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She Who Must Be Obeyed

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Or driving a 20 ton forklift over it.
And then throwing into a hole in the snow.

This may or may not have happened to a particularly obnoxious RA BC who thought it was funny to berate a Driver rank mover in front of his entire battery.
 
I'm still none the wiser.
Technicians go the Foreman of Signals route to get to SSgt and above then commissioned as TOT
Operators go the Yeoman of Signals route to get to SSgt and above then commissioned as Traffic Officer
Spec Ops go the Supervisor Radio route to get to SSgt and above then commissioned as Traffic Officer (Radio)

Should say "went" rather than "go" as it has all changed now. But that's how it was, not how it is now.
#
Did come across a few "wives of" those commissioned (who were generally ex WRAC Cpls or such) who thought the rank structure applied to them as well. Not many but a few (one particular Up Yer Arris WO1 who told his missus not to tell stories about him to the lads as he had a position to maintain. ISTR she told him to stick his rank up his Jacksie. I did like her).
 
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theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
BMH Hong Kong 1974 (I was 3 1/2)
Maternity ward.

My mother was admitted as she was due to give birth to my sister.
One of the other expecting mums was giving it 'do as I say, my husband is a cpl'
My mother said something along the lines of 'no, don't be silly'

wife of Cpl gets a bit uppity, until my mum said 'if you want to be like that my husband outranks yours.. **** off'
 
It does work the other way though.

Most RSMs of my acquaintance were top blokes, after all, you don’t get to that position unless the rabble can respect the bloke as well as the rank if The Head Shed have any nous about them. Ditto those that went on to be Commissioned, again purely in my experience.

Two examples spring to mind.

A QM who’d joined at aged 15 or thereabouts, gone up through the ranks and was now very close to the end of an exceptional career. He invited me to his house about a week after I joined the Regt as a frankly useless 2Lt for dinner. In the course of a very pleasant evening I learnt more about dealing with soldiers than I did in a year at RMAS. The really useful bit, for which I’m ever in her debt, was learning how to deal with soldiers’ (and officers’) wives from his marvellous wife who‘d been by his side through everything the military could chuck at them.

As a 20 year old, single, ex public school boy from down south, in a Regt that recruited from the north, dealing with wives from hard bitten estates was an ordeal and her unstinting guidance was invaluable.

The second was an RSMs wife who had a party piece, much enjoyed by the Sgt’s Mess and by default, the rest of the Regt by 0805 the next morning, courtesy of the Mess Waiters.

New Subbies we’re invited to a Ladies’ Night in the Sgt‘s Mess and had alcohol poured down their neck until they were sufficiently pliable but not (yet) comatose. At this point the RSMs wife would grab the poor innocent and drag him onto the dance floor and do terrible things. It was done very subtly, without the slightest hint of sleaze and was accompanied by faux looks of horror from the WOs and Sgts, and faux rage from The Badge. The Subbie was of course trapped by politeness and couldn’t break contact.

It wasn’t helped by the fact she was also fit as.

The next morning was met with a blurry recollection by the victim and knowing glances from 600 blokes as inevitably, to prolong the agony, a Regt Parade had been called. Then came the denouement.

“Mr Toastie, RSM would like a word if you wouldn’t mind Sir”

Blokes walking to the gallows would have felt this way.

”Morning Sir, just like to say how much we enjoyed your company last night, Mrs RSM was particularly taken with you. Is there anything I can help you with Sir, what with being new to the Regt?”

”Gurgle, mmgtyffshhh, er no thank you”

”Well then Sir, I think that’s everything. Mind how you go (in tones laden with malice aforethought)”.

As you reach the door, “Oh, one more thing Sir.........<significant pause for effect>.......Gotcha! Welcome to the Regt Sir, you know where I am if you need help”.

Two wives who knew exactly how it all worked and didn’t need to prove anything. Their actions to bring along what were basically scared young men said everything that needed saying.
 
