Colin Powell, once USA's highest ranking military officer, (now Secretary of State), loves to relate this incident from his Vietnam days. It shows the importance of clear objectives.
Finding an outpost at a very vulnerable spot, Powell
decided to investigate why it was location was chosen. He was assured that it
was a very important outpost.
Our's Not to Reason Why
The idea of following orders without questioning, and
without thinking about right or wrong is one of the favorite topics of humor in the
armed forces. Here are my favorites.
1) Airman Jones comes straight to his commanding officer.
He complains that his Sergeant is totally nuts and out to get him. Jones
adds, "I wouldn't be surprised if Sergeant asked me to jump into
a lake." The commanding officer says "I don't think that's right, but if
it ever happens, report to me directly." Noting the thrilled
expression on the airman's face, he adds...
2) The chiefs of The Army, The Air Force and The Commandant of The Marine Corps are discussing their men. Each is willing to bet that his boys are the bravest. A wager is struck and each is out to prove their point.
The Army Chief calls one of his boys, tells him to climb a 50 feet flagpole and let go. Five minutes later there's a thud and a mass of blood and bones under the flagpole.
The Chief of The Air Force now calls his boy and tells him to do the exactly the same. The airman salutes, steps around the body of the soldier, and does exactly as ordered... with the same result.
Now its the turn of the Commandant of the Marine Corps. He calls his boy and gives the same order. The boys looks at him for a second then smartly salutes and says "With Respect Sir, You must be out of your mind Sir!!
The Commandant grins and turn to the other chiefs and says ..... " Now, THAT'S what I call REAL Courage!!"
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