Michael Z. Williamson
  • Skippy's list is back! After a saddening hiatus, the legendary Skippy has returned. See his list at Skippyslist.com and then come back here to see my personal addenda.

    Mike's Addenda | Skippy-as-Civilian


  • Mike’s addenda:

    1. Not allowed to add mouse ears to my helmet under the guise of "radar" as a comment on the chain of command.


    2. Not allowed to add a German Imperial spike to the top of my helmet.


    3. Not allowed to add Viking horns to my helmet.


    4. Not allowed to add handlebars to my helmet to make it easier for officers to ride my ass.


    5. Not allowed to carry a sword.


    6. One hundred rounds of ammo is enough for a training session.


    7. Even if one hundred rounds is not enough ammo for a training session, I am not allowed to take a thousand rounds of my own ammo to the range for use in government owned weapons.


    8. Not allowed to use state of the art MOLLE and German commando gear, even if it is issued to the Special Forces.


    9. Even if I did pay for it myself.


    10. Not allowed to tell general officers with hair pushing their ears that they look like girls or hippies.


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    12. Not allowed to correct field grade officers' recitations of orders or the UCMJ, even if they are wrong.


    13. 20' long, one hundred year old bayonets belong on one hundred year old weapons, and I should not refit them to fit the M-16.


    14. The M-16 works fine as it is, and I am not allowed to modify it with different stocks, grips, slings or "accessories" such as holographic head-up-display sights.


    15. The commander's pistol is not "improved" with the addition of neon pink Pachmayr grips.


    16. I am not allowed to wear headphones in formation, especially since most rock songs are in a different tempo than a standard march.


    17. Bright blue hair dye is not authorized and should not be worn, even if it does nicely complement the dress blues.


    18. The proper way to inform a lieutenant his calculations may be incorrect is, "Sir, I think there may be a factor missing,'" not "Don't they teach you college boys how to #$%^$& count?"


    19. When on OPFOR, I am not allowed to booby trap the porta-potties with smoke grenades.


    20. Nor am I allowed to use cargo straps to lash unsuspecting second lieutenants into porta-potties.


    21. Nor am I allowed to pop enough teargas for it to clean out a store downwind and outside the base perimeter.


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    23. Nor am I allowed to manufacture fake pass badges to sneak through the perimeter.


    24. Even if the badge says 'AGGRESSOR' in bright red letters, I'm still not allowed to do it.


    25. I am not allowed to barbecue upwind from deployed forces to taunt them with the smell of rib eye steaks.


    26. I am not allowed to strip search prisoners during war games.


    27. I am not allowed to sneak into the cantonment and remove firing pins from weapons.


    28. Nor am I allowed to replace magazines with 'booby trapped' ones with cartridges facing the wrong way to jam the weapon.


    29. I am not allowed to correct the instructor on the range and characteristics of the M-16 rifle, even if I am right and he is wrong.


    30. ESPECIALLY if I am right and he is wrong.


    31. I am not allowed to provide harassing fire every 23 minutes all night long, in the middle of field classes, during chow and whenever the urge takes me.


    32. I am not allowed to jam the deployed unit's communications with patriotic Soviet marching music.


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    34. When a sergeant first class requisitions a 75mm blank cartridge, a pillow, a whistling booby trap simulator, an artillery simulator, a high concentration smoke grenade and a jeep, I should refuse even if I'm a lowly specialist, and not chuckle, wink and sign the form.


    35. High concentration smoke pots will not extinguish when urinated on, but will release clouds of ammonia. (Mike did not try this, and knew it would happen. But Mike did observe it.)


    36. I am not allowed to use civilian clothes to play terrorist.


    37. I am not to forget to say 'Exercise transmission' when reporting a teammate AWOL to the MP's.


    38. I may not 'kill' a headquarters unit and then burn the guidon.


    39. Privately owned Mossberg 500 riot guns with bird scarers are not authorized, nor are live 12 gauge shells for hunting pheasants on the way to the field. (Mike did not do this, either, but did observe. BTW: Pheasant tastes like chicken.)


    40. A red felt tip marker for 'slashing' throats to be counted as coup later is not authorized. (Slippery John did that, not Mike. But it was really cool.)


    41. I am not allowed to use a camera flash as an infiltration weapon to blind Entry Control Point sentries.


    42. I am not allowed to lash three extra M-16 MILES transmitters to an M-60 so as to increase the volume of fire.


    43. A $5 digital watch, a silicon controlled rectifier and a model rocket engine do make a cheap, nifty time detonator for a smoke grenade. However, I am not allowed to do this.


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    45. I am not allowed to use a visiting officer's staff car as a firing position and get it dinged with ejecting brass.


