2021 October 19

An interesting fact about my military life: I never once pulled KP. KP stands for kitchen police, which has nothing to do with the common use of the term police. Police means to maintain. So when ordered to police the parade grounds, it has nothing to do with law and order or guard duty. It means to clean it of trash (cigarette butts, scrapes of paper, bits of broken glass, et all). Likewise kitchen police means to clean, fetch, and anything else the Mess* Sergeant orders to be done. *When it first appeared in English, mess meant a portion of food. Therefore in military parlance; mess, chow, and dining mean the same thing.

Back to what I was saying about never being on KP duty my entire military life. During Basic Training I became a Squad Leader and wore corporal stripes on an arm band. Because of that extra duty, I was exempt from kitchen duty. While in Advanced Individual Trading (where you receive the specialized training for the job you are assigned – in my case it was Military Police), they asked if anyone knew how to type. There is a joke that begins with that question and ends with being handed a shovel. However, they truly were looking for someone to do typing in the orderly room. At the time, I could type 50-60 words per minute. If you remember M*A*S*H, think Radar O’Reilly. Though he was from Ottumwa, Iowa while I was from Johnston, Iowa. The office staff were exempt from KP because of the extra duties already being performed. 

After completing AIT as an MP, I was assigned to a NATO missile base in Germany. The MPs were not in the rotation for KP. 
And my last six or seven months in the military, I was once again in the Orderly Room (office) as Publication and Training NCO. The military really likes their capitalized initial abbreviations, don’t they?
Four burgers and a large fry door less than seven dollars. Not exactly fine dinning but it was enough while we waited for time to go to our next destination.
Brighter Days Food Pantry at the Leander Church of Christ was our next stop. We received non perishable canned goods, oatmeal, rice, and macaroni, as well as frozen hamburger, another two dozen eggs, two heads of lettuce, two loaves of bread, two cartons of shelf stable milk, and more fruit and potatoes.
Once we sorted through everything, we prepared a box of items that we will regift to the food pantry in Liberty Hill.

God bless and goodnight

©2021 Thomas E Williams

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