Military Order of the Carabao is not a joke. For one thing, it is on Wikipedia and, two, it has its own web page, carabao.org. In 1900, at the Army-Navy Club in Manila, the Military Order of the Carabao was founded by noble drunks, I mean warriors, lampooning that snobby bunch, the Order of the Dragon, snooty officers who survived the Boxer Rebellion. However, “as with most jests, it contained a serious ingredient which gradually eclipsed the initial joke.” The Military Order of the Carabao still exists. It “came to epitomize the camaraderie that grows among members of the armed forces who face the dangers and privations of extensive military service far from home.” You can even apply for membership now. You could be Veteran Carabao, for those who served in the Philippines between May 1, 1898, and July 4, 1913, or between December 6, 1941, and July 4, 1946. Or you could be Expedicionario Carabao, for “those who served overseas in support of an officially recognized military campaign, s...

The Krag-Jorgenson rifle was made famous by a jaunty tune sung among members of the Military Order of the Carabao during their annual Wallow, or convention, when they wore bowties and dinner suits—and presumably took along their Krags. “Civilize ‘em with a Krag!” was their anthem, an earworm with lovely, echoing lyrics:

 

In the days of dopey dreams—happy peaceful Philippines!

When the bolomen were busy all night long!

When ladrones would steal and lie, and Americanos die

Then you heard the soldiers sing this evening song!

Damn damn damn the insurrectos!

Cross-eyed kakiac ladrones!

Underneath the starry flag, civilize them with a Krag!

And return us to our own beloved homes!

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THE END NOTES

ELVIS AARON PRESLEY

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