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An Air Force basic recruit is a...WEREWOLF?!!!
By Joe Tuffy
Posted: Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Last edited: Sunday, May 15, 2011
This short story was "not rated" by the Author.
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The following is a chapter from "TUFFY'S HEROES-Revised Edition". If you enjoy hard-core Drill Instructor training situations or just appreciate an enormous amount of pure military humor, then this is a MUST read for you! Order TUFFY'S HEROES-Revised Edition through the link provided below. For the month of May, 2011, it is on sale for $12.95 with no shipping cost! 

I thought I'd give all of you a little "taste" of what's in the book. This chapter concerns a specific basic trainee named Airman Basic Wilson. Now, our man Wilson, a young 18-year old "dashing young aviator", is "unhappy" in basic training. He wants to go home so he can be with his "sweetiepoo"! He's tried everything he could possibly think of to obtain a discharge, but nothing has worked for him.

But then, the day came when Wilson devised a scheme he just KNEW would work! Yes, he would put his scheme into motion, slowly at first, and then...POUNCE!!!

But first, let me set the stage for all of you. It's 1968, at Lackland AF base in San Antonio, Texas, and these new recruits are going through their Air Force basic training. Technical Sergeant Joe "Tuffy" Tofuri is the Team Chief of two flights of basic trainees. Staff Sergeant Ralph Meelo is the Team member of one of the flights, and Sergeant Iggy Nolan is a new graduate of the T.I. school and in his learning phase, working for both Tuffy and Ralph.

Tuffy is sitting in his flight office in the upper bay (2nd floor) of his barracks when Staff Sgt Meelo comes to him with a, well, a little problem concerning one of his basic trainees. The Instructors have been inspecting both barracks' all day long in preparation for a full blown formal inspection on the following day. The inspection was to be conducted by the much feared, base Standardization Team (Stan Team).

Airman Basic Lee is a basic trainee in Tuffy's flight and holds the position of the barrack's chief.  The character you read called the "mouse" is also a basic trainee.  He holds the position of "House mouse" which is actually an unauthorized position in basic training.  Bubba and Mazzo are also basic trainees.

What you are about to read actually happened in one of my basic training flights in 1968...Enter Staff Sergeant Ralph Meelo.

SSgt Meelo walked into the flight office and approached Tuffy’s desk.

“How’s your inspection goin’ so far, Ralph?” Tuffy asked.

“Pretty damn good, Tuff. Most of the things I’m finding are in the wall-racks, but that’s normal crap, ya know?”

“Well, with Iggy helping, we’ll get everything squared away today. We’ll be ready for the Stan Team come tomorrow morning,” Tuffy commented, a note of confidence in his tone. Tuffy looked across his desk at Meelo and could tell there was something bothering him. “Is everything alright with you, Ralph?” he asked, a bit concerned.

“Yeah yeah, no ah, no sweat, Tuff,” Ralph said as he pulled back the chair.  He lit a cigarette and looked at Tuffy.  “Listen Tuff, maybe I, maybe I got just ah, just a little problem with one of my dinks that may require your intervention,” Ralph said, taking a pull on the cigarette.

“What kinda problem?”

“Well, first of all, he’s got half my flight scared shitless. And second, I think he might be a good candidate for the ‘psycho of the month’ club.”

Tuffy reached for a Carlton and fired it up. Blowing the smoke toward the ceiling, he looked at Ralph. “What makes you say that?”

“Because the dummy says he’s a werewolf!”

Tuffy stared at Ralph. Just when a TI thinks he’s seen and heard everything, along comes a trainee with a new kind of problem. “A werewolf? You’re tellin’ me you’ve got a trainee who thinks he’s a werewolf? Am I hearin’ you correctly, Ralph?”

“Yeah, yeah! No shit, Tuff, this box of rocks actually believes he’s a werewolf. The barracks chief told me he’s been gruntin’ and growling and barkin’ at my dinks!”

“What did this trainee say to you when you talked to him?”
Tuffy asked, with a touch of concern in his voice.

“Well, I asked him what his problem was.”
Tuffy waited for more information. When it didn’t come, he asked, “And, what did he say, Ralph?”

“I’m a werewolf!”

“Christ, Ralph, is that all he said?”

“No, he said more.”

“Well, what else did the idiot say?”

“He said he comes from a long line of werewolves!”

Tuffy didn’t know whether or not to be pissed or laugh at the situation. “Okay, Ralph, you’re shittin’ me, right?”

“Hey Tuff, this is no bullshit. My barracks chief told me he tried to bite the house mouse last night,” Ralph stated, flatly.

