Humboldt, Saskatchewan. Dunn, Lt. Denison, Capt. Denison, Lt. Seated: Quartermaster Charles Mair, Lt. Fleming, Surgeon Baldwin. Soldiering in Canada ; Lt. Denison , I looked over the list of things ordered, and forwarded it to Colonel Jackson at Winnipeg.
The farrier sergeant told me to mention a particular druggist in Winnipeg, who had furnished us supplies before we left; I did so. Before the box, or large case of medicines, arrived I had a slight suspicion in my mind that he might send a little liquor with the medicines. When the box arrived, addressed to me and marked veterinary supplies, I said: "Put that in my tent.
I opened it and found some dirty-looking bottles marked colic drenches, regular horse medicine to all appearance. I drew the cork of one bottle, poured a little of the contents into a tin cup, smelt it, tasted it very carefully and passed it to Major Dunn.
He tasted it, looked at me and said: "The d—:—d thief. I took the bottles one by one, opened them, generally by knocking the necks off, poured a little into a tin cup and called out the men whom I thought were experts and would know whiskey and not object to it, and would hand them the cup and ask them what it contained.
They would say "That is whiskey, sir," and I would empty the bottle out upon the ground. I went on for a number of the bottles, calling up different men and giving them about a glass each, so as to have evidence that it was whiskey.
Among others I called Sergeant Patrick Macgregor, who had been in the 13th Hussars, and was a splendid swords-man, and an equally good judge of whiskey, from an experience gained by drinking all he could get.
I poured out a fairly good glass for him, he drank it solemnly and I said "Well, Macgregor, what is it? He then felt himself over the waist, straightened himself up with an air of satisfaction and said very seriously: "Yes, Colonel, that is whiskey, Iam ready to go before any court and swear to it.
And what is more, it is devilish good whiskey. I poured out eighteen bottles in this way and also a gallon or two of alcohol which was in a tin case, and when all that was out, all the medicines left in the box could have been put into a teacup. The farrier sergeant begged me to let him leave the corps and not to have him tried for the fraud. I thought the simplest way todeal with him was let him go, so we got him into plain clothes and started him back to the East.
The fame of this incident spread all through the North-West. Such a thing as spilling liquor was unheard of, except by the Mounted Police, and they were not keen to do it, and I am afraid my reputation in all that country was not improved by the story.
I telegraphed to Colonel Jackson to stop the payment to the druggist, and wrote a full report. I am afraid that this sort of thing was done a good deal in ihe campaign, and that I only let in one little ray of light. The result of this was that I got the reputation of being very severe, and one who would destroy liquor like a fanatic id I heard of it.
By; A. Anyone, however, who thinks so, ignores the fact that the only man capable of command is the man who has learned to obey, and that an order is only justified, if, under the circumstances of the case, it was absolutely necessary.
Even then, it can only be approved if it be unobjectionable both in matter and manner. Every order places the subordinate to whom it is given in a position of constraint to which he willingly submits without any question if he recognizes the necessity for it, in such a case obedience is not a servile submission, but the free gift of a free man, but he complied with an order unwillingly it it is dictated merely by the pleasure of giving orders, or the desire to magnify one's own importance.
Fondness for domineering leads to tyranny and incites insubordination; it does no good but compromises discipline. We can see this in thousands of cases in the army, where there are superior officers who compel the willing obedience even of insubordinate men, while there are others to be found who make even the best men refractory.
Only the man who himself knows how to obey, who has learned from personal experience how grievous an inopportune or superfluous order can be, and how inexpressibly hard it is, in such a case, to resist the impulse to revolt, only such a man will avoid blunders when he is himself in a position of command. We should always keep this fact before out eyes; we want a cheery and willing, nor a slavish servile obedience.
It is the first alone which conduces to happiness in the regiment, ensures a firm unshaken discipline and inspires men to heroic deeds in action. It is the first kind of obedience alone, which acts educationally and forms the character. Another serious drawback involved in a mania for giving orders is that all independence, all initiative, and all love of responsibility on the pay of subordinates are killed. Modern conditions require thoughtful leaders trained to be independent, and self-restrained men, capable, from devotion to their officers and their regiment, of proving their firm will to conquer even when their leaders are absent.
Good leaders and good men are not produced by orders, superfluous in themselves, and beside the mark; but we undoubtedly do get them if we give no more orders than are absolutely essential, and if we praise every independent action, even if it be not altogether apt or appropriate.
In such a case what is wrong must be reproved, but not severely, not sharply, not in the form of censure, but only in the way of kindly instruction. No man likes to be found fault with, but everyone is willing to accept instructions, and does better another time.
