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Opinion: General standing in front of us with hands on hips isn’t really making an impression

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(Photo: Defense Dept.)

By a grunt

I don’t mean to be disrespectful. I’ve been in for three years, and I understand the chain of command as well as customs and courtesies.

But who the hell told general officers to always put their hands on their hips whenever they open their soup-coolers?

What does that signal? When I put my hands on my hips, I’m usually contradicting something a barracks lawyer just said, or else I’m fighting my bar tab at the Buckhorn Saloon. Which general has to fight a bar tab? They make so much money they just fart rainbow-colored fifty dollars bills and the bar staff run around picking them up like looters after an earthquake. Those generals leave the Buckhorn like nothing happened. Me, I’m talking to the cops.

So what is it with hands on hips?

I can see Adm. Halsey with his hands on his hips, directing naval combat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean — there was a real war on back then! But mostly, I see my grandmother with her hands on her hips, scolding me for doing something wrong right before she spanks my hide.

So, to me hands on hips equals a paddling a’coming. I’m PTSDing here watching this general move his hands from his hips to putting his thumbs just inside his trouser pockets, and back again while using words I never heard before.

Does he want to inspire me or punish me? I don’t know. I don’t even know his name. Maybe it’s Gen. Grandma.

I bet there’s a course in that knife-and-fork school that I heard new generals go to. I bet it teaches them to appear confident whenever they talk. I think that whole course is about how to properly put their hands on their hips. Lord knows the field graders I see can’t do it because when they talk they don’t inspire a damn thing in me except to not become a field grader. They constantly move their hands from their hips to the inside of their trouser pockets where it’s like they’re jiggling change or wangs. Generals and grandmothers are a lot better at this, but still.

Honestly, general, would you please take your hands, your hips and your entourage of POGs and just get the fuck out of my battle?

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