Traditional Old Gags
Pulled on New Gunners
By Paul Lanza

It was my second day at the battery and I was assigned to a gun crew. The gun chief, a guy by the name of "Skate" Johnson was orientating me to the workings of a 175 when he said "damn, we need a bucket of ‘muzzle flash' to clean the tube, were out. Why don't you take a run over to Gun 1 and see if they will let you borrow some and while you are there, tell them we need their ‘firing lock key' also. Ours busted the other day and we haven't got the new one yet." So trying to show him that I was going to be a good crew member, I ran right over there. When I told them what I needed, they said they were out of muzzle flash too, and let Gun 3 use their firing lock key. So off I go to Gun 3. When I tell those guys what I need, they give me a 5-gallon can of the so called "muzzle flash" ( It turned out to be a can of water) and that the chief of smoke had the "firing lock key." So off to his bunker I go. I tell him what I need, and he says that the XO is holding the "firing lock key" since they are so hard to come by. So he tells me where to find the XO and also tells me not to lose the "muzzle flash" since we were running low on the stuff and to tell "Skate" to go easy on it since that was the last can. When I find the XO, he reaches into his pocket, takes a key off his key ring and gives it to me. He also tells me that when we are finished with it to bring it back to him and don't give it to anyone else since it is the only one the Battery has. And if I lose it he will court martial my ass! And he then says "By the way, run over to the FDC bunker and tell them I need more ‘grid squares.' Bring them back to me when you bring me back the "firing lock key." So off I go still carrying the can of so called "muzzle flash." When I get to the FDC bunker I tell them that the XO wants more "grid squares." One of them asks me what I got there. I tell him it's a can of "muzzle flash." Well everyone in the bunker busts out laughing and one of them says "Hey ‘boot' there is no such thing as ‘muzzle flash' or ‘grid squares.' Next thing you know they will have you doing is running around looking for a ‘firing lock key.'"

Well when I got back to the gun, the XO, chief of smoke, and gun crew were waiting for me. They were all laughing like crazy and handed me a beer. "Welcome to the battery son."

I think that stunt was pulled on every FNG that came into the battery. There it is!