Thursday, February 22, 2007

An ordinary soldier... or no ordinary soldier

Cornet Harry Wales, a junior officer in Britain's Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry, is headed to Iraq. Yes, that's Prince Harry... Alan Cowell has written a good piece at the New York Times on Prince Harry's impending deployment with his unit.

Mr. Cowell writes,
Prince Harry’s duties would be to lead “a troop of 12 men in four Scimitar armed reconnaissance vehicles, each with a crew of three.” The Evening Standard of London reported that special forces would be deployed to protect him.
Hmmm... special forces... Here's the best quote on the whole matter I've read yet. From an "unidentified army official" we hear this:
Harry’s always wanted to be treated as an ordinary soldier and I think people respect him for that. He’s not an ordinary soldier, of course, but it looks like he’s got his way over Iraq.

Frankly I don’t envy his commanders. Losing any soldier under your command is awful. Lose the third in line to the throne and you’d unfortunately go down in history as well.
Yes, that is likely not the way to make a name for oneself.

Wouldn't be the first time the sphincter factor came into play with the royals in battle, however.
Prince Harry will become the first member of the royal family to serve on active duty in a combat zone since his uncle, Prince Andrew, flew helicopters as a decoy to draw incoming missile fire in the Falklands War against Argentina in 1982.
Now, there's a job: fly a helicopter to serve as a decoy to draw incoming missile fire. Something tells me that Cornet Wales will be a little safer in his reconnaissance vehicles...

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