An Exposition on the Subject of the Armed Forces.
The Navy and the Air Force decided to have a C7 canoe race on the River Thames. Both teams practiced hard and long to reach their peak performance before the race. On the big day, the Navy won by a mile. Afterwards, the Air Force team became very discouraged and depressed. The officers of the Air Force team decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found.
A "Logisitics Team," made up of senior officers was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action. Their conclusion was that the Navy had 6 sailors paddling and 1 officer steering, while the Air Force had 1 airman paddling and 6 officers and NCOs steering.
So the senior officers of the Air Force team hired a consulting company and paid them incredible amounts of money. They advised that too many people were steering the boat and not enough people were paddling.
To prevent losing to the Navy again the next year, the Air Force Chief of Staff made historic and sweeping changes: the canoeing team's organizational structure was totally realigned to 3 steering officers, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering NCO.
They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 airman paddling the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the "Air Force Canoe Team Quality Programme", with meetings, dinners, and a three-day pass for the paddler. "We must give the canoeist empowerment and enrichment through this quality programme."
The next year the Navy won by 2 miles.
Humiliated, the Air Force leadership gave a letter of reprimand to the rower for poor performance. Initiated a $4 billion programme for development of a new joint-service canoe, blamed the loss on a design defect in the paddles, and issued career continuation bonuses and leather paddling jackets to the beleaguered steering officers in the hopes they would stay for next year's race.
Meanwhile, the Army team is still trying to figure out why the oars keep making divots in the grass when they're paddling.