When we got to the point where we could see the end of the enlistment, we would call ourselves "Short"!! We would make comments like, "I'm so short, I tripped on a dime." And other such remarks like, "I'm so short, I'll only smoke cigars from now on. That way if I get out before I finish, I'll be celebrating!!" Or, "I'm so short, I can walk under the door without opening it."
A friend of mine found a pin shaped like a pickle with Heinz on it. He put it on his cap and called it his Short Pickle. When I was up in Iceland, I got a Marine fatigue cap. After getting the globe and anchor scrapped off the front of it, I started wearing it as my short hat.
This started several months before the scheduled discharge date. One day, we received notice that all short-timers were to report to the base theater the next morning. We all went there first thing in the morning. Finally someone got up on the stage and announced that anyone staying in until their normal discharge date for whatever reason can leave. A few fools got up and left. After they were out of the building, he announced that we were all getting out early, some would be out in a week, all of us would be gone in three weeks. This meant we would have to start processing out. First thing to do was get a physical to make sure you were well enough to get out of the military. I got very little sleep the night before I went for my physical and had to lay down and rest to get my blood pressure down enough to pass the physical.
I had things worked out for getting out, or so I thought. I had started doubling my car payments so I would have it paid off when I got out. When they moved up the date by another two months, (I got out about 4 months early because 'Tricky Dicky' cut the budget and they couldn't afford to pay me) it threw all that planning off. As a matter of fact, I was broke enough at the time that I had to borrow money to pay for items I had lost, like my blankets. The night before I got out, we were scrounging up all the loose change (which consisted mostly of pennies) in order to have enough money to buy something to eat that night.
And even tho we were super-short, we still got hassled. We had to go get haircuts before we could process out of the squadron (I could have used that money to eat). Looking back, I can see it was just another power trip on the part of the sergeant in the orderly room (make them get their hair cut so it'll take them longer to look like long-haired hippies).