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This is a question In the Army Now - The joy of the Armed Forces

I've never been a soldier. I was an air cadet once, but that mostly involved sitting in a mouldy hut learning about aeroplane engines with the hint that one day we might go flying.

Yet, anyone who has spent time defending their nation, or at least drinking bromide-laced-tea for their nation, must have stories to tell. Tell them now.

(, Thu 23 Mar 2006, 18:26)
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Not quite right but
i have a bayonet stained with blood from the boer war, tis about 20 inches long
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 18:02, Reply)
War! huh-yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing
Say it again y'all
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 18:01, Reply)
My girlfriend's great granddad found an arm whilst fighting in some war... so he stole the watch off it.

(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 17:15, Reply)
I used to be in the air cadets
until some kid a few years younger but above 'rank' told me to clean my shoes. I thought I'm not having some young kid telling me what to do, and that was the end of my RAF career.

Anyway, I know a few people in/been in the RAF, and here's the bits I know of.

The planes are about 30 years old and are falling to bits. Constantly breaking down and very expensive to repair. The mismanagment would put even the NHS to shame. Even the brand new cutting edge eurofighter is about 12 years old. Thats why everyone in the RAF is an air frame technician, i.e. stop the plane from falling apart in mid-air.
And it all comes out of the defence budget.

Do not turn up late. Ever. By all means turn in at 10 to 9 still pissed or hungover, but arrive sober at 9:02 and its a big black mark.

Officers are mainly postgrads with a bit of training. You don't get promoted from bullet catcher to officer, hence officers know knack all about the job.

The drinking games. Getting trollied on a daily basis quickly leads to boredom, so games help the days along. Someone shits in the middle of a table. A tray is placed on the shit, then everyone places their chins on the edge of the table. Someone else punches the tray as hard as possible. The person with the most amount of shit on their face buys the round and can load up the next tray.
Understandable if its a way of coping with the horrors of war. Not really understandable with your mates at a camp in the UK.

And lets not forget the MOD covering up the institutional bullying and murder at say...Deepcut.
As it said, these are the defenders of our nation.
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 17:13, Reply)
Not me, but my Grandad....
...kept a diary of his experiences in Normandy in 1944. Being shot at for a living? You can stick it...

This is the entry that sticks most in my mind

(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 17:08, Reply)
I was an Air Cadet for a few years
the squadron was shit, but spending a week at RAF Kinloss was great, including a night exercise where I almost got ran over by a land rover and rugby tackled by some RAF guy, and trying to piss in a Nimrod whilst it's twisting around in the sky meaning i'm constantly changing the angle at which my cock is pointing to compensate, at one point my piss was at eye level thanks to the G forces.

Joining the RAF in a few months though, £27 grand a year for sitting in the back of a helicopter, cheap food and accomodation don't seem too bad!
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 16:59, Reply)
army boys
are another breed entirely. my ex was one.

they once spent a whole evening seeing who could fit the most brown m & ms up their arse.

another night dressed as women. my friend amy said politely to the shaven gorilla in the sugar baby pink wool mini dress, "i do hope you're wearing underwear under there."

to which he flipped up the skirt, considered himself, and finally announced:

"nope. that's my c*ck".
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 16:53, Reply)
A teacher of mine
had broken his neck when he was sixteen diving into the shallow end of a swimming pool. He healed completely, with no paralysis.

However, a few years later he gets a draft notice to go to 'Nam. Confident that they wouldn't take him because of his injury, he reported to MEPS with nothing but his X-rays.

After the full battery of blood, urine, vision and who knows what other tests, they asked him if there was anything that should keep him out of the military. He showed them his X-rays, and which point they took more.

"Well," they said, "you seem to have healed fully. Welcome to the Army, son."

On a bus he goes to basic training without even a toothbrush.
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 16:17, Reply)
Like shooting fish in a barrel
I'm on a roll. I went to a naval school near Sandhurst, so was duly packed off with the rest of the CCF to spend weekends sitting in the Sandhurst woods lugging Lee Enfields (we were like the Poundstretcher version of CCF) and trying to find whatever CCF had been dropped off at the other end. All of our meticulous training and planning came together one fine morning, with the entire troop hidden and waiting on the slopes of a cutting. As luck would have it, the other lot never showed, but two middle aged lady joggers in nice pastel towelling suits did... Fair play to the Colour Sargeant for getting the first thunder flash in front of them, and immediately lobbing another behind as both slopes erupted in gunfire and pre pubescent screaming. If you've never seen fat middle aged women completely losing it and running around in pure undiluted panic as the sun comes up over the trees on a gentle misty morning, you haven't lived.

