Great Events During Your Military Service

#1
Nov 9th this year marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, itself a precursor to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.

I was serving as part of an Artillery Regt in Germany at the time, and at the first opportunity jumped in my motor and drove into eastern Germany to get a glimpse of what it was we had been opposing for the previous 40-odd years. Stopped for a cup of coffee in a small village, whose name escapes me, just over the border. Nothing unusual happened, and people were going about there daily business as if the start of this huge geo-political/military shift had completely passed them by - which in truth it probably had.

In all my years of service this, plus 9/11, are the two greatest events which I believe have had the greatest effect on our organisation, structures and doctrine.
 
#2
Interesting thread. I suppose much the same for me but I never looked at in that way. I think the Good Friday Agreement is a great event in light of unparalelled progress. On our soil too.

Non military related for me must be our rugby team winning the 2003 World Cup on Aussie soil. Pure bliss.
 
#4
In the middle of Basic Training at Catterick in November 1963 when the news of President Kennedy was assasinated. Many Senior Officers etc in the Garison had some 'buttock clenching moments', as the US had put its Military on a Defcom 3 status Worldwide.

Basic training was curtialed by several weeks and young 18 - 19 year old Soldiers were posted out early for Trade Training (Phase 2). I quite liked it, because it meant I didn't do the full 12 to 14 weeks Phase 1 training. We all were still passed out as trained Soldiers.
 
#5
Ex Marble tor in the 80s. Waiting for the Herc to turn around, pick us up and drop us into the bay in Gibraltar as a "jolly". Then it was commandeered by some civvies who jumped on board and went back to Hereford after dealing with some IRA folk

Death on the Rock!
 
#7
The lads at Warrenpoint and Lord Mountbatten getting murdered in 1979.
Was in Edinburgh at the time and the tattoo was nearly cancelled on the day it happened. The show went on.

Iranian embassy siege 1980. Watched it live on BBC1.
Was vaguely aware of 'Them' in 1980 but was a little more aware afterwards.


Falklands 1982. Didn't go but was very proud of those that did.
 
#8
At Sandhurst when 9/11 happened. Remember being told by the CSgt to get our arrses in front of a TV as our careers were being defined for us on live TV
 
#9
going to the bmh in berlin to see dentist only to be told when i got there all appointments cancelled. as rudolph hess had been rushed in for ulcer
 
#10
Being at the celebrations of many of our old Colonies when gaining their independence.....
End of Empire, end of East of Suez etc., ................... never the same afterwards.
 
#11
The Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia after the Prague Spring, that was the real beginning of the the end for the Warsaw Pact - although it took a long time coming

OP CORPORATE: it changed the way the world looked at the UK and at the British Army in particular.

The collapse of eastern Europe in 1989, with the refugee trains coming into West Germany followed by the fall of the Berlin Wall.

And 9/11, for which we are still suffering the after effects.
 
#12
Coming in after work in Londonderry in '72 to be told by one of the Fusiliers that 'someone had taken some Israeli athletes hostage in Munich and it was live on the telly'.
 
#13
smoky_bacon said:
At Sandhurst when 9/11 happened. Remember being told by the CSgt to get our arrses in front of a TV as our careers were being defined for us on live TV
We were in a forest ride in STANTA when word began to filter through of 9/11. I had a sudden vision of us being deployed on top of Canary Wharf, the BT tower and other tall civvy assets by sundown. We weren't but I have vivid memories of lying in my bag on a cloudless clear night watching the nav lights of the USAF doing big lazy circles amongst the stars.
 
#14
REME 50 Parade, Sennelager, feck me did it rain.

Jumping in my car to drive to barracks to be ROS on Sunday 31st August 1997, turning the radio on, and thinking "Oh fcuk, the grief whores will be a fecking pain today". They were.
 
#15
Joined up 05/09/01. Csgt said, "Statistically every 10 yrs the British Army goes to war."

Barely a week later, "Gentlemen, welcome to the war...."

He wasn't wrong....
 

