Military jokes, whether army jokes or navy jokes, humanized the brave souls who defended America. You can tell that the authors were familiar with the subject.
THE POINT OF HONOR
A young lieutenant was passed by a private, who failed to salute. The lieutenant called him back, and said sternly:
"You did not salute me. For this you will immediately salute two hundred times."
At this moment the General came up.
"What's all this?" he exclaimed, seeing the poor private about to begin.
The lieutenant explained.
"This ignoramus failed to salute me, and as a punishment, I am making him salute two hundred times."
"Quite right," replied the General, smiling. "But do not forget, sir, that upon each occasion you are to salute in return."
The sergeant-major had the reputation of never being at a loss for an answer. A young officer made a bet with a brother officer that he would in less than twenty-four hours ask the sergeant-major a question that would baffle him.
The sergeant-major accompanied the young officer on his rounds, in the course of which the cook-house was inspected. Pointing to a large copper kettle of water just commencing to boil, the officer asked:
"Why does that water only boil round the edges of the copper and not in the center?"
"The water round the edge, sir," replied the veteran, "is for the men on guard; they have their breakfast half an hour before the remainder of the company."
The officer of the day, during his tour of duty, paused to question a sentry who was a new recruit.
"If you should see an armed party approaching, what would you do?" asked the officer.
"Turn out the guard, sir."
"Very well. Suppose you saw a battleship coming across the parade-ground, what would you do?"
"Report to the hospital for examination, sir," was the prompt reply.
A LITERAL CENSOR
Joe T. Marshall, formerly of Kansas, recently became the father of an eight-pound boy, and wished to cable the news to his family in America.
The censor refused to allow the message to go through.
"What's the matter?" Marshall asked indignantly.
"We aren't permitted to announce the arrival of Americans in France!"
Private Simpkins had returned from the front, to find that his girl had been walking out with another young man, and naturally asked her to explain her frequent promenades in the town with the gentleman.
"Well, dear," she replied, "it was only kindness on his part. He just took me down every day to the library to see if you were killed."
IS THIS TACT?
An officer on board a warship was drilling his men.
"I want every man to lie on his back, put his legs in the air, and move them as if he were riding a bicycle," he explained. "Now commence."
After a short effort one of the men stopped.
"Why have you stopped, Murphy?" asked the officer.
"If ye plaze, sir," was the answer, "Oi'm coasting."
During a dust-storm at one of the army camps, a recruit sought shelter in the cook's tent.
"If you put the lid on that camp kettle you would not get so much dust in your soup."
"See here, my lad, your business is to serve your country."