Tuesday, November 28, 2006

U. S. Armed Forces Code, in Verse: Chapters 36-40

Chapter 36

611

Promotion of officers
Is only as needed
And not automatic when
An enemy's defeated

612

A board is created with
Five of your superiors
Make sure that your bribes
Aren't inferior

613

Each member of the board
Swears to be fair
On whether to promote you
Or feed you to a bear

614

If you might get promoted
They send you a letter
You can send one back stating
Why you think you're better

615

With rules about information,
What's used or dismissed,
One wonders why they had to
Come up with this list

616

Some stuff about boards and
Also selection
Ho hum, let's move on
To the next section

617

More stuff about boards
Rambling on with perplexion
I yawned while I read it
On to the next one

618

Oh my god, it just goes on
Saying absolutely naught
It's just like my old high school
Chem teacher taught

619

I remember one time we
Had chem laboratory
We sat there and listened to
His really dull story

619a

"There once was an ion" -
Or maybe it was an onion,
Whatever, it seemed like it
Went on for eons

620

Then he filled a beaker
And with a straight face
Said, "Look, you can see
How water takes up space"

621

That was the lab
Then we wrote a report
About water and volume or
Something of that sort

622

In a whole year of studies
There was only one lab
But lots of his stories
Tedious and drab

623

Just like this chapter
On officer promotion
Upon which the author
Elaborates with devotion

624

I mean, really, who cares?
Do we need twenty sections
To explain every nuance
And every inflection

625

Of who talks to whom?
Which list is checked off?
Which i's must be dotted
And t's must be crossed?

626

Well, what can I do?
If you really insist
I'll try; And don't worry
About what you have missed

627

Right off, I think I got
This section nailed:
If you're up for promotion
And don't pass, you've failed

628

But not if there's an error -
That took me one line;
The section takes three hundred;
Having a good time?

629

The Prez can overlook him,
If twice, that's too bad,
That's considered twice failing
Which might make him sad

630

Neophytes not promoted
Are eventually thrown out
Which is cause of concern to
Neophytes, no doubt

631

Lieutenants not promoted
Can request to be let go,
If they won't be promoted
Tell 'em from the get go

632

The same goes for captains
Commanders, and generals
Whose hope of advancement
Is suddenly ephemeral

633

Service for commanders
Is twenty-eight years
After which you go home and
Reminisce, drinking beers

634

For colonels and captains
It's thirty years long,
After which you go home and
Reminisce, singing songs

635

It's thirty years also
For regular brigadiers
But they serve with their title
For minimum five years

636

Higher ranks serve forty,
Thirty-eight, or thirty-five
And hope they retire while
They're still alive

637

In some situations
Service is extended
Even after it really was
Supposed to have ended

638

Early retirement
Is sometimes permitted
When officers fail all
Promotions submitted

638a

In the nineteen-nineties
Extra firing was done
And ended a few weeks
After nine-one-one

639

An officer in trouble
And set for court-martial
Has service extended
In full or in partial

640

When sick then you might
Get deferred or retired
Go home and rest
You're probably tired

641

Miscellaneous rules
Are in the next sections
A few paragraphs here list
Who are exceptions

642

Officers retired through
This chapter's rules
Get severance and retirement
Which seems pretty cool

643

Chaplains may also
Occasionally be fired,
Or if they're entitled,
Suddenly retired

645

Some zone definitions
Are now written here ...
Did you know "phobophobia"
Means "fear of fear"?

646

This wraps up retirement,
Promotions, and firing
If you still want to serve
I'm sure they are hiring

647

In order to restructure
A Secretary may
Move around officers
This and that way

Chapter 37

651

Six to eight years is
The length that you serve
On active duty
Oo in the reserves

653

The full service length
For captains and pilots
Is ensured so that you
Sail or you fly lots

654

This section was written
By extraterrestrials
And excludes from service
All homosexuals (*)

655

The first thing you give
When service begins
Is a list of people
Who are next of kin

Chapter 38

661

A "joint specialty"
Is created by decision -
This doesn't mean "pot" here,
And it doesn't mean "prison"

662

I think it's security, but
We'll just have to wait
The term isn't defined until
Sec. 668

663

If you're chosen for jointness
It's a whole lot of work
They teach you to scowl
And to button your shirt

664

And this section describes
Your length in the "joint" -
Could be worded better,
That's really my point

665

It says here the Chairman
Of the "Joint" Chiefs of Staff
Gets involved; Now I think
We're getting there, by half

666

The Sec of Defense is
Not ignored in the least
It says so right here, near
The mark of the beast

667

All figures and numbers
And names get reported
The Congressional Sec makes sure
All of it's sorted

668

Here be definitions:
Ah, it isn't security
Joint here is talking
Only about strategy

Chapter 39

671

If stationed abroad
You must complete training,
Serving unprepared can
Be overly draining

671a

Service is extended to
Six months after wars
More months of shoe shining
And hanging in bars

671b

The Prez can make anyone
Serve six months more, too
Unless congress convenes
And tells him not to

688

Even if you're retired
They might still assign you
After you thought all
Of this was behind you

688a

Especially pilots
If they think it's great
May be so recalled
Until 9/08

689

If called to serve when
You are retired
You serve with the same grade
When you're rehired

690

Very few officers
May be so called back
Regardless of how many
Generals they lack

691

The minimum size of our
Force ('less I've blundered)
Is one million three ninety
Thousand five hundred

Chapter 40

701

Each month you get two and
A half days of leave
Even if you're dead
They'd have you believe

702

After graduating: sixty days
Leave from the military
But if you're suspended
Your leave's involuntary

703

When re-enlisting you
Get even more leaves
They stuff 'em in bags
And they tie 'em in sheaves

704

To say that leave's nice is
No exaggeration
Of course, it is subject
To some regulation

705

And if you're returning
From a long tour of duty
You can rest or vacation
Anywhere - that's a beauty

706

Sometimes a leave may be
Forced or required
Like when you drink coffee
Too much and get wired

707

I think that this section
Says that leave accrues
When under court-martial
But wrongly accused

707a

This one's still stranger
And hard to believe
You still can get paid
If you take excess leave

708

You also get leave
To pursue education
You still get benefits
And remuneration

709

You also can leave
For emergencies, when
It's the first time, but don't
Let it happen again

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