OFFICERS, Icons or Dorks

I was reminiscing last night with another Old & Bolder and as usual (exaggeration and bigging it up withstanding) we were having a bit of a laugh.

Dave (his real name is Tony) told this story about Aden.

He's sitting in the cookhouse (tent) when an Officer strides in and tells an NCO, Dave and and one other to grab their rifles and follow him. Apparently there has been a contact and the hero Officer wants to go up there and see for himself and lend a hand.

The NCO starts protesting.

"No time for that" says Rupert "We gotta get going" and off the four of them go.

30 mins or so later they are approaching the contact area when Rupert spots an "Harry Aden" sneaking about the hills with a rifle under arm.

"There, THERE Corporal, 11 o-"clock"

"I see him Sir"

"Well, Gods Sake man, Open Fire".

"Can't Sir" !

"Dammit Man !. Open Fire"

"Can't Sir"

"Why the Hell Not Corporal ?"

"No Bullets Sir".


My story involved a Q car in Derry, a Lieutenant and a drive to Aldergrove.
(actually this guy was a top notch Officer, think Cap't Spears in BoB).

Anyway, I roll up in the car to pick him up.

"I'll drive" says he.

"Can't Sir, I'm the one signed it out"

"Let me drive" says he, "Or I will cosh you with this 9 milly"

I then withdrew my own 9 mill and proceeded to
.......nah, I didn't - I slunk into the passenger seat.

Once out of Derry he hands me a book and says "Read this".

FFS it's a Shakespeare book. Hamlet of all things.

"Read it out loud" says Rupert.

Now, I may be a Norvern Monkey, but read I can, having studied -
nay, attended - St Theodores RC school for boys prior to joining.

"Who's there, Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself. Long live the king!, You come most carefully upon your hour, 'Tis now struck twelve; get thee to bed, Francisco." I pipe out.

"No, not like that" says Rupert. lets play "Bangers and Mash"

"WaaaWHAT ?"

"Bangers & Mash !, whenever you come across a *B* you say banger and whenever you....."

"Sir, I know how to play the game but I stopped playing it when I was SIX and moved on to playing Doctors and Nurses with my Sister".

"Well, I want to play now, so read on".

and read I did for the next two hours inserting bangers and mash when ever I could and receiving a thunderous laugh whenever I missed a word. I have to admit though, as stupid as it sounds, it was a bit of a laugh.

Which leads me to the subject in hand.

Is it the right of the lowly squaddie to laugh at them behind their backs and poke fun at our Officers or should they be treated with the utmost respect that a Queens commission deserves ?

In your own time Carry On.
The young ones are always so bloody keen, they make yer teeth ache. But to answer your question, yes, God provided us with ruperts for our amusement.

Mind you, back in the day, I met some cracking officers, Major Wood and Captain Kent to name just two.
You can have an officer who is a complete plonker and a senior NCO who could not have an original thought if you poured petrol on his scrotum and struck a match ..

But get the right pair together ....

And that is the strength of the British Army.
britbeagle said:
looney said:
If you can find one that thinks like a Soldier and not a Rupert then you have a good one.
Conversely, if you can find a soldier who can think then he is probably an officer already
Nah, I disagree - thinking too much winds people up if you're a soldier... Hence why I was an eight year Sapper :D

Anyway, I remember an incident in Macedonia (on Agricola 1) whilst putting up a lighting tower for some reason or other. At the time there was a Brigadier on the ground, wandering doing the VIP thing talking to people etc (forget the name, but I think he was the guy who used to wander around with his rank slide sewn onto his green fleece - Brig. Cross?).

I'm not sure of the reasons exactly, but we were then hurriedly told to stop setting it up, and strip it out. This was re-iterated by the Brigadier who wondered over to our section & enthusiastically said:

"Take it down boys, we're heading Noooooooorth!" (or words to that effect).

And just to illustrate his point, he pointed South.
Deleted cause I was on nights and bored, so bored in fact it spilled over into my story telling.
Good and bad everywhere you look. Same with SNCOs, NCOs, ORs. Although a young 2Lt arrived in my squadron fresh from Sandhurst and proceeded to upset his troop so badly that they simply poinsoned him on the first excercise he went on. He was casevacced off the training area for the rest of the excercise and was no longer a threat to the safety or sanity of the blokes.

I found out about this 2 years later when sharing a trench with the Sgt who'd organised it. I thought the lads did very well to keep it so quiet for such a long time.
A 2/Lt wunderkind in Catterick, came up with a foolproof way of stopping terrorists (IRA) from breaking into the armoury, which was next to the guardroom at 4TR.

This was his plan; He had a locked ammo box fixed to the guardroom floor, in the box was a 5 round clip of .303. The guard commander was issued a thunder flash. When the Paddies arrived, the guard commander was to throw the thunder flash out of the guardroom door, on hearing the explosion, the Orderly Officer was to run over to the guardroom, unlock the box, the guard commander would then load his rifle and open fire.

