Lance Corporal Leon Smith NZSAS

September 29, 2011

KIA 28/09/11 Afghanistan

Note: For those of you that don’t know the rules and find yourself to be spectacularly clever by sneering on memorial posts, there is zero tollerance for personal abuse, poltical posturing or self agrandising. You get to acknowledge the man and his life or hold your peace.

RNZN 70 years old

September 29, 2011

The Royal New Zealand Navy is turning 70 this weekend. Prior to becoming a seperate service it was the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy. Glyn Harper takes every oportunity to tell me that this makes the army the senior service in New Zealand and I take this as an oportunity to point out witt out a navy New Zealand would freaken exist and managed to get him back by having him say something nice about the navy while autographing a book for my father.

Such is itnter-service rivalry.

Either way its the navy’s weekend and my father will be dusting off his medals and attending a number of the activities. Soemhow we’ve managed to get eleven ships together which will make Wellington harbour fairly crowded and a new Queens colour will be presented with the old one laid up. In fact father was present when the first one was presented many moons ago.

Sunday 9th October:

1000 – Anniversary Church Service incorporating laying up of the old Queens Colour in the Naval Chapel of St Christopher’s, Devonport Naval Base.

A full program is here. Why not drop by and hum a few bars of Elgar. The navy is a part of our culture and heritage, your heritage in fact, so show some damned pride and respect in it and don’t make me slap your ears.

Carry on.

The Legend of the bean bag baby

September 7, 2011

This story is not true, it never happened, and if it did I definitely was not there and I have no knowledge of any such event. Any similarity to any person place or event is purely coincidental, and I mean that in a very legally binding sense.

In the armoured corps a drivers licence is an essential item, you need one to drive things. Obvsiously this is part of the cunning ploy by Soviet era Russians, Al Queda the Teleban, Inland Revenue and other enemies of civilisation to render the armoured mobility of her majesties infantry impotent through the tactical deployment of traffic cops. Therefore losing one’s licence through being found intoxicated could be regarded as a “bad thing”. The example for us all was one soldier who lost his licence for 6 months to a DIC, then got pinged for another 6 months the day after that ran out as a result of his “I got my licence back party”, then followed this up by getting pinged for an additional 9 months the day BEFORE he got his licence back. Having been put in the admin troop to count shit for the duration of the suspension was a non-productive use of a trooper which strained the temper of our Squadron 2IC. The third suspension was the 3 ton bag-o-anvils that broke the camels back.

Trooper “S” was cordially invited to change the colour of his beret to green (infantry) as his services in the armoured corps were no longer required. He elected to catch flight 717 and return to Australia where his record turned out to be considered more of a recommendation than a hindrance, but he is now not part of our story. The rest of us considered that losing our licences to be “bad” as I mentioned, but to not drink was a clear violation of collateral rights and religious beliefs!

Consequently we considered the best option was find somewhere safer to drink… preferably with a patsy driver just in case. We found a handy collection of patsy’s in the form of Bravo and Charlie companies 2/1 RNZIR. After exercise Trojan Horse, in which the RF enemy party had mistaken the regular drivers for territorials and made a habit of running up the front of the wagon to butt stroke them, there had been a period of “err yeah.. sorry bout that” and the regulars had been making a special effort to be nice to us. Like not randomly smacking troopers in the head at the baggies bar and such like. So consequently we acquired a system of getting rides to the West Melton pub with grunt drivers. The West Melton being cunningly located on back roads between Burnham camp and nowhere. Obviously no cop would even bother being on that road because there was no one using it… cept soldiers looking to get home from the West Melton.

The cops were happily bagging a fair haul of infantry drivers who didn’t give a crap because A. There was a lot of them and B. you didn’t need a licence to frikken walk anyway. However there was one guy we got a ride with one night with a guy who had interest in being grounded thanks very much. We figured he was different when we piled in to his Holden the size and apparently speed of the NC1701 as we spotted an apparent baby in the back seat in the blanket. It turned out to be a bean bag baby with plastic head and hands, complete with little booties and blanket. He told us not to worry about it and he’d let us know if we’d need it on the trip home. Glances were exchanged , followed by shrugs as we headed for West Melton at Warp 4. Mr Sulu was an odd chap but the proximity to beer was diminished with speed so who cared.

Our mission to get faceless was achieved in due course and we piled back into the Enterprise for the trip home. This time at a light bending Warp 6 we headed back with all the windows open. We got a clue that it wasn’t going to be a perfect 6 parsecs run when the car was illuminated with a festive red flashing light. After a few moments of collective highbrow discussion we arrived at the agreement that we might have run afoul of the resident constabulary. We commiserated with diver who for some reason was noticeable not slowing down… odd once more. Discussion was held and a deputation questioned our pilot as to what the deal was. He was Han Soloesque in his not slowing downess and consternation and alarm were gathering amongst the roughly 10 or so troopers who were his now unwilling ship mates.

Don’t worry he informed us, I have a plan! Being armoured corps we were naturally sceptical about ANYONE who claimed to have a plan. We’d seen plans, plans were things not conducive to a good nights sleep or health come to that. We all felt that things were in a state of bad and traveling towards shithouse at high speed when announced it was ok, he didn’t have rear plates. We were less than impressed because he seemed to have over looked the obvious factor of the high speed appendage of the law being dynabolted to our bumper.

“Ok… you got that bean bag baby?”

“Err what… yeah I guess… why?”

“Right… throw it out the window!”

Light dawned, out went the bean bag baby and I have to say its little arms flailed most convincingly when it hit the road and spun. The head lights of justice receded in most satisfactory manner and our return to camp was achieved with much hysteria.

If there is a sequel to this story it would detract from the legend of the bean bag baby – which itself is fictional – and far be it for me to undermine this legend.