At ease: Lighter moments from the week


Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby on Thursday brought a special sign into the Pentagon briefing room that read: “Go Navy! Beat Army.”

When his fellow spokesman George Little referred to the annual clash as the “Army versus Navy football game at FedEx field,” Kirby soon jumped in with: “Otherwise [known as] Navy versus Army.”

Kirby, no doubt, expects a Midshipmen win.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey might wear what is called a “purple suit” — meaning representing all four services — in military circles, but he will not be impartial Saturday.

The career Army man, a 1974 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., made it clear he’ll be rooting for the Black Knights. He even predicted an Army victory.

It’s simply in his blood, he explained, quipping: “It has nothing to do with my [feelings] for aircraft carriers.”

There has been much hand-wringing, but few jokes, in recent months about additional military budget cuts.

David Berteau, a former Pentagon official now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), offered up a knee-slapper during a Wednesday morning forum sponsored by the think tank.

During a past era of military budget cuts, the Marine Corps decided to cut its ammunition budget, Berteau recalled.

When one Marine Corps officer was asked how the Leathernecks would deal with having less ammo at their disposal, the officer deadpanned this about shooting: “Miss less often.”