I wasn’t thinking about being ‘the best,’ while I was getting shouted and bawled at by numerous instructors.
He went on to explain himself. He said: “Our armed forces are the best in the world because we’re all volunteers, we're all here of our own free will, signing on the dotted line, for Queen and Country.”
That didn’t really resonate with me for quite some time, then over the years I grew to understand what he meant.
Great Britain had National Service during the first and second world wars out of a real necessity, and it continued during the Korean War and Suez Crisis. Conscription finally ended in 1963.
As an ex-servicemen I'm glad it ended, there’s nothing worse than serving, or working with someone who doesn’t want to be there.
Many think they should bring it back to instil discipline to society, this would be detrimental to our forces – although some conscripts will go on to make fine servicemen.
National Service or conscription proves mainly fruitless during conflict.
During the Vietnam war America introduced ‘The Draft' to bring young men into the armed forces – young men who weren’t keen to join or fight.
I believe this was part of many reasons why America was unsuccessful in Vietnam – free will is sacrocent when it comes to a war.
A massive force against a smaller lesser equipped army, but still failing.
Conscripted men are no match for freely enlisted, well trained, motivated servicemen and women.
Again, this was proven during the Falklands conflict in 1982.
General Leopoldo Galtieri, the fascist dictator of the Argentine Junta, used a combination of enlisted and conscripted men to take over the Falklands.
These poorly trained and already demoralised soldiers were no match for the British armed forces.
Russia at present has a large element of conscripted soldiers, approximately 400,000.
The combination of dictator and conscripted men equals “failed operations”.
Hiltler, towards the latter stages of the Second World War, forcibly used men aged over 60 and underaged boys as young as 14, to help maintain the war; again it proved fruitless.
Sadhem Hussein, a dictator who ruled by fear and persecution, bolstered his army by using conscripted men. Up against well trained, well equipped enlisted men from numerous nations, his army failed, twice.
Dictatorships and conscripted soldiers are a recipe for failure.
Muslaini the Italian dictator came to a violent end at the hands of his own people, at the end of the Second World War.
Nicolae Ceaușescu, the communist politician and dictator, again came to a violent end at the hands of a firing squad.
Now we have a Russian dictatorial leader at the head of the conscripted army, against a motivated army who believe 100 per cent in their cause, and who have the support of the western free world. History says ‘Putin will fail’.