‘Twas the Duty NCO before Christmas, throughout all gov’rnment property in view
Not a creature was stirring, those not on leave were few
Having just toured the barracks, I made logbook entries with care,
Futilely hoping my relief would soon be there.
Gallantly I fought against sleep deprivation,
Drinking gallons of Rip-Its to fight the sensation.
On duty Christmas Eve, it was just my luck,
I settled down to endure a long post sure to suck.
When out on the quad there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the duty hut to see what was the matter.
Straight to scene I shot like a flame,
No matter what happened I’d likely be blamed.
The moon reflecting off the new fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to the smoke pit below
When, what to my blood shot eyes should appear,
But the battalion sergeant major, his face bent with a sneer.
Cruel eyes surveyed all the barracks in view,
I knew in a moment we’d all be quite screwed.
He summoned all the duties for reasons inane,
And he whistled, and shouted, and used language profane!
“All duties! All A/duties! All those not on leave!
These barracks are in a state that I cannot believe!
The parking lot’s a travesty! There’s trash in the hall!
Now square away! Square away! Square away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
We leapt to our task in the blink of an eye.
Throughout the entire barracks we flew,
Policing the area with mop, dust pan and broom.
And then, from upstairs, I heard a ka-boom,
The bellowing of sergeant major in the laundry room.
As I ducked my head, and was turning around,
Down the stairs he came with a bound.
He was covered in lint, from his head to his foot,
And his uniform was tarnished with grime and soot.
A handful of laundry he gripped in each fist,
And he looked downright furious and otherwise pissed.
His eyes, how they glowed! His frown lines so scary!
His jaw set like granite, his knuckles so hairy!
One eye wandered freely, from his ears issued smoke,
It looked as if any moment he might suffer a stroke.
His whole body vibrated as he gritted his teeth,
The steam of his fury encircled his head like a wreath.
His broad face split like the maw of a shark,
His displeasure roared through the Christmas Eve dark.
“You think it’s Christmas so standards can plunge?
The entire barracks is just covered with filth and foul munge!”
The twitch of his eye and the jerk of his head,
It’s no wonder I anticipated holiday duty with dread.
He sprang to his truck, he gave us a shout,
“Square this away, before I come back out!”
And I heard him exclaim, as he sped from the scene,
“You’re an undisciplined mob, you deserve Article 15!”