Length? You know you love it.
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 16:04, Reply)
My mom's cousin
was called up for the draft for Vietnam.

They asked him if he ever committed suicide.

He thought it was such a stupid question he said yes.

They didn't take him.
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 16:00, Reply)
uk forces.
on a range somewhere in darkest surrey...
a section of us rather badly hungover supposedly firing at targets... cue a small poodle running in front of us. poodle disintegrates. we piss ourselves.
putting poodle into carrier bag to give back to owner, slightly less fun.
great fun though. hated every second.
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 15:54, Reply)
Who's Seat?
When I was just out of high school I didnt really have an idea of what I was going to do at University. So with half decent grades and being reasonably fit I decided to try and get into ADFA (Australian Defence Force Academy) - basically a Uni for wannbe Officers.

The selection process was rigorous to say the least. After 10 interviews, medical tests and psychiatric screenings I got to go to the final round. This being an interview with a panel consisting of some of the highest ranking officers in the different forces.

I was trying for the Navy which had the most hi tech gadgetry and IT degrees. So it was headed by a Naval Admiral (??).

I was nervous as hell as the secretary told me to go in. Seeing a chair in the middle of the room (a good 10 feet from the panel table) I picked it up and moved it closer.

Worse mistake of my life. The Officer preceeded to yell questions at me like I had broken a ten commandment.

"Why did you move the chair?"
"Do you think this is your lounge room?"
"Is that your seat?"

I knew then
1. I wasnt getting into ADFA and
2. I didnt want to go.
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 15:40, Reply)
Gulf War 1 (The Legal One)
I was a very young medic in GW1 (the legal one ;)) and we were arriving in Riyadh to set up a hospital on the night of January 16th 1991. Flight was delayed landing and we didn't know why until 3.22am January 17th 1991 when the first Scud attacks hit Riyadh. We were delayed in air traffic terms by the tankers taking off to fuel the Tornados / Buccaneers / Jaguars etc setting off from Dhahran to start BTC (bombing the crap) out of Iraq. Oops.

So many stories.

Including waking up in the midsts of an air raid rolling over to grab my gaspirator (gas mask) and then falling asleep again wearing it. Woke up 5 hours later with a crackin' headache that I couldn't shift for days. (Gaspirator cuts breathing to 30% of normal).

Or - having a shower one night and raid siren happening. Got out of shower - gaspirator on - back in shower. There is (I'm told) a picture of my naked self in a hospital in Birmingham to this day wearing a soapy lather and a gaspirator.

And ... meeting a fantastically attractive lass there who had come down from Baldrick (our casualty replacement centre) who asked in a thick (and I mean THICK) Yorkshire accent if there were any Italians there. I said that no they'd already surrendered to which her mate wet herself laughing - the lass being Marianna Proietti.


I believe at this point it is customary to make a "popping noise"?

Captain Lurve RAMC
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 15:27, Reply)
Officer to be?
When I finished uni I applied to go to sandhurst because i couldnt get a job anywhere else. Then I realised that being pretty unfit and generally shit at taking orders, i might not do too well there. So I sacked it off and am doing a masters - hurrah!

That is all
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 15:18, Reply)
All the chocolate you can eat.
Yeah...hello...erm, long time reader, first time poster.

About five years ago, a mate of mine in the RAF 'accidently' got involved with a slightly mental, extremely possesive Swiss girl. As a last ditch attempt to get away from her, he informed her that he was off to Kosovo indefinitely, and had to remain incommunicado, even though he was staying put in Oxfordshire. Job done, or so he thought. She still sends him food parcels full of nice chocolate, saucy photos, and other little luxuries to this day. I like the white chocs best.

How was it for you?
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 15:16, Reply)
Army Cadet Games
A few games played when I was in Army Cadets:

Foul Football: A bunch of testosterone fuelled teenagers running around deliberately booting each other in the shins (with steel towcap boots I might add), tripping, pushing and generally being right little c*nts.

Knockdown: Two lads assume a press-up position facing each other head to head, the objective to smash your opponents arms out from under him, hopefully chipping a few of his teeth when his jaw hits the deck.

