The armed forces have kept me curious this week. The hard struggle, the little quirks, and the sheer dumbness are all covered in the following three topics.

1 – What do the police do when you go for a night out?

2 – Quirkiness of the army lingo 

3 – How the army could not function without tea


1 – What do the police do when you go for a night out?

After a long tiring Friday at work, I walked briskly to the bus stop to get back home. To add more excitement, I was listening to some of my favourite songs to get pumped up. I was in my zone lost in the beats. Suddenly my eyes caught some flickering blue lights, and by the time I realised that two people were fighting, 4 police cars zoomed in. 

I was speechless. Here I was, just a few feet away from two drunk men fighting, and the only way I found out about that was when the police arrived. The response speed was incredible. That got me thinking that this must be the life of the police during weekends.

I pulled out 6 months of data from the government website to visualise what exactly the police go through. The data was focused only to the Greater Manchester area between Jan 2019 to June 2019

1 – Of the 14 different crime types, Violence and sexual offences top the list with the most number of cases. Surprisingly, the majority of those cases do not end in any form of prosecution.

2 – Next in the list is anti-social behaviour which was something that I witnessed first hand in the bus stop. From the graph, it feels like Anti-social behaviour is a category on its own. And the third most reported cases is public order.

The day and night operations of the armed forces cost £12.3 bn. 

And if I were to extrapolate this to the whole of the UK, then I might get a different picture. Of course, seeing it from the actual eyes of police tells a whole other story. Watch the video below to get a feel of how much the police have to put up with regularly. 



2 – The quirkiness of the army lingo.

Weekends are catch-up with friends days for me. Last weekend I decided to call one of my mates who is in the army. While talking with him, he slipped in a term that caught me off guard. For when I asked, “What will you do later”, he replied, “In figure 5 I will check the list”. 

It took a few moments to process it, but in vain, I replied, “what?”

In that context, figure 5 meant 5 minutes. And it so happens that if the duration is below 1 hour, they always say figure followed by the time. So if you wanted to say 20 minutes, in the army, they would say figure 20. 

And the armed forces are known for keeping time, and they are very strict about it. The concept of am/pm doesn’t exist. It is always the 24-hour clock format. Zulu is a term to refer to the GMT time. E.g. Take off at 0300 Zulu. 

This is where it gets amusing for the civilians. Here are my top 5 favourites from an exhaustive list of military slang

1 – Admiralty ham – tinned fish

2 – Head – bathroom

3 – Jody – someone who steals someone else’ spouse or partner

4 – Monkey shit – a type of duct tape that is pliable and waterproof

5 – Go Juice – Coffee


3 – Surprising connection between tea and the UK army

The love for tea in the UK is beyond bounds. Although tea is not indigenous, it is now part and parcel of life. As more and more people began to consume it, the harder it became to take it out of the culture. And this included our folks at the army because tea kept them close and united during the battle.

More than the caffeine boost, tea helped keep the morale high and everyone at the army got addicted to the tradition. During World War I, the soldiers stopped their tanks in the middle of a battlefield to have a cuppa. They were literally sitting ducks for the Germans, and many lost their lives as a result. Many new inventions were tested because the habit and need to have tea everyday stayed.

When World War II came around, the Government got wiser. The largest government order in weight after bullets was tea. New provisions were made to the tank boiling vessel (a.k.a. a kettle) can be kept inside. Now the army were able to enjoy their tea while sitting secured inside tanks.

Watch this video to get a grip of what the soldiers went through a single cup of tea.

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1 Comment

  1. Interesting terms the army uses..
    Feel sorry for the police too..
    Interesting again !!

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