I was in Germany with the British Army on the Rhine (BAOR). I was a newly commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, seconded to 1st Armoured Division near Herford. My job was to lead (that's a joke; Ask any soldier what the most dangerous thing is in war. He'll answer "A 2nd Lieutenant with a map") a small detachment from my based-in-Britain regiment to a major CPX (a Command Post exercise on the large training grounds nearby)
But I always kept the SMG slung over my shoulder.
- That's a really funny plume in your hat (The RIR wear a green feather, called a plume, on their berets, behind their cap badges.)
- Are their any really odd traditions I should be aware of, if I visit your Mess.
"Been kissing some diseased women, Lieutenant?'he asked.
The Doc also insisted that I be tested for various STDs. "Don't want to take any chances that your John Thomas will fall off and rot" he said in a very loud and booming voice.
Much to the amusement of the other soldiers in the beds in the ward. It was a mixed ward, and I was the only officer.
Then I had a visit from the MPs.
I had visions of mass mutiny, mass Danish tourist kidnapping, mass almost anything except following orders.
"Yes" I said, "It's under this blanket"
"Do you know it's against regulations to have a weapon inside the hospital area?" "Sir"
These guys could make "SIR" sound like a communicable disease, Which in fact I was at the moment.
"No Corporal", "I didn't"
"Well it is Sir", he said smugly.
"F*ck" I had gotten so used to the bloody thing that I had forgotten I still had it on.
Back to armoury to return it. Of course the Armoury Sergeant insisted I strip, clean and oil it before he would accept it.
So running very late I didn't have time to get a good shower before I changed into civvies and got a taxi to the Airport.
It got me rather curious looks (and sniffs) from other passengers, and I noticed that the poor sod sitting next to was looking aghast at my appearance, and that his eyes were starting to water.
They shouldn't have lost the bloody war.
Next: My Big Throbbing Black Friend
Later: Morphine is nice