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  1. #1
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    mindless tasks...

    I was reading a piece by Kevin McStay in the sports pages about his time in the Army and he mentions getting detailed for a cleaning / punishment detail for having committed the crime of writing a leave request in green biro, as a cadet. Now, to me, that's mindless shite of the highest order. In my time, I was variously punished for equally petty misdemeanours and had to empty a coal bunker, whitewash it and refill it; whitewash rocks that marked the edges of roads in the Camp; endlessly polish the same corridors and so on. Any one care to list their experiences of mindless tasks, either as a spunishment detail or not.

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    Hostage Flamingo's Avatar
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    It's not confined to the army (although in the example you give of the cadet, it teaches attention to detail, if nothing else!)

    When I was a student nurse, in one department, if it was quiet, a certain staff nurse used to make us take all the (folded) sheets out of the linen cupboard and open them out and refold them in the opposite fold.

    At least whitewashing the coal shed wasn't a total waste of time!

    In the subject of painting kerbs, a chap I knew who had served in Germany told me a story that once, someone he knew was painting kerbs before a camp inspection. To his horror, he kicked the can of paint over on the road, and not knowing what else to do, just painted a wide white stripe all the way across the road. Nobody commented, and he got away with it.

    A few year later he was passing through the same camp, another inspection was coming up, and the stripe was still there, freshly repainted!

    But the old adage still applies; "You shouldn't have joined if you can't take a joke!"
    Last edited by Flamingo; 30th September 2019 at 11:18.
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

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  5. #3
    Recruit Poiuyt's Avatar
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    Going on the ground for a few days. Sections were issued SINCGARS C radios. I had the course done so I started setting it up only to find that it was dead, even when the battery was changed - couldn't get it to work so I handed it back in looking for another one, no others in stores so told to forget about it.

    Trucks arrive, we load up and as the truck are about to pull out, someone comes running out of stores saying we left a radio behind. Ordered us to take it. Of course, the radio was just the R/T unit - no aerial, batteries or handset. So, for the next few days we had to lug this useless piece of crap all over the place. That wasn't the worst.

    When we finally made it to the base camp, a count of equipment was made - we had X number of radios but 1 was missing an aerial, batteries & handset. No amount of explaining would convince the Sergeant that these items were in the stores and that the radio wouldn't work. So, an entire search of kit was ordered....for the whole exercise. Everyone had to search their kit for the missing aerial, batteries & handset. This went on for the next few days - every couple of hours a search was ordered and kit would have to be taken out of racksacks, webbing etc. and every item had to be displayed. Every item was counted and recounted. Patrols were sent back down the road we came up in case the missing aerial, batteries & handset had fallen out of the trucks. We would have to leave the base camp with all our gear for an search and then walk side by side through the basecamp looking for the missing items. This went on for days. I was questioned several times as to the sequence of events and how I had "Lost" the aerial, batteries & handset. You would think that someone would ring back to stores and see if the items were there but no, someone up high was convinced the aerial, batteries & handset had left the barracks and they had been lost.

    The exercise continued. After each part of the exercise, we had to search again for the aerial, batteries & handset. And all the time I was still carrying the blasted SINCGARS.

    So we eventually arrived back into barracks. I had been absolutely convinced that we would have to walk the entire distance from the exercise area to the barracks checking the ditches on either side of the road looking for the aerial, batteries & handset.

    But guess where they turned up........in stores. Exactly where they had been left.
    Last edited by Poiuyt; 30th September 2019 at 11:38.

  6. #4
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    It's not confined to the army (although in the example you give of the cadet, it teaches attention to detail, if nothing else!)

    When I was a student nurse, in one department, if it was quiet, a certain staff nurse used to make us take all the (folded) sheets out of the linen cupboard and open them out and refold them in the opposite fold.

    At least whitewashing the coal shed wasn't a total waste of time!

    In the subject of painting kerbs, a chap I knew who had served in Germany told me a story that once, someone he knew was painting kerbs before a camp inspection. To his horror, he kicked the can of paint over on the road, and not knowing what else to do, just painted a wide white stripe all the way across the road. Nobody commented, and he got away with it.

    A few year later he was passing through the same camp, another inspection was coming up, and the stripe was still there, freshly repainted!

    But the old adage still applies; "You shouldn't have joined if you can't take a joke!"
    The Queen thinks everything smells like fresh paint and don’t stand still or you will be painted

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  8. #5
    Hostage Flamingo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poiuyt View Post
    Going on the ground for a few days. Sections were issued SINCGARS C radios. I had the course done so I started setting it up only to find that it was dead, even when the battery was changed - couldn't get it to work so I handed it back in looking for another one, no others in stores so told to forget about it.

    Trucks arrive, we load up and as the truck are about to pull out, someone comes running out of stores saying we left a radio behind. Ordered us to take it. Of course, the radio was just the R/T unit - no aerial, batteries or handset. So, for the next few days we had to lug this useless piece of crap all over the place. That wasn't the worst.

    When we finally made it to the base camp, a count of equipment was made - we had X number of radios but 1 was missing an aerial, batteries & handset. No amount of explaining would convince the Sergeant that these items were in the stores and that the radio wouldn't work. So, an entire search of kit was ordered....for the whole exercise. Everyone had to search their kit for the missing aerial, batteries & handset. This went on for the next few days - every couple of hours a search was ordered and kit would have to be taken out of racksacks, webbing etc. and every item had to be displayed. Every item was counted and recounted. Patrols were sent back down the road we came up in case the missing aerial, batteries & handset had fallen out of the trucks. We would have to leave the base camp with all our gear for an search and then walk side by side through the basecamp looking for the missing items. This went on for days. I was questioned several times as to the sequence of events and how I had "Lost" the aerial, batteries & handset. You would think that someone would ring back to stores and see if the items were there but no, someone up high was convinced the aerial, batteries & handset had left the barracks and they had been lost.

