The Welsh Guards wear leeks on their berets. Not real ones but small embroidered badges. They wear their berets when in combat uniform, quite a contrast to the bright red tunics and bearskins that people normally think of as their preferred order of dress.
No ceremonial work for them for a few months at least, the battalion is about to deploy to Iraq for six months and the command group (the commanding officer and his key planning team) have spent the last two days in Catterick practicing their planning skills.
The army regards planning as a skill that needs to be learnt and practiced, it’s a pity more civilian companies don’t realize this.
I have been working with them as their artillery advisor and I have had a very fulfilling couple of days. I have met a number of people, both within the military and outside who think that the Guards are only about marching and polishing, I have now spent two very intense days working with their leadership team and I can testify to the very high level of professionalism that they display, they also happen to be a very down to earth bunch.
Catterick is not too far from Hartlepool, the government have called the by-election there on the last day of their party conference, very clever. Party conference week pretty much guarantees wall to wall coverage of the party whose conference is on, this means that the news will be full of Labour party spin for the week leading up to the election making it almost impossible for the media to present a balanced picture. There’s cynical and there’s cynical.