Friday, September 23, 2011

I guess it could count as a 'failure to communicate'

One reason the Military Services have trouble operating jointly is that they don't speak the same language. For example, if you told Navy personnel to "secure a building," they would turn off the lights and lock the doors. The Army would occupy the building so no one could enter. Marines would assault the building, capture it, and defend it with suppressive fire and close combat. The Air Force, on the other hand, would take out a three-year lease with an option to buy.

Stolen from Rodger


Phelps said...

It reminds me of one of the nearly fatal mishaps during the LA riots. They started putting together teams of National Guard with one or two LAPD to lead them.

So the LAPD guy shows up at a house, and thinks he sees a guy looting a house. He tells the National Guard squad of infantry, "Cover me," and sprints up to take a look.

To a cop, "cover me" means train your weapon in the direction of a likely threat and be ready.

To a soldier, it means, "suppression fire."

Over 500 rounds were fired into the domicile, which was in fact occupied by the owner, not a looter. They split up the LAPD and National Guard. Also, the cop was not happy that the rounds were being fired over his head.

Windy Wilson said...

Yep, separated by a common language. There are so many legal terms that sound like English and have a meaning very similar to the normal English usage of the word, but the legal meaning has such an important nuance to it undreamed of by the speaker of ordinary, everyday, mere lay English.

Doubtless the homeowner was not happy, either.