Tuffy stubbed out the cigarette and turned to Meelo. “Go get that hairy maggot and bring him to me.”

 Ralph left the flight office and Tuffy called out for Airman Lee. Lee entered the flight office just as Tuffy was pouring a cup of coffee. “Chief, tell me what you’ve heard about the weirdo in SSgt. Meelo’s flight.

“Sir, you mean the werewolf?” Lee asked.

“That’s the one,” Tuffy stated as he sat behind his desk. “Tell me all you know about this clown.”

 “Sir, I really don’t know very much. All I know is what their chief told me.”

“Okay, what did he tell you?”

“Well sir, he said this idiot starts barkin’ and growlin’ at night after lights out. And some of the trainees are scared to death of him.”

 “Is that all you heard?”

“Well, he tried to take a bite outta their mouse’s leg last night,” answered the Chief, trying his best to suppress laughter.

Tuffy looked at his barracks chief and realized at that very moment this situation had to be nipped in the bud immediately. “Okay Chief, that’s all.”

Airman Lee left the flight office to continue with his duties. A short time later, Tuffy heard Ralph as the barracks guard allowed him entry.  He also heard growling and snapping sounds, followed by Meelo’s booming voice. “Shut the fuck up you little maggot!”

As they reached the top of the stairs, the growling sounds increased. Ralph entered the flight office with the young trainee close by his side.

Tuffy stared at the trainee and observed the trail of saliva as it dripped from the trainee’s chin.

 “Report to your team chief you piece of shit!” Meelo commanded.

The young trainee looked across the desk at Tuffy and began to growl and gnash his teeth. “GGGRRrrrrrrr, gggrrrrrr,” the trainee growled, snapping his teeth at Tuffy.

Tuffy stood up and casually removed a cigarette from the pack. Not looking at the trainee, he lit the cigarette and opened the top drawer in his desk. Tuffy reached inside and removed a sawed off pool cue, the tip of the cue replaced with a polished brass .45 casing. The cue measured 18” long and was stained a beautiful dark fire cherry and was heavily varnished to a brilliant gloss. Carefully carved along one side of the cue were the words, ATTENTION GETTER.

Tuffy came from behind his desk and approached the young trainee. The young man stood five feet six inches tall, and weighed in at around 140 lbs. His nametag identified him as Wilson. “Why, Airman Wilson, why, why, why are you droolin’ on my freshly waxed flight office floor?” Tuffy asked the trainee.

“GGrrrrrr, ggrrrrrrrr,” was the trainee’s response.

Tuffy could see the fear in the trainee’s eyes. He knew the trainee was probably working for a Section 8, psycho discharge.

Meanwhile, the barracks chief, house mouse, Bubba, and Mazzo had eased their way toward the open door of the flight office, trying their best to conceal themselves from everyone inside. They stood and watched, not daring to utter a single word.

Airman Wilson suddenly dropped to his knees and, once again, began gnashing his teeth and growling, accompanied by clawing motions with his hands. “GGGRRRrrrr, GGGrrrrrr,” he growled.

At that very moment, Iggy walked into the office just as Wilson let loose with another vicious growl.

“GGGGRRRrrrrrrr! GGGrrrrrr!” came the sounds, a continuous flow of saliva dripping from his mouth.

“Jesus! Jesus!” Iggy yelled, quickly side stepping away from the trainee. “Wha-what the hell is happenin’ here?” he asked, a confused expression on his face.

“I’ll tell ya what’s happenin’ here, Sergeant Nolten, we got us a weirdo trainee who thinks he’s a werewolf,” Tuffy said, flatly, as he approached the trainee.

“A, a werewolf? A friggin’ werewolf?” Iggy shouted. “Are you shittin’ me?” Quickly, Iggy retreated to safety behind the desk.

Tuffy placed the cue stick beneath the trainee’s chin and slowly lifted his chin upward. “I asked you a question, young hero,” he said firmly.

Wilson blinked his eyes several times and said, “I’m, I’m a werewolf, sir.”

“Did your TI authorize you to be a werewolf, Wilson?” TSgt. Tofuri asked.

“Si-sir, nnn-no sir!”

“Did your TI order you to be a werewolf?”

“Sir, no sir!”

“Well, young clown, there ya go! If your TI didn’t authorize you to be a werewolf, and your TI didn’t order you to be a werewolf, then you ain’t no friggin’ werewolf!”

Wilson thought about this situation and decided perhaps a few more grunts and growls were in order. “GGGRRrrrrr! GGGRRRrrrrr!” he growled, snapping his teeth at Tuffy.

