To what extent are veterans seen as fellow soldiers and when does that feeling stop? If at all.

Recently I was looking at some pictures of current soldiers with WWII veterans and I wondered what the soldier (current) was really thinking, is he thinking "that is someone like me" or "I like this guy and respect him, but we aren't really the same thing". To give some context, I am under the impression that soldiers bond because they all share a unique experience that isn't shared with anyone outside of the forces. So are WWII veterans seen as fellow soldiers, who share this same bond, or as a sort of museum piece. (I know it will be a mix, but which end does it more broadly align with). If they are seen as the same, when does that stop? If it ever does.
Also on regimental colours they show all the battles that the regiment has fought in and I have seen soldiers visit battle fields, are the men that those two things represent also seen as being part of this sort of brotherhood? For example most current regiments can trace some link to Waterloo, are those Redcoats also seen as being part of the brotherhood? Or as basically a different thing in the mind of current soldiers? If they are seen as different, are Crimean war solders seen as different, are Boer war solders, WWI? WWII? Falklands?
Anyway thank you,
RedRoman
P.S. I hope I didn't sound rude, that was not my intention.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
As soon as you hand in your ID card you stop being a soldier and become a Veteran - two completely different species!
 
Everything will be relative to each generation but I'd say that there is a common bond in the fact they are/were soldiers but that's pretty much where it ends.

I doubt a drone pilot has a scooby what a guy who stormed a beach in Normandy went through - I don't.
 
soldiers bond because they all share a unique experience that isn't shared with anyone outside of the forces.
Such a statement would generally relate to soldiers that have been through the same kind of service, particularly combat soldiers in the field or between soldiers in roles that endure trying conditions/experiences in the field.
The mere fact of being/having been in the forces could actually mean squat.
 
As soon as you hand in your ID card you stop being a soldier and become a Veteran - two completely different species!
I would agree with that statement and add the caveat that during a meet, if neither one of them are walting or piling on the BS I think the respect is still there for both specie.
 
I think there are several distinct ‘types’ of veteran, with certain stereotypes they conform to.
 

Slime

LE
Recently I was looking at some pictures of current soldiers with WWII veterans and I wondered what the soldier (current) was really thinking, is he thinking "that is someone like me" or "I like this guy and respect him, but we aren't really the same thing". To give some context, I am under the impression that soldiers bond because they all share a unique experience that isn't shared with anyone outside of the forces. So are WWII veterans seen as fellow soldiers, who share this same bond, or as a sort of museum piece. (I know it will be a mix, but which end does it more broadly align with). If they are seen as the same, when does that stop? If it ever does.
Also on regimental colours they show all the battles that the regiment has fought in and I have seen soldiers visit battle fields, are the men that those two things represent also seen as being part of this sort of brotherhood? For example most current regiments can trace some link to Waterloo, are those Redcoats also seen as being part of the brotherhood? Or as basically a different thing in the mind of current soldiers? If they are seen as different, are Crimean war solders seen as different, are Boer war solders, WWI? WWII? Falklands?
Anyway thank you,
RedRoman
P.S. I hope I didn't sound rude, that was not my intention.
As you seem to like to over think the relationship I'll add another dimension. :)

WW2 veterans have a magical ability to change their age, and can transform back to their late teens/early twenties at will.

Have a chat with a WW2 veteran about the dodges or scams they got up to in WW2 and they magically transform from an OAP to someone with a sparkle in their eyes, they stand straighter and a cunning fox personality shines through............you then find you are talking with a teenager, full of life but in an old persons body :)
 
they stand straighter and a cunning fox personality shines through
I think that could even be attributed to post WWII veterans as well. If there was a dodge or scam going or a cunning plan in the works, well squaddies being squaddies and all that.
 
I think that could even be attributed to post WWII veterans as well. If there was a dodge or scam going or a cunning plan in the works, well squaddies being squaddies and all that.
An old friend, Malayan Emergency, found himself on leave in Australia. Nicked a yacht and flogged it to the first gullible soul! Pissed off back to Malaya with ill gotten gains!

RIP Albert, it was fun bud.
 
I was looking at that very page last night, wondering how and when one could apply for it. I had read that those leaving now just held on to their existing membership card which would seem odd as nobody would be able to differentiate whether someone was still serving or not. Basically speaking, if someone had left the mob yesterday they could, with their retained MOD 90, walk back on base, or pretty much most other bases, as a civvy and nobody would be any wiser. If they do that wearing their old uniform (after 22 years the only thing I handed back in was my AGR) they could possibly enter places where they would no longer be entitled to go. Not forgetting the security implications because one's SC expires.

Additionally, would someone who held onto their MOD 90 be treated differently and be differently entitled to someone who gets issued a veteran's ID card? Again places of access and use of facilities come to mind.

ETA. I know as a serviceman that I've been treated differently by plod when on the odd occasion, when in civvies, I've presented my ID card. Would showing a veteran's card have the same effect?
 
