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Leave

For submariners, leave isnt about calmly receiving what you have earned for your military services, but about seizing as much of it as you can and still getting away unscathed. And when you actually do receive all the leave that is owed you, you even feel a little guilty. But just make sure that you dont spend your leave thinking about returning to the service. You got your leave, didnt you? Well then, take it and run.

During my first leave I ran like everybody else. But somehow for the successive ones it became a tradition to leave me back with the crew: the officers and warrant officers all go on leave, and youre left there to spend your time with the sailors. Then when everyone comes back, they let you take your leave - not all of it, of course, but at least some part of it. But before this abridged leave is even up, they start yanking on the leash, pulling you back toward your military duty. You fight with all your might, growling and snarling and digging your front paws into the ground - but they always manage to pull harder. Back on base, they grill you:

What was that all about? And you immediately feel that you are wrong once again. And so, like any good officer, you shrug your shoulders and promise that it wont happen again, trying your very best to emphasize your own brainlessness.

In the navy, brainlessness is rather well-regarded, even encouraged: theres something unmistakably positive about it. Less well-received are intelligence, self-respect, a refined spiritual make-up (along with its little sister, fragility). But worst of all is honesty, which is absolutely untolerated - unless, of course, it can be written off as the flipside of this very same brainlessness.

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