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Sunday, December 04, 2005

D . I . S . C . O

With Christmas leave rapidly approaching it was time for the 'All Ranks Do'. This is the time honoured tradition of putting everyone, regardless of rank, in one place - adding copious quantities of alcohol and sitting back to watch the fun and games.

Army functions are usually separated by rank.

The Officers will have a 'Ball' - spending lots of money on overpriced marquees, overpriced wine and the occasional naff tribute band.

The Sergeants and Warrant Officers have a similiar function but they spend their money more wisely. Nothing like a bit of Sumo Wrestling to make for a good night.

The Junior NCO's and privates have no money to spend on entertainment so they just get lashed.

The All Ranks Do is therefore a unique occasion. Young Officers have to meet and make conversation with the spouses and girlfriends of their troops - always good for a giggle. Sergeants spend the whole night looking anxiously at their troops - hoping beyond hope that it won't be Private Jones who, after eight pints of Stella, decides to tell the Company Commmander exactly what he thinks of him. And most of the young soldiers - partnerless for the evening - stand around looking bored and waiting to get down town on the pull.

If I remember rightly the tally for that years All Ranks Do (colloquially known as the All Ranks Punch Up) was something along the lines of:

1 broken marriage.
1 broken nose.
2 undiscovered (well by the husbands at least) infidelities.
2 smugly happy but slightly concerned they might get found out soldiers.
645 very hungover soldiers.


Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...


Soldiers gyrating like wanna-be John Travoltas in Saturday Night Fever. :-D

12:38 pm  
Blogger Cheryl said...

And all in the name of team building and jolly good fun, huh!

Human beings are fun to watch, but I wouldn't want to be one.... hic durr blurble.

12:47 pm  
Anonymous Growing Up said...

It must have been a good night then.

12:51 pm  
Anonymous fjl said...

Looking at the records of the B troop Hussars ( The Duke of Clarence and etc.) it's interesting to see how nothing really changes. I suppose you see the rank difference, as of old, when it comes to the fines. For instance Prince Eddy, when a lieutenant, was fined a crate of champagne per misdemeanor, not that it mattered much, as the King supplied the 10th regiment anyway. It's interesting to see just how trivial the champagne offenses were- not wearing his belt, i.e. acting as if he knew better than Brummel; speaking out of turn etc with the simplest of went to supply the Officers' parties- presumably...

1:07 pm  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

GG you've seen me dancing then ;)

Cheryl - exactly.

Growing Up - oh yes.

FJL - the 'fines' still exist in the Messes. The wise ensure they have a suitable receptacle under the table to avoid getting a fine for retiring to the toilet before the loyal toast.

2:21 pm  
Blogger Homer said...

Wot, no enforced naked wrestling? Are the BBC lying to us again?

3:07 pm  
Anonymous fjl said...

It seems to me they like to boom out impromptu disciplinary action and fine on an ad hoc basis, to suit themselves! :-) And the more they can make a show of the power structure and cause merriment at the expense of the weary debtor the better. The punishment only fits the crime in the case of Princes, who have to suffer with the rest- contrary to popular opinion!

3:46 pm  
Blogger gonorr said...

Oh joy of joys.
Many happy memories reading this.
Did Jones tell the boss what he thought of him?

7:33 pm  
Blogger Mr. Matt said...

D = Drunk
I = Idiotic
S = Soldiers
C = Create
O = Obscurity

Yes I know of these events last time I was at one I was a hair away from getting it to a huge brawl. Luckily I wasen't any drunker and I walked away.

8:05 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

My god, what a truly terrifying form of entertainment - a military version of the office party, and twice as nervewracking. Your army seems to be a really masochistic organisation.

9:27 am  
Anonymous Pat said...

One of th joys of getting old is that you can admit you find parties a big fat bore. Spitting vol au vents when you talk, not knowing whether someone has just told you they've just had a baby or their mother has just died - the noise is so deafening - and the horror of remembering what you said to the man next door and the greater horror of not remembering what you did afterwards. Another cup of cocoa please desr!

10:13 am  
Blogger fjl said...

Hi again- just to say I have moved to blogland and my blog-site is up and running! Still unpacking the boxes. Come visit my blog and have your say...;0)
I will be doing the links later today, and will be adding yours. Link to me x

10:48 am  
Blogger greavsie said...

Well I suppose it's either a punch up or a mass pisstake of the 'Gay Gordons'

12:26 pm  
Anonymous Z said...

So not much different than any other work place do then. Except for the uniforms? Or maybe you get to go civvie? and I should stop watching perid dramas. ;)
And colour - you've gone all colour on us! BTW - did you create that picture yourself ;)

5:34 pm  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Homer - we leave all that to the marines. Actually there was good piece about what really went on in the Observer:,6903,1657266,00.html

FJL - it would be great to be a fly on the wall at 2Lt Wales' first mess function.

Gonorr - quite possibly - can't remember much myself ;)

Mr Matt - watching from the sidelines is much more fun than joining in!

Nick - probably not that much worse than any normal office party.

Pat - I take two sugars with mine.

Greavsie - I've never fancied Gordon - not even a little bit.

Z - I tried it in black and white and it looked rubbish. Normal monochrome will be returning soon ;)

5:56 pm  
Blogger Brom said...

Never knew they did an "All ranks" 'do', the possibilities it throws up are endless. (Oh there was no pun intended there... I just wasn't sure how to spell conjours correctly!)

I know people have said it before but your illustrations are spot on US! nice one!

6:29 pm  

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