the Blacklight Arrow

David Blacker’s Blog

Army

13594881472_9168035da2_oAn army is a nation within a nation, it is one of the vices of our age.
Alfred de Vigny. Servitude et Grandeur Militaire

There are three official combat arms — infantry, artillery, and armour — and a fourth, unofficial, but equally powerful, politically, made up of officers of the three combat arms trained in the technique and philosophy of vertical envelopment, the airborne.
WEB Griffin. The Majors

Armies exist to further by force or the threat of force, civil polices which cannot be furthered by any other means. In a democracy an army is not, and ought not to be, self-activating. It functions only at the will of the people, expressed through constitutional forms.
John Masters. The Road Past Mandalay

The country must have a large and efficient army, one capable of meeting the enemy abroad, or they must expect to meet him at home.
Sir Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington

We like it here, we like it here, we finally found a home.
We like it here, we like it here, we’re never going home.

from the US Army airborne marching song, Jodie

Where soldiers begin to question the rightness of the cause for which they are fighting, armies soon collapse.
Capt Sir Basil Liddell Hart

I’m ‘ere in a ticky ulster an’ a broken billycock ‘at,
A-layin’ on the sergeant I don’t know a gun from a bat;
My shirt’s doin’ duty for jacket, my sock’s stickin’ out o’ my boots,
An’ I’m learnin’ the damned ol’ goose-step along o’ the new recruits!

Back to the Army again, sergeant,
Back to the Army again.
Don’t look so ‘ard for I ‘aven’t no card,
I’m back to the Army again!

I done my six years service. ‘Er Majesty sez: “Good day —
You’ll please to come when you’re rung for, an’ ‘ere’s your ‘ole back pay;
An’ four-pence a day for baccy — an’ bloomin’ gen’rous, too;
An’ now you can make your fortune — the same as the orfcers do.”

Back to the Army again, sergeant,
Back to the Army again.
‘Ow did I learn to do right-about-turn?
I’m back to the Army again!

A man o’ four-an’-twenty that ‘asn’t learned of a trade —
Beside “Reserve” agin’ ‘im — ‘e’d better be never made.
I tried my luck for a quarter, an’ that was enough for me,
‘An I thought of ‘Er Majesty’s barricks, an’ I thought I’d go an’ see.

Back to the Army again, sergeant,
Back to the Army again.
‘Tisn’t my fault if I dress when I ‘alt —
I’m back to the Army again!

The sergeant arst no questions, but ‘e winked the other eye,
‘E sez to me: “‘Shun! an’ I shunted, the same as in days gone by;
For ‘e saw the set of my shoulders, an’ I couldn’ ‘elp ‘oldin’ straight
When me an’ the other rookies come under the barrick-gate.

Back to the Army again, sergeant,
Back to the Army again.
‘Oo would ha’ thought I could carry an’ port?
I’m back to the Army again!

I took my bath an’ I wallered — for, Gawd, I needed it so!
I smelt the smell of the barricks, I ‘eard the vugles go.
I ‘eard the feet on the gravel — the feet of the men what drill —
An’ I sez to my flutterin’ ‘eart-strings, I sez to ’em, “Peace, be still!”

Back to the Army again, sergeant,
Back to the Army again.
‘Oo said I knew when the troopship was due?
I’m back to the Army again!

I carried my slops to the tailor; I sez to ‘im, “None o’ your lip!
You tight ’em over the shoulders, ‘an loose ’em over the ‘ip,
For the set o’ the tunic’s ‘orrid.” An’ ‘e sez to me, “Strike me dead,
But I thought you was used to the business!” an’ so ‘e done what I said.

Back to the Army again, sergeant,
Back to the Army again.
Rather too free with my fancies? Wot — me?
I’m back to the Army again!

Next week I’ll ‘ave ’em fitted; I’ll buy me a swagger-cane;
They’ll let me free o’ the barricks to walk the Hoe again,
In the name o’ William Parsons, that used to be Edward Clay,
An’ — any pre beggar that wants it can draw my four pence a day!

Back to the Army again, sergeant,
Back to the Army again.
Out o’ the cold an’ the rain, sergeant,
Out o’ the cold an’ the rain.

Rudyard Kipling. Back to the Army Again

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