Now that the Persian Gulf war is over, President Bush can say what he really thinks about his generals:

The burly Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf eats too much.And, Gen. Colin Powell, well, suffice it to say, Bush is now calling him "Sergeant."

The president - appearing happy and informal at a ceremony honoring volunteers at the U.S. Naval Academy - apologized for being a little late by explaining that he had been at a lunch in Schwarzkopf's honor.

"You should have seen the guy eat. We can't afford to invite him there anymore," Bush cracked.

The president also made a dig at Powell. But one could say he deserved it.

A few minutes earlier, Powell had joked about Bush's bad baseball pitch at the Texas Rangers stadium outside Dallas April 8, opening day of baseball season. The president's ball hit the dirt.

Powell said that last weekend, when he tossed a pitch to mark the New York Yankees' first home game, "I tried to hit the dirt, but I blew it. I threw a strike."

"Sergeant Powell," Bush promptly interjected.

"Thank you, Mr. President," Powell dutifully replied.

"Sergeant Powell will be reporting to, uh, Nome, Alaska," Bush said.

In a more serious vein, the president praised the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for "taking us right over the plate" in the gulf war. Powell led the U.S. military to "a victory that I think has made every American proud," he said.

Bush, a former Navy bomber pilot, was at the U.S. Naval Academy to honor midshipmen there as his 437th Daily Point of Light for their volunteer efforts with students at 40 Montgomery County schools in suburban Washington.