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Muddy Waters

British soldiers love to complain about not being properly equipped. They buy mail order equipment to replace the gear Her Majesty has issued to them. They swap stuff for foreign-issued kit. As I was once told, the time to worry is when they aren’t bitchin’. However, sometimes they have a point. Who would send soldiers to help with flood relief without giving them wellies or waders? Sadly, the answer seems to be the British Army. Or, more particularly, the 1st Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Many of the ill-equipped squaddies found themselves relegated to the role of spectators as villagers of Waysbury basically dealt with the flood themselves. Other soldiers plunged into the water in their army boots. That can’t be good for the boots and it might have been cheaper to stop off at a mega-market somewhere between Tidworth camp and Waysbury to buy some wellies. Full marks to the Fusiliers for can-do attitude. Not so full marks for everything else. Can-do attitude only gets people so far. The tools for the job are also an important component of success. And lets throw in a little application of grey matter.  It could a good thing for the brains trust that put the Fusiliers' flood relief operation together that it seems possible in 2015 that for the first time in more than 40 years the British Army is not on active service somewhere in the world. Perhaps 2015 will allow the Army to catch its collective breath and take a hard look at itself. A much needed hard look.


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