I never really came across much of the 'wives of' syndrome. There were good wives who helped foster the regimental spirit and there were problem wives who caused grief. There was one who was the wife of one of the Foreman/Yeoman types and took great pleasure in telling everyone how important he was as he'd been selected for WO1. Shortly after I got picked up for LE Commissioning and she was fawning over Mrs Devex about how wonderful it would be to be in the Officers' Mess. Mrs D (bless her cotton socks) shot her down by informing her that we were in the process of buying a house locally, I would be going unaccompanied and she had no interest whatsoever in the Mess social side of things. True to form I can't recall Mrs D ever coming to any Officers' Mess function, an arrangement that suited her and me equally.
 

quilter

War Hero
Some of the teenager children also took on their parents rank., as a bus escort (one of the many part time jobs I did during 23 years as a wife of) one of the little dears (who had been swearing at me) threatened me with "My dad's a Major and he will have your job off you. Next morning he was there with his Mutti and an audience of many - I presumed Mutti was there to continue this however, she whispered quietly, he has something to say to you and thrust a letter in to my hand - a written apology (by said tyke) which took me by surprise - she was mortified by son's behaviour - oddly enough this 'orrible tyke transformed himself and a couple of years later I met him and he had become a total gentleman and a thoroughly pleasant chap but I did come across many similar incidents as related in this thread, one Major's wife said to a soon to be officers wife, Oh you will be able to call me Christine next week and not Mrs X., (pompous or what). Yes I can relate to the Tenko wives episodes also but I refused to wear the so called uniform of Hermes, pearls etc when my husband was commissioned, and stayed happily mates with all the NCO wives as well as the officers wives. Thank heavens it means nowt in civvy street.;)
 

Mölders 1

Old-Salt
Some of the teenager children also took on their parents rank., as a bus escort (one of the many part time jobs I did during 23 years as a wife of) one of the little dears (who had been swearing at me) threatened me with "My dad's a Major and he will have your job off you. Next morning he was there with his Mutti and an audience of many - I presumed Mutti was there to continue this however, she whispered quietly, he has something to say to you and thrust a letter in to my hand - a written apology (by said tyke) which took me by surprise - she was mortified by son's behaviour - oddly enough this 'orrible tyke transformed himself and a couple of years later I met him and he had become a total gentleman and a thoroughly pleasant chap but I did come across many similar incidents as related in this thread, one Major's wife said to a soon to be officers wife, Oh you will be able to call me Christine next week and not Mrs X., (pompous or what). Yes I can relate to the Tenko wives episodes also but I refused to wear the so called uniform of Hermes, pearls etc when my husband was commissioned, and stayed happily mates with all the NCO wives as well as the officers wives. Thank heavens it means nowt in civvy street.;)

I remember only too well some of my friends at school at the time used to think that they were more important simply because their father was a certain rank, i.e "he can't do anything to me because my dad is a higher rank than his".
 
It’s not just in the military although to be fair, a lot of the attitudes were learnt there.

A good few years ago we had a brilliant contract based in Indonesia for 3 months over the U.K. winter, flying pilgrims up to Jeddah for the Hajj. The pay was excellent even if the flying was dull and Jeddah was enough to destroy the soul. The real bonus for a slack handful of us was that you could take your family.

Accordingly about 100 pilots would go out and about 15 would take their wives. They were all senior Captains and the wives were all very clear on what number their husbands were on the Seniority List. They very soon became known by everyone else as the The Tenko Wives* and it wasn’t meant affectionately. They spent their time on shopping and little trips that were designed to ensure nail varnish didn’t get chipped etc. and on treating the locals with disdain. Unsurprisingly, a lot of them were ex RAF.

One year a mate of mine and I cooked up a plan that we’d go and takes our wives and horror of horrors, our 3 year old daughters. Crews were made up of one Captain and two First Officers and stayed as a crew together for the whole 3 months. We asked to be paired so our wives and kids could kick around together when we were down route and we’d do our own thing when on time off in Indonesia. The manager planning it all thought it a great plan and everything was set.

We were rostered with a senior bloke who was a tool. Everything the old RAF mentality had to offer and no people skills at all**. Even worse, he had his wife in tow and of course she immediately tried to inculcate the two renegade wives into the Tenko Club. That went well.

It was silly stuff. Every night we were supposed to meet for sundowners on their balcony but she’d get the hump because the kids would get bored and mess about in her immaculate hotel room which was like something out of Homes Beautiful magazine, right down to the little bowl of sweeties on the table. Try explaining to a 3 year old that they were for display, not eating.

In the end she complained and her cock of a husband felt that the best place to deal with that was to rift me and my mate in flight. Smart move.

