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Thread: Aussie special forces immune to cancer

  1. #1
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    Default Aussie special forces immune to cancer

    plus ça change ...

    The more things change, the more they remain the same.

    Army buries the beret
    Dan Oakes
    August 20, 2010

    ICONIC berets worn by Australian troops on battlefields across the world and down through the decades will be seen no more.

    Chief of Army Ken Gillespie angered soldiers this week by ordering them — with the exception of special forces — to wear the slouch hat from now on.

    ‘‘He is not a popular man with the soldiers, I can tell you,’’ a soldier said of Lieutenant-General Gillespie.

    Photographs at the Australian War Memorial show how much a part of army life the berets have been: a cavalry corporal sporting Ray Ban sunglasses adjusts his beret while perched atop an armoured personnel carrier in Vietnam, 1971; an instructor lectures future tank commanders on gunnery drill at Puckapunyal in 1942; a young soldier laughs with East Timorese boys in a Dili street in 1999.

    The slouch hat is the primary form of headgear for the army, but armoured and aviation corps and military police also wear berets regularly . There has traditionally been some discretion allowed as to whether a unit sports a beret.

    As well as the historical reasons for troops wanting to retain their berets, there are practical considerations, with berets better suited to troops operating predominantly in vehicles.

    ‘‘Although this may seem a trivial matter for those outside of the army, I am predicting an unprecedented backlash from soldiers,’’ a second soldier told The Age. ‘‘For example, members of the battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment — who wear the rifle green beret — are banned from wearing their beret from mid-September.

    ‘‘I look forward to the Defence Science and Technology Organisation being employed to design hat racks for tanks, light armoured vehicles and Tiger helicopters.’’

    A Defence spokesman confirmed the order, but said several factors were relevant to the decision.

    ‘‘Berets are no longer to be worn as headdress with dress of the day by members of the Australian Army,’’ he said. ‘‘Berets may be authorised for wearing as headdress with ceremonial orders of dress under specific circumstances.

    ‘‘The decision has been made to ensure that measures are in place to ensure an appropriate balance between sun protection, heritage considerations and the wearing of the slouch hat, which is iconic and central to the Australian army’s image.’’

    Australian Defence Association executive director Neil James said the order could have practical implications, but the effect on morale would be softened somewhat by the leeway for ceremonial occasions.

    ‘‘It will be an interesting occupational health and safety experiment, particularly for the crews of armoured vehicles and helicopters,’’ he said.

    ‘‘But corps and units that wear berets will still be able to do so on ceremonial occasions, so it won’t have the emotional wrench that it might otherwise have had.’’
    My emphasis

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/ar...819-12s3q.html

    When I joined the reserves forty odd years ago my RSM (see next post - he was an institution in the RAAC) impressed upon me and the other recruit going off for basic training that the infantry ****s running the show would try to make us wear slouches instead of our armoured berets, and that if we wore a slouch he'd know about it and would make our lives a ****ing misery beyond ****ing belief when we returned to the unit. We would wear our berets with pride regardless of what the infantry and other instructor ****s did, or we weren't worthy of them. Also, he would make our lives a ****ing misery upon return to the unit.

    We got the message.

    We didn't wear slouches, although the infantry ****s running the show did try to make our lives a misery. Also the artillery **** major, and sundry others.

    Pride in an arm, branch or unit is instilled in many ways, and it relates to espirit de corps and morale and other things that help make them effective.

    Depriving people of those things will usually be counterproductive.

    I assume that this latest innovation has been generated by the defence zombies who recommend using scissors to fix up their latest equipment **** up, although they don't issue scissors in the basic kit, which presumably is designed by accountants and seamstresses.

    BAH!


    SOLDIERS in Afghanistan have complained that their government-issued equipment is failing during firefights with the Taliban and putting them at risk of injury or death.

