General Petraeus’ Top Ten

General Petraeus’ Top Ten reasons BYU grads make good soldiers (with explanations):  March 24, 2010

(BYU–Brigham Young University–is a Mormon sponsored university in Provo, UT.  Click here for article.)


10They have already been on a mission.

Many Mormon men and women serve proselytizing missions for their church mostly between the ages of 19-22 although some serve later as well.

9Army chow is no problem for folks accustomed to eating green Jell-o and shredded carrots.

Utah has topped the nation’s highest Jell-O consumption for several years.  In a place where large family and church gatherings are common, Jell-O is fast, easy, and economical.  Scarlett Lindeman, a New York City-based food writer, published an article on the same day as General Petraeus’ address in the Atlantic Monthly about Mormons and Jell-O.  Click here for article.  Link to Jellies with Fruit recipe.

8It’s not a problem if they don’t know what rank someone is, they just refer to them as Brother or Sister so-and-so.

Mormons call each other Brother and Sister in church.  This is common to other religions as well.

7They never go AWOL.  They just call it less active.

Being less active?  This is when someone doesn’t go to church every Sunday.

6They will seize any objective swiftly if you tell them refreshments will be served.

Refreshments served.  Most people are more enticed by refreshments.  If there is anything specifically Mormon about this comment it might be that because Mormons do attend a lot of church meetings outside of work, refreshments are sometimes the lynch pin to incentivize people to show up.

5They know how to make things happen.  In fact if you ever need a base built quickly in barren wasteland, stride out to where you want them to start, plant your walking stick down and say in a loud voice, “This is the place.”

This is referring to Brigham Young who led the Mormon pioneers west.  When he arrived at a certain valley, he planted his walking stick into the ground and loudly proclaimed, “This is the place.”  That place is now Salt Lake City.

4They have innovative ideas for handling insurgents–like assigning them home teachers.

Home Teachers??  Mormons are assigned to watch and care for each other.  Each member is assigned a set of two “home teachers”.  Called home teachers, they visit members in their homes.  Home teachers could do any number of things such as teach a doctrinal lesson, help change a tire, check up on needs, fellowship, etc.

3They always have a years’ supply of provisions on hand.

Years’ supply of provisions on hand??  Mormons have been directed to keep one years’ supply on hand in case of emergency.  Emergencies could be natural disaster, economic crisis, job loss or any other event that would necessitate a back-up plan.

2They are the world’s most reliable designated drivers.

World’s most reliable designated drivers??  Mormons don’t drink alcohol.

1They understand how far Iraq has come over the last seven years, and they think that Iraq’s old spot in the “Axis of Evil” can now be filled by the University of Utah.

The University of Utah is BYU’s main sports rival.

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