April 18, 2024 at 9:33 pm

Corporal’s New Commander Told Him To Do It By The Book, But He Wasn’t Prepared To Lose His Internet

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Reddit/Shutterstock

The military has a chain of command, and there is comfort in that.

At least, most of the time.

Other times, it can be a real pain in the rear.

This corporal enjoyed his time in the military.

Many moons ago I spent my youth in the Army.

I worked in Comms and spent some excellent years doing dumb stuff, with some of the best guys and girls you could ever meet.

One of those years of my misspent youth I was deployed to a hot and sandy location.

This length of deployment was unusual for me as most deployments in the British Army are 6 months.

The extra time was due to us being one of the first units deployed and after supporting the initial deployment they requested volunteers to remain and support and train some of the relieving units and newly deployed logistics Headquarters (HQ).

At this stage in my career I had been lucky enough to jump from deployment to deployment and I was loving the extra money that that gave me so I happily volunteered to stay.

I was tasked with supporting one of the logistics HQ’s.

I’d run that detachment earlier in the deployment and was happy to return as it was far away from the main HQ and all the bored adults and seniors that the HQ brings. Think sweeping the desert, that kind of thing.

He set up his own little corner of the desert and found a way to enjoy himself.

Our little detachment was a oasis in a sea of bs. It was just 6 guys and girls with me as the Detachment Commander, I was a Corporal (Cpl/fullscrew) at the time.

The isolated nature of our Det meant that anyone sent there had to be able to operate independently, be very adaptable and open to improvise to support where required.

Our main unit also liked to send us there trouble makers, but due to the nature of the Det, they could only send us people who could do their role also.

So I ended up with all the best and most interesting scum of my unit, and it was amazing. For any yanks reading it would have been a E4 Mafia paradise.

Within weeks we had a patio and rock garden set up. We had a BBQ pit, shower area, gym.

We’d sorted a deal with the local civilian contractors for us to receive beer in exchange for our help in vehicle and generator servicing.

The best part was due to us being a Comms det, it was restricted entry to our area so we were free from any surprise visits.

Then, of course, someone had to poo in the punch bowl.

Now that I’ve set out the back story, I’ll get onto the Malicious Compliance.

The HQ we were supporting was regularly rotating its Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCO) and Officers from the deployment.

They’d do the minimum time to qualify for a medal and they they’d get replaced with someone new.

It was a bad practice that eventually got shut down, but not till much later deployments.

We were fairly used to this by now and the only overhead we had has creating new accounts for the seniors.

The guys who actually did the work, my peer group in the HQ, stayed the same mostly.

This latest rotation saw the old Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant (RQMS) being replaced by a newly promoted RQMS.

This new guy was a prick. Full of his own self importance. Hated that we had a little island of bs free tranquillity within his eyesight.

I’d see him pacing outside our fence line when he first arrived, unable to comprehend that he wasn’t allowed to just walk in.

By this point I had been in this location for about 6 months and I was thoroughly past the point of giving any cares.

The RQMS hated that he had to deal with me, a lowly fullscrew as OC of the Det, and myself and crew of reprobates was out of his chain of command.

One day he absolutely lost it because we were BBQing half a goat and had invited a few of his guys to join us after work for some beers and delicious goat wraps.

By this stage we’d used hessian to fence off our BBQ and bar area so that we could obscure it from prying eyes.

He went off to get some of his units Regimental Police (RP’s, these are not real military police, just jobsworths with no real job in a unit) to come and shut us down.

I told them to jog on, they weren’t getting in my det and I don’t care who sent them.

Apparently the next day he was apoplectic.

But when the new guy told him to go by the book, the corporal knew he had him.

The guys who worked with him warned us he was determined to bring my Det to heel.

His solution was removing our welfare package, that we were issued through his Department as a favour from his guys for some services that we were providing.

It consisted of a small fridge, tv and British Forces Broadcasting Service TV Decoder (BFBS Box). The conversation went roughly as thus:

RQMS: Cpl Tosspot. It appears that there has been a paperwork error and you have been given one of my welfare packages by mistake.

Me: OK Sir. I’d be happy to fill that in. Shall I drop by your office?

RQMS: You can drop by my office and bring the package, but you wont be filling in any paperwork Cpl.

You may have wrangled the last RQ but as far as I’m concerned you lot can do one if you think your getting that welfare package back off me.

And if there’s anything else that I find that isn’t 100% correct paperwork wise then I be shutting that right down.

You may not be mine, and I may not be able to enter you little compound, but I’m going to have you son.

Every resup demand, every transport request better be completed correctly.

I’m going to make your lives a nightmare with paperwork and admin.

Que malicious compliance.

