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  • The importance of Esprit de Corps.

    I have copied below two interesting views on frontline experience in Iraq which show up how important Esprit de Corps is to a fighting unit.

    The first below is from an older male soldier in a very large unit that recruits from various catchement areas and the second is from a young woman from the Royal Anglians which recruits mainly from a well-defined geographical area- East Anglia.

    Note how the oldier soldier makes heavy going of his experience while the young girl makes light of hers. Probably not co-incidentally, the young lady received an award for individual bravery. This young girl reminds me of the competitive and "can do" spirit that prevailed within the Rhodesian Police and Army in my day.


    1. Older Soldier.
    I was unfortunate enough to have witnessed an American Humvee travelling directly behind us destroyed in a device which our ECM suppressed but initiated on their vehicle resulting in 2 fatalities.
    As for the heat - it was a war in Iraq - cold weather kit was hardly on the packing list and they don't make armoured refrigerators.


    There is much more of this in the same vein.




    Now Compare:

    Katrina Hodge, 22, certainly doesn’t look as if she’s wrestled an Iraqi to the floor with her bare hands. In fact, in a black silk dress and kitten heels at the Johannesburg Hyatt in South Africa, her billet last week for the Miss World finals, the current Miss England looks as if she might have difficulty shutting down a stroppy chihuahua. She’s not even sure she likes the word “wrestled”. “Pleeeeease don’t use it,” she squeals. “The word I’ve been given permission to use by the army is ‘used reasonable force’. ‘Wrestled’ makes me sound like a brute!”

    Anyway, said wrestling happened in 2005, on tour in Iraq, during a routine search in Basra, because Lance-Corporal Hodge is not only an international beauty queen, but she is also a serving soldier based in Aldershot, Surrey. At barely 18, she had just been sent to fight in the Middle East, an experience she found “hot, very dusty, a challenge which made me grow up very fast”. Especially when, driving along a road one day, “our vehicle was unexpectedly involved in a road traffic accident”, she recalls. “We rolled over three times but when we came to, an Iraqi had taken our weapons.”

    She promptly retrieved the weapons and, after “giving him a whack” and restraining him — La Senza underwear, since you ask — she saved the lives of her comrades, an act of bravery that earned her a commendation.

    “To me, it was nothing special. It’s the job. The training,” she says now. Actually, she’s not naturally aggressive — “No, not at all!” she trills — which suddenly makes me wonder whether she’s killed anyone. She can’t go into detail, she says. What does she feel like when she fires a gun, then? Whoo-hoo? “I don’t want to answer that either,” she says. “But try paintballing. It’s just the same.”

    She admits that she started enjoying Iraq only “towards the end”, but to be honest I don’t think dusty, stressful places are entirely her thing because when I ask her where else she’d like to serve, she replies, “anywhere with a beach and plenty of shopping”, which doesn’t sound quite like Afghanistan to me. Anyway, she says she’ll go there if she’s required, “but obviously I’m not desperate”, besides, it is not a “war”, she says. “It’s peace-keeping. Doesn’t she ever get frightened? “No, because it’s what I’m trained to do. I’ve always been a determined, decisive character.”

    So is she a feminist? “No, I’m not. A lot of people think I am because of what I do. I’m very girl power, but I’m not a feminist as such. I don’t feel I have to prove myself as a female, but I enjoy challenging stereotypes.” Besides, in 10 years’ time, she hopes to “get a house, maybe married with kids”, she says. I ask her if she has a boyfriend and she says: “I like to keep my personal life private. I don’t like to comment about partners,” so
    I ask her if she has a girlfriend instead, and she screams with laughter, squealing: “I am straight! Very straight! I realise I used the word ‘partner’ there. Ha-ha-ha.”
    She is now negotiating a six-month career break so she can tour the country as Miss England, spreading world peace. After that, she’ll go back to the army. She’s in, she says, for the long run. “I still enjoy my job so I’m going to carry on doing it as long as I enjoy it, up to 22 years.” Still, something tells me that this girl is, at heart, more of a beauty queen than a soldier. When I ask her if she worries about getting injured, she says: “What do you mean, break a nail? Well, obviously I’d have to cope with it.”


    I just love that -- "what do you mean, break a nail".
    I think it is more than one up for the Royal Anglians- I know who I would prefer to be in a tight corner with.

    Tim Horgan
    timhorgan
    Banned User
    Last edited by timhorgan; 16 March 2010, 12:25.

  • #2
    RGJ is the older soldier isnt he? I could swear I remember reading that sentence somewhere on the board before...

    what are you trying to start?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by CS Gass View Post
      RGJ is the older soldier isnt he? I could swear I remember reading that sentence somewhere on the board before...

      what are you trying to start?
      CS

      "History is Philosophy teaching by examples.” - Thucydides.

      For some reason Thucydides " History of The Peloponnesian War" was on our reading list in Rhodesia- I still love it. If you have not read it- which I doubt- do it as soon as you can.

      Hedgehog will surely have a copy as he is a Classics man- WB "Cast a Cold Eye"- and all that.

      Tim
      timhorgan
      Banned User
      Last edited by timhorgan; 16 March 2010, 13:48.

      Comment


      • #4
        L/Cpl whatsherface did something brave indeed, but it should be clarified that she is not in the Royal Anglian Regiment, and nor is she an infantryman - she is a clerk who was attached to the Royal Anglian Regiment. She was put in that position only because she was a female, and female searchers were needed. It wasn't her job, and she wouldn't have spent 6 months doing it. She got a commendation for doing something far beyond what was expected of her - if one of the infantrymen there had done it the best he might have gotten from it was a drink bought for him as a result of the story.

