Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

All the world military forces were pretty brutal 200 years ago. Corporal and Capital punishment were common. You lost virtually all of your civil rights in the military.

Not the case now in the US military and most western country militaries. Fairly good civil rights.

I was once assigned to teach a course in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) in Vietnam. I had just joined the unit, and only knew a few people. The one Marine that I did know had been involved in an investigation that I did involving a knife fight among several troops. PFC Angelasanti had cut another troop in an altercation over a puppy. PFC Angelasanti was a good knife fighter.

You are trained in instructing in the military to use an attention getting joke to start your class and get people to pay attention. I grabbed a Marine, and told him that I would chew him out in front of the troops to get their attention.

There were about 200 Marines lounging around the area. I ran out to the front, and called them to attention in a very loud and threatening manner. Many of these Marines had probably not been called to attention since the got to Vietnam. I then began to berate my set up Marine, screaming at him in my best boot camp manner. The troops of course could not figure out what was with this lunatic Lieutenant.

I was really rolling along with my joke. Then I say PFC Angelasanti, I decided on the spur of the moment to improve my joke. I called Angelsanti forward, and screamed to Angelasanti. "This Marine (my set up Marine) is a disgrace to the Marine Corps. Angelsanti, take him out behind the barracks and shoot him."

I then told all the Marines to relax, at ease, and then began to explain what they had just witnessed could never happen because they were protected by the UCMJ. I was rolling along in my class when one of the Marines said, "Lieutenant, you better stop Angelasanti".

Angelasanti was going behind the barracks with my set up Marine. I quickly called him back, realizing that Angelasanti probably had never gotten the joke. I coud imagine trying to explain to the Marine Corps how I had had Angelasanti shot as an attention getter joke.


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