In the very early days of our deployment to Somalia, our company (B Coy 1 RAR) was tasked with airfield security (we were set up in the old Biadoa Airbase). This involved us manning the main entrance and a series of observation posts that the Marines we had taken over from had built. My section (8 Sect, 6 Pl, I was Sect 2IC) was sent to an OP that was on the perimeter of the airbase in an old aircraft revetment (the Somali Air Force was flying Migs 19s and 21s, all wrecked by this stage). The Marines had been using some locals as cheap labour but we got rid of them until we were happy with their bona fides and were more secure at the airbase. Anyway, as a result of this we were required to do all the mundane tasks etc… So my section was at an OP that was away from all the main areas right on the south east edge of the old base perimeter. As a good 2IC, I checked the area out and found an old shitter that the Marines had used close to our OP, (the half plywood and mozzie screen style where you crap in a half 44-gal drum). Now, it hadn’t been emptied for a while but I’d seen it done before where you used diesel to burn off all the crap. So being all resourceful, I sourced some diesel, dragged the drum out (dry retching all the while), poured it on and away we went. Now, the only problem was that you needed to stir it to make sure it burnt well. I grabbed a nearby star picket (thinking the whole time that I was such a good 2IC, looking after my lads like this) and picked it up by the burnt end. I was stirring away, with a couple of the lads watching, when one of them decided to point out that it was not such a good idea to be holding a star picket by the burnt end, when that end had been used to stir previously! So there I was, left with burnt USMC poo on my hands and no place to wash up, so the moral of the story is get one of the bloody diggers to do it!!!
If you need an officer in a hurry, take a nap.

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