The man who has cause to fear fault finding, forswears initiative. With regard to the form of an order, it should be borne in mind that only a definite distinct order, as short as possible, in which not a needless word is said, and which cannot be misunderstood.
Every superior who finds that he has been misunderstood should first look for the fault in himself; if after careful consideration, he finds that it was not his fault, then, and not till then, he may take his subordinates to task. We learn most from mistakes and misunderstandings, and it is therefore well to let them run their course. Untimely interference, repeated orders and such like, produce instead of trustworthiness, independence, and initiative which should be our aim, a feeling of insecurity and uncertainly which destroys all willing ness to accept responsibility.
This much is certain, that superior officers who give their subordinates…everywhere it is possible to do so…the independence which is their due, and even demand such power of initiative from them, will never be left in the lurch. A cartoon sketch from an earlier war, but showing the same spirit of presence that Sergeant Major Rafuse undoubtedly strived to maintain.
He spoke, "My name is Clifford Rafuse. You will not address me as Clifford, Cliff, Rafuse, sir, hey you, or any of the foul names you really think of me in your pea-sized brains. I am a Sergeant-Major — here, in the shower, in the latrine, in my drawers, in my pajamas, or when I am dead. I am, and always will be Sergeant-Major Rafuse to you. If you pumpkin-heads see me on the street twenty-five years from now—and most of you won't survive this training to live that long—I will still be addressed as Sergeant-Major by you.
Do you understand that? He would then go on: "I'm not your mother; I won't tuck you in bed; and I won't be your pal. I will make you bleedin', sloppy, unwashed, useless, pudgy loafers who thought this army was a holiday camp into battle shape.
I shall turn your pudgy asses into such shape that you will have muscles in your defecation. Some few of you who fooled your way through some little school may think you are smart and will think you will fool me because you know the ABC's! You will not fool me; you are not smart. And when I say "jump", you say "How high". When I say "defecate", you say "Yes, Sir, and what colour, Sir?.
I shall make you baggy, civilian lot of unwashed, sloppy, buggers into cleaned, shined, well-spoken, and obedient battle-ready troops. Or … you will suffer a fate and terror worse than heck. Nobody is tougher than I am. I am tougher than any Kraut you ever encounter. Even the Padre is scared of me. I'll march you, drill you, train you, punish you, and toughen you into soldiers.
Don't talk back; don't complain, even to the Padre; because my words will even bring tears to his eyes. Now tighten up those soft pudgy asses, pull in those sagging chins, and suck in those baggy guts. Hands by your sides with thumbs down the seams of those potato-bag looking trousers. Our next present to you slobs will be a visit to His Majesty's barber so as you can get that bleedin', mangled, lady-length, dirty, bug-infested civilian hairdo cut off. You will then, at least, not look like a bleedin' civilian, with a filthy mat on your head.
Now fall out, ladies, and form up for the cookhouse. The well-kept beauty of the Canadian military cemeteries in Northwest Europe is a tribute not only to the care and skill of the Imperial War Graves Commission , but to the people of the surrounding areas. At Holten in eastern Holland, where lie men killed in the last stages of fighting in Holland and Germany, soil conditions were not right for landscaping, and in the past two years the weather has been bad.
Yet the seed grass sown has now grown into a lovely lawn. Lying amid rolling country, the setting with its growths of Scots pines and a profusion of purple heather, reminds visitors of parts of Scotland. The district is used as a holiday resort, and each day during the season hundreds of visitors enter the cemetery to view its 1, graves. At the head of each grave flowers bloom, and all around the flowers is the soft grass.
Similar scenes may be viewed at Groesbeek , also in Holland, where the cemetery, situated on a hilltop, overlooks the Rhine and the Hochwald, which Canadians will recall as the scene of particularly bitter fighting in February, , when the drive to smash the northern flank of the Siegfried line was launched; and at Beny-sur-Mer and Bretteville-sur-maize in Normandy.
At the former, one can see the English Channel over which the invasion fleet sailed to France, while the cemetery at Brettville is associated with the straight road from Caen to Falaise, scene of one of the bitterest struggles in Canadian Military annals. The Imperial War Graves Commission plans to replace the crosses that now mark the graves with headstones, each with a Maple Leaf and a cross engraved on it.
The Commission, which acts on behalf of, and is financed on a pro rata basis by all the Commonwealth governments, has kept in mind the overall simplicity and uniformity of design which is desired in these burial grounds.
