Friday 22 May 2009

Tales from the Academy – bike and bash

Officers, retired, old or new, who were trained at the RMA, will have memories, fond or otherwise, of the 'Ten Mile Speed March' or 'Ten Mile Bash'. It is a test of endurance and must be completed within a specified time and will be repeated for any individuals not meeting the requirements.

On this particular day in the 1960s the officer cadets were assembled and ready, though perhaps not willing, to begin. A Sergeant Major accompanying them appeared wheeling his bicycle. Groans and mutterings abounded, albeit sotto voce, as the young men surveyed the man and his machine. No doubt they felt it unfair and not a little cruel for a senior NCO to make fun of them thus.

To their surprise, the Sergeant Major marched the whole distance with them, pushing his bicycle all the way. Their respect for the man increased ten-fold.

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