he was BSing a fellow jet jockey. Ha ha! I would love to be in that briefing room.