My “shipmate” over at the Mello Jihadi has taken a turn at telling military jokes recently. I feel obliged to return the favor. There are a number of versions of this story. This is merely the version I like to tell.
The Joint Chiefs were touring a new joint base together when the subject of courage came up.
“Gentlemen,” the Army Chief of Staff said. “It is well known that Army Soldiers possess the most courage of any service member in the armed forces.”
This was received with knowing groans and dismissive hand gestures. The other generals had heard it all before. “Prove it,” one of them demanded.
The Army Chief of Staff approached a young Army Lieutenant on duty. The Lieutenant crisply saluted and rendered the proper greeting of the day.
“Lieutenant, I want you to draw your side arm and shoot yourself in the head.”
Without batting an eye the young officer drew his weapon, placed it against his temple and pulled the trigger. BANG!
“That gentlemen, takes balls!” Beamed the Army Chief of Staff.
The other Joint Chiefs scoffed at this in derision and rolled their eyes. The word ‘weak-sauce’ was even used.
“Fellas really, “ interrupted the Air Force Chief of Staff. “Everyone knows that Air Force pilots have more courage than any two members of our sister services put together. I’ll show you.” They headed over the flight line where all the shiny new jet fighters were being polished with care.
“You there pilot, come over here.” The Air Force pilot ambled over the assembled generals with his hands in his pockets and chewing gum.
“I want to you take your aircraft, fly as fast as it can go, as high as it can go, then eject without a parachute.”
The pilot calmly climbed into the cockpit. His jet screaming off the runway into the blue, he pushed the very limits of the aircraft before ejecting into the open sky without a chute. Grimly, he plummeted to the earth without once uttering a sound before perishing upon impact.
“That boys, takes real balls!” , gloated the Air Force Chief of Staff.
The assembled generals responded with fart noises and cat calls demanding the Air Force Chief go make them sandwiches.
As they approached the pool area the Chief of Naval Operations stopped to note the Navy SEALs nearby.
“My friends, we all know the heart of a Navy SEAL contains the most courage of any war fighter on the planet.” He motioned for one of the SEALs to come join them.
The Sailor was a living Adonis with perfectly manicured eyebrows, frosted hair, and a flawlessly toned and tanned frame. His wrists and ankles were liberally adorned with friendship bracelets.
Nodding toward a pool filled with sharks the CNO gave his instructions: “I want you to dive into that pool with just your knife and kill me all three of those sharks.”
Immediately the SEAL dove into the pool with a knife clamped firmly in his teeth. He expertly opened the belly of the first shark and with a mighty heave threw its body onto the deck. The second shark was nearly decapitated as the SEAL roughly sawed his knife through its gills. Impressively, he hauled it out of the water slamming it down next to the first shark without leaving the pool. Catching his reflection in a nearby window, he paused to admire his perfectly formed triceps. That’s when the third shark ate him.
“That was a fine maritime example of balls gentlemen.” The CNO’s pronouncement was met with cat calls and obscene hand gestures. They continued to harass the CNO while they waited for the Air Force Chief of Staff to finish dry heaving.
Moving on, the Commandant of the Marine Corps noted a guard tower with a lone Marine Lance Corporal standing watch.
“Watch this.”, he said before calling out to the Marine some fifty feet above.
“Devildog! Hey Marine! Look down here!”, commanded the Commandant.
“I want you to jump down here! Don’t use the ladderwell, just jump over the side!”
“Say again sir?”
“You heard me Leatherneck! I said jump! NOW!”
“You go to hell sir!”
Proudly, the Commandant turned to his astonished peers: “Now that, gentlemen, is balls!”