"Send the Fool Further"


Active member
One of the things we'd do to newbies on their recruit or apprentice coursess a military variation of "send the fool further". You'd send a private off to the QM to pick up some silly non-existent item. I remember some of the ones we used to send them for:

- sky hooks: when there was no overhang to hang your cam net or land line, etc.;

- cans of elbow grease;

- a box of short circuits;

- a tube of propeller glue. I used this one myself. When the private looked dubious, I said, "What, you never heard of propeller glue? It's only sticky in one direction, but lets the propeller spin freely. How did you think they kept the propellers on a plane? If you used screws, they'd either fall off or screw themselves tight." I said it with a straight face -- I was so proud of myself! That convinced him to go off; but he came back empty-handed (and with a rather worried expression), saying, "Sgt H--- says you can't have any propeller glue until you bring back the spool of shore line." Well, we all lost it at that point, enlightenment came upon our poor Grasshopper, and he was mighty choked over it.

Better still -- there's a item in our kits that is more properly called a female-to-female cable connector; in Sigs parlance it's a "lesbian connector" (I kid you not). So when we actually needed one, and tried to send the private to go fetch us a lesbian connector, he refused to go. Came quite close to being insubordinate.

Anyone else use a similar "item"? Or, anyone able to make up a few new cool ones for cruel tyrant-sergeants to put in their arsenals to make privates cry? :D

when i worked for a construction company i would send the summer working high schoolers to get me a board stretcher because i cut the board too short!

i would also send them after the left handed hammer.
A friend of mine told me of the one time he got E-5 (my friend was a E-3 at the time who was in charge of the shop he was in) who just on post to go change the summer air out for winter air on tires made of solid rubber!!! He also got newbies to go get a can of frequency grease. His 1st Sgt. had gotten so frustrated over the number of people he kept duping that he finally made my friend show him how to correctly apply frequency grease. My friend (who had a background and hobby in electronics and a roommate who was a radio repairmen) applied it to a circuit board in areas where it wouldn't harm the operation of anything. Needless to say his 1st Sgt. was upset that my friend had outsmarted him. Something that we've done on the flight line was put aircraft brake dust on the mouth pieces of headsets so the next person using it would have black rings around their ears and mouths, making it look like that they have goatees. I have also heard of people using super glue on the headsets, so the rubber pieces get glues to the face of the next victim.
i'm not in the military, yet, but in the Boy scouts, we make the new scouts go around to other camps looking for a left handed smoke shifter. we tell them thats how we have to get a fire started, because we(or mostly, we'll say they forgot) forgot the matches.

They fall for it every time

(granted, they're like 12 when we do this to them)
we just hang people's cranials (helmet looking things for a flightline) on the skycrane's or stick them in freezers if they leave them somewhere :)
Gofers down through the ages have been the butt of jokes.

From the days of the Roman Legions of yesteryear to the legions of Boy Scouts of today, from the first sailors to set out to conquer the world with Eric the Red to the Nuclear Sailors of yesterday - all ages and all times have seen the spectre of the unsuspecting "newbie" being set up for the "grand joke" or gag.

The jokesters of today think they invented the "board stretcher", "sky hooks", "box of short circuits", "left handed wrenches", "smoke shredders", etc. etc. etc.

The first board stretcher gag was probably pulled on some new unsuspecting member of the "Order of the Carpenters Lodge" during the time of Christ.

Sky hooks requisitions were first used on deck hands on the very first aircraft carrier in the US Fleet (USS Langley CV-1). The Deck Supervisor sent the "newby" (usually a new deck hand) to the Air Boss with the information that the Sky Hook Assembly was broken and a "Flash" message needed to be sent to the home fleet headquarters with an "Expedite" priority for the new Sky Hook. [Of course the Air Boss would go along with the gag if he was in a good mood, but most of the time the Air Boss was usually as ornery as an old dog with a tooth ache].

The first radio receiver technician and the first radio transmitter technician or the first Morse Code Operator probably pulled the box of short circuits gag on the supply clerk and were told that their requisition wasn't on the proper form. I'll bet he sent the technician/operator to the Supply Officer to get a "Special Action Repair Part requisition message form (SARP RP-Message form). [Never any such form].

As far as the "left handed wrench", this one continues to backfire on the person/persons pulling the gag. [There have been special left handed wrenches around since the first time someone needed to be able to reach around a housing and needed a special wrench. That wrench was the left handed wrench].

NOTE: There is also a special right handed wrench so don't bet on this one either.
(and) Smoke Shredders were used to try to break up the smoke of ships at sea when coal was used to fuel ships during wartime.

SOOOOO - All of you jokesters out there, be careful when you set up your gag. The gag may just be on you.

As far as Navy gags are concerned I've heard most of them and I doubt you can come up with one I haven't heard or seen pulled on some unsuspecting slob.

If you can get some of the other "Chiefs" that are members to talk about some of the Chief Initiation gags that have been pulled on Chief Selectees you could write a "Gagster's Bible".
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