Australians serving as soldiers overseas in times of war have always had a bit of a reputation. They weren’t exactly seen in a positive light by many a British Officer in the Middle East where they were known for refusing to salute British Officers while off duty, right up to crazy behaviour like jumping into enemy trenches including against the Germans in World War II.
I remember when Australia was working to help East Timor liberate from Indonesia along with other nations. There was a story about other nations complaining about the behaviour of Australian soldiers when they performed their very own version of a Gay Mardis Gras while riding on military vehicles.
Now that we are in Afghanistan as we have been for quite some time, the tradition of larrikinism lives on…
Senior commander Lieutenant Colonel Chris Smith led a taskforce in Afghanistan for six months and documented cases of skylarking in the theatre of war.
In a partially declassified report, written in January last year, he documented cases of soldiers in tactical positions sunbathing, kicking footballs and hitting golf balls into areas known to host Taliban militants.
There must be a way to release the built up stress of living and working in a war zone. What a good harmless way of doing it.