Tuffy bent over ever so slightly and stared into the eyes of Airman Basic Wilson. “You think you want a Section 8 discharge, Wilson, don’t you? You think you can growl, nip, and bite your way back home. Well young hero, I’m here to tell you the only biting you’re gonna do is when you tear into the chow hall’s roast beef.  And the only sounds that will come out of your mouth other than talking will be the sounds you make when you drop turd!  You got me dum-dum?”

“Sir, I-I can’t help it,” Wilson answered. “My father and grandfather are werewolves, too.”

“Well there, Airman Wilson, if your father and grandfather require healin’, I’m the man to do it!  Just like I’m gonna heal you.  Shit, I’ve been healin’ werewolves for years here in basic trainin’, Wilson, and I’ve got the silver bullet ta do it with!  That silver bullet, my young astronaut, is a bucket of shit!  A werewolf and a K-9 are one and the same, Wilson, and all they do is eat shit and bark at the fuckin’ moon.  Now you’ve been doin’ a lot a barkin’, but you ain’t been doin’ any eatin’!  You ready for a plate of shit, you Lon Chaney weirdo?”

Airman Wilson was not quite prepared to feast on anything such as this.  Just the mere thought of it almost made him vomit.

Tuffy could see it on his face. “What’s it gonna be, Wilson, trainin’ or eatin’?” He asked the trainee.

“Sir, I, we’re not that kind of werewolf.” He finally managed to say.

“Lift that fatigue cap off your head, clown!” Tuffy demanded.

Wilson reached up and raised the cap off his head. Tuffy promptly gave him a light tap on his head with his pool cue.

The trainee placed the hat back on his head and promptly said, “Sir, thank you, sir.”

“Now there, Wilson, ya see?  Huh?  The big bad sergeant just nudged away the bad wuff wuff. Now, no more of this werewolf crap. I don’t like werewolves. All they do is piss me off.  The last time a werewolf pissed me off, I ripped his crank off and shoved it up his ass!  Now, we ain’t gonna discharge your tired ass, my young hero, we’re gonna train you.  That’s what we do here!  That’s why you are here.  Then, when you go home you can straighten out your weird parents.  In the meantime, you’re gonna start soldierin’.  Do you understand what I’m tellin’ you?” Tuffy said firmly.

Wilson realized he had come this far, he may as well continue the charade. He wanted a discharge so he decided to go for the gusto. “GGGGRRRrrrr,” he growled, snapping his teeth at Tuffy, “GGGGGrrrrrr.”

Suddenly, with a quick and unanticipated move, Wilson lunged forward and managed to get a portion of TSgt Tofuri’s right ankle into his mouth and began gnawing on the boot and grunting.

Tuffy began kicking outward, trying his best to dislodge the trainee from his leg. “Friggin’ idiot!” Tuffy yelled, pulling the trainee around his flight office with his leg; Wilson holding on for dear life.

Wilson began shaking his head all around as if he were trying to take a huge chunk out of his team chief’s leg. As he grunted and growled, saliva began running down the pant leg of Tuffy’s fatigue trousers.

“Turn me loose you friggin’ communist!” Tuffy yelled, thrashing his leg back and forth trying his best to dislodge Wilson from his leg. “Turn me loose before I give you a size 11 enema!”

“Jesus, Jesus!” Iggy yelled again, as he jumped up onto Tuffy’s desk.  “This crap just ain’t happenin’!”

Ralph was busy trying to get out of Wilson’s way, and holding onto his campaign hat with both hands. “Wilson, you idiot!” he yelled, “quit gnawin’ on my team chief’s leg!”

Tuffy gave Ralph a quick, glaring stare. “Yeah, yeah, Ralph, that should do it!” he said, sarcastically.

Outside the flight office, Bobby Lee and the troops were doing everything possible to prevent themselves from laughing out loud.

“Can you believe this shit?” Bobby Lee whispered.

“Man, this white boy be crazy!” Bubba commented.

“If this guy makes it outta the office alive, he better be thanking someone upstairs,” the mouse retorted.

Mazzo looked at the trainee kneeling on the floor; gnawing on TSgt Tofuri’s leg.  He couldn’t believe a trainee would go this far to get a discharge.  “The only way he’s gettin’ outta this office alive is when he sprouts wings and flies out the friggin’ window!” he whispered.