    46. When I overrun the position as part of OPFOR, I may not take the colonel's hat as a souvenir. Nor may I staple it to the unit bulletin board as a trophy.


    47. I especially may not hang it from my antenna with a coon tail.


    48. I may not stick little eagles, leaves and bars to the butt of my weapon as 'kill markers.'


    49. I may not attach an inert practice claymore to the front of my uniform, facing out, and claim to be a suicide bomber.


    50. When ransoming the general during a hostage exercise, I should set his value somewhat higher than 'Two cheeseburgers and a large fry.'


    51. Perhaps it would be better for all concerned if I just left OPFOR.


    52. Uniform inspections do not include the question "boxers, briefs or commando?"


    53. When deployed, I am not allowed to infiltrate the infiltrators and shoot them in the backs.


    54. When deploying to the field, I should not have sugar, yeast and 50 feet of copper tubing in my duffel bag.


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    56. Just because a soldier refuses to acknowledge the laser beam from MILES gear as a valid hit does not mean I may bring a paint ball gun on the next deployment and splat him in the head to prove the shot was good.


    57. I may not paint a smiley face on a claymore.


    58. I may not hand someone an extra grenade pin and ask, "Did you lose this?" as a practical joke.


    59. I may not claim that web gear endows me with the powers of Spiderman.


    60. When asked at a promotion board if I've ever considered becoming an officer, the proper answer is not, 'Yes, sir, but my parents were married.'


    61. If a jeep is stuck in a puddle, it is not possible to drain the puddle through a liberal application of artillery simulators. It will only make a muddy mess.


    62. The Barney The Dinosaur theme song is in 4/4 time, but may not be used a marching cadence.


    63. I may not use "Another Brick in the Wall" as a marching cadence while in MOPP Level 4.


    64. There are now women in the military. Therefore, 'Sally, Sally, don't say no' is no longer authorized as a cadence. (The second line is 'Down to the basement we must go' and it degenerates from there.)


    65. I will not douse myself with the contents of a chemical light stick, then knock on a door and tell them there's been a terrible accident.


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    67. When a female officer says she wants to 'keep our relationship professional,' it is not a hint to offer to pay her.


    68. I am not allowed to desecrate the bodies of the resuscitation dummies in CPR class.


    69. Likewise, I will not refer to them as 'the clinic's portable love dolls.'


    70. Nor may I provide them with tattoos and piercings.


    71. I am never again to use them as training aids for the interrogation class.


    72. The crime of "Statutory Rape" has nothing to do with statues.


    73. ESPECIALLY not ones of General McClellan.


    74. Nor his horse.


    75. The Navy does NOT keep Marines aboard ship 'because sheep would be obvious' and I may not suggest so at a joint service function.


    76. When acting as weapons courier, I am to use the standard issue sidearm, not a Ruger .357 with Glaser ammunition.


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    78. I am not allowed on a lazy summer afternoon in the field, to hurl an old battery cable into the back of a 5 Ton Truck filled with soundly napping troops and yell "SSSNNNNNAAKE!!!!!"


    79. Lobbing CS Grenades, while on OPFOR, into the latrine building during shower hour for the ROTC was not prohibited by the Rules of Engagement. It is now.


    80. Dismounted Cadets will flee like lemmings or sheep when herded with tanks. This is also prohibited by the new Rules of Engagement.


    81. I am no longer allowed to deride and chide Aviators after shooting them down en masse with armor, from a higher elevation.


    82. We do not "burn before we rape, because it's more romantic by firelight."


    83. Loot is taken only from the enemy.


    84. I should not ask the lieutenant if I can have his really cool tech gear if he meets a tragic accident on the field.


    85. We are not "Viking marauders, spreading woe before us."


    86. A half twist at the end of a bayonet thrust is not necessary in order to "see the cute expression on the enemy's face."


    87. While seamed stockings are permissible with skirts, this only applies to females.


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    89. It is not permissible to straighten the seams on a woman soldier's stockings in formation using one's tongue.


    90. I am no longer allowed to say "If I tell you, I have to kill you."


    91. Pigeons are not Marxists. Neither are they Trotskyites, Maoists, Stalinists or any other sort of Communist.


    92. Even if they are, we are not to use small arms fire to "protect the world from their depredations."


    93. I will not attach the sling to my weapon with a half-windsor knot.


    94. I am not to arrange for a nuclear simulator for any exercise, ever.


    95. Even if we can get one from the Army with a request on unit stationery.


    96. Even if we do change from 747th MtB to 747th FSB to 234th FSB to 634th FSB to 434th FSB within a year's time, I am not allowed to answer the phone, "Unit of the Month Club, Specialist Williamson speaking, how may I help you?"


