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BS: Question about military rank

Mrrzy 16 Nov 19 - 09:41 AM
Dave Hanson 16 Nov 19 - 10:08 AM
Stanron 16 Nov 19 - 10:18 AM
Bonzo3legs 16 Nov 19 - 11:55 AM
Charmion 16 Nov 19 - 02:20 PM
Charmion 16 Nov 19 - 02:23 PM
Jeri 16 Nov 19 - 04:28 PM
Iains 17 Nov 19 - 02:49 AM
Roger the Skiffler 17 Nov 19 - 04:37 AM
Mrrzy 17 Nov 19 - 10:19 AM
punkfolkrocker 17 Nov 19 - 12:26 PM
Raedwulf 17 Nov 19 - 12:41 PM
Charmion 17 Nov 19 - 02:55 PM
Raedwulf 17 Nov 19 - 04:07 PM
Mrrzy 17 Nov 19 - 09:12 PM
mg 17 Nov 19 - 11:26 PM
Dave Hanson 18 Nov 19 - 03:14 AM
Iains 18 Nov 19 - 03:23 AM
Mossback 18 Nov 19 - 09:06 AM
punkfolkrocker 18 Nov 19 - 09:18 AM
Mossback 18 Nov 19 - 09:31 AM
punkfolkrocker 18 Nov 19 - 09:43 AM
Iains 18 Nov 19 - 12:05 PM
punkfolkrocker 18 Nov 19 - 12:20 PM
Rapparee 18 Nov 19 - 06:18 PM
Dave Hanson 19 Nov 19 - 03:24 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Nov 19 - 05:31 AM
Charmion 19 Nov 19 - 08:35 AM
Howard Jones 19 Nov 19 - 08:52 AM
Roger the Skiffler 19 Nov 19 - 09:09 AM
Mrrzy 19 Nov 19 - 10:07 AM
mg 19 Nov 19 - 01:31 PM
mg 19 Nov 19 - 01:37 PM
Charmion 19 Nov 19 - 04:04 PM
Jeri 19 Nov 19 - 06:27 PM
Charmion 19 Nov 19 - 08:17 PM
Joe Offer 20 Nov 19 - 04:31 AM
punkfolkrocker 20 Nov 19 - 10:57 AM
punkfolkrocker 20 Nov 19 - 11:07 AM
Mossback 20 Nov 19 - 11:54 AM
Charmion 20 Nov 19 - 04:50 PM
Joe Offer 20 Nov 19 - 05:32 PM
Mossback 20 Nov 19 - 05:46 PM
Mrrzy 20 Nov 19 - 08:14 PM
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Subject: BS: Question about military rank
From: Mrrzy
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 09:41 AM

I keep hearing people say their rank in the military was, say, retired gunnery sergeant. Wasn't their rank gunny while in the military, and is currently retired? Nitpickers want to know. Are you not allowed to claim your rank once retired? Or were they all promoted *when* they retired?


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 10:08 AM

The rank is sergeant, gunny is a title for his job.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Stanron
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 10:18 AM

I don't know which army in which country or even which century, but from somewhere I recall retaining one rank lower than that held while serving on retirement. It might be fictional.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 11:55 AM

I once really upset a retired army captain by telling him he was just a plain Mr, quite funny to see him go ballistic!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Charmion
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 02:20 PM

Veteran here. In the Canadian Forces and other military organizations of British heritage, a retired person of any rank is Mr or Ms Thing.

On certain ceremonial occasions in military places and company, a retired person MAY be referred to by the last rank s/he held, with the qualifier (Ret). Thus, at a mess dinner where the Victoria Cross bearer Smokey Smith (look him up) was guest of honour, his place card would say, Sgt (Ret) Smith.

American mileage may vary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Charmion
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 02:23 PM

Further to my last: Any former military or naval person who EVER insists on retaining rank s/he held while serving is a jerk. Or an arsewipe. Your choice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 04:28 PM

I was told one added "retired" to their title, when using it. Just so people know if you're active duty or not.
Me, USAF, Master Sergeant, Retired.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Iains
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 02:49 AM

In the UK a quote from Hansard in the 1920's

RETIRED OFFICERS (RETENTION OF RANK).
HC Deb 23 June 1925 vol 185 c1279
    24. Colonel APPLIN

    asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can inform the House what officers of His Majesty's Regular Army and of the auxiliary forces have the right to retain and use their Army rank when no longer serving; and what steps are taken to prevent the improper use of military titles by those who have no longer the right to them?

