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Oh, the “anything not forbidden is allowed” part, Joe? That’s from me; an earlier observation, based on a year’s tour in a far-off place with strange people who had different customs and spoke a similar, yet differently interpreted language (I was in Korea on the main US Army base on Seoul, and had a much easier time dealing with Koreans than US Army and USAF). I witnessed an argument between a first class PO and an Army E-6; the Navy guy was pointing to a reg and saying there was nothing in there saying they couldn’t do [whatever], while the sergeant pointed to the same reg as not saying they could do it. Both were getting loud, neither was noticing that the other was operating from totally different assumptions. And that was when I realized that yes, the Navy (more often than not) has to operate from a “if nobody says I can’t and it needs to be done to get the mission done, then I do it.” Because most of the time the Navy operates where asking permission takes too long. [I should also mention I’m ex-subs; we tended to be a bit more expectant of the crew taking initiative.] Army types don’t do diddly unless somebody gave permission to blow their noses.

I still tend to operate the Navy way. Much to my wife’s chagrin. “Honey, you can’t go through there!” “Doesn’t say I can’t, Deb.” “What about the ‘AUTHORIZED USE ONLY’ sign?” “Who says I’m not authorized? Does the sign? Nope. So I’m cool.” Mental note: so long as I don’t get caught.

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