Military Shenanigans.......


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Nov 25, 2020
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Nottinghamshire, UK
So, for those who don't already know, I am an ex-serviceman and spent 7 years serving in the British Army. The military gets to do and see things that civilians never will, and as such, forces personnel have some pretty wild tales to tell.

How many of our members are also ex-military? Do you have a tale to tell that gives the other members an insight into military life?

As I started the thread, I will tell you one of many tales from my time in service.......

I started my military career in the Territorial Army in 1988. I was a member of the Assault Pioneer Platoon, 7 (V) Royal Anglian Regiment, based in Peterborough. For just over 2 1/2 years, and before I went into the regular Army in 1991, I specialised in explosives including mine clearance, booby traps and demolitions (yes..... I am THAT friend who was taught by the MoD how to make thermite and other explosive concoctions from common grocery products :cool:) and reached the rank of Lance Corporal.

In 1990, I attended a large military exercise which was held in Munich, Germany to provide battle simulations (BATSIMS). Basically, for a week I simulated machine gun fire, mortar fire, ballistic missile strikes and as a finale just before ENDEX, a nuclear strike simulation.

On this particular day, I was simulating incoming enemy mortar fire for various fire teams doing fire and maneuvers on a bunker down an 800m range. The basic brief was, in their teams, they would assault a bunker, 600m downrange and on top of a small hill. Once they received their debrief, they then had to run 600m back down the range as enemy troops had called in mortar fire, and that is where I came in. Using 1 pound charges of PE4 plastic explosives, 30 second safety fuses, heat detonators and ignited by hand via match fusee, each team would be 'hit' by 6 charges as they ran down the range. My signal by the Platoon Sergeant from 5 Royal Anglian, who was in charge of the simulations, was to indicate the lighting of the charges by raising his right hand into the air.

What could go wrong with that plan........?! :eek:

The day went on with no incidents and we finally came to the last group to go through the exercise. They did their thing up to the bunker, taking it out with grenades, before having their debrief. As this was finishing, and 500m up range from me, somebody in the distance said something to the Platoon Sergeant and he acknowledged them - by raising his right hand into the air..........

Me, seeing this, started to light my charges.

Now, the safety distance for a pound charge of PE4, surface laid, is 10 meters. These guys were under 4 meters away when the first charge detonated..............

There was pandemonium, but the guys continued to run back down the range, passing each charge WAY too close as each one detonated, throwing dirt and stones in their general direction.

Once they had passed, and the Platoon Sergeant finally caught up with me red-faced and out of breath, I received my first ass-chewing of that day. It was not nice, and despite giving my account of what had happened, and the fact that this occurred because of the Sergeant's actions, I knew that it was not going to end here. And I was right.

Two hours later, my Platoon Commander, the Platoon Sergeant and I were in front of the Camp Commander and ass-chewing number two was received. Again, despite giving my account of what had happened, I was informed that I may face charges of misconduct, which I felt was very unjust. Just as the meeting was winding up, the Officer from the final group came into the Commander's tent. Great, I thought, could this get any worse?

The Officer was not at all angry - in fact, the complete opposite. He congratulated the Commander on how realistic the training exercise had been and how his troops had not stopped talking about how much they actually enjoyed the event. There were some other pleasantries before the Officer departed.

The silence killed me! The Commander finally spoke and released me from any potential charges of misconduct and suggested (i.e. ordered...!) that the Sergeant and I revised our communication means for the setting off of explosives in the future, and without any further warnings, if this happened again, we would face immediate charges. We were then dismissed.

I never got an apology from the Sergeant, who actually tried to avoid me like the plague for the rest of our time at camp. Nothing else went drastic in any way after this event and the nuclear simulation was spectacular!!!!

Now, here is the difference between civilians and military personnel. Civilian friends, who I have told this tale to, gasp and mutter under their breath, normally with a look of shock on their faces.......

.......Military personnel find this tale highly hilarious!!! :tearsofjoy: :tearsofjoy:
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Truth Seeker
Oct 14, 2017
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sending newbies to 2nd platoon to get back the automatic foxhole digger or bangalore blank adapter or other such nonsense...who would then send them to either another platoon or straight to H.Q where the would then be put on some grisly detail like sweeping sunshine off the sidewalk by the Sgt. Major for being so gullible.... some of the best stories though come from the ranges or jumps and time in the field.... your right about civilians not understanding, i think though that while " in" you develop a twisted sense of humor only brothers at arms will understand. and a vocabulary that certainly raises eyebrows if not kept control
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Art Bell fan
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Oct 4, 2015
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I enjoyed reading these. I have great respect for those who serve. Titch you really know how to tell an account. I can so picture this. Thanks for sharing.