    Sir L. WORTHINGTON - EVANS

    Under the Regulations, only retired officers of the Regular Army and officers retiring from the auxiliary forces with 15 years' commissioned service have the privilege of retaining their rank. There are special rules for the retention of rank held during the great War, which are contained in Army Order 376 of 1918. It is not in itself a legal offence for an officer to call himself by a military title after he has ceased to have a right to it by the rules and custom of the Service, and I have no power to prevent it. It is a question of honour and good taste."

I believe a substantive rank of major and above is allowed to keep the honoury title but the usage has declined post WW2 and the onset of the "Troubles" and the security issue further kicked the practice into touch.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 04:37 AM

I understand ,as Ians said, that if you were a major or above you could continue to use it ( my wife worked for an institution whose admin head was a retired major. He didn't use it, but because of his military attitude was known as "Major" behind his back!). I agree it has gone out of usage. I don't remember any of my father's WW2 vets generation referring themselves as Corporal or Aircraftman or Able Seaman! The deputy head of my 1950s school was proudly Lt Col although only a Territorial.
RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 10:19 AM

But would you say "my rank *was* retired sgt" or My rank *is* retired sgt? The former just sounds wrong. To me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 12:26 PM

1979, when I was 21, I had a shit low paid office job in a transport company.
The older department manager literally sat at the head of our big table
was adressed as Major *****,
that was given without question...


..and we accepted that he conducted himself, and would manage us with military bearing...

A good old bloke in an otherwise depresing job environment...


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Raedwulf
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 12:41 PM

It's complicated, Mrrzzy, complicated not least by the fact that substantive , acting, and brevet ranks are none of them the same thing! But, essentially, signing yourself by rank is an officer thing. A non-com might tell you what their rank was (or is), but I don't recall seeing any particular examples where they make a particular point of it, if you see what I mean.

If you don't, since we're talking about signing... errrr… writing abo... Oh, never mind! ;-) Assume a letter to the local newspaper. In the UK, I may be wrong, but generally speaking a serving officer shouldn't do any such thing unless he is very definitely doing it an official capacity. But a retired officer might sign himself "Col. Fred Bloggs (Ret)" to make it very clear that he IS retired. A sergeant might tell you in the course of his letter that he was a sergeant to lend weight to whatever point he wants to make. But he wouldn't usually sign his rank as well.

That's my general impression, anyway. I have never served, I hasten to add!


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Charmion
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 02:55 PM

Raedwulf, you’re close.

Things have changed over the last 20 years or so. ORs (“other ranks”, as we used to say) are no longer assumed to be the social and professional inferiors of officers, but instead are represented as specialist technicians who work with their commissioned colleagues, who are generalists trainedin leadership and planning. (Do you feel snowed yet?)

But to answer Mrrzy’s question directly, if you are talking to an ex-corporal, she will say, “I was a corporal when I got out.” A retired major will say, “I retired as a major.” The (Ret) désignation appears only in writing. As veterans, they hold the same rank, Civilian, and their title is Mister or Ms.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Raedwulf
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 04:07 PM

Charmion - ta! That's wot I fort. But being a "never served", I certainly didn't want to "declare". ;-) "The times they are a-changin'" as a certain Civilian Dylan once put it! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 09:12 PM

I didn't *think* it was right, thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: mg
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 11:26 PM

if you actually retire, like put in 20 years, or had medical retirement or whatever, and are officially retired, you are entitled to whatever you are entitled to. That includes respect from other former military at least. I don't know the exact rules, but you will often see Sgt. Major (ret.) or General (ret.). I think the press will have their own guidelines. If your life was on the line for 20 or 30 or whatever years, in my book you can call yourself whatever you like, although others do not have to go along with it. And we were trained very well to respect the troops. I personally would not call any retired or discharged veteran an arsewipe. But that is just me. Or just I.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 03:14 AM

Hanson D.R. L/CPL 9/12 Royal Lancers, retired.

Sounds OK to me.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Iains
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 03:23 AM

Captain Mark Phillips retired decades ago!


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Mossback
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 09:06 AM

And then, of course, there's Col. Sanders & Col. Blimp.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 09:18 AM

Is it legally acceptable to christan a child General, or Colonel, Major, etc...???


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Mossback
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 09:31 AM

Check with Joseph Heller.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 09:43 AM

Must remembr to google for anyone named Private Parts...