Bollocks: This was a lovely little game, the challenger had to scream “bollocks” before proceeding to wrestle someone into submission by, you guessed it, squeezing his bollocks! Deep down I hoped this stupidity was natural selection makeing sure these people never breed!

Why did I join? Fuck knows?!!
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 14:55, Reply)
Why bother?
The armed forces never appealed to me. If I wanted to die or have things stuffed up my arse I would just go to Michael Barrymore's house.
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 14:52, Reply)
in the RAF
My dad was in the RAF in the mid 50s and was on Easter island when they did some nuclear weapons testing (he has some awesome photos of the mushroom cloud etc..) Years pass, I am born, I grow up to like a few beers. My parents would frown on my alcohol indulgence particularly my dad. That was until he let slip that the only reason that he was on Easter island during teh nuke test was that he was in hospital. Even worse (and here's where the hypocrisy starts) he was in hospital after getting into a drunken fight days before his demob, with a broken jaw. Apparently one of his underlings (he was senior NCO) took a dislike to him and lamped him good and proper whilst he was in a drunken stupor. I never let him lecture me about alcohol abuse again. Love my old dad though :)
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 14:45, Reply)
resentments and urine drinking
When I was in my last year of secondary school the army came for the day and spoke to us, this may sound quite dull but it was a whole day of no actual school work plus they brought motorbikes, jeeps, a small hovercraft type vehicle, loads of weird toys such as night vision goggles and a helicopter in which 3 pupils were promised a go around the school field at the end of the day.

I wanted a ride in a helicopter more than anything but first had to endure boring talks and videos, in one of these talks they mentioned urine drinking, now at this point a few of us put our little hands into the air and ask why anyone would drink their own urine. The kind and patient soldier told us how it could be filtered and drunk if a soldier had no other means of fluids, now all I heard was “we drink our own wee” and it was at that exact moment I decided that the army wasn’t for me.

At the end of the day they drew some names out of a hat and sadly mine wasn’t picked so I stood and watched as 3 of my friends got to go up in the helicopter, I did get to sit on a motorbike and was given a barley sugar by the chap who gave us the urine speech but I don’t care as last year while in New York I got to fly over Manhattan in a helicopter (which I think is pretty aces and much better than a lap of the school field).

So even though I didn’t join the army I carried a massive resentment for bloody years about not getting a go in their helicopter … the bastards!
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 14:30, Reply)
Royal Engineers
a good friend of mine was an engineer sent to the Faulklands. Now forgive me not being able to recall the names of ships, but his broke downs, so he arrived after all the action was all over, so all there was for him and his boys to do was tidy up.
Alas all of their mine clearing gear had been sunk in the action, but they still had to get the mines cleared pronto, so with classic improvisation they would fence off a suspect area and heard in sheep, of which there were a plentyful supply, with spectacular results.
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 14:01, Reply)
The Joys of Army
Although I have not been in the Army myself, I grew up surrounded by the bloody camps...and would class myself as knowing a fair bit about the habits and whatever of those individuals who are responsible for our nations welfare.

Hmm...now I wont bore you all with stories of what little terrors these lot get upto, but instead with the good bits of being in the army.

a - PT days. Basically, leaving early to hit the pubs about 3.
b- Cheap booze in the mess
c - 'Free' accomodation and food. All monies left in the wage packet is for what the hell they fancy.
d - Regular team bonding sessions. Usually involving the challenge of starting drinking at 9am.
e - Joining the football team so that all ones job involves is kicking a ball around and going to the pub.
f- Getting your mates to drop/collect from the pub using military vehicles.
g - Being able to behave badly and get away with it.
h - the higher up you get in the army, such expenses as teeth whitening can be claimed through work expenses.
i - A bloody great pension at the end of it.

Sorry about the length. They would never say that! ;)
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 13:51, Reply)
when I finished high school...

...I decided I wanted to defer university and take a year off, to go and work on a kibbutz.

The reason for this was that my older brother had done the same thing and he was always raving on about how great it was. I was a bit naive about believing everything my brother said...not that he was lying or anything, but I didn't think about how just because he liked it didn't mean that I'd like it. I didn't think of a lot of obvious problems like I hate the outdoors, I certainly hate physical outdoor labour, and so on.

