"The typical staff officer is a man past middle life, spare, wrinkled, intelligent, cold, noncommittal, with eyes like a codfish, polite in contact, but at the same time unresponsive, cool, calm and as damnably composed as a concrete post or plaster of Paris cast; a human petrification with a heart of feldspar and without charm or the friendly germ; minus bowels, passions or a sense of humor. Happily they never reproduce and all of them finally go to hell."...Gen George Patton............(Note: an excellent description!)
"At this Command, we have written in large, black letters: DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) on the back of our security badges." Maj (CENTCOM)
"'Leaning forward' is really just the first phase of 'falling on your ass.'" Marine Col (MARFOREUR)
"I am so far down the food chain that I've got plankton bites on my butt." LTC (ARCENT)
"None of us is as dumb as all of us." Excerpted from a brief (EUCOM)
"We're from the nuke shop, sir. We're the crazy aunt in the closet that nobody likes to talk about ..." Lt Col (EUCOM) in briefings
"Things are looking up for us here. In fact, Papua-New Guinea is thinking of offering two platoons: one of Infantry (headhunters) and one of engineers (hut builders). They want to eat any Iraqis they kill. We've got no issues with that, but State is being anal about it." LTC (JS) on OIF coalition-building.
"The chance of success in these talks is the same as the number of "R's" in 'fat chance...'" GS-15 (SHAPE)
"His knowledge on that topic is only power point deep..." MAJ (JS)
"Ya'll know, in this Command, if the world were supposed to end tomorrow,
the sh** would still happen behind schedule." CWO4 (EUCOM)
"We are condemned men who are chained and will row in place until we rot." LtCol (CENTCOM) on life at his Command
"Right now we're pretty much the ham in a bad ham sandwich..." GO/FO (EUCOM)
"If we wait until the last minute to do it, it'll only take a minute." MAJ(EUCOM)
"The only reason that anything ever gets done is because there are pockets of competence in every command. The key is to find them ... and then exploit the hell out of 'em." CDR (CENTCOM)
"I may be slow, but I do poor work..." MAJ (USAREUR)
"Cynicism is the smoke that rises from the ashes of burned out dreams." Maj (CENTCOM) on the daily thrashings delivered to AOs at his Command.
"WE are the reason that Rumsfeld hates us..." LTC (EUCOM) doing some standard, Army self-flagellation
"Working with Hungary is like watching a bad comedy set on auto repeat..." LCDR (EUCOM)
"I finally figured out that when a Turkish officer tells you, "It's no problem," he means, for him." Maj (EUCOM)
"Never in the history of the US Armed Forces have so many done so much for so few..." MAJ (Task Force Warrior) on the "success" of the Free Iraqi Forces (FIF) Training Program, where 1100 Army troops trained 77 Iraqi exiles at the cost of, well, ...way too much...
"Our days are spent trying to get some poor, unsuspecting third world country to pony up to spending a year in a sweltering desert, full of pissed off Arabs who would rather shave the back of their legs with a cheese grater than submit to foreign occupation by a country for whom they have nothing but contempt." LTC (JS) on the joys of coalition building
"I guess the next thing they'll ask for is 300 US citizens with Hungarian last names to send to Iraq..." MAJ (JS) on the often- frustrating process of building the Iraqi coalition for Phase IV
"Between us girls, would it help to clarify the issue if you knew that Hungary is land-locked? " CDR to MAJ (EUCOM) on why a deployment from Hungary is likely to proceed by air vice sea
"So, what do you wanna do?"..."I dunno, what do YOU wanna do?"..."I dunno, what do YOU wanna do?," etc. -- COL (DIA) describing the way OUSD (P) develops and implements their strategies.
"I'll be right back. I have to go pound my nuts flat..." Lt Col (EUCOM) after being assigned a difficult tasker
"I guess this is the wrong power cord for the computer, huh?" LtCol USMC (EUCOM) after the smoke cleared from plugging his 110V computer into a 220V outlet
"OK, this is too stupid for words." LTC (JS)
"When you get right up to the line that you're not supposed to cross, the only person in front of you will be me!" CDR (CENTCOM) on his view of the value of being politically correct in today's military
"There's nothing wrong with crossing that line a little bit, it's jumping over it buck naked that will probably get you in trouble..." Lt Col (EUCOM) responding to the above
"Never pet a burning dog." LTC (Tennessee National Guard)
"Ah, the joys of Paris: a unique chance to swill warm wine and be mesmerized by the dank ambrosia of unkempt armpits..." LCDR (NAVEUR) [obviously this guy has been to the wrong parts of Paris...]
"'Status quo,' as you know, is Latin for 'the mess we're in...'"
Attributed to former President Ronald Reagan
"We are now past the good idea cutoff point..." MAJ (JS) on the fact that somebody always tries to "fine tune" a COA with more "good ideas"
"Nobody ever said you had to be smart to make 0-6." Col (EUCOM)
"I haven't complied with a darn thing and nothing bad has happened to me yet."
"Whatever happened to good old-fashioned military leadership? Just task the first two people you see."
"Accuracy and attention to detail take a certain amount of time."
"I seem to be rapidly approaching the apex of my mediocre career." MAJ (JS)
"Much work remains to be done before we can announce our total failure to make any progress."
"It's not a lot of work unless you have to do it." LTC (EUCOM)
"Creating smoking holes (with bombs) gives our lives meaning and enhances our manliness." LTC (EUCOM) at a CT conference
"Eventually, we have to 'make nice' with the French, although, since I'm new in my job, I have every expectation that I'll be contradicted." DOS rep at a Counter Terrorism Conference
"Everyone should have an equal chance, but not everyone is equal."
"You can get drunk enough to do most anything, but you have to realize going in that there are some things that, once you sober up and realize what you have done, will lead you to either grab a 12-gauge or stay drunk for the rest of your life."
"Once you accept that a dog is a dog, you can't get upset when it barks." Lt Col (USSOCOM)
"That guy just won't take 'yes' for an answer." MAJ (EUCOM)
"Let's just call Lessons Learned what they really are: institutionalized scab picking." Lt.Gen (9th AF)
"I can describe what it feels like being a Staff Officer in two words: distilled pain." CDR (NAVEUR)
"When all else fails, simply revel in the absurdity of it all." LCDR (CENTCOM)
"Never attribute to malice that which can be ascribed to sheer stupidity." LTC (CENTCOM)