…The majority of us passed out successfully. A few, like my friend “Hercules Mike,” didn’t make it and were sent home. The Franco’s had their own parade, separate from the rest of us. The reviewing Officer of our parade was a hero of the Korean War. That was cool. The Jamaican maan received the Ceremonial Sword for the highest achieving candidate. His Army mistress could be seen beaming, she was so proud. Each of the so called “African Corp” received awards and performance medals: for leadership, or marksmanship, military theory, drill, or fitness (running), whatever. It was all so politically obvious, so politically barf worthy. Then there were the rest of us: our nation’s military peons. No awards for us. And after the “this is the best time to be joining the military” spiel, we were all dismissed.
I learned afterward the real dirt about the international students. The Jamaican maan was a distant relative of some Jamaican big shot, who was also a World War Two veteran. The five Officers of the “African Corp” would have passed out with honours regardless. Failing or barely meeting the minimum standard, as they did, was not an option for these candidates. Doing so, officially, would have brought discredit to their nations and would have meant immediate execution on their return home.
Accordingly, to their military’s credit, their military’s philosophy and their military’s “take no prisoners” mentality, they would have been struck down like the rabid dogs that they were…
Their words, not mine.