Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Three Stomp Signal - Anyone?


In the Times OnLine piece Patriot Missiles: Iraq Veterans Against the War that ran in early March, IVAW's Jason Washburn got some focused attention from Robin Boyd at Chickenhawk Express and also from Dave Allender and Nat Helms at Defend Our Marines. Perry O'Brien also got some attention for "heart touching", but I have to admit to having overlooked this:

On a February morning at a cafe in Brooklyn, New York, Perry O’Brien is explaining the difference between the “book way” and the “real way”, and the significance of the “three-stomp signal” that is used to differentiate between the two.

“If someone is giving a briefing and they stomp their foot three times after what they are saying, it means ‘disregard what I just said’. For instance, ‘Make every effort to avoid civilian property damage,’ stomp stomp stomp – [means] ignore that. The idea is that when you get back [from combat], anything that you did the book way can be spoken about – but not what was done the real way.”

It isn’t just between the book way and the real way, he says; it’s become between the honourable way and the immoral way...

“The book way was we treat everyone the same…” Perry smiles and taps his foot three times. “You are ordered to do things that are clear violations of our conscience and what we know to be moral. It’s not even what’s prescribed by the Geneva conventions. It’s what every human being knows to be right and wrong. We’re asked to do things that violate that and told it’s about the war, but you can never tell anyone because we need to protect them from that."
O'Brien was a medic in Afghanistan. From all that I've read from him, I have never seen where he has given any indication that he ever went on a combat mission or was engaged in any fighting. I am not sure how many, if any, briefings like the ones he describes he may ever have personally attended.

That alone would not have so effectively triggered my olfactory senses, but that "three stomp signal" certainly has! O'Brien describes it as something routine, ordinary, even well known among military personnel. Yet a Google search of "three stomp signal" returns O'Brien as the only source for such a concept! The only other remotely close return was from a software patent:
...protocol in which a stomp signal is propagated to cancel a prior request...
I cannot even find where Geoff Millard, who graduated from advancing the slides in a PowerPoint presentation to giving briefings to generals and colonels spoke of the three stomp signal!

So I am throwing this one out there: anyone ever heard of "Perry O'Brien's Three Stomp Signal"? At this point, I am naming it after him as he seems to be, at this time, something like the sole owner of the concept.

28 comments:

streetsweeper95B said...

Ima give this loser a fourth *stomp* 'mere punk.....Welcome to the real world! Sign your name on the dotted line & appear in court.

No bail, bonding, ect.....show up & prove it, dudette.....

streetsweeper95B said...

Oh..wait, Denis! Thats his signal for a shots worth of double tap to center mass? After all...If one is gonna continue to call down the Thunder, Hell is going to follow?

Right?

Denis Keohane said...

Heh!

Anonymous said...

Longwalker says obviously he saw the Henry Fonda movie about the Bttle of the Bulge and misrmembered the scene with the new Panzer officers.

Anonymous said...

Longwalker says sorry about that! Should be Battle of the Bulge.

Denis Keohane said...

Well hello Longwalker...and is this the Longwalker formerly of the Army Rangers?

Anonymous said...

Longwalker says yes. Just "ghosting."

Denis Keohane said...

Well great to hear from you here!

Your nephew has just become "formerly" SF and a bona fide civilian, and is about to drive cross country to here with the younger brother as wingman. He will then be heading north from here to Maine in some weeks time, and I'd imagine a drop by for a martini or a few may be on the agenda.

Consider that a warning!

Denis Keohane said...

Longwalker,

This (Panzerlied) the foot stompng?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKbI2kM2B3U

Anonymous said...

Longwalker says that the new former snake eater wants this old wreck to join him for a few days in woods walking. Hey, I'm pushing 70 and its pushing back. No way will I go a-hiking. A-martini-ing, maybe. Definitely with a prime rib and baked potato.

Anonymous said...

Longwalker say yes to the panzerlied clip. As to the idea of a triple stomp as a "null" signal at a briefing, too obvious. A simple "cough" or "wink" would serve the purpose and be harder to notice by any "innocents" attending the briefing.

Denis Keohane said...

He wants everybody to join him for a few days in the woods! Has the little sister all but terified of the prospect. Last time she spent a few days with him he hiked her up Mt. St. Helens - for fun.

Plans to spend the summer walking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to school in Maine.

First full day as a civilian he had the brother run a marathon with him.

He's not right - in the head! I'm not going anywhere with him that doesn't involve leaving a respectable carbon footprint.

Denis Keohane said...

"As to the idea of a triple stomp as a "null" signal at a briefing, too obvious. A simple "cough" or "wink" would serve the purpose and be harder to notice by any "innocents" attending the briefing."

O'Brien was assigned to the 82nd as a medic. Inquiries have been made. Has all the earmarks of an "I once heard..." story.

longwalker said...

Denis, you know that I am a klutz with computers. I hope that this works and I login. I remember "snowing" many "newbees" for enjoyment. Usually they wised up but who knows.

Denis Keohane said...

Login worked, and...

"snowing" many "newbees" for enjoyment.

...has a decidedly apt ring to it.

longwalker said...

I have placed Obiter Dictum at the top of my "favorites" list. I usually "ghost" the net three or four times a day. The benefit of being retired.

Robin said...

Hey Denis - have a martini on me with a great big load of 'thank you'!

We need someone with some musical ability to come up with an O'Brien Three Stomp Boogie song - kinda like the "Boot Scootin' Boogie"... Of course some heart touching will need to be included in the lyrics.

Denis Keohane said...

"We need someone with some musical ability to come up with an O'Brien Three Stomp Boogie song - kinda like the "Boot Scootin' Boogie"..."

Damn, that's a great idea, but I'm out on that one. "Tune carrying" is missing in my DNA!

Denis Keohane said...

Ghost here all you want, Longwalker!

streetsweeper95b said...

Ohhhhh Denis...I made someones numba one "dumbass list" today! Don't worry, it ain't O'Briens.....heh! Yet anyhow....AS has his blog linked on her's...uhhhh he's over at da Hood....don't want to put his link up....

Pulled the eject button stunt & got a nice compliment ;)

Anonymous said...

Streetsweeper - here's the "no-named blogger's" profile over at IVAW.
http://www.ivaw.org/membersspeak/soldier-interrupted

streetsweeper95b said...

LOL anymouse! Just wasn't wanting to put it up....hehehe!

Rurik said...

Is that foot stomping busniess anything like restroom toe tapping? Paging Senator Craig. You have a call from a Mr. O"Brien.

streetsweeper95b said...

Oh you are so bad , rurik! HEHE...How you been bro?? LTNS.

Working on the tune fer Robin...now if she'd like it set to somthing like Fuels "Won't Back down"...woohawwwww!

Denis Keohane said...

Dang, StreetSweep...

That is a live one! Poster child for adult dose ritalin!

streetsweeper95b said...

And I'm a glutton for punishment, heh! LOL

Thus Spake Ortner said...

The only stomp thing I know is in PLDC when the SGL says something and stomps, you know it is on the exam.

streetsweeper95b said...

*stomps three time* run, tso! run! I might go ptsd & shoot ya fer fun in the buns wif a *paintball*...(watches tso running...EMMMMMMM bro!