THE PENTAGON — At the Joint Chiefs annual holiday secret Santa gift exchange, each branch of the service received one special gift for the rest of the year: A working Littoral Combat Ship for the Navy, more bombs for Syria for the Air Force, a new fleet of gently-used Apache helicopters for the Army, and a big, thick coloring book for the National Guard.
"Hey, those are my Apaches!" squealed Gen. Frank Grass, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, speaking over the shushing of Army Gen. Mark Milley.
"Frank gets so worked up when he eats all those Christmas cookies," Milley told reporters, while chiding Grass to "just sit in the corner with your new coloring book while the big kids have a scotch."
The National Guard, recently spoiled with additional training days, has been getting rowdy in meetings, sources say, asking for budget autonomy, full staffing and working equipment.
"Adult coloring books are a very trendy method for channeling anxiety," said Defense Secretary Ash Carter. "We were hoping that by giving the National Guard something to do in meetings it would soothe the little guy.
"Ugh," said Grass. "This is almost as bad as last year when ISIS got all the MRAPs we wanted."
The Marine Corps is reportedly asking for 800 green scrub pads and vertical lift capability for the F-35, neither of which Santa can afford.