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24 September 2013 - Sam Olsen - Liaison Officer in Kosovo and Iraq

posted 29 Sep 2013, 19:10 by John Leighton

The OMRS Hong Kong Branch September meeting was a presentation by Sam Olsen, postponed from earlier in the year. 


Sam Olsen spoke about his experiences as a cavalry officer in the British Army where on overseas postings he acted as an Allied Liaison officer to numerous NATO countries in both of the recent conflicts in Iraq and Kosovo. He spoke about attachments to different armies, and the way that their attitudes and adopted cultural postures can have a real effect on operational execution. Some of the anecdotes about armies that were mentioned included:

·         French: drinking in enemy bars: it's perfectly normal to get plastered with ones foes.

·         Russians: invite the senior Finnish officer to a dinner party and then kidnap his deputy for a ransom - presumably to pay for the prostitutes brought in as a part of ones baggage chain.

·         Americans: Burger King, helicopters and accidentally invading Serbia

·         Czechs: shocking practical jokes and burly check points: Dear Senior British Officer: Happy Christmas and here's one of the enemy that we nabbed for you so that you can receive praise from your superiors for gathering enemy information. Would you like us to torture him for you?

·         Aussies: SAS and drinking.   Bravado and bottle retrieving a few million US dollars from the corrupt Basra police. Strewth, mate.

·         Norwegians: Christmas dinner and saunas.  Where's the best place for an O-Group? In the sauna of course. Or was that the Finns.

·         Italians: rockgardens and no translators.  Those tough Italian soldiers prevented from leaving base and spent their entire active service building a rock garden - a hard earned medal there.

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