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Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
Speaking as a gopping civvy, I think there is a respect from the serving soldiery to veterans, a sense of shared experience of both hot stuff and Army Embuggeration, and so long as neither party is embellishing stuff too much, it will remain.

Mr. GRB has a good craic with our local butcher, a Kiwi who is a reservist in the Rifles, and also had great respect for his grandfather, a Dorset who was wounded by a lance in Mesopotamia in the Great War, and our late friend Bill, another Dorset who survived the Siege of Malta and the Normandy Landings to die in his bed aged 100. Those campaigns were very different to BAOR, Banner, Granby and BATUS, but there is definitely a sense that they were comrades.

I don't think any other career gives that, and I believe it's the backbone of the British nation, a thread running through all generations since Crecy.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
We had Old Comrades visit when I was serving. To me they were old, but interesting blokes with stories to tell, but keeping me from hitting Uncle Tom's Cabin downtown.

Then I went to a couple of events from the other side. I think they thought I was an old bloke with stories to tell, but since they'd mostly done Op Panther's Claw, their stories were probably more interesting than mine. (Quiet in the cheap seats. I didn't ask for your opinions.)

I think they/we prove the truism that the past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
 
I was looking at that very page last night, wondering how and when one could apply for it. I had read that those leaving now just held on to their existing membership card which would seem odd as nobody would be able to differentiate whether someone was still serving or not. Basically speaking, if someone had left the mob yesterday they could, with their retained MOD 90, walk back on base, or pretty much most other bases, as a civvy and nobody would be any wiser. If they do that wearing their old uniform (after 22 years the only thing I handed back in was my AGR) they could possibly enter places where they would no longer be entitled to go. Not forgetting the security implications because one's SC expires.

Additionally, would someone who held onto their MOD 90 be treated differently and be differently entitled to someone who gets issued a veteran's ID card? Again places of access and use of facilities come to mind.

ETA. I know as a serviceman that I've been treated differently by plod when on the odd occasion, when in civvies, I've presented my ID card. Would showing a veteran's card have the same effect?
They stamped RES across your MOD 90 and sent it back to you with your reserve docs.
 
It wasn't something many of us on here will have thought of. Being of a certain vintage most of the adult males I knew as a kid were "veterans" who had been citizen soldiers and - if I'd asked - were probably just glad to have survived to pick up on their peaceful lives. The old soldiers I met when I was serving probably viewed a "lifer" like me with some suspicion. The one truth is that every generation had it harder than the present one - no matter when.
 

partyr

Old-Salt
I was looking at that very page last night, wondering how and when one could apply for it. I had read that those leaving now just held on to their existing membership card which would seem odd as nobody would be able to differentiate whether someone was still serving or not. Basically speaking, if someone had left the mob yesterday they could, with their retained MOD 90, walk back on base, or pretty much most other bases, as a civvy and nobody would be any wiser. If they do that wearing their old uniform (after 22 years the only thing I handed back in was my AGR) they could possibly enter places where they would no longer be entitled to go. Not forgetting the security implications because one's SC expires.

Additionally, would someone who held onto their MOD 90 be treated differently and be differently entitled to someone who gets issued a veteran's ID card? Again places of access and use of facilities come to mind.

ETA. I know as a serviceman that I've been treated differently by plod when on the odd occasion, when in civvies, I've presented my ID card. Would showing a veteran's card have the same effect?
They are given the option of retaining their ID Card on leaving, if they decide they would like to then the Expiry Date, in the bottom right hand corner, and the logo in the top left hand corner are cut through. All mil establishments are aware of this when checking ID.
 
We had Old Comrades visit when I was serving. To me they were old, but interesting blokes with stories to tell, but keeping me from hitting Uncle Tom's Cabin downtown.

Then I went to a couple of events from the other side. I think they thought I was an old bloke with stories to tell, but since they'd mostly done Op Panther's Claw, their stories were probably more interesting than mine. (Quiet in the cheap seats. I didn't ask for your opinions.)

I think they/we prove the truism that the past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
It is an interesting thought that we fought the best war the British Army ever has, precisely because it didn't start, but it puts us right at the back of queue at veteran's reminiscence night.

I was at an event only a few weeks ago where one of our few surviving WW2 veterans talked to the current squadron. It was quite clear that their respect for him was genuine. The senior ranks who had been to more recent action being the first to talk his service up over theirs, the term "Real War" was used more than once. Whether that applies elsewhere I cannot of course comment.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
It is an interesting thought that we fought the best war the British Army ever has, precisely because it didn't start,
I've always argued we won our war by way of not opening fire, by staring them down with that tank and that rifle and not blinking. whilst demonstrating elsewhere that God help them if we chose to open fire. And having government ministers who'd been there and done that (Carrington, Whitelaw, et al), rather than megalomaniacs who saw the Armed Forces as a gift toy, to be played with and thrown away.

But maybe this is for another thread.
 
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