    Leaked Defence Department documents reveal that four official complaints have been received from the Middle East and from training bases in Australia - one on May 7, and three from June 11-18 - about the standard-issue ammunition pouches soldiers must use.

    ''Soldiers have significant difficulty in removing their magazines from their issued … . pouch due to the pouch simply being too tight,'' said one complaint, obtained by The Age.

    ''This could lead to the lack of capability in a lethal environment causing unnecessary casualties or death.

    The Defence Department said it is developing new pouches in response to complaints and they should be issued by the end of the year.

    Meanwhile, army headquarters has ordered soldiers to use scissors to modify the pouches to eliminate a potentially dangerous defect.

    In two incidents in the past three months, soldiers have misplaced live rounds for blank rounds during training exercises because a divider in the pouch can ''hide'' a loose round at the bottom of the pouch.

    The rounds were accidentally loaded into a magazine when they was stuffed in the pouch.

    In one incident, on June 11, the official document reports: ''The RODUM [reports of defective or unsatisfactory materiel] identifies that a live round was found mixed in with blank ammunition in the . . . webbing of a trainee when being admitted to hospital.''

    ''The RODUM identifies that the divider folds could have concealed the live round during a range clearance from a previous live-round practice but cannot confirm this was the case in this instance.''

    Soldiers have been advised to cut the divider away, Defence admitted this week. Troops have also been advised to take more time to check the pouches for live rounds after range exercises.

    In May 2009, the military banned the use of non-issue pouches preferred by many soldiers on operations because a soldier was shot through the same kind of accident.

    The ban led to uproar among combat soldiers on online forums and a string of official complaints.

    In the latest such complaint, also obtained by The Age, combat soldiers in Afghanistan have warned the Defence Department's top brass that the problem is putting lives at risk.

    The leak follows an investigation in early May, which revealed troops were being issued with defective equipment because the Defence Materiel Organisation was riddled with questionable tender practices and incompetence.

    The Chief of Army, Lieutenant-General Ken Gillespie, and the head of the Defence Materiel Organisation, Stephen Gumley, put out a statement in response claiming they contained ''inferences'' that were inaccurate.

    In his statement, General Gillespie said the DMO ''provides safe, fit for purpose, high-quality clothing and personal equipment''.

    On June 1, he told a Senate estimates hearing that: ''The vast majority of troops acknowledged that they were among the best-equipped troops in the theatre. The inference is that, because we have some issues with pouches at the present time, we have let our soldiers down. I do not accept that.''

    Five days later, a combat soldier logged a formal complaint that the ''pouches fail to meet the operational usage required by infantry soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan''.

    ''The Land 125 Minimi magazine pouches as designed are not robust enough under operational conditions,'' it said.

    ''The link inside these pouches falls forward and de-seats causing an ammunition stoppage on the two in-service machineguns … denying the operator lethal effect.''

    In April 2009, a commanding officer in Oruzgan province, Major Michael Bassingthwaighte, wrote that equipment ''failed to meet the standard required for the deployment''.

    It was revealed in May that 90 per cent of Major Bassingthwaighte's soldiers bought gear at their own expense.
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/troop...817-128iw.html

    When I was in the reserves four decades ago about 100% of us bought our own equipment, and usually spent considerably more on it than we were paid for our army service.

    It looks like things are getting better for the regular army now.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 08-20-2010 at 09:43 AM.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Aussie special forces immune to cancer

    My RSM

    2887 WO 1 Percy White, O.A.M., D.C.M., S.S., C of G.


    Percy White was born in Sydney in 1925. He was a member of the Regiment since it’s formation.

    Percy enlisted into the Army in 1941 at the age of 15 ( under age) and served in the Artillery as an anti-aircraft gunner in Darwin.

    After stowing away on a ship, he served with the 2/23 Australian Infantry Battalion in Morotai, Tarakan and Borneo. He then served with the 66th Australian Infantry Battalion in the occupation of Japan.

