General, Military Generals

What the General said? You hear the title being kicked around quite a bit these days. Somebody talking about what the General said, as if that is the word, the truth, we must do it or otherwise suffer. With all do respect.

I was in the military for twenty-three years--ROTC, enlisted and officer. Do you know how many times somebody told me what the General said?

While off duty, one day I was driving around, in civilian clothes when I was involved in an auto accident. Somebody hit me from behind.

It was a fender bender, though I was a bit shaken, I saw the other guy was a lot older, so I went back to see if he was also okay.

He introduced himself as General ... and immediately asked if we could settle this matter privately. I was a Private, it shocked me and did not know how to respond, but I could not think of a reason or a need for not reporting the accident. There was nothing obviously wrong with the General, which I could see. I am sure he has insurance, like me, so my response was, Sir I am also in the military, with all do respect, why not get a police report?

He became angry and started shouting all about what he could and would do to me.

One more and I will let this go. I applied for officer candidate school, while working as a truck driver, more specifically as a Courier. My family and I was so excited and hopeful; plus, we were looking forward to the promotion and needed the extra cash.

On this one Friday, I was assigned to drive our General. I was to pick him up, deliver him, wait and return him to our base. Well, to make a long story short, I was at work and my appointed place of duty early, but I was still late picking up the General.

After learning the General had arrived, I reported to him and attempted to explain. That General crawled up one side of me and down the other. I could not believe he was so angry. Well, we made it through that event, when he told me to be in his office at eight o'clock Monday morning.

What a long weekend, but by Monday, 0800hrs, I was ready. My boss and I reported and to make a long story short, my General pulled my OCS application.

It knocked me to my knees. I explained all about how my family and I was counting on that application. I asked for another punishment. I pleaded to no avail. I had to go home and explain to my family how making a simple mistake and it really was a mistake I could not have avoided; caused me to be punished in this manner.

Lesson learned: Generals are good at whatever it is they do, but Generals are also human and prone to error. Just as prone or more so than the average Joe Six Pack. So as we are quick to take to heart and put so much value and trust into what the General says, please remember the above?

Not all my lessons with Generals are bad, I do have some very good experiences, but in order to get them, I had to survive these two.

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