BATUS Canada. We were on the very last MedMan of the 2002 season and it was absolutely Baltic.
Just before EndEx we got a message over the radio that the famous General Sir Michael David Jackson, GCB, DSO, DL is coming to visit the troops and the whole Battle Group was to be lined up and ready for his arrival. By this stage we’d already been out on the prairie over 30 days, cold, chin strapped and ready to snap.
Our Squadron lined up next the the Royal Engineers and I could see a Sergeant and a young West Indies Sapper and I could tell the Sergeant was not happy with the young Sapper for some reason.
The RSM came to do his pre-visit inspection to ensure we all looked smart and professional ready for the Generals arrival. He told us all to get our ‘warm kit’ off and tuck our shirts in, the young West Indies Sapper was not impressed.
General Jackson arrived by helicopter a short while later, I slowly watched him walking around all the different Regiments of the Battle Group and we were getting colder and colder and our new Sapper friend was starting to turn blue.
Eventually General Jackson gets to the Royal Engineers and politely asks “how have you found the Exercise, have you enjoyed it” The younger sapper didn’t miss a beat and replies immediately, with a raised tone “I IZ FUUUCKING FREEZING MAN”.
The Sergeant let out a blood curdling scream and the RSM looked like his favourite dog had just been shot.
The General found the Sappers reply amusing. The Sapper got very warm, very quickly as the whole Battle Group
watched him getting beasted as soon as the general left.
9th/12th Royal Lancers.