RLC to para Reg

Stuart Tootal started off in a Scottish regiment before transferring and commanding 3 PARA in Afghanistan.

In the book Contact, by AFN Clarke, he refers to the Royal Marines and the SAS at craphats. He gets a bit miffed when he spots a few SAS guys who he recognises from when they failed at DEPOT PARA,. I don't know whether this is from when he was a recruit (he is an ex-ranker), or from his time as a Recruit Platoon commander. Either way, he is wondering, "How did they pass SAS selection, when they can't pass our course?"
The reason why non-paras pass selection is because when i joined, the original remit of the SAS wasn't the lean green fighting machine, it was about using your brains. To problem solve whilst in the Ulu and know what the trees were around you and the 50 uses that they could be used for. As my RSM used to say, the old boys could advance to contact, through the trees and know what use that or this tree had. These SAS today still can fight and win, but they dont care about the tree or its uses. To be able to hide in a hole for weeks if necessary. That McNab chap couldn't hide for 48hrs. Today as i far as i can tell, to recognise is not something they care that much about, Isn't that why 1 Para were rebadged to a support role? It doesn't mean they are any less of a Soldier its just that todays SAS trooper has to learn a different set of skills than the Para Soldier. Paras are the equivalent of Death coming to visit, ask the Argies, 600 paras slaughtered 2000 Argies. In a book i have recently read, it was the Falklands that persuaded the Russians that invading Europe might not be the walk in the park they though it was (Col Delves, back when he was a CO of D Sqn SAS). I remember years ago, about a senior SAS NCO, saying in the paper, that it was time to close the Regiment down and start again, as they had lost there way a bit. Perhaps thats why 1 para was given the support role.

2 different mindsets, not less of a Soldier just a different thought pattern. I saw on TV once a RM attempting P Coy and failing. Its not easy nor is selection, they just need different bodies.

Somebody has also posted that that Paras are brighter than the RLC, not in my day they weren't. We had RASC Air Dispatchers (predecessors of the RCT and RLC) resupplying us from the air, in Malaya and Borneo and later in Oman, can't remember if we were resupplied in Aden from the Air. They used to drop through jungle and hit the target almost every time, that takes some doing. I dont want to be rude about the Paras, but they are not picked for their brains, they are picked for their brawn.

Tell you what its nice to see the old Regimental rivalry still working, it always did make the Army work better. Back in my day they amalgamated the Glosters with the The Worcestershire Regiment, that went down like a lead ballon, slackers, shirkers, and boot bullers, that lasted a few years then we all became the Rifles. Another shower if you ask me, not enough Glory to many hangers on. Also the Guards, nobody liked the Guards, to much bull and not enough Soldiering. Do you know that it was the Guards drill mob that held up the replacement of the SLR for years, coz they had to work the drill out for whatever new rifle the army was getting. Now theres a lot whose IQ takes some beating, at the bottom of the scale that is. Coz it takes some doing tick-tocking outside the big house in London, doesn't it?
 
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So why are they the 'Red Devils' and not the 'Maroon Devils'?

I'll answer my own question, 'cos reeding, riting and spellings is hard :p
Isn't that because the Hun called the Paras, 'Rot Teufles', after Arnhem? Kastanienbraun Teufles is a bit of a mouth full (german for maroon).
 
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FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
Stuart Tootal started off in a Scottish regiment before transferring and commanding 3 PARA in Afghanistan.

In the book Contact, by AFN Clarke, he refers to the Royal Marines and the SAS at craphats. He gets a bit miffed when he spots a few SAS guys who he recognises from when they failed at DEPOT PARA,. I don't know whether this is from when he was a recruit (he is an ex-ranker), or from his time as a Recruit Platoon commander. Either way, he is wondering, "How did they pass SAS selection, when they can't pass our course?"
Strangely, I found a copy of Clarke's book in Kathmandu in 1984 and it helped me pass the time while I crapped my guts out for a few days in a hostel called Yeti Cottage.

I remember it as a prime piece of Para porn and a strikingly arrogant book almost unlike any military memoire I've read before or since.
 