The only thing I can think is that my brother must have lost his repulsive virginity at one of these places. Nothing else would explain his belief that there was something fun about ekeing a living from the barren Middle Eastern earth. And explaining that I came from Australia, land of koalas and sunshine, rather than Austria, land of thinly-veiled anti-Semitism, lost its novelty pretty quickly too. Also, the food was not just shite, but was universally tinned, packaged, or otherwise unconnected to the fresh vegetables that I could have sworn we were sweating over.

Anyway, being fairly unhappy and also a bit immature, I got into quite an emotional state thinking about all the money (of my own) that I'd wasted ,stupid fuckin desert wastin my time here working all day etc etc. It got to the point where one of the other foreigners said "hey you are the only one who haff no sunglasses" and my response was to burst into tears and say "it's not my fault I forgot". In hindsight I think he was going to offer me a spare one, but anyway. Such behaviour didn't endear me to anyone either.

So, one day the guy [bit of a technical kibbutz term there, the guy in charge of the foreigners is called 'the guy'. No actually I forget] called me in and said that I have some mail from the government. I opened it, and it was a draft notice...I took it to 'the guy' and he said it's obviously a mistake. Technically they can draft you, in fact they don't, just go down there and sort it out...he basically organised an appointment for me, in hindsight I think because he realised I was too useless to do it myself.

But then I got thinking, well, it can't be any worse than this.

So, when I got there, 'the guy' [Israeli army titles are similar to those used on kibbutzes] told me yes, sorry, it was our mistake, you don't have to do anything, very sorry. And then, to my shame (now, not then) I made a speech about how I feel that it's my duty to help defend the country, and I don't want to get any special treatment.

Oh dear, I cringe to think about this. The guy shook my hand, he was overcome with emotion - I wish the young people were like you, you are a brave young man, and so on. I just felt smug about having gotten out of hoeing.

But, I hadn't considered the fact that I'd have to actually be in the Army.

And so off I went.

At first (training) it was pretty awesome. There were enough Eastern European immigrants that my dodgy Hebrew didn't stand out. I was a bit older than most of the recruits, but close enough that they thought I was cool rather than old, and I actually wanted to hang out with them. Actually my immaturity might have had a bit to do with this. Everyone thought I was English, I think on the grounds that first language English but isn't American = English. But this was OK, they quite like the stiff-upper-lip English type. Someone actually said "you're just like Giles" [off 'Buffy', which everyone watched at the time], and that was my nickname. Also the story of my volunteering had gotten around, so the instructors etc thought I was the bee's knees. And of course this Army has girls. Ah, I could tell you many a story - although unless it was a story about me being terrified of girls, not necessarily a true one. I got to be the equivalent of corporal, which in the Israeli Army is the equivalent of 'teachers pet' basically.

And then training ended, and it started getting a bit real. We had to go to guard a checkpoint, basically checking Arabs going in and out, making sure they had the right papers etc. Not a complicated job, and not even a dangerous job really, but it was so stressful, because they drill into you that you are the thin green line protecting the country, once on this very checkpoint this guy just waved someone through and that was a suicide bomber who killed 100 people...quite probably made up now that I think about it, but at the time I completely believed it. I wasn't actually very worried about being in any danger, but I was terrified of the thought of something going wrong and it being totally my fault...

I actually got on pretty well with the Arabs. A lot of them have relatives in 'Australie', and I think I was a bit more polite than the average soldier (there's a joke that Israelis tell about themselves: an American, a Russian and an Israeli are in a cafe, and the waitress says "sorry, there's a shortage of meat". The American says 'what does shortage mean?'. The Russian says 'what does meat mean?'. And the Israeli says 'what does sorry mean?'. And they're quite proud of themselves).

And then one fateful day...off we go to our barren spot of nothing as usual.

"Er...where's Sergeant Such-and-such?"
"He's sick Corporal"
"So...who's got rank here?"
"Er...you do Corporal"
"Hyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhhhhh. Right. Right. OK. Hang on, I'm going to phone HQ".

So, they're going to send someone, he should be there by now, isn't he there by now? No. There's a whole crowd of people that we're not letting through...

You again? Isn't he there by now? Well, he should be...and so on.

Eventually I thought all right, bugger it, stiff upper lip etc etc, this isn't brain surgery, I can just check their passes and let people through, I just need to remember the manual.

So, I say "right, we're going to start letting people through".

Anyway one old guy, who was a 'regular', and spoke English, said to me (in English)

"You know Corporal, you could've just made us wait"
"No, it was very kind of you."
"Well, thanks."
"No, listen, I will give you something in return."