Fugly

ADC
DirtyBAT
#16
smoky_bacon said:
At Sandhurst when 9/11 happened. Remember being told by the CSgt to get our arrses in front of a TV as our careers were being defined for us on live TV
I was in the Hard REME Cafe, Wattisham at the time, particularly ironic as the place no longer exists in its original form.

After an extended period of what-the-fuck type silence, the first comment offered was along the lines of "well that's the duties list buggered then".
 
#17
Fugly said:
smoky_bacon said:
At Sandhurst when 9/11 happened. Remember being told by the CSgt to get our arrses in front of a TV as our careers were being defined for us on live TV
I was in the Hard REME Cafe, Wattisham at the time, particularly ironic as the place no longer exists in its original form.

After an extended period of what-the-fuck type silence, the first comment offered was along the lines of "well that's the duties list buggered then".
I promptly got arrested at Ramstein. Septics thought a British Army Lynx with 'Army' on the side was a threat....
 

Fugly

ADC
DirtyBAT
#18
The-Lord-Flasheart said:
Fugly said:
smoky_bacon said:
At Sandhurst when 9/11 happened. Remember being told by the CSgt to get our arrses in front of a TV as our careers were being defined for us on live TV
I was in the Hard REME Cafe, Wattisham at the time, particularly ironic as the place no longer exists in its original form.

After an extended period of what-the-fuck type silence, the first comment offered was along the lines of "well that's the duties list buggered then".
I promptly got arrested at Ramstein. Septics thought a British Army Lynx with 'Army' on the side was a threat....
It is, when it pisses OX-27 all over the environment :D
 
#19
9/11......

Heard about it on the Radio in the Workshops but didn't pay it much heed..... in truth we thought it was just a Cessna or similar.

In PT (later that day) we had to put our arms out (just before we had to make little circles, then big circles, then massive circles, then big circles, then little circles; whilst jogging around the pre-WW2 gym.

It wasn't an oppurtunity missed by some wags to pretend to be aeroplanes..... less than a month later, we were sending lads over to Afghanistan "Quick, Sharp".

Also Princess Di dying in a French tunnel, on the day I returned to Germany from leave. Our flat watched the funeral on a Sky TV in the block..... mainly because the camp was pretty much closed down.

Dunblane, being talked about on BFBS, and Scottish Soldiers (or anyone else potentially affected) being encouraged to phone a number.

Not neccesarily earth shattering, but pretty important none the less.
 
#20
Was on a CCF sport parachutists course at Neveravon the day that the USAF bombed Libya in 1986... suddenly there were helicopters everywhere flying around with Rapier installations underslung below them.

Was in the OTC when the wall fell and was actually on camp when Sadam invaded Kuwait. This led to a starship troopers style "WAR WE ARE AT WAR" charge to the guardroom at Warcop to watch it live on TV, can remember wondering what mess my old AD troop could have made of the endless procession of Hip helicopters we were seeing flying over kuwait city.

It came thick and fast after that....I "spent" the landwar on salisbury plain in a snow storm teaching on MTQ1 and was in the TAC at Handelstraase when number 10 got mortered.

I can remember the Adj telling us that whilst we had a war role when "we are fighting for our lives" that hadn't happened yet so not to think we could use this as a way out of our finals.... (which was a p1sser as I was fed up of uni and research in the degree regs showed that I could get a pass degree after two years if I was abscent on military service)

Police wise .... was off the day Princess Di died but a mate actually attended the PM. Missed the Ladbrook Grove train crash as well ditto Jill Dando.

Did do much of the security in the run up to Diana and Queen Mums funeral (standing on same paving stone for both events). On 9/11 I was on the final exercise for a photography course and spent it in an "OP". Came back to work to discover there was something of a flap on and the world trade centre had collapsed. Was off duty on 7/7 and 21/7 but got my team in anyway and worked throughout on public transport in London. Was surrounded by survivors at Edgware Road after the explosion. Hopefully will be on duty to see current trough swilling politicos of all parties kicked out in next few weeks.

Trotsky
 

Latest Threads