        Comment


        • #5
          i dunno what you are getting at Tim but are you making some of this up?

          Aldershot is in the county of Hampshire - not Surrey (I know this because I am based and live in Aldershot)!

          There are no women 'in' the Royal Anglians because they are Infantry and the British Infantry do not allow women in their Infantry. she may have been a clerk attached to 2 R ANGLIAN.

          beside the technicalities of your post - we have massive Esprit de Corps in our units - mostly because we do things and deploy as formed units / battalions and it is highly encouraged within the ranks. even the US Army and Marines who we have worked with admired our Esprit de Corps and how we have very distinct names and traditions for our battalions / regiments instead of just generic numbers (i.e. 2nd Battalion The Rifles or the Royal Horse Artillery versus the 27th Infantry Battalion or the 2nd Field Artillery Regiment) - it's hard to harness pride and traditions in just a number.

          we all fly the flag for our battalions / regiments / units and we base a lot of this on our achievements as formed units.

          we are proud of what we do and we are encouraged to show it. i was speaking to an Irish DF lad last night who told me he was threatened with being charged because he had a picture of him in uniform on Facebook whilst we are encouraged to get our pictures in uniform / at work / at play in the army on there (don't give me that bo||ox about security - our soldiers face much more of a threat than yours).

          and where are you going with the comments i made about the unfortunate US soldiers i saw killed in the vehicle without any ECM cover behind ours?
          RoyalGreenJacket
          Commander in Chief
          Last edited by RoyalGreenJacket; 16 March 2010, 13:16.
          RGJ

          ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

          The Rifles

          Comment


          • #6
            [QUOTE=RoyalGreenJacket;292430]i
            Aldershot is in the county of Hampshire - not Surrey (I know this because I am based and live in Aldershot)!

            Sorry RGJ, I should have mentioned that this article was a direct quote from the Times.
            I thought you might have been at Kiwi Camp. (Only reason I mention that is that I have been invited down that way for a bit of May-fly fishing in a few months).



            There are no women 'in' the Royal Anglians because they are Infantry and the British Infantry do not allow women in their Infantry. she may have been a clerk attached to 2 R ANGLIAN.

            Of course, she was a Military Clerk in the Adjutant-Generals Corps attached to the Anglians.


            But I still stand by my remarks about her "can do" attitude- as I say, takes me back.


            Tim
            timhorgan
            Banned User
            Last edited by timhorgan; 16 March 2010, 14:00.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by timhorgan View Post
              CS

              "History is Philosophy teaching by examples.” - Thucydides.

              For some reason Thucydides " History of The Peloponnesian War" was on our reading list in Rhodesia- I still love it. If you have not read it- which I doubt- do it as soon as you can.

              Hedgehog will surely have a copy as he is a Classics man- WB "Cast a Cold Eye"- and all that.

              Tim
              I'm actually here at my desk trying to read Thucydides (though I've only reached the dispute over Potidaea) at least I was until I came on here
              Are you stalking me?

              Comment


              • #8
                anyhow i don't get what the comparison is between an old and bold soldier like me and a young soldier like LCpl Hodge?

                both incidents you refer to are taken from totally different contexts.

                when it comes to Esprit de Corps - Riflemen have it in buckets full.

                do you think me or any of our lads haven't been in similar situations?

                infact, once i had to appear in court in Northern Ireland (i was flown back from Cyprus) to face the music over a very similar incident.

                one of our un-official regimental motto's is - "...once a Rifleman...always a Rifleman..." - it's even tattooed on my arm as well as countless numbers of Riflemen past and present.

                so trust me - Esprit de Corps is rife here.

                anyhow - LCpl Hodge scrubs up pretty well alright but i've seen far nicer than her in the British Army.
                RoyalGreenJacket
                Commander in Chief
                Last edited by RoyalGreenJacket; 16 March 2010, 16:25.
                RGJ

                ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

                The Rifles

                Comment


                • #9
                  Tattooed on your arm? do u also have a mother , homeward bound or death before dishonour ONE . Too predictable . By the way the most northerly part of “Northern Ireland’ is in Southern Ireland. Your queen decided on that one.. but on the other hand the six counties is another thing and I am not a provo or Sinn Fein supporter or even a geography teacher ..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    thanks for that random input Bandit!
                    RGJ

                    ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

                    The Rifles

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm reliably informed this is RGJ's back,

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        but 'i'm black and i'm proud'...
                        RGJ

                        ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

                        The Rifles

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think mr Horgan may be trolling the forums.
                          Facts are meaningless - you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            i dunno where he was going with this thread Darksaga but if he thinks a clerk attached to an infantry battalion who decks an Iraqi has more Esprit de Corps than a soldier who has devoted his life to being a Rifleman and involved in many different situations all over the world then he has no idea of the meaning of the term.

                            happy Paddy's Day to you all anyhow lads!
                            RoyalGreenJacket
                            Commander in Chief
                            Last edited by RoyalGreenJacket; 17 March 2010, 08:47.
                            RGJ

                            ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

                            The Rifles

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RoyalGreenJacket View Post
                              i dunno where he was going with this thread Darksaga but if he thinks clerk attached to an infantry battalion who decks an Iraqi has more Esprit de Corps than a soldier who has devoted his life to being a Rifleman and involved in many different situations all over the world then he has no idea of the meaning of the term.

                              happy Paddy's Day to you all anyhow lads!

                              I got the impression that he was being complimentary ,comparing old with new and the fact that she although a clerk ( and minor celeb ) still managed to do something out of the norm for her and still shrug it off, even though shes a "women" in a "mans" army she is proud of what she does. Is that not esprit de corps

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