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Some boys join the navy when they are quite young, and are then given a course of training as sailors. It is a long course, both on land and at sea, and during it the boys study things like mathematics and science, learn to tie knots, fire guns, and do other practical things.

One of the important things they are taught is, of course, how to swim. In the old days, many sailors were unable to swim, but nowadays it is rare to find one that cannot.

At one school for sailor boys, the swimming instructor was very good. He had never had a boy whom he had failed to teach to swim by the time the course ended. One year, however, there was one particular boy on the training course who seemed quite unable to learn to swim. The instructor tried giving him extra lessons; he tried throwing him into the pool at the deep end, and he tried holding him up with a rope tied to the end of a fishingrod while the boy attempted to swim, but he had no success at all, whatever he did. At last, when the course was due to end, he had to admit defeat.

One day, he called the boy aside after the swimming lesson and said to him, 'John, I have tried very hard to teach you to swim, but I have failed-for the first time in my life. Now I want to give you a piece of advice. Listen carefully.'

'Yes, sir,' answered the boy.

'Well,' the instructor went on, 'if you are ever in a ship and it sinks, just jump over the side into the sea, go right down to the bottom and run to the shore as fast as you can. That is the only way you will save your life.'
Private Jones was assigned to the Army induction center, where he was to advise new recruits about their government benefits, especially their Serviceman's Group Life Insurance (SGLI). It wasn't long before the center's Lieutenant noticed that Private Jones had almost a 100% record for insurance sales, which had never happened before. Rather than ask about this, the Lt. stood in the back of the room and listened to Jones' sales pitch.

Jones explained the basics of the SGLI to the new recruits, and then said. "If you have SGLI and go into battle and are killed, the government has to pay $200,000 to your beneficiaries. If you don't have SGLI, and you go into battle and get killed, the government has to pay only a maximum of $6000."

"Now," he concluded, "which bunch do you think they are going to send into battle first?"