    97. I am not allowed to enter the dining hall in a suit with a briefcase handcuffed to my wrist and make vague noises about "national security" to recruits.


    98. I am not to refer to an infantryman as an "Autonomous Mobile Biological Mine Clearing Device, Single Use" or a "Self-Actuating Biological Pop Up Target."


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    100. I may not engrave a smiley face on a .50 BMG bullet.


    101. Nor may I engrave officers' names on them.


    102. I may not engrave them to "occupant" or "current resident."


    103. I may not mark, "Front toward enemy," on a Marine's rifle.


    104. MWR is the Morale, Welfare and Recreation office, not Marijuana, Women and Rum.


    105. The Marines are not "sandbags, self-deploying, biodegradable."


    106. Never put Tabasco Sauce into an MRE heater bag to create an improv tear gas bomb.


    107. Formation roadguards are not "Speedbumps" and I may not refer to them as such.


    108. When an Army NCO ticks me off, it's bad form, even if absolutely hysterical, to put him on mailing lists for Navy, Air Force and Marine recruiters.


    109. Even if my wife hasn't written home from Basic in ten days, I must not allow our 7 year old daughter to call the Company Commander and ask if Mom is okay.


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    111. When I am issued roughout tan desert boots, I am not to spend an entire weekend with beeswax, leather dye and Kiwi making them smooth, black and shiny.


    112. I may not declare war on the US Army on behalf of the US Air Force.


    113. I am not to replace the LTC's shoulder insignia with silver pot leaves before he meets congresspeople.


    114. I am not to sound off twice on the beer count.


    115. I may not use a gas mask voicemitter to imitate Darth Vader.


    116. If we are told the enemy is using cropdusters to spray chemical agents, I may not declare that our expert small arms fire brought them down and the threat is eliminated.


    117. I may not give an eager 2LT a hammer and a marker and tell him to find the weak spots in the armor on an APC.


    118. I am not to teach a parrot to squawk, "Frag the lieutenant! Awwwk!"


    119. I am not to shout, "Say 'hello' to my leetle friend!" as I load my weapon.


    120. When surrounded by razor wire, I may not wear an orange jumpsuit or refer to my barracks as "Cellblock H."


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    122. I may not walk door to door through the barracks on Halloween with a shot glass, saying, "Trick or treat!"


    123. I am to use the issued alder wood riot baton, not a 26" cocobolo escrima stick.


    124. If I have an affair with an Israeli officer in a British barracks on a Canadian air base, it's still fraternization, not 'improving international relations.'


    125. Even if everyone enjoyed it and I have video to prove it.


    126. A proper response at roll call is not, 'Here, First Sergeant, and I wore clean underwear, too!'


    127. Even if the Chief starts a squirt fight at lunch, I am not to install an emergency shower head above his chair and dump 50 gallons on him at break time.


    128. No, installing the emergency shower unseen in less than two hours does not count as a technical training exercise.


    129. No, even if I were to hypothetically use non-gov resources, it would still not be allowed.


    130. The 2' fire hose is right out, too.


    131. On second thought, if we do deploy, I am ORDERED to bring that 20" bayonet and the 100 round drum magazine.


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    133. "Hey, honey, want to help me violate the UCMJ?" is not a good pickup line to use in the officer's club.


    134. When asked if I'd like to speak to the Officer In Charge, I should not say, "I'd rather speak to the NCO who knows what's going on."


    135. I am not a Marine trapped in an Airman's body.


    136. "If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all," is not good advice to give the IG's inspection team.


    137. I do not need to say, 'Excuse me while I whip this out,' every time I use a knife, machete or bayonet.


    138. It may be funny to use a camera flash behind my buddy who is working inside a multi kilovolt power box, but it is also a safety violation and forbidden.


    139. I may not post an alternate menu in the chow hall, with such comestibles as Rat Meat Salad Sandwiches, Southern Fried Pigeon, Cat On A Hot Tin Plate, Skunk Loaf, Spam Chowder, Apple Juice (Eat The Worm!) and Jim Jones' Famous Guyana Kool-Aid.


    140. The British Forces do NOT call their version of MWR, "RBL," for "Rum, Buggery and the Lash."


    141. I do not belong to the Slapaho tribe. (It was a Turkish sergeant who claimed this in a bar full of Canadians.)


    142. I am not allowed to tell a TAC infantry officer, "Sir, I've been in service since you were in grade school and I can PT your ass into the ground."


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    144. Nor am I allowed to prove it.


