Actions on a Plan


War Hero
Infantry. Can't read plan but takes it very seriously nevertheless. Fablons plan and issues it on orange card to every man, with Sgts carrying spare plans just in case. Mortar Pl make their own plan, which is heavier, and issue 2 to everyone else in Bn.

Parachute Regiment. Plans are for Hats. Deploys first on any operation that appears, while everyone else is still writing plans. Jumps, lands in wrong place, taking 50% casualties in ankle injuries and leaving ammunition behind in Colchester.

Cavalry. Looks at plan but sees arrows and realises plan involves degree of navigation that could be considered constraining to manoeuvre. Opts to drive off at speed until track sheds and then have impromptu Pimms party. Ad hoc plan ruined by lack of Pimms filters. Applies to join AAC as Apache pilot.

Royal Marines Commando. Pretends to be very laid back about plan and talks about drinking and being naked instead but secretly gets very competitive about plan, using senior Navy men to say plan can only work with Commandos because it requires poise, reach and hoofing wets.

Combat Engineer. Likes plans. Takes plan and adds whole new bits, with diagrams no-one else understands or cares about. Still adding new bits when plan changes at which point previous work becomes irrelevant. Has a huff and blames Chieftain chassis for not allowing Engrs to keep up with pace of everyone else's thinking.

Artillery. Also likes plans. Makes very detailed plans, with numbers, timings and smoke. Talks a lot about HE, smoke and last safe moments. Everyone recognises last safe moment was passed as soon as Gunners allowed anywhere near plan. Despite plan all guns just keep firing until ammo runs out. Commanders lucky enough not to have Artillery support feel safe enough to get on with battle and win. Remainder hide under map table until firing ceases then call for ambulances. After firing Gunner officers check all guns are still pointing roughly in the direction of the enemy. Random shots rearward are put down as encouragement to log chain to bring up more ammo.

Special Forces. Writes plan in pencil on back of "Max Factor Make-up for Boys Compac". Checks for tan-lines and makes sure no-one else has a scooby doo what plan is. Ensures plan is different from one everyone else working to and checks that it will make suitable story for follow on novel on exit from service. Places tape over eyes, can't see plan anymore and gets captured by locals - ideal Chapter for novel only if captors can be encouraged to participate in sexual humiliation.

REME. Happy to see plan but disturbed by lack of attention to Health and Safety issues. Places yellow warning sign in front of plan (which everyone trips over) and issues COSHH instructions on actions to take if you get plan in your eye. Reviews plan in light of Investors in People requirements ensuring that all aspects of the plan meet each individual’s medium and long term career development needs in relation to operational objectives. Forwards to RAC / AA Breakdown service for action.

RLC. On encountering plan immediately looks for Annex on sustainability. If one is present immediately guffaws at lack of detail and doubles all timelines. If not present, stays silent to avoid having to write one. Says that plan depends on key enablers (chefs, posties, small round blokes with clipboards and Penfold glasses) and demands doubling of logistic staff to carry out plan. Goes off for double lunch.

AGC. Receives plan in envelope, opens it and sticks it at bottom of huge pile of paperwork which includes MMA and Missed Meals claims.

Royal Signals. Uses plan to bolster rather poor profile by incorporating term J6 everywhere. J6 becomes hugely important without anyone knowing why. J6 reps with J6 plan appear everywhere but stay strangely silent during any meaningful discussion. If questioned J6 rep sucks teeth and says 'Bandwidth' before sinking back into silence. Non-J6 types begin to wonder whether weedkiller can halt J6 spread, but J6 mutates into J6/DBM and grows faster. Plan stays silent and prevents close scrutiny by exuding streams of 1s and 0s to deter investigation.

Army Medical Services. Doesn't like plans because they always involve cuts. Gets confused because cuts mean more business. Has crisis of contradiction and has to get TA doctors in from NHS to sort problem out.

Intelligence Corps. Looks closely at plan and assesses its relevance to resurgent Russia. While studying, plane flies into Old War Office. Survivors spend huge staff effort working out how to predict when planes will be flown into buildings. Libyan ship with all Irish crew crawls slowly up Thames unnoticed.

TA. TA declare parlous state of Army means they are more important to plan than ever. Army agrees, cuts them by 30%, spends money on operational welfare package telephones and then cannibalises their kit to get ready for operations.

RAF. Copies plan onto leg, gets in to aircraft, takes off and then finds leg can't be seen because of joystick. Decides to use initiative and at 20,000 feet starts looking for enemy tanks. Succeeds in finding tank looking remarkably like Chinese Embassy and misses it. Relieved as pilot in aircraft behind, who can see leg, gets Embassy while aiming for nearby Air Defence site. Both fly back and complain about noisy air conditioning in hotel room and lack of streaky bacon on breakfast menu.

Royal Navy. Only Captain grown-up enough to plan. Everyone else sits at brightly coloured screen pretending to know what plan is. Captain goes to bed early and other officer, not knowing plan is 'not to sail on rocks', sails on rocks. New plan devised called how to sell ship with no bottom to Third World Country whilst fitting in a run ashore in Gibralter and visit by Nell McAndrew .

Joint Helicopter Command. Draw up plan to get 360 helicopters into air with 400 flying hours. Each time plan close to approval another helicopter crashes. Come up with plan to prevent helicopters crashing but plan and author lost in helicopter crash. Decision taken to undertake urgent review of design of flying suits (pockets / zips / velcro / badges etc.) in light of alarming increase in helicopter crashes based on low pilot morale / "pilot error."

Defence Logistic Organisation. Looks at potential for plan to offer 3% efficiency measures. Finds none but cuts by 3% anyway. Concludes that most sensible plan involves not buying anything, listing this course of action as 'bearing risk', and then investing in risk management courses. War declared and funds rapidly diverted into courses on Red Face Management.

Whitehall Warrior. Only interested in plan if it is 'strategic'. Declares strategic plan is most important but can't be bothered to get off bum and write one. Everyone else starts to plan while waiting and by time strategic plan eventually gets written everyone has decided what they are going to do already. Whitehall Warrior then stresses need for strategic plan in next DOC audit and goes for coffee in Starbucks.
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