Gunnery Jack

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'Gunnery Jack' used to be the informal way of referring to the ship's Gunnery Officer, no ordinary mortal when compared to Pilot or Flags for instance.

In order to be a successful Gunnery Officer you need to know a few things:

1. You were put on this earth to rule over the lower orders, and if they do not understand this, that is merely a sign of their own inadequacy.

2. You were NOT put on this planet to be liked or popular. Temper your every action with a little bit of injustice.

3. You joined the Navy to use your undoubted brain to beat the sh!t out of the Queen’s enemies, not to go sailing on the cheap. If HM is short of enemies, practice on those around you.

4. Organise everyone else before they organise you. It is not enough for your own part of ship to be immaculate. Make your presence felt in everybody else’s as well. In particular, if Flags gives any trouble, strangle him with his own silk handkerchief, kept handy for the purpose in his top pocket.

5. Your Captain is only a bit distant because he knows you are right (however, if he is himself a Gunnery Officer, he is the one that is right).

6. Do not shrink from underhand manipulation or minor bribery in order to accomplish your aims.

7. You should open fire in rapid spread lines with five per cent of the outfit. This is also a useful metaphor for your dealings with people who try to obstruct your plans.

8. It is all lies that you straddled the Weymouth ferry, and anyway they are used to it.

9. It was an honour and a privilege, and a useful exercise in airmanship, for the Wafus in that helicopter to have such a close-up view of your AA shoot.

10. R double dot = - Rp omega squared. Lesser beings do not know this.

11. Nothing cancels the order STILL! Except the order Carry On.

12. Stick at it, because your branch has the best chance of clewing up in the House of Lords.

13. Lesser beings make do with ten commandments. Another sign of how simple they are.

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