Monday, May 21, 2012

it started long before twitter

Before texting and twitter there were many acronyms used daily.  SNAFU goes back to World War II.  Many of the older common acronyms come from the military.  Maybe that will change now that internet related socializing is producing so many so quickly.



I suspect most of my readers have no clue of the meaning of FIGMO.  It's not a term I've used in a long long time.  It's a military term for those about to be shipped off to their next assignment (you don't move anywhere in the military without orders).  It stands for F*&K It (or more politely Finally I) Got My Orders = FIGMO.


Over 30 years ago I wore that T-shirt proudly as I  finally reached FIGMO status.  It was at Officer Training School (OTS) at the end of a long summer of sweat and salutes.

At a recent graduation party for a nephew I met an uncle of his that was also in USAF.  To my surprise he also when to OTS that same year I did.  He managed to time his Texas training in the milder fall period.  Our sharing of common experiences reminded me of the story referenced on my FIGMO shirt.

When you went FIGMO the class behind yours would present you with a shirt that they made.  The goal was to poke some fun at you.  The golden arches with cadet standing nearby depicts an OTS story of mine.

I marched more in those 3 months than ever in my life.  We had very precise movements and wordings for the parade ground drills.  Each of us would take command of the group (called a flight), march the flight around and then transfer the command to the next one victim.  As part of the transfer of command routine the words "will that be all" and a very precised practiced reply would be exchanged.  We were graded on the words, the commanding voice we shouted, the way we looked when we said them, etc.
 
A few us were off on our first off-base weekend pass and we dropped into a Mickey D's.  As I finished my order the clerk asked "will that be all?"

Quickly without thinking words just rushed out of me. I shouted back "That will be all!"

The clerk jumped back.  He looked scared.  The other cadets with me doubled over in laughter.  The most commanding voice I've ever and will ever use at McDonald's.  Training does work.

Those shock absorbers where on there because I tended to bounce too much when I first started marching.  Once the guy behind me complained that he was getting sea sick.



Here's another FIGMO picture I found on the internet:

credit Jackson Library, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

20 comments:

OneStonedCrow said...

Hehe good one Bill ... pooe Big Mac clerk ... he was probably put off joining the Army for life ...

... all these internet acronyms are becoming confusing and leaving me feeling slightly 'backward' because I don't always know what they are - but there's one that doesn't change: TGIF ...

Bearman Cartoons said...

Great story.  Personally I like FUBAR as a civilian

Frau said...

Love it....

Joanne said...

Sounds like the delightful section of Alfred Wights's (James Harriott) autobiographpy.  They learned to march--with precision.  He took peverse pleaseure in being good at it.

lisleman said...

 The clerk probably thought I was just a little nuts.

lisleman said...

 FUBAR has an interesting sound to it.

lisleman said...

 thanks - I'm not familiar with Alfred Wight but I just did a quick look at the wikipedia page about him.  I learned he was famous for his books on animals.  Thanks I often learn new things in the comment section.

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Did ya check to see if the floor was still day behind the counter???  Heeehehehehe....poor clerk.   I bet there was a hesitation on their next "will that be all." 

Loved that ya saved the shirt and shared both it and this wonderful story  with us.

God bless and have an awesome day!!!  :o)

lisleman said...

who knows I might have ruined his fast-food career and saved his life.
thanks

unknownmami said...

I really enjoyed this post. Great shirt.

lisleman said...

Thanks - The shirt is so old it would fall apart if I wore it today.  Of course, it must of shrunk over the years - right? 

unknownmami said...

Absolutely. My old things shrink all the time.

Liz @ ANIAN said...

It makes for a heck of a funny memory now though! You sure had the training ingrained in you!

lisleman said...

 I guess that's the point of some training.  You don't take time to think.  You just act.  I prefer to think it over.  thanks

Kelleysbreakroom said...

That makes me laugh. THAT WILL BE ALL! I almost got scared reading it. Love your FIGMO shirt. :)

Dawn@LightenUp! said...

Hahaha! "That will be ALL!"
I was a McDonald's clerk. That would have scared the be-jeepers outta me. ;)

Jene said...

Good story! I really admire all of the dedication that it takes to get through the armed forces training programs, and the whole idea of the scripts and formations fascinate me. It's really neat to watch.

I'm a big fan of acronyms. I think the internet is churning them out faster than ever. Did you hear about the new piece of punctuation that was proposed to make it easier to detect sarcasm in online postings? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/6995354/Sarcasm-punctuation-mark-aims-to-put-an-end-to-email-confusion.html

lisleman said...

 I had not heard of the sarcasm mark.  Good idea in general but I don't  see them making money on it.  Maybe people could just put an emoticon like (srm).

longhollow said...

That made me laugh picturing the poor clerk when you yelled at him! Love your shirt and the story behind it!

lisleman said...

thanks - it's fun memory to share.

Featured Post

easy cheat post

lighten up watch a slideshow