The Two Renegade Wives split from Tenko and started doing their own thing, things like going to the village where one of the bell boy‘s family lived and seeing fruit bats with 4’ wingspans and having a chicken killed and cooked for a feast in their honour, eating goldfish without labelling the locals as savages, swimming on coral reefs etc. Basically doing all the things that this great opportunity presented for young families. Everywhere they went they were warmly greeted as white women with blond kids in tow were literally unheard of and Indonesians are probably the nicest people I’ve ever met. They were called Mrs Katherine and Mrs Jenny (after the kids names) by people they’d never met. People who had nothing were inviting them into their homes and giving them tea. It was very humbling. Tenko hated it.

It all came to a head when Head Tenko “had a word” with the degenerate twosome about them “flaunting“ themselves with the natives. “You should know Mrs Toastie, both you and Toastie were in the military, your father was a Navy Officer out here, you know how it works ”.

Mrs Toastie “what rank was your husband in the Forces?”

Head Tenko “he was a Flt Lt”.

Mrs Toastie “you’re right, I do know how it works, my father, my husband and I all outranked your husband. Feck off”.

* For younger viewers, Tenko was a TV drama series about a Japanese internment camp for wives and families following the fall of Singapore in WW2. The rank structure assumed by the wives mirrored that in the garrison.

** He apparently latterly came very close to failing a sim ride for exactly that kind of behaviour, demanded the result be changed as in his view, sim checks were a test purely of technical skills. He was told “change or leave”.

Not a SWMBO story but I flew with a couple of cocks like your captain. Also ex air farce, SAAF in this case. Complete Johnny-No-Mates social bomb scares who would order the crews to associate with them and go for drinks and such because they had no friends. I managed to swerve most of that by claiming to be teetotal. They did see me drinking beer but never made the connection.

One of them would also order a barbecue to be arranged, everyone would chip in and he'd always say he'll pay later. Later just never arrived. Same bloke's daughter went on a gap year tour of Europe and the stingy bastard made her fill in an expense sheet and fax it to him every week along with receipts before he'd put more money in her account. His kids and his wife hated him.

Same cunt cornered me one day and told me not to associate with the loadmasters as they were the equivalent of junior NCOs in his view, flight engineer was a WO and we were the officers. He was a vindictive shit, quite happy to shop a career, so I just nodded and continued doing what I was doing. His plan was that the officers would drink together with the WO, cutting out the junior NCOs who were my mates in order for him to actually have someone he could socialise with.

The ex SAAF types used to tell war stories with the flight engineer on flights over Angola about their heroism bimbling along 20000' above the war while I humped half my weight in water and ammo down in the weeds. Took some effort to bite my tongue but eventually the whole fucked up air farce shit show atmosphere got on my tits and I found something better at around eight times the salary in hard currency.
 
Not a SWMBO story but I flew with a couple of cocks like your captain. Also ex air farce, SAAF in this case. Complete Johnny-No-Mates social bomb scares who would order the crews to associate with them and go for drinks and such because they had no friends. I managed to swerve most of that by claiming to be teetotal. They did see me drinking beer but never made the connection.

One of them would also order a barbecue to be arranged, everyone would chip in and he'd always say he'll pay later. Later just never arrived. Same bloke's daughter went on a gap year tour of Europe and the stingy bastard made her fill in an expense sheet and fax it to him every week along with receipts before he'd put more money in her account. His kids and his wife hated him.

Same cunt cornered me one day and told me not to associate with the loadmasters as they were the equivalent of junior NCOs in his view, flight engineer was a WO and we were the officers. He was a vindictive shit, quite happy to shop a career, so I just nodded and continued doing what I was doing. His plan was that the officers would drink together with the WO, cutting out the junior NCOs who were my mates in order for him to actually have someone he could socialise with.

The ex SAAF types used to tell war stories with the flight engineer on flights over Angola about their heroism bimbling along 20000' above the war while I humped half my weight in water and ammo down in the weeds. Took some effort to bite my tongue but eventually the whole fucked up air farce shit show atmosphere got on my tits and I found something better at around eight times the salary in hard currency.

So much of that chimes with me, some of the chods I’ve sat next to over the years. I’m not sure which would be worse, all of that in one person so at least it’s in one place and more easily avoided, or spread around?

The one that really caught my attention was the “split the bill” tale. SOP if on a crew night out is agree beforehand “everyone pays their own” or “split 12 ways, Captain pays the tip”.

