Reading comprehension help


In The Price of Freedom on page 312 Wilford says to Blair:

"'Those are direct orders. Do you understand?'
'Yes, sir,' Blair replied.
'Sorry, Colonel, that wasn't the answer I was looking for.'
'Aye, aye, sir.'
'Thank you, Colonel, and good hunting.'"

What is the difference between those two answers?
Is there some significance attached to "Aye, aye" in the military today, or is the reader supposed to imagine Blair visibly changing his attitude or body language?


Super Carrot!
Back in 10th grade when we went with/worked on a sailing ship run by navy/ex-navy guys to Shetland, they simply repeated the question until we got it right if we said "Yes" instead of "Aye".

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I believe "aye aye" means that the order has been heard and will be followed, while "yes" simply acknowledges that something has been said.

Kyle Maverick

Rear Admiral
IIRC "Aye aye Sir" or "Aye Sir" is the response you give to an order in the Navy, while "Yes Sir" is the response to give to a question.
EG - ""Fire on this target" would be replied to with "Aye Aye Sir", while "Did you see which ship fired on us" would get a reply of "Yes Sir"

Technically Blair did give the correct reply as he was asked if he understood his orders after being given them.


Vice Admiral
My close friend is in the navy. I'm in the army. Whenever I visit him aboard ship, I always get reamed for using "yes sir." The navy uses aye - simple as that.

While there may at one time have been a more understood (or utilized) distinction in meaning between the two responses, I would wager that in this case, the text is merely referencing the naval origin of the superior officer.