The average British soldier is 19 years old…..he is a short haired, well built lad who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy.
Not yet dry behind the ears and just old enough to buy a round of drinks but old enough to die for his country – and for you.
He’s not particularly keen on hard work but he’d rather be grafting in Afghanistan than unemployed in the UK … He recently left comprehensive school where he was probably an average student, played some form of sport, drove a ten year old rust bucket, and knew a girl that either broke up with him when he left, or swore to be waiting when he returns home. He moves easily to rock and roll or hip-hop or to the rattle of a 7.62mm machine gun.
He is about a stone lighter than when he left home because he is working or fighting from dawn to dusk and well beyond. He has trouble spelling, so letter writing is a pain for him, but he can strip a rifle in 25 seconds and reassemble it in the dark.
He can recite every detail of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either effectively if he has to. He digs trenches and latrines without the aid of machines and can apply first aid like a professional paramedic.
He can march until he is told to stop, or stay dead still until he is told to move. He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation but he is not without a rebellious spirit or a sense of personal dignity. He is confidently selfsufficient.
He has two sets of uniform with him he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his water bottle full and his feet dry.
He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never forgets to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes and fix his own hurts.
If you are thirsty, he’ll share his water with you if you are hungry, his food is your food He’ll even share his life-saving ammunition with you, so if your pissed off with that little red flower people wear on their chests have a word with the MIGHTY INFANTEER…Remember the fallen.
By Jack Colbert