The name’s Berlijn: Dick Berlijn. He’s Dutch, of course. He’s a general. In fact he is currently Commandant der Strijdkrachten, the highest-ranking officer in the Dutch armed forces, equivalent to the American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But now, after almost a forty-year military career – spent mostly in the Koninklijke Luchtmacht, i.e. the Dutch air force – he’s about to head off into retirement.
In other words, as anyone with any military experience would put it: he’s a short-timer! (Or “short,” for short, meaning that your military service and the obligations related thereto are about to expire. I myself have been “short,” in fact twice.) It means you (mostly) don’t have to care anymore. It means you (finally!) can open up a bit and say what you really think. (more…)