Preamble: by the early ’80s, most Canadian Forces courses were open to both sexes… males and females would be billeted in the same building, but in different wings. The anti-sexual harrasment message was just hitting the big time, (and rightly so), so all members of the Forces were being reminded every 10 minutes (or so it seemed) to keep our thoughts to ourselves and ‘our weapon in our pants’.  The “no contact, no tresspass, no fraternization” rule was drilled into us at the start of every course, the begining of every week, and whenever the course RSM felt like reminding us!  Did it actually make a difference? Hmmm  

A fellow member of my regiment and I were on an Officer’s Basic Training course. (For those Other Ranks readers, it’s just like your Basic course, except after chewing us out, the instructors had to end every sentence with ‘sir.’)

So, after a longish route march, we were back in barracks, cleaning up.  Unbeknownst to my buddy, a blister had popped, and there was a small – we’re talking thumbnail-sized drop of blood on the bedding, and my mate missed it.

Come morning inspection, our Sgt saw this, and flipped. Phrases were used that I’d not heard before or since.  The Course Warrant Officer was summoned, and he, in turn, added to my list of ‘unique phrases”.   Then the RSM marched in.

He turned to my mate.  “Would you care, Officer Cadet XXXX, to explain to all, the reason for this totally unsanitary, unhygienic, disgusting infestation that has put every member of this course at risk?  Would you?”

My mate, ever the gambler, decided to bluff big and bet it all.  “It would appear, RSM that she was a virgin.” 

RSM, Course Warrant and the Sgt stood stock-still. Five seconds later, they turned as one and marched out of our room.  I’d swear I heard at least one of them laughing as they matched away.

God bless all who serve!

Hugh – Canada.

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