A drill sergeant was known to be brusque with his men. His lieutenant warned him to try to be more sympathetic:
"I don't want to interfere with your discipline but when there is bad news to relate, please be more diplomatic."
"Now, I have received bad news for one of your men: George Martin. It seems his father has been in a bad traffic accident. Please break the news carefully."
At roll call, the sergeant says: "Fall in everyone. Martin, if you call home today and don't get an answer, it's your dad."
After Martin finds out the truth, he goes crying away to his bunk. The next day, the lieutenant reprimands the drill sergeant once more: "Look, Sarge, this can't continue. If you can't think of a kinder way ....to deal with this kind of news, we'll eliminate this practice from roll call. Now I'm giving you one last chance. Gomez's mother died last ....night You know what to do."
"No problem, lieutenant!"
Roll call: "All right, all you maggots, fall in! All those with living mothers step forward!" And in a quieter tone: "*Not* so fast, Gomez."