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Iains
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 12:05 PM

Concerning Captain Mark Phillips:
Phillips was substantively promoted to Captain in July 1975, and retired from the Army on 30 March 1978.

He continued to style himself Captain Mark Phillips; as it is usage for retired cavalry captains to keep using their rank if their civilian job involves working with horses in racing or equestrian sports.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 12:20 PM

If I remember, the transport company I worked for 40 years ago
tended to employ ex military for their vehicle skills...
Some may even have served under Major *****
before they all became civilians again..

So as much as the young anti military me
might have secretly objected while I stifled in the office
to keep a roof over my head..
More mature me, can now understand and respect
why he was still addressed and regarded as an officer...

I think his office manager job might have been a favour
from his old army contacts.
As I don't recall him actually doing much work.
Especially after lunch...


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Rapparee
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 06:18 PM

The permanent rank to which I was promoted was Sergeant E-5.   Since I was honorably discharged in 1971 I reverted to the rank of PFC — Proud F’ing Civilian. In the EXTREMELY unlikely event I was called back into service I’d be sergeant E-5. My title is “Mister.” I can call myself “Former Sergeant of Infantry” but I wouldn’t.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 03:24 AM

Military joke,

' what's the time Sgt Major ? ' ' one two three one.'

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 05:31 AM

What about the Major in Fawlty Towers? I mean, what ELSE could he have been called!


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 08:35 AM

The point is that OTHER PEOPLE may choose to address or refer to a veteran by his or her past military rank, these being free countries, but the veteran should not claim it as a continuing status once released, discharged, demobilized, retired, or otherwise returned to Civvy Street.

To do so is a social gaffe, not a crime or misdemeanour, unless the veteran is seeking a benefit due only to those still serving, such as the ten percent discount at Canadian Tire. That’s a Criminal Code offence popularly known as fraud.

Soldiering (also naval sailoring and military aviating) is a young person’s game, and it behooves us old sweats to get out of the way and let our juniors proceed with remaking the services their way, just as we did in our time.

Of course it’s flattering when civilians are impressed that we made the effort to stick our necks out back in the day, but we should not go about fishing for compliments. Nothing makes me cringe like « Thank you for your service », although I know it comes from a good place. My husband, with more than 30 years’ service and three operational tours, hates it even more.

We were professionals, after all, not conscripts.

It’s thanks enough that the provincial Ministry of Transport issues special licence plates for veterans, and some municipalities — including ours — let bearers park for free.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 08:52 AM

In the 1970s I had a job which took me around the Thames valley and I discovered a delightful pub in (I think) Marlow, where I would often stop for lunch. Among the regulars was a pair of elderly gentlemen who despite very obviously having known each other for years invariably used "Admiral" and "Brigadier" rather than their actual names.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 09:09 AM

No-one has ever called me Cadet Petty Officer since I left school and the cadet corps! On the other hand, I have been called petty...
RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Mrrzy
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 10:07 AM

Right-O.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: mg
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 01:31 PM

OK..some were driven to the point of suicide, and should have been satisfied with a special license plate? I don't think so. Many were conscripts. Probably not considered professionals, although certainly expert in their fields. I personally have never fished for compliments, and failed so often to admit I have ever heard of a place called Vietnam (in war but stateside). That is my failure. Fishing for compliments? How about signing up for abuse, which so often I failed to do when I should have acknowledged that I was what I was. I doubt most people know I served. I can pass. People have told me thank you for your service and I greatly appreciate it. The first time I heard anyone say thank you was from a Japanese Am of WWII who had served in one of the elite units and he spoke to a group of us. Plus a beer company had a great sign at a moving wall...forget name..from Golden Colorado. Our lives have not been littered with people thanking us for our service. Quite the opposite.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: mg
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 01:37 PM

p.s. I got a free popcorn at a movie this armistice day. I greatly appreciated it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 04:04 PM

Mg: My husband and I were both professional soldiers, by which I meant that we (a) volunteered for service and (b) intended to make a military career. I wore the Dominion Tweed from age 17 to 25, and became a civilian again because I have asthma, of which the Canadian Forces disapproves strongly. My husband served more than 30 years, retiring at age 60.

Canada has not drafted anybody since 1945. Absent a physical invasion and occupation of our land mass by a foreign power, I very much doubt that we will ever try it again. Our military culture is highly professionalized, with military service running in families through generations and the majority of Regular Force members joining with the intention of serving for 20 years or more.

As I have already said more than once on this topic, American mileage will vary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Jeri
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 06:27 PM

For the record, I hate the "thank you for your service", too, but I know folks are just trying to be nice.

