When handed the keys to the best Armed Forces in the world the following guidelines will assist in gaining the best results for the Nation in the short and long term. Note: The terms Army and Soldier are synonymous with all Services and Servicemen. Do not mess with HM The Queen as it is she we fight for not you. Also do not mess with Phil the Greek nor his sons. They have all served and you have not. (OK you can mess with Eddy as 3 minutes in the RM doesn't count). Understand that the work of the Army is unlike any other job and comparisons to emergency services, nurses or teachers will constantly confuse you and upset us. Be direct and firm in dealing with us, we like that. Given a choice we would prefer working for an honest pr*ck than a false friend. Respect our quaint but important traditions and know that they give our lives focus and purpose; and they set us apart from other Armies. A well trained British soldier is worth 3 in the next best Army. Boxing 'above our weight' brings great value to our Nation and provides you with serious foreign policy clout. Value it, protect it and use it wisely. Any military action that puts one over the Frogs will be supported with added vigour. Avoid the easy (PC) option of kicking us publically when we make a mistake. Instead punish the responsible Officer severely but quietly. You will gain great popularity amongst the troops on two counts. One they will respect your support and two, everyone enjoys seeing an Officer get a kicking. Less money on Defence and more on benefits for idle chavs may appear politically sound but it only appears that way. Respect our family lives and understand that 'overstretch' is not just a glib sound bite, it is real and causes great distress. Understand that hedging against the unknown requires an Army substancially larger than that committed to current ops and that costs a lot of money. Put the Johnnie who does Sainsbury's purchasing in charge of Army procurement as soldiers are not good at it. Ensure Johnnie has a clear procedure for consulting the end user before each purchase. Buy more of our eqpt off the shelf. It is cheaper and more often than not superior in quality. Show some balls by putting all other ministers in their place particularly if their name starts with Gordon Brown. More to follow.