by Cpl. Robert L. Cook
Jan 1942–Sep 1945

 ‘Member how
that damn CQ
at early dawn
came screamin’
through the barracks
with a whistle
and a loud voice?
We didn’t have no choice
but to hit the deck.

In skivvies without shoes
we headed for the head
to slosh our face
and do what you do
in that place.
Then we hurried
and got dressed
in dungarees
for duty of the day.
Or khakis pressed
and lookin’ sharp
with creases
down the front if
we were goin’ ashore.

We headed for the 
chow hall then
as quick as could be.
If we had early watch
t’was the place
we had to be.
We fell out in
the company street
and squared away
till we were neatly
in three rows
with weapons
shouldered in sling.

The corporal
would march us off
to where the trucks
would pick us up to
drop us at the post
where we’d spend
 long boring hours
walking up and down.

Those are memories
I have of then,
don’t wanna do it
over again.
Don’t reckon
I’ll have to now as
I’m a bit over the hill.

*     *     *
The author: Robert Lin Cook served with Regimental Weapons Co. (2d-2d) from 1942–44, at Guadalcanal and Tarawa during a 33-month overseas tour.

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That Damn CQ
CQ or Charge of Quarters is a United States armed forces term used to describe tasked duty in which a service member is to guard the front entrance to the barracks. 
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