I thought we were done with long wars inn foreign countries that we never could win, but stupid lasts longer than memory.

And I thought we (USA) were good, and righteous, and it was OTHER countries that carried out torture and murdering POWs, but I was wrong I don't much like my country now - hopefully not a permanent thing - but Canada is awesome.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 08:17 PM

Thanks, Jeri. Any time you wanna cross the border ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 04:31 AM

I found it interesting that Republican Congressman Devin Nunes addressed a Lieutenant Colonel as "Mr. Vindman" in the impeachment hearings today.

Even Fox News didn't support Nunes on this.

Some even questioned whether LTC Vindman should be wearing a uniform at a Congressional hearing. ABC News has a good explanation of that:
    "A soldier performing duties in an official capacity will normally be in uniform," Col. Kathy Turner, an Army spokeswoman, said in a written statement. "In cases where a soldier is detailed to an agency outside of DOD, the individual would follow the policies of that agency."


-(former) Specialist 5 Joe Offer, whose uniform no longer fits-


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 10:57 AM

Back in my school days,
one of our most scary teenage bully bootboy thugs
Was nicknamed 'Sarge'..

We obviously grew up on old war movies...

Don't know if he ever ended up in the army...???

But in real life is a sergeant
generally regarded as the toughest alpha soldier...???


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 11:07 AM

btw.. I presume no one respects folks who pretend to have a military rank.
Living a life of self grandising social deceit...


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Mossback
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 11:54 AM

I found it interesting that Republican Congressman Devin Nunes addressed a Lieutenant Colonel as "Mr. Vindman"

Interesting? Its bloody disgusting.

Of course Nunes & Jordan have always been little shits from day one- but now they're sort of a primus inter pares situation with the current assemblage of Republican turds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Charmion
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 04:50 PM

PFR, people who pretend to military rank and status, especially decorations, they have not earned are equal parts pitied and reviled; the recently coined American phrase “stolen valor” pretty well covers it. The Army Rumour Service, a British website that reads like a NAAFI break on steroids, has a verb for it: “walting”. As in Walter Mitty.

To answer your earlier question, the senior non-commissioned member of any group of soldiers is not the Alpha, but is usually the resident bad-ass. In a well-run platoon, company, squadron, battalion or regiment, the Officer Commanding should be the Alpha of the entire unit or sub-unit, and definitely top of the commissioned pecking order. His or her non-commissioned equivalent — platoon sergeant, company sergeant-major, etc., — holds the top spot of the non-commissioned pecking order (which is much larger), but always defers (or should) to the most junior officer. The senior NCO is often older, more experienced and tougher than the equivalent officer. Balancing the formal deference required by discipline against the real challenge of keeping the whole machine running, and making it look sincere, is part of the genuine bad-assery these people display on a routine basis.

When I was a recruit, the School Sergeant-Major of the Canadian Forces Recruit School was a tall, lean, saturnine Chief Warrant Officer from the Royal Canadian Regiment. Known to us as Mr Boyle, he was always immaculately turned out, even in combat clothing in the mud of the 300-metre range in a Nova Scotia sleet storm. His voice on parade (Thursday afternoons at two o’clock) literally shook the roof of the drill shed. He scared me silly.

I came down with bronchitis in the fourth week of training and in a week was half-dead with pneumonia. I fell flat on my face in the road while trotting back to the barrack with the platoon mail, and came to in the base hospital in an oxygen tent. That evening, Mr Boyle visited to the hospital, as was his wont and, indeed, part of his traditional duty. When he got to me, he peered out from under the glittering brim of his cap. “Well, don’t you look like a little pile of ... crap,” he growled as he gently patted my blanket-wrapped feet.

Not exactly motherly, but comforting in his stern fashion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 05:32 PM

When I was stationed in Berlin, we had a guy in the company named "Major." I sometimes wondered if he ever capitalized on his name. He sure seemed to have an easy time checking trucks out of the motor pool to help other soldiers move.

When my dad was a Marine, he was lined up with other recruits and they had to shout out their names: "Jones, sir! Smith, sir! Brown, sir!...." When they got to my dad, he shouted, "Offer, sir!"
That was enough to get him pulled out of line for a lecture.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Mossback
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 05:46 PM

Absolutely priceless, Joe - "thanks for sharing". :>)


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Subject: RE: BS: Question about military rank
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 08:14 PM

My, we seem to have drifted far, far afield. But interesting!


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