Drill Sergeant Big Bubba Reminisces
Certain training classes were conducted in a post theater with two or three companies present for training. We would march the company into the theater parking lot where we meticulously followed an exaggerated procedure for the trainees to ground their equipment and stack their rifles. First they would stack rifles. Then they would remove their load bearing equipment and hats which would be neatly placed at their feet. The whole purpose of what some might think mindless harassment was to teach the trainees to follow procedures as taught to them correctly, with precision and quickly every time.
When it was time to enter the theater, the company would be called to attention and faced to the direction of march. We would then start the trainees double-timing in place. The Drill Sergeants would circulate making sure the trainees were lifting their knees high, in place and in step. We were The Mighty Delta Bulldogs (Delta Bulldogs Never Die, RAH!) so when the trainees began to double-time, they began our Mighty Delta Bulldogs chant. "Delta’s on the warpath, oo, AH. Delta’s on the warpath, oo, AH. Delta’s on the warpath, oo, AH." The trainees would be directed out of formation in a single file, one platoon after another, to the entrance door. They would continue a forward moving double time in place, continuously chanting, until they entered the theater. Inside they walked quickly to their seat and stood facing the stage at attention. Once the company was inside standing at attention in front of their seats a Drill Sergeant would shout out the command, r-e-a-d-y, SEATS! The trainees would quickly take their seats shouting, "Delta Bulldogs Never Die, RAH!"
The trainees would soon learn the drill and as the cycle progressed they needed less guidance to execute all the procedures at the theater. It was almost like the Drill Sergeants would put the trainees on cruise control. One day I was standing outside the theater and the trainees were on cruise control going in the theater. My good friend Drill Sergeant Carl Stewart (are you out there Carl?) was standing there beside me. He got a perplexed look on his face and asked me what the trainees were saying. I had not been paying attention, but, when Drill Sergeant Stewart asked I realized that my trainees running by us were not chanting "Delta’s on the warpath, oo, AH." They were chanting "Delta’s on the warpath, oo, FAH."
What’s the point of the story you ask? Have you seen the Toyota 4 Runner commercial? The one with the happy singing, in the background, tra-la-la-tra-la-la-la-tra and each verse ending with "oo fah, oo fah?" As it turns out there are some pudgy little South Seas tribal characters on the back seat singing. I kept listening to that catchy little tune without any comprehension whatsoever of what was being said. Today I listened and said to myself "wait a minute they are saying oo fah."
Drill Sergeant Stewart and I did not have a clue what was going on other then a certainty that the Samoans were involved when he asked me what they were saying. I did a little quizzing of certain Samoans in my platoon and found out that "oo fah" was indeed a Samoan Language slang term. I learned that it suggested that an unnatural sex act be performed on the person at whom the remark was directed. When I remembered that long ago incident, it made me wonder about the Toyota commercial. You don’t think the tribal actors pulled one over on the sharp Toyota businessmen AND got paid for it, do you?