Finally Tuffy managed to pull his ankle away from Wilson’s mouth.  Ralph had jumped on top of one of the chairs to get out of the way of his crazed basic trainee. Tuffy walked behind his desk, opened his office window, and peered out into the night. “You are one fucked up dink, Wilson. Don’t you know a trainee never puts their hands on a TI? Huh? And in your case, I’m talkin’ about your teeth, you friggin’ clown!”

He turned, reached for a cigarette, and watched Wilson as he went through his snarling, snapping, and drooling routine. Tuffy lit the cigarette and slowly approached the would-be werewolf. “Tell me something, Airman Basic Wilson, do you and your weird family turn into any other kinda strange creatures or barn-yard animals?”

“Huh?” Wilson responded.

 “Do you weirdoes turn into, you know, horses, pigs, bats, or anything like that?”

Wilson stopped growling long enough to consider this question as an opening to further his chances of getting out of this hell hole. “Sir, yes sir,” he responded.

“I see,” Tuffy commented. “And just what other kind of animal can you turn into?”

Wilson thought about that and then answered, “A bat, sir.”

Tuffy approached Wilson and bent over to look into his eyes. “Do bats fly, Wilson?”

“Yes SIR, they do!” he proudly answered.

“Can you fly, Wilson?”

Caught off guard by the question, Wilson swallowed, and then reached up and wiped away the saliva from his mouth. “I, I never tried, sir,” he responded.

Suddenly, Tuffy grabbed Wilson by the back of his belt and his shirt collar and began dragging him toward his office window.

Ralph began to wince. “Oh shit, I can’t watch this!” he exclaimed.

“Then you better get yer arms a flappin’, numnuts, cause yer about to solo!”

Reaching the window, Tuffy heaved the young man through the opening and watched as Wilson took a single bounce off the porch roof and landed with a grunt, spread-eagled on the grass.

“Oooops, spoke too soon!” Mazzo said.

At that very moment, MSgt Horace Swayzee was walking through the area and saw the trainee lying on the grass. “Git up offa my grass, maggot!” Horace yelled.

Wilson leaped to his feet and shouted, “Sir, yes sir!”

Tuffy looked down at Wilson and then gave Horace a wave. He then shouted, “Hey BATMAN! Yo, BATMAN! Why, why, why are you standing on my grass?  You are supposed to be flappin’ your bat wings and flyin’ over the squadron area doin’ a little recon!  If you can’t flap then you’re gonna train. What’s it gonna be?”

Wilson looked up at his team chief, and without hesitation, yelled, “Sir, train, sir!”

“Well then, my young wuff wuff, get your tired ass up here...on the double!”

“Sir, yes sir!” Wilson responded, swallowing hard as he began the run for the barracks door. As he ran up the stairs, he realized being a werewolf and a bat wasn’t working out very well for him. He approached the flight office door, which was open, and knocked once on the side of the frame.

“Come hither, young idiot!” Tuffy commanded.

Wilson marched into Tuffy’s office, centered himself two paces from his desk and smartly, reported. “Sir, Airman Wilson reports as ordered.”

Tuffy leaned forward in his chair and carefully formed his words. “Wilson, I don’t allow werewolves in any of my flights, and that includes bats, pigs, bow-wows, and elephants.  You will NOT bark, growl, nip, bite, or grunt for the remainder of your time here in training.  The next time I hear about you crawlin’ around on your knuckles, growlin’ and nippin’ at the troops, I’m gonna drag your ass to the base kennels and serve you up a bucket of doggy turd.  Now get the hell outta my office, get back to your flight, and start soldierin’.”

Airman Wilson executed an ABOUT FACE and quickly left the flight office.

Iggy stood in front of the desk staring at where Wilson had been kneeling.  His mouth was slightly open, and his eyes were wide in total disbelief.  “I-I’ve never seen this kind of shit before,” he managed to say.  “They didn’t teach us about this stuff in Instructor School.  No, no, no! This, this stuff CANNOT be happening!  And, and you, you threw him out the window?”

“What window and what stuff is that, Iggy?” Tuffy asked as he sat in his chair, drinking his coffee as if nothing had occurred.

“This, this...stuff!” Iggy yelled, “This, this crazy shit that goes on here!  Are these trainees for real?  Huh?  A Friggin’ werewolf? A WEREWOLF? This, this is just crazy, crazy shit! We were never told about this kind of shit.”

“What ah, what crazy shit are you referrin’ to, Iggy?” Tuffy asked, casually.

Iggy could not believe Tuffy was taking this situation so casually. He couldn’t form the words he wanted to say. Finally, he looked at his team chief and said, “Sergeant Tofuri, I’m talking about that, that trainee that was just in here. The werewolf trainee who was growlin’ and snarlin’ and gruntin’ and, biting your leg, and, and, and...that’s, that’s what I’m talking about.”

