Thursday, August 24, 2017

Marching Up and Down

I was talking with some old mates about our experiences in the 'Service'. It is a fact of military life that farm boys and wenches, should they wish to serve the Monarch in a profession of arms capacity as footsoldiers, cooks and water-carriers, need a great deal of work just to get them to stand upright and walk in step. Even at a leisurely pace. 

Such is the beginnings of Discipline and Teamwork. It takes time even to get to Squire.

Same goes for Knights, when they start out. Squires often have aspiration. But new Knight-wannabees have to be taught the ropes as well as the lance and sword and well before being let loose, a'horse. The cavalry line is hard to maintain.

This is what most wannabees look like.

When the Commander says, "Hold the Line: Stay with me", it is a hard won skill.

The Marching is the mark of the man. It makes discipline. 

So who does it best? We may all have our own view, but for me, the French Foreign Legions march like Men. They walk: they swagger oh so slightly. They take their time. It is a pace for men who have marched a very long way.

You do not mess with men like this.

It is very unlike the Russian troop in training. Like the Americans, they march to a 'cadence'. 

The Swiss like a bit of music too. 

Mind you, the Americans are not unaffected by Barbie but do it slightly differently. Often they like to march on the seat of their pants.

Those guys do not maintain the Marine standard. But they do have the Mojo down more tunefully.

Colourful lot.

Take a look at the Legions again for a moment before we have a right laugh. These men seem not to care a jot. But they do.  They 'roll' along, with shoulders doing a lot of the work. Their stride is long. Their movements are almost defiant. Insubordinate. But they are not.

 No, not laught at these fine chaps, but perhaps these......

Now lest you think I am taking a rise, I have to point out that you must be one tough son of a ..... to march through the streets in a fluffy petticoat. And shoes with an 'f'in' great pompom.

Every force has at least one who just cannot get it.  The tick-tock soldier. The totally uncoordinated and uncoordinatable ones. The Directing Staff breakfasts have more stories of these people than bacon and eggs.

You don't believe it?

I suspect Maximus faced a few or those in his time.

It can be quite stirring coming across a lot of chaps going about their business with 'push'. (Here you might notice one near the front who still has not got it.) But the entire mob will carry him a very long way at that pace. The cadence is Samoan.

Yes, training is arduous, with a lot of shouting and marching up and down.

But eventually a chap 'graduates' and is allowed to go forth and kill the enemy (under supervision of course). But before he leaves he can tell the directing staff just what they think of the process.


I have barrels to connect up and tables to wipe.



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