“No Time for Sergeants Had Nothing on Me”
I will never forget walking into the Army Recruiting station back in 1960…fresh out of high school and ready to tackle the world.
Looking the recruiter straight in the eye I asked, “Can you tell me any programs that the Air Force has?”
First there was a blank stare...then a gut retching laugh. Finally he asked, “You wouldn’t walk into Kroger’s and ask for the price of coffee at A&P would you?”
“Ok, so tell me what the Army can offer me.”
For a recruiter, he was very honest as he started to explain;
“If you like airplanes, flying and such then I would suggest you go in the Air Force. But, if you like crawling around in the mud and walking a lot then the Army is the place for you.”
So, that coupled with the fact the Army tour of duty was only three years as opposed to four years for the Air Force… “Sign me up.”
The other reason I joined the Army was to get away from my father and his constant screaming at me.
That was until I arrived at Fort Knox, Kentucky for Basic Combat Training.
That Drill Sergeant stepped on the bus and he was in a hell of a roar;
“You’ve got 20 seconds to get off my bus and 15 of those are gone! So, grab a bag and get off the bus!
Then he got right up in my face and screamed, “Soldier what the hell are you doing?”
“I am looking for my bag Sergeant.”
He sure did not like that answer as he retorted,
“I didn’t say your bag idiot! I said a bag now get the hell off my bus!
On his worst day my dad never hollered at me like that. I thought to myself, It’s going to be a long eight weeks.
The next great experience I had in BCT was the Army was transitioning from brown boots to black boots so naturally they issued me brown boots. Then they
ordered me not to dye them black until I was assigned my BCT Company.
My first formation went something like this:
Another Drill Sergeant screaming at the top of his lungs,
“Send that meat head up here with those brown boots on! ”
And they always like to get right in your face,
“Did your mother send you here from the Kremlin to screw up my Army?”
“No Sergeant.” What else could I say?
In a calmer voice, the Drill Sergeant said,
“When this formation breaks up, you go into the latrine and dye those boot black, understood?”
The problem was, the formation did not break up. They marched us to class.
So, when we returned from class, I obediently went into the latrine and started dying my boots black.
Wham! Bam! I thought the barracks blew up.
“Where the hell is that meat head with those brown boots?”
“In here Sergeant.”
“You have 15 minutes to get those boots dyed and in my orderly room! Do I
make myself clear?”
You really have to love these guys.
No Time for Sergeants is a 1958 American comedy film directed by Mervyn LeRoy starring Andy Griffith and featuring Myron McCormick, Don Knotts and most of the original Broadway cast.