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British Military Current Events

A note written aged six signalled Trooper Cameron McCabe’s clear intention as to her future career. It read ‘Mum, I’d rather die for my country than from old age.’
Now aged 21 and a gunner in The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeth's Own), her mum still has the letter attesting to the Army being all she wanted since childhood.

Inspired by the deeds of her great grandfather who served in Burma, and her grandfather who enjoyed a long career in the RAF, Cameron joined straight from school.

“I didn’t have a job before the I joined the British Army,” she says.” It sounds cliched to say it, but the Army was the only job I ever wanted to do.”

“Being from a military family, the legacy made me want to join. Initially, I wanted to join The Guards, but, after completing ITC Catterick, I decided that I found the job role more interesting at the Royal Lancers. I have enjoyed it ever since and I am very pleased I made that decision.”

As a gunner on a Jackal armoured vehicle, Cameron is responsible for whatever gun is on the vehicle, be it a G-PMG 50-calibre, or Grenade Machine Gun.
As well as fixing and maintaining the gun, she is also responsible for supporting vehicle maintenance and making sure her crew is provided for in terms of food, water, and rest.

Cameron, who completed a six-month deployment on Operation Cabrit in Poland last autumn, said: “Over the course of the tour, two moments really stand out. In June, we moved as an armed convoy from Poland up to the British base in Estonia. This was the first time this kind of move had been done and I particularly enjoyed being at the forefront of an operational revelation.

“In September, we moved from Poland to Latvia for Exercise Titan Shield, where we played enemy to a Canadian led NATO battlegroup. Being part of such a big exercise was incredibly exciting and I loved every minute.

“In a non-operational sense, I have been on adventure training in France, skiing in Val Thorens. All of these have been places and experiences that I ordinarily wouldn’t have had.”

One aspect of Army life that has surprised her is the diversity of its personnel.
Cameron, from Doncaster, said: “Honestly, I have been so surprised by how diverse the Army is. There are a lot more women than I thought there would be across all trades, even the Royal Lancers in Light Cavalry.

“Also, the number of Commonwealth soldiers has really surprised me. I had never met a Fijian or Nepalese person before, and I now count many of them amongst my close friends. The Army has definitely expanded my cultural horizons.”
Sporting and outdoor opportunities have also been among the benefits including skiing in the alps and hiking all around the UK.

While her path has been singular, it has led to real personal growth. “I have been on a very traditional journey into the Army,” she says. “As a young girl I did beavers, before moving onto cubs, scouts and later cadets.

“Since joining the Army proper, I have learned gunnery, which I have really enjoyed. More broadly however, being a female in a traditionally male job role, I have learned to be comfortable in femininity and I have become a lot more confident in myself.

“There is no different standard for women in the cavalry, I have to keep up with the men and meet the common standard. Through this I have learned how capable I am and hugely developed as a young woman. The lessons I have learned through the army in this space I will be forever grateful for.”

As for the future, former Doncaster College pupil Cameron is determined for that growth to continue. She said: “I want to do three things in the short to medium term. I want to complete my advanced Signals course, convert to be a gunner on Ajax, and promote to Lance Corporal in next couple of years.”

The toughest part of her journey was Infantry Training at Catterick. “It was hard, but I completed it before moving across to the Lancers,” she says.

“The skills I learned at Catterick did, however, mean that I performed really well in the Potential NCOs course which The Royal Lancers ran while we were in Poland.
“I am a stronger person for having served. As a woman, citizen, and soldier, I have developed. I have proved to myself that I am just as capable as any man. Over my time on Op Cabrit I proved I am as good as a soldier as any man in the regiment."

Cameron is currently undertaking an Ajax [Armoured Fighting Vehicle] driver course. Following on from that, she has various deployment opportunities in the next year including Cyprus, returning to Poland, or Operation Elgin in Kosovo.


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On the subject of HMS Prince of Wales being potentially up for sale, not to disparage the always reliable folks at the Daily Mail, but who the hell would want to buy it? There isn’t much overlap between countries that are interested in jump jets, don’t already build their own carriers, and have money to burn for a high end platform like HMS PoW.