    The exercise continued. After each part of the exercise, we had to search again for the aerial, batteries & handset. And all the time I was still carrying the blasted SINCGARS.

    So we eventually arrived back into barracks. I had been absolutely convinced that we would have to walk the entire distance from the exercise area to the barracks checking the ditches on either side of the road looking for the aerial, batteries & handset.

    But guess where they turned up........in stores. Exactly where they had been left.
    That brings me back to the number of times we went from fully tactical to having every torch and vehicle light switches on while we looked for yet another @#£% missing SA80 magazine that had dropped off somebody's weapon in the dark...
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

  9. #6
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    I was reading a piece by Kevin McStay in the sports pages about his time in the Army and he mentions getting detailed for a cleaning / punishment detail for having committed the crime of writing a leave request in green biro, as a cadet. Now, to me, that's mindless shite of the highest order. In my time, I was variously punished for equally petty misdemeanours and had to empty a coal bunker, whitewash it and refill it; whitewash rocks that marked the edges of roads in the Camp; endlessly polish the same corridors and so on. Any one care to list their experiences of mindless tasks, either as a spunishment detail or not.
    Drill shed..Haulbowline.. floor scrubbed with tooth brush for infringements during recruits
    Time for another break I think......

  10. #7
    Commander in Chief apod's Avatar
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    Scraping paint off copper pipes under sinks with coins (no wire wool etc) before brasso'ing them up because we fecked up on Pl Comdrs Saturday morning Inspection.

    A lad having to dig a full size grave to bury a shell casing after he had an ND.We had a funeral service for Rec. Bloggs who was "shot" and the Pln Sgt was the Priest!!

    Lads having to shine the inside of their polish tin lids until they could shave in them when they were put on show parade.

    And the most hated of all in the DF during training. Essay's. Double spaced and every line writtena different colour if you really messed up.

    Writing out lesson 2 on the Steyr by hand.Three times. Nice.(POTS cse "Corrective action").
    Infantry Corps - An Lámh Comhrac


    "Let us be clear about three facts:First of all.All battles and all wars are won in the end by the Infantryman.Secondly the Infantryman bears the brunt of the fighting,his casualties are heavier and he suffers greater extremes of fatigue and discomfort than the other arms.Thirdly,the art of the Infantryman is less stereotyped and harder to acquire than that of any other arm".
    -- Field Marshall Earl Wavell.1948

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  12. #8
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    Writing out the drill screed x3 because my buddy didnt know it. And a letter to an instructors mother because we couldnt spell his surname. Fun times

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  14. #9
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    A student on a pots course being made to wear the steyr under his jacket when marching to stores after losing the piston spring in the grass.
    German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
    German 2: Private? I am a general!
    German 1: That is the bad news.

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  16. #10
    BQMS Auldsod's Avatar
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    I remember a fun four page essay I had to do on the 'importance of head dress in the Defence Forces'. Fun times.

    Can you guess why I got it!?

  17. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auldsod View Post
    I remember a fun four page essay I had to do on the 'importance of head dress in the Defence Forces'. Fun times.

    Can you guess why I got it!?
    You were wearing a different hat to everyone else?
    German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
    German 2: Private? I am a general!
    German 1: That is the bad news.

  18. #12
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    As an NCO tasked by Adjt to get all civvy car regs on camp. Reported back with same. Then tasked to get tax details.

    Dev thinks ahead and gets insurance and NCT at same time. Reports back with same.

    This wasn’t a punishment/corrective action. For some reason, it was thought that there was an excess of NCOs on camp and we had nothing to do with ourselves (completely false!)... so I got to go back to what I should have been doing early.

  19. #13
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    Our local unit often did tactics, with wooden rifles, in nearby forestry. After a particularly successful morning, while returning tactically to vehicles, lead platoon ncos decide to take the initiative and set up ambush. With ok of pln cdr. Note, forestry was not exclusively used by us at this time.
    Successful ambush executed, cadre nco loses the plot, gets us all back on the truck, drives truck to other forestry used for tactical training, gets us all to debus, and sends all of us up the quiet country road again tactically, for a few miles. Then decides to call us all back, and marches us back to truck.
    The purpose? So we won't waste our own time pulling silly stunts like that again.
    I was barely a 2 star then. I loved it, we didnt often get a chance to drive through our home town in a truck, let alone a few times on a sunday afternoon.
    German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
    German 2: Private? I am a general!
    German 1: That is the bad news.

  20. #14
    BQMS Auldsod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    You were wearing a different hat to everyone else?
    Or none at all!

  21. #15
    Chief Casey Ryback
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    Brexit .
    Don't spit in my Bouillabaisse .

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  23. #16
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    @apod, a bunch of us were being shown how to dig a GPMG trench and everything was going well so people started to goof off and mess about and the Corporal threw a complete wobbly whehn one of the lads, after getting the nod for a smoke, flicked the butt into the trench. We had to bury "Private Butt", who was found dead on parade and render full honours and then fill in the trench / grave afterwards. Anyone who laughed or sniggered got to carry the GPMG up and down the hill at the double a few times.

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