I once told a Marine Corps colonel that I was going to knife his donkey.
I had been living in the dangerous parts of town in Iraq for about three months and when I came back, saw that my Marines were being forced to hang out with this barnyard animal.
Other Marines were explicitly told they had to take care of this donkey. By the way, taking indigenous animals as pets is expressly forbidden, due to disease and all that stuff.
Anyway, he brings this thing around my Marines one night and it’s all nipping at them and rubbing its Iraqi pelt on them and I had finally had it.
Stunned, he asked me to repeat myself, so I did, expletives included. Strangely enough I didn’t get disciplined for it.
It was this story I was reminded of when I read a Reddit thread dedicated to all the worst things people have said to superiors in the military.
So here are the best of the Reddit stories (*edited for clarity and military jargon):
I thought we’d be singing show tunes, Sir! Bootcamp stories are totally ubiquitous in the military, but this one is hilarious, from Redditor MandibleofThunder:
Hate to be the guy who tells a boot camp story, but I’m pretty proud of this one.
Two weeks into boot camp and the Drill Sergeants are giving us a good ol’ fashioned beatdown.
A wild Senior Chief appears!
“GET ON THE TOE LINE. 10 SECONDS”
Panting heavily in front of my rack, Senior Chief (all 5’2 of him) looks me up and down (6’2 and pretty well built)
Senior: “MANDIBLEOFTHUNDER, IS THIS WHAT YOU WERE EXPECTING OF THE NAVY?!”
Me: “NO SENIOR CHIEF, I THOUGHT WE’D BE SWABBING POOP DECKS AND SINGING SHOW TUNES, SENIOR CHIEF”
The hour and half long beatdown afterwards was totally worth it.
What did you do this weekend? A frequent question from superiors, Redditor sanitiesrequiem12 with the story:
When asked the same question by my new sergeant of the guard as he was touring barracks with the other staff: “Nothing I’m going to admit to you, Sarnt … “
F***er had zero sense of humour, as I found out afterwords.
Sir, do you prefer Ninjas or Pirates? From Reddit user MrVonBuren:
Being the high speed junior soldier I was, I was selected to go to dinner with General Batiste, our battalion command sergeant major, battalion commander, and various people from the General’s staff. Highlights included:
- Me asking the general if he preferred ninjas or pirates.
- BN Commander: Does anyone have any other questions for Gen Batiste? Me: What’s the deal with changing the patches, sir? BN Commander: Um, I meant more- General Batiste (who up to this point seemed wholly disinterested): Wait, what? John, we’re changing the patches? Nervious looking captain: Um, yes? Me: We got the orders last week to change over to subdued patches. It’s bulls***, sir. We’re the Big RED One, not the Big BLACK One. . BN Commander: [speechless] Gen Batiste: Indeed. John, make a note, we’re going to fix this.
I never got invited to any more dinners, but we got the orders a week after getting back from France that we would not be switching to subdued patches.
Why, it’s an angry beaver, Ma’am … sorry: obviously the service is mixed gender. Obviously it’s mostly male. Obviously funny things happen. Redditor HobofromZozo with the story:
During DCC (Dedicated Crew Chief) class the Squadron Commander comes out to speak with the students to get to know them and give them a chance to ask any burning questions they might have.
The Major (female) asks my buddy (E-4 at the time) about his aircraft he gets excited, starts telling her about it. The Major is happy because he takes a lot of pride in his work and asks if it has a nose art and if not, has he started putting one together for submission.
His reply: “Yes Ma’am, it has the Angry Beaver for now but… Ah shit sorry Ma’am.”
I thought she was going to flip out but she just laughed hysterically and told him it was ok. She was an awesome Squadron Commander, made LtCol soon after that.
Re-enlistment counseling is a b****: Every servicemember goes through a strict process prior to either A – getting out, or B – re-enlisting, story from Redditor RandsFoodStamps:
Be sitting in waiting room with about 12 other people to talk to brigade CSM about reenlisting.
Mostly mid-level ranking dudes.
Everybody talking trash.
“F*** the Army.”
“I ain’t reenlisting.”
“I’m gonna tell the CSM my ‘plan’ is to smoke crack.”
Career counselor walks in, “Ok, who here doesn’t plan on reenlisting.”
I’m the only dude who raises his hand.
Career counselor says, “You see Sergeant Major last.”
— Better know who’s next to you at the shooting range, at the range, from Redditor clickclack23:
I was a new PFC shooting beside a random soldier at an M4 range, I was my normal cocky self. I saw his targets weren’t going down, so I called out the friendly “holy s***, I would be more afraid of you if you weren’t aiming at me.” He turns to me and said, “You forgot to add Sergeant Major to that insult, you little smartmouth jack***.” Turned out to be the new Command Sergeant Major of my battalion shooting with an unzeroed weapon. Instead of being punished, he recommended armorer school.
— Generals don’t need to show ID, dude — doing front gate duty on base, from Redditor MrSweatpantsJackson:
My friend was a new guy out of tech school Security Forces, basically a kid working the gate. A general rolls up and my buddy stops their vehicle and asks for their identification for everyone in the vehicle. The general proceeds to remind him who he is (these sorts of things are typically prearranged and we just render salutes and let him and is entourage through.) My friend being the high speed Security Forces airman says, “Sir, do not confuse your rank with my authority.” arse chewing of the century.
— Why?! Because I said so. — “Why?” is quite possibly one of the worst things a junior military member can ask, story from Redditor MrVonBuren:
I had a new guy get added to my team while we were already ~7 months downrange. Dude lacked any kind of discipline. Pudgy, kept referring to our squad leader by name, general stuff like that. But most of all, he would ask why? At everything. So finally, I decide to do something about it. I call a formation, and one by one, starting from highest rank to lowest rank, point at them and say “Go dig me a foxhole.” Without a word, each one takes a step back, and goes running for a (shovel) and starts digging. I get to the new guy and say the same to him and get “Why, Sgt. VonB, what’s up?” Needless to say, only one person on the team actually wound up digging a foxhole.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.