Al Nofi's CIC
|| Issue #31, April 18, 2001
- Infinite Wisdom
- la Triviata
- Short Rounds
- The Gray-Haired Old Lieutenant
- Australia and the Normandy Invasion
- BioFile - Henry Johnson
"Armies in peacetime normally present a more organized appearance than they do when examined in the heat of battle."
- The motto of Werner von Urslingen, captain of the "Great Company," a rogue mercenary outfit that operated a protection racket in Italy during the mid-fourteenth century, was "Enemy of God, Enemy of Piety, Enemy of Pity."
- The most distinguished member of the 1833 Board of Visitors at West Point was Washington Irving.
- Although the Regulars persist in claiming that the National Guard is inept, during World War II Guardsmen comprised the majority of the troops who shipped overseas in 1942, and were the first army troops to undertake offensive operations, when the 32nd Infantry Division engaged the Japanese in New Guinea.
- Among other distinctions, the actress Mae West was an honorary Kentucky colonel.
- The famous Athenian lawgiver Solon is supposed to have captured the city of Krisna by putting a powerful purgative into its water supply, which caused the people to come down with such acute diarrhea that they were unable to defend the walls.
- During the battle for Hue in 1968, one Marine Corps ONTOS - a light armored vehicle fitted with six 106-mm recoilless rifles - bore a sign reading, "I'll Huff and I'll Puff and I'll Blow Your House Down."
- Because the colonial legislature was dominated by peace loving Quakers, during the French and Indian War Benjamin Franklin devised a lottery in order to fund a militia for the defense of Pennsylvania, he himself serving in the rank of colonel, in which capacity he helped design and build fortifications on the state's western frontier.
- Only about 80 ships managed to evade the Allied naval blockade of Germany during World War I, while 11,888 vessels were successfully intercepted.
- On April 16, 1810, Rep. Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina introduced a resolution in Congress "that the whole army ought to be abolished," at a time when the threat of war with Britain was rising.
The Gray-Haired Old Lieutenant
Promotion was slow in the "Indian Fighting Army" in the generation after the Civil War. In fact, it was not unusual for an officer to spend a decade or two in grade. This was because an enormous number of very young officers had come out of the Civil War as captains or higher. George Armstrong Custer, for example, was a lieutenant colonel in the Regular Army in 1866, at the age of 27. A decade later, when he was killed in action at the Little Big Horn, he was still a lieutenant colonel. In 1889, when there were still about 300 Civil War veterans in the officer corps, 110 of the approximately 2,100 officers in the army had not been promoted in twenty years.
Figures for age at promotion for 1890 are of some interest.