The drill sergeant was shouting at the top of his voice. Lambert had just committed the ultimate error; he had smiled during the Bastard’s speech. That was what we all called him, The Bastard. His real name was Barstow, the nickname was well deserved and the man would probably be privately proud of being called names like that if he knew. Although none of us was entirely certain he didn’t know.

“Now drop down and give me fifty, you pansy ass motherfucker!”
“Sir, Yes sir!” Lambert shouted as he was dropping down to do push-ups.
“And after you’re done the whole squad will give me a dozen laps!” He turned to walk in front of the squad and shouted “And don’t let my sugary sweet tones make you think I’m not damn well giving you an order!”

As one man we saluted and replied “Sir, Yes sir!”

He stopped when he reached me and said in a normal voice “You lead the lot. Keep the pace. Make sure every nancyboy does what I’ve told you”

I saluted and replied the usual “Sir, yes sir!” Not a lot of call for eloquence in the military. That’s okay. I’ve never been good with words. But I’m good with tactics. I can see the big picture. I’m going to be a big name in the military some day.