Editor’s Note: Geo’s newest work:  “Delta Force Cartoon Book,” is now available for purchase.  You can get your copy here

Our A Squadron troop leader, John C. — or “Bucket-Head” as he was more affectionately referred to — had a few notable idiosyncratic mannerisms. He had a slightly larger head than most of us, though his face was remarkably pleasant. He had a way of wobbling his head with his eyes closed as if he were listening to dissertations, all the while interjecting with his baritone voice: “Right… right… right…”

I should tell you that it was not (at all) annoying, just a thing that one could note about the man. During an assault brief by one of our assault Team Leaders, John was in his usually listening trance when one of the men suddenly closed his eyes, started wobbling his head, and repeating in a baritone boom: “Right… right… right…”

The troop burst out with chuckles as our major opened his eyes, locked onto what was going on, and joined us all in laughter. I instinctively joined in, as I have always loved a good impression. As the event ended and the leadership left the room, one of the brothers brought up:

“So… that impression of Bucket-Head was pretty funny, and I was laughing as hard as the next man, but I don’t think that should be done right in front of the guy’s face like that again. I mean, we have got it pretty damned good with John C. and could probably only do worse — we need to show him more respect.”

Another brother added that we should include that nobody should ever call him Bucket-Head to his face either, as he was an officer and an adult man. I added my two cents’ worth that we should also not permit the men of the other two troops to call our troop leader Bucket-Head either.

Cartoon commemorating the time John C. soundly convinced the command staff that applying armor to some of our already underpowered and belabored trucks was foolish. The trucks, which we called “Apple Carts,” were purchased for clandestine personnel transport and nothing more. (below left) the Hoss Cartwright Character from the TV series Bonanza and the racehorse Secretariat.

The relationship between officers and men was different there than in Big Army of course — the dynamic was very different; the rift more narrow. The working relationship was closer and more on a peer level than you would find in Big Army. A thing that never was confused though, is that the officer was still the officer and the one in charge — that was never disputed. It was even marginally acceptable to call a troop-level officer by his first name, though it was not in my own troop culture to ever allow it.