When I was a very young lad all I wanted to do was join the army. I grew up in Woolwich and my father was mates with a few of the artillery guys there and I always thought that I wanted to be "just like them." As I said, I was young and arguably very stupid. Not only did I want to be in the army, I very specifically wanted to be in the Army Air Corps and fly helicopters. Of all my ridiculous adolescent fantasies this was easily the most far-fetched, even more so than my aspiration to get to sleep with Debbie Harry. Reading the glossy army brochures I decided that I would join as a junior Air Trooper before being spotted as a future aviation genius. Then I would fly around in my big green helicopter and Pull Birds (funnily enough, depsite this interest I never, even for a moment, considered joining the RAF at that time, mainly because I knew I was too thick to pass the officer selection). Anyway, I went down to the army recruitment office where the sergeant, a kindly Ulster Signaller, cruelly fed my fantasy of becoming the Tom Cruise of Middle Wallop. Similarly, my mate who was determined to be a paratrooper, was also encouraged by this evil, khaki-clad pied-piper. To cut a long story short I ended up at Sutton Coldfield. After the two days of physicals and written tests I was ushered in to see an ancient LE Green Howards major wearing immaculate barrack dress and a hangdog expression. "Right....hmmm young mister Vegetius let's see your results." The anticipation! "AAC? Look, I'll be honest; looking at your written test results I think it's fair to say that we wouldn't trust you to put fuel in a fcuking helicopter, let alone eventually fly one." I put my ability to stoically take bad news down to this experience, but at the time I was pretty upset in a fifteen-year-old-way. "Now, that's not to say we won't let you join the army," said the elderly Green Howard, "we'll offer you the infantry or artillery." "Er...." "Now, you don't want to join the infantry. I did it for twenty-five years and it's all about walking everywhere and digging holes." He drew a large cross next to the "infantry" box. "But the artillery get to drive everywhere and dig fewer holes. I think you'd make an excellent gunner, OK?" I nodded dumbly and found myself at Bramcote six months later, leaving shortly afterwards due to one of the most epic career miscalculations of my entire life. My mate the "para" ended up as an army bricklayer I kid you not. So, what did you all want to do in the army as opposed to what you ended up doing? I couldn't even make bowser mong! V!