JEEP again

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Sep 21 05:09:47 UTC 2010

On Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 11:11 PM, Dave Hause <dwhause at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: Â  Â  Â  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Â  Â  Â  Dave Hause <dwhause at JOBE.NET>
> Subject: Â  Â  Â Re: JEEP again
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> In the 65-68 time frame and when I came back in in 80, the troops apparently
> hadn't heard that "M-151 quarter ton trucks" weren't to be called "jeeps"
> and called them that, anyway.
> Dave Hause, dwhause at
> Waynesville, MO
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Wilson Gray" <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Neither have I. And I was in the military in the early '60's, when the
> real jeep was being replaced by another, not-particularly-similar
> vehicle built by Ford. At the time, the Stars & Stripes, The Army
> Times, and other semi-official publications available to the troops
> made it clear that the appellation, _jeep_, was not going to be
> transferred to this new vehicle.
> -Wilson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

I was out by the end of '62, so I have no idea how things turned out.
I was in the - as far as I know - only Army Security Agency Reserve
unit. I was RA, so I had no Active-Reserves obligation. But, I kinda
liked being in the Agency. Anyway, that unit was still using the real
jeep till at least '67.

Unfortunately, ASA Reserve sucked. As an E-5 with fourteen months of
TIG, I outranked every other EM by at least two pay grades. So, I was
made an acting-jack and First Shirt. The Peter Principle kicked in. On
active duty, *all* so-called "linguists" were Sp5's. So, we were still
being assigned to latrine-duty, guard-duty, etc., as though we were
still all buck-privates - E-2's, in those days. (It used to freak me
out to be addressed as "Sergeant" by GI's from the neighboring 8th
Infantry Division, when I clearly was merely a specialist.) Since
everyone was of the grade, there was no other way that things could be
done. Hence, I had no military administrative experience of any kind.
I was used to trying to evade following orders and not to giving
orders to duds - some of the guys in the Reseves hadn't even been
through basic - whose entire military experience consisted of
goldbricking. But, since the meetings of the Southern-California
branch - the unit was HQ'd in Frisco, were mainly devoted to just
fucking around, anyway, even that didn't really matter. Till we went
to summer camp. There, I was treated with the respect due an NCO and
expected to act and react as though I were a real First Shirt. I was
in way over my head.

By chance, an old buddy from Saint Louis, a gay draftee, was
fulfilling his Reserve obligation at the same camp with a different
unit and we hooked up to steal jeeps and just ride around the area,
Paso Robles [rowb at lz], in Northern California. I had just enough
administrative smarts to assign my workload to my company clerk, just
as was done in the Regular Army. But I was still expected to be
everywhere first and to put the troops through the standard paces:
turning them out at reveille, falling them in and out for random
purposes, dismounted drill, PT, road marches, etc. These
responsibilities that I couldn't assign to my clerk were a real,
time-consuming pain in the ass. I wasn't accustomed to having to
address the troops in "command voice," as opposed to merely speaking
to them, etc.

My old buddy, whom my L.A. roommate liked to refer to as "The
Butterfly Boy," i.e. it wasn't as though he was particularly closeted,
apparently served his draftee's two-year hitch without a hitch. Nobody
asked him and he didn't tell. His bigger and taller, straight younger
brother was a stereotypical MP, hyper-macho and "loud and wrong," as
we say in the 'hood. But bay-bruh did introduce me to the slang term,
"Road Hawg," for the Cadillac 4-dr sedan. (*Something* here has to be
on topic, I reckon.) ;-)

Anyway, by the time that the Ford pswaydo-jeeps were being phased in,
I was so short that I was sleeping in a matchbox and starting to
forget stuff. I don't recall what their official designation was. And
I seem to have a vague, perhaps completely-wrong, memory that the
Fords didn't quite work out, at least not at their initial deployment.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"––a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
–Mark Twain

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