    It was during his service in Japan that he observed the 1st Armoured Car Sqn and applied for transfer to the Australian Armoured Corps. He served with the Sqn until its return to Puckapunyal and the formation of 1st Armoured Regiment.

    Percy then served with the Regiment until 1951 where he was promoted to Sergeant and posted to the 14 National Service Battalion also at Puckapunyal.

    After two years he was again promoted to Temporary Warrant Officer and posted to the Army Apprentices School at Balcombe.

    In 1955 he was posted to Jungle Training Centre, Canungra where he served for four years as an instructor.

    He returned to Puckapunyal in 1959, posted to C Sqn as the S.S.M. 1st Armoured Regiment. He completed a four-year posting as S.S.M. This was followed by a posting to Forward Delivery Troop, Armoured Centre in 1963.

    In 1965 he was posted as an instructor to Officer training Unit Scheyville. After 12 months he was again posted to JTC, this time as an instructor for the Australian Army Training Team (AATTV) who were to deploy to SVN as advisers to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. (ARVN)

    In April 1967, Percy also deployed to Vietnam as a member of the AATV. He returned to Australia after his tour in May 1968. It was during this time that he was awarded the D.C.M. and Silver Star.

    Unfortunately the system cannot provide me with his Silver Star citation, but his D.C.M. reads as follows :

    Army Number: 2887

    Rank: Warrant Officer Class Two

    Christian Name: Percy

    Surname: WHITE

    Award: DCM

    Warrant Officer Percy White joined the Australian Army Training Team in Vietnam in March 1967. On 28 December he was serving as an adviser to a South Vietnamese armoured unit when the unit, with infantry, was ordered to attack. Warrant Officer White was on the lead vehicle when heavy enemy fire killed the commander of the vehicle, and another soldier. It also disabled the vehicle's radio. The infantry dismounted and attacked the enemy who were entrenched in a wooded fortified position. The infantry attack was halted by intense fire. Warrant Officer White, unable to communicate with the rest of his force, left the relative security of his armoured carrier and dashed forward over ground swept by enemy fire to assist the infantry commander who was without an adviser. He placed himself at the head of the troops and with complete disregard for his own safety set an example which led to the assault being successful.

    He again distinguished himself on 30 January 1968 when he volunteered to join a small reconnaissance party to an engineer compound which had been occupied by the enemy in Hoi An City. Having gained entry to the compound the six-man party became involved in a fierce fire fight. Although wounded, Warrant Officer White repeatedly exposed himself to the enemy so that he could better direct the fire and movement of a relief force over his radio. His outstanding bravery and leadership were a major factor in ejecting the enemy from the compound. On a number of other occasions, Warrant Officer White has shown outstanding conduct under fire. His leadership and personal bravery have been an inspiration to the Vietnamese troops and advisers with whom he has served and he has brought great credit on the Australian Army.
    PERCY WHITE

    IMPERIAL D.C.M.
    UNITED STATES SILVER STAR

    VIETNAM CROSS OF GALLANTRY


    On return from SVN he was promoted to Warrant Officer Class 1 and posted as RSM of 4/19 PWLH. Percy was then posted as RSM 1st Armoured Regiment for a two-year tenure from 1971-2.

    After the Regiment he returned to Darwin after 30 years as the RSM 7 Military District. He was deeply involved in the Cyclone Tracey clean up in 1974.

    Late 1975 he was then posted to District Support Unit – Perth as the RSM. He completed his career in this appointment and retired in Perth In 1980.

    Percy White completed 39 years service in the Australian Army. During that time he witnessed the formation of the 1st Armoured Regiment, served as a crewman on Canadian Scout Cars, Ferrets, Staghounds, Churchill and Centurion tanks.

    Percy also saw the raising of the Medium Tank Trials Unit for the replacement of the ageing Centurion.

    In retirement, Percy was still involved in many things. He held the position as a member of the State Executive of the RSL, Vice President of the Vietnam Veterans Assoc of Australia, Chief Marshall for the ANZAC, Remembrance and Vietnam Day in Perth and was a Trustee of the Vietnam War Memorial – Perth.