The caretakers it engages are veterans who approach their task with a sense of dedication. Through this committee many families and institutions in Holland have adopted allied graves on their soil. They visit the cemeteries regularly, to lay cut flowers on the graves, to pay homage to and pray for the men buried there. Many correspond with Canadian relatives of the dead, and inform them of the care received by the graves of their loved ones.
And in Norandy, the people have similarly interested themselves in the Canadian cemeteries. Damage to the area caused in the last war, is now being repaired.
Workmen are restoring the historic Gate to its original perfection. Beside the new Cloth Hall built on the site of the old, some of the ruins have been left standing. Each of the Canadian cemeteries was visited last summer by General H. Crerar , war-time commander of the First Canadian Army, while he was a member of as special Canadian mission which attended the coronation of Queen Juliana of The Netherlands.
In the late Victorian era, Wolseley was a trouble-shooter for the British Army, he was sent all over the world to "unfuck" things and get them organized. He was so effective at this that the phrase "All Sir Garnet" came to be a euphemism for everything being correct and working efficiently.
This story is not about him. This is a work of speculative fiction. Any resemblance to persons living, dead, or headquarters staff is purely coincidental and should be taken with a very large grain of salt. Personal humour filters should be firmly in place before reading and set to highest tolerance levels for maximum enjoyment.
The typical staff officer is the man past middle life, spare, unwrinkled, intelligent, cold, passive, non-committal; with eyes like a cod-fish, polite in contact but at the same time unresponsive, cool, calm and as damnably composed as a concrete post or a plaster-of-Paris cast; a human petrifaction with a heart of feldspar and without charm or the friendly germ; minus bowels, passion or a sense of humour.
Happily they never reproduce and all of them finally go to hell. His mission in life is to make sure that the staff effort is efficient, economical, sensible, and moving in the direction indicated by the Commander's intent. His reality is like herding cats through a dog pound.
His is an unforgiving existence, besides riding herd on a curious mix of staff personalities that might actually work better together than anyone might expect, he's also the foil that bears the brunt of dissatisfaction from subordinate commanders who discover that not following the Commander's plan doesn't work well for them. An embittered or hostile chief of staff infects the staff with his mood, creating more friction than he resolves. The G3—Operations Ops —an experienced Major, combat arms, with a wealth of experience under the hat he wears to hide a rapidly receding hairline which wasn't genetically predetermined.
He manages the day-to-day operations, doing his best to keep diverse unit command personalities happy and moving in concert with the issued plan. He's the Chief of Staff's right hand man in riding herd on the HQ staff and the solver of myriad problems that provide operational friction impeding the Brigade's training goals. Some of that friction comes from outside the Brigade and the G3 can bare his teeth and bite off big chunks. Some of it, however, comes from within, and then he grits his teeth, smiles politely, employs tactful delaying measures, and checks to see if the Chief of Staff is hungry.
The G5—Plans —a grizzled, gruff Major, with a wry sense of humour that few ever see. Usually, a Gunner or a Sapper because they tend to be detail oriented in planning, whereas Infantry officers are too quick to form square and bayonet the naysayers, while Cavalry officers never seem to understand why you need three options when they only plan charges.
The G5's long years of experience give him the ability to close most of the loopholes in any Plan before it gets issued for Operations to execute. He's learned that some people will smile and nod while receiving the plan, and then fight their way upstream during execution while blaming the plan for their troubles, no matter how well it's written.
Nothing surprises the G5 anymore, but the potential still exists to deepen his disappointment in humanity when his well-constructed plans go sideways.
The G1—Personnel —a youthful Major from a logistics background and a mischievous twinkle in her eye. Always a study in contrasts; is it unknown to science how someone with such an unforgiving job portfolio i.
Yet, the G1 perseveres. A logistician, she may play second fiddle to her combat arms peers in the perceived pecking order, but gives no leeway when it's her turn to run an administrative sausage machine.
The others know it's time to back away slowly after she loses patience with their sluggish combat arms minds. The G4—Logistics —seemingly, the youngest Major of the four, though perhaps just because he doesn't bear the crushing weight of responsibility that they claim to.
He, however, smiles at their claims, knowing well that "amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics. Logistics by trade and appointment, he also brings in a sense of adventure only a buoyant young officer from la belle Province could provide because every Anglo staff needs its stranded Franco officer. His quick smile and eager readiness to cooperate with his peers may be hiding a deep uncertainly about their sanity.
The incumbents seem to shift between two stereotypes. The first are young captains who dedicate themselves to following the PA guidance, even if most PAOs seldom seem to. The advantage to either of these out-of-trade officers is that neither is going to try to explain to the COS how the operational plan has to change to match the public affairs intent.