When this was explained to the RSM, he just shook his head sadly, and went into his office and shut the door. I think Mr L***h meant well though.
Execise 'DAWN PATROL' late 70s. RCT mexeflote detachment attached to RFA Sir??. We were given a brand new 2nd LT as detachment commander in charge of 4 crew in 2 ships. From UK to the med he became an expert in all things and even got a hold of tropical combats which we didn't wear. We were on the stern of said LSL loading royals when we got heads up troopie was now running about in his own Gemini assualt boat.No idea who gave him it or the combats. He was spotted coming round the stern of ship and raft and creeped up on port blind side. Met by 2 well known jock engineers pissing over the side in mid gush and unable to nip it,he shut his eyes and unable to stop drove through the rainbow,soaked.Can see the tw*ts face now.Nearly in tears and trying to bollock them,Classic!
On the other end of the scale Major Peter Robbins, RCT,Skipper,Ocean Watchkeeper,Navigator. Skipper of HMAV St GEORGE. Real gentleman and classless. He used to bring his hunting hound on board and had it trained to stick its arse through the handrails and crap over the side.Quote "Fill him in staff" Yes sir.............
Was in Rheindahlen playing rugby and we had an officer with us, a captain, who was not from the British Army and was a rather good, representative player for a Nation that has a massive rep for rugby.
We are in a local disco after one of the games and I happen to look up and there's some guy in a suit flashing an RMP Warrant card and seemingly giving some of our guys a hard time. Oh fcuk says I, shit in bulk are here. What's that? he says. Military Police. I'll go have a word says he and gets up and walks over to said monkey. The next thing the Monkey is flat out on the floor sparko with blood flowing out of his nose. Captain just calmly sits down again and says 'put him in the recovery position and let's find somewhere quieter'.

Again in Rheindahlen for a rugby tournament but the following year we're jogging from our accommodation to the RCT bar when we pass a hockey pitch which has a raised 18" high wall all round it. Parked next to the pitch is a mini cooper in BRG and with all the decals, looked proper smart it did. Being British and tidy minded we picked up the Mini and placed it inside the pitch. Just as we had completed this task a traumatised Rodney came running across yelling 'stop, stop, what the hell do you think you're doing to my car?' cue loads of laughter. Now he could have just asked us nicely to put the car back and I'm sure we would have done but he immediately started calling us nasty words and casting aspersions on our abilities as soldiers, despite not knowing who or what we were. 'Right, which one of you sorry band of halfwits is in charge?' Dave (real name) pipes up, 'I am.' 'I am Sir!' yells the enraged Rupert, 'what's your name?' 'David' he says. 'I meant your full rank and name you insolent arrse.' Lt Col David S....... RAMC.' At this point Rodney starts to turn a little ashen when another voice pipes up. 'Actually, I'm the senior rank here.' At this you can see Rodney's mind working overtime, aha, he wasn't a leftie colonel the bastard, I'll have him for that!' 'And just who may you be then?'
Brigadier Chris C...... Late RAMC at which point Rodney burst into tears so we all, without a murmur, just went and picked his car up and placed it back were it had been.
The ability of a minority of officers to get anything done at all despite the overwhelming number of useless ruperts hindering them in every way possible is true testament to their character, you can spot these rare ruperts a mile away, litterally, as they are out of the way letting things get done :p
Walking through Airport Camp in Belize I once chanced upon a young 2nd Lieutenant who looked about 14 years old coming towards me with a huge bundle of paperwork tucked under his right arm. It was one of those wonderful moments when you just know what's coming. He'd obviously seen me and you could tell by the distress on his face that he was already contemplating what was the correct course of action but he'd obviously missed that particular lesson.

Naturally, being respectful of rank, I straightened up, shoulders back, chest out and picked up the pace... by this stage he had stopped walking and was rather unsuccessfully trying to fumble the enormous bundle of paper to the other arm... just in time for me to throw up what I considered one of my better salutes and to greet him with a cheerful "Good morning Sir".

He looked at me in abject horror for a brief moment and then made possibly the first command decision of his short commissioned life, very smartly snapping upright and returning the salute as all good officers should... and naturally letting go the aforementioned bundle of paperwork to let it fall, confetti like to the road.

And so we went our separate ways, he to scurry about in the road trying to recapture the reams of paper now heading off in all directions and me to briskly march on secure in the knowledge of a job well done.

It's the little things in life that keep us going... ;)


From the sublime (Lt Col JN R**n) to the ridiculous (Major H**g of the famous whisky family and a descendant of Lord H**g) I saw a few in the AAC. The best by far was JN R**n who was an officer and a gentleman and one the nicest people. The other, lanky streak of piss H**g, was your archetypal posh Daddy owns half of Scotland officer-ignorant, rude, belittling, ill-mannered, didnt give 2 shits for those under his command below the rank of Sgt. Also remember Mr Murray-T***n whose daddy was a former AAC officer. He was another young wet behind the ears type but he was always up for a good wind-up.
Had a cracking 2ic when in 25 Sqn but also had a complete fucking muppet called L*****-S******** when in 5 Sqn. Same with SNCO's had a cracking SSM when at 22 EOD Chick C****** brillant bloke but had a real couple of wankers as well.

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