Singapore is the only nation I can think of that meets those three criteria, but their investment in F-35B is driven by concerns about runway cratering — they don’t have a blue water navy and a carrier would be an odd addition for them.


British Royal Navy Claps Back At Claims Branch Will Have to Sell Off HMS Prince of Wales (R09)​

Nothing like being publicly corrected by your Sergeant Major

That was beautiful...

Laverne Cox Legend GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Gordon Bennett....

I thought I knew everything about being an armed forces spouse - the mobility - 8 schools for our girls - the deployment - 6 tours of Afghanistan - abandoning my career to take piece meal jobs. Months and years apart for the duration of the Afghan conflict. Until 3 years ago on this day 8 March 2021, my husband of 17 years, Colonel Nick Carrell, died from a rapid and aggressive form of brain cancer, whilst still serving.

It was then I realised that I didn’t know everything about being an army spouse. I didn’t know that we had 93 days to vacate our home, that my children would soon become ineligible for their eductional bursaries, that my VO would be permitted to support my devastated little family for just six weeks, as they had other more important things for her to do elsewhere ..

I learned that after two weeks, no one from the MoD calls, that they think when they’re handed you a purple pack and an indecent pension that they have “extracted from the bereaved family as clinically as possible “ , their words not mine. I learned that no one talks about transition for the spouse or breakfast clubs or drop ins. And for our bereaved children they lose their home, their school, their identity and their parent.

We had to leave the community we’d lived in for almost 2 decades - were we still armed forces ? No, we’re not serving. Were we veterans ? No we never served.

So who are we ? We’re adrift and so are so many other military bereaved families.

I am working to change the narrative around our military bereaved, to bring together the families, the MoD, the armed forces charity sector, the NHS and other support pathways because we must do better for families who have lost their loved ones whilst serving this country .

This was our last homecoming. Nick had been in Kabul for 8 months with no R&R.

Please help me to spread the word to help raise awareness in galvanising better support to the military bereaved community and in bringing about systemic change in the space that the armed forces community gives to families like mine. Thanks for reading.

The man, the myth, the legend... the questionable life choices ;)

SAS hero soldier turned mercenary Peter McAleese who was once hired to assassinate Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar dies aged 81​

  • McAleese was famously hired by a rival cartel to try and kill Escobar in 1989

An SAS hero once tasked with assassinating Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar as a mercenary gun-for-hire, has died aged 81.
Special forces hardman, Peter McAleese led a crack team of rogue black ops troops during a deadly mission to kill the notorious cartel chief in 1989.

Working as a soldier of fortune, having left Britain's famed SAS, he was reportedly offered a staggering $1million bounty to deliver Escobar's head.

But the operation to storm Escobar's fortress mansion failed catastrophically when his helicopter crashed flying over the Andes, killing the pilot and leaving McAleese seriously wounded on the mountainside for three days before he was rescued.
McAleese's death was announced last night on his official social media accounts.

A statement said: 'It's with an empty heart I regret to inform you that on Monday afternoon Peter McAleese completed his final tour of duty and went off to the big reorg in the sky.

'I'm sure I speak on behalf of may people when I say Peter was a warrior in the military world and a gentleman in the streets, although Peter didn't like being called a legend, it's true to say that much of his journey was legendary, for me I'm just happy to call him my friend.

'Sleep well buddy, keep smiling see you one day.'

Leading tributes today, famed SAS veteran-turned-author Chris Ryan told MailOnline McAleese was a huge figure in the Regiment.

'He was a tough soldier who chose the life of a mercenary at a time when the term was used in its truest sense - when being a mercenary actually involved being a mercenary,' he said.

Raised in a tough environment with a violent father who once broke his son's nose and who was often incarcerated in nearby Barlinnie prison, McAleese was a born fighter.

As a teenager he felt he had to get out of Glasgow and channel his aggression, so he joined the Parachute Regiment at 17, in 1960, and worked towards his dream posting in the Special Air Service, join 'D' Squadron SAS in 1962.

He made it and saw action during the Aden Emergency in 1967. He said: 'I had my first contact with the enemy in the SAS.