British Army Service: A Misspent Youth Or Was it!!
I did 5 years’ service in the British Army from 1988 to 1993 with the 1st Battalion The Worcester and Sherwood Forester Regiment (1 WFR). With 4 Platoon B-Coy in Northern Ireland (89/91) and then with the RECCE Platoon (91/93). In basic training I was badged to go to another Regiment but asked to be transferred as I wanted to go to Northern Ireland, a choice well made!! I joined at 17 years and 3 months of age, even though I thought I was an adult, I was to grow up in the British Army. Those 5 years consisted of a lot of work and negatives but The British Army opened my eyes to the world and taught me lesion that will always stay with me.
It makes me laugh when people talk about military units being a band of brothers, really from my experience its more like a very dysfunctional family. I served with some guys with whom I am still friends with today, I also served with some of the biggest creeps and assholes I have every come across.
I bought my way out (PVR) before I had completed the 6 years I signed up for as I had enough of the boredom and bullshit of barrack life in Cyprus. Life in Infantry Battalion in barracks is extremely monotonous, I was warned of this by the Recruiting Sargent when I first went to join up. Some people thrive in this environment, those with brains tend not to.
Looking back we had a lot of freedom, we worked hard, partied harder and got up to some very crazy shit. With a “Fuck or Fight” perspective on life of course we had problems with authority but that went with the turf, such is life, next please!! An attitude that a lot of the unit “Prima Donnas”, who should have been our mentors and role models despised. I expect because they were unmotivated people, who never had the balls to live that way themselves and lacked the man-management skill to be able to control us.
So, my 5 years’ service gave me a good grounding for life and the basic skills I required for the career I was to follow. At one point, and I expect like all ex-soldiers I considered re-joining but luckily didn’t as it would have been a disaster. It was 1994 and I had been out for 18 months working security gigs in London, Europe and was just back from South Africa where I had been working for 5 months during their fist all race elections. Going back in the Army would have been an easy option but I have never really been an easy option kind of person. I had difficulty tolerating the Prima Donnas and Muppets before I got out, so dealing with them again after I gained more worldly experience would have been impossible.
My advice to anyone considering join the military is do so, you should gain some valuable life experience and learn to deal with and turn negative situations into positives. Join the infantry and ask for the shitiest posting as this will help to tame your demons or just fuel them and then you’re in for a crazy ride!!
Orlando Wilson – Risks Incorporated – www.risks-incorporated.com
“Stay low and keep moving”
- Formal Education: So, I am really not stupid…?
- British Army Service: Northern Ireland 1989/91
- Photos: B-Coy & Recce Plt, 1-WFR 1988/93