The Adjutant —a Captain—vastly experienced on both sides of the commissioning divide, she's a stern and caring mother hen who keeps the paperwork flowing for the command cell and keeps the rest of the staff in line. Unafraid to lecture a Major for his overgrown haircut or counsel a Corporal with a personal problem, she's one of the few truly stable people in the headquarters staff.
Her calm presence provides a stable point of reference when the rest of the place is heading for hell. But that caring and calm demeanour can only last so long, when the moment calls for it, an old school Adjutant comes forth like a summoned demon. Laying waste within the headquarters with knowledgeable criticism and cutting remarks, she can channel the memory of Adjutants past who have made Generals' blood run cold. The day dawned bright, and almost clear, as soft scattered clouds floated over the slumbering Exercise Control ExCon staff who skipped breakfast to rest while the Primary Training Audience PTA counted heads and issued extra rations in honour of absent comrades.
The G3 and G5 bickered over who was more agile at avoiding blame for the snags encountered during the deployment, deciding in the end to redirect all inquiries to the G4 for shits and giggles, while simultaneously cranking the G1 into a frenzy over nominal roll totals. Confusion reined outside the wire, as the sub-unit that decided to change bivouacs complained about the absence of shitters in their new location, and sections shrunk steadily as uncountable heads revealed the gaps in the multitude of attendance promises made by units in weeks past.
Confusion may have existed, but it was not the white hot dysenteric failure that reputedly caused a sister Brigade to stand down for a day to unfuck their own efforts to launch an exercise in the beautiful vistas of CFB Pandastan. All in all, Day 1 was a success, as the Reservists achieved their best efforts at what they excel; the reorganization of a collection of arriving personnel and equipment into a training organization ready and capable to pursue the best level of training goals they could.
As the day drew to a close and the creatures of the night raccoons and, allegedly, recce forces occupied the battlespace, the winner of the draw for a three-day all-expenses paid mid-week vacation in Collingwood was announced; sadly it was an unfilled line serial and the tickets mysteriously disappeared.
All staff remain alert for the disappearance of any of the section heads for an extended period. Late morning: tension grows and boundaries are being established. The G5 controls the printer in the Planning Quonset, while the G3 has a firm hand on the coffee urn.
The two officers trade barbs, coming to an uneasy truce. The G5 can have coffee if he doesn't spill any in the G3's area, while the G3 can print documents … somewhere else. In the resulting atmosphere of tension, nearby staff wait uneasily for the appropriate time to abandon the camp for lunch. The G4 shows up at lunch, his first appearance since disappearing "for the Log Brief" after breakfast. His growing boredom without enough to keep himself busy is evident in his call for a movie night in Camp "A".
The Adjutant afterwards pronounces him ADHD, though perhaps not in so many words, a diagnosis not refuted by others with any haste. The weather, unpredictable at best, has been unchanged for most of the day.
After lunch a steady downpour traps the staff in the briefing Quonset. Despair sets in as the feelings of isolation increase. The rain stops after twenty minutes.
Life goes on. We are still here. The COS hasn't been seen in three days. The Adjutant swears. She also affirms that she has ensured that the COS has been fed and watered regularly.
She takes credit for keeping him busy with real work and away from the exercise staff. The staff appreciate the fiction and express gratitude, however weakly it is inferred under its veil of sarcasm. Beyond the camp concertina Brigade soldiers are counting accomplishments as they build tactical teams and prepare for the transition to Mudstone. In Camp "A", the inmates are scratching the numbers of days on the wall of the Quonset, counting sleeps until they can have a hot shower.
The G5 starts rationing his own cigarette supply. He eyes the other smokers warily, wondering if they are hoarding theirs; wondering if he can convince the COS to order the collection of scarce supply items. Nicotine addictions can be dangerous things. The G3 laughs at him, calling him weak, and holds the coffee urn tighter.
The G4 continues to be in good humour, which only serves to accentuate the relative misery of those around him. Soon, the other section heads mutter, soon, his new headquarters appointment will suck the joy from his soul too. The G3 is quiet, too quiet, either things are going well, or they are so far off the rails he's afraid to start talking about them. Reports from the field are mixed, some may be incorrect, others may be wrong.
The G5 continues to get increasingly possessive of his corner of the briefing Quonset. We have to watch him when he prowls the room as he tries to determine if anyone has touched his stuff. We are concerned he may start pissing on the bounds of his declared territory, though we will laugh at those who afterwards sit in his folding chairs.
