Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Assigned Moral Lectures

Only officers gave the moral lectures I referred to in the last post. This made sense, because they are the ones who will punish us for infractions of the Army moral code. And in the same way every officer must be ready to lead soldiers at a moment's notice if they happen to be the highest ranking officer in any given place, any officer might be called to give us a lecture on morality.

My favorite instance of this--and I did keep a straight face through this mercifully brief lecture--happened shortly after we arrived in Iraq. A lieutenant in his mid-20s got assigned on short notice to give us one of these lectures. He is a very affable guy. In fact, just the night before this young man who was a hard-partying fraternity brother just two years before was telling a group of sergeants in the mess hall about a time when he and his girl friend were having sex in a room with several other couples. "This was not group sex," he said. "We were just one of several couples having sex in the same room."

The next morning he was telling a large group of enlisted men don't drink, don't have sex with anyone you are not married to, etc. He was serious. He had to be. At the end he did lighten up a little and said "Don't be stupid. Don't get caught."

SPQR and America

Senatus Populusque Romanus The Senate and People of Rome Some of the soldiers I served with in Iraq talked about getting an SPQR tat...