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Most of you have numerous memories of early mornings and late evenings spent standing at parade rest or in a "school circle" for what felt like an eternity --- often in blazing heat or freezing precipitation --- to hear the nerve-racking voice of your first sergeant. (For you Navy/Coast Guard folks, that would be a senior chief. For my Air Force brethren, I have no idea. A "Senior Grand Webelo 3rd Class," or something?). His meandering oratory always rife with twists and turns, the tone jumping from accusatory to encouraging to humorous with no warning or discernable sense to those who heard it. And at the end of each such speech, whether daily, weekly, or otherwise, the majority of you probably had two questions in your head: "Why is that officer over there laughing so hard? And what the hell did first sergeant actually say?"
The answer to your first question (at least, if I was the officer in question) is directly related to the second: Nobody has any idea what first sergeants are ever saying. Sure, some oft-used words like "Chesty," "dip," or "dumbass" might slip through. But the rest is often a confusing swirl of guttural noises through ominous smirking.
It's been a while since I've spent the entirety of a formation trying to suppress my giggling at the aforementioned rambling. I racked my memory and scoured the MRE-cheese-and-tear-stained pages of my old journals for clues to translate some of the most-often used words in the strange language we've heard so many times. Here are the key ones I managed to decipher:
1. Yunnerstand: Directly translated as "Do you understand?" Often added to the end of sentences or commands that were perfectly clear until that point, thereby making it the only part nobody understands.
2. Figgsershelf: "Fix yourself," first sergeant speak for a common military phrase that makes less and less sense the more you think about.
3. Daggun-fuggin: "Dadgum-fucking," a combination of old-timey PG swearing and a word you can't say on television. For some reason all first sergeants talk like Old West prospectors as written by David Mamet.
4. Undecipherable Furious Screaming: translates as "I love you, friend. Please return this feeling in kind."
5. Misreorientated: No known translation exists. Possibly "I am hungry" or "Your various NJP’s shame your ancestors," according to popular theories.
6. Moto: Shorthand for motivation it means entirely too many things to count, from exhausting to early in the morning. This one's not even close, so one wonders how they pronounce it so differently.
7. Fursarnt: Often mistakenly translated as "I," "me," or "this mama-jammer" due to the tendency of first sergeants to use it in place of a first-person pronoun when addressing large groups. But it actually means "first sergeant," because referring to yourself in the third person by your rank is just something you do after so many years of service.
8. Donbee-an-idjut: Don't do something this weekend that will force me to do extra paperwork on Monday.
9. Sly Chuckling: Something terrible is about to happen to you.
10. Dickhead: This one took me a while to figure out, but I finally understood that when they say this, what they really mean is "lieutenant." Wait a sec...ah, son of a bitch.
Well, I hope that helped you understand your own E-8’s a little bit better. As for me, I now have to add another entry about hurt feelings to my aforementioned journal. I only hope I can find enough MRE cheese to get me through the pain.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs put on leave an Atlanta-based administrator and reassigned the region's chief medical officer and seven other staff members while it investigates the treatment of a veteran under its care.
Joel Marrable's daughter discovered more than 100 ant bites on her father when she visited him in early September.
The daughter, Laquna Ross, told Channel 2 Action News: "His room had ants, the ceiling, the walls, the beds. They were everywhere. The staff member says to me, 'When we walked in here, we thought Mr. Marrable was dead. We thought he wasn't even alive, because the ants were all over him.'"
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A former U.S. Navy sailor was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday for having sexual contact with a 14-year-old Oceanside girl in 2017, federal prosecutors in San Diego said in a statement.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Known for acting on impulse, President Donald Trump has adopted an uncharacteristically go-slow approach to whether to hold Iran responsible for attacks on Saudi oil facilities, showing little enthusiasm for confrontation as he seeks re-election next year.
After state-owned Saudi Aramco's plants were struck on Saturday, Trump didn't wait long to fire off a tweet that the United States was "locked and loaded" to respond, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran.
But four days later, Trump has no timetable for action. Instead, he wants to wait and see the results of investigations into what happened and is sending Pompeo to consult counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week.
That sound you're hearing is Army senior leaders exhaling a sigh of relief, because the Army has surpassed its recruiting goal for the year.
After failing to meet recruiting goals in 2018, the Army put the pedal to the metal and "did some soul searching," said Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, to ensure that they'd meet their 2019 goal. It must have paid off — the service announced on Tuesday that more than 68,000 recruits have signed on as active-duty soldiers, and more soldiers have stuck around than they expected.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein transformed into the Cigarette Smoking Man from "The X-Files" on Tuesday when explaining why UFO enthusiasts should avoid storming the mythical Area 51 installation in Nevada.
"All joking aside, we're taking it very seriously," Goldfein told reporters during the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. "Our nation has secrets, and those secrets deserve to be protected. The people deserve to have our nation's secrets protected."