A picture like this has a story and here it is:
I had been in Vietnam for 10 months. Most of our company personnel were “seasoned”. We had a professional work ethic and we got the job done whatever the task…but we also had a sense of humor and a bit of a don’t-give-a-damn attitude. One day we got a new company commander, a Captain. This was his first job in Vietnam. He immediately discovered that we did not have morning revelee formation and roll call. He was determined to reinstate that “fine military tradition”. The first day, 2 or 3 soldiers out of 30 showed up. Then he issued threats of Article 15 if we did not show up the next day.
So I came up with the idea of dressing the whole company as “Mousekateers”. I made these ears with cardboard and spring steel. It took 8 or 10 of us to come up with all of the words to the Mickey Mouse Club song. Next morning 6AM we ALL fell out and marched in formation to the roll call area singing the Mickey Mouse Club song, wearing the ears, underpants, no shirts, and flipflops.
The Captain had a stroke! He used a great deal of profanity and called us pretty much everything you could imagine. Word spread throughout the headquarters and by 10AM I was standing, heels locked, at attention in front of the Colonel and Sergeant Major. They ran the headquarters complex. I explained that we had never had a roll call in the whole time we had been in country and that everyone showed up for work on time and did their jobs well. And we thought it was pretty “Mickey Mouse” to have us fall out for a useless formation. They must have agreed.
The captain was transferred to one of our field units before the week was out. From then on that Company Commander slot was filled by Captains with only a few weeks left on their tours. We never had to fall out again.
I hesitated to post this shot with all of these serious shots of war…and especially to end this gallery with this totally out of character image. I mean no disrespect to those who have served, I honor all, but it is important to understand that I believe a sense of humor is a vital part of surviving war. So now you have the whole “picture”.