A funny story making the rounds about the art of communication through the chain of command has come to our attention from several sources recently. It goes like this:
A Colonel issued the following order to his Second-In –Command: “Tomorrow evening at approximately 2000hrs Halley’s Comet will be visible in this area, an event which occurs in only 75 years. Have the men fall out in the Battalion area in fatigues, and I will explain this rare phenomenon to them. In case of rain, we will not be able to see anything, so assemble the men in the theater and I will show them films of it”.
Clear enough, so the O I/C wrote to the company Commander:“By order of the CO, tomorrow at 2000 hours, Halley’s comet will appear over the battalion area. If it rains, fall the men out in fatigues, then march to the theatre where this rare phenomenon will take place, something which occurs only once every 75 years”.
The company commander there upon instructed his lieutenant: “By order of the CO, in fatigues at 2000 hours tomorrow evening, the phenomenal Halley’s comet will appear in the theatre. In case of rain in the battalion area, the CO will give another order, something which occurs once every 75 years”.
Snapped the lieutenant to his JCO:“Tomorrow at 2000 Hours, the colonel will appear in the theatre with Halley’s comet, something which happens every 75 years. If it rains the colonel will order the comet into the battalion area”.
And the JCO addressed his platoon as:“When it rains tomorrow at 2000 Hrs, the phenomenal 75 years old General Halley, accompanied by the colonel, will drive his comet through the battalion area theatre in fatigues”.