sign of the times?

  Marko797 11:42 13 Nov 07

I've never condoned drug taking at all, & despair of those who feel the need to partake. Maybe I'm out of touch, or hold standards which are out-dated click here

I've served with the aforementioned A&SH, & whilst there witnessed a few soldiers being unceremoniously kicked out. I had/have no sympathy for them, & to my mind they deserved all they got. I recognise that this isn't just particular to A&SH, and don't wish to single them out, but they are in the headlines again.

IMHO, I think drug taking, in the Forces particularly, tarnishes its reputation & world-wide goodstanding.

The guilty might argue, 'we are no different to anyone else' & 'this is just part of society - civilian or military'.

Is it then just a sign of the times?

  wee eddie 12:07 13 Nov 07

What you fail to realise is that drugs have been part of our society for the past 1000 years or more. The only thing that has changed is the ability to detect certain chemical substances which we did not have before.

I would be much more impressed if Alcohol was banned from the Officers Mess than the pillorying of a few squaddies or "Jocks" as I believe the A&SH calls them.

  Marko797 12:18 13 Nov 07

sorry but we differ here.

Drug taking is 'unacceptable' - hence reason for the respective departures, whereas alcohol (although arguably a drug of sorts) is an 'accepted' and long standing part of military social life, whether Corporals'/Sergeants'/Officers' mess. I know of no-one who has been dismissed for drinking alcohol, unless they were a confirmed alcoholic - & even some of those evade dismissal.

If we were to follow your lead, then all messes would not provide alcohol at all, but they would all be able to sit around with either a joint,set of individual needles, and 'cook up' devices.

Sorry, can't agree.

  wee eddie 13:46 13 Nov 07

I know of no-one who has been dismissed for drinking alcohol, unless they were a confirmed alcoholic - & even some of those evade dismissal.

Nuff said.

Booze is the Army's Sacred Cow. If the Forces wish to maintain any semblance of reality in the future, all drugs should be examined and, if necessary, controlled.

  donki 13:49 13 Nov 07

I have to agree with Marko, alcohal is a legal substance enjoyed by most people sencably. Any one taking any illegal substances should be aware of the concequences. If a members of our armed forces are allowed to take illegal substances what kind of message does that send out?

Everybody knows that drub testing is nearly full proff so why would anyone now be so stupid to think they wouldnt get caught.

  wee eddie 14:09 13 Nov 07

Should the Military Police be issued with breathalysers and what would the penalty be for being "over the limit" in charge of a Platoon, or a Tank, or a Regiment?

  donki 14:14 13 Nov 07

Well im sure if an officer is seen to "drunk in charge" he will be reprimanded and diciplinery action taken. I think that you have a missconception of the military, that they are all raving mad drinkers, Im sure they enjoy their offduty time, but believe them to be as proffesional on the job as any other organisation.

  Marko797 14:58 13 Nov 07

it may be the case that MPs are issued with breathalysers these days. It wouldn't surprise me. But, you seem to make the assumption that excessive drinking takes place during working hours, or impacts on the working day, and that this is totally out of control. In my time, this was not the case.

All social drinking, whether at an official function, or just as part of a wind-down to the day in the Mess, takes place at what we might call 'normal times'. The Mess bar would open at 7, then shut at 11, unless permission was 'granted' by the RSM or some such equal, to keep the bar open.

Drunkenness is not a major issue in the Forces, yet u seem to hold the perception that all men & officers are 'reeling' around drunk on a daily basis.

There are many in-house controls, and the RSM and his hench-men are some of them. Yes, there are also the MPs, but these rarely get involved, unless the crime warrants it. Then there is Military Law. A man found drunk in charge of anything, gun, land-rover, tank, platoon, would feel the full force of this, and possibly also civilian law, especially if it went to Courts Martial. The latter of course could mean dismissal, loss of pension, and an array of other things.

With drugs however, much of this is short-circuited, and almost inevitably gets fast-tracked to Courts Martial and dismissal.

  Chegs ®™ 15:24 13 Nov 07

I seem to recall that the USA soldiers were wandering round in Vietnam off their heads on drugs.This is probably because drug testing wasnt deemed necessary.

I wouldnt like to think our forces were also being allowed to partake of illegal drugs as even without being off their faces on drugs the police have shown that serious errors can occur.

  Woolwell 15:51 13 Nov 07

This guide click here is quite interesting and reading down you will see that there isn't a great differential between drugs and alcohol. What is important is how it affects the ability of that person to do their duty and how it affects others around them.

When a sailor returned onboard drunk it was the policy to have them looked after to make sure that they did not die through vomit, etc. It was normal to ensure that his/her messmates were given the job of keeping watch on the person. Since they had to stay awake it meant that the culprit had upset a good many people and they usually let that person know!

  Marko797 16:55 13 Nov 07

that all drugs (of the type mentioned in the original link) are considered illegal substances, and all soldiers are advised of this, and to the military, warrant the ultimate punishment - dismissal.

Alcohol, is not an illegal substance to my recollection, so don't think the boundaries should get blurred.

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