    Throughout Percy White’s 39 year career he saw a lot of changes spanning many historical occasions and had dealings with a lot of soldiers who through his respect for the digger was given respect back in return.

    Percy, you will be sadly missed, BUT not forgotten.
    http://steel-thunder-one.synthasite.com/page-6.php

    After Cyclone Tracy destroyed Darwin, one of Percy's first messages down south was a request for a new beret.

    He wouldn't get it now.


    Lieutenant [later Brigadier] Bryant commanded a mixed ‘Company’ of soldiers doing their training stint at the Jungle Training Centre, Canungra, prior to going to Vietnam. This was a made up group, two ‘Platoons’ of Armoured Corps members and one of Artillery and Survey Corps. There he met Percy White for the first time and Percy took this hodge-podge under his wing for their stay.

    The instructors at the JTC were of course, mainly Infantry soldiers. They were initially ‘ticked off’ that an RAAC Warrant Officer should be the Wing Sergeant Major of the relevant wing, Battle Wing. Percy took Bryant into the Sergeants Mess and showed him a picture of a young man in a slouch hat holding an Owen Machine Carbine standing somewhere on the ‘Golden Staircase’ in Papua New Guinea [WWII]. The soldier was of course Percy. “That’s why I’m WSM of this wing”, he told the Lieutenant.
    [= my comments] http://sitrep1.tripod.com/cav28e.htm
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Aussie special forces immune to cancer

    I think they should have clear bendable plastic sheeting divider attached as a divider in the messenger to help discern between blanks and lives . i do hope they come up with a new designed bag soon !

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Aussie special forces immune to cancer

    A Mighty fine set of postings, RS* my friend.
    My Respects to Percy White, and my Sincere condolences to you, RS*.

    .. "They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old,
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn,
    At the going down of the sun, we will remember them,
    We Will Remember Them."
    - Lawrence Binyan.

    KInd and Respectful Regards RS* My friend, Uyraell.

    "Honi-Soit Qui Mal'Y Pense." :
    "Ill unto he who ill of it thinks."
    Edward III, Rex Britania, AD1348.

    "Wenn Schon, denn schon."
    "Be It Done, Best be It Be Done Well."
    Known German adage.

    "Until you have looked into a veteran's eyes and actually seen it,
    you'll never fully understand."
    ^Uyraell^

    "Aligaes : Amore vel Ira." :
    "^Winged Ones^ : Love or Wrath."

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Aussie special forces immune to cancer

    Amazing how hubris doesn't recognize national boundaries when generals become politiicians and politicians become generals.

    Among many other crimes, Pegasus no longer flies with the British Airborne forces.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Aussie special forces immune to cancer

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    Amazing how hubris doesn't recognize national boundaries when generals become politiicians and politicians become generals.
    You're ignoring the power of the bean counters.

    Some audit department d ickbrain probably worked out that it costs a lot more to have berets in various colours than everyone wearing a slouch.

    Probably the same d ickbrain that chose the defective field gear over the one that actually worked, but cost about $7 more per soldier multiplied by all the soldiers in our pissy little army so go for the cheap one.

    Also the same d ickbrain that didn't bother to compare the cost of $7 more per soldier for kit against the vastly higher cost of training a soldier and then having him killed by defective kit to save seven f ucking dollars!

    Maybe the rest of the world is free of our disease, but for the past couple of decades we have seen the government auditors going way beyond accounting into delivering judgments on how every department and government funded body should behave and criticising them for falling below the standards set by the all-knowing auditors.

    Call me a knob, but I'd rather leave it to a soldier to decide if his kit is satisfactory rather than some ***** who's a year or two out of a degree in a third rate university where the worst fight the auditor had was trying to wrestle his pyjama fly to the front and not understanding that he needs to take his legs out first.

