29 September 2009

Sign This!

Some months back I wrote about the most asinine Army sayings, and "It is what it is" topped the list.

The advent of the NFL season makes it more appropriate than ever, but I digress.

An even more idiotic phrase is now vying for the top spot. "You signed on the dotted line" has to be right up there, not for the frequency of its utterance, but the ignorance of its meaning.

Let's put it in context. Leaders like to use this weapon of wit when Soldiers endeavor to complain about any illogical Army policy or procedure. An example: In a forward operating area, Soldiers are required to wear bright green reflective belts any time they have PT uniforms on. It's supposed to keep us safe by making us visible, but besides being a huge drag for a number of reasons, it isn't consistent with two facts. (1) The PT uniform has substantial reflectivity built in and (2) We can stroll about at our leisure anytime and anywhere in our camouflage uniform!

"This doesn't make sense," says the junior Soldier.

"You signed on the dotted line," replies his leader in a quick bout of argumentation.

It's supposed to convince us to abandon our human instinct to reason for eight years.

First of all, I don't recall any line being dotted, but that’s beside the point, which is, that nowhere in that contract does it say I have to consistently follow idiots.

I am not arguing that the existence of idiots in the Army nullifies my contract. But it certainly increases the likelihood that'll I'll complain, and simultaneously decreases the likelihood that I am going to sign a second contract.

Please, if you are an E-8 or above and you are reading this, don't say things like, "You signed the dotted line." It makes you sound foolish. And I'd like to have to stop adding sayings to my list.


  1. I'd say one of the most annoying phrases I've heard in the army is, "Any questions?" Followed by a slew of "What if.." questions. For example how to respond to an IED. "What if we can't see it?" What if we can't see it but it doesn't go off? What if we see it but it doesn't go off? What if we see the IED but it's Tuesday and the route clearing unit is three hours away and it's chow time and the sky is cloudy?

    Also followed by "Any Bitches, Gripes, Complaints?" Like the person asking really wants to know.

  2. Just wear the bright green reflective belt, you'll be okay.

  3. lol! You had me at the Camouflage.