    145. "If a directive comes from Ft Benning it was influenced by the infantry and therefore ignorant and stupid" is not an operational guideline.


    146. Well, not ALWAYS an operational guideline.


    147. "Hey, it could be worse," is not a motivational phrase.


    148. Nor is listing the 47 ways it COULD be worse.


    149. "The 37 Rules of Highly Effective Mercenaries" are not our SOP.


    150. I may not post a sign on my door that says, "I'm not expendable, I'm not stupid, and I'm not going," because I am, I am, and I am.


    151. No, I cannot sacrifice the goat from 300 yards.


    152. Even if it is a holy day in my religion.


    153. Going over 20 years of service does not entitle me to overtime pay.


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    155. When a Specialist says, "Based on my experience..." I may question the validity of the advice, but I may not laugh out loud.


    156. We do not estimate a soldier's age and seniority by the number of pill bottles in his kit.


    157. The First Sergeant and Sergeant Major are not going to have a grudge match and I may not cover any bets.


    158. When the section sergeant tells the captain, "Trust me on this one, sir," that is another time I am not allowed to laugh.


    159. I should not describe our job to potential recruits as, "Months of mind-numbing, bureaucratic butt-sitting, punctuated by moments of bowel-emptying terror."


    160. I am not allowed to question the mindless stupidity.


    161. I may not tell the occupants of a BLUEFOR vehicle, "You are all steak."


    162. I may not tap into the phone ring for a howitzer battery and DJ "Hakuna Matata" for four hours straight.


    163. Being assigned to shred classified documents does not entitle me to the pay and benefits of a Marine Lieutenant Colonel.


    164. I may not confuse the lieutenant by suggesting we make file copies of suspense date documents and certificates before shredding them.


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    166. It may be possible to rotisserie a chicken in front of the nose radar of an F16. However, I am not to demonstrate this.


    167. Nor may I submit a recipe.


    168. Nor may I cook hot dogs by taping them to a 50W radio antenna


    169. I am not too sexy for my shirt.


    170. I may not re-arrange the tracers in the machine gun belts to Morse Code out, "Die, motherfucker, die!"


    171. There is a difference between "shoot in that general direction," and "Shoot in the General's direction." I should be clear of my terminology even if it is only a field exercise.


    172. I may not poll the other NCOs on "Which three soldiers will we have to pre-emptively shoot when we reach hostile territory?" and submit the results to the commander...even if we had unanimous agreement.


    173. When on a military installation as a consultant, I am not allowed to tell nervous NCOs in the chow hall, "You're just jealous because I have better weapons than you."


    174. When asked to sing cadence, "Where There's A Whip, There's A Way" is not appropriate, no matter how catchy the beat.


    175. No, it doesn't matter if I already have the whip.


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    177. I am not allowed to start a phone call with, "I'd like to talk to whomever in your office is not a total moron."


    178. Because it wouldn't work anyway.


    179. I am not allowed to whistle, "If I Only Had A Brain," when the Chief enters the shop.


    180. I am not to work the clutch in a 2.5 ton truck the same way I would in a Corvette.


    181. The "Burger Dance" is not EVER to be taught as a cadence at National Guard Youth Camps.


  • Jeff Gibbons offered these words of wisdom for veterans in the civil sector.

    Things I Am Not Allowed To Do At The Office:

    1. Fill out a range card detailing fields of fire from my cubicle.


    2. Make the interns drop and give me 20 pushups.


    3. Suggest an air strike on our competitions' headquarters during a planning meeting.


    4. Reminisce on things you and your squad did on leave in Thailand during sexual harassment training.


    5. Especially if your squad had females.


    6. And you should not take the photos out of your wallet to prove it.


    7. Remind you boss that in your last job, you were paid to kill people.


    8. Use your cell phone to call in a fire mission during a business meeting.


    9. Wear your old chem gear to the office.


    10. Not even just the gas mask.


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    12. Catalog likely sniper blinds near the office.


    13. None of the practical jokes involving other people's coffee.


    14. "Blowing up" obstacles is not acceptable by corporate guidelines.


    15. You can't "requisition" vehicles as needed for "the mission".


    16. One up, one down "combat naps" after lunch.


    17. You shouldn't let your kids run around the neighborhood with LAWs, even if they are empty.


    18. Don't stand in front of your house with friends discussing the merits of various firearms while carrying the same.


    19. Unless you live in Arizona or Texas. (Or Indiana.)


    20. Respond with "Oh, I'll use small words then," when introduced to coworker who is a former Marine.


    21. Answer a request for the current time with Zulu time.


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    23. Demonstrate the SAS "Dance of the Flaming Assholes" at the company Christmas party.