I said Lt/ Col Jones was previously Devon and Dorset’s before 2 para. He actually transferred as a L/col two years before the Falklands. I wonder if he put peoples nose out of joint going straight in as a CO from another ‘hat’ regiment?
Think you will find Lt.Col H.Jones VC., was a Captain in 3 Para (from DAD as Lt. ) before returning to DAD.
 

needlewaver

War Hero
Think you will find Lt.Col H.Jones VC., was a Captain in 3 Para (from DAD as Lt. ) before returning to DAD.
It was close to a flip of the coin as to whether he got 2 Para as well; the Devon and Dorsets had had a crop of good YOs in the early sixties and foresaw a choke point around 1980/81/82, when they had three officers who would be coming up to Unit Command. H Jones, Paddy King-Fretts and (I think) John Wilsey. King-Fretts had been with the SAS who actively sought him out for CO, this left Jones and Wilsey in the frame for 1 D&D.

Apparently it went to looking at the nuances of their respective CRs whereupon it was noted that Jones was recommended for command of a “parachute battalion”. I’m sure it was nowhere near that simple, but that’s the account Wilsey gives in his biography of Jones.

Jones wrote to 1 D&D’s Sergeants’ Mess in case they thought that he’d consciously mugged them off for the Paras as apparently he would have been just as happy with his parent Battalion, but the prevailing CO of 2 Para had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and died before his term had finished, thus leaving an opening for a parachute trained lieutenant colonel who was up for a Battalion.
 
You might want to get an adult to read the book to you again. He was a Coy Commander and Bn 2ic in 1 PARA before going on to command 3 PARA.
It was a few years ago I read it, so may have missed something. Sorry. Best go dig that book out and take a look eh.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
Thread drift...but true dit nonetheless...

In the mid 80's some of the Hereford Hooligans were known as "blades" (from being in sabre squadrons).

However to some of the Int Corps who had dealings with them they were known as "blunts"...
As a further drift, ive heard that the part-time Thems are known as Bic's
 
Strangely, I found a copy of Clarke's book in Kathmandu in 1984 and it helped me pass the time while I crapped my guts out for a few days in a hostel called Yeti Cottage.

I remember it as a prime piece of Para porn and a strikingly arrogant book almost unlike any military memoire I've read before or since.
He seemed to have a huge chip on his shoulder from what I remember of the book. Seemed to think he was brilliant and everyone else was incompetent. Especially venemous about his CO. He claims that he was recommended for Staff College but decided to leave early. I took a lot of what he said with a pinch of salt as the book seemed to be more about how awsome he was but how his chain of command was so shit.
 
Blade - "I can't find Leeds castle on this map, you're Int, where is it?"

Int - "That is a map of Yorkshire mate, Leeds, sheet 289. Leeds Castle is in Kent, OS sheet 148. Here you go..."
To be fair. If you were looking for Edinburgh castle you would expect to find it in Edinburgh wouldn't you. Not Glasgow or York.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
At a guess I would say it is something to do with bic razors being disposable after use, a jibe about 21/23 being part time soldiers. Like the RMR being Rubber Daggers. All seems a bit childish to me.
Steady Lad, those TA regiments went through exactly the same selection to get in the Regiment, and a lot of them were ex-Malaya and WW2 boys. No slouches there. I suggest that if you are going to use that kind of language you avoid close contact with them first.
 
Steady Lad, those TA regiments went through exactly the same selection to get in the Regiment, and a lot of them were ex-Malaya and WW2 boys. No slouches there. I suggest that if you are going to use that kind of language you avoid close contact with them first.
Nothing to do with me. Just suggesting the reason why some people might use the term. Hence the line that it all seems childish to me.
 
At a guess I would say it is something to do with bic razors being disposable after use, a jibe about 21/23 being part time soldiers. Like the RMR being Rubber Daggers. All seems a bit childish to me.
Rubber Daggers, bics and Hats.

It does all seem a bit childish indeed.
 
Nothing to do with me. Just suggesting the reason why some people might use the term. Hence the line that it all seems childish to me.
Your right, of course. But its that Military Regimental Thing, just dont let them hear you say it i'm suggesting. There is another term STAB?, Well that's another one that a bit tricky and not one i heard either in the Regiment or when I was PS at 21 Sqn. It wasn't helpful and our ethos when dealing with these types of Volunteers, was encouragement and not shouting or Abusing them.

Have you seen that daft as a Nutty Squirrel, programme on the TV at the moment about going through SAS selection? All that shouting and abuse, not in my day they didn't. You were liable to end up STABed yourself.
 

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