Me: I’m sorry to hear that Sir. I’m sorry you feel the service that we provide isn’t good enough.

The old RQMS was very happy with services that he was getting from us, and sent over the spare welfare package as a thank you.

Are you sure that its paperwork that’s the issue here? Are you not happy with phones and the internet?

RQMS: Cpl. I have not complaints regarding the comms.

You just need to complete the correct paperwork and have it authorised, by me. (at this point it is clear that he is never going to authorise the return of the welfare package and is very smug about it)

Me: Ok Sir, you’re of course correct. Paperwork is essential.

RQMS: Are you giving me attitude Cpl??

Me: Not at all Sir. Just agreeing with you. To be clear you are happy with everything else we provide to the HQ?

You just want me to complete the correct paperwork?

RQMS: That’s correct Cpl.

Me: No problem Sir. Happy to oblige.

It turns out the new guy couldn’t handle the heat of an entire company of unhappy soldiers.

I delivered the welfare package back to his stores.

His guys were very apologetic. I told them not to worry.

You see, the welfare package was a thank you for all the extra phone lines and terminals that we’d provided for the previous RQMS’s.

These expanded his and his units working capacity.

Most importantly I had run phone line to the sleeping areas so that him and his lads could call home without using their limited welfare phone cards.

I’d also laid some precious unfiltered internet lines to. Internet to deployed units is very rare, and unfiltered internet is almost unheard of for British units.

What I was providing was immense value to lonely squaddies, and it was also without paperwork!!!

When I got back to my Det I flicked a couple of switches, turning off all the paperwork less connections. I waited for the inevitable.

It didn’t take long.

The first visitor was one of the Privates letting us know that he’d been cut off mid call back home. I apologised and explained what was going on with the RQMS.

He understood, not happy about it, but understood. He went off muttering about “Throbbers who cant leave well enough alone”.

The next was one of the RQMS’s Fullscrews, who I have a lot of time for. She came round and asked what was going on with the comms. She was in the office when I had the conversation with the the RQMS earlier.

We had a bit of chat about what a belter he is, and then she asked what was going on. I explained that as per the RQMS’s request, we are following his example and doing things by the book.

And I’ve turned off all services without the correct paperwork.

She looked at me knowingly. “So what does that mean” she asked.

I explained that the only services that I had been ordered to provide were for the HQ.

The rest, would have to request them through me and be approved by Division HQ as per orders.

I handed her a copy of the request forms, to be completed in triplicate as I didn’t have a photocopier and they couldn’t send me it by email, as I’d just turned their kit off.

She had a bit of a chuckle and went off back to her boss, paperwork in hand.

You see, the only orders I had were for the 6 lines and terminal in the HQ, the 30 odd lines I’d laid extra we’re essentially me being a good bloke and supporting the mission and departments as they grew around the HQ.

It was initiative and adaptability on my part.

These were all now off and I had a steady stream of visitors throughout the day wanting to know what was going on.

I directed them all the RQMS, who had the request forms. My last visitor was the Operations Captain.

He was a top bloke, a Late Entry (LE) officer (had gone through the ranks from private to Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) and was now commissioned as a officer) who had spent more than a few nights in our compound with a beer and talking crap with us.

He was one of the very first recipients of a private line and internet. He asked me what was going on, he’d been round the houses so he knew there were shenanigans afoot.

I told him the situation. His face dropped. “Leave it with me” is all that he said, and off he went.

The day was good for everyone – except the new guy.

30 Mins later the RQMS was back at the entrance to my compound with the welfare package.

The Ops Captain was with him, looming over him as only a RSM (or former RSM in this case) can.

Me: Hello Sir, how can I help.

RQMS: (Very sheepishly) Hello Cpl. There seems to have been an error and we’ve found your paperwork for the Welfare Package.

So I’m returning it, with my apologies.

Me: No need to apologise Sir, easy mistake to make.

RQMS: So, are we good?

Me: And the other paperwork moving forward?

RQMS: There’s, no need for all that. (looking over his shoulder at the Ops Captain) We are after all on the same team.

Me: We are indeed Sir. (I look over my shoulder and give one of my guys a nod.) I think you’ll find everything is now back to as it was.

RQMS: Excellent. Thank you very much Cpl. (and off he went)

The Ops Captain stared daggers at him as he left.

He just gave me a nod and confirmed that drinks were still on for the next day and toddled off back to his pit.

I was never bothered by the RQMS again.

Reddit says you never want to mess with comms.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

It’s a general life rule, really.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Unfortunately the sense isn’t all that common.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

In a perfect world, everyone does their share.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

They really think people should have figured this out by now.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

I don’t know why military stories are so satisfying.

Maybe because they are using the system against those who feel secure in it.