Monday, January 2, 2017

How to “Succeed” in the Defence Services – “Tips” for Military Officers – A Spoof

Military Humour

(A Spoof) 

This blog post is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh. Also  this is an “inspired” post with some “salt and pepper” added from my side.


Military Officers have a rather droll and unique sense of humour.

In fact  a proclivity for humour is considered a desirable “Officer Like Quality” aka “OLQ”.

Even the literary world recognizes this military penchant for humour and contemporary literature has a distinctive literary genre called “humour in uniform”.

Around two years ago  I found a rather amusing post making the rounds in the social media  especially in veteran forums/groups.

The post contained extracts of a purported pep talk – an alleged speech of a senior officer to young officers  giving them tips on how to succeed in their military careers.

I use the words “purported” and “alleged” deliberately – since I did not personally hear these “gems of wisdom”.

In fact, the speech seems so bizarre that I suspect it may be fictitious  a spoof  a figment of someone’s imagination running wild.

Or maybe  the witty senior officer was in “high spirits” and was allowing his “sense of humour” to run riot.

Whether fictitious or not  I found the “pep talk” so hilarious  that I thought I must share some of these rather amusing “gems of wisdom” with you  after “seasoning” them with some “salt and pepper”, to cheer you up and to give you a laugh.


Do you want the “mantra” for success as a military officer?

Here are some “pearls of wisdom” (suitably paraphrased) mutatis mutandis on “how to reach the top”:


Plan your career.

There is no point living if you get superseded (passed over for promotion).


Be smart (implying that working hard is different from working smart).

Working hard when your ACR is far away is stupidity.

Slog when your ACR is round the corner.

Put in effort only where it matters for your ACR.

(Ensure “Return on Investment” from your ACR point of view).

Avoid getting involved in useless clutter which does not pay you ACR dividends.

NB: In the Military, promotions are solely based on your ACRs (Annual Confidential Reports) – hence all your efforts must be focused on getting excellent ACRs – if you are a smart officer you will optimally “time” your visible efforts in sync with your ACR


Suitably “schedule” your birthdays and anniversaries when your ACR is about to be written (no one remembers the actual dates anyway).

In order to impress your boss, throw lavish parties at home on your “birthdays”/”anniversaries” and invite your boss and his wife as “guests of honour”.

When you go for parties (in messes/clubs), you and your wife must plan before going to the party – which persons you should speak to – what topics/gossip you should speak about – your boss and other senior officers who matter (and their wives) must remember your name once they go back home.

In the party you (and your wife) must look after your boss and his wife and see that they are served snacks and drinks (if required carry drinks and snacks for them yourself).

At all social occasions, you and your wife must demonstrate to your boss and his wife that you care for them.

All your social activities must be planned with an eye on your ACR.


It is best to marry a Senior Officers’ Daughter (a member of SODA aka Senior Officers’ Daughters’ Association)

If you do have not done this – and you have married a girl who is not a Senior Officers’ Daughter – as far as your personal life goes  you have already gone wrong.

You should have married senior officers’ daughters.


If you don’t have two kids by the time you are 30 – it’s already too late.

(NB: This seems good advice, considering the early retirement age in the military, where most officers retire in their early/mid 50’s).

Make sure that your son’s date of birth is on the first of June (1st June) so that he gets maximum benefit (in terms of seniority) when he joins the army.

(NB: I did not understand this “gem of wisdom”).

If you are preparing for Staff College and you have a small child to look after, then you have not planned properly.

(You must plan and clear your Staff College exam accordingly).


I have kept the most hilarious for the end.

Here is the ultimate “gem of wisdom”:

Once you reach Staff College Wellington  get your wife pregnant there – your babies will be fair.

Hey – remember this is a spoof – just for laughs – so don’t take it seriously.

Have a happy and cheerful day ahead. 

This is an abridged repost of a spoof written by me around two and a half years ago in the year 2014 and posted online in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at url:

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