"Right, you 'orible lot," shouted the sergeant. "Let's be 'aving you. Stand by your beds."
There was a lot of commotion as the sixteen raw female recruits scuttled about. At last, they were all in place standing to attention at the end of their bunks.
"Right," said the sergeant in a slightly less loud voice. "I'm Sergeant Grant and for my sins I'm your drill instructor. Far be it for me to criticise this man's army but they have taken the step to allow you women into the fighting force of this country. Now to be fair and totally PC about it, I shall treat you just as 'orible as if you were men. I will constantly mentally and verbally abuse all of you, is that clear?"
"Yes, sergeant," came a collective cry.
"Good, now as this is your first morning I think we will go for a little stroll," he said with a big smile. "PT kit on and outside the barracks in five minutes."
The little stroll turned out to be a ten-mile run around the parameter of the camp. Grant brought up the rear of the group and chivvied and chased the few that were floundering there. The very last was a short, well-built girl called Mulders. It took almost two hours before Mulders had returned to the barrack where there was a Captain waiting.
"Right, you lot," shouted Grant. "It must be your lucky day. Captain Fellows, our M.O. wants to take a look at you, so into the shower and back by your beds in fifteen minutes. And to spare your virgin blushes, you are allowed to redress in and only in your regulation army green knickers.
Grant surveyed the line of semi-naked soldiers standing to attention.
"Right shoulders back, chest out," he shouted.
"Right, sergeant, let's start shall we," ordered the M.O.
"Yes, sir," replied Grant.
One by one, the Officer inspected each soldier, listened to her heart and lungs before moving on.
"Is this one ok?" chuckled Grant as they stood in front of the big-busted Mulders. "Just a few moments ago I thought she might die from exhaustion."
"No, no, sergeant," said the M.O. after listening to her chest. "She sounds fine now."
After inspected all sixteen recruits the Officer left without a further word.
"Right, you lot," shouted Grant walking down between the half naked recruits. "According to the M.O. you're all sound of wind and limb, even Mulders here."
He stopped in front of the named recruit his eyes moving up and down her almost naked body then with one last look at her big thrusting breasts he moving on.
"Now I've seen you all stripped, so from now on, I don't want any false modesty," he said. "If I walk in here I don't want any girlie screams because some of you have still got your curlers in or mud packs on your pretty faces, understood."
"Yes, sergeant," came the collective reply.
What followed was weeks of hard slog for the sixteen girls, and finding it especially hard was Mulders. She was not a natural athlete and she always found herself floundering at the back, trying to keep up with the pack.
"I'm sorry, serge," she said as once again she found herself face down in the thick mud. "I don't think I'm cut out for this."
"Mulders," he said with a big smile. "True, you're not built for speed but you always get there in the end, you never give up and that's the important thing."
"Yes, serge," she said with a smile breaking out on her pretty face.
"Right, ladies, tomorrow we are entertaining one of the army's top doctor," said Grant. "He's a trick cyclist, you know, he looks into your brains."
"A physiatrist you mean, serge," said one of the smarter girls.
"Yeah, that's what I said," laughed Grant.
"What's he going to talk about, serge?" asked another.
"Well, I don't want to steal his thunder but it will be about being captured and things," said a suddenly serious Grant.
"What do you mean, serge?" asked another.
"Look, girls, let's make yourselves comfortable and we'll have a quiet chat, ok," suggested Grant.
"Look, despite what I say, sometimes you're all a good bunch of girls who will all pass out, including Mulders," chuckled Grant.
All of them including the named soldier join in the good humoured ribbing.
"Some time in the future you may be involved in some fighting," continued Grant. "Where there is fighting, someone is likely to be captured, right? Now as we're the good guys, all the rest are going to be the bad ones. So if you're captured they're not going to be nice for you, offer you a cup of tea and things."
"You mean they'll mistreat us," said a voice.
"You'll be raped and tortured," said Grant plainly.
There was a collective intake of breath.
Grant let his words sink in for a few moments before starting again.
"Now the Americans have been using ladies like yourselves for some years now and from their experience the army has come up with some guidelines," explained Grant.
Grant looked from one big eyed scared face to the next.
"In the first Gulf war the Americans lost three women, two mud marines and one pilot," Grant carried on. "The pilot was later recovered but the two Marines were never found.
"So how did the pilot survive?" said a voice.
"Look, you'll hear all about it tomorrow from an expert," said Grant.
"Come on, serge, you can't stop now," said another.
"Ok, ok, but it's not pretty," he said.
Grant nervously ran his hands over his short cut hair and collected his thoughts.
.... There is more of this story ...