A Retired Navy Admiral Asking for Help

By | April 2, 2020

[April 2, 2020]  Today, I have a little lighthearted story to tell.  A friend of mine from Chicago wrote me the other day to pass along an interesting story about a retired British Navy Admiral.  The admiral was approaching the age of 80 and wanted a young person to help out around the house, engage in basic health care duties, and provide companionship.

Widowed now for more than twenty years, and with the Coronavirus pandemic building up dramatically, the admiral wanted help.  Using an alias, he placed an advertisement in several newspapers near Canterbury, southeast England.  The ad is duplicated here in this article, but I removed contact information and other identification notes.  I found the ad interesting and funny.

Furthermore, and why I published it here on my leadership blog, is that the very person the admiral is looking for is what he would like to see in a junior Naval officer. This is why I decided that more people should see this with only minor redactions.

The advert begins with the basics:

Wanted, Retired Navy Officer seeks Help

  • Retired Military Officer requests a young person to help with household duties and provide companionship to a highly decorated Royal Navy Admiral.
  • Person must be free of disease, physically strong, mentally sturdy, and Christian.
  • University student is preferable as this would make for an ideal situation.
  • Full room and board costs provided. Monthly remuneration (redacted amount).

This ad is what I found of particular interest:

Applicant must be:

  1. Immensely patriotic and loyal to England and the Crown
  2. Able to tolerate offensive language, outlandish stories, salty conversations, and eccentric behavior
  3. Hard-working, quick to adopt responsibility without being told, and works in the absence of explicit guidance
  4. Willing to learn about the respectable history of the Royal Navy and its customs
  5. A good listener and conversationalist
  6. Not afraid of blood or other bodily fluids
  7. Capable of lifting a 90kg gaffer off the deck
  8. Outgoing with a positive personality and (redacted, you don’t want to know)
  9. Seeking to better themselves in a unique way
  10. Most importantly, be brutally honest, selfless, and highly ethical in all things
  11. and, if you’ve read the biographies of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, you’re hired

It just doesn’t stop because there are more items of interest.

Additional requirements:

  • If you’re a generation snowflake, feel entitled, or easily offended, don’t apply
  • If the applicant is Liberal Democrat, do not apply
  • If you support the European Union, big government, immigration, and the Euro monetary system, do not apply
  • If you don’t support a strong British military force, do not apply
  • If you are hooked on alcohol or illegal drugs, do not apply
  • And, if you cross-dress, are sexually transitioning, identify as the opposite sex, or still or just started playing with toys, do not apply

I have to hand it to the Brit Naval officer who wrote this.  I laughed so hard tears ran down my leg.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

28 thoughts on “A Retired Navy Admiral Asking for Help

  1. Greg Heyman

    This navy admiral must have been a hoot to work for. One of the best things I read this month and … funniest too.

    1. Mr. T.J. Asper

      I try to use this type of example in the classroom (when High School was in session). The kids got a big laugh and they actually learned something important that they would remember.

  2. Martin Shiell

    Funny and entertaining. One of the best articles to date.

  3. Kenny Foster

    This article is funny!!! So thank you Gen. Satterfield. I want to point to the last set of criteria and make a note. It is obvious the Navy Admiral is a Brit conservative and that is okay. I have found most senior military officers are also conservative. That philosophy certainly served them well during their military careers and helped them personally thru the hard times of military service. The last set of criteria are actually more funny if you reread them. Take a closer look and see what is written and think between the lines.

    1. José Luis Rodriguez

      Kenny, great analysis. I get your point. 👍

    2. The Kid 1945

      Good comment, thanks Kenny. I found this article funny and passed it along to my co-workers (working from home). Got a number of interesting and supportive comments back from them.

      1. Drew Dill

        Yeah, I did the same and got some more of my coworkers to visit this site.

  4. Randy Goodman

    If you’re new to Gen. Satterfield’s blog, then you’ve come to the right place. If you want to read leadership articles and learn a little, be entertained a little, and think BIG, you’ve come to the right place. Today’s advertisement is meant to provide a little levity. We need this in a time of crisis.

    1. Wendy Holmes

      Randy, good point. I do think that more and more are coming to this site to read spot-on things about leadership. It’s your daily dose of leadership in under 2 minutes.

      1. Gil Johnson

        I know some who do but don’t like to post comments. I am encouraging them however.

  5. Doug Smith

    This leadership blog post today is why I keep coming back to it. Great entertainment and sometimes just pure, unadulterated entertainment to boot.

  6. Bill Sanders, Jr.

    My grandfather was a retired Navy Captain who was in WW2. The stories he told were more than salty, they were downright crazy. The things that happened could not be repeated on a college campus today without the lacky college administrators shutting the campus down and calling in grief counselors with teddy bears and coloring books. WW2 was a time of real men and real women, not a bunch of hokey nincompoops that dress in women’s underwear and cry when teased.

    1. Joe Omerrod

      Bill, watch it. Your comments need to come with a warning. I nearly snarfed my coffee out my nose. Maybe I should just be more careful. Have a great day and thanks for making me laugh.

  7. Eva Easterbrook

    Here is my favorite part, “11. and, if you’ve read the biographies of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, you’re hired.” This certainly says something GOOD about a person that they would take the time and have an interest in reading bios about two of the greatest politicians that ever came out of Britain in the 20th Century.

  8. Tom Bushmaster

    LOL, this is one of the greatest adverts I’ve seen. Great ideas too. Who was this “Navy Admiral” anyway? British? I can understand the anonymous idea here. Many would accuse the man of being sexist but I would disagree. He is just being practical in a modern age of individualism and globalism.

    1. Willie Shrumburger

      Tom, I don’t think you’re going to get Gen. Satterfield to cough up the name or even where he is from (outside of SE England). But I can say that this is one of the more creative ideas I’ve seen in a long long time.

    2. Harry Donner

      I agree with Willie. But, I don’t think you really thought this would actually happen. However, your comment about these modern times does have merit. We are more lonely today than ever before despite having more people around us.

      1. Dennis Mathes

        Explains, maybe, the high suicide rates.

  9. JT Patterson

    Great idea. I’ll have to remember this when I retire. Nothing like living alone and having a problem that cannot be fixed without someone there who is strong and smart.

  10. Walter H.

    With only a few changes, I could use it for getting a date with a great woman! 😊

    1. Crazy Dude

      So true. I think any of us would like this kind of person to be around us in difficult times or …. in any time.

      1. Yusaf from Texas

        Spot on comment Crazy Dude. Haven’t seen you on Gen. Satterfield’s blog site for a while. Hope here that you have been well during this coronavirus outbreak. All has been well reading more on leadership. Now that I’m unemployed (for the moment) I’m taking the time to do things that are constructive and not just sitting around getting fat and lazy.

  11. Eric Coda

    This is one of the funniest but definitely true things I’ve read in a long while. Thanks for making my day, Gen. Satterfield, with this advertisement.

    1. Army Captain

      Thinking the same thing. Thanks Eric for being the first to to post. I’ll be using this idea when I retire.

    2. Mikka Solarno

      This is also why I come to the leadership blog by Gen. Satterfield. Occasionally you get one like this that just makes your day. I laughed hard on this one, especially the last part of the advertisement. Everyone, please have a great day in these hard times. At least I have heat in my house, food on the table, and friends that are reliable.

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