9. Against the odds
The Young Canadian Signaller ran across the field towards the HQ, in 4” snow and with his webbing and rifle he made clumsy but steady progress. As he got to within 50 yards of the HQ position he was started shouting “SIR! SIR!”. The RSM was the 1st out of the temporary Command dugout, with a look of fury on his face and his hand on his Pistol holster, he bellowed “STAND STILL!”. The Soldier white as the snow about him, lurched to a rapid halt but 8 yards away from the RSM, the Sergeant Major himself calmly removed his pistol and levelled it at the Soldier.
“State the Codeword” said the RSM, the soldier scrunched up his memory and was trying to remember the Password “BANFF, sir”.
“DROP YOUR WEAPON DOWN ON THE GROUND NOW!” the RSM Screamed at the top of his lungs.
“Sir...Sir...I’m sorry I know it was yesterdays” The Soldier stammered.
“SILENCE! PROVOST! ARREST THIS MAN”
The Provost ran over, Weapon at his shoulder aimed at the terrified Soldier just in front of the RSM. “YES SIR!” replied the Provost and his Corporal.
The Soldier whimpered “Sir, there is a message for the......” “SHUT UP” shouted the Provost.
The RSM turned “What kind of a Soldier doesn't know the Daily changing Codeword? We have fifth columnists all over the place attacking us, killing HQ units and assassinating our Command and Control elements and you run around like a headless chicken screaming your head-off!”.
“Si-Sir-Sir....” the soldier’s incoherent babble was interrupted by Captain McWade’s appearance.
“Ah Lewis why are you here?” asked McWade evenly.
“Sir, the-the, TAC-HQ, it was hit” replied the Soldier tentatively “The brigadier was there sir, his helicopter was destroyed and he’s....dead sir....”
The silence lasted 10 seconds, before the RSM realising the precarious position of morale
and the soldiers deep seated unease he needed to settle all the nerves before this panicked the troops. “Right Lad, stand up straight, you are not under arrest. We are in the military son, no one man matters more than another that’s why we have a chain of command. If the Brigadier dies, then the Chief of Staff takes over, if he falls, the next most Senior Officer takes over. There is always someone else in the chain of command never forget that, even if it means a 100 Privates lead by a Corporal. So don’t panic, stay calm, don’t breath a word of this to anyone else, it undermines morale and reminds them of losses. Clear?”
“Yes Sir” replied the Soldier Sheepishly.
“And if I ever catch you not knowing the Codeword again, I will put a bullet in you myself. Now get back to the Signal section...” replied the RSM in a threatening tone.
As the soldier moved away back to the signal section at top speed, McWade turned around and looked at the RSM “Just when you think things cannot get any worse” He said flippantly,
The RSM face turned to Thunder and he quietly said “Sir, you speak like that in front of the Troops and I’ll stick a bullet in you too. Morale is on a knife edge, everything you say and even things you don’t will be pulled apart by the troops. So you’d better sort those smart ass comments out. We have a Million tons of Armour and a 1million troops coming our way and they want to annihilate us”.
“Point taken” replied McWade respectfully, even though he outranked Sergeant Major Wilson, no one crossed Wilson as he was one of the toughest men in the Brigade and he had the ear of both the Colonel and the brigadier. The RSM satisfied his point was made, nodded slightly, holstered his pistol and replied “It better be. Right, I’m off to inform Colonel Lynn that he is now in Command of the Brigade” said the RSM marching towards the Command Dugout to find the Chief of Staff and let him know the good news.
CMBG - Update
In light of this new Canadian Chapter - Some more lovely looking Canadian Forces from Colonel Rusty... What do you all think? I really like them, the use of decals and weathering has been done in a particularly nice way.
Saw this..........enough said.