OK, I think he's probably going to give me some vegetables or something...

"Come over here. I don't want the others to hear."

This made me feel a bit worried, but I did what he said.

"Listen" he said, and he was kind of half-whispering.

"You know the Copacobana Bar? The one all the soldiers go to?"
"Yeah, of course. What about it?"
"This weekend, don't go there."
"What? Why not? What's going to happen?". I'm very quickly starting to lose it, and my voice starts getting louder.
"is there going to be a bomb?"

"No. It's just that the drinks are really expensive".

No, only joking. I've actually never been in the Army. What was the question again?
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 13:43, Reply)
Only did 9 weeks of basic before deciding its not for me
One of the funniest things i remember about it was on our first ever exercise.

It was only a one night thing just outside the camp to get us used to doing stag.

Out of the 3 section CPLS were 2 were para trained and ours was commando (I was joining the sappers)

They all banged on about how were were crap hats and our CPL was in his words "A switched on commando warrior diving legend"

Anyhow CPL Clarks showing us how to make a perimeter for the area with para cord and after he tied some round a tree he steps back and trips over a log and goes arse over tit.

Being all made to crawl around the perimeter on our belt buckle was worth pissing ourselves for.
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 13:14, Reply)
Rellies in the ranks
Have no tales of my own, being a pacifist, a republican and viewing Scotland as my country rather than Her Britanic Majesty's United Kingdom.

But I have a tale of two contrasting experiences of the military.

My father-in-law did his national service as an officer in the Enniskillen Fusiliers. Dunno why, he's from Hampshire. He spent his time ski-ing and chilling out in Berlin. He's got lots of stories about what fun it was.

My uncle was a squaddie in the Royal Engineers. He was sent to Cyprus during the EOKA terrorist campaign. Lots of bombs. I only know this cos my Mum told me. He's never said a word about it. Ever. Not one.
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 13:12, Reply)
Navy Boys..
One of my mate's brothers is in the Navy.
Every time he comes home on leave he tells us stories too graphic to mention, even on b3ta.

Highlight of every story is the latest developments of the "shower club".
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 12:52, Reply)
survival mission
no army experiences as i'm bit of a hippy despite being from an army family (born on a base and all that).

did encounter the army once. i was about 16 - 17 and living the countryside, welsh border kind of area, nothing to do so myself and a few friends used to go camping each weekend, take our girlfriends, get high and drunk and make mischief.

i'll always remeber one night, on some particularly frightening acid, sitting in our little tent and having a 'blair witch' moment when we all heard a sound outside. a sudden terrified silence fell accross us all for about half a minute untill it was suddenly broken by the zip at the front of our tent whooshing up and two blacked up faces peering in, accompanied by two frighteningly large knives.

utter terror sobored us up but left us speachless as the faces looked around the tent until one of them smiled and uttered the line 'alright lads, got any food?'

It seems the SAS used the woods we were in for survival training missions - live off the land sort of thing. after making us promise to clear out by 9am the next day, assuring us they'd be back to check, they procedded to clear us out of ham sandwiches, monster munch, thunderbrids wine, cider, spliff and fags. they let us keep our acid though and spend the rest of the night relative peace.

not really an army story i know but how many times are the SAS going to come accross hippy kids and their extensive munchy supplies in a real war?
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 12:35, Reply)
My Family and the Army.
Great-uncle - Fought in ww2. but i dont know any stories. he died or something. but not in the war.

Stepdad - Is lebanese, fought in the Lebanese civil war in the 80s. Claims he was on the 'rebel' side and was some sort of commander or something, running around in the wilderness shooting various civil war related things. Also claims he was f00ked alot and once bought me some 'samples' once back from beirut of the happy pills he took *slurp*. Also he was shot in the leg. actually he was shot in the leg. i saw. he has a big frankenstein stiches on the front of his leg and the back is just this huge obliteration. He said he stitched it up himself while on above happy drugs. Nice one!

My brother - In an attempt to have some sort of aim and objective in his life he promptly gave up smoking weed and announced he was going to try for the marines. I objected loudly and clearly as i am of the 'no war' mindset. A month later he was back smoking more than before and his marines career was dashed before he had even begun! now he works in subway! at least he wont get killed! wooppee!and he gives me loads of subway vouchers too! :D
(, Fri 24 Mar 2006, 12:28, Reply)

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