I was thumbing through Soldier magazine the other day and happened across this article: SOLDIER MAY 2012 It - and another photograph I saw in these parts recently plus a discussion with some young officers - prompted me to wonder about the maxim "Train as you intend to fight." There is nobody in any of these picture wearing Osprey. Now, I know that is because it's not available. Quite rightly, just about every last available set is in Helmand (aside from a few which - bizarrely - the STABs wore while climbing a mountain to put up an advertising hoarding... Says something about their officers that). However, were Osprey available in the UK, do we suppose that - for example - the chap in the floppy hat with the C8 would be wearing it ? I would expect the initial response to this would be "You don't know what the exercise scenario is...so, no, quite possibly he wouldn't". Which, I accept too. But think on for a moment. Do we suppose that our political masters - post Herrick - are ever going to sanction an operation (say, the sort of interventionist type of thing which no doubt the soldiers in these pictures were practicing) in which the very best available PPE is not worn ? Do we think that the chain of command is ever really going to let us get away - on operations - with genuinely light order....belt kit, floppy hat and rifle ? Do we think they ever should ? Our collective experience over the past 10 years (esp following some high profile supposedly 'preventable' deaths) would suggest that the answer to both of those questions is "No". If that is the case, why do we continue to train as if it was otherwise ? Arguably....why do we bother to teach the continuing traditions of platoon fire and maneouvre when we all know that the reality of being pinned down by PPE and EW of all varieties is to make the happy memories of a gazelle-like outflanking the Gurkha section on the Barossa nothing but a quaint and fond memory from a different age ? And is me even asking this a symptom of something deeper ? One would like to think that as commanders it would be open to us to decide "No. You know what ? Actually my soldiers' safety and effectiveness is better served in this particular given circumstance by dumping some of the PPE to provide them with speed mobility and additional carrying capacity that will allow them to outmaneouvre and out-fight the enemy." But who thinks that anyone further up in the chain of command than them is now ever going to sanction such a risk ? And - more to the point - are we bringing up a generation of officers for whom even asking the question would be anathema ?