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October 24, 2007

Generally Confused

If this refers to former Surgeon General Kenneth P. Moritsugu, it’s more than a bit dated — not to mention exceedingly obscure. And if not… beats me.


  1. Those uniforms… are they all old Russian Generals? I know for a fact that no two general’s uniforms are alike. Hey, when you’re a general, you define what is correct for your uniform.

    Comment by kedamono — October 24, 2007 @ 4:13 pm

  2. I think this is one of those cases where the joke is exactly what it appears to be, no less and no more. The former Surgeon General is trying to sit down at a table reserved for generals and finds the reception rather cold. To be fair to the cartoonist, the joke isn’t THAT out of date. Mortisugu only left the job at the beginning of October. I wasn’t even aware there WAS a new Surgeon General. (His replacement doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry yet!)

    I hope the former Surgeon General clips and saves this cartoon. I can’t imagine there’ll be too many more for his scrapbook.

    Comment by Joe Blevins — October 24, 2007 @ 5:08 pm

  3. I’m not sure what you mean by “more than a bit dated”. He only retired as acting Surgeon General on the first of this month. The lead time for the cartoon could be greater than that.

    After all, a “surgeon-general” isn’t quite a general in the usual meaning of the word, is he?

    Comment by Charlene — October 24, 2007 @ 6:01 pm

  4. The Surgeon Generial is actually an admiral

    Comment by Will — October 24, 2007 @ 8:11 pm

  5. link didn’t work —

    Comment by Will — October 24, 2007 @ 8:12 pm

  6. Maybe it’s bang up to date, and he’s not allowed to join them because he’s no longer a (surgeon) general.

    Comment by Derek — October 25, 2007 @ 5:31 am

  7. The Surgeon General is indeed an Admiral, Vice Admiral to be precise, which is equivalent in rank to a Lieutenant General, so the Generals in the cartoon are being nitpicky.

    Comment by Powers — October 25, 2007 @ 7:18 am

  8. I met the acting SG, he was very nice, he was an admiral, and often, admirals outrank generals, as there are no “one star” admirals in the USNavy, but there are Bigadiers in the other branches. Admirals start with 2 stars, but some are called “upperhalf” and some are called “lowerhalf” but all outrank the one starred generals.

    Also, this may refer to the fact that some officers are “line” and some are “staff” Line officers are more military, and came up throught the officer ranks and serve as commanders and whatnot, while staff officers are medical and legal and obtain their rank on different things.

    The surgeon general is a staff officer by merit of being a doctor, but he is also on staff by merit of serving on the Chiefs of Staff.

    Comment by trish — October 25, 2007 @ 7:46 am

  9. Wow. Who knew you could learn so much from CIDU?

    Comment by Janice — October 25, 2007 @ 9:52 am

  10. Here’s another bit of trivia. The general wearing the hat must be packing heat since you’re only allowed to wear a hat indoors if you’re armed.

    Comment by Its justme — October 25, 2007 @ 11:37 am

  11. Actually, the equivalent of a one-star general in the USN is the “Rear Admiral – Lower Half”, or “Rear Admiral – Lower Eschelon”. They are grade O-7, same as a Brigadier General.

    Comment by Bill — October 25, 2007 @ 6:05 pm

  12. As a furriner (Canadian), perhaps its not my place to comment, but WTH? Even a “Rear Admiral – Lower Half” has a better claim to the title General than, say, former Attorney General John Ashcroft who was called “General Ashcroft” by some. If I were a Naval grade O-7, I’d rather be called Commodore. At least it isn’t “Rear Admiral – Left Half”!

    Comment by Ooten Aboot — October 25, 2007 @ 6:35 pm

  13. “General Ashcroft”????

    Comment by Powers — October 26, 2007 @ 6:56 am

  14. Re 13 “General Ashcroft”???? For one instance:

    Some seem to find the mention of “President Bush” just as puzzling, at least in the context of the 43rd presidency.

    Comment by Ooten Aboot — October 26, 2007 @ 1:17 pm

  15. That’s just disturbing.

    Comment by Powers — October 27, 2007 @ 9:43 am

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