Let me introduce you to Colonel James Hall, Military attache to Nigeria!
I asked him some questions over email and I got some answers.
He also used to be a soldier of the Royal Greenjackets.
What do you do as a military attache?
As an Attache my job is to work with the Nigerian military. Each country is very different because it really depends on how friendly the UK is with it. In the case of Nigeria it is really about us helping them with training and developing their capacity. They have big challenges with terrorism inside the country which the Army in particular is having to fight. They also have serious piracy on their coast. as well as having to keep the peace around the surrounding bit of Africa; there's a nasty civil war going on in Mali which the Nigerians need to take the lead in fixing before it spreads into their own territory. I spend lots of time discussing what help we can give to them.
In more hostile countries DAs spend a lot of time trying to understand what their hosts Military looks like - how big, what equipment and so on. We're all diplomats though so our job is to work for what the UK wants.
What are the trainings like when you do them?
I don't really do traditional military training now - too old. For most soldiers though it means living out of doors, learning to use their weapons, vehicles, communications and how to live "in the field". That's the fun bit really. By the time you reach my age you spend a lot of time typing. I do travel a lot though trying to see what the local military are up to and meeting people. Lots of my job just involves knowing who the people are and understanding what they are thinking and planning. I also look to see what the country's infrastructure is like - road, railways (none really here), airfields and so on.
And is being in the army fun?
It is; it can be very exciting and its seldom boring. On the down side it takes you away from home an awful lot and you are never rich!
Did you really nearly in the SAS?
Yes,but I caught Malaria and had to go to hospital.
Well that was very interesting and many thanks to Colonel Hall for letting me interview him.
Now lets go on to a pair of jokes!
Q: Mississippi gave Missouri a New Jersey, so what did Delaware?
A: I don't know, Alaska.
The internet says pigeons can fly at 65mph. They can, just not necessarily in a straight line. This is a myth created by crows.
Thankyou for reading!
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