Friday, February 11, 2005

Carry on Sergeant

The officer class of the British army has not had a good war. The Telegraph today reports on the cross-examination of one the 2 NCOs still being criminally prosecuted for hazing Iraqi looters. His defense is that he stopped the hazing as soon as he became aware of it. Asked why he failed to inform his superior officers of the problem, he replied as follows.

"There was no point in passing anything up the chain of command. It was the chain of command, who in my eyes were doing the wrongdoing and they were passing Iraqis down to us to do the same thing. I thought the higher-ups above me were in no fit state to do anything about it and report it to, so I dealt with it myself and I got rid of the problem."

Reminds me of an old British Army recruitment ad that posed the problem of how an officer could get 8 men across a wide stream using only one short length of rope, a plank of wood & a rock. If the reader could solve this they were invited to apply for Officer training. An old soldier wrote to the Times giving the correct British Army answer, which is at follows:

The officer carefully reviews the problem, analyzes the resources available, then turns to his NCO with the command: "Carry on Sergeant."