I am going to start sharing shorter stories and lessons that I am getting from the books I’m reading. I remember more of them by writing about them so I’m starting off with a dit from Incoming! by Garry Curtis. Garry spent time with the Royal Marines and the Fire Service before doing private security and a shit load more.
Garry was out in N. Ireland in 1987 during the troubles. He had a pretty uneventful tour until it came to the handover. The Royal Marines were handing over to The Royal Green Jackets.
Handing Over to the Green Jackets
During the handover, they went out on a 50/50 patrol. The Royal Marines obviously knew the area. The bootnecks had patrolled here for months. They knew the risks and dangers and the best way to navigate around them. The patrol was a four-man patrol. Royal Marines were on point and tail end. The two Green Jackets were in the middle.
Al (a bootneck) had already briefed the Green Jackets about a dangerous area known as “the dash” in the town of Belleek. The dash consisted of a bit of road that you had to run across. On the other side of the road was high ground. An IRA sniper had been working in this area so it wasn’t a place to start messing about and getting a wet on.
When they reached the dash the bootnecks started to do what was planned. Al ran across. Garry explains what happened next:
The Green Jacket stopped in the middle of the road and aimed his weapon at the high ground and houses but turned and patrolled off. Al was fucking furious. Back at the RUC station, Al give him a bit of a slap and told him that, when out with us Royals, he fucking acts like one of us, not some pongo recruit prick.
Garry hoped, and thought, the point had been made. If someone knows more than you about a serious situation then fucking listen to them and take their advice and instructions on board. The point clearly hadn’t been made.
When the bootnecks were rotating out of Ireland, they landed in the UK and jumped on a bus. On the radio during the bus journey came the announcement that “A member of the British security forces has been shot dead by an IRA sniper in Belleek.”
A lad died needlessly because the advice wasn’t taken. Always pay attention when people know more than you. Grab Incoming! here.