By days' end, the busy-ness of the staff was taking its toll. The Adjutant, a stalwart herder of colonels at the best of time, was near homicidal madness after a long day with one more errant Colonel and his 30 civilian visitors. Returned to Camp "A" after a steak dinner in the Officers' Mess, she was seen to be smiling. We're not sure if it's because she's happy, delirious, or she just saw someone hurt themselves.
Today the Intelligence Terrain Analysis team arrived. It's a small team, consisting of only one damn fine looking Sergeant. He smiles, but that will end, he hasn't been here long. True to form, they executed a terrain analysis of the inside of the Planning Quonset, and summarily took over half of it.
After long hours of counter-attacks over the lost ground, his space was reduced to one-quarter of the hut. We smiled as he failed to understand he was next to the G5.
The G5 and G3 continue to snipe at each other. Rumour has it they challenged one another to a duel, but agreed it had to be a non-contact contest. They finally decided on a duel of wit by e-mail, but neither could identify a Second they trusted to proofread their work before it was fired at the other. The lack of connectivity in the Planning Quonset was also considered an obstacle to settling honour between them. In the end, they circled one another in a verbal standoff, facing one another like a stuffed tiger and a bas-relief lion carved in Ivory soap by a maximum security lifer, they postured aggressively but it was activity without influence.
The tension between them remains, and continues to be ignored by everyone else. The staff's day draws to a close as each day does, with the ExCon Coord Meeting.
The G5 looks stern, but it doesn't last. The sister brigade is reported to be continuing their state of massive fail, having reportedly climbed inside their own colon and died there. The staff in Camp "A" celebrates. All things being relative, their failure can only make us look better to the General. It is the third day of our estrangement from civilization. We strive to improve our living conditions, but we cannot yet forge iron, grow avocados or make a drinkable cafe mocha.
This is the week of our discontent. The day dawns bright. A black pall hangs over the Officers' Quarters. The G4, gentle soul that he is, accuses someone of disturbing his child-like restful sleep. Sadly, precedents have been set, one officer having been voted off the island allegedly for a snoring offence, or offensively snoring, as the case may be even before the arrival of the main body occupants.
Evil grins erupt, the cracks are showing in the G4's armour of joyful expressiveness. Plans are hatched to hide his ceinture fleche , so that no-one gets strangled in the night.
In the Planning Quonset, the G5 sits alone in his corner. No-one will talk to him. He tries raising any of his Observer-Controller staff by radio. He has less success than the SETI program. Life goes on around him. A bright spot has emerged to illuminate this day.
No, not the sun, I said it was already up. Showers have been authorized. Perhaps he will smile. It is accepted that the G5 will not smile. Reportedly, he has not smiled since the Leafs traded Gretsky and his own application for political asylum with Gretsky's new franchise city was denied. The PAO wrestles with his Blackberry, having previously refused to join the smart phone era. He mutters regrets over having issued an exercise News Release in the first place.
What reporters don't know of, they cannot ask to visit. The G3 and G5 trade pithy barbs. No-one listens anymore. It is rumoured someone asked how long they had been married. No-one laughed. The joke is already old. The mood in the Planning Quonset calms. The G3 and G5 appear to have made up, they are now chatting with mutual good humour.
They're probably plotting one another's untimely demise. They trade stories of "the old army" as they remember it, before women joined the combat arms, when all they were expected to care about was having horses to ride and a regimental band to play in the Mess on dinner nights.
It has now become clear why the Gunner crossed the road … it was to get to the other gutter. The G5 describes some of the exercise players, mostly notional, as acting within the scenario under duress. This we can relate to. It becomes apparent that our own training audience has found a way around the limitations of the exercise instructions. The Intelligence Int crew has been reined in. They have no motors, few rifles, and the divisions among them are regimentally stimulated.
The enemy, fierce as ever, will be a platoon ish sized force that is, doctrinally, a section plus ish. Allegedly there may be ladies among the insurgent force. These could be single-minded fanatics, or hookers, volunteers are being sought. The G5 suggested the G1 could fill either role, but refused to mention it to her.
While seeking to identify alternatives, the G4, stiletto heels and face paint were brought up. Scruff - Ninja Tuna  Mr. Scruff - Trouser Jazz  Mr. Vast — Grievous Bodily Charm Mr. KiD - Fairy tale  Mr. Helens Vietnam Band - Mt. Helens Vietnam Band  Mt. A - Miles and Runnin'  N. The Sirens! Cise Star from Cyne - D. N  Nujabes feat.
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