    Auditor. Definition: An accountant who wanders around the battlefield after the battle, shooting the wounded.

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    Among many other crimes, Pegasus no longer flies with the British Airborne forces.
    Care to expand on that?

    Although I think I have a pretty fair idea of what happened, in general terms.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Aussie special forces immune to cancer

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    You're ignoring the power of the bean counters.

    Some audit department d ickbrain probably worked out that it costs a lot more to have berets in various colours than everyone wearing a slouch.

    Probably the same d ickbrain that chose the defective field gear over the one that actually worked, but cost about $7 more per soldier multiplied by all the soldiers in our pissy little army so go for the cheap one.

    Also the same d ickbrain that didn't bother to compare the cost of $7 more per soldier for kit against the vastly higher cost of training a soldier and then having him killed by defective kit to save seven f ucking dollars!

    Maybe the rest of the world is free of our disease, but for the past couple of decades we have seen the government auditors going way beyond accounting into delivering judgments on how every department and government funded body should behave and criticising them for falling below the standards set by the all-knowing auditors.

    Call me a knob, but I'd rather leave it to a soldier to decide if his kit is satisfactory rather than some ***** who's a year or two out of a degree in a third rate university where the worst fight the auditor had was trying to wrestle his pyjama fly to the front and not understanding that he needs to take his legs out first.

    Auditor. Definition: An accountant who wanders around the battlefield after the battle, shooting the wounded.
    A similar case in point, was when the old cotton O-G's or Jungle greens if you prefer, were replaced by nylon DPM material...nylon in the jungle?...
    It was harder wearing.


    Care to expand on that?

    Although I think I have a pretty fair idea of what happened, in general terms.
    The Insignia for the British Airborne, since their conception, was the Pegasus badge worn on the upper arm.
    http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgur...1t:429,r:6,s:0
    It was from the airborne insignia that Pegasus Bridge, on the Orne River, took its name.

    This was recently replaced by the 16 Air Assault Brigade insignia
    http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgur...:0&tx=57&ty=69
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 08-27-2010 at 07:03 PM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Aussie special forces immune to cancer

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    A similar case in point, was when the old cotton O-G's or Jungle greens if you prefer, were replaced by nylon DPM material...nylon in the jungle?...
    It was harder wearing.
    That is the sort of unbounded government genius which gives rise to approving user comments such as these :

    One continuing criticism of the BDU was that as a general-purpose battledress designed to save costs and promote durability, it lacked suitability for a number of specialized extreme environments and conditions. Uniform weight, along with heat and perspiration retention have been especially criticized. The extensive incorporation of uniform reinforcement panels and the large number of oversized pockets, utilized primarily for reasons of durability and convenience, tend to increase heat retention in hot-weather environments, mitigate the beneficial effect of the open-weave cloth, and increase the risk of skin diseases and inflammations in humid environments, especially in the thigh and groin areas, where double and even triple thicknesses of cloth are used.[3] In jungle and tropical regions, the carrying of large amount of gear in trouser and shirt pockets is generally unknown among other uniformed military forces, as the practice retains excessive body heat and promotes corrosion of carried items through perspiration.[3]

    Open weave

    The open-weave cloth construction of the BDU is also easily penetrated by insect stings and probosces in tropical, jungle, and other malarial environments, causing an increased risk of transmitted diseases such as malaria, even when pretreated with permethrin[4] or other repellent.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_Dress_Uniform

    However, there is a light on the horizon with a uniform item which achieves unanimous acclaim.
    http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/DILAC_Hat
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Aussie special forces immune to cancer

    Interestinng domain name 'Arrse'

    Have used a ventile smock. It was good, but its waterproof properties depreciated with washing, regardless of treatment. Never used it in the tropics, but would imagine its fabric was too heavy for a humid, tropical environment. As I understand it, the material was originally developed for pilots' flight suits? The members of Lord Hunts' Everest expedition of 1953 wore ventile suiits.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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