First, there's the 31 ways to get kicked out:
About the only thing we noticed, if we noticed anything, was what we called "the thirty-one ways to crash land." ... The "crash landings" were a worn-out joke, like "reveille oil" and "tent jacks" . . . they were the thirty-one capital offenses.
Then, there's form 31:
"Uh, this assumes that Lieutenant Silva is an efficient officer — "
"Hummmph! Mister, for your information, 'Quick' Silva has an unbroken string of 'Excellent — Recommended for Promotion' on his Form Thirty-One."
Third, you might come through all right . . . but get a downcheck on your Form Thirty-One from your examiner, namely me.
Finally, at the end, they have 31 seconds til blast off:
"Right away, Father." I gave him a quick hug, let the Navy drop crew seal us in. The shakes didn't start up again. Shortly I was able to report: "Bridge! Rico's Roughnecks . . . ready for drop!"
"Thirty-one seconds, Lieutenant." She added, "Good luck, boys! This time we take 'em !"
It may be nothing, but it seems like an odd random number to keep popping up.