The average British soldier is 19 years old……he is a short haired, well built lad who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears and just old enough to buy a round of drinks but old enough to die for his country – and for you. He’s not particularly keen on hard work but he’d rather be grafting in Afghanistan than unemployed in the UK . He recently left comprehensive school where he was probably an average student, played some form of sport, drove a ten year old rust bucket, and knew a girl that either broke up with him when he left, or swore to be waiting when he returns home. He moves easily to rock and roll or hip-hop or to the rattle of a 7.62mm machine gun. He is about a stone lighter than when he left home because he is working or fighting from dawn to dusk and well beyond. He has trouble spelling, so letter writing is a pain for him, but he can strip a rifle in 25 seconds and reassemble it in the dark. He can recite every detail of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either effectively if he has to. He digs trenches and toilets without the aid of machines and can apply first aid like a professional paramedic. He can march until he is told to stop, or stay dead still until he is told to move. He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation but he is not without a rebellious spirit or a sense of personal dignity. He is confidently self-sufficient. He has two sets of uniform with him: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his water bottle full and his feet dry. He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never forgets to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes and fix his own hurts. If you are thirsty, he’ll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food is your food. He’ll even share his life-saving ammunition with you in the heat of a firefight if you run low. He has learned to use his hands like weapons and regards his weapon as an extension of his own hands. He can save your life or he can take it, because that is his job - it’s what a soldier does. He often works twice as long and hard as a civilian, draw half the pay and have nowhere to spend it, and can still find black ironic humour in it all. There’s an old saying in the British Army: ‘If you can’t take a joke, you shouldn’t have joined!’ He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and he is unashamed to show it or admit it. He feels every bugle note of the ‘Last Post’ or ‘Sunset’ vibrate through his body while standing rigidly to attention. He’s not afraid to ‘Bollock’ anyone who shows disrespect when the Regimental Colours are on display or the National Anthem is played; yet in an odd twist, he would defend anyone’s right to be an individual. Just as with generations of young people before him, he is paying the price for our freedom. Clean shaven and baby faced he may be, but be prepared to defend yourself if you treat him like a kid. He is the latest in a long thin line of British Fighting Men that have kept this country free for hundreds of years. He asks for nothing from us except our respect, friendship and understanding. We may not like what he does, but sometimes he doesn’t like it either - he just has it to do… Remember him always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood. And now we even have brave young women putting themselves in harm’s way, doing their part in this tradition of going to war when our nation’s politicians call on us to do so. When you have read this, please stop for a moment and if you are so inclined, feel free to say a prayer for our troops in the trouble spots of the world.
…Finaly got to the point where i actualy want to be back home. Counting down the days and looking forward to when i can actualy get back and start living my life again after 7 months in this **** hole.See you all on the roads soon wether i be on 2 wheels or whistling through the air
I think we need to stop romanticising soldiers myself. There are soldiers out there who fill all the above criteria, and there are soldiers out there who are knob-ends, just like in every other walk of life. You really think the army is entirely full of caring, giving thoughtful young men? Go out in a barracks town at some point on a friday night.
Not a slate at the army at all, I wouldn’t fancy their job, and they work damn hard for it and risk everything, but I don’t think it’s right to pretend they are what they aren’t. They’re just normal young lads that either fancy or are suited to that lifestyle, or people that don’t have that many other options. And they do what they’re trained to do.
Okay, firstly did you realise from my post i am one? Secondly i would normaly kind of agree with you on your statement with the fact there are plenty of desk jockies out here keeping safe in their offices… But well the mood im in today my reply to that is… BLOW ME!!! no realy do, its been awhile :o And my final point, a night out in a barracks town is not a bad example of squaddies, you see it that way but look deeper into it dip ****. You look out for your own when your out, if you cant back up your buddies in the streets how can you expect them to back you up when things heat up out on ops? Okay rant over, can i go home now?
Like I said it wasn’t a slate. I have a lot of ex squaddies to work with in my job, all I’m saying is that some of them have been (are?) super hard working, super hard, and really safe guys I’d trust my life with and spend my nights out with, a couple of them were just knob-ends though I’d rather have nothing to do with. I can’t see why people can’t accept that and not pretend all squaddies are walking in angel dust. They’re just people that chose that job.
I didn’t realise from your post but it makes no odds really, if you’re a nice bloke then I’ve got all the time in the world for you and hope to meet you on a ride sometime, whatever your career!
Ha ha, SilveR6. I have a sugestion for you, little harder to show on here but here goes…
Show him this… Get a sheet of toilet roll, fold it in half and then half again, now tear off a small part of the corner which has all the folds(basicaly your tearing abit out form the middle of the sheet), dont throw the torn off bit away save it for later, now open up the sheet, tell him he sticks his finger through the hole, scrapes his ass clean with his finger then scrunches the sheet round his finger and pulls it off wiping the **** from his finger, then using the corner of the torn off piece he can clean under his finger nail… ha ha
Daneview - it’s obvious your new to these parts. I agree, you get knobs in all walks of life, however, you do 6 months in some god forsaken hell hole getting mortared and shot at every day. Then you’ll be in a position to make a constructive and objective point. However, as this is a subject you know f all about. Jog on.
Asbo +1 I know how you feel - count the days mate on that chuff chart gazome day will soon come. By the way, are you short on shite roll? PM me your address n I’ll get a box sent out
I have lived the Military dependant lifestyle most of my life and fully support our troops and think they do a great job.
Sure most of them aren’t the most gentle fisted people in the world, but if you take the chance to sit down and have a conversation with them you understand they are a compassionate group of fun loving people from ALL walks of life, not just joining up for the hell of it.
When you see what they go through from training and discipline right through to deployment in war zones you soon understand why they are the way they are, they are trained to be soldiers and look out for one another.
My full respect goes out to ALL of our troops.
When are you back ASBO? my dad heads out to Afghanistan in March, attached to the RAF regiment at Lossimouth
Let’s just all try to cheer ASBO up as he counts down the days - send him a PM everyone, with a joke or a photo or just a few words. He’ll appreciate it & it might make the time pass a little less slowly.
I am in a position to make a constructive point, and I did. I can make comment on politics, sport and various other things I don’t do for a living too. I didn’t join the army as I wouldn’t be good at getting shot at or at shooting people. I’m happy to own up to that! I’m sure (well, I know) there are loads of amazing parts to the army, great fun, really good friends and getting to see some incredible things along with the bad. And to be honest the whole disciplined lifestyle and approach to life appeals quite a lot too, I’m just in no rush to go to a warzone! I can definately see why people join the army.
I take my hat/helmet off to you and all our troops. What you do and have to go through defies most layman’s imagination.
As previously said above I too, definitely do not agree with all the politics behind these wars but nevertheless I have total admiration for all our troops.
Keep your spirits up and know that we all want you back safe and sound with your sense of humour intact.
See you soon