Sunday, September 29, 2013

Back in the service I was on radio watch in operations

Apparently there was a radio in the back of a jeep and the driver wasn't sitting in it because someone picked up the handset, keyed it and said, "Short!" meaning they were getting out of the army soon.

Of course, the Battalion Commander was in the operations tent with me and got upset. Rather then quietly sending out a reminder for people too watch their equipment he picked up the handset of my radio.

"This is Colonel Blair," he said. "Who said that?"

"He did!" was the reply. 

"Who are YOU?" the colonel demanded.

"Not the guy you're looking for, Sir." said the second voice.

"Well, who did?" snapped the colonel.

"SHORT!!!," said the first voice. "And I'm not stupid enough to tell you who I am.

I recognized the voice. It wasn't one of ours and I realized just who it was. It was a guy in an entirely different outfit.  He had been in our unit but had been rehabbed to another outfit. He was getting some payback. He was in a grunt outfit now and they were also in the field.

He had gotten into some small trouble that didn't amount to a hill of beans but the BnCO had decided to use him as an example and raked him through the coals with a draconian punishment. 

He had been in our battery's commo section and after he got punished the First Sergeant had quietly gotten him out of the battery on a rehab transfer and apparently he was doing fairly well in his new outfit. Word was he had gotten his rank back.

I had a pretty hard time keeping a straight face after I had figured out who it was.

The colonel asked me for a list of the entire battalion radio list and one right after the other had them check in to try and figure out who it was. Of course, he was unsuccessful.

When it was done, the voice reappeared. "This is Eagle Six and I'm STILL short!" He had just used the colonel's personal call sign.

The colonel blew up royally with that. 

I did a pretty good job of keeping an indignant and offended look on my face while this was happening even though I liked to have about wet my pants. It was downright funny and I played hell keeping a straight face.

What was interesting is that my Battery Commander quietly left the tent after giving me the look of a man that knew who the desperate criminal was.

A minute later I was relieved of radio watch and headed outside where the Battery Commander and I exchanged looks. "That sounds a lot like Fernandez," he said. "But I can't be too sure."

I nodded. He knew. It was Fernandez. "Anyway, whoever it is has the BnCO fit to be tied," I said. "Out of school, Sir, I'd have let the 'short' slide if I were him."

The BC said nothing for a moment. Then replied, "Sometimes you have to let a small thing slide."

A couple of hours later a new voice was heard. They had all the credentials and called in a fire mission for the guns. B Battery was scrambled to fire it but was almost instantly ordered to stand down in no uncertain terms. 

 In less than a minute I heard the S-3, a major, not knowing whether to laugh or cry. He had located the target on the map and instantly realized what had happened.

Some GI likely bent on revenge for getting booted out had called in the coordinates for the Peppermint Lounge.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this:


  1. Good sir, what was the Peppermint Lounge?

  2. A strip club.

    It was hard to get kicked out of but when you did it was generally painful.