The British Sergeant Major, and his relation to the chain of command

Sergeant Major, Canadian Scotch, in full marching order, Great War period. NARA Photo 165-BO-1027

For the best definition of a BritishSergeant Major, peruse this WWII-era piece from The Union Jack, the Army newspaper.

GENERAL– Leaps tall buildings with a single bound, more powerful than a Steam engine, Faster than a speeding bullet, Gives policy to God!
COLONEL– Leaps short buildings with a single bound, more powerful than a shunting engine, Is just as fast as a speeding bullet, Walks on water (If the sea is calm), Talks with God!
LIEUTENANT COLONEL– Leaps short buildings with a running start in favorable winds, Is almost as powerful as a speeding bullet, walks on water in indoor swimming pools, Talks with God if a special request is approved.
MAJOR– Barely clears a Nissen Hut, Loses tug-of-war with a steam engine, Can fire a speeding bullet & swims well, Is occasionally addressed by God.
CAPTAIN–Makes high marks when trying to leap tall buildings, Is run over by trains, Can sometimes handle a gun without inflicting self-injury, Doggie paddles, Talks to animals.
LIEUTENANT– Runs into tall buildings, Recognizes trains 2 out of 3 times, Is not issued with ammunition, Can stay afloat if properly instructed in the use of a lifejacket, Talks to walls.
2ND LIEUTENANT– Falls over doorsteps while trying to enter buildings, Says “Look at that Choo Choo”, Is NEVER issued with a gun or ammunition, Plays in mud puddles, Mumbles to himself.
SERGEANT MAJOR — Lifts tall buildings & walks under them, Kicks steam engines off the track, Catches speeding bullets in his teeth & eats them, Freezes water with a single glance… HE IS GOD!

Official caption: A Garrison Sergeant Major (Welsh Guards), giving some words of encouragement to a young Sailor. Who was one of the street liners in the State Procession to open Parliament, 17 May 2005

And with all that being said, check out the British Army’s new recruiting video, aimed to cut through the 2020’s generational shift by pitching old school stiff upper lippedness.

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