We had one guy renowned for pushing through the “each to their own” and having lobster and a bottle of wine whilst some young cabin crew have a lettuce leaf and a glass of water as they’re saving for a car or something. Along comes the bill and it’s “split 12 ways then guys?”.

I challenged him on it when he did it to me and he refused to talk to me all the rest of the trip, including on the return flight which I didn’t mind but it was a problem in flight as we weren’t communicating effectively which is a flight safety hazard.

On our return to the U.K. he starts honking to the Chief Pilot about me undermining his authority etc. The CP knew all about this guy but for the sake of form, collared me to get my version. I wrote a report on it and handed it in to which the CP said “that’s no use, put it in a Flight Safety Report, then I can nail him properly”.

Eventually this guy got done fiddling ships expenses. Here’s a guy on £150k a year, including big pension and he’s fiddling to the tune of $8 or so. He’d have probably got a gypsy’s for it if he’d put his hand up to it but no, he had to argue the toss and try and bluff it. That was him. Hoofed.

Anyway. Back to the wives.

Did a trip with the above dick and he drags his Mrs along. It was after the bill incident so there was a right atmosphere. She was on the jump seat, in the days that was allowed, and half way across the Atlantic he said something or other to me and she chimed in “if you’d spoken to me like that you’d be sleeping on the sofa”. He gets the hump and goes for a piss at which point she elaborates “and it would be altogether better sex if he did”.

’kin ‘ell!

We were out wherever for a week and she was out on the tiles every night with the crew, a real live wire, great fun and getting the beers in big style. He stayed in every single night. God alone knows what she was doing stuck with him.

And no, I didn’t.
 
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Same in all Militaries; I was in the Irish Air Corps and the Officers graded themselves as follows: Pilots, Engineering Officers (aviation), the rest. Some of the Air Traffic Controllers (officers) also considered themselves a cut above and would associate themselves with (some) pilots and regard the rest as mere tradesmen or worse. Officers commissioned from the ranks were regarded as outside the Pale and merely tolerated, as they did the boring, routine jobs. Some of the pilots considered themselves,depending on which aircraft they flew, to be surperior air gods altogether. We had two beauts that flew the Govt jet, initially a 125 and then a GIII and they acted as if their shit didnt stink. One of them was brought down to earth when he left for civvy airline flying and found himself flying a very tatty 737 cargo aircraft.
 
I also has the same type of situation at a gate, when on as Guard Commander. A car pulls up and I get the imperious "let me in. You know who I am" from the driver. She declined to identify her friends in the car. Not having that. She had a nice long wait until the Orderly Officer was able to confirm her identity. I was called in two days later to explain myself but her father,a VSO, simply told the Officer making the inquiry that he had dealt with his daughter's attitude and I was off the hook.
 
RMAS guard. I’d drawn the long straw and had the little gate out the back somewhere which was locked at 2359 and opened again at 0600 (iirc) and the rest of the time you could get back to your room and get a normal night’s kip.

2355, dozing in my little hut, and a car pulls up. It was the Commandant mit Frau. I sheepishly checked his ID whilst trying to remain at Attention and opened the barrier, saluting furiously. He very pleasantly pointed out that I should have checked her ID too “as I could be a hostage to a psychopathic man eater”.

”Plays your cards right dear, you never know” says she.
 
I never really came across much of the 'wives of' syndrome. There were good wives who helped foster the regimental spirit and there were problem wives who caused grief. There was one who was the wife of one of the Foreman/Yeoman types and took great pleasure in telling everyone how important he was as he'd been selected for WO1. Shortly after I got picked up for LE Commissioning and she was fawning over Mrs Devex about how wonderful it would be to be in the Officers' Mess. Mrs D (bless her cotton socks) shot her down by informing her that we were in the process of buying a house locally, I would be going unaccompanied and she had no interest whatsoever in the Mess social side of things. True to form I can't recall Mrs D ever coming to any Officers' Mess function, an arrangement that suited her and me equally.
This. I've never really been exposed to much of it either, but have heard tales from the WO/Sgts' Mess. But likewise Mrs D_D hasn't been near a mess/camp for well over a decade.
 

Euclid

War Hero
Rupert Jones’s missus is going to miss out on becoming A ‘lady’ seeing as her husband:

A. Fcked her off at the highport
B. Is not going to become a 3* anyway

I recall a certain COs wife standing on a Dias at the main gate taking the salute as the Regiment - all 57 challengers worth - exited en route for an FTX. That was just downright weird.
 

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