“Oh, him!” Tuffy managed to say between yawns.  “Hell, he wasn’t anything. You shoulda been here about 10 months ago.”

“Why’s that?” Iggy asked curiously.

“Because I woulda introduced you to Dracula’s great grandson!”


I hope you all enjoyed this small "taste" of TUFFY'S HEROES-Revised Edition.  And, I must also tell you, the entire book is filled with the same type of humor.

Tuffy's Heroes-Revised Edition is a must read for anyone who has ever served as an Air Force Military Training Instructor, one who aspires to be one, or anyone connected to the training process in any manner, as well as anyone who wants an authentic look into the basic training experience. Any person who has served or is currently serving in the military, no matter what branch of service, will thoroughly enjoy this read.

A great storyteller, Master Sergeant Joe Tofuri humorously and at times, bluntly provides you his perspective on the day-to-day demands and challenges of an Air Force basic training flight, in addition to the personal life of an instructor. He vividly recants his experiences with the dream of every instructor: That one flight that seems to put it all together and keeps it that way from the moment the recruits arrive until they graduate.

Throughout, Sergeant Tofuri provides invaluable insights into the training process for instructors and anyone else connected with Air Force basic training. The application of these golden nuggets will surely enhance anyone's time in basic military training.

A Master Military Training Instructor, Sergeant Tofuri is imminently qualified to provide this view of the training environment.  With almost 15 years experience as a TI, he was one of the initial cadre of instructors selected to wear the coveted Blue Rope when it was introduced in 1975.  This honor is reserved for the top 10% of all instructors and few ever achieve this distinction.  His selection for this award underscores the respect and admiration his superiors had in him when he served as an instructor.

Sergeant Tofuri is the epitome of a successful TI.  He is brash, at times arrogant, and absolutely certain of his leadership abilities and how to use these attributes to influence and mold young recruits in preparation for service to their country. Although the setting is in the late 1960's, this is a timeless book that will in a very short time become a classic for instructors and anyone else with an interest in Air Force basic training. CMSgt (Ret) John J. Pavey, Jr.President, USAF Military Training Instructor Association.    

Web Site: Joe Tuffy Tofuri  

Reader Reviews for "An Air Force basic recruit is a...WEREWOLF?!!!"

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Reviewed by John Domino 7/11/2008
Dear Chief,

An excellent read!

Very funny indeed...

In Lackland, Texas
In the 1960's
There was a situation.
That needed special attention.
A weird wolf was among the crowd.
This weird wolf, was a maggot,
and not too proud.
The weird wolf attacks.
But the TI strikes back.
In a scenario only a few can relate.
The TI made a man, of this lowly ingrate.
In the end, it came to pass.
That this wolf just had his head
deeply pressed between his ____!

John Michael Domino, Major, USAF (ret.)

PS: Did you know a TSGT Buckner or SSGT Holden?
They took off a piece of my spine back in Nov 1969.

Flight 1756 - Airman Basic Domino

No - we never forget our mentors!

"Sir, yes, sir!"
Reviewed by Charlette Nyce 10/28/2005
Reviewed by Reverend Davey (Reader) 10/16/2004
Extremely hilarious and so well told Tuffy. I simply must read the rest!

Blessings, Rev Davey.
Reviewed by Terry Vinson 6/17/2004
Great story, Sarge!
Man, did some of that bring back memories of Lackland (some good, some not so good)..enjoyed it though...

Terry V. (USAF 1983-1991)
Reviewed by Gabor Renner (Reader) 6/16/2004
What a story, Master Sergeant!

I thoroughly enjoyed it. No doubt, Airman Wilson learned to soldier. However, I would have loved to have seen Sgt Nolan's face - especially after your last comment.

Looking forward to the whole book with anticipation.

Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 6/15/2004
(((sgt. tofuri)))

an air force basic recruit is a...werewolf!! is a funny story of what t.i.'s had to endure...and here we thought the same of t.i.'s, that they were vampires, at least, who loved to chew us up and spit us out :)

i couldn't have done it--i would have killed a few recruits

A LOL tale you've penned--and the best part, you lived it (and survived) THANK GOD

i've got to have a copy of this book--keep me informed

(((HUGS))) and love, karla. (usaf, 1983-85)
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 6/15/2004
great story, sgt. tofuri! well done! *ALOOT!* and congrats on your forthcoming book! good for you!

(((HUGS))) and love, your friend in tx., karen lynn. :D

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