Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Best Units 2014

The dry heat was enervating yet tolerable as it was hot back home too. The lack of  humidity they welcomed. It was the dust, omnipresent and pervasive, that the soldiers found a nuisance.

A bigger challenge were ground rules for their training stint at a location that could not be shared with family and friends, on war machines that could not be mentioned, all executed under a training arrangement that would probably never ever see the light of day.

Still, all took it in their stride. The soldiers proved to be eager and attentive students as they were taught how to handle their massive war chariots. Project H had turned from concept to reality.

Their experience is, alas, not unique. There are other episodes within the land, air and sea services of their country's armed forces that have allowed the careful infusion of combat capabilities calculated to result in a swift and decisive over-match should push come to shove.

Herein lies the irony: That commanders of some of  the most lethal capabilities in their armed forces end up as bench warmers as their country celebrates the achievements of the best military units.

The applause and cheers that erupt from spectator stands are well-deserved for the officers, men and women from battalions/squadrons that earned their accolades. The banners that some units inevitably bring along add more than a dash of colour and bravado to the event with their stirring unit slogans and rousing war chants. They are a tangible and heart-warming display of unit esprit and of the sense of comradeship fostered within and throughout their formation.

Amid the pomp and pageantry sit officers whose respective commands will never be lauded publicly. This comes not from want of achievement nor from lack of professional competence or dearth of opportunities for them to shine against their peers.

The standard of war craft in these units has, in many cases, evolved from good to great. The synchromesh of war-fighting capabilities, tested and refined during realistic war-fighting exercises, has proven time and again that their concept of operations is practical, the concentrated firepower at their disposal potentially devastating.

They may never share the limelight at the parade but they know they do not need it. Nor do they hanker for awards that are feted by the media.

They are special, in a class of their own, primus inter pares.

Those who know deeply appreciate the contributions of these men and women to their country's defence and security. They are, well and truly, their country's best units.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Question, are such units manned by career soldiers or NS man? Just curious.