What time is it?
On some air bases the Air Force is on one side of the field and civilian aircraft use the other side of the field, with the control tower in the middle. One day the tower received a call from an aircraft asking, "What time is it?" The tower responded, "Who is calling?" The aircraft replied, "What difference does it make?" The tower replied "It makes a lot of difference. If it is an American Airlines Flight, it is 3 o'clock. If it is an Air Force, it is 1500 hours. If it is a Navy aircraft, it is 6 bells. If it is an Army aircraft, the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 3. If it is a Marine Corps aircraft, it's Thursday afternoon."
An enemy decoy, built in occupied Holland, led to a tale that has been told and retold ever since by veteran Allied pilots. The German "airfield," constructed with meticulous care, was made almost entirely of wood. There were wooden hangars, oil tanks, gun emplacements, trucks, and aircraft. The Germans took so long in building their wooden decoy that Allied photo experts had more than enough time to observe and report it. The day finally came when the decoy was finished, down to the last wooden plank. Early the following morning, a lone RAF plane crossed the Channel, came in low, circled the field once, and dropped a large wooden bomb.
Recruiting Any and All Pilots
The chief of staff of the US Air Force decided that he would personally intervene in the recruiting crisis affecting all of our armed services. He directed a nearby Air Force base that will be opened and that all eligible young men and women be invited. As he and his staff were standing near a brand new F-15 Fighter, a pair of twin brothers who looked like they had just stepped off a Marine Corps recruiting poster walked up to them. The chief of staff walked up to them, stuck out his hand and introduced himself. He looked at the first young man and asked, "Son, what skills can you bring to the Air Force?" The young man looks at him and says, "I'm a pilot!" The general gets all excited, turns to his aide and says, "Get him in today, all the paper work done, everything, do it!" The aide hustles the young man off. The general looks at the second young man and asked, "What skills to you bring to the Air Force?" The young man says, "I chop wood!" "Son," the general replies, "we don't need wood choppers in the Air Force, what do you know how to do?" "I chop wood!" "Young man," huffs the general, "you are not listening to me, we don't need wood choppers, this is the 20th century!" "Well," the young man says, "you hired my brother!" "Of course we did," says the general, "he's a pilot!" The young man rolls his eyes and says, "So what! I have to chop it before he can pile it!"
One reason the Services have trouble operating jointly is that they don't speak the same language. For example, if you told Navy personnel to "secure a building," they would turn off the lights and lock the doors. Army personnel would occupy the building so no one could enter. Marines would assault the building, capture it, and defend it with suppressive fire and close combat. The Air Force, on the other hand, would take out a three-year lease with an option to buy.
You've all heard of the Air Force's ultra-high-security, super-secret base in Nevada, known simply as "Area 51?" Well, late one afternoon, the Air Force folks out at Area 51 were very surprised to see a Cessna landing at their "secret" base. They immediately impounded the aircraft and hauled the pilot into an interrogation room. The pilot's story was that he took off from Vegas, got lost, and spotted the base just as he was about to run out of fuel. The Air Force started a full FBI background check on the pilot and held him overnight during the investigation. By the next day, they were finally convinced that the pilot really was lost and wasn't a spy. They gassed up his airplane, gave him a terrifying "you-did-not-see-a-base" briefing, complete with threats of spending the rest of his life in prison, told him Vegas was that-a-way on such-and-such a heading, and sent him on his way. The day after that though, to the total disbelief of the Air Force, the same Cessna showed up again. Once again, the MP's surrounded the plane...only this time there were two people in the plane. The same pilot jumped out and said, "Do anything you want